Je me souviens

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Dearest daughter,

I remember our time away fondly, so many great conversations, meals, and experiences of a new part of Canada for both of us. The Eastern Townships at Easter is very quiet, and so was Quebec City, but we still managed to find patisseries and good cheese and epic grand cathedrals and one day we even found time for an installation of PUP.

So thank you for documenting our process. It isn’t often that I have a kind and willing accomplice alongside me, but you were so patient. Here’s some proof of where we were, and what we did. I wonder who found those little poems?

Saint Roch was a perfect neighbourhood to be a flaneur.

Love,

Mom







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You pechakucha, I do!

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And if you, like me, have trouble pronouncing this word, here’s some immediate help!

A couple of weeks ago I did not know what PechaKucha was. I’m beginning to understand. And armed with this small and growing knowledge, along with a big dose of creative energy and OK, an even bigger dose of courage, I’m going for it! On April 26th, I’ll be part of a group of 11 PechaKucha presenters at the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects Annual Conference ~ Depth of Field, in Vancouver, B.C. 

PechaKucha, Japanese for “the sound of conversation”, and according to Wikipedia;

PechaKucha or Pecha Kucha (Japanese: ペチャクチャ, IPA: [petɕa ku͍̥tɕa],[1] chit-chat) is a presentation methodology in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each.

A presentation on any topic, with supporting visual images (in our case all images and no words allowed) for 6 minutes and 40 seconds in total. NO LONGER! Rumor has it the microphone is turned off after your time is up. Yikes!

You would think 20 seconds would go fast. It does not. To look at one image for 20 long seconds allows for a fair amount of gazing, thus rendering some images downright boring after 10 seconds. So, to choose 20 visually engaging images is not easy. Thankfully I have a family of avid photographers with some very uniquely creative eyes. NO SPOILERS HERE!

And, the topic of my presentation… POETRY. Before I worked out the exact timing, I thought I might read 2 poems. Seems I’ll have time for 4! Just like the images, perception and reality are different. And I am finding as I overlay poetry and images how some combinations jar the senses, how some images support the words or don’t. It is an exercise in patience as well as persistence so far. (And thankfulness for a very kind woman at my husbands office who initiated me in the ways of Power Point.)

I’m not certain how it will all turn out, but I’m excited to be creatively challenged and find a new way to offer up my poetry. I’ll let you know how it goes. And for now, here’s a Vancouver PechaKucha on the topic of the future and what open media, open source and open culture might mean for us.

Which occurs to me, is in part what PechaKucha is about… encouraging an open sharing of what we are most passionate about. Hmm… sounds a lot like Pop-Up-Poetry!

All SDG,

Lesley-Anne.

Wherein pop-up-poetry meets people

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National Poetry Month continues, and PUP is still getting out there. Poetry is placed out and about in Kelowna every couple of days, and people read it (I’ve seen them) Some make contact online or mention it to me in person when they ‘find’ a poem. I get a giddy feeling every time I head out with new poems (in plastic sleeves because it won’t stop raining). I wonder where I will place them, who will find them, who will read them, what might the outcome be? I wonder, is this what it feels like to be eccentric? Nah, can’t be.

I’m reminded of a book I read a few years back, “Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast,” by Wendy Morton. About Wendy’s innate ability to share poetry without apology, and for money, which she did as West Jet’s Poet of the Skies, and Chrysler’s Poet of the Road. Wendy brought poetry to regular folks on a regular basis. Wendy began what has become a national week long celebration of literacy in Canada, “Random Acts of Poetry.”  Wendy and her ideas inspire me.

And as all ‘new things’ have come in some shape or form previously, perhaps PUP is the result of this concept messing about in my mind over the years since I read her book. That and the pop-up-stores I saw in Vancouver. That and the desire of all poets to speak out what we write down, at some point.

Here are some PUP installations for this week;

DSC_0125 DSC_0140  DSC_0145  DSC_0160 DSC_0171 DSC_0181

Popping up on “Purpose”

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Teenagers

Teenagers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monday night I was asked to read a Spoken Word piece for the Mosaic group at Trinity. I showed up early for rehearsal, and as I sat waiting for the group to gather I asked, so just how many young adults do you have attending here? Well, around 60, leader Storm Moore told me. Hmmm… that’s quite a few, I thought. And then the inner voices started and the anxiety started and I began to feel like a fish out of water because, really, what does a middle aged poet have to offer to these kids… I mean, really?

Until I started listening to the lyrics of the music set as they did their run through (did I mention Trinity is my local faith community here in Kelowna?). Anyway, turns out Mosaic, a gathering for the 18 to 28 year old set, is about ‘doing old school yet still relevant church’. Supper, conversation, music, learning… them and me. Me, delivering up a spoken word piece on “Purpose” because they asked. Me being scared and full of self-doubt…

And then the words and the music washed over me and I found myself, on the inside of me, on my knees in awe of God. Have a listen to this song… “Awakening” and tell me… does it move you like it moved me? Specifically these words were the ones that put things into perspective for me…

for you and you alone, awake my soul, awake my soul and sing

for the world you love (the young adults at mosaic, each and every one)

…let your will be done in me (in my poem, my voice, my heart)

So, I waited, I breathed in the words of the song, I opened my hands, let go of my fear, and asked God to do what he had to with my small offering, and when the time came for me to share my poem, I walked up to the microphone and spoke;

Purpose

Lesley-Anne Evans, SGD

One thing this poem will NOT do
is answer all your questions
it won’t tie up loose ends in a pretty little bow
and say, “There, there you go.” No.

Truth is, we ALL have questions ~ like
Who is God?
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What is my PURPOSE?
Questions that jam up inside us, stop us
from making a move.
We are immobilized by FEAR
want to get it absolutely RIGHT.

I believe God is less interested in RIGHT
than we are. He’s more interested in
what lies BENEATH our choice ~ our INTENT.
And that’s what PURPOSE is.
PURPOSE is intent.
PURPOSE is the reason why.

The Book says GOD has a PURPOSE.
A John 3:16 purpose to SAVE THE WORLD!
The loving, giving, dying, soul-saving
divine purpose of God
God the SEEKER
God the RESCUER
God the REDEEMER
God the LOVER
God who finds his deepest JOY in WHO we ARE
and WHY we do what we do
more than WHAT we do for him.

And when we choose God, when he saves us
GOD’S PURPOSE becomes OUR PURPOSE
World savers, God lovers, God glorifiers
Witnesses to all humanity
tellers of HIS ~ STORY.

The confusing part for us
where we get twisted up
is in the PRACTICAL
the WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and HOW
we live our God purpose out.
We want facts. Details. NOW.
This or that, here or there, where oh where…
We take eyes off GOD, looking for
precisely WHAT to do FOR Him.

What if our PURPOSE is
to choose ~ SOMETHING?
Based on what we know of GOD
Based on what we know of OURSELVES?
Something YOU and GOD decide.
GOD knows YOU best. And you know
what you DREAM about
what makes you ANGRY
what makes your HEART BEAT faster
what is uniquely YOU?
(If you don’t know yet, take time and find out
get away, get quiet, pay attention, ask GOD
and WORK it out.

With God PURPOSE, God INTENT
an ORDINARY life is far from ordinary.
Every act, loving God and others, is SIGNIFICANT.
Like building a house. Feeding the homeless.
Teaching English to new Canadians.
Writing a computer program.  Writing a poem.
Or going for Gold, like this guy who ran, ran fast.
He said God made him to run fast.
He said he felt God’s pleasure when he ran fast.
And he told everyone. When he won the Olympics he said so.
That simple.

THIS is what God wants for YOU, THIS is what gives God PLEASURE
you giving back what He’s given you, WHO YOU ARE
your unique personality, talents, treasures, experiences.

WATCH and SEE what GOD does with a LIFE like that!

And, now there are echos… here in me. Maybe in others. I love how God loves us, so specifically, so bang on personal, right when we need it most.

A purposeful ‘pop-up-poem’… yes.

Lesley-Anne, SDG

Popping up on South Pandosy, Kelowna, B.C.

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English: Alexander Blok's poem 'Noch, ulica, f...

English: Alexander Blok’s poem ‘Noch, ulica, fonar, apteka’ on a wall in the Dutch city of Leiden (corner Roodenburgerstraat/Thorbeckestraat) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, as I already mentioned, I set out on a September, sunny afternoon and went down to a local village area to read spontaneously to people I met. First time out my stomach was flipping… first person I asked said , “No I don’t have any time for that.”

I was careful to say I was not selling anything… sometimes I think I over-explained! I tried not to intrude, yet have a certain assertiveness about me. I tried to look friendly, yet not overly so. I tried hard 🙂

And, as I walked and as I risked, I met people who were willing to stop and listen for a couple of minutes while I read to them. I took a couple of different poems with me, tried to choose the right poem for the right person based only on my visual assessment of them… now that’s risky too! And I had a couple of conversations that came out of the reading. One about creativity, the other about the persons own realization that to stop and listen was not what she wanted to do, but when she did, she recognized a need within herself to slow down and pay attention to things other than work and her next appointment. And I didn’t try to draw out anything from these people… they shared their thoughts readily. One fellow challenged me on why I was doing what I was doing. Another creative type suggested it would be good to allow the listener to read along… that it was a bit difficult to follow just by listening to the words. Hmmm… really good stuff… great feedback from real people.

Here’s the poem I read most often.

Thoughts on dogs that get out of the yard

Lesley-Anne Evans

You came back. It could have been worse
like the sound of brakes, teeth
on shattering glass, could have been last gasp
flesh on metal. But, you came back smiling
tongue lolling like it was all a walk in the park
darkness no limit for eyes that glowed
in my flashlight beam another time
you went missing in the orchard after supper.

They say you don’t get the dog you want
but the dog you need. What do they know.
Like I need tongued welcomes, tracks
on Berber, eyes watching forays in the fridge.
Like I need chest pressed angry late night drives
’round the neighbourhood, cold hand squeezing
squeaky toys out windows, heat turned high.

You indulge in romps of freedom while I conjure
you drowned in a neighbour’s pool
you impaled on new house construction down the street
you riding in a stranger’s car, someone who is certain
they’ll do a much better job of keeping you safe at home.

Today we strapped a cow bell to your collar. We’ll hear you in the dark.