Category Archives: Art

Bless that which you want

According to the ancient Polynesian wisdom of Ka Huna, we should bless that which we want.

The shamans of Hawaii use the power of words and mind to heal the self, others and situations. They believe:

  • If we resent people who have what we want, our resentment keeps what we desire away. (Don’t you want to avoid resentful people?)
  • If we believe ourselves unworthy of receiving, that drives away the object of our desire. (Wouldn’t you rather hang around with confident friends?)

Resentment and feelings of unworthiness are both negative emotions. When we bless, there’s no room for negativity. Blessing nuzzles it out of the way.

Blessing has no space for thoughts like:

  • “Oh sure, why does he get to live in a big house when I’m stuck in a tiny apartment.”
  • “Those shoes would look so much better on me.”
  • “I don’t want to be a multi-millionaire. I don’t want to have to worry about handling all that money.”

When we bless others, their day gets a little brighter, and we feel better too. The positives grow in an ever-expanding ripple.

What do you want to bless today? 

Writing life

Another re-post during my mini-vacation. I spent last week participating in the Humber School for Writers Summer Workshop. The writers in my group agreed: Writing is a tough slog. But then, so is life in general! I might as well spend some of it writing and occasionally stumbling into moments of bliss.


At a gathering of our local branch of the Canadian Authors Association, we writers shared words to describe the writing experience.

Words for writing and life

Terror, right above Bliss. 

Mystical right in the middle of everything.

Fun not far away.

Elusive, more than once.

Tranquility and Solace.

Hard work, Glass Wall, Escape.

Mindblowing, Universal, Wonder. 

Our word cloud described the writing experience, and life in general.

Mow around the daisies

We have a lawn at our cottage, but it’s not a flawless stretch of green grass. The rural property at this time of year is dotted with daisies, which we resolutely mow around.

The tradition began with my mother-in-law. She wanted to keep the lawn looking nice and well cared for, but she couldn’t bring herself to mow down a beautiful flower in a natural setting. We honour her when we leave those daisies swaying in the summer breezes.

I’m not sure what our neighbours think of the patchy mowing job. Perhaps they mutter: “I wish those people would do something about that lawn.”

My wish would be that they choose instead to enjoy the beautiful flowers and take a moment to feel grateful for the gift from nature.

When life gives you beauty, don’t mow it down.

Odd but beautiful

One white birch tree in a green forest, trilliums in bloom around it.

A lone birch amongst other deciduous trees, hundreds of trilliums at its feet.  

To me, the picture represents . . .

. . . determination to be authentic no matter what is going on around . . .

. . . a white tree being applauded by an audience of trilliums . . .

. . . alone, but not lonely. . .

What does the picture bring to your mind?

Terrible photographs that are wonderful

So, I’ve had time on my hands, you know? Good time to sort through photos.

I found some oldies-but-goodies from the days of film. Remember when we had to shoot off a roll without knowing how the shots turned out until developed? None of this “Oh, that’s not a good one. Delete.”

Some of these old photos are terrible. And they are so, so wonderful.

Like this one of my mother- and father-in-law dancing at a hall in Toronto. They are the couple in the very bottom right corner of a crooked photo of . . . pillars, more than anything. But I love it. See how happy they are? Don’t you wish you were that happy right now?

Black-and-white photo of dance hall in the 1950s

This is my grandmother, probably around 1983 or so. It’s a terrible picture—crooked and overexposed with light from the window—but I love it. She lived with us for the last year of her life, and she spent a lot of time knitting by the fire. Our dog used to sit like Snoopy on his dog house on the back of the chair beside her. This terrible photo makes my heart as warm as the fire she was sitting beside.

Woman knitting by the fire. Dog on the chair beside her.

We can’t forget the classic “thumb over the lens” pictures. Here’s one of my father-in-law, red polka-dot hat on his head, hammer in hand. What is not to love about this terrible, wonderful photo?

What terrible, wonderful photos do you love?

Tech-ed off: More technology, less technology

During my book club gathering (on Zoom) one of my friends said she was becoming a little “tech-ed off.”

The need to hold a book club electronically does test the patience. Sure, it’s fine to discuss the book via the internet, but, let’s be honest, the real heart and soul of a book club is the shared glasses of wine, the tea, the dessert, and the lingering conversations that have nothing at all to do with literature. Being deprived of that connection has me a little tech-ed off too.

At the same time, I am so-o-o-o-o-o grateful for technology in other ways. I have spent more time on my laptop over the past six weeks than ever.

Even though the electronic book club was not as satisfying, it was better than no book club at all. I’ve participated in writing circles, dinners, coffee times, meetings, and church. Seeing a friend’s face pop up on a video screen is not as much fun as an in-person visit, but it’s . . . enough. The whole experience certainly has clarified who the people are that I really want to see.

I’ve also done more activities not related to technology than ever. There are six of us here, ranging in age from 22 to 64.

We have done:

  • paint night
  • blind coffee taste test (McDonald’s overall winner. Really.)
  • blind beer taste test (Molson Canadian overall winner. Really.)
  • giant crossword puzzle
  • jigsaw puzzles
  • learn-to-draw night
  • card games
  • board games (Scattergories, Scrabble, Cranium)
  • baking (desserts, bagels, baguette, bread, sourdough starter, pizza dough)
  • walking and biking
  • cleaning and organizing

In some ways this experience has a “time at the cottage” feel. We’re doing a lot of the same things we would when technology isn’t an option.

Except for when we’re using technology more than ever.