16 January, 2021

Bamboo forest


A quiet day spent in conversation with family. Discovering a new K-pop group. NCT - 127. Then time with friends. Walking. Talking. 

Tonight, noodle salad and a Korean romance. One with a mystical bamboo forest and parallel worlds. Were it so, to spring back and forth.

And finally, best of all, hopefully, a good night's sleep.


12 January, 2021

Numbers of fallen leaves


Counting the numbers 
of fallen leaves, does not 
Show the colour of each 
Story, journey, flight 
Than gathering and forming 
Into a carpet of wonder.

The numbers of ill and dying are alarming. There is a collective feeling tragedy weighing us down.

03 January, 2021

Light at the end of the tunnel


I have this dream of "doing" something this year that was not possible last year. I am considering joining our car-sharing program again. I haven't done so for years because most of my travel was on train or plane. Not knowing when travel outside of Germany will be possible, I have an idea of doing more road trips or just door-to-door trips (visiting friends in other cities). 

Slowly, I am thinking about places that I could drive to and spend time there both working and taking time off. I would like to see if my boss would allow me to WFA (work from anywhere) for 2-3 months this summer. In all likelihood, we will remain in lockdown this winter, but hopefully in the next 6-7 months the situation will improve.

02 January, 2021

Theme of 2021


I am trying to come up with a "theme" for this year. I am wondering whether it should be the "Year of Improvisation"  or the "Year of Freedom".

01 January, 2021

New memories

 


Never was a New Year so welcomed.

Slowly, I can move away from the 
Constant state of stillness that has
Haunted much of my movements
These last months and months.

Instead I will improvise constantly
Stretching, flexing, dodging, delivering
Whatever, whenever, something comes
To mind or from my heart, my heart
No longer trembling, but pumping
Life elixir through every part of this 
New life. Today. This very moment.

31 December, 2020

New landscape


This year has changed the landscape of what we knew to be ours. Neighborhoods became unrecognizable. Shops windows darkened. Empty streets with only a scattering of school children. A division of those named as Essential Workers and those who normally populated the crowded city buses. The odd sensation of knowing everyone is in their homes, unless ordered or needed elsewhere.

How much I am looking forward to the New Year. Vaccines and anti-viral medications here you come! To all scientists, health care workers, and politicians willing to make hard decisions, my deep-felt thanks.

30 December, 2020

Early morning


Early morning snow fall. The first this year. The end of the year. What a year! One of stillness and waiting.

27 December, 2020

Hadley Story Corner: #14 The Buckley Family’s First Home (Lia)

(Buckley family, two brothers missing, Grandpa B back right, sister lower right, mother in the middle)

Grandpa Buckley was a very stern and bitter man. Uncle Peter said he became bitter because he spent his whole life making sure his mother and all his siblings (they were 10 siblings, all boys but the one sister) rose out of the poverty they were born into.

We were told that Grandpa’s family immigrated to Canada during the Potato Famine in Ireland. I am not so sure that it is so since 1845-1849 seems a bit early. He said they came over at the end of the 1800s.

In all likelihood, saying they came over during the Potato Famine, was another way of saying they came over because they were poor. Being poor was a stigma for many Irish immigrants, no matter when they came over and under what circumstances. 

The first house he and his family lived in when they arrived in Montreal was in the countryside. It was only the most rudimentary of houses; no running water, windows without glass, only shutters to keep out the cold, and far away from their neighbours.

As he became older, he glorified those times. He’d asked Pat to drive him and grandma out to the countryside to take a look at the landmarks of his childhood. Pat was always puzzled about this. Grandpa, someone who very rarely had anything positive to say about anyone or anything, would spend his time in the car reminiscing about the good times they had back then.  

24 December, 2020

Good tidings


Tidings of comfort and joy
Now more than ever welcomed, 
Celebrated, and warmed in the 
Palm of my hand, letting each
Note of wonder gently rub 
Away today's dark morning.

23 December, 2020

Long nights, short days


 The winter solstice has come and gone. Each long night a little less so. Each day more day.

20 December, 2020

To dear friends


Each day a candle, or two,
My thoughts wander in and out
Like my inner inbox, popping up 
Notifying, collecting, prioritizing,
And finding the best folder to 
Place the worries of health,
Memories of Xmas past,
That ever so thin thread of
Yearning for peace and
Kindness amongst all men.

15 December, 2020

Artifacts


Numbers and charts and death notices
Those who have become ill
Those who have recovered
Those who never will
Collectively we live each day
Weighted by fear and acceptance 
Each life a leaf pressed between
Pages and pages of living history
An artifact asking us to notice
And treasure, for eternity to come. 

11 December, 2020

My life's mottos

 

My three life mottos…


§ there is no excuse for bad behavior (learnt from my parents)
§ beginners are the best teachers (learnt parenting two exceptionally bright kids)

§ get comfortable with discomfort (learnt from life)

07 December, 2020

Early morning tea with Bach


It is a dark early winter morning
My weekend sits deep in my
Sleepy limbs and cotton batten brain
Bach winds around the Advent
Candlelight, as I turn my computer on.

02 December, 2020

Snow falling soundlessly


"Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my heart with sweet clarity."     

Novala Takemoto

Winter has come. The days are short and so I have hunkered down and I am trying to embrace my inner hygge

01 December, 2020

Working at home contentedly


the christmas lights across 
the street, lift my spirits
every time I look up from
my monitor of spreadsheets
with numbered columns
and razor precision... I see
a bundle of fairy lights, all
disordered and joyously free


29 November, 2020

Hadley Story Corner: #13 Us Three Girls In Grenada (Lia)

Grenada is the only place I have know my whole life. It is the place my heart sings to when I think the word home. It makes it all the harder now Dave and Pat’s house is sold. Thankfully, there are friends that anchor me there no matter where I am.

When we were living in Venezuela, Dave was inland for long stretches of time. There was also much political unrest at the end of the 1950s and early 1960s. 

So, Pat would come to Grenada with the three girls to spend time with friends.

 


In my memory, we spent every day playing at Grand Anse Beach.

 


We would take a picnic basket of sandwiches. These always had a certain taste (soggy) and smell (mixture of warm tomatoes and sweaty cheese). To this day, whenever I make a picnic for travel… never sandwiches.

 

Some times we would spend the afternoon at the Silversands Hotel. Even though we didn’t live there, we were allowed to use their pool. I vaguely remember the women drinking cocktails to while the time away.

 


Years later, once we had moved from Venezuela to California and then to Montreal, we would go down every winter to spend some weeks with our Grenadian friends. We would stay at the Ross Point Inn, which was run by the Hopkin family. It is there I learned to love callaloo soup with soft bread rolls and crab meat salad.

The weeks and months we spent in Grenada over the years are precious memories to me.

28 November, 2020

Bamboo forest

(bamboo forest)

I worked for many years as a consultant. To work successfully with a client, it was not only necessary to know what their goals were, but also, I needed insight into how they think. If both aspects of our work were clear, the work was fruitful.

There was one client, an entrepreneur, who believed they were a "free spirit". They did not welcome discussions about internet technology or social media presence, financial plans, or setting long term goals requiring rigorous effort. They believed their business would be successful if their approach was holistic, organic, and it should grow out of their creative efforts.

The crazy thing was, they hired me so they could define a new business plan and mission statement. Their current business was not viable in a changing market.

Every suggestion to create a business model or visualise work processes, was swatted aside. It was frustrating. So, I asked them why they initially decided to work with me.

The answer was because I was an engineer. Everyone knows engineers are practical and solution-oriented. They wanted what I knew, but they did not want to loose their creativity. They did not want to deal with complexities and constraints. 

I told them the reason I could help them was not because I was an engineer, but because I was once a ballet dancer. It is through ballet that I learned the freedom of form and expression within formable constrictions. It is like learning to run, jump and fly in a bamboo forest. After this, we managed to progress.     

27 November, 2020

Going in circles

 


I am often confused these last weeks and months with the numbers going up and lockdown measures not seeming to work... I walk around our neighbourhood, draw mandalas, and daily practice kindness and compassion. Sometimes I still feel as if I am going in circles. Other times, perhaps more rare, I find the comfort I am seeking while travelling in those circles.   

25 November, 2020

Desensitizing my inner self


The first time we went into lockdown, I avoided any contact with people. Since we live in the city, that meant going grocery shopping at 7 am when the store opened. Going for walks at times or in weather where not many people were around. It wasn't really so difficult. 

What happened after a few months, is that I started to get anxious whenever anyone was near me. Also, I started getting really upset to see people disregarding any or all the social distancing guidelines. Situations when someone would bump me aside so they could reach over my shoulder to get some spaghetti sauce from the shelf in front of me. Or, men not wearing their face mask properly, just resting it on their chins in case some store person came by. I could go on for a long time... what I am trying to say is that I became ultra-vigilant about social distancing practices. 

It became such that I would save these stories of all the dissidents for my return home and then tell them to my husband at length. As you can imagine, this was not healthy. 

Eventually, the numbers started to go down. So, I started going out on the streets when other people were there and "misbehaving". I felt that regular exposure would be a good form of desensitizing myself. The theory being it would be easier to learn to be less anxious when the numbers were down; when there really wasn't such a big risk. 

Thank heavens I did this. The numbers are now unfortunately very high. The hospital IC units are full. The health care personnel tired. Still, I go outdoors every day and move to the side when I see someone not wearing a mask properly, or I am more likely to tell the person crowding me to please wait. I am once again someone who tries to be civil to strangers. I am endeavouring to take care of myself and my fellowman in small ways. 

As my husband says, "This is a social experiment and not a race that any of us can win".