Is there a place between?

I am sitting on the deck which rests as part of the house yet is surrounded by not house. The gardens spread to my right, before me and on my left. Birds are in their offices high in the trees communicating in the wind to one another that which I cannot understand.


Ego Mind says there is something and emptiness.

Ego Mind says there is something and emptiness.

It has been very hot in this semi-desert of the Okanagan and for days my roses evoked my pity. Their petals drooped. New buds were so stunned by the heat that they did not form the perfect roundness they were programmed to achieve.


Roses richness viewed from my deck

Roses richness viewed from my deck

Today, however, I sit in the wind which shimmies the leaves on the fifty year old Maple tree over head. It waves grape vines and hanging Nasturtium leaves up and down and then back and forth in some rhythmic choreography that encompasses the entire yard.
The sky is overcast and then in momentary breaks when the clouds are pushed aside the heat of sun blasts down.

The clouds swim in an ocean of wind

The clouds swim in an ocean of wind

The idea that the day is trying to get started, that I am trying to get started that this time in my life, my year, my summer is a time between is such a seductive idea.
However, in the reality of each moment there is no hiatius. It is all all. The times when the wind is calm and the sun burns my shoulders as if some one with fire hands were touching me is This time. The moments when the sun is tucked behind dark clouds, when the wind speaks seductively of rain or change is This time.
The idea of waiting comes from a place of delusion. It is formed by a society that resides in the concepts of competition and scarcity.

“One day my prince will come. One day I won’t have to go to the dentist; pay my taxes; have the roof repaired; have the unexpected lesson show up,” the theme song sirens to us.
I have to laugh because at precisely that moment, at precisely the end of the last sentence a hornet came to hover above my hands.
As the weather changes from moment to moment, I sit here thinking about how each now is never a time in between. It is just this. This gray. This wind. This hot sun. This breath.
The problem with waiting is the waiting becomes everything. It expands to fill up everything that the mind refuses to see. The problem with waiting is it becomes the dark place we reject. Only when the mind can attach to “excitement”, “reward”, “winning” is there something. The rest becomes void. The entirety of life becomes a place between except for brief openings.
The work of the mind is to recognize that everything is. The work of the trained thinker is to see how glorious it is to sit in wind, in rain, in hot sun and just say “It is.”


The rose creates beauty from al

The rose creates beauty from all

There is such joy and peace in working to the goal of knowing there is no place between. Let’s Get the Party Started! Why wait! Now is now.

To Learn by Going Where We Have to Go.

The crows have built a magnificent nest in the long arms high up in my Maple tree. They have instinct, skill and whatever evolutionary magic is on their side.

As I struggle with the sticks of new skills, the structure I am building called “marketing” and “presence” is so much less compact and architectural. At times, I feel as if my head empties out. I learn how to record on Garage Band, change the file to an MP4, load it into IMovie and then… and then…

The next time I attempt it, my voice has so much reverb I am an opera diva soloist. The track sounds like I have a 500 pound barrel body with words careening off of intestines and ribs.

What also fell out of my head or perhaps is just not aligned electronically is the method of paying my PST for my art work. Then there is getting insurance on my art hanging in a local bnb. So far it is two days and multiple phone calls.

I think to myself that it must be some Zen Koan life. When I am dealing with electronics or institutional authority, I must first fall to my knees in humility and work through waves of frustration. Eventually, it will work. Eventually, I will learn it.

Maybe, one day the path will arise to meet my feet instead of being hidden in dense under brush.

What I have been learning is how to market my work. The first task is to allow people to see what I have created. So my store on the Redbubble site found at is being featured on my facebook page, on twitter, on linked in and every time I go out for a walk, I wear the leggins.


My Maple tree in winter wrapped around my legs

My Maple tree in winter wrapped around my legs

At the present time, I have a list of nine things that I am trying to learn. They are in a scrawled and numbered column on my neon orange index card.

I look like the crow when it sits watching me from its perch. I have my head to the side, blinking my eyes black with ignorance. I can feel the sharp beak of curiosity trying to figure out the way in, the way out, the best way to grasp that shining bit of knowledge and fly away. I can take it back to my nest of a mind where I now “own it.”

It is a process. It is all process.

How do you reform the mindscape?


sunlight shoulder season


neurons are like pipes acting as conduits.

neurons are like pipes acting as conduits.

My discovery of books such as SWITCH and REWIRE always delights me. The experience reminds me of times when I have a sharp bit of tooth somewhere in my mouth and use a dentist’s mirror and a flashlight to see what is “going on”. Only it is my brain function, my mind set that I am trying to get an angle on and to cast a light on when I study books that explain the process of creating my mental landscape.

Something I read recently in the book Autobiography of a Yogi which I found in an on line bibliography of 12 spiritual books you should have read, really delivered a message.

The statement was that, essentially, our relationships with our bodies is a DNA type of Karma hangover from past lifetimes. So when we make a positive step forward, the good news is the change in habit behavior is inculcated into our very DNA which then carries on with us in the next lifetimes.

So the good news is, nothing learned and conquered is ever lost.

The bad news is we have strong habit memory from past lives as well as from this lifetime to address when we are ready to change into a more loving relationship with our own bodies and spirits. Lay onto that the belief that Buddhists and Taoists hold that family history also leaves a DNA karma habit on us in addition and it becomes clear why it can be such a struggle to shift.



photograph shows the possibilities of flow

photograph shows the possibilities of flow

No wonder when I simply decide I wish to move into a new territory of growth it takes such intention and will. I am trying to move out of what is to create what is more fully.

In REWIRE, Richard O’Connor made a statement which illuminated some dark mind cave space for me. He mentions countless studies where-by mindfulness practice can cause changes to the very structure of the brain. However, he states, mindfulness practice only allows us to see what thoughts we have and gives us the ability to not react to what is arising. The difficulty lies with the past experience informing the present dynamic. In order to think thoughts about being more powerful, creative, healthier, dynamic we need to build in those experiences. So for a while, we tread out onto thin ice and it feels risky.

For example, My mind will only allow me to think that I can pay down my debt slowly, with care and self sacrifice. My processes can take me out onto the new surface of knowing I can have my debt paid, my future secure and my financial struggle at an end. But at first it is thin ice because that “story” is not in my experience. I have not seen this in my parent’s lives, nor in mine.

O’Connor points to research that shows that it takes three months to rebuild, rewire the brain and it is through establishing new habits. The habits will have to be intentional, conscious efforts toward ease of selection. The steps are 1. Make a public commitment. 2. Recognize every step of your growth 3. When you slip get up and climb again.

All habits have a physical existence in the structure of the brain. O’Connor cheers the reader up by pointing to studies that show will power can increase will power. We become more proficient at heavy lifting.


2014-02-17 09.47.54

We are basically strangers to ourselves. We have a strong tendency to make unfamiliar things fit into our pre-programed assumptions about the world, or our stories. My reading leads me to believe these assumptive stories are laid down under the age of seven years of age. We are constantly dodging paradigms, narratives, scripts, schemata, mind sets and life traps.

Another statement that he made and I responded to strongly is how we need to learn the value of trying without succeeding. We can encourage growth by cheerleading our attempts at things that we know for sure will not work out at first, will be difficult, or stepping into the unknown.

We all know people who took that first step onto what looked like very thin, brittle ice and succeeded in walking out of a mediocre life. We all know people who changed their assumptions about what world they exist within.

For me, it is encouraging to see that mindscape can be redesigned. I am all for mindscape architecture which can be a build out from a risky, thin ice place on the path. Think of all those you know of from history, from people around you who have succeeded by failing. Building new conduits changes the brain which changes the thoughts which changes the results. Isn’t that wonderful to think about?

Canada Day


Outside the temperature reads 95 degrees farenheit down from 100. As I sit in the house, the gauge is only 75 degrees. Working until 2 am last night I completed a poem which I will deliver tonight at the City of Kelowna’s Canada Day special edition of the Inspired Word.


The first step in the process, have I mentioned I am an academic, was to research. I spent three days reading everything I could find on Canadian history. Cultural history. History of immigration. Canadian stars, comedians, women’s rights activists, inventors also fascinated me.

I took notes on cards much as I would should I be writing an essay. Chronological order, sorted by topics as I learned more.

Finally, putting voice to the information I wanted to share. My voice. My reaction. My take on the long formation of the country to what it has become today.

I read the poem over repeatedly for an hour and each time, I teared up. Each time I felt a swelling of gratitude for the process that created a place where “being different” just didn’t create a push back. So many who fled here are not “different” but are simply a particular, individualization of the effects of their family, their inherited DNA, their culture of origin.


I remember driving across the border for the first time in the early 1970’s and feeling so much like I had undergone time travel. Moving not just North but back to how my home town of Vancouver, Washington had felt in the 1950’s. It was slower. It was more polite. It was not a nation at war.

When we drove down a one way street the wrong direction, a “cop” car came up behind us and pulled us over. We were frightened, waiting for some punishment. The policeman got out, walked slowly toward us and smiled. Now we were totally puzzled. Because of the tension in the states in our college town it had been a long time since we had seen a policeman smile. They were caught in the cultural tension of a nation at war with itself.

We make our home in places that nurture the soul

We make our home in places that nurture the soul

He found out we were lost and asked where we wanted to go. Then, jumping in his car, he had us follow him. He escorted us to the street we were trying to find and waved good bye.

By now, I was in love. I was in love with the slower pace, the politeness that met me everywhere, the sense of somehow spaciousness in the allowing of one another.

I became a Canadian citizen in 1972 and maintained my US citizenship. I love both countries. I love the creative, hard edged push of the States. I love the way that strangers talk to one another and people show interest in you whom you have never met before and will likely never meet again.

Canada is where I have chosen to live since 1972. But I count myself lucky that I, like so many Canadian citizens do not have to choose one parent over the other. It is absolutely Canadian to be American and to love Canada. And that is her strength.

I think of these things as I prepare to read my poem of gratitude to Canada.

Canada Day 2013

Oh Canada. Oh hi there Canada
Our Home and native land
with a culture that cannot be defined.
And That right there, there it is in a nutshell.

Except by the line that crosses off the Humongous States sprawled
mingling with Mexico way low
down there.
That border does not hold
the flow of people rushing in.

But Here we wait in cars politely
holding our passports open on our laps
to show that

we are Canadian

which cannot be defined.
We only know:
Nobody puts Baby in a corner.
We can take them to the boards
our history shows.
Deferential, So sorry, so sorry, oh pardon me, no you first
we know how to put our elbows out
and claim
WE are not that
WE are not them
WE would rather not.

Obscure and obdurate,
The true North strong and free
filled with those of us
Adrienne Clarkson says are,
“Stumbling through darkness and racing through light,
we have persisted in the creation of a Canadian civilization.”
Which cannot be defined.

True Patriot Love
we sing at hockey games
and standing in the rain on baseball fields.
Our voices soft and mumbling over words
we cannot quite define.

Does the past give shape to what we have become
the history of rivers of refugees flowing
into the true North?

The land whispers of a Siberian bridge
early on people crossing to make a home,
the five Iroquois nations sitting to formulate
the Confederacy of the Longhouse
establishing in a new place

So strange that land is claimed
like putting an item on the charge card
Cabot picked up Newfoundland and Cape Breton
in 1497 to put in England’s basket.
Jacque Cartier picking up The Gulf of St. Lawrence
to take home to France in 1534.

Ah then the fun began!

This finally peaceful land at times so open
to the dispossessed.

1770 Quakers fled the rules of England
and brought their pacifism, their desire
for social justice, the focus on international relief.
Next the Loyalists cross over by the thousands
British, Dutch, Irish, Scottish, Germans
bringing only what could be moved hastily
and food, the words, the thread of their homeland
to weave the start of a new cloth in 1783.
The Poles fled the triumvirate of Russia, Prussia and Austria
to find shelter in this land.
1840 to 1860 The underground railway
terminal brought 30 thousand enslaved to
their new home singing code in songs to communicate.
Next came the European Jews running from
revolution, repression.

Canada passive while Europe formed
like a foster mother she opened her arms in 1871
for 150 thousand Italians displaced by the sculpting
of a new nation,
170 thousand Ukrainians
fleeing Austrian rule making in 1913 this nation, a
population 6% Ukrainian.
By 51 there were 400 thousand
She did not flinch.
In 1899 after a month long voyage at sea
the Doukabors from Russian came
to farm the land waiting for seeding crops.
Mennonites brought their gentle, kindly ways in
the person of the 20 thousand fleeing Bolsheviks.

The world torn by war sent people from
their homes.
Turmoil, families ripped from their lands
from 40 to 49 and she, this nation
that cannot be defined,
this Canada
active sought out and gave refuge to 165
thousand Displaced souls.

When Revolutions fractured peace, people
packed and fled to Canada:
Hungarians, Chinese, Czechoslovakian. Palestinian,
African Jews, Chilean, Bangladesh refugees,
Tibetans, Ugandan Asian who were given a “dead” line
by Idi Amin.
60 thousand Vietnamese boat people,
Iranians fleeing after the Shah’s death,
Cambodians running for their lives,
Rwandan’s, Bosnian Muslims,
Albanians who were air lifted
out of certain death by Canadian planes
and brought back

The Karen refugees from Thailand,
5 thousand Bhutanese.
In 1986 this nation whose greatest strength is that
she cannot be defined won the Nansen Refuge Award
for offering a life to those
who had no options left.

True Patriot love in all thy sons command
With glowing hearts we see thee rise
especially in hooray for Hollywood.
Deferential to a fault,
George Woodcock said,
“Canadians do not like heroes and so they do not have them.”
Generously given to the United States to imprint in cement.
Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Sarah Polley,
Pamela Anderson, Paul Anka, Will Arnett,
Dan Ayckroyd, Adam Beach, Jay Baruschel,
John Candy, Jim Carrey, Kim Katrell, Michael
Cera, Ellen Page, Hayden Christensen,
Tommy Chong, Kim Coates, Elisha Cuthbert,
Adam Agoyan, James Cameron, Michael J Fox,
Ryan Gosling,
Rachel McAdams, Eric McCormack, Howie Mandel,
Cory Monteith, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara,
Sandra Oh,
Anna Paquin, Matthew Perry, Russel Peters, Christopher Plumer, Keeanu Reeves, Ryan Reynolds, Seth Rogen, William Shatner,
the Sutherlands, the Tillys,
Brian Adams, Justin Bieber, Jully Black, Michael Buble,
Shania Twain, Feist, Fertato, Krall, Avril, McLaughlan, Murry, Morrisette, Leslie Neilson, Neil Young,
Jason Reitman, Paul Gross, Lauren Michaels, Phil Hartman, American’s first sweetheart yep Mary Pickford,
Nathan Fillion pilots Serenity,
Davids Croneburg and Thomas, Andrea Martin,
Paul Shaffer, Kids in the Hall, Taylor Kitsch.
With Glowing Hearts We See Thee Rise.

We are
from far and wide.
So demure and sarcastic; polite and irreverent.

How do we know
what we don’t know
we know
without a definition?
Spelling us out to visiting people’s
the web describes us to ourselves.

Canadian Communication Styles

First the disclaimer that there is a style but it is not a style due to:

“…its regionalism and cultural diversity.
In general, communication is ‘moderately indirect’ perhaps reflecting an amalgamation of both North American and British tendencies. Although most Canadians can disagree openly when necessary,
they prefer to do so with tact and diplomacy.
Their communication style is essentially pragmatic and relies on common sense.
If you come from a culture where communication is very direct, you may wish to soften your demeanour and tone
so as not to appear threatening.

Canadians communicate more by the spoken word rather than non-verbal expressions.
Canadians like their space and prefer to be at an arm’s length when speaking to someone.”

From Far and Wide.

“Canadians expect people to speak in a straightforward manner and to be able to back up their claims with examples. They do not make exaggerated claims and are

suspicious of something that sounds too good to be true.”

Beecham Trotter said…
“It is a great country,
inhabited by a great people
who are
much greater than they believe themselves to be.”

And so we stand, not running, not attacking, and certainly not gesticulating. We stand.

Our gates open, shining our wit into the world
humbly asking God to keep our land glorious and free
and we carry on being indefineable.


Golden Girl and Golden Buddha on to Portland

Some moments driving the flat lands were dramatic. The heavy rainstorm that obliterated my view as the side winds whipped the semi-trucks around as I passed was what I remember most. The knowing that every journey will not be of a piece is helpful in these moments. The dreadful, frightening weather will not be perpetual. The obstructed mountain pass will not be eternal. Every moment begins and ends.

In Portland where I was born, I always feel at home. The mix of buildings from the 1880’s and 1920’s with contemporary towers is fascinating. Trains cross the town and free transit will take a visitor throughout the downtown core for free.

My favorite thrift shop is Buffalo Exchange just across from Powell’s Books. The lectures and cultural events that are hosted in Powell’s makes it a hub for meeting people in the arts.

I recently read an article which stated that the Willamette River which was notorious for pollution has been the focus of a clean up campaign. It is now suitable for swimming.

There is a real feeling of leisure in the city. People do not push pass you or pound the pavement. Most stop to engage in conversation along the sidewalk.

One thing I noticed in most of my travels was the willingness of complete strangers to engage in a conversation. It made me feel at home because well basically it is where I was born. The gregarious and curious nature of Americans is frequently seen as nosey by British Columbians. I made note.

Returning home was difficult. The adventure was over. I had a yard, a garden, weeds to attend to. How could I find new experiences in a town I have lived in for over 20 years and a place I have lived in for over 30 years? It is a challenge.

For now, my birthday is coming up and I am practicing gratitude for what I have. The handy man is coming in to finish the kitchen which was left with holes in the wall and ceiling. It will be another large debt on my line of credit. But it will mean the list of tasks is done.

Once my knee is operated on to have the torn meniscus vacuummed out from between the joints I am clear of all I have been waiting for. Do I stay here, sitting like a broody hen on my line of credit debt or do I find a destination?

Step by step. I am working on my body, on my blog and I have my first you tube posting of me reading my poetry.

I am praying for guidance and a sense of certainty. I am asking for purpose and passion and prosperity to re-enter my life.

And I bought a sequin animal print H & M swimming suit at a thrift shop in Kelowna. Now that is a good sign.

May you dance joyfully even while waiting for the music to appear.

What Season is it?

photograph of yellow tomatoes

The last two days have been the equivalent of darning a small hole. The work is tedious, uninspiring and not moving my larger goals forward. But cleaning the oven where the spaghetti squash exploded, raking up the leaves to cover the roses, bringing in the tender plant with beautiful pink and yellow trumpet shaped flowers, taking care of bills, cleaning the finger prints off of all surfaces leaves me surrounded by more orderliness. The cleaner environment gives my home a greater sense of calm.

French class was today and I really enjoy the group of women who are taking it. The teacher is kind and gentle with us all. Between classes, I have begun to study with the attitude that I now hold about everything these days: whatever it is I have learned is more than what I knew previously. The idea of letting things happen instead of driving them is so much easier on my body and my self esteem.
After reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, I formed a group through At our first meeting, we discussed our inklings. Perhaps, we thought out-loud, taking this action, or completing that project would make our lives different. It is very much a process of self-discovery and setting distinctly individual goals. We planned to create our resolutions, chart them in short, measurable steps by the time of our next meeting.

On my refrigerator now hangs my chart.

It is very empowering to put an X on the action every day and a reminder when I put on the O that I have not followed through on an intention. I have begun doing 150 crunches a day; increasing my 10 pound weight reps from 15 to 25 over the last week; drinking three full glasses of water a day seems to be helping me to sleep more deeply.

The second limb of my growth tree is establishing more of a presence in the world. During the period from January 2010 on, I was recovering from abdominalplasty; a sudden ending of my marriage; heavy debt from buying my ex out. The divorce came through in August 2011 while I was recovering from bunion surgery. My reaction was to cocoon. I was injured, lacking confidence and feeling lost. The six coffee dates that I went on in an attempt to connect were less than scintillating. I was still too damaged to feel safe in the world.

black construction of water

So my plan which the group is helping me to design includes caring for the friendships which I already enjoy; making new friends outside of the realm of Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin with a face to face interchange.

One strategy that Gretchen Rubin pointed to in her book was ,”acting as if.” So when I feel lethargic with the desire to continue hiding in my cave, I now hear Getchen telling me to ,”act as if.” It is working.

Last week I went to the streaming cafe to hear a great band. Since my art work is on show there until the 24th, it was fun to be sitting in a place with my work on show.

embrace at the Streaming Cafe

The Summerland Art Gallery has a competition of Christmas images. My intention is to get back into submitting to opportunities to show my art or read my poetry. I will be reading at the Inspired Word Coffee House event next week. The Bean Scene on Burtch and Dickson Road in Kelowna is hosting a “jam” for poets at 7 pm on November 25th and it is the first time I have read since last June. A friend took a video of my reading and uploaded it to you tube.
So I am working on my body to get myself stronger; saving my money and paying down my debt to make myself financially stronger; going out and maintaining my friendships to increase my social equity; being creative while publicizing what I am writing or painting.

Since my wall paper for sold, I am feeling very optimistic. I have one more class for Continuing Studies on Blogging this coming Saturday and after that my quest for employment will be a higher priority.

I am reading copiously. The main focus is on Jungian psychology, mythosynchronicity, spirituality and conscious living. The dark grief and loss that has been my companion for the last two years is a process of ego dying. The falling away of what I was, the way I lived in the world was painful.

But I feel now like I am starting to move out into the world wiser, calmer and more centered. I have Buddhism, my Shamanic experiences in Peru and the retreat with the amazing Gabor Mate to thank for my patience through the process.


So I step out of the house more, out of my comfort zone more and “act as if.” May we all live in love.

February Flare

After a long, dark time of healing, I feel as if I am coming alive again. On Sunday I have a workshop in making tiny books of love for Valentine’s day. I am in my happy place when I am combining my writing with art.

Making a tiny book of love

Paint chip, Book of love

Recently, I completed a 35 page book which is resting in pdf format at the current time. After I find a storefront, I will be putting it for sale.
I wrote a 14 page short story about the passing of my step-father last week and I need to get ISBN numbers for both of these creations.
Two shows of my art might be coming up. The United Church Hall has an opening in March and the blood bank has great walls that will be available in March as well. Talk about a captured audience. People will be laid out, unmoving staring at the walls.
My goal of building muscle in my arms and back is slowly being achieved. It is getting easier to heft those weights which I leave on my livingroom floor… in the way. When I trip, I stop and lift.

On my facebook page I have been posting media feedback from the Egyptian demonstrations all day. It is fascinating to see the force of intention that people can form. Peaceful presence. The images of the Christians standing in a circle facing outward with their hands held protectively standing guard for their Muslim brothers kneeling on the ground says so much about what real love is. Religious should lead to compassion and not judgment. Amazing images coming out of the Tehrir square in Cairo.
It is good to feel creative again. It is good to feel alive again. There are moments when I grieve the loss of one who I believed to be my friend. But there is something better coming for me and I feel that.

Feb 6th workshop at Opus: The book of love


As I recover from wrecking my body working on my shed, I will take the opportunity to catch up with the backlog. Today it is a good day to post the courses I am teaching over the summer months.

Everybody likes using stamps

Everybody likes using stamps

First on my calendar is for Gallery Vertigo Smarties Series. On June 6th making art cards or memory books is explored at the lively, happening galley across from Nolan’s Drug Store in Vernon Drop is from 2 to 4 and leave a donation in the jar.

Next Sunday I will be teaching making hand made art cards at Gallery Vertigo in Vernon. The classes have proved to be very popular and wonderful experiences for me. First of all seeing parents, grandparents and children of all ages working together to make cards to take away with them is just plain fun.

A boy made this card for his mother.

A boy made this card for his mother.

Sometimes the four year old is showing mom or dad how he made something and he or she ends up instructing the parents how to push boundaries. Often because the little people are in the moment they are the most fearless at trying new statements of art. What will be most fun about this session is the creation of father’s day cards.

many layered card

many layered card

Interior Savings Fat Cat Children’s Festival

June 11 & 12, 2010

Waterfront Park

Art Card Making Workshops with Artist Cherie Hanson

Next on the agenda are the courses I will be teaching for UBC-Okanagan Continuing Studies.

On July 24th Digital Photographic Art: From so-so… to Stunning is offered from 1-5 pm OPS 200 S10 at UBC Okanagan.

this simple image was cropped and sharpened

this simple image was cropped and sharpened

On July 31st Blogging from 9 am to 1 pm will take the student through the process of goal setting and learning effective blog writing. The course is geared to explore the individual goals of the students who have enrolled.

As always, I do teach one on one for those who are on the path but want some personal advice along the way. Private classes are $25 an hour and taught out of my home until such time as I complete my home studio.

When it is gray and raining, sometimes the best antidote is to grab some colorful paper, work some colorful images or write some colorful language and heat up one’s life with passion. Generate your own sunshine.

How do you Beat the Kelowna Blues?



Some days are cold, some are cloudy. The shrivelled leaves are caught in the trees. Seemingly, they don’t have the energy to fall all the way to the ground. We don’t have snow. The sunshine is intermittent and catches us by surprise rather like a sudden light being flicked on in a dark room. We raise an arm to cover our foreheads and venture out. Blinking at first, we decide to go for a walk or putter around the yard. These moments lead to contact between neighbours and exchanged greetings on the Mission Creek Pathway or on the road up Knox Mountain.

hand made card class

hand made card class

But many people I know are sick. Cameron and I have been entertaining a low grade infestation. Just enough of an illness to not feel well and some days waking up to a serious case of the blahhhhs. I am not a winter person although I have chosen to live in Canada since 1972. Most of the winter goes by in a kind of depressed funk. I feel like some English Victorian in a cold moldy house in the country that sits by a feeble light and attempts to write but all is dispirited at best.

christmas wreath 08

christmas wreath 08 image for sale

My house is not moldy and it is wonderfully cozy but still the lack of light coming through the windows and the cavelike aspect of winter existence create a decidedly gothic ambience.

Every day, I say to myself that the answer is to get exercise. But for a semi-depressed person to find motivation is difficult. Each morning my intention is to shove off of my couch and briskly move through the cold knives of air.

I remember our lovely cat who has passed on. The first blast of cold was hysterically funny. She, who had a fear of and an attraction to the out of doors would run like a bullet to the opening between our legs out the door. Sudden shifts in the weather to truly cold would catch her like a wall. Her back legs would continue running because of the velocity she had achieved but her face, neck, chest would collapse into one another as if she had hit an obstruction. Her front legs would plant themselves and her rear would keep going. She would mound up like a slinky toy. Not only was she horrified by the unwelcoming air but now she was humiliated by our laughter. She would attempt to flatten out and turn in a slow dignified manner and then run like hell for a bed with blankets to try to soothe herself from experiencing the horror of winter air.

Perhaps we laughed so deeply because we identified with her.

I have my surgery on Tuesday and will be pretty much down for a while, so the chance to get out and walk should be calling me. But I look out the window and the dullness does not beckon.

Basically, most people in Kelowna turn on the weather network to deal with winter depression. It is rather like someone with arthritis looking at a neighbour with a wooden leg. At least, we don’t have to put up with that, we say in a smug voice.

catching a few rays in our new bathroom

catching a few rays in our new bathroom

I need to feed my Etsy sight and write Christmas cards today. Wish I felt more like doing things. But it is as it is. The stomach, ears, throat, chest, neck pain, headache all are whining and complaining. At least I am not as sick as some of my friends. We seek solace in comparisons. The deluded mind is well conditioned.

Does Kelowna care? By election and arts community

Recently the CBC held a forum on support for the arts in Kelowna on the Day Break Show. It amazed me how optimistic the program sang in tone. We were told that 200,00 people were in the Rotary Centre in the past year. The issue of how the community supports the arts was totally by passed because there was no discussion of what “supports” means.

from photo up knox mountain

from photo up knox mountain

If by support, you mean they attended a musical event or play that had an ’80s rocker or a play that was popular in other cities in the 90’s, then yes. I guess that is support. But what of the local artists, musicians and performers. The real question is what is happening to make sure that we keep these people alive (as in fed), give them an audience (as in inspired) and build a fan base (as in future security). Is that happening? Most artists and musicians that I know are working on their art at a cost. It is financial with the need to find other sources of income to feed the fire. It is emotional in the attempts to garner a respectfully paying gig, or customers who will buy enough to keep them in paint.

the bridge is the answer to all problems

the bridge is the answer to all problems

Why were there 50 fewer artists in booths at Propera this year? The economy is down. But it has always been “down.” We rely so heavily on outsiders to support and appreciate our local talent that most artists end by feeling like creative buskers in a tourist town.

Further to the issue of passivity and apathy, is the up coming by-election. I am really curious as to what percent of individuals here will bother to go out and vote. The last major election it was under 20%. What are you guesses as the interest of Kelowna residents in their future?

The all candidates forum is on Wednesday, November 25th. How many care? How many will come to the forum? Which individuals will have the energy and commitment to the future of the city to go to a polling booth? We will have to watch and see.

where are the dolphins

where are the dolphins

Meanwhile, I am tired and happily in bed after the Potters and Artisans Show at the Rotary Centre which has just one more day. Hope to see you there Sunday and at local voting station November 28th. We deserve the kind of government we get.