What makes us like Stars on Ice?

Picture of Star Gazer Lily with filters

Picture of Star Gazer Lily with filters

Chipping the ice away from the back step, I thought to myself that in order to take steps you have to first see the steps. We in Kelowna’s North end are all clearing the way for ourselves to engage in a normal work a day world.

We have not had the snow plow down in our neck of the woods after each snow fall. Frequently the ice underlying the snow layers is treacherous. Greasy brown snow up to the hub caps presents the surface experience.

It is all in the technique. Some drive achingly slowly trying to adjust to the rush of adrenaline that comes when their tires find the grooves in the road that were created on a warmer day when we ventured out through deep snow. Evening freezing left trenches which lie beneath the surface. Others seems to believe that all obstacles should be met with bravado. Swinging out around the corners, they tear into the gas pedal to fly over obstacles. There are fragments of fenders by some of the stop signs in Knox Mountain village.

Ten more centimeters is predicated to fall in the next two days. I am going to be out of the shoveling game for a while because I managed to fracture the knuckle on one of my fingers from the weight of the snow.

Why are we like Stars on Ice? Because we need technique and we need awareness of conditions. The shoveling and dragging our legs through snow drifts has done much to condition the body. I put on my winter pants yesterday and the crotch was down between my knees. Now if I just pull my underwear up and tuck my shirt into it, I will be rad or cool or whatever it is the diaper wearing teenaged cohort calls it.

Also, there is an element of performance anxiety as we get into our vehicles. Will we be smoothly sailing off across the ice, or….

In life and when you are a star on ice, it is good to remember that one must first see the steps before one can take them. I have cleared the back steps. Now I can take out the garbage and recycling. Keeping the house peaceful is now easier.

Tuesday, we will take my art up to Gallery Vertigo in Vernon to hang on the members wall and in March I will put work up in the Mission library. http://www.galleryvertigo.com

January will be a wonderful time of teaching classes and showing others how much fun exploring the world of creativity is. http://web.ubc.ca/okanagan/continuingstudies/welcome.html

It is not nearly as challenging as skating on ice.

Liberals, Coalitions heating up for Winter

Birken Forest statue of Buddha

Birken Forest statue of Buddha

One of the warmest winters ever according to my sister-in-law from Denver. It is 65 degrees and no snow. Here the delphinium thought they would give it another try and almost made a blue triumph when they were frozen in their tracks.

Athens is in flaming dismay with the fighting on the streets. Afghanistan hits the news again with more explosive deaths. O.J. finally is put away in prison. Images of people carelessly cut down in Toronto…the good.

Back in Ottawa we are watching the machinations of the conservative government attempting to secure a foothold on the face of government while citizens are worried and distracted. It is excellent adherence to tactics that Machiavelli laid out. Distract and attack.

When Ed Broadbent, Jean Chretiane, Jack Layton, Bob Rae and a scattering of other political professionals who normally have little to do with one another are all brought together enough to become phone and email buddies, you can bet your bottom dollar that they are motivated. And it is the bottom dollar that is the issue.

Where are the stimulous packages for the economy, where is the husbandry of the environmental issues, where is the concern for protecting and guiding citizenry through a tough time when they need health care, pensions, and programs to bolster them up during a crisis. Oh, I guess the government only just noticed that there is an economic crisis.

At a time when much seems to  be breaking loose from its holding point, individuals need more than ever to be like the elephant swimming a turbulent river, neither being swept away nor trying to stand firmly on the bottom which is impossible in shifting silt. Meditation practice and a refusal to be caught up in the delusional world become not only important on an individual level but begin to act as a steadying influence on those around you, on the economy and most importantly in the ability to rebuild another form of social structure which will grow out of the falling away of those things which are not currently working. Such as our party political system which is not serving us cake and funny hats.

We are in a period of change. Let us think about how this can actually make our lives better and more meaningful.

Tuesday All Day

Detail from building in Paris

Once again, Tuesday. Intentions are always fresh and dewy on Monday. Early lion catches the snakes. This week I will carry out all of my plans. Like lifting off in a plane, no matter how over cast the end of the last week was, no matter how much rain fell on the weekend, there will be sunlit clouds this week.

How difficult it is to stay in the seat. Thoughts are always to a future point in time, the destination or falling back down to earth in the darkness and pain of the past.

One of the most difficult things is to really see and experience the contact with others. My practice lately is to follow what Mr. Tolle suggests and to go into the inner body. I have also realized that I look AT a person’s eyes but not into them. In the last couple of months, I am able to look into the gaze of others. Not looking for what they can do for me, what harm they can do to me, what justification they can offer me. Just looking.

I am a master, a black belt, a consumately trained member of my family and my society. The years of discipline that I have put into ignoring my body, turning off my emotions, relating to others as if they were objects and not fragile, delicate beings, the impatience that I have practiced is awe inspiring. As Pema Chondra has observed in a rough paraphrase, if an individual can train themselves so well, it is excellent news. Now just use that skill and dedication to train for new goals.

The focus on art is a focus on spirit. The exploration of media and energy is an exploration of the inter-connectedness of self and universe. The path inward is a path outward. To be patient and not drive the process is so easy in my art. I ask for this same ease and self-care in the art of living.

Tuesday is a new day. All day.