April 30, 2009
“Journal #10.... received and soon to be on it's way into the teeming void.
The blog and experiment is amazing. You are so very very cool. I am unspeakably chuffed to be a muse to you. I suppose that makes me amusing?
Your fearless (inspite of fear, not in absence of) candidness will no doubt inspire many. What a beautiful offering to the people in your life, to say nothing of those outside of your life soon to be touched by your inspired efforts.
Big soft ferocious fuzzy illuminating love to you!
And so as per the ritual I committed to the day I sent out my first Open Heart Letter, I will now be actively telling people about this blog and my experiment. Up until now it had been a secret. I am unexpectedly sad at the idea of sharing it, having a secret is fun. But then I think of the fun I can have telling the world, and well that is more fun! I am in the middle of travelling, I am writing this in the truck as we climb over the Monashee mountain pass, 4 hours from home. I will spend one crazy day tomorrow, packing, waxing, playing, dancing, sleeping, then it is over the border an off to California, where I will actually see the friend who sent this email. At this time I will work on how to best put this experiment out into the cyber world. I am sure facebook will play a part! I am also going to include a new link in the “what’s the score?” section on suggestions fro participating. I would love people to start commenting on individual entries, perhaps answering the question for that days journal. Wow, so much to think about and do. Makes me feel small...but mighty!
I sat in a medical office today with my partner, we both spoke about our experience since his accident. One and a half years ago I sat in the same office. That time I did all the talking, he was barely able to converse. I remember a deep fear that he would never “be the same again”. He was not the man I married, far from it. He was angry, confused, introverted and illogical most of the time. It has long been my belief that I would never be given any more than I could handle, but that day I remember wondering if what I could handle had been overestimated. I have since let go of any silly fantasy of him ever being the same as he was. HECK, I am not the same as I was then. He is a new person. If you met him you would likely not know he had a head injury. He is quirky yes, but then he always was, just in other ways. He is a man who has come through amazing feats, with a new awareness and empathy for what it means to have your “head not screwed on straight”. For a long while he carried round a public health ad he ripped from a magazine which read “Surprise! Someone at your birthday party has mental illness.” He would pull it out and use humour to put people at ease round his inury. The man who sat in the office with us today, his Nuero-Psychologist, has given us amazing care. He believed in Chris’ ability to heal and thrive even when we questioned it. His conviction made it easier to get through the days when there seemed to be no end to the snail like pace of brain recovery. After we left his office today, I wrote him a letter, which included 12 days journal #17, inside the front cover it asks “Can you remember a time when you made a difference in someone’s life?”. It was mailed in Vernon, BC as we made our way home.
Oh and P.S. I had planned a couple of days ago to write to my friend Ryan today, it is his 34th birthday. It didn’t work out that way. He lives across the country. I suppose I will have to come up with a 12 days commitment that allows me to get out there and give it to him in person...but only if he promises to play me a song on one of the hundreds of instruments he knows how to make sing. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYAN!
April 29, 2009
Magdelene just ran 7 kilometres in the barely lit night to swim in Kalamalka Lake, stood naked on the shore howling at the waxing crescent moon...and is UNSTOPPABLE!
I do this to proclaim to the world that I feel fan-friggen-tastic! My morning did not start well. I stayed in bed far longer than I like to. There were harsh words in my house this morning. Family life is not always easy. Sullen faces, avoidance of eye contact, grunted verbal retorts seemed to be on the breakfast menu...not that I ate any. Then slowly the day began to wash away the anger of the morning. There was sweet milky coffee, and a shared joke with the womyn who made it for me. I cracked my first smile. Then some Laddhu’s from the local Krishna food joint. Sugar is so gosh darn comforting. After a shared Indian wrap and a long car ride we were back on speaking terms.
I live in a wonderful mountain town of 10, 000 people that is situated on a pristine lake. Lovely skiing in the winter on gobs and gobs of pillowy powder. With our many lakes, streams and rivers there is much fun to be had during our smoking hot summers as well. The one thing our town does not have is full medical services. We have what anyone might need if they say, got hit by a bus, but for more specialized needs we must travel five hours to the city of Kelowna. Home of the notorious OgoPogo, Canada's answer to the loch ness monster. My partner sustained a head injury nearly 2 years ago and so we make regular visits to his Neuro-Psychologist in this lively vineyard city. So when I say a long car ride I wasn’t kidding!
By the time we neared Kelowna the morning had been forgotten. Since completing my 12 day Pulpit Rock commitment I have been missing daily sweating in the outdoors. So we stopped at a trail near one of my favourite lakes and set off for a hike before dinner. Originally we had not planned to run all the way to the Lake, it was 3.5 kilometres each way and the sun had just set. Once we got going, though, we just couldn’t stop. And once I got to the shore I still couldn’t stop. There is something about a natural body of water that always has me tearing off my clothes no matter the weather or circumstance. There is still snow up on the dessert mountains here in the Okanagan, the water was chilly, but my body was coursing with warm blood and it felt fantastic. My whole life I have had this, this soul salve, the transformative feeling of raising my heart rate, blood coursing, bringing my body alive, it is a gift. I love being active. It boosts my confidence, my love for my body, my love of the outdoors. I have known my partner for nearly 17 years, and for most of that we have been a couple. We have many things we do well together, and this is one of them. Being active together has meant sharing the times that our confidence and awareness is at its peak. He has encouraged me through three children, many injuries and general inertia, with love and humour, to get off my butt and claim this natural endorphin high. And so less than 12 hours from a nasty morning fight we stood on the shore of a beautiful mountain lake, naked and dripping wet as a happy couple. We are a formidable set, strong and committed. We do things a little differently in our relationship, some of our ways seem strange to others. We are certainly not ordinary, but we work, and the proof is in the pudding, old pudding from 1993! Everything from this mornings argument is not forgotten, there are still things to be worked out, there always will be, such is the nature of relationship. But at the end of this day our love is strong with roots that run miles deep. This is the power of a 17 year commitment.
12 days journal #16 will be hand delivered in Kelowna, BC to my naked swimming partner. Inside the front cover it asks “What do you do that makes you feel really alive?”
April 28, 2009
Today's letter is going to Salt Lake City, Utah. I am a little sad about this as this friend, having recently moved to Salt Lake City, is someone I will not see for a long while. He is not exactly happy about the move either but he IS convinced it is what is necessary at the moment. This sweet sweet man is my twin brother. He has a different set of parents, and was born 5 years (to the day) after me. But he is my twin none the less. He offers me love completely unconditionally. I have let him down, taken advantage, missed cues, and basically been a bad sister to him a number of times. Though he expresses his displeasure at my behaviour he has never removed even an iota of love. He IS love, sweet, gentle, funny, and such a wonderful dancer. I love you so my brother, thank you for loving me unconditionally, you are a model for all in your life. I suppose all that time you spent at Cafe Gratitude paid off!
12 days journal # 15 goes out into the world with the question “How do you show unconditional love in your life?” this journal question is dedicated to my wonderful friend Lindy Lou, who despite her claims to the contrary knows how to love with her whole being. I miss my time with you both.
April 27, 2009
Today's letter will be sent to another friend who lives in Portland, Oregon. I found her In California a couple of years ago. She has grace and confidence and wisdom. She sought me out, could see how I was struggling with an open door, one I was afraid to walk through. She advised me to either walk through or shut it, said it didn’t matter which I chose, that it would be how I felt about my choice that would help me find the answers. I would so like to deliver this letter in person, sit in her home, talk, laugh, and leave like I always have with renewed clarity, and less judgement around who and what I am.
12 days journal # 14 is going off to Portland tomorrow with the question ”What are your greatest gifts?“, written inside. I plan to follow it soon. To go visit my sweet friend there, her and her hot tub ;o)
I have not decided who to write to yet today. I am going to go climb Pulpit rock...go see if I perhaps left the answer to my troubles up there.
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.
April 26, 2009
I will be writing today to the friend and Teacher who is my inspiration for creating a Sunday Dance Church. He inspires me to create a safe haven for those who feel they don’t have a place they belong when the church bells ring out. A place to commune in a way that celebrates and honours the divine, using our bodies as our prayer wheel. A place to walk into the room with self doubts, or any other of a myriad of emotions, let them loose on the dance floor and trust whatever personal journey results. Surrounded by a community who are doing the same. A place to be “alone together”.
“Do you have a dream that you are working towards?”, is the question being sent out into the world in 12 days journal # 13. It will be send off today to my friend who lives in Portland, Oregon. Which is perfect because it just so happen that Sunday in his FAVOURITE day!
April 25, 2009
When you read this my friend I want you to know I am so inspired by the change that you are willing to BE in this world. Thank you.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
“How do you communicate in your relationships?”, is the question written inside the front page of 12 days journal #12.
I saw a wild journal today. I was sitting writing a letter and preparing 12 days journal #12, when I looked up and saw a journal sitting on a table. I was actually a little startled to see it, seemed out of context. The man sitting at the table smiled knowingly at me. He must have seen me preparing the other journal. It felt a little funny, to share a secret with this man. I remember seeing him up on Pulpit one day with a womyn who I met nearly 2 years ago. I was surfing with her when my partner sustained a head injury which still effects him and our family and likely always will. This womyn was then one of the doctors he later saw. Now her partner has one of the journals...how the world works in such interesting ways. Connections everywhere!
April 24, 2009
“What do you believe?”, is written inside the front cover of 12 days journal #11, it is flying off to Colorado. I have never been but will venture there one day soon, to find some more bliss with my big sister Curly Q.”
“One illusion cherished
and defended against truth
makes all truth meaningless
and all illusion real.
Such is the power of belief.”
April 23, 2009
I wrote a letter to my muse today. He is part of how this whole experiment came to be. We have known each other a relatively short time, 7 months. He has inspired and challenged me in so many ways. We were going through a rough patch in our friendship when I was cleansing (the first 12 day commitment). I was throwing myself into whatever I could as a distraction. This distraction took on a life of its own and became this experiment in the ripple effect of inspiration and self discovery, so it seemed fitting that he be the first I write an open heart letter too. By open heart letter I mean putting pen to paper and just beginning to write what is in my heart in regards to that person. No editing! No need to make it prosy or even literate! Just pour the heart onto the page! For the duration of this 12 day commitment the question for the daily 12 days journal arises from the writing of this letter. The journal then goes in with the letter and is mailed. What the receiver of letter does with the journal is of course up to them, they can hike it up a mountain, leave it at a book store, fill the whole thing up and mail it back to me, whatever they are inspired to do.
Today is a special day for me. I had decided to keep this project quiet until I could feel the momentum and had all the wrinkles ironed out. In a fashion that is very “me” I decided upon a ritualistic way of releasing to the world what I am doing. When my muse receives his letter and has a chance to log into this blog and read what he has helped to inspire, I will then start telling the world.
As for you my wonderful sweet intelligent loving muse. You came up the mountain with me for the last 12 days and my heart shouted from the top how much I love you...in many many languages.
The question in side 12 days journal #10 reads, “How do you want to be loved?”
April 22, 2009
I can feel this experiment really taking hold. Tomorrow I get to release my newest commitment. This week I will begin to come out to my friends, and family about what I am doing. In a little kudos from the powers that be I got my first email today. It was from one of only 5 people who know about this experiment. He found 12 days journal #2 sitting on a bench outside a local cafe. He wrote in it and left it for the next person. Thank you friend for letting me know, it made my day :o*
April 21, 2009
On the inside cover of 12 days journal #8 is written “What are you committed to?”. Apparently I am not committed to accurate spelling though, I spelled the word COMMITTED wrong in the journal, how is that for irony?
April 20, 2009
“Friends are the family we choose for ourselves”
- Edna Buchanan
Today I have officially been blogging this experiment for 12 days!
“Tamalpa Institute, founded in 1978, offers training programs and workshops in the Life/Art Process, a movement-based expressive arts approach that integrates movement/dance, visual arts, performance techniques and therapeutic practices. This approach supports personal, interpersonal and social transformation, teaching new models for health, psychology, art and communication.”
Devising, enacting and evaluating scores is an important part of the Life/Art Process. It is something I have been doing my whole life but until attending Tamalpa I didn’t have either the languaging to express it, or a full appreciation for what an amazing generative and therapeutic tool it is. In the simplest terms here is the definition:
Score- an ACTIVITY over TIME through SPACE with PEOPLE.
I think of a score to be like a party invitation. Tells you where to be, for what, what time, what to bring etc. Like this:
What? Magdelene’s Birthday Party.
Where? At the Park by the Lake.
When? Saturday night.
What? Bring a potluck item and a blanket.
Why? To celebrate the day she was born.
In basic terms the original score for this experiment was:
What? A year long experiment in 12 days chunks
Where? Wherever Magdelene goes.
When? 30 (possibly 31) concurrent 12 day periods.
What? Follow and new undertaking for 12 days. During that 12 days come up with a new undertaking fro the following 12 days. Continue this for 12 months. Commit to learning about myself during this experiment, being aware of what questions and learnings come up.
Why? To commit to a project fro the sake commitment. To see what things can be learned from this process.
Or in real life terms read the first ever blog entry.
Since then the score has evolved to look more like this:
What? A year long experiment in 12 days chunks
Where? Wherever Magdelene goes, on the 12 days blog, and wherever a 12 days journal shows up.
When? 30 (possibly 31) concurrent 12 day periods.
What? Follow and new undertaking for 12 days. During that 12 days come up with a new undertaking for the following 12 days. Continue this for 12 months. Commit to learning about myself during this experiment, being aware of what questions and learnings come up. Writing these questions in journals and leaving them in places the experiment takes me for others to answer. Collecting the journals, sharing them on the blog.
Why? To commit to a project for the sake of commitment. To see what things can be learned from this process. To see how my experiment can effect others and to encourage them to participate on a number of levels (be it making their own score, writing in a journal, or reading the blog etc). And to see how far the ripples of this experiment can spread.
If after reading this, you read the first 9 entries of this blog, you will be able to see the natural progression from the original score to the following one. The score for the experiment will likely have changed somewhat by the time you read this. It is ever evolving.
April 19, 2009
In 12 days journal #4 the question was,“What are your hopes for your children and/ or the children of the world?“. What the children in this video are experiencing is what I want for every child of the world. See their faces, see the freedom in their movement and expression!! It is magical. I can’t watch this video enough (bet ya can’t watch it just once!)
Mr. B (the man with the guitar) you are an inspiration! Thank you for honouring and celebrating the children of the world. I love you and I have never even met you!
Oh and there were no journals left at the top. There are 6 out there in the world. And other than 12 days journal #6 I have no idea where they are, they are free range journals! I am so in love with this experiment.
April 18, 2009
I woke up sad this morning. I dreamt of a close friend last night. I had many dreams and he was in them all. When I awoke I had that funny phenomena of feeling like I had been through a huge emotional upheaval, but no one around me knew where I was at. When i get like this I can be cranky. I feel misunderstood, sometimes even like I am not cared for. The thing is it is all based on dreams, something that didn’t even happen except in my head. Got me to wondering about real life situations which I may have experienced in a very skewed way, perhaps misinterpreting the actions or words of another. Emotions get stirred in me and feel real, just like after the dream, but in relation to a perception of someone else's actions or words that didn’t really happen the way I experienced them.
On the way up the trail I thought about this friend. It seems as though he has so much that he wants to say, but doesn’t. Keeps it inside. I imagine him to be a prisoner in a jail created by his truths that he sees as too.....something, to share. I don’t know what that something is. At the top I decided on the question for 12 days journal #5. “Is there something you have been longing to tell someone that you still haven’t been able to?” maybe one day it will reach him.
I found 12 days journal #4 still at the top. It had a mixture of writings in it. Some silly, bordering on rude, which is fine, I really invite any responses. There was one very touching entry, again on the first page, this is a very interesting phenomena how the first entry is quite often very steeped in emotion. I am staying true to the commitment I made a few days ago, and not posting the journal entries until the journals are sent back to me full.
April 17, 2009
It was a coldish walk up Pulpit, but I had lots of company to keep me talking which keeps me warm. Two six year old girls joined Chris and I and they brought their dog along. They chatted all the way up, stopping only now and then to catch their breath or get pebbles out of a shoe. They marvelled at the tiny streams which appeared out of nowhere, drank with wet grins, exclaiming how good the water tasted. Collecting treasures, a square rock, a four leaf clover, a ball of old mans beard, they happily made their way along the trail. Right before the top they begun to run ahead, so excited for the view. Standing atop the highest rock, which made me a little queasy, they rested fists on hips and smiled. Confidence and self esteem oozed out their pores, mixed with sweat they had earned with their perseverance. There is nothing that will take a child further in this world than a belief in their own abilities, of this I am certain. This feeling, this knowing, this being, is what I want for every child on this planet...and all it took was going up a mountain. Simple, attainable, enjoyable. I am planning a picnic with my whole family this weekend.....I want more of this kind of joy!
12 days journal #4 was left at the rock with the question, “What are your hopes for your children and/ or the children of the world“. I am finding that letting the journals go is always a little hard. Like children, I want to protect them, worry harm might come to them, that they may never return! But it is of course by setting them free that they are able to blossom....I will see you soon little journal...maybe even tomorrow if Bob finds you!
The 12 days journals look like something like this. Though they are all slightly different. This is 12 days journal #6, in the flesh.
The front of the journals say:
This journal is part of a year long experiment which is recorded at:
If you feel inspired please participate in this journal. Then either leave it for others to do the same, take with you and leave it somewhere exotic (even if this is just two blocks away), give it to a friend, take it to a party, you decide. If it is full PLEASE send it to one of the addresses on the back of the journal.
How do you participate? Read inside the front cover, there will be a question. Write an answer, poem, song, story or draw a picture, anything that you are inspired to add.
When the journal comes home it will be entered into the blog. Remember the number of this journal (look at the top of the inside front cover) to make it easier to track your entry.
Hearing about journal sightings is always exciting, send an email to:
Thank you for being an inspiration!
I use only Moleskine cahiers. They are durable, relatively inexpensive and I can write all over them to make them highly visible. They have WRITE IN ME! written on the front and the back, and have my email address firstname.lastname@example.org and blog address www.12days2inspire.blogspot.com on them a number of times as well. And most importantly they are cheap to mail back! They can be mailed for the cost of a letter if put inside an envelope. I know that sending a journal back costs you something. I really appreciate it, and so do many others. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
April 16, 2009
The 12 days 2 inspire experiment is an ongoing 12 day experiment lasting a full year. I will choose an endeavour and commit to undertake it for 12 days. When I am done I will commit to something new. What will I choose next? I don't know, I am not there yet. During each day I will be mindful of what my current 12 day commitment evokes; questions, themes, ideas, conclusions, musings and more. From this I will pose a question that I will write in a journal. In undertaking my 12 day commitment I will find a way to send this journal out into the world. So that by the end of the experiment there will be roughly 365 journals that have roamed freely asking questions spawned from my own personal experiment in self discovery. When the journals are returned, I will enter them into this blog. I do this to commit to commitment for the sake of passion, love and discovery. And know that in doing so I will inspire the same and more in peoples lives in whatever capacity they choose to experience this experiment.
Last night I got an email from a man named Bob. He had found 12 days journal 1 and 2 at the top of Pulpit Rock. They were not very well marked and he thought I had left them up there by accident rather than by design. He also posted a note at the bottom of the trail. He was very very sweet in giving them back to me and the lengths to which he went out of his way to do so. THANKS BOB!! this gave me the chance to better label them. I will be releasing them back into the wild tomorrow...not sure how yet. They had some wonderful things written in them. I am grappling with whether to enter them into this blog entry, or waiting for it to come back by mail as per the instructions on the back of the journal....hmmm. I will decide by the end of this entry.
I was reflecting today about how many times in my life I have wanted to do something like this experiment, but didn’t for one hundred and one reasons. I got to speaking with my friend Anthony who was lamenting how he wished he would buckle down and work on his music. I thought about the times I have been uninspired, lacking in motivation, caught in paralytic inertia. These times have never been as a result of a lack of good ideas! I have plenty of those. It has always been a lack of action. I am not talking about the chores I put off because they are tedious and fairly uninspiring like laundry and taxes. I am talking about that half painted picture, which I know exactly where the next stroke of paint goes. Or the afghan squares that I have knitted only a measly 2 out of 24 needed (far cooler than it sounds I assure you, take a look it is so funky!)
“What have you been putting off, procrastinating, that you would likely get much enjoyment out of doing?” became my question for 12 days journal #4. This is to help remind me that when I feel depressed as a result of lacking motivation to do things I love, I need to push through. That the sense of accomplishment, excitement, feelings of inspiration, fiery mind, feisty spirit, lowered stress levels, not to mention the end result (be it a painting, an afghan or a 1 year commitment to self discovery) are so very very worth it.
Oh...ok... here is what was written, but from now on we have to wait until the journals come back from the wild....OK?....OK.
12 days Journal #1 “How do you express love in your life?”
“Love. I like to smile at people. To see their response. That’s love!”
“Every thought- Prayer
Every Move- Mindful
Everything- With Spirit in Heart”
Sigh, I couldn’t agree more. You guys rock!
12 days journal #2 “What inspires you?”
“What inspires me? I think it is pretty cool that this book w/ this question is sitting in a pretty inspiring spot!! Connection inspires me. To nature, to others, to animals. All connections. All that is in this world”
“Meeting my needs. Seeing someone make the best with what they have. Music“
the mystery unfolds
the magic appears
and I am inspired to watch
one present moment
evolve into the next“
”Color inspires me. My color is yellow.“
”Nelson inspires me to leave. Pulpit rock inspires me to see the beauty in Nelson“
What inspires me? This project, I am so glad I chose to do it. ;o)
- Read the blog
- Subscribe to this blog,or become a follower (link in the right hand sidebar). Read it daily
- Leave comments please! You can search the journals by clicking on the tags at the bottom of the entries. If you feel inspired respond to one of the 12 days journal questions in the entry when it was released into the world.
- Send me emails! about anything! I want to hear from you.
- Commit to something for 12 days
- Commit to something for 12 months!
- Start you own blog!
- Start a journal of you own and answer the 12 days journal question everyday. I started doing this by answering in the journals just before sending them out....but I almost never write on the front page, just to be sneaky! Or answer in the comments section of an entry which contains the question you want to respond to.
- If you find a journal WRITE IN IT! Leave it for others to answer OR take it. Place it in a new location, take it to a party, fill the whole gosh darn thing up if you feel inspired to do so!
- Join my facebook group, I update the links section nearly everyday. Click here to go join!
- If you find a journal, PLEASE email me, I love to know my little journal babies are alive and well on their journey.
- Tell your people about this experiment, give them the www.12days2inspire.com link so they know where to find me.
- AND last but most definitely not least if you find a full journal. PLEASE mail it to one of the addresses on the back of the journal. I know this will cost you postage, I haven’t figured out a way to prepay the postage on them yet BUT they are very small and will mail for the price of a standard letter. If you have mailed one back, thank you so much, it means the world to me, and to others who are following this experiment.
April 15, 2009
On the practical side of things I am reminded that there is no day like today. I am going to make up full labels with great explanations, email address, blog URL’s, physical address, the works! So that next time this happens, because there will be a next time, the little journals have a batter chance of making it home.
So thank you Chris, for leaving the journal in the truck. Inspiration comes in many many ways.
One last note. I have to say what a wonderful and abundant part of the world I live in and how grateful I am for this. Though the Pulpit rock trail has no streams that cross it, the earth at the moment is like a sieve. Every once and a while a little running stream with form from water seeping through the ground. I was struck by what a blessing it was to live in a place that is so abundant with fresh running water. We drank from these little streams and at the bottom of the trail drank again from the overflow of someone's water system. there are places in the world, many many places where water is a luxury. I truly love living in the mountains and the forest. I am so very very blessed.
April 14, 2009
I forgot to write “WRITE IN ME!”on the outside of the journal I left up top. I think this maybe why there was only 3 entries. I had already prepared new journals before going up. I am going to work tonight on how to label them. Also I am going to start numbering them. I have recycled my score already and the experiment is beginning to take shape. Which reminds me I need to work on the “What’s the Score” section of the blog so when people read this they will have an idea of what I am talking about when I use terms like “recycling the score”. This is getting exciting.
The three entries in responds to “What have you lost that still pulls at your heart?”
First a funny guy...imagine if it had been his shirt! :P
“I lost my left shoe, it was so close to my heart and now I will never see it again :( ”
“I lost my inner child but I am trying to find her. he he he :) “
Again the first entry in the journal was profound. I wonder if it is at its most potent right when it is left behind with a set intention? Something to ponder.
“Travis Steeger. Gone from us, but shredding pow in heaven.
Travis was a young local hot shot powder skier who had recently received sponsorship. He was involved in a hit and run accident while crossing the street in a near by ski town on Feb 22nd 2009. The night he was killed also happened to be his 19th birthday. I did not know Travis Steeger personally. But having spent my entire youth on a set of skis I recognized that freedom and exhilaration of riding two sticks down frozen water, something we shared. He obviously loved to ski and from what I saw was damn good at it too. Have a shralping good time up there Travis. I imagine the powder in heaven is...well heavenly!
I woke up this morning to an email from a dear friend saying that he felt the need to remove me from his life to a certain degree. Due to what he called a “danger of slipping into compulsive behaviour”. While I understand he is taking steps towards wellness, that this has nothing to do with him not loving me, that in fact his love for me is what makes this necessary. None of this stopped me from balling my eyes out, from feeling as though I had lost something so very dear to me. This loss pulls at my heart like the moon pulls at the tides, with an ancient intensity that overwhelms. This morning I couldn’t stop crying, I hid in my bathroom “getting ready” trying to hide from my children the pattern of abandonment that was triggered. They of course knew anyway. Got ready without argument. My eldest made breakfast, my middle was eager to help me, getting me what I needed. They mothered their mother, though it all went unspoken. They knew my heart was shattered and they loved me in the way I needed in that moment. I am so very very blessed.
I know from my friends brave and tender email that he feels he has lost me. He courageously admitted that watching me blossom was too much for him to take. That he needed to take control of this loss in order to protect his heart. I understand. Understanding does not make it any easier to take.
Writing about my life has always been a salve for me, and having the opportunity to answer my own question is the beginning of healing this hurt. I feel as though I am in service for offering others the opportunity to do the same with the 12 days journals. And grateful to the universe for inspiring yesterdays question, something I thought was for others, but turned out to be for me. Within an hour I will begin my hike and go read about what others have lost. These are things which connect us all, things every human has experienced, love and loss.
April 13, 2009
So, so, so...I was excited when I reached the top, on yet another drizzly cold day, to look in the journal I had left. At first I couldn’t find it, then I looked over the first ledge and there it was. I opened it and was delighted to find a BUNCH of people had written in it! The journal said:
”Tell me about someone, something, anything that you love“
Many children responded.
”My sister Piper and my sister Sadie, they are both so cute. I love chocolate!“
”I love all my friends and family, and my dog and cat“
”I love my fish, I love my old fish. i love the whole world. Most of all i love my family“
Made my heart sing and my eyes tear. One boy even wrote a story called The Smallest Frog, who was bullied but overcame adversity by using the skills he had learned from being the smallest ”ex-tadpole“. The adult entries included (an assumption based purely on hand writing)
”I love hockey!“
”I love my town“
”I love the clean air and a chance to dream. I love my husband and my daughter, who give me smiles everyday“
”I love life! What’s not to love. Life is what you make it. It is not about the situation you are put in but how you act and react to those situations. If you choose to love you will!“
So very very true. The following was the first entry in the journal, it read;
”My adult daughter who won’t speak to her dad. She has an eating disorder and it disrupts her whole life“
I choose to believe that being able to put this into words, at an unexpected moment, brought this womyn strength, or solace, or something else I cannot put a name to. I believe it helped her in some way. I wanted to invite people to talk about loss and grief, the necessary shadow side of love that make the light so very sweet. This inspired me to ask:
”Tell me about something in your life that you have lost that still pulls at your heart“
I can’t wait to go up again tomorrow and find out.
I think I will hike Pulpit alone today. I am feeling the need for a walking meditation. My mood is brightened somewhat by the thought of reading what was written the “12 days journal” I left at the top last night. We started our way up just before 6 p.m., walking the whole way through mist and rain. The view at the top was eerie, a drop over the edge into a misty abyss. Without this 12 day commitment I would likely have never climbed to the top in these conditions, I would have waited for “better” weather and a “better“ time. As it turned out the weather was perfect, the mist made the greens of the forest other-wordly. The lighting made it all seem magical and the trail was deserted. Only 15 days into a year and I can already see how this adventure is going to change my perspective on so many levels. What a gift!
April 12, 2009
It is late, my back and brain hurt and I need to go to bed so I can climb to the top of Pulpit tomorrow for the 3rd time. What I am excited about is the little journal I left at the top, inside a couple of baggies that asks the question “Tell me about someone/something/anything you Love”. I will let you know what was shared in tomorrows post. And hopefully get this blogging blog stuff all straightened out so I can begin the poetic part of this journey. Good night all! Wondrous wondrous dreams.
P.S. Before I go here is some info on Pulpit Rock
April 11, 2009
Tomorrow is Easter, Chris is hiding eggs while I write this. Perhaps the kids will do Pulpit with us tomorrow....we will see.
Oh and one last thing...I better find out how this damn MacJournal program works to take full advantage of journaling! Ok off to read the help section!
April 10, 2009
April 9, 2009
My husband and I are doing a 12 day cleanse. Yesterday I was thinking about how I have not exercised since we started. I don’t like this. A group of womyn from school were talking about hiking up to pulpit rock every Tuesday. This got me thinking about a cleanse of another kind, one where I could eat chocolate and drink cappuccino with impunity! How about a sweat cleanse, sweat hard for 12 days. Why not go up pulpit rock everyday for 12 days? And so it was decided we would do another 12 days of something new. We were unsure when to start. Maybe Saturday...no no too early, we will just be done the cleanse. Tuesday? The kids will be in school again, but that is to far away. We didn’t settle on a particular day, but commited to do it.
Later in Oso I got a brilliant idea. Why not choose a new 12 day ritual every 12 days for 12 months. It could be anything! Whatever emerges, whatever seems pertinent at the time, whatever would (theoretically) work with my schedule. It could be something big like silence for 12 days, or little like committing to floss for 12 days (I know I should be doing it daily anyway). The real story would be in not what I chose but what emerged from the ritual. So today is the first day...well technically it is the 11th day, of the first 12 day ritual which is a 12 day Wild Rose Cleanse. Tomorrow we finish the cleanse. On Saturday we climb pulpit rock for the first of 12 days. What a score!