Wednesday, November 30, 2005


" Today is my daughter Sarah's 20th birthday. The expression "Time Flies" is oh, so true when you are a parent. You notice that one day your baby is all grown up and you wonder where the time went. Where did that tiny child who so delighted you go? Instead in her place is a lovely young woman, just finding her way in this complicated world and doing it with such strength and grace.

Sarah came into this world during one of Victoria's rare snows. She weighed 8lbs, 6 oz. and she was wide awake and raring to go from that very first moment. I remember my mother holding her and laughing. Sarah was a delight and full of fun and enthusiasm from the very first. She has never stopped being fascinated with those around her. When Sarah was little, my sister said that she was the only 3 year old she knew, who could look an adult straight in the eye.

Sarah cares about the people she knows and always has. In grade school she would regularily bring one little boy home for lunch. He wouldn't have any and she wanted to share what she had. Through out her growing up she has rescued strays, befriended the lost and counselled those in chaos. She is a caring, genourous young woman who will always march to her own drum, a challange to some and a joy to others and I am proud to know her. I would like and admire her even if she weren't my daughter.

Sarah's take on turning 20 is, "I'm half way to 40!" The way I see it is she is half way to being the wonderful woman she is becoming and I wish her the best in the next 20 years of her life and all those that come after. Have a wonderful birthday Sarah, I love you", I whisper.

Are you listening?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Community 2

" When I decided I had to change my life I was frightened. How does one go about turning a life time of doing upside down and rearranging it? Step by step, little by little. One of the first places I reached out was online. I had spent years of my life volunteering and because of illness no longer could. I found, however that I could still help people and the world. A simple act of clicking on a website would trigger donations to various causes. So every day for years now I click for various charities. Here are some of my favourites.

Care2 Make a Difference This site has email, community, shopping, healthy living and over 5 million members you can connect with.

The Hunger Site and its affiliates. You can click for pets, the environment, children, literacy and breast cancer. Has online stores where the sale of goods supports the various causes. gives you various enviromental options for clicking. You can save land around the world from developement. This site keeps track of the amount of land you have saved. To date I have clicked and saved 107,588.1 sq.feet. Again this site has free email for it's users.

RedJellyFish One of my favourite click sites, sends a jellygram with environmental news right to your mailbox, has incredibly beautiful jigsaw puzzles to do and art work to buy. contributes it's donations to school building projects and funds children going to school.

Campbell Soups click for cans campaign lets you vote for your favourite football team and in the process contribute cans of chunky soup to the hungry of America.

Although all of these clicks contribute to causes and makes me feel that I am doing some good, they don't satisfy my need for companionship. That search took longer and has been a much more inconsistent process. Real people reguire you to be willing to make yourself vulnerable and I had to reach a point where my need outweighed my fear before I was willing to expose myself to others. Now I am and in the process I am learning about myself and I find that for the first time in my life I actually like who I am. And if you knew me would you like the me I am?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Monday, November 28, 2005


"And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.
(Dylan Thomas)

Years ago I read of a tradition in certain parts of Mexico. Here people believe that a person dies three times. The first is when their body dies, the second when their soul leaves their body and the third and final time is when their name is spoken aloud for the last time.

You expect older people to die. You expect the sick to die. You don't expect vibrant, alive, young people to die. And yet they do. With as little warning as possible, they seem to slip out of this life with as great an ease as the elderly.

On Friday my daughter will attend the funeral of a friend of hers, Braun Scott Woodfield, who died serving his country in Afghanistan. She is finding his death hard to accept. It is the second friend she has lost this year. The first, her childhood friend Crista Carlson, is even harder to understand. When I got the call "We've lost one of the kids", I thought car accident, drug overdose, something, anything that could be explained away, blamed on something,someone. But no, that would be too easy. Instead she was dead within days of leukemia. No warning, no nothing. 19 years old and gone.

So on Friday as his friends say goodbye to "Woody", I will remember the dead. I will say their names out loud so that they never completely die. I will think of Crista doing summersaults on my back lawn, I will think of Braun driving my daughter home late at night. I will think of Ruby, my friend from Victoria, who died of brain cancer 2 years ago, playing Mah Jongg with such enthusiasm. I will think of Sue Bone gone these past few months, such a good mother, helping out at brownie and guide camps. I will think of family members whom I have lost. And I will mourn their going, because I am lessened by their absence, they are not. I wonder what I give the world, what space I fill in peoples lives. When I die will you remember me, will you speak my name out loud?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Sunday, November 27, 2005


"As a child my mother and father read to me the works of the great poets of the world. I remember listening to the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khyyam and The Song of Hiawatha, as well as various works by other great writers. Longfellow, Robert Frost, Wordsworth, Walt Whitman, Carl Sandburg and Robert W. Service were some of the poets read in our home. As a teenager and young adult I discovered others who captured my imagination, Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, Leonard Cohen, William Butler Yeats and Robert Burns . All these writers gave me a love of words and a love of the sounds, the images, the rhythm of poetry.

I believe such a love is a learned thing. I read books to my children, not poetry. My son loves to read books but doesn't appreciate poetry. I think, like classical music, you need to be immersed in poetry from an early age to understand and appreciate it.

Like most teenagers, I wrote poetry, that soppy, sentimental stuff that seems to pour out of young people with no difficulty. Now I would love to be able to put down my thoughts so easily, without spending hours searching for just the right word, the phrase that speaks volumns, the sentence that says so perfectly everything that needs to be said, that paints a picture that cannot be forgotten. I would pour out my soul in rhyme for you to read," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Saturday, November 26, 2005


"It snowed last night. Everything is dusted with a light, sparkling white. It looks like diamonds, scattered over the ground. I walk on it and it crunches beneath my feet, breaking apart as easily as dreams. I wonder, do others grow into their dreams or leave them behind, like remnants of a forgotten world? Mine haunt me, the what ifs and what might have beens pollute my present and lay bare my future as a bleak and void place where the me I am, ceases to be and I become the me that others see.

The snow covers the piles of refuse, the wood heaps, the unkept gardens, making everything presentable. Hiding the dark and showing the light. This is what people do, they pretend they are only half of who they are. They show the side that they want others to see and hide away the darker side that exists in all of us. What would we think if we could truly know the people who are close to us? What would we think? A fascinating site Post Secret lets you lay such dark secrets bare, exposed to the naked light for others to see. In the sharing people find relief. Their secrets no longer haunt them, they realise that they are not alone, that others share their same secret, that others have a dark side too. What is hidden in your darkness? Are you willing to look into mine?" I whisper.

Are you listening?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Community 1

"I am working at changing my life. I know what I need to make me happy. I need interaction with others. The problem is obtaining it. I have sat at home for 3 years and quess what? No one has come knocking at my door wanting to be friends! I have reached the point where my need outways my fear. I am reaching out to others in the hopes that I can find common gound with someone, anyone.

Today I started tutoring a woman in English. She has arrived here with limited or no English and in 4 months has amassed an amazing vocabulary. Now she needs to learn to use that knowledge to communicate with others. She has the words but not the ability. I can give her this and in the process I will gain something as well. I will have purpose, which I lack. I will have something to do once a week and hopefully I will gain a friend.

If for one afternoon a week I feel usefull and complete I will not be so lonely. Now the task involves filling the other hours and days with interaction, with people. I am hoping that one by one I can build my own community to support me and whom I can support. One person cannot give me all that I need, I need more, I need you," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Thursday, November 24, 2005


"Definition: Friend - a person whom one knows well and is fond of.

I don't have any friends. I never really have had any, not even as a child. I don't seem to know how to make friends. I have aquaintances, people I have known for years, but not friends. I have people whom I am very fond of, but I don't know well. Every interaction we have is on a surface level, nothing deep. People don't seem to want to share themselves. Is it just not with me? Or perhaps others are content with only superficial ties.

I went through all of high school and university with only minimal interaction with my fellow students. Even then I felt like I was on the outside looking in. As I have grown older I have had more contact with people but never any real friendships.

Others seem relaxed, easy, open with each other. I am a tense bundle of nerves constantly wondering when I will be found wanting. I open my mouth and stumble over my thoughts, unable to relax and just be. At times, although I ache for relationships with others, I think life would be so much easier if I never had any contact at all. It is only with the written word that I am coherent and unafraid. And so I find myself here, writing to you, hoping that somewhere out there you exist and hear me," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


"I love words. I love to read. I read anything and everything, books, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets. Anything with words I pick up and read. I am constantly scooping up free material. Doesn't matter what it is about I read it.

I love pamphlets. You find them everywhere. They inform you about places, illnesses, political parties, events. An always changing source of information to absorb. Written simply but concisely. Not for pamphlets grandious words and verbose writing. Information in it's basic form, but still words!

I love free newspapers. They are always slightly on the edge, offering something new and different. Thoughts and ideas to expand your mind, make you think and grow. Giving you glimpses into other ways of live, homosexuality, poverty, alternative spiritual beliefs. Nothing run of the mill, day to day, vanilla life like.

I love books, they contain words! I go to the library, not for me the stacks with books organized and in rigid rows. I like the carts where the books sit before going back onto the shelves, an eclectic mix waiting to be discovered. You never know what you will find. And here on the carts, I get a glimpse into other people's lives. They have taken out these books, held them, found them worthy of reading. So I pick them up and savor them too, finding whole worlds I never knew existed, being introduced to ideas that provoke thought and wonder.

I have a love/hate relationship with bookstores. I love to go and browse their shelves. Taking out books that catch my eye, feeling their covers, touching their pages, inhaling that wonderful new book smell. But there are so many that I want to adopt, take home, have balanced precariously next to my chair, so I can grab whatever catches my eye and read from that particular one's pages. And yet, oh so often, I go home empty handed unable to afford or to decide which one shall become my next adventure, my next indulgence.

When I do carry a book home to devour, whether from the library or bookstore, there is no one to share it with. No one who will read it and discuss it with me. Yes, I can tell people what I have read and sometimes they will listen. But there is no disussion, no sharing of thoughts and ideas. No wondering what the author meant or what lead to such an event or why a certain word or phrase is used. And so even with my books I am lonely, my mind filled with thoughts unable to be expressed," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


"I love to talk. When I was little I was told I had diarrhea of the mouth. That really makes a child feel good about themselves. But I never learned to be quiet. I love words, the sounds of them - abracadabra, serendipitous, mousse, punctual. They roll off of your tongue so sweetly, so seductively. They have power. A power that most people seem unaware of. The power to enlighten, to inform, to infuriate, to arouse, to spellbind. The power to connect. And it is the connection that I want, that I need. The connection that conversation brings. When I read a book, I want to discuss it. When I see a movie that provokes thought, I want to talk about it. And therein lies the rub, I have no-one to discuss things with. To converse with, to have a conversation with. No one who wants to go deep into ideas, into emotions, into anything at all. I read a quote by John Delinger. It goes like this. "INTELLIGENT people discuss ideas, AVERAGE people discuss events, IGNORANT people discuss other people." I would have used simple. He choose ignorant, a harsher, more judgemental word. So instead of conversation, I talk to myself, in my head, in my heart, in these words. I ache for conversation. Talk to me", I whisper.

Are you listening?

Monday, November 21, 2005


"I am lonely. I think that my last post made that clear. It is not that I have no one. I do. It is not that I am not loved. I am. It is that I feel like my life has been spend on the outside, looking in. Never feeling like I belong, never feeling that I am real to those around me. That they really see me. That they really know or understand me. Not the person they imagine me to be. But the me that I know I am.
I have no one to share that me with. No one who understand what I try to tell them, no one to share parts of me with, my thoughts, my believes, my very soul. The darkness as well as the light.
I know I am not unique, I know that others have this same sense of not belonging, of not being understood, of standing in the shadows, watching. That doesn't make me feel any less alone," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Sunday, November 20, 2005


"It seems that I have spent my life screaming and no-one has heard me, so I thought I would whisper. Whisper into this abyss and maybe just maybe, someone would hear me. And if they don't, well, I can always blame myself. I can say, "I didn't speak loudly enough, no one heard me", not "No-one cares or understands my pain".

Wherever You go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
A person I enjoy talking to suggested this book to me. They thought it might "help". But the title itself is a source of pain, because I don't know how to be where I am. I feel like I am teetering on the edge of a cliff. There is no way back. The only way off is to jump, but there is no one to catch me and I don't know how to fly. So I spend my life teetering. I have to learn somehow to live here, in this spot . To live with the loneliness, the fear, the pain of not being heard, of not being seen. Yet there is that brief spark of hope that periodically flutters through my being. Maybe someone will hear me, maybe someone will see me, maybe just maybe, someone will be there to catch me if I jump," I whisper.

Are you listening?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Beginning

I shout.
No one hears.
I whisper.
Are you listening?