Friday, 28 December 2012

Sit Still

I'll save the what-happened-this-year for my prayer journal. Suffice it to say, I have been enlightened and blessed this year. There has been quite a lot to give God thanks for. And, I do.

I also thank you for reading these posts and for the kind words in your responses - whether here, on Twitter, on FB, in an email, over the phone or in person.

A verse of scripture has been nestled in my spirit for a few weeks now.  It pretty much sums up where the end of 2012 AD finds me:

Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall...
Ruth 3:18

It's not always easy to "sit still", but I try.

This time of the year also finds me in the lines of Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now and Tina Turner's version of Help.

Both Sides Now

Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I've looked at love that way

But now it's just another show
You leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know
Don't give yourself away

I've looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It's love's illusions I recall
I really don't know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say "I love you" right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I've looked at life that way

Oh but now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they tell me that I've changed
Well something's lost but something's gained
In living every day

I've looked at life from both sides now
From WIN and LOSE and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all



When I was younger,
So much younger than today
I never needed anybody's 
Help in any way
But now those days have gone
I'm not so self assured
Now I find, I've changed my mind
I've opened up the doors

Help me if you can,
I'm feeling down
And I do, appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me

And now my life has changed
In oh so many ways
My independence seems to vanish in the haze
Every now and then
I feel so insecure
I know that I just need you
Like I never did before

Help me if you can,
I'm feeling down
And I do, appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me


It's good to step back or sit still - or something of that sort - and look at things from other perspectives; evaluate and, yes, even ask for help if needed. Then, act - fearlessly.

May 2013 be a truly wonderful year for you! Here's hoping that we will all find the courage to Do LIFE - Live In Faith Everyday.


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

"I propose to you that we get married" - in movie and in song

I imagine I shall be hearing my own proposal for marriage someday. You know? That day of the week that hasn’t yet arrived? Until then, I have come across these two proposals and have found them pleasurable.

Earlier this year, one of my sis drew my attention to the lyrics of the Bob Marley song Is This Love. I’d heard it over and over, but, this time, I listened. Big chune. Wicked proposal. “I wanna love you and treat you right… I’m willing and able, So I throw my cards on your table.”

Then, the other day, I watched the movie How Do You Know (2010). Out of nowhere came this heart-felt, heart-tugging proposal. A refreshing spring of sweetness scripted off my…self. He gets her. I get it. They got me. I’m persnickety; I over-think and over-analyse (I'm a student of literature. It is what it is); considered anal (as in anal-retentive - as in too much attention to detail. Little wonder that it’s the third word in analyse); have been called a perfectionist – by my mechanic! And so on and so forth. I sometimes think some find it a turn-off. But, someday (guess that comes before Wednesday; not to be confused with gettn-some day, which would be, like, five days a week and twice on Sunday. Hallelujah!) I will be his over-thinker and...and he will love me anyway.

Is This Love

I wanna love you and treat you right
I wanna love you every day and every night
We'll be together with the roof right over our heads
We'll share the shelter of my single bed.
We'll share the same room, yeah, for Jah provide the bread.
Is this love - is this love - is this love -
Is this love that I'm feelin'?
Is this love - is this love - is this love -
Is this love that I'm feelin'?
I wanna know - wanna know - wanna know now.
I got to know - got to know - got to know now.

I-I-I-I-I I'm willing and able
So I throw my cards on your table.

I wanna love you - I wanna love and treat - love and treat you right
I wanna love you every day and every night
We'll be together, yeah, with a roof right over our heads
We'll share the shelter, yeah, oh yeah, of my single bed.
We'll share the same room, yeah, for Jah provides the bread.

Is this love - is this love - is this love -
Is this love that I'm feelin'?
Is this love - is this love - is this love -
Is this love that I'm feelin'? Wo-o-o-oah
 Oh yes, I know
Yes, I know,  yes I know now
Oh yes I know, yes I know, yes, I know now

I-I-I-I I'm willing and able
So I throw my cards on your table.

See I wanna love you, I wanna love and treat you -
love and treat you right.
I wanna love you every day and every night
We'll be together, with the roof right over our heads
We'll share the shelter of my single bed.
We'll share the same room, yeah, Jah provides the bread.
We’ll share the shelter of my single bed…

How Do You Know  (The Proposal)
AlI gotta say something to you, to the two of you.  I don't want you to think that the reason that we're not married is because I think anything of anyone else. It's because I'm 40 years old and I'm a failure... The reason that I never talked marriage to you is because I couldn't stand to see you, the princess of worry, weighed down by me and my limited prospects. Because I get you worrying, Annie. I know that a lot of people think that's a bad thing about you, but I know that it's because you have a great big heart and I love you for it. And then, I started to worry... about what would happen to you and this little hulk. If you guys wound up with someone who thought that your worry was umm... you know [Annie: Neurotic.] Right. Yeah, somebody, you know, who didn't get you... Who wanted you to feel bad about yourself, wanted to make you be more normal of a person, or wanted you to change, or like yourself more. You know... who didn't love ALL of you. Who didn't wanna leave great enough alone. And I thought that I...I could do that for you. That could be a legitimate, umm, function for me... in your life. So that allows me, to propose to you that we get married. I want to marry you, Annie.


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Some things you don't see coming

Some things you see coming - like Christmas. All things remaining constant and predictable, things like sunrise and sunsets are pretty safe bets, too. If you throw something up, it will, more often than not, come back down. Unless it's caught. But, gravity is a law.

You see someone being horrible to someone else and you think, it's just a matter of time before what goes around comes around. Some call it Karma. Same goes for good deeds - the ones that don't go unpunished, that is. You see someone doing a random act of kindness - or a planned one - and you think, a blessing awaits. Yes, some things you see coming.

Others? Not so much. And, when the bad happens, the kind that "blind sides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday",  you just gotta do what you gotta do. In those moments  you get a better understanding of the stuff of which you are made; the stuff of which you are about to be made.

Thankfully, not all unexpected occurrences are negative or adverse ones. Thank God life has its pleasant surprises; those big and little unexpected gifts of goodness and beauty that come, it seems, out of nowhere. They far outweigh the bad. They come and they fill your heart with gladness. They put a pep in your step. They make you feel like you're flying without wings. "Funny isn't it?  How one moment can change a million after it." (Movie: How she move).

Moments like falling in love.


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

From the No in NaNoWriMo

This post should probably have been titled, "Who has time to write when writing?" It's the final lap of NaNoWriMo and, I gotta tell you, I've been thinking about how best to post to the blog while not cut too much into my writing schedule. I work days. I write on the train in the mornings - send an email to myself - and I write longer pieces at night. So, at this point, to get to today's word goal of 1667, I need to write 1352 words before I start feeling sleepy. 

How best? Post an excerpt from the novel. It is therefore my pleasure to share the following slice with you - and to save time. ;-) And, by the way, this part is about a not-so-nice-guy.  There are not-so-nice girls, too. Now, who's ready for this story written, adventurously, in the first person?  

"When I'd got back to Canada after my ten-day trip, I got a text from him the very evening I got in, while I was still at the airport. I was waiting on my luggage when my phone alerted me. We planned to meet up the following day, a Sunday. I didn't have a car then. It was during the job-hunting period and affording a car was out of the question. I was living in Etobicoke at the time, off Old Mill Road. He was coming in from downtown Toronto. He picked me up at about two o'clock and we went out for a late lunch and caught a movie afterward.  Being summer, the day was super long and we hadn't made any plans to fill the time. So, we drove down to the Beaches and spent a couple hours chilling, alternating between the Boardwalk and a nice secluded spot lined with huge rocks, just past the dog playground area. It was in that nice spot, with water splashing up against the rocks, and the sparkles of the sun's rays catching our eyes as they glistened off the water beyond, that he leaned over and kissed me. At first, he was kind of hesitant. He hadn't asked, he had just leaned in. But, I had put up no resistance. My right hand was on the rock and my left was in my lap. It wasn't a long kiss and it wasn't a deep kiss. It was just a kiss. I remember him looking away right after and saying how we lucked out for it was such a beautiful day. I agreed with him. We left that spot and sat on the Boardwalk for a little while, people-watching and people-and-their-dogs watching, then we headed back. 

When he pulled into the driveway, he switched off the car. I wasn't quite sure whether I should invite him up. I had, still, only just met him. The majority of our interactions had taken place online and over the phone. Plus, he was not a Christian, as far as I'd heard him talk. I was attracted to him, for sure. But, I wasn't so sure that I wanted him in my home space just yet. So, there we sat for a few seconds until he broke the silence.

"You know, I always find that there's something about women who are in the church. They're always so sweet, but, if you ever get them into bed, it's like they just want to ravish you. It's like, because they haven't been having sex, when they get a chance to do it, they are so hungry for it, and I just want to ravish them back," he said.

My eyebrows were diplomatically raised. How many of these church women had he had? And, was I just another one for him to ravish? "What?" I replied.

"You know what I'm talking about, right?"

"I think so. But, I have no clue how that came up out of the blue - "

"It came up because, well, I'm sitting here thinking about how far we would go if you were to invite me in."

"Ahhh. I see. Well, I don't know that we're anywhere near that," I offered.

"Hmm," he responded. "So, what are your plans for the rest of the summer?" he asked.

"Oh, I dunno. Continue my full-time job of job hunting, I guess."

"You and the thousands of new grads."

"Yep. Can't be sidetracked by that. I know the timing isn't great, either. Hiring should pick up in the fall, but, in the meantime, you never know. It still pays to keep and it and be prepared for that one call. What will you be doing for the rest of the summer?" I asked.

"Well, I'll be getting married," he said, looking straight ahead as he said it, then glancing at me right after. I don't know what he expected to see.

"Congratulations," I said as I met his glance. I even managed a smile and a downward tilt of my chin. "When's the wedding?" I asked.

"Next month, the third Saturday," he replied. He was looking at me now, more engaged in the conversation.

"Well, all the best," I said.


"By the way, when were you planning to tell me?"

"I have been thinking about mentioning it for a while now - "

"A while? Would that while have been before or after you talked to my parents and were all nice and chatty with them, talking about visiting them? Was it before or after you kissed me? Or, no. Was it before or after you talked about ravishing church women? Who are you?"

"Your parents are nice folks! Why would I not enjoy the conversation with them?"

"That is not the point, Stan! So, wait, all your talk about visiting, where, of course, you had me thinking that it's a trip I would be making with you - "

"I said nothing about you and I - "

"Again, that is not the point!"

"So, what is the point?"

"Don't act that way. Don't. The point is that you practically met and hung out with my parents on the phone for close to an hour, giving them a solid impression that you were interested in their daughter, and, quite possibly, meeting them and spending time with them in person. Then, after my sharing those precious persons in my life with you, you now turn around and slap us in the face? Dash their assumptions and possible expectations like that?"

"Are you sure you're not talking about your assumptions and expectations?"

"Mine, theirs, ours. It doesn't matter. The fact of the matter is that you did all of this knowing full well that in a matter of weeks you are going to be marrying someone. Marrying someone! You're getting married, for crying out loud!"

"Listen, there's no need to get so dramatic? It's not as if you weren't having a good time as well," he said.

"Why would I not? Of course I was, but I am not the one with the hidden knowledge that you are committed to someone else? And about to make an even stronger commitment?"

"I don't know where you have been living but these things happen all the time. Sometimes a guy just wants one last fling before he makes that permanent commitment, you know? Some women do it too. Don't act like you don't know this."

"First, I have been living away from the likes of men like you. Second, I am not one of the women who would ever do that, or do it to another woman's fiancé and third, I have to go."

I let myself out of his car and hoped to God he would not follow me to the door. There were two sets of double doors to the apartment complex. I just needed to put in my code for the second set, get through them and close them behind me. He didn't follow me. As a matter of fact, he didn't even wait until I got to the second set. Once I was inside the first, he drove off.

When I'd reached inside my apartment, I sat in the living room for a while, allowing it all to sink in. It hadn't quite sunk in before I started to cry. I thought then that I must be wearing an invisible sign or something - invisible to me. I got up and, as the sun shone in my bedroom, I lay across the bed, hugged my pillow and cried.  

When I'd finally got a job in the fall that year, I set out for downtown Toronto for the first day back at work in how long. I had thought of Stan on and off for months after. For some reason, in the night and earlier that morning, I thought of him again and how bad he had deceived my parents and me. Maybe I thought of him because I was setting out to work and, deep down, I wanted to show him! Whatever the reason, he was constantly on my mind. I mean , if it were just me, I would not have felt as awful as I did. But, my parents had been dragged into this conniving scheme so innocently. And, I partly blamed myself for it. As the train's light came down the dark tunnel, I couldn't help but feel that if he were ever on the platform with me, at that very moment, I would time the train. How I felt like I would push him off, just in that split second. Then, I'd quickly make my way through the crowd and up the escalator two steps at a time. I would turn my fall jacket inside out, pull my scrunchie out of my hair and ruffle it up a bit. Then, I'd make my way down the other escalator and get lost in that crowd. There are cameras all over. If I did happen to get caught, guess it would mean an early retirement with three square meals a day. As I came out of fantasy land I knew that I didn't really feel like killing him. I just wished him dead."

Oh, before I forget, I gotta say this as a reminder. The above excerpt, like all my blog's content, is copyright material. While I gladly permit sharing of the link to the blog, please don't share, in whole or in part, any of the content without my written permission. Thank you, kindly. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Baby Love

There are several people in my life who are expecting. I've had the pleasure of sharing, in some way, shape or form, in their lives. It's one of the reasons this post will be a short one. This weekend was all about prepping for the baby shower for someone in my family. It was a surprise shower and, oh yes! She was indeed surprised.

Apart from her, my son's mother in Kenya is also expecting. Yeah. That'd be the mother of my sponsored child, Carlen.  He "wrote" to ask me to pray for his mom and for a safe delivery. He's a sweetheart. A couple of friends from church are in the family way, as well. One of them said her's in due in April. Well, I just hope she does have him/her in the best month of the year.

Like I said at the shower today, a quote I've used here before, "Babies are a great way to start people."  But, I shall leave you with quotes from my niece who just turned four. When we asked her to say something for the video (and longevity), she stuck out her index finger toward the parents-to-be and said, "You have to be careful with him, because he's delicate!" (She just got a baby brother.) And, the cherry on top? When asked what should they expect when the baby comes, "You should"


Thursday, 8 November 2012

The WriMo and the Reason

I'm back in NaNoWriMo. That's National Novel Writing Month for the uninitiated. :-) It's my third year where I get to write a novel/novella of at least 50,000 words in the month of November. Zowie! Yeah, I'm that overjoyed. No, really. You may have heard the saying. "Writers don't need time, what we need is a deadline"? Well, it's kinda like that.

And, that's why I'm back - to feed off that push; that oomph! NaNoWriMo has helped me with the discipline for routine writing. There's a target word count per day - or night, in my case - and it helps keep me on track. (I had extra words in my "word bank" on the US presidential election night! Didn't let it interfere with the writing, though. But, I had 'em, just in case. By the way, congratulations, Mr. President! All the best to you and the US of A.)

From the past two WriMo events, I've had practice in how to craft a story and hold it together over a longer stretch. This time, I have a feeling I'm gonna go past the word count goal. And, if not, I'm thinking I'll have a bit more to write even after it's done. I've basically tuned out the writing advice on Twitter, etc. The last bit I faved said, "All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know." (Ernest Hemingway) And I thought, if I write one true sentence after another, this should be good. The other before that was, "Work on a computer that is disconnected from the Internet." (Zadie Smith). Brilliant. So, that's what I do.

When I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was doing NaNoWriMo again this year, he said stteo: "I believe you still have that #1 Best Seller in you. Just write with your heart and soul. You have been writing with your heart and hand; write with your heart and soul."!

So, having prayed about it and asked the Holy Spirit to write through me, that's what I've been doing since November 1.  I imagine it won't be an easy read for some. But, I believe it will be a must read for many.

Cover me, oh God. I'm going in.


Sunday, 28 October 2012

By the numbers

I've been thinking long and hard about whether to write about this. There is absolutely no interest on my part to append any meaning whatsoever on this...thing, with regard to numerology or the like.

About a year and a half ago, when I was still reading the t.o. newspaper, I saw a post from someone who mentioned coming into contact with a certain number over and over in her life. I was drawn to that, as she reeled off several occasions in which she would just "come across" this number, as it had, for a while before that, been happening to me.  And, it still does.

The first number is 911. It started about three or so years ago. I'd check the time and, almost without fail, it would be 9:11am or, at night, if I happened to check the time, it'd be 9:11. Now and then, I'd be off by about a minute, but, for the most part, I'd be on.

The other number is 242. But, there is a story of a different kind of horror connected with this one. I worked for a Frankenboss (a term - with definition and all - that I saw on Twitter today). I imagine he was a nice man - or could be - outside of work. He seemed charming and disarming enough. But, he was a horrible boss. His extension was 242. I'm not even sure when I start started seeing that number...everywhere! I left his employ - ran away from him, actually. Not proud that I did it, but, it had to be done. And, it might have been about two years after, that I started taking note of the number popping up.  More often than not when I check the time in the afternoon, that's it. If I rush to the microwave thinking I might be overheating something, that's the number that greets me.  If I'm working out, by the time I'm done on the treadmill, I've done 2.42 miles and so on.

At first, it was a bit unnerving. Now, not at all, really. I'm not into numerology or anything of the like.  I'd shared about those "special" words and I thought I'd share about these numbers. I decided to do a Google search and check out a few other numbers. Occasionally, it helps to be reminded of how small and finite one is. (Channeling my inner Queen Elizabeth, apparently. :-)  I think I searched for "number of days since" and inserted my birthday. I found this site.  Pretty cool info follows:

According to the site, I've been alive for 15, 172 days. My heart has been beating since birth for 364, 104 hours or 21, 846, 240 minutes or 1, 310, 774, 400 seconds.  I am not a coincidence. I am a wondrous display of the awesome and glorious work of my Creator.  He made me and has kept me all this time.  In and out of many seasons, both literal and figurative, He has kept me. He hasn't taken His eyes off me and He hasn't missed a beat all this time! And, look how many of us there are!

Know what's even cooler? That He can tell exactly where I was and what I was doing and wearing and thinking at second number 998, 234, 769. Or, at minute number 5, 091, 273. He numbers the very hairs on our heads - so particular about His children. He's like that. And, I love that.


Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Comfort of Certain Words and Terms

There are certain words that are pleasing to my ear.  I like the sound of them; I enjoy saying them out loud.  And, in at least one case, where the meaning isn't the most positive thing ever, the way my tongue has to get wrapped around it for it to come out well, usually makes me smile.

I'll start with that one: forlorn.  Just listen to that: forlorn. It calls such attention to itself, does it not?  The word demands that you spend time with it; that you caress, not only the syllables, but the shape of every letter.  And, listen to that pretty double 'or', making it all sexy up in here. To think, the meaning is nowhere near that, but no matter. Forlorn is, hands down, one of my favourite words. Most times when I do use it, it's to ask my lil sis how come she sounds so forlorn?  And, I'd say about 95% of the times, just the use and sound of the word causes us to smile. It's quite a picker upper.  Forlorn. :-)

Another fave is: relax.  Recently I've found myself saying it out loud - not screaming, just saying it a couple times, moving it from my mind to without. Even as I say it, my shoulders release their tension; I consciously breathe deeper and exhale longer.  And, I feel calmer.  I'm usually praying for God to guide me, especially when I find I'm getting anxious about something or just have way too much to do. I'm thankful for the presence of mind to utter the word; to focus on the directive and for the calm and peace that accompanies it. It sure helps when you know that you can, in fact, relax because you're "not in this alone" - whatever "this" is.  #HeGotThis

"Watch dis!"  Now, there's a term I've come to love. The meaning behind it is awesome. The story behind it is pretty lengthy, too. But, I'm gonna try to capture the gist. My lil sis coined the phrase when she and I were just about to be caught up in a very sensitive, high-stress situation with heavy repercussions. I had been feeling rather apprehensive about the whole situation; so forlorn. In that moment before it was "gonna go down", a question was asked; we gave a response and we were then redirected.  I know this might be as clear as mud - wish I could be clearer.  Suffice it to say, after we finished getting our instructions from the new set of folks, we made it back to the original set of folks.  As it turned out, they totally overlooked asking us for what they should have - but what I so did not have, and should have had, on my person - and they just waved us on our way.  Shortly after we left that area, trying somehow to wrap our minds around what had just happened, my sis said, "It was as if God just said, "It's ok. Watch dis!" Then went straight to work on our behalf. Of course, we shared the episode with the rest of the family. Since then, it has been a constant source of encouragement in the most trying of times. There's no need to go through the story, of course. All we need say is, "Watch dis!" And we get it.

Remember that movie, "In Her Shoes"? Remember that poem by e.e. cummings that Maggie read for Rose toward the end in the wedding scene? Remember that line in the poem "I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)"? Isn't it just precious? I think so. So simple yet, so everything. Sigh. Once, I used a variation of it for someone dear to me. My version was, "I carry you in my heart." I didn't quite remember the line, but  I figured that was close enough. It is a beautiful sentiment. (The rest of the poem is lovely, too. :-)

I imagine you have your own words that stir up whatever feelings/emotions that they do. I really hope that the good ones far outweigh the not-so-cool ones. After all, there are so many of them - in so many different languages! Here's to comfort - in your own words and in your own terms.


Monday, 8 October 2012

The Discomfort of a Certain Word and Term

There are a few words and terms that scare me.  (No. "Boo!" is not one of them :-)  And, perhaps "scare" is too strong.  I'd say they make me uncomfortable. I would like to think that I'm totally over them, as in, the use of them.  And, I would be right - for the most part. For the little part that's left, I'm okay when I hear them being used.  To use them myself?  Not so much.  So, I hardly do.

One of those words is "aspect".  Yep.  That's it. Aspect. Allow me to use it in a sentence. "He and I have been friends for many years and I know about every aspect of his life." Yeeeaaah.  Those were the words as they came out of her mouth as she told me about my then boyfriend. Don't know why, but, of all the words, "aspect" was the one that stood out. So, I stopped using it. I quickly found a substitute for every time I was about to use it in a sentence.  I found "area" did the job rather well.

Like I said, I don't...didn't cringe so much when I heard other people use it.  No control there.  But, my use of it was a no-no.  It just always brought me back, instantaneously, to that gloating, vitriolic voice telling me why her friendship with him was more important than mine.

Given that the hurt of that time has long passed and given my under-use of the word, nowadays, I'm good. On the rare occasion I hear it, I think, "It has surely lost its sting."

The term "soul mate" is up next. I used it once referring to a new interest as I shared the excitement of new love.  During the time together, I thought we had so much in common; that he could well be my soul mate. Turned out he wasn't. And, hot on the heels of our cleavage, one of those with whom I had shared the aforementioned excitement, used the same term to describe what they and their spouse had. Sure showed me.  Haven't used it since.

I used to think there was one soul mate for each person; someone with whom you have a heck of a lot in common and many things just clicked. Now, I'm not so sure. I mean, what about those folks whose soul  mate has died; they remarry; they live 30+ years together with this new love - undoubtedly in love?  Maybe they were/are just blessed that way - two mates for their soul. Or, maybe there is just one soul mate and the lasting love that comes after is "just" someone who loves them for them. Period. I'd like to think that that counts for something.  For those who marry for the 4th and 5th (and counting) time, without experiencing the death of the previous spouse, I dunno. Maybe by then it's a soul friend or a coffee mate or something.  I dunno. They have their reasons.  Whenever I hear a couple use the term "soul mate" nowadays, I think, "That's nice."  There's no sarcasm; they know why they use it and that's nice.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada.  Among many things, I thank God for my life; being alive and the ability to live life enjoyably.  I'm anal and persnickety and everyone who knows me knows that. And yet, they love me.  Little wonder that I am thankful for my family and close friends.  And, the fact that I can recognize and quickly choose not to embrace the small stressors in my life? That's nice, too.


Friday, 28 September 2012

"Virgin Territory" and "Company"

I finally figured out what I found so funny the other day as I read my old notebook (and folder leaves - remember those?) of poems. It was the kind of feather that knocks you over when you think, "Look at what I was intent on getting, when God had so much more in mind for me?!"  This is not the same as "What was I possibly thinking?" Because, I knew what I was thinking.  I was thinking that I was in love. And, I'm not about to make fun of my younger-in-love self. But, just looking at what I thought was "the best thing, ever!" even asking God whether He was sure He could "top this", I just laugh right out loud given my 20/20 hindsight.  Yeah, each of whom I thought was "The One", was, clearly, at best "The Two".

After the laughs, I smile.  I reflect just a tad on how things were and I'm either glad that it happened or glad that it is over.  Most of all, I'm glad I had put it into words.  Here now, from me at 20: "Virgin Territory" and at 21: "Company".

Virgin Territory

Recently, all my thoughts of you
Have flowed from tears.
Salty, burning, irritating water
That springs from a bleeding heart.

Why do you cause me so much pain?
I thought by now I'd have refrained
From wishing to be near you,
Desiring with every nerve and sinew
To be loved by you again.

Cause me joy.  Cause me laughter.
Cause me to be happy ever after
You tell me that you have to go.
I feel empty without you so

I'm going to wallow in this
My pity of self!
Weep and sob
Until the knob
Of the door is turned
Inviting me 
Into peaceful, virgin territory.

- Dnafcnatgada


My most beautiful moments
Have been with you
Under a black velvet sky - 
By the sea - 
You, my dreams and me.

With your laughter
You share the music of my heart
The rhythms of my soul,
All that I've longed for
To have and to hold...

On to your thoughts
That you share with me.
You touch. I feel.
There's more to meeting 

My most beautiful moments
Sharing our laughter, our thoughts
With the wind. By the sea.
You, my dreams and me.

 - Dnafcnatgada

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

"Sand in My Shorts"

The poetry continues.  Quite frankly, "It never ends!" (Over the Hedge)

I read The Haunting at the lit cafe on Sunday.  (As a "brawta" I did I Can Dream.)  As I read, I felt comfortable.  It was a delightful almost-seven minutes.  I'd like to do it again.  A small group had gathered at the Moonshine Cafe in Oakville. And, they kept their word :-)  Reading and listening to poetry inside that literary cafe drew the probability of my being a published poet that much closer.  It was...inspiring, y'know?  I know.  I use that word here a lot - for the same reason spelled out in the phrase that I also use here a lot: "Sometimes, you just need to be inspired."

The poem I'm about to share was written when I was 21.  Gonna be honest.  I was looking through this worn and torn book of poems, reading and re-reading and, I just found myself laughing out loud. For a few of them, I had to compose myself to continue. Of course I'm not laughing at the idea of my younger self in love. That couldn't be it...Nah!  I'll work on it.  I have a theory but, more anon.

Here now:

Sand in My Shorts

You took me from my dream
Into your reality.
Everything that I've ever hoped for
You handed to me
Under a star-spangled platter
Then, nothing else seemed to matter
But your sharing my fantasy
That dream which you had now

And, in your eyes
I saw you doubting
Whether or not my love was mounting.
And I closed my eyes
And loved you

Hoping for no hurting retorts
While I had sand
In the folds of my shorts.

- Dnafcnatgada

Saturday, 8 September 2012

"I Can Dream"

Later this month I'm scheduled to read my poem, The Haunting, at a literary cafe, somewhere in the universe.  While publicly reading my poem is not a new thing for me, publicly reading my poem, after a twenty-plus-year hiatus, is. I have been assured that they won't bite; that they will be welcoming.  I take them at their word.

In the spirit of the resurrection - the quickening, if you will - of this dimension of my life, I shall be sharing a few poems this month.  Today's piece, written by me at 17-yo, is entitled:  I Can Dream.  Signing it with my name that's "only for the poetry" and, again, I'll try to resist the urge of my 40-something self to edit.

I Can Dream

Maybe you won't hold me tight
As often as I want you to.
Maybe you won't kiss my lips
My face, my neck
As I long for you to do.
Maybe you won't tell me that you love me
As often as every day
But, I can dream about
These things, and more,
While you are away.

I can dream that we're on
A moonlit beach
Somewhere in the dark
Or, that we're taking lovely pictures
By the river, in the park.
Or, better yet, we're holding hands
Walking toward the sunset.
And, we're laughing at a joke of yours
Walking toward the sunset.

But, these dreams are no more
Than what they are, just fantasies
And sometimes help to ease the pain
Of not tasting the realities.
They're things you can hold on to
And make them last much longer
Than realities that come and go,
Making your longing stronger.

-- Dnafcnatgada

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Age of Creativity

This is the Age of Technology.  No argument there, right?  Like I said to my sis, @MizDurie, the other day, it's also the Age of Creativity.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has had this thought.  You know how "original" thoughts go.  Just haven't met the other millions of people the world over who've had it/ said it / written it.  When I say "The Age of Creativity", I am not speaking as if from my own microcosm, oblivious to the mind-blowing creations and inventions that mankind has been bursting at the seams with since fig leaves doubled as underwear and outerwear.  No, instead, I'm shifting our focus to the creative possibilities and realities that the Age of Technology has brought with it, given its built-in opportunities.

It used to be that the creators and inventors whose products and services and artsy creations made it to the world stage, were relatively few and far apart.  Every single solitary person is creative in some way; some in more than one way. But, that way, or those ways, for most people, did not get to see the light of day; did not make it to the world's platform where it could be showcased and enjoyed and laughed with - and laughed at!

The Age of Technology has made it possible for many who were, before, bereft of such opportunities, to "do their thing"; to show it off for an audience comprising more than their immediate family and close friends.  In short, they have tapped the built-in opportunities in technology and have come out expressing who they are in their own creative way.  This is the Age in which the common man, woman, boy, girl, cat, dog (you get my drift) shines!

Consider for a few seconds the millions of YouTube videos that scream "Look at me!" as the performers broadcast everything from singing to ice-sculpting; busking to painting; showing cat love to breakdown over sloths.  Are more creations/productions taking place now because there is an online outlet? I believe so.  Some writers have thumbed their noses at traditional publishing and have now gone the way of eBooks; blogs; vlogs - anything that can fulfill the need for an outlet through which their creative juices, having flowed, can be shared in a certain space.

Many of us know how tightly we hold our creative works to our chests.  It takes guts and gusto to "put it out there" under the critiquing eye of the public.  So, whenever I'm drawn to a new creative piece on show, I usually (usually) appreciate the courage it took the creator to get it there.  I believe, however, that just the very frequency and volume of creative works being published; uploaded; broadcast, reduces the apprehension of possible rejection by that much.  After all, with so many people are doing it, if mine wipes out, it will be forgotten in the next minute.

I also think that that same frequency and volume sear, even by that much, our expectation for something that we might regard as "a quality production".  True, this would be subjective.  But, I'm sure quite a number of us have experienced inundation of offline and online product pushing - everybody has something to sell; to say; to sing; to do; to drive; to watch; to wear.  We are constantly bombarded by consumerism and by the creative.  But then, once in a while, there is something that stands out, different from the rest, resonating with something inside us.  It is beyond our seared expectation and it makes us sit up and take notice.  That, I imagine, is what most creators are going for.

The thing is, some try way too hard.  And, not all cases end well.  So, courage mightn't be short, but, common sense might be. Just this week, we read of the newly wed woman and her "trash the dress" photography session; of the man dressed like Bigfoot, only to be mowed down in the middle of a highway.  No need for me to get into how brutal some commenters can be behind a screen and pseudonym - even in cases like these.  You've read them.   What we find "amazing" though, perhaps, not entirely surprising, is that there are those who will continue to do things for cheap thrills; for shock and awe; to stand out;  to try to get their fifteen minutes of fame, while not applying common sense.

Thanks to smartphones and other personal devices, photographers, videographers and iReporters abound.  App creators, for example, appeal to users, who in turn create for other consumers/onlookers and so on and so forth.  We are all creators and consumers at one and the same time.

Speaking of personal devices, I've been using my PlayBook to capture what I call "gems" in my comings and goings.  I look forward to showcasing other folks' works; events and scenes that speak for themselves as they wow the beholders.   For example, I was happy to record and showcase the performance of  Turbo Street Funk, a busking band out of Toronto, the other day.  Also, grabbed some pics from the 2012 Sand Sculpting Competition in Bronte, Ontario.  (Pics below.)

We can - and we do.  And, there's a place to show it off.  Somewhere.

Peter Vogelaar's creation

Siggi Buhler's creation

Guy-Olivier Deveau's creation

Tanya Kastl's creation

Scott Herel's creation

Sandi Stirling's creation


Saturday, 18 August 2012

Eagles Make Tough Decisions Too

Some of us have seen an eagle, in real life, at least once.  I had the pleasure of beholding the majestic soar of one of those magnificent birds quite recently. It was on a trip to Kenora, Ontario.  I took some time to do the scenic Lake of the Woods cruise on the M.S. Kenora at lunch time.  I had been snap-snapping away when,suddenly, someone brought to my attention an eagle in full flight.  In short order, it alighted at the top of a tree and then I lost sight of it as the boat passed by that island.  Funnily enough, I had not had a chance to grab a photo of it when I saw it.  However, as I reviewed my photos afterward, I was glad to see that I had unwittingly and inadvertently caught it in flight when I was busy snapping something else.

Stories about eagles, or references to eagles, have been a part of my life since I was a child.  One of my mom's favourite Bible passages is the last part of Isaiah 40.  The very last verse has an encouragement for those who wait on the Lord.  It says, "...they shall mount up with wings as eagles."  There is a picture of an eagle - wings in full span - at the top of the staircase in our family home. And, many of us have heard the adage, "You can't fly like an eagle if you hang with chickens!"  That, from the fact that you'll never see eagles travelling in flocks.  

Whenever I have significant life-changing moments...well, if we want to be technical, each moment is a "significant life-changing moment" as it brings its own choice to make. But, I don't want to be technical. :-) I'm talking about the big moments; the moments that you know herald a breakthrough or a major change in direction; the moments that say, "This is big!  Your life, as you've known it, has changed."  (What? Your significant moments don't talk?)  So, whenever I have those kinda moments I always think of myself as an eagle - soaring high.  Remember that card from a former co-worker I'd mentioned several posts ago? "She always knew she could fly...The question remained, how high."  Those sentiments fit right into my life.  My thoughts go as far as hoping that those who would try to cage this here eagle, would quickly understand that it is impossible to do so.  There is no point in resenting how high an eagle flies - flying higher than any other bird - because it's just what it does.  We have a Jamaican saying, "What is fi yuh, cyaan be un- fi yuh." It means, what is for you can't be for anyone else. I have experienced an abundance of God's blessings over the years - and my heart is ever thankful.  Yet, He still amazes me with the what and when, but, especially, the how.  Some I just never see coming!  He causes me to soar and He makes me strong.  And, I remain confident that He will remain faithful.   I need strength from Him.  After all, even eagles have tough decisions to make.

One of the less popular stories I've read about the eagle came by way of an email years ago:

The eagle has the longest life-span of its species - up to 70 years.  But, to reach this age, the eagle must make a hard decision - in its 40s.  The long and flexible talons can no longer grab and hold on to its prey; the long and sharp beak becomes bent.  Its old-aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, become stuck to its chest and make it difficult to fly.  The eagle is then left with only two options: die or go through a painful process of change which lasts 150 days.  The process requires that the eagle fly to a mountain top and sit on its nest.  There, the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks it out.  After plucking it out, the eagle will wait for a new beak to grow back and then it will pluck out its talons.  When new talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking its old-aged feathers.  After five months, the eagle takes its flight of rebirth and lives for about 30 more years.


There it is!  Right...there.

Zooming by on Lake of the Woods as we cruise on the M.S. Kenora


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

"Leap and Annette will appear!"

I've mentioned in this space, more than a few times, that I love Monk.  Yes, the television series that came to an end...was it last year?  I watch the DVDs all the time so, for me, it's still on.  Gonna have to Google it.  (Has anyone ever said, I'm gonna "Bing it"?  Anyone?)  The year when it last aired is all a blur - pretty much like the final scenes on the tele as I watched through tears.  Yep.  I cried when Monk ended.  Bawled.  Ok.  Cried and sobbed.  I was heart-broken that there would be no more new experiences to go through with him, his quirks, his persnicketiness and his sheer brilliance.  The creator (Andy Breckman) and writers were gooood.  Tony Shalhoub was impeccably stellar as he headed a great cast.  I was a tad miffed when Bitty Schram was replaced...wait.  Where am I going with this?  This is not even about Monk!  I really want to get to one line - ONE - from one of the episodes. One.  But, it's kinda like that when I start talking about Monk.  Ahhhhhh.

Anywaaaaay, in one of the episodes, "Mr. Monk, Private Eye", Monk's assistant, Natalie, forces him and opens up a Private Investigation office.  Monk is not amused. He doesn't think they will do well.  Natalie encourages him, telling him that her "Grandpa Neville used to say, "Leap, and a net will appear!""  Monk asks, "Who's Annette?"  Later on, she has reason to ask him whether he can swim.  He tells her, "I took a correspondence course.  They sent me a certificate."   Well, toward the end of the episode, as he tries to escape "the guy" by jumping overboard from a speeding boat, he consults the wallet-sized card with swimming tips, and repeats the mantra, before chucking off into the blue.

Leap and a net will appear. 

I realize that there is a little similarity in tone between this post and the ending of my previous post.  But, I really wanted to expound on this idea here.  The month of August - in by-gone years so unrecognized, so under-the-radar - has become a special one for me.  It marks the anniversary of the start of this blog.  I was inspired by my mom - I needed quite a bit of encouragement that year.  To a large extent, I was also inspired by Usain Bolt and his sizzling 9.69s run to win the Men's 100M in the Olympics in Beijing in 2008.  It was a shot-in-the-arm to poop or get off the pot.  For a while, I was scared to death about writing for public viewing/criticism.  But, the fear of NOT writing; the horror and suffocation I felt in not having an outlet to publish, beat the crap out of the fear of criticism or ridicule.  It was write or suffocate.  So, even though I had not yet - and, up to this point, still have not - published a book (one of my dreams), I took the leap and began publishing in cyberspace.  I set up a personal schedule of posting three times per month: the 8th, the 18th and the 28th.  I keep to it, even if it means hitting "publish" at 11:58PM, because, well, I simply must.  "Serious writers write, inspired or not.  Over time they discover that routine is a better friend to them than inspiration." (Keyes)

The net appeared.

Whaddya know?  I didn't die.  I didn't sink.  I didn't fail.  Instead, I was caught up in the bouyancy of sheer pleasure and delight; the kind brought on by making a creative adventure of that which you know is yours to do.

I'm big on being inspired (even if, for the writing, routine is regarded as a better friend).  For, inspiration is not just applicable to writing or other creative work.  It's applicable to life; how we live. And, I firmly believe that sometimes, you just need to be inspired to get up and do what is yours to do!  I'm occasionally reminded of a few lines from "8 Mile" starring Eminem (you heard me): "So here I go it's my shot/ Feet fail me not/ This may be the only opportunity that I got."  Then, "You better lose yourself in the music, the moment/ You own it, you better never let it go/ You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow/ This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo."   (No, I didn't "Bing it".)

The athletes are at it again in the XXX Olympiad in London.  This time around, Usain Bolt delivered a "scorching" 9.63s in the Men's 100M (as one paper reported it), setting a new OR.  Olympic Games newcomer, Yohan Blake, did Jamaica proud in 9.75s.  Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the Women's100M in 10.75s.  Asafa Powell - the man who started this round of Jamaica's track domination - and Veronica Campbell-Brown made their presence felt, too.  Indeed, most times, you only get one shot!

 Now, guess we just need to figure out the other part of the duo.  We've heard of "Annette".  But, as my sis asked the other day when I used the same encouragement on her, "Who is "Leap", again?"  LOL!


Saturday, 28 July 2012

"Can I get up now?"

Several months ago, my sister called to share a conversation she had just had with her daughter - my niece, then 3.5yo.  They had been going through one of the potty routines and, apparently, my niece was getting tired of just sitting there.  She said to her mother, "Mommy, I want to get up."  Her mother told her to wait a bit longer.  Not even a minute had passed before she repeated her request, "Mommy, I want to get up."  Her mother's response was the same.  My sister said, without missing a beat, my niece closed her eyes and said, "Lord? Can I get up now?" This was followed by a deeper-voiced "Yes. You can!"  Then, opening her eyes and back to her normal voice: "Mommy? The Lord said I can get up now!"  My sister promptly got her up, trying all the while to hide her chuckling.

There are some quips that make me smile, no matter what.  That is one of them.  Beyond the laughter, of course, it caused me to think.  Every so often I wish to by pass traditions and rules and conventions that are not in sync with my creativity.  Or, simply, not in sync with what I want.  Me. Me. Me.  I want this; I want that.  But, for one reason or another, it's too this; it's too that.  And,  I just wanna go, "Get out of my way.  I'll make up my own rules in order to get what I want, thank you very much!"

Irrespective of age, that's human, isn't it? Always that something inside seeking a way to get what we want.  So basic; so simple; so true.  It makes me wonder why we follow conventions and what not, so slavishly. In large part, I imagine, it's because we understand our role in maintaining a civilized society.  In small part, we probably don't want to rock the boat; upset the status quo.  Hmm.  I read a quote the other day that said stteo: If we keep doing the ordinary, we shouldn't expect the unusual.

Good for you for having the courage to leap from the known to the unknown; to follow your heart; to realize your dreams.  Good for us. :-)


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

"Go, Kiki! Go!"

My siblings, my niece, and I, had just got to the car in the underground parking garage. A couple of us went to one side of the car, and the others waited on the other side for the familiar “chirp! chirp!” disarming sound. Once I disarmed the alarm, I held my niece’s hand and led her to the back door. I opened the door for her and was about to lift her up and secure her in the car seat when she said, “No. I want to do it by myself!” She had recently celebrated…make that, we had recently celebrated her second birthday, and she was all Miss-Independent-up-in-here.

While my sis and I waited, she leaned her torso against the floor of the car, by the edge.  (What's that part called, anyway?  I could Google it, but, where's the fun in that?)  She placed her left elbow, then forearm, on the floor of the car as far in as she could reach, then paused for a second as if contemplating her next move. She then held on to the seat with her right hand and raised her right knee – her left leg was still sticking out –  as she tried with all her might to climb in.   My 2-yo niece then made a little grunt "mmh!" and followed that up with: “Go, Kiki! Go! Go, Kiki! Go!” This moment of self-motivation and inspiration came as such a surprise, it knocked us over! We got in quite a bit of laughter before we went to the poignant message within. Of course, she made it! She accomplished the feat, on her own, and, cheered herself on – to boot!

After we secured her in her car seat, we had to talk about the big lesson we had just witnessed from that little girl. And, every time I remember it, it motivates me – sometimes a lot, sometimes just enough.

I could wax on about how sometimes we need to cheer our own selves on; how at times it might feel as if there’s no one else in our corner and so we just need to chant our self-cheer out loud to hear it in our own voice; how a bit of self-cheer would likely motivate us to finish what we’ve started, especially when we allow ourselves to venture into “what’s the point?” territory.  I could, but, there’s no need, is there?

Now, don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it. And, I seriously doubt whether you’ll want to knock it after trying it. If you don’t already have one, give yourself a nice two-syllable affectionate name. (You could work in a three-syllable one if you fill in the half-beat. Yes, I’m serious.) Voilà!!! Next time you need a picker-upper, start your chant already:

“Go [your name]! Go! Go [your name]! Go!”


Sunday, 8 July 2012

Tasting the Cake

Shortly after my niece turned three, I happened to host my first family Christmas dinner.  My mom and BIL - and my niece (she helped pour the flour) - baked our famous (or not) Christmas cake.  (That's the Jamaican black cake that has specialities such as rum, candied fruits, raisins... Wicked!)

Not long after dinner, we were lounging around a bit. My niece, however, was not so inclined.  By then, she had already asked us a few times whether we would soon taste the cake. As a matter of fact, she'd started asking as soon as the tables had been cleared.

For the third or fourth time, we explained that we'd be having dessert soon. Finally, she took centre stage in the middle of the living room. She threw her hands in the air, stuck her neck out and said, "If we don't taste the cake, we won't be able to taste the cake!" - shaking her head a little on "taste". 

My niece's statement caused me to think about an observation I'd heard a professor/author make several years ago: "Philosophy may be found in children's literature." Presumably, much of that is inspired by, or taken directly from, the mouths of children themselves. Such a simple truth; such an uncomplicated way of seeing the thing. Yet, so profound.

I'm not about to explore the philosophical undertones of the statement.  Enjoy the a-ha! moment. What I would like to do, however , is draw your attention to another scenario.

My family has a way of extrapolating. We are the prototypes when it comes to  fleshing-out entire scenarios in under two minutes. On one of my trips to Jamaica a few years ago, we were on the way back home from a drive out to the country - Westmoreland. It was the first time that I was gonna behold the then new Sandals Whitehouse. My dad, who was driving,  pulled off to the side of the road and we contemplated whether we should go in. The ensuing stream of consciousness, involving all five or six of us, went stteo:  

Well, we don't have any special reason to go in except to look at the place and the security guard at the main entrance is going to ask us what business we have there and we're going to have to tell him that we're not guests, we just want to look at the property and he's going to tell us that we can't just enter the property like that and we're going to get into an argument with him and ask him about his God-complex and he's going to get upset and ask us to turn around and leave. So, it's better we don't even bother to go in.

And with that, we burst out laughing while my dad drove off for home! LOL!!! Every time I remember that episode it cracks me up. Now, for all we knew, the security at the entrance would have been super nice - possibly even get us an escort to show us locals the splendour of the place, in case we ever decided to spend some time there.  But, from the comfort of our vehicle, we decided on the taste of the cake.

Hey, here's to being able to really taste the cake by actually tasting the cake!


Thursday, 28 June 2012

Letter to My Husband

My dearest love,

You think you know, but you have no idea, how much I love you. 

Do you know that sometimes when I wake up before you do, I quietly prop up on my elbow and just watch you sleep?  I watch your chest heave in and out, listen to the gentle sawing of wood as you breathe, and simply thank God that you're alive; that you're in my life!  I've never told you this, but, for a while after we got married, one of my last prayers for the day was that this was not all a dream.  I had waited so long - a lifetime, really - for you.  And, I am so very glad I did.  Someone tweeted a quote by Billy Graham's wife, Ruth, some time ago: "God did not always answer my prayers.  If He had, I would have married the wrong man - several times!"  Suffice it to say, I could relate. I used to pray then pause then watch then wait - a cycle that continued for years.  And then I just stopped.  I was like, whatever!  Then, one day, out of the blue, He said yes.  He said yes, because you were the right man for me.  Not Mr. Right. Not Mr. Perfect but Mr. Right-For-Me. 

Alas, when it happened, I had not seen it coming!  How could I?  It was at a time when I was not looking. You kinda just... appeared.  My mom had always said that when the time comes, it would be effortless.  I fell, effortlessly, in love with you.  You made it so easy.  Funny how life is.  We'd met before, but, "weirdos and creeps are single because they're weird and creepy; normal people like us are victims of bad timing", goes the line from one of my fav movies.  I'd never really lingered on the idea that I might have met my "The One" before.  Yes, the thought did cross my mind occasionally - but never lingered.  After all, as my reflections showed, the male friends who'd stuck along the way were all "just good friends".

By the time I realized I was falling for you, I wanted to ask, "What took you so long?"  and, "Where have you been all my life?"  But, apparently, both of us had taken the long way; the broken road that led us into each other's arms.  (See what I did there with my country selections? :-))  It had been such a long way that, by then, I had pretty much given up the idea that this thing beautiful was gonna happen for me.   Speaking of Rascal Flatts' Broken Road:

I set out on a narrow way, many years ago
Hoping I would find true love, along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign, pointed straight to you.

Every long-lost dream, led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way, into your loving arms
This much I know is true,
That God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you.

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand, you've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true...

Little wonder that I wanted that song for our first dance - before we dove into Buju's Bonafide Love, before we plunged into Nickelback's Gotta Be Somebody!  So glad you obliged - even though I know you don't dig country :-)  But, that was just like you.  You were willing to learn what's important to me and, in no time, began to support me. Gotta admit, it was a tad strange, at first.  So accustomed I had become to doing everything for myself - including trying to rub my own back with Vicks VapoRub (the worst part of being single, by the way) - that it took me a lil while to realize that in my allowing you to help, I was demonstrating my trust.  It takes trust to love.  I felt rather vulnerable offering you my love; my heart, not being quite sure of whether, or how much, you'd care for it.  But, in no time, you showed me that there was no need to fear - not even a little bit.  How wonderful life is, since you entered my world.  There are many songs that are my life, but, you are one of the best songs of my heart.  I sing you every day.

They say you can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three situations: lost luggage; a rainy day and tangled Christmas tree lights.  Husband, you ace them all.  It's in you to be patient and kind and strong enough to be gentle.  I admire that.  I really admire that.  Oh!  Remember that Easter we spent in Jamaica?  You definitely passed the "cheese test"!  While my sisters and I waited and chuckled, I secretly hoped you would.  You were courting me at the time, and I'd like to think that it wasn't my brother-in-law that gave you the heads up :-)  But, you took it out of the tin - all the way to slicing off a thin piece to make me a bun-and-cheese sandwich.  How cool was that?  If I hadn't known by then, that alone would've told me that you were a keeper.  And, if not by then, you telling me, "I'll do laundry," had to be the clincher!

You are a good man, my love.  And, like the movie line, you make me want to be a kinder...better person; to emulate you in some ways.  Your kindness brings out the best in me; makes me want to do all I can for you- including cook several times a week!  And, look at you, teaching me how to make certain dishes.  Smh...:-)   I admire and respect you and care about you. Remember when we spent six hours and Fifty-four minutes on that first phone call catching up?  We were swapping stories about ex-es and, toward the end, you said stteo: "You don't need to try to impress anybody; you don't have to do anything extraordinary.  You are beautiful.  Just be you - and let him know that you're interested."  I thought, "Hope so, 'cause I can't be anyone else."  I didn't tell you then, but, I misted up a little when you said that.  I kept thinking, "He thinks I'm beau-ti-ful; he thinks I'm fine just as I am."  To be honest, it hadn't dawned on me then that you had...intentions.  After all, it was just a first convo; you were a good friend saying kind words.  But, we were inseparable after that.  You showed me you loved me and I showed you just how interested I was.  That big chune by Nickelback so rings true:

You can't give up, (when you're looking for)
A diamond in the rough, (because you never know) 
When it shows up, (make sure  you're holding on)
'Cause it could be the one
The one you're waiting on...

I'd always heard about couples who clicked; who just always seemed to be on the same wavelength; who got each other.   You get me.  Oh my goodness.  You have no idea how much that means to me.  Finally, not having to explain the me-niqueness of who I am. And, how precious that you've come to know that I would not hurt you; would not spite you; that, as Proverbs says, your heart can "safely trust in me" so you "shall have no need of spoil";  that I will "do you good and not evil all the days of my life."  And, in your patient way, you helped me to learn you, too.  True, occasionally, "teeth and tongue must meet" as the Jamaican saying goes.  We will, at times, drive each other up the wall.  We've had our spats - our first fight scared me, to be honest - but, we know that those moments don't mean we no longer like each other or are no longer in love with each other.  There's a country song that says stteo:  I love you, I'm just mad at you right now.  Yeah, it's kinda like that.  But, oh, the making-up.  Buju has a line in one of his songs: "But the making up part/Dat is the greatest/Discuss matters over a cup a tea/And kiss and caress."  I enjoy making-up.

I enjoy when we make love.  As in, enjoy.  We honour the divinity in each other when we do.   I had long ago promised myself that when God blesses me with a husband, I would make love to him in a way of wild abandon and worship.  God should look down from Heaven, elbow Jesus in His side, point with His chin and say, "That's my girl!"  You now know that I'm ladylike only in ...every other way. #thatisall.  Oh, by the way, when you kiss me, nothing else in the world matters - at all.

Honey, I wrote the kids. I've written to them telling them that we will both be welcoming them into our love.  I know you're looking forward to taking this next step into fatherhood.  I can tell by your grins; by the way you intercept me on my way to the kitchen, lift my blouse up a little and rest your ear against my tummy.  I can tell by the way you pull over sometimes when we're driving out, put the flashers on, then simply lean over and rest your ear against my tummy.  I don't know what they're telling you - how do you decipher the cacophony? - but, you always come back to me with that look of admiration mixed with anticipation.  In true Nemo's mom's voice, "We're gonna be parents!"  Let's not panic, okay? We'll do our best.  Like I told the children, with the help of God, our extended families and the village, we should be okay.

I love that you love the Lord and that you pray for me.  That gets its own paragraph.

I am proud of you, my love.  You work hard and you achieve your goals.  Yet, in wisdom - and sometimes, plain common sense - you know when to fold 'em and walk away.  The children will find in you a very good role model.  I am happy to support you in your endeavours.  (Well, except for the whole wanting-to-try-mountain-skiing thing.  Yeeeeeaah.  No.  But, I converted you to Monk.  So, sure, I'll think about it.)

My dear hubbidiboo (tell me you aren't knitting your brows at that!  LOL!) Anyway, my love, I was just gonna say I understand that life happens.  That sometimes, as Mary Schmich's essay (popularly known as Wear Sunscreen) says, there is the kind of thing that "blindsides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday."  I pray that the adversities that may come our way will help make us stronger; love each other thicker and live life fuller.  I pray that, amidst the best, the worst and everything in between, we will have each other and each other's touch; that we will grow old together.  And, that, if we don't depart this weary sod together, the one left here will be blessed with long, fond and comforting memories of the beautiful times we shared.

My dearest love, you think you know, but you have no idea, how much I love you.