Rooms
March 8, 2016

  
Not doors

Of perception

But rectangular 

With limited 

Amenities

At least 

Four walls

And a couple

Doors,

Closet

Or washroom

Definitely 

Ceilings

And windows 

Basement, main floor

Condo, apartment,

Loft, 

All the same.

Secluded

Yet

Contained within

A greater

Whole

In my childhood

Throughout

Til

Now

I have lived.

Last year and

Some

I have lived

In a room

Currently 

Shared 

Small space

To inhabit 

And grow

Depending on mood

A coffin

Or castle

Right now

Almost feel 

Like an infirmary 

Hospital

Still a place 

To heal

And observe

The changes within

Touched by the 

Grace of the Divine

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The 7 Year Itch  part5 – Joy of a Child
February 24, 2016


Joy of a Child

I don’t know how old Mustang is.   He was a stray with no chip.  I still call him puppy, even to this day, when he’s at least ten based on what animal services surmised.  He is still puppy-like, from his playfulness to the gleam in his eye when he gets a treat or when you observe him chomping on a stick.  His ‘puppiness’ is this joy that emanates from him and it’s like the gleeful shriek of a child as if it’s experienced the thrill of speed wobbling for the first time as they race towards you down a hallway.

This joy, to me, is the joy of a child. It’s precious.  Nurture it.  Experiencing the simplicity of life in its most natural state.  Even if he’s chased a ball a thousand times, it’s like the first.   And he does it wholeheartedly.

I won’t lie.  It’s hard to try and emulate him.  Overcoming the conditioning of my mind, the perceptual habits and attempting to be and see things uncoloured is an incredible act. A  living meditation but when that joy pulsates through your being, not even in a high energy sense, it’s pretty cool.   Play seems to be a prerequisite to tapping this joy of being in the moment, creative endeavours and learning new things as well.

The schooling this dog has given me, all without any verbal communication, blow my mind.

Photo credits in this series

  • Me and my iPhone
  • T. Valiquette

The 7 Year Itch   part4 – Innocence
February 22, 2016


Innocence

Perhaps I could use the term purity but it doesn’t quite fill the bill. Perhaps it’s a combination of both. What I’m trying to say is that there is this energy about the dog that finally reflected back at me with glaring clarity. It happened on an evening walk when my patience was thin and I was having a hard time dealing with his frenetic energy of course. He wants to sniff. A lot. Sometimes a bit too aggressively as he will yank my arm out of it’s socket to achieve his goal. Dog’s act a certain way. Mustang always will, no matter how much conditioning I attempt. It’s not that he’s making a mistake, or doing things on purpose, whatever he is doing is in his blood. When I react, and not usually in a positive fashion, he’ll look at me like, “What dad? What did I do ( insert wrong as the projected human perception of his action)? There is genuine innocence in his eyes. He’s clueless. Just because his behaviour is not in accordance with my expectation or desire, does not imply it’s wrong. Nor is it necessary to get mad or irritated.

This energy of innocence resonated with me. Perhaps it was how shit I feel for raising my voice at him or how I get angry so many times that finally pierced through my own wall. It brought to mind times as a child being scolded, yelled at or whatever the negative drama was, and my reaction of bewilderment, confusion or fear. Even if I hadn’t done anything wrong but was not acceptable by higher authority (parents, teachers, etc) the energetic impact took a toll. It wasn’t the erosion of my innocence, it was the encasing of it in a protective wall that took decades to finally begin to resurface.

His innocence reflected mine and I needed to get reacquainted with it. This understanding has not stopped. It has actually grown into a much larger concept that now allows me to feel a greater level of compassion, empathy and get a better grasp on the concept of forgiveness.

Thank you yet again Mr. Tang

The 7 Year Itch   part3 – Meeting Needs
February 22, 2016


MEETING NEEDS

There are times when I take Mustang for a walk that the walk is really for me, he becomes an accessory or obligation. I know that sounds harsh and it does make me tinge with pain for being selfish or not so cognizant of his needs.

When I have emotional issues or stress and my needs are not met or I’m having trouble finding a way to meet my needs, it is really hard to connect with meeting the needs of my dog.  And he has them.  Sniff a billion things, pee on a million and perhaps take a number 2, as well as chase after a ball or prance around with a big ass stick.  More importantly there is a subtle sense of freedom and adventure for him to be outside when most of his day is spent indoors.   I forget this when I’m too self-absorbed and he gets the short end of the stick.

It’s hard to meet the needs of others when you are having a hard time meeting your own. Not looking for a solution in or with my partner, especially if it’s something they can’t help with, communicating my lack of fulfillment to them is invaluable though.  I’ve learnt to recognize my awareness and articulate it.  Seeking God seems like a cop out in terms of handing off responsibility but it does bring peace sometimes.  Thinking of others, like my dog, and recognizing and being grateful for little things helps too.   Walking Mustang, day in day out for seven years has taught me this, I may be a slow learner in some regards but I’m glad for what he has shown me.

The final two posts in the 7 Year Itch anniversary lessons will be:

  • Innocence
  • Joy of a child

The 7 Year Itch part 1 – Gentle
February 18, 2016


This 7 year itch is opposite in meaning to the term coined from a play in the mid-20th century.  The above picture is what we call the ‘happy scratch’.   An itch that provokes Mustang to twist side to side, grunt and snort and pump his legs like he’s riding a bicycle.  It’s a daily ritual. It evokes so much joy and is part of a bond that has only gotten stronger year after year.

I got him as a rescue and it’s our seven year anniversaries.  He hasn’t changed in 7 years. I have. Lucky me.   I’ve tried to describe the impact this dog has had on my life in poems and other posts. It’s beauty that is indescribable and I feel so much in my heart.  In the last year I have learnt much about myself in reflection to his way of being that has helped heal and liberate me more ( liberate to me, means to feel more and not be chained by pre-conditioned behaviour processes, no matter how effective they were as a coping mechanism in the past, that no longer serve me).   What follows in this post and the next couple are a few of the lessons gained that have allowed for a greater knowing of how to ‘self-love‘ among other things.


GENTLE

Imagine having an open wound, doesn’t even have to be fresh. Next, picture hitting it with a hard object.  Yep, it’s going to hurt.  The intensity of pain may vary.  Vulnerability, awakening to the soft underbelly of your being in the beginning, is akin to being covered in open sores, all demanding attention and care.  Some of these sores are past traumatic events, others are resentments and some are just emotions.  These emotions could be in their purist form, as if it’s the first time you’ve experienced them.  Imagine as a child, experiencing strong emotions and not having the slightest idea as to how to cope with them. What if these memories are stored energetically in your being and then at some point in your life, circumstance provides the opportunity to revisit and release, to get to know, feel and be with them?   How best to deal with them now?

Have you ever seen how some people respond to loud, aggressive shouting, even if it’s not directed at them?  They shut down. Protect themselves. Others may shout back, louder.   Rare is the incident where someone responds calmly. If they do, you want to speak to this person, because they may have mastered their emotions and may have a tip or two to share.  I digress.   To make a long story short, there are parts of us, emotions, wounds; whether it’s the first time dealing with them or a repetition, that require us to be gentle with them.  Gentle with ourselves ( the how-to-be gentle with ourselves will be covered later).   Quite simply because all alternatives do not work. We cannot force some things.  I was and still have a tendency at a much lessor frequency, to be thick skulled.  Then a subtle, soft, tender, furry reminder to be gentle appears either wagging his tail or just looking at me and it’s the energy of how he looks that says it all.

Yep a dog taught me this.   More to come on this itch that is being scratched, gently.

Is it possible to be too vulnerable
February 11, 2016

  
The benefits of being in touch with your authentic self are all the rage. And that’s the problem. Rage. Short, unexpected outbursts . Nothing violent but an emotion so raw it catches me by surprise. Where did this come from? Is this really me ? After the work I’ve done to clean house it’s like I’ve done nothing and fly off the handle at petty, repetitive stuff that is not going to go away ( stupid inconsiderate drivers; change my dog’s continual refusal to listen to me on first command and his lolly gagging, take the long, distracted by fifty scents , route back to me when he eventually does respond ). 

Too vulnerable. Unable to absorb. Need protection , nurturing. Spread myself too thin. Trying to get in touch with my heart. Trust God yet I can’t quite feel this energy or I’m really good at blocking it out subconsciously even though I ask for its help and presence.  

Sometimes nurturing involves preservation. Although I’m healing (becoming whole) and learning new things, I have to remember that the process has left me exposed, like an open wound, and I require a gentle approach to dealing with myself. One of sensitive awareness that recognizes what the moment is asking for.

Reflection
February 3, 2016

  
This morning I was reminded of something that I had wanted to write about so here it is. We were blessed with a glorious view of the full moon a week ago and on a cloud free evening walking my pup I was reminded of a saying. We were walking through a park, snow covered the ground in this vast open space all around us as we breathed in crisp winter air. In the distance you could see smoke rising from a chimney floating upwards, as if reaching out to embrace the full moon.  
Looking at the ground in front of me all I could see was a dazzling display of glitter. Some sparkles brighter than others, only for a moment because with each step the moonlight was reflected off the snowflakes differently. Incredibly beautiful. It was similar to seeing the brilliance of the sun reflected on the surface of water, all the ripples shining together in a universal choreography. 

Paraphrasing the quote from a fading memory, essentially we all have the same light within. Some of the biggest and possibly hardest lessons, for myself in recent times, are compassion, non-judgment, seek to understand perhaps more so know what sympathy and empathy are. This is not only in regards to and for others, but more importantly, I find for myself. Anything I cannot do or be for myself is hard to share with others.   

Communing with nature always brings peace to my soul even if I can’t grasp the small or large picture. So in this moment nature is the classroom that reminds me of my roots and I am grateful.