Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I Wanna Be a Wrassler!

Debbie Wight and Lulu Keating: neighbours and friends in real life... arch enemies in the wrestling ring. (Amy Siegel)

We all have fears as human being. That fight or flight instinct is innate and in our life script, it can be a big challenge to find the balance between the two.

Growing up many of us weren't athletic, or perhaps we never felt comfortable within our own bodies, or maybe even hated them. We might of had a desire to overcome our fears head on, regardless of how fearful we felt, or might have longed for a strong sense of adventure, wanting to challenge ourselves when feeling like we're going to be overcome with fear, so we try to come out fighting. I know this was a big part of my life script.

Our bodies can be problematic for women, because we are either held up against a cultural and societal image of an unrealistic standard that can never be measured up to, or women all to often grow up to never feel good about themselves, just as they are subject to various kinds of neglect and abuse.

It took me a long time to finally learn that my body is what spiritually connects me to my mind and heart. It's what completes the circle, joining mind, body and spirit. I never knew this when I was young, or that, this is where my personal power lies. Reclaiming that power through the body has brought me happiness, health and peace of mind.

The Dawson City League of Lady Wrestlers are an admirable group of heroines that transform themselves and challenge the preconceived notions of what it means to be a woman and celebrate who they are, just as they are.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Time Is Right - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

" The time is always right to do what is right."                                                                                  - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Steve Shapiro's iconic photographs of Martin Luther Jr. remind me on this day, never to loose hope and to remember as Mavis Staples sings, to keep my eyes on the prize.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

I Find Grace - Moe Clark

 Grandmother and Grandfather John and Rosamond  Hahnen and Family.

 It might seem to some a simple thing to see a family photo, but photography can be a powerful tool to bridge a gap between generations that can psychologically and I think spiritually heal and restore broken family connections.

Seeing this wonderful family portrait today of my great grandparents and their whole family for the first time ever, fills me with great joy.

There was a time, not really so many years ago, that I couldn't ever imagine knowing what my father's family looked like as I'd spent 26 years separated from my dad at an early age for a myriad of reasons, many of these were emotionally complicated and painful. No one was to, blame it's just want happened.

My father rarely talked about his family, but I knew how much he loved his mother Katie(Catherine), my grandmother for whom I was named after. She died young, the year I was born in 1953. Seeing this photo of my grandmother's family deeply touched me. It fills me with joy and I certainly find Grace in this simple photograph. I feel a deep sense of belonging that is heals and empowers my sense of identity.

I have posted the song by multi-talented Metis artist Moe Clark, that describes how I feel.

I I Find Grace from Bis Films on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


As an alcoholic with  24 years of sobriety, Grace is the most beautiful word to me. More importantly, when I think about what it means to me, I personally think it's the greatest gift we can give to one another and especially to ourselves. Grace and gratitude I feel are directly related, as is mercy and forgiveness.
 I may not be so clear about the meaning of Grace, but I certainly know how it feels, to be forgiven and to forgive.

This morning in the wee hours, lying in my bed, I listened to this song this over the radio, by an artist I'd never heard. This beautiful song "Grace" was originally written and sang by the very gifted Rose Cousins.
Lizz Wright's interpretation is so soulful and I had to share it and I've included Rose Cousin's original recording of her song, along with the lyrics.

Grace - Rose Cousins

 It was not my bed to make
But it might have been my soul to take
And I paid dearly for my mistake
But it was not my bed to make

It was not in the way I moved
Or everything I tried to prove to you

I'm trying to be stronger
This wounded heart, it longs for grace
Mercy, take your time
Help me find my way to grace

I surrender, I lay down my arms
If I can do no good, I will do no harm
And truth, the eye of every storm
I lay down my arms

It was not in my words
Or in the ways they heard you

I'm trying to be stronger
This wounded heart, it longs for grace
Mercy, take your time
Help me find my way to grace


I'm trying to be stronger
This wounded heart, it longs for grace
Mercy, take your time
Help me find my way to grace

Give me patience
Give me grace
Tell me it's not too late for grace
Help me find my way
Today I pray for grace

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Fighting Hate With Friendship - Daryl Davis

've a wonderful childhood memory of spending many hours in my grandparents living room with my family, listening to old 78 rpm Boogie Woogie recordings of musicians like Fats Waller, and being played on big old antique gramophone. Looking back it was a great influence on my taste in music to this day.

Daryl Davis has one remarkable and almost unbelievable story surrounding the power of music, how it touched others and changed lives front hate to love.

This is the second broadcast I heard today on a great CBC Radio program, Out In The Open with guest Daryl Davis who told his story of how through his music and personal philosophy, fought hate with friendship.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Got the Blues? Time for Some Serious Hygge

Christmas can be and should be a beautiful time, but far to often it's a painful and difficult season for too many. If we can find joy, comfort, love and grace in the simply things it will help to beat the Christmas and post Christmas/New Years blues.

So in between Christmas and New Years is a great time to get your serious Hygge on people! It's been very seriously bone chillin' cold here in Nova Scotia, and across Canada.  It's been the very worst time to loose power or have the motor on your furnace to conk out, which mine did, but thank fully was fixed right away, and I do have a wood stove to keep me warm, thank God.

Every one in Nova Scotia now has had their power restored after four days without it. Power was lost Christmas Day when a big honkin' wind storm hit the South Shore. Fortunately our area in Cumberland County was spared.

I've been putting to good use what I got as Christmas gifts this year, a French Cafe hot chocolate maker, don't forget the marsh mellows! And a traditional English Brown Betty Teapot with a mesh strainer to put your loose tea in, (Dejeerling). Both oh so very Hygge!

When I crawl into bed tonight it will be under a big Queen sized thick flannel red blanket from Portugal that my friends so generously gifted me. Oh boy, coziness squared!

 Christmas Blessings to those who celebrate the old Christmas, and wishing you all much Hygge health in the New Year 2018, and don't forget to bring a little Hygge to someone's life, it might mean the world to them.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Success Doesn't Come Easy

"...success in life does not come easy. It is fraught with pitfalls, obstacles, failure, and mistakes. Success requires persistence, mental toughness and emotional toughness in overcoming these pitfalls. Its pursuit pushes you to the edge emotionally and physically. You must grow a thick skin and become accustomed to struggle if you hope to succeed.
"Individuals who struggle academically may be more accustomed to dealing with struggle and making it a daily habit to overcome pitfalls."

When I read this today, it struck me as being what I am reflecting on as the New year 2018 is fast approaching.  As I take inventory of this year past successes and ask myself what I can do in 2018 to add to these my successes.

The above quote I relate to so very much because I never ever was one of those described "A" students, and based on my own personal experiences I've gained some very valuable first hand knowledge about what success requires and have developed that mentioned thick skin and very accustomed to struggle over my 64 years.

When I attended school in my rather provincial little town, no one had to officially tell me to face that my academic life was lacking and wasn't up to snuff. It was imposed upon students who's classes into separate rankings, labeled the "A, B, and F" class. Needless to say I was in the F class.

Having had it up to my eyeballs with mainstream high school, and in desperation to escape this negative environment were an English teacher announced to her grade nine students she was to teach grammar and English Literature and that she emphatically expressed that she hated English Literature.

And so I did escape to what was then called Vocational School. I decided I was determined to get myself to art school one way our another because I knew this is what I loved.  I determined this was the only way for me to get myself there. In the late sixties, early 70s vocational school was commonly referred to as  "The School For Dummies. In other words those students who were not academically successful, and certainly not University bound.

Success sure is a very relative term and often described within the context and confines of how much money you make. This has never been my definition of the word and money was never the motivating factor in attending University and College for a number if years. I knew I was no dummy but was certainly not in the mainstream wanting to pursue art and creativity in a very non-creative educational system in desperate need of a paradigm shift that proactively enables creativity.

I simply have continued to  pursue what I've always been passionately interested and I have absolutely no regrets in doing so. I love learning and am a life long learner. This is how I mostly define success which should inspire and motivate.