a life’s work

with my mind i wander
if, i wonder, will you
wander with         me
as two clouds merge
in beautiful asymmetry-
at times we will fall
away from our atom's fear
and touch the temples of separate ways
streaming distances for days:

an eternity an uncertainty
it may seem,
that when we are apart
(as together)
brown and blue make
green.

as violet and red are two
ends of a brightness
we are from one source,
and that is the oranges
of love - orange is
of course


but in the trees
of   forestmeadowskies
always will my flowers bloom
to the blueness of your eyes.
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beauty is

Yesterday there was a beautiful storm. Instead of the dull and usual Vancouver rain, this storm was a dynamic swirling energy. Unlike a smooth, linear progression it traveled like an intense ballet: with delicate control and gentle movement interspersed with cracking thunder and clouds crashing like waves.

There is something to be said about a storm. A beautiful day of sun can give me the biggest grin but a beautiful storm captures my attention like a tug on a rope, pulling me in to see eye to eye — and then to let me back slowly, inch by inch. I imagine that’s what it’s like to be inside of a hurricane. To experience something much larger than you engulf you yet be in its calm.

It must be called the eye of the storm because once inside it, you see the beauty and glory of the storm.

in the mood for a new perspective

It seems that everybody wants an invention: a flying car, a jetpack, a virtual reality. What happened to creation? Or is this an extension of creation? I’m not satisfied.

If flying cars really existed they would not give us the freedom to go wherever we please but limit it. Traffic on the ground is already difficult to manage going horizontally and given a vertical axis would require more regulation than less. Instead of sharing 6 lanes across, you’d share scores of cars all around you.

If jetpacks existed (no doubt that would be really cool) being smaller than cars would probably be just as limited. A jetpack would require very delicate controls to avoid hitting something. Plus, it gets really cold up in the atmosphere.

I guess my contention is not with technology, but with imagination — that we imagine the future based as an extension of technology, and evolution as something always beneficial.

I crave real imagination. I want to hear the ideas of people that think we will walk on clouds or grow tails. I want to listen to wild fantasies of magic potions and hatter’s gone mad.

I want to spend the day in Kindergarten. That’s living in the future.

How to Make Delicious Pea Shoots

I am not an expert chef but I enjoy cooking when I get the chance. Today I made pea shoots. Yum. Pea shoots are basically sprouts of a pea plant that look like tiny water lilies. They can are sold at all grocery stores (that I know of) and are usually found by the alfalfa sprouts. They are slightly sweet and slightly bitter, tasting somewhat like a pea with the texture of a vegetable. What I like best about them is that they cook fast and taste awesome; I munch on them raw while I cook. Plus, they’re green and great for your health. Here’s a quick recipe for how to make them in an Asian style:

What you’ll need to prepare this:

Pea shoots, cooking oil, chili paste (or chili oil), soy sauce, maybe salt, and pepper to season.

Frying pan, chopsticks or spatula (bamboo spatulas work great).

What you might want to add:

Meat (leftover beef or steak for example), scallops (great with pea shoots), garlic and ginger (depending on how much time you have), tofu/tofurkey, sesame seeds (to sprinkle on at the end).

How to prepare the pea shoots:

1. Get a frying pan. I like to use a frying pan that looks like a mini-wok (a wok is a bowl-shaped frying pan that is popular in cooking Asian dishes, something good for stir-frying). Add a spot of oil that’s enough to spread around the pan. Heat the pan to a Medium to Medium-Low setting.

2. As the pan heats, put a spot of chili paste/oil into the cooking oil. Tilt and coat the cooking surface of the frying pan. If you have garlic and ginger this is the step to put it in.

3. Once heated, add optional ingredients. Cook the meat until its half-way done.

4. Add pea shoots. Turn down heat to low; they wilt quickly.

5. Add soy sauce. The soy sauce will reduce so the darker your soy sauce, the less you’ll need. I recommend light soy sauce if you have it as it blends well with sesame oil.

6. Season with salt & pepper. (You may not even need salt, but the pepper is a nice touch).

7. EAT! Serve with or on rice, quinoa, or even eat as its own dish.

Tips:

Pea shoots cook very fast. Make sure to tend them carefully. Since they taste great on their own, you won’t need to add too much soy sauce or chili paste to get a lot of flavour. Be sure to toss the sprouts with your chopsticks or by flipping the pan.

Also, keep in mind what kind of meat you put in. If you are putting in leftover roast beef it will have some fat and you may not need much oil.

Asian-style pea shoots are a great way to impress a dinner date. There’ll hardly be any dishes to do afterwards, too. Get cooking and enjoy.

the first six weeks

Making a difference has nothing to do with your volition. You make a difference. If you don’t believe me, walk down the street and see if people move around you or not. You count. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Currently in my Print Futures writing class we are workshopping pieces for the Facts & Arguments section of the Globe & Mail newspaper. Basically the section is open for submissions from anybody (supposedly Canadian, that is).

Because I am not a full-time student in the Print Futures program, I’ve stepped into this class not knowing anything about anyone. However, once we started the Facts & Arguments section, this has quickly changed.

The Globe & Mail’s F&A section asks for a personal narrative or creative non-fiction. This means that they look for pieces that are about a real event, but wrapped in a bigger picture theme. The best part about this genre is that its directly influenced by the creativity of those who submit – which is limitless because everybody has a story to tell in their own words.

Now back to the class, this has been so enriching. I read the most beautiful story from my classmate Linda. It was titled The First Six Weeks. She is a relatively recent mother of a baby son, and wrote about the first six weeks of his life — which seemed like the same dreaded night on repeat.

What was so revealing about her piece was how I could relate to it. Even though we are very different people, I found myself empathizing with her completely. I couldn’t help but smile and laugh when I read it. There is a beautiful innocence to the mixture of feelings that go with birth and life that Linda captured. It’s like when you’re crying at elementary school and the teacher asks if “x and y happened” and they hit you right in the heart and release all your tears. That’s basically how touched I was.

I’m sorry to tease you, but I do not have a copy to share with you at this moment. I very much wish her to submit it (as I wrote about when I commented on it in workshop) and I want very much to read it again!

Truly it is powerful to be so changed by a piece, and to have the opportunity to communicate that to the person who wrote it. Giving thanks is such a wondrous thing to do. We learn from each other and teach more than we know.

Away From Her

I just watched the most moving, beautiful film today. Have you seen it? It’s called Away From Her. I was so touched. I cried. Away From Her is about a man who reluctantly checks his wife into a nursing home after she’s diagnosed with Alzheimer’s — but it’s about so much more than that. It’s about loss, failure, memory, love…and does one ever really learn all there is to learn about love? It’s based off of an Alice Munro short story and set in Northern Ontario where Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsett grace the set, playing the main characters. Sometimes in a movie there is a star that shines, but the picture as a whole shone. Sometimes a still photograph carries so much movement and energy, but there are shots in the movie that feel so still. By itself, a single candle burns brighter than all the stars in the sky. If you get the chance when you’re in the mood, I suggest you give it two hours of your time. You might change forever.