Friday, February 25, 2011


© Nance Thacker '90
click on image to enlarge 

Oh boy, this cartoon has me tripping down memory lane. Life was so simple back then, sigh. 

The "shoulds" that invade my space (when I have a "day to devote to art") like flies around s**t, still remain the same as back then with the addition of a bazillion others that were not even possibilities in my life in 1990. Today, when I have time to myself, I'm more likely to see what my friends (I mean real, actual, friends) are doing on facebook, Tweet, write this blog, check out my e-mail for messages from clients (somehow work creeps in there) and friends, figure out what the heck to do with Linkedin (work), attempt putting together my website (more work), muck about with garage band in the effort to make a CD or MP3 (yup, more work but with an element of play). So, if I was to add all those to the 3rd box in the panel above and the character would be obliterated by "stuff" to do. And, that's just how it feels lately, like I'm buried in housework and technology...

Excuse me, my Skype phone is ringing, I KID YOU NOT!...

...I'm back.

Well, I mistakenly punched up my e-mail instead of the Skype thingy. I quickly got out of it, but not before the little squares of messages began appearing on the bottom right of my screen, along with their cheery jingles - which is really what I was trying to get away from in the first place. I should explain, I'm in a Starbuck's as I write this. Sometimes I just have to stop being the "thing that lives at the bottom of the stairs" and come out for air, a latte and the sound of other living, breathing sorry Maya and Flippy and talking bipeds.

By the time I got to the Skype, there was no one there and I'm not up enough with technology to find out who, if anyone, was trying to reach me or if the Skype itself was just calling to say, "Hi, I'm here, don't forget about me." Hey, I'm sure this happens. Why, just the other night our phone called 911 - I SWEAR THIS IS TRUE, JUST ASK THE COP WHO SHOWED UP AT OUR FRONT DOOR AT 10PM. Seems they get 3 - 4 calls a day from lines that have shorted out or something. Anyway, that's another story...

You see how insidious this stuff is!

It's not that I don't like technology, just the opposite, I've discovered my inner computer geek waiting to get out. The other day, "Mad Mike" the computer guy, was showing me all the amazing things one could do with garage band on a Mac and I sat there in awe recalling all the time, steps, people and external stuff I once required to do similar stuff in animation in the mid '80's. And now, it's all contained within a portable device the size of a laptop. WOW!!!

Writing (using the computer) has taken the place of drawing for the moment. I wonder if, when I decide to do more cartoons, I'll even be sitting at a drawing board at all, or will the computer be the medium I choose? At this time I can't imagine forgoing the feel of the pencil in my hands, the flow of the ink on the page and the spontaneous dialogue that arises, changing the rough draft into something previously unimagined, in the time it takes to produce one panel. It all unfolded, gracefully, slowly, organically. What will happen when the speed of the computer comes into the mix?

Time. Time is the factor here. Life has sped up for us all, only us Boomers are more aware of it than the younger generations.

It's mind boggling to realize that there are actual adults walking around who were raised: always being connected to others with their own personal cel phone, who think nothing of posting their own video on youtube, who expose their bodies for all to see on facebook, who consider facebook connections as "actual friends", who will never know the joys of Sunday as a day of rest - no kidding, nothing was open at all - NO SHOPPING FOR ONE WHOLE DAY EVERY WEEK, YEAR IN YEAR OUT!!!

The amount of tasks I can do in ONE day would have been impossible in '90 due to: the car I didn't have back then, my cel phone, my computer and all the skills that allow me to: arrange appointments, gather info for free at the click of a mouse, correspond with family and friends, Google maps, and on and on...

Things are speeding up and that includes the way the brain processes information. Want proof? Got a problem with your computer? Consult a 6th grader. The more you work with this stuff the easier it becomes and not through conscious rational thought; something else is clicks in.

The computer is changing the even the way the world operates - look at how info is being disseminated regarding what's going on in the middle east; look at the wave of change sweeping through that area and so the world.


What this all means for me personally is it's more important than ever to prioritize how I spend my time and discover what really recharges me. Which means that, sometimes, I just have to close up shop, turn the computer off, leave the cel phone at home gasp and walk away from it all.

BYE - gone fishin'

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Winter wearing thin

Click on image to enlarge
© Nance Thacker 1985
I have been loving this winter! I love that we've had snow that's lasted for weeks and weeks, that the days for the most part have been cold, crisp and sunny and... that we've had a "snow day" which is like the best excuse ever to drop everything you have to do and just kick back.

But, I've been getting the first sign that my enthusiasm is beginning to turn. No, I'm not getting tired of the cold or the snow. I'm getting weary of all the layers and layers of clothes that such a winter demands I wear especially today as I moved through 3 totally different venues: a business meeting, skating with a friend and doing a Shiatsu house-call. Inside, outside; inside, outside... layers on, layers off; layers on, layers off...further burdened with sessions of choosing and changing from business to sporty to therapeutic attire.

Then there's keeping track of all the gloves, socks and scarves. It's no wonder that Mom lined all 5 of her brood up, zipped us into our snow suits with hooded jackets, shoved our feet into winter boots and our little hands into mitts attached with strings and tossed us out one by one into the cold til the last was wrapped up and delivered. She shut the door and locked it behind us (I know, unheard of nowadays) until we'd gotten the prescribed dose of healthy fresh air (it was actually believed that being outdoors daily was good for children). Of course once the last child was turfed out the bladder of the first one was just about ready to burst. The sensation of full bladders would spread through the little troop like wild fire and all 5 of us would be pounding on the door and wailing dramatically to be let in.

Mom, from her vantage point at the other side of the closed door, using her "mom knows best" voice, would re-assure us that our little bodies had this amazing capacity to re-absorb the offending liquid, all we had to do was run around in the snow a bit and we'd see that it was true. And, for the most part, she was right.

Once the howling stopped and the older ones took charge, she'd retire to the most coveted place in the house, her sanctuary — the bathroom where she'd enjoy an uninterrupted flow of her own, sink into a hot, bath infused with baby oil and drift to a place where only mothers go on such an occasion; the most incredible dimension imaginable.

All this tripping down memory lane emphasizes the point I that I wanted to make which is — when I begin to yearn for the days when a tan is all that one needs to wear I know that the shine is beginning to wear from winter's appeal.

NOTE ON THE CARTOON: No, I didn't go to Hawaii in '85, but friends of mine did. I could only send Dealin' Dan the Tour Man there in my imagination.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Borne of Woman's Tears

I just read the blog CHASING THE GHOST by Dave Cleverly which begins here — as he's standing on Lion's Gate Bridge in Vancouver getting ready to jump.

In subsequent posts he talks about prayer and finding God. And it prompted memories of some dark times in my own past and this piece that I wrote in the winter of '84.

Her eyes were burning with tears she would not shed. She curled up on the couch, laid her head upon its armrest and closed her eyes. Her breath, limited to her upper chest, choked back the flood of emotion pressing from within.

Why did she feel this way?

She didn't want to know.

Proud of her strength, she believed that if she delved into the source of her turmoil she would be lost forever in her weakness so she willed herself not to succumb, but, her breath becoming shallower, more laboured in her chest, her throat, was delivering her into her pain.

Her shoulders became limp as all the energy drained out of her, dissolving her physical boundaries, expanding and wrapping around her as a larger, embracing form.

She heard/sensed these words, "You are tired. Rest with me."

She felt her tension being physically stroked away.

"It's all right. YOU will be all right. Let go. Let go."

She felt breathing in another's breast upon which her head rest, and with each breath these words repeating. "You are afraid. You have many fears. I will take care of them. Trust in me."

That timeless voice — low, soft, feminine, familiar — flowing through her from heart to heart, which could resist the truth no longer.

Tears welling as she released her fears, she heard, "You are loved. KNOW that you are loved." And, at that moment, in knowledge, tears flowed.

Resting in Mother God herself, she was swept away on those tears into a deep womb of sleep.


I am tempted to say that this is just a piece of writing, but it is not.

It was an experience.

My recording of the event doesn't come near to the immensity of what transpired back then, but it is as clear, as intense, as kinaesthetic and as immediate to me now as it was back then.  It consoled me, buoyed me up, gave me hope back then...

as it does now.

Some people consciously find their way to God and sometimes God needs to find those who are lost and don't even know that they are seeking him/her at all.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter in all its glory!

Cute little bunny trail in our back yard.
On the Bruce trail someone left carrots
perhaps for cute little bunnies or deer?
Flippy decides she's done with winter and wants nothing to do with it.
She holes up in my clothes closet amongst all of my
dark sweaters, of course
How my Big Beautiful Girl was able to get up in there
I'll never know.
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Ho'oponopono Day all!

I've been tweeting at AwakeningChoice almost daily since Nov 27th.

And, I've declared today as Ho'oponopono Day - how wonderful the world would be if everybody could spend a day in the spirit of Ho'oponopono.

Here's how I came up with this thought.

My tweets are mostly my thoughts inspired by my response to events of the day, synchronicity, meditation, inquiry, realizations, dreams, etc. But I do re-tweet or quote from other inspiring sources when I find something that speaks to me.

For the past few days I have been mulling over relationships, more specifically what I've contributed, for better or for worse to relationship. I'd like to think that I'm a good friend - loyal, there for my buds, someone who provides a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. I'm a confidant, a cheering section, a wall to bounce ideas off of; I am a great listener. I can kid you into a better mood or console you when you're suffering. I've been called the "human valium" (No, it's not because I'm boring; but because, when it is needed, I have a strangely calming effect on others. Yah, I know, me! Weird isn't it!) Paradoxically, like a big goofy chocolate lab, I'm your, always up for and ready to try anything, mate. That is all good.

However, I have been and can be, judgmental, petty, jealous, envious and fearful. I've been a whiner. In fact my inner whiner sits at the door to my mouth ready to get out of the starting gate at the slightest provocation; my low tolerance for frustration being its prime trigger. Happy with my own company, I can be lost in my own thoughts (positive or negative) and therefore out of communication, for days, which doesn't make me the ideal partner. I could go on... but that would be ego-fuelled indulgence and serve no good purpose.

Humans naturally feel remorse for the negative unspoken thoughts that we harbour and for our thoughtless, or intentionally hurtful, knee-herk reactions to the insensitive, cruel or thoughtless deeds of others. Remorse gives us pause, allows us to acknowledge our transgressions and set the course right within ourselves. We are meant to feel remorse and move on. It's not meant to be a place of residence. When one is stuck in remorse it evolves into indulgent, self-pity which sucks the energy out of our best intentions to make it right, learn from our mistakes, forgive and move on as a more evolved being.

I first became aware of this fact during a workshop with Swami Radha. I observed her as she was listening to the "story" of a participant. The moment the woman's remorseful attitude made the shift into self-pity, Swami Radha did an abrupt 360 and shifted the whole scene to the hard facts and a new line of inquiry. This was done so quickly that the student didn't know what had hit her, just that all of a sudden there was awareness, blame had vanished and forgiveness transpired.  UN-FRIK'N BELIEVABLE! Swami Radha embodied: razor-sharp discrimination to cut through all the "stuff", infinite compassion and a fierce, tough, uncompromising love.

Bottom line is that love, compassion and forgiveness are transformative vehicles which will transport one out of indulgent self-pity, amongst other undesired states of mind.

The question is how can I access this when there is no Swami Radha to guide me (Swami Radha left this realm on Nov 30, 1995)?

One lovely way is the use of this Ho'oponopono prayer as a meditation or mantra. One translation for Ho'oponopono is to make right.

Forgive me,
If I have hurt you
in any way, shape or form,
in thought, word or deed,
in any time, any place,
past, present or future,
Forgive me.

And I forgive you
For hurting me
in any way, shape or form,
in thought word or deed,
in any time, any place,
past, present or future,
I forgive you.

I forgive myself,
And may the great Mystery
Forgive us both.

AMAMA, U A NOA – the prayer is freed.

© Rieckmann/Sakuma 1999.

Click here for more about Ho'oponopono.

Have a fabulous, great, good or merely stupid day; but not a bad one :)