Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Yoga with cats

Kitties add to the ambiance of any room.
Christmas is just winding down, as is my digestive system, from yesterday's fabulous feasts. We enjoyed our fill at friends' traditional Christmas brunch (he makes the best eggs bene) and got caught up with their family and friends. After a brief pit/chill stop at home we headed down the road, through a cloud of sleet, for Christmas dinner at my brother and sister-in-law's where we dove in to more delicious, traditional fare. Tales were told, laughs and hopes for the year to come were shared as we lounged on couches fending off post-turkey, post carb, l-tryptophan induced sleep.
So, today we rest and we do yoga...
Maya and Flippy enjoy their Christmas gifts.
"Krinkly" paper is their favourite thing to dive into
before settling down to yoga practice!!

They take their positions for yoga.
Maya moves over to the "princess pillow" to take command.

Every time I go into upward dog this is what I see; they help me concentrate
and have concluded that ujjayi breath is how humans purr.

Then we end with savasana.
Maya shows perfect form

And Flip's elevated it to a fine art!
This is my favourite way to start boxing day, or any day for that matter. As my yoga buddies watch over me I wish for you that your "angels" watch over you for the rest of this holiday season.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

If you build it...

My mind drifts back to the amazing summer of 2012 and these images keep entering...

They imagined themselves shipwrecked, saw their place in the bigger picture of things and added signs pointing the way on a cold, windy day.

Somebody really had a lot of time on their hands!

Structure on Comber's Beach, west coast Vancouver Island

A less isolated beach inspired this more modern looking creation...

Structure on Sidney Spit

When I see these pics I can feel the warmth of the sun
beating on my skin, :-)

Then there are structures for dreamers to dream in...

The yurt at Mosswood Hollow where we dreamed.


Inside a warm fire welcomed us every morning.

At the end of Robert's Dream Teacher Training I at Mosswood we created projects inspired by our dream studies together. A lovely fairy presence sang to herself as she danced about amongst the bushes, trees and flowers. What is she doing? I asked myself.

This is what she was doing...

I missed it when I passed by the morning
of our presentations.


She created a perfectly inviting home for garden devas and fairies!

And then there are the homey spaces nature provides...

Look real close and you'll see the entrance to the right,
shielded by leaves.


I don't know who calls this home. I didn't dare peek in too closely.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

DANCES WITH SYNCHRONICITY

Yesterday Rod and I, movie buffs that we are, saw MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN and THE LIFE OF PI at the Varsity Cinema in downtown Toronto. This theatre always has the best movies and with coffee shops, a Chapter's and a great little Italian restaurant surrounding the 3 flight escalator leading up to the Varsity it's a fun location to hang out while you're waiting for the show to start.

We had an hour to kill before the first show, so we sauntered over to the book store (I could spend a whole day in book stores) where I found a display of cook books. I'm not a bad cook myself - siege cooking is my specialty - making something out of whatever you find in your pantry. But, preferring to be elsewhere and doing anything but cook, most of the time, the kitchen is my swearing zone. I work at super human speed just to get the food and myself outta there. This behaviour, I believe, is a conditioned response from years of working in restaurants.

DEARIE - The remarkable life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz, with a youthful Julia on the book's cover smiling at something off in the distance, captured my attention. I loved watching her when I was a kid - that voice, that sense of humour, that great enthusiasm and of course the wall with the pots and pans outlines amused me no end. So there I stood for the hour browsing through its pages.

As I scanned the book, pausing here and there to read full sections, my memories of the original Julia Child mixed with amazing re-enactments of TV show episodes (that I'd enjoyed watching for real) performed by the brilliant Meryl Streep as Julia in the movie JULIE AND JULIA.

God I'd like to see that movie again, I said to myself. I'll have to rent the video.

My thumb lit on commentary about Dan Aykroyd's impersonation/parody of Julia preparing a chicken dish on a daytime T.V. interview show. She had cut her thumb in the process but continued on with her thumb wrapped in a towel. In Aykroyd's version she succumbs to her wound yelling "save the liver" as she collapses over the chicken. Child apparently loved this.

A here's a lovely synchronicity, Aykroyd has a connection with Julia. His aunt was considered the Julia Child of Canada. Here's the story about that and the birth of that handy kitchen gadget the Bassomatic...



Upon my return tonight from the monthly, full moon fire ceremony, which I found particularly powerful and magical, I performed my usual kitchen frenzy dance as I prepared myself squash soup combining left over squash and yam with freshly sautéed mushrooms, onions, garlic and turmeric. It was a siege cooking success. Since I'm no Julia Child, Rod enjoyed a nuked Shepherd's pie that I'd purchased from Longo's this afternoon.

We dined watching TV and as Rod flipped between channels there was Amy Adams, as Julie, blogging on her computer about her efforts to cook one of Julia's dishes; a scene from JULIE AND JULIA. A major hit for synchronicity! The movie includes Aykroyd's "save the liver" skit which was a lovely bonus.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find the "save the liver" skit but, since there was also reference to Aykroyd's classic "bassomatic" skit, in both the book and the interview above, I'll include it for your enjoyment...




Saturday, November 17, 2012

On the Street - SUITCASE DIARIES

My friends on Vancouver Island, make me feel welcome and at home. I housesat for many of them during the '80's when I was struggling to develop my cartoon strip, and have had the opportunity to stay with them on visits to the island since that time. Their presence gives me a sense of belonging. This past Sept, we shared tales of adventure, laughs, our deepest thoughts, hopes and dreams over dinner, on hikes and while lingering on living room couches before heading off to our respective bedrooms.

I am one of the lucky ones! As I was reminded last Thurs night, others are not so blessed.

It was the night of the Sleep Out a fund raising event in which CEO's and notable business leaders slept in sleeping bags on pieces of cardboard on a paved parking lot outside of Covenant House (the host of the event) in Toronto to raise awareness of the plight of the city's homeless youths (3,000 was one estimate).
*        *        *
I love this vantage point!
Frank Sinatra's voice sets the tone, "That old black magic's has me in its spell...". It's 3:15p.m. Only coffee and dessert are served that's exactly what I, and a smattering of other patrons, desire. Staff casually go about the business of preparing for the dinnertime rush as cheerful banter flows between them.

A waiter serves me in an equally casual, familiar manner saying, as he places my order before me, "You will enjoy this Americano, it's the best in town and I made it special for you." I feel like I've dropped into someone's home.

I sit appreciating the moment, gratitude overflowing, with a big grin on my face, in my familiar corner table at my old haunt, PAGLIACCI's. The aroma of black coffee wafts its way to my nostrils, soothes my soul and, along with the massive piece of chocolate cheesecake, renders me spellbound...
MMM, the best cheesecake ever and sooo rich!

I swore I would finish my treat but a vast serving remains.

As the waiter offers me a refill on my coffee he asks, "Can I package that up for you?"

"No, I can't take it home. I'm staying in a kosher house-hold and can't bring it into the house. I really hate to throw it out though."

"Take it to Doug and View. You'll find someone who'll appreciate it. There's a guy with a scruffy beard that hangs out there. I give him extra stuff left over from my shift all the time. He's a good guy, just down on his luck and, if he's not there, there are lots of others. If you don't find anyone just leave the container on top of the garbage bin, someone will take it."
  
At the bus stop at Douglas and View St, looking for scruffy-bearded guy, to give the remainder of my chocolate cheesecake to, a spare-toothed man sitting on a bench catches my eye. His clothes are grubby, his hair dishevelled and a battered guitar case leans against him. 
We nod at each other as if we were old friends. He waives me over and asks with a smile, "How's it goin' in the hood?"
"Pretty good" I nod. "I've been travelling around for a few weeks; staying with friends along the way."
"Me," he says, "I'm headed up island to go campin' with my wife. I love campin' more than anything…not more than my wife though, I love her more." 
We laugh.
He continues, "It's good to have people to visit. Makes you feel like you belong."
Taking in the timeliness of his comment, I smile, "It does indeed. Well, I gotta go."
He signs off with a wave, "Peace, love and Harley Davidson to ya" 
I turn to go, then stop and turn to him. "You wouldn't happen to know anyone who'd like some chocolate cheesecake, would you?"
Eagerly he replied. "Oh ya, I would." 
I gave it to him and walked away.
I don't know if he got on the bus he seemed to be waiting for; if there would be a fire to warm him on that cool summer night, inspiring him to sing and strum his guitar; or if there was a wife waiting on the other end of the line or if she resided only in his mind as a memory of better times or a dreamed present. 
*        *        *
The fact is, Victoria, with its moderate climate, is mecca for people living on the street. Their beds don't consist of folded cardboard boxes placed over subway-line grates in subzero weather that threatens frostbite. Many disappear into the park which conceals their presence and keeps them safe for one more night.
©Nance Thacker 1984


on the outer edges of Beacon Hill Park
Later that same evening I had the good fortune to be able to treat one of my hosts to a meal at Passero's Restaurant where we spent a few hours lingering over a glass of wine and spanakopita with rice and veg - mmm! But, as is always the case, I can only finish half of it. Adele heads home and it's back to Doug and View for me. Those few that wander the night hours dance with fear and suspicion. I place my carton on top of a bin, knowing someone's growling stomach will be satiated for a few hours at least and make my way "home" feeling deep gratitude for the path my life has taken.


Someone on their way to settle in for the night.


Upon my return to Ontario Adele sent me a poem inspired by our time together and my leaving titled CHEERIO; the last line is "Thank goodness friends are everywhere."

My e-mail to her ends with, "Thanks my friend for being part of my belonging."

Monday, November 5, 2012

SPITS - Suitcase Diaries

I've got spit on my mind...Tyee Spit, Rebecca Spit and Sidney Spit. It all started in August during my visit to Vancouver Island...

Rod and I spent many twilight nights down at Tyee Spit in Campbell River enchanted by the sight of clusters of small classic rowboats manned by 2 or 3 members, and aspiring members, of the Tyee Club as they fished for salmon. The boats must be rowed. One or two fishermen cast unbaited lines of a specified weight and wait for the tug on their line. If a salmon of over 30lbs is landed in the boat, the angler becomes a member of the Tyee Club.

The age old nature of the pursuit of the salmon transports me to ancient, mythical times. One night as I watch the fishermen/women, I imagine canoes paddling upstream.
*        *        *
In 2010 Rebecca Spit was covered in jelly fish.

They lurked in its waters making it unfit for swimming, so I wasn't too eager to spend a sunny, warm, perfect for swimming, afternoon at this Quadra Island spit. Incredibly, crystal clear, cool waters greet us. I swim, drinking in soul's refreshment, while Rod and his sister Sue chat and read.

Families, kids and dogs are also enjoying this long-awaited glorious, summer day. It is perfection. I relax like a happy, wet dog (hopefully not as smelly) in the back seat of the car on our way home.
*        *        *
A few days later, on the drive back to Maple Bay from the Genoa Bay Café, where I shared a delicious fish and chip dinner and a jug of sangria with my friends Irene and Garth, Garth tells me of a film he knows I'll enjoy - OVER BEAUTIFUL BRITISH COLUMBIA: AN AERIAL ADVENTURE. Irene knows that he's offering this evening of cinema, in hopes that it's magic will capture my heart and ensure my return to my spiritual home.

From our comfy chairs, we fly in a bird's eye view over cities, mountains, forests, rivers, waterways and shores. Of all of the scenes that we pass over, Sidney Spit captivates me. As luck would have it I leave for Sidney the next day (Tues) to spend a few days at my friend Marlene's.

At 10 a.m., on Thurs, for a meagre $20, I board the catamaran ferry from downtown Sidney, headed for Sidney Spit.  About 45 people, including a very energetic and enthusiastic public school class and 2 excited dogs enjoy the 30 minute sail. Though I plan to explore for only a few hours, 1 o'clock and 3p.m. sailings pass by.

In 1985 the Purple Martin population was down to
5 breeding pairs. Thanks to the success of the nest box
program, the number went up to 650 breeding pairs,
in the the Strait of Georgia, by 2007.
This is the sandy part of the spit. The upright logs
were placed to decrease the threat of erosion  by
the incoming tides and waves. This is what it looked
like when I arrived...
And this is what the same spot, viewed from the ferry
as we headed home at high tide.
Note: there is much more to the spit than this section; a lovely
forest and field comprises about 2/3rds of it.
I return on the last sailing at 4:30 landing me in downtown Sidney on the last market evening of the season. I count my blessings as pass by stalls filled with sensory delights, as I walk home to Marlene's, tanned from my outing and contentedly munching some doughy, fried delight.
*       *        *

Sept 8th after witnessing the raising of Hosagami totem pole on the Lieutenant Governor's grounds I go over to see the newly completed carving of The Salmon People that graces the Government House Bandshell but am disappointed when I realize that I can't stay to see its unveiling. A small booklet honouring the event contains the story of THE LEGEND OF THE SALMON PEOPLE explaining why the salmon return annually to the Fraser River.  This carving symbolizes the respectful interrelationship between this beautiful land, its people and animals.

There are different versions of the Salmon people, but I'll tell you the tale from the booklet of a time when the salmon stopped swimming up the river. The animals, who depended on the salmon for food, devised a plan to steal the son of the Chief of the Salmon people who lived, as people, in a village on a beach by the ocean. The animals paddled up the Fraser River (this is the scene depicted in the carving) and Mouse chewed holes in all the canoes; the Salmon people had to transform themselves into fish in order to follow. The animals tossed clothing in each of the tributaries of the river to "entice the salmon up each stream". The salmon have returned every year since then...

And yes, like the Salmon and the Purple Martins, I'll be returning next summer too.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tales from the nursing home

Last Thursday, in passing a group huddled around the strapping man slumped in his wheelchair I became the witness.

"You're NOT dying." His wife says; her tone slightly exasperated.
"No really, you are so healthy. Remember yesterday? You were going a mile a minute. We couldn't keep up with you." A nurse cajoles him, hoping to shift him out of his funk.
"Maybe all you need is a little hug." A personal care worker leans over his wheelchair, embraces him, rubbing his back as if to deliver the hug even deeper into his being.
The tightly formed group laugh gently in their attempts to rally his spirit.

I know this man, Lorne. I see him almost every time I come to provide Shiatsu for E, a fellow nursing home resident. It's clear to me that he is not his usual self. He is handsome, with thick white hair; possessing a gentle nature and ready, perfect smile. His upright, strong posture is a testament to the once physically fit, vibrant man that he was and so he looks younger than his 70 plus years. The toll of Alzheimer's insidious progression brought him here a few years ago.

But today, his sense of suffering wafts off of him forming a grey wispy cloud that invades the atmosphere. He sits deflated and crumpled, as if the air has been let out of him. Uncharacteristically, he makes no eye contact.

Continuing on my way down the hall I witness another scene playing out unbeknownst to the group clustered around Lorne.

At first all I see is the backs of 2 paramedics. As I come closer they are the model of efficiency, arranging tubes, other life saving equipment and straps on a gurney. Wordlessly, they step into position for transport. An old woman lays under the gurney's white sheet. The practiced calmness of the team and her quiet, acceptance and stillness make it difficult for me to determine her state of emergency.

It is a few days before the full moon; things are afoot. Terrors and fears are shared communally.

*         *        *
The black charge nurse from the West Indies, the eldest of 19 children, is telling tales, laughing and shaking her head. "Imagine that" she says, "a bunch of them throughout the day, insisting that they have to get to the front door. At one time there were 5 from our house and a few others from some of the other 4 houses all lined up in their wheelchairs waiting for the "bus" but nobody could tell us where they were going." She puts her hand on her hip and nods her head with firm assurance, "Just that the bus was going to pick them up."Then she leans over speaking confidentially, "There was no bus. It was a Sunday." 

It's the middle of a cool, starry summer night in 2009. Moonlight shines brightly through the window at the end of the hall, casting eerie shadows upon the carpet. Some residents are roaming about or sleeping restlessly. Mom's been unwell so I've come to maintain vigil outside her doorway; a big armchair serves as a makeshift bed. Periodically I'm awoken from my light drifting as nurses and staff come and go checking vitals, turning and changing Mom as needed. I'm glad that Gail, one of Mom's favourite nurses, has stopped to talk. She takes in stride all that goes on in the home, in the minds of the residents and is respectful of their other-worldly experiences.

"Of course the next day it was as if nothing had happened. Full moons, yup strange things happen on full moons." She walks her cart of meds, drink and snacks down the hall to sooth another soul who's slipped between the veils. "We notice it and so do hospitals." 

*        *        *
A few days later, Mom's greatly improved and so we're getting ready to head out for a "spin". I bundle her into her chair so that she can grab some rays and hopefully watch children playing in the adjacent park. An enormous stuffed dog has appeared at the base of Mom's bed. Did she take it from another resident? Things "have legs" here and this is quite possible. Though how would she have managed to get him in her room without someone noticing? Maybe it's a gift from her "friendly visitor", Jill.

Power animal totems in nursing home
I need to make sure he's where he should be. In an environment where people own so little, someone would definitely be missing him.

Gail tells me, "No, he's a friendly visitor too. We use him to comfort residents when they seem a little beside themselves. They like his size and softness of his fur. He'll stay with her for a while and when she no longer needs him, he'll go on to someone else who does."

Does she realize she's talking about him as if he is animate, I wonder?

The stuffed animals we give to young children serve as their confidants and protectors. Their soft and cheery appearances make them perfect for snuggling and comfort. But in dreamtime they come to life helping the child fend off any terrors of the night by giving them courage, standing beside them or intervening when necessary. They also serve the elderly who drift from one world to the other and in between.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SUITCASE DIARIES - Food - it's just not the same "sniff"

I'm going to be a sucky baby and whine in this entry. I'll tell you why...

Can you say ambiance?
It all started 16 days ago on a lovely, late summer's, evening, Sun Sept 9th when I stepped into the MOSSWOOD HOLLOW RETREAT CENTRE dining room in Duvall, Washington. Most of the Dream Teacher Training I students had already arrived. We began introducing ourselves and chatting casually as we stood before a massive, elegantly set dining table which was as long as the room was wide. The multiple candles shone and glowed off the windows surrounding the space accentuating a warm welcome.

Soon after we were invited to take a place...and we were served the most delicious, delicately flavoured, perfectly plated fare imaginable. And, I mean SERVED.

I've been to many retreat centres. The food, which varies in quality, tends to be wholesome and tasty but at all of the centres self-serve is the order of the day so the plating is whatever I can make of it. Settings are non-existent as it's grab a knife, fork and spoon, give your thanks and have at it. Having worked in kitchens from: dishwasher, to food prep to bussing tables and waitressing, this is no biggie for me. In fact it was difficult at first to allow others to serve me.

I tried to describe how I felt about being served and dining at a beautifully set table to a fellow Shiatsu therapist/friend (who was once a chef herself).

She said, "You felt like you were being honoured. That the work you do is important, supported and valued." That's it exactly! (Just now, I realize that I dreamed this very phrase - deja vu - seriously :) )

In return I truly honoured the food that was presented to me with a silent thanks and an audible, "Oh, this looks (smells, tastes) amazing," or something to that effect, and took my time to savour each bite. We all did. Dining was leisurely and the room filled with stories of our lives and our dreams shared over a glass or two of wine (Picked up on a run into town by some of the group; purchased with contributions of a few bucks donated to the cause.)

Brekkie was the more casual buffet-style which suited me, a night hawk who rouses slowly and delicately, just fine. The serving table was filled with fresh breads, fruit, yogurt and special offers of the day even gluten free pancakes, soy milk for granola and other dietary options were there for the taking. Many of us were asked if we'd like a cheese-free egg dish to be specially prepared; Sandie could whip it up if we so desired. But pancakes, french toast and other items won over my taste buds.

Even the Stellar Jays eat well at
Mosswood Hollow
Every lunch and every dinner 23 dreamers were served; 16 meals in all and each one a treat for the senses. Lunch and dinner came with delicate salads of fresh mixed greens tossed in the lightest of dressings; sometimes topped off with orange, red or yellow edible flowers.

Dessert portions (also served both at lunch AND dinner) were modest, just right to cleanse the palate and leave a gentle sweet taste in my mouth. Ice cream was a popular offering. To my surprise I found Sandie's milk substitute "ice cream" better than the dairy version! Cookies (delicious chocolate chip, warm mmm. Shhh I took 2. Slipped one into a napkin and took it up to my room in "Griffandor" for a late night snack - yum.) a wheat free chocolate cake to die for (Sandie's grandmother's recipe) and the most amazing version of baklava I've ever tasted (I took mini bites to make it last longer!)

Salmon, whitefish, burgers and red meat, Moroccan chicken, asparagus, green beans, tiny perfect potatoes...ah...

SANDIE I miss you!!! It's just not the same.

And thanks so much to Paul, Hilary, Shepherd, "Sam", Dave and anyone I may have missed for all that you did to make me/us feel so welcomed and at home.

I can't wait til next year!

CLICK HERE ON MOSSWOOD HOLLOW RETREAT CENTRE and feast your eyes! Read the whole thing and I dare you not to salivate when you check out MEALS. Oh ya, on OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS see the top middle picture and the bed in the left corner - that's where I slept in what my room mates and I lovingly called "Griffandor".

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

SUITCASE DIARIES - Totem Raising

I have returned from a most fabulous 6 week adventure out west; to Vancouver Island and the state of Washington.

I'd hoped to blog about my adventures as I went along my merry way but my way was w-a-a-a-a-a-y too merry for me to put pinkies to keys other than to write to Rod. I have been in a permanent state of :) the whole time. So, over the next few weeks I'll tuck in some of the reports of my adventures through edited letters that I sent his way (You don't want to read the "poopsie, schmoopsie" mushy stuff, do ya?...Didn't think so.)

Here's the overview of the 3 legs of the trip:

  1. Rod and I attended the wedding of my niece Tiffany and her hubby Rich and spent the rest of the first 3rd of the visit with family, friends and food with a little trip to Tofino added to the mix - more about that later...NOTE: See blogpost SUITCASE DIARIES - 1 
  2. After saying good bye to Rod at Campbell River airport, the purpose of the middle 3rd of my trip was to: visit friends in Maple Bay, Sidney and Victoria; talk about dreams, lead dreamcircles and provide one-on-one dreamwork sessions as well as Shiatsu treatments; and attend events/classes at the Iyengar Centre of Victoria - more about that later...NOTE: See blogpost SUITCASE DIARIES - for Derek and Carole
  3. During the last, third, leg of my adventure I attended Dream Teacher Training with ROBERT MOSS at MOSSWOOD HOLLOW in Duval, WA - more about that later... check out my TWITTER feed & AWAKENING CHOICE DREAMS on occasion as many of these entries will show up there.
The entries will appear as the spirit moves me, in no particular order. Just look for SUITCASE DIARIES

Sat, SEPT 8/12
What a fabulous day!!!

I went to Government House this morning with Adelle for the raising of the totem pole carved by Tony Hunt, a member of the well known Hunt family of carvers. This event was part of Victoria's 150th birthday celebration; one of many others happening around the city today.

As we walked through the familiar grounds I told Adele of the nights that Sorel and I would sneak into the gardens after hours just to sit by the pond under a starry sky, talk about our hopes and dreams of the future and pick a few flowers to grace our humble abodes.

And as I watched the gathering crowd, I remembered the summer I spent drawing the native artwork - totems, carvings, the painting on the front of the long house within the exibit, small decorative items amongst other things - in the Museum on the grounds of Thunderbird Park. I remembered seeing the Hunt name associated with many of these works of art. And, as I daily passed through the park, I watched native carvers help a totem pole emerge from a trunk of wood.

Speeches were given by Lt.-Gov Steven Point (of First Nations heritage), Tony Hunt (carver of the pole). Elders and members representing many native communities were invited to speak if so moved.

Hunt mentioned that he was present when his grandfather, Chief Mungo Martin, carved the original Hosaqami totem pole that stood in Portsmouth, England for 30 years. In fact his grandfather gave his young grandson a chisel to help with the work; Tony's initiation into the family craft was begun. The original pole, commissioned in 1959 to commemorate the relationship between the Canadian and British navies, was damaged beyond repair. It was returned to Canada and was laid to rest on the grounds of Government House so that it can, "disappear back to Mother Earth," Hunt said.

This pole was commissioned to honour the original work and to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee. Chief Hunt's son and grandson were amongst the carvers who produced the pole that was raised today making 6 generations carrying on the family tradition.

Hunt talked about Mungo Martin House (Wawadit'la) in Thunderbird Park and the pivotal role it played in lifting the ban on the Potlatch ceremony (from Wikipedia - "Potlatch, in Chinook jargon refers to the "different ceremonies among [the] many nations of the Pacific Northwest that... [include] feasting, dancing and giving gifts to all in attendance."[1]) which had been banned in Canada in1884. Amongst the "reasons" for the ban listed in Wikipedia I found this one very interesting - "this behaviour was deemed possibly as a destabilizing force in the nation because it was so dramatically opposed to the values of the ideal "Christian capitalist society"[2]...


As I understand it, when the building of Wawadit'la was finished in 1953, Wilson Duff (the museum's anthropology curator at the time) commented that now the house was complete. Chief Mungo said that it wouldn't be a real house until a Potlatch was held to honour and empower it - setting the wheels of repeal into motion. The opening ceremony for the house was the first time a potlatch was "legally" held after the ban was removed from the Indian Act. (The ban was virtually impossible to enforce. Hunt and many others continued to risk being arrested, during that time, as participants in potlatches in many First Nations communities throughout the province.)



The pole lay face-down. Ropes wrapped around it connecting it to pulleys and stabilizing trees. Two elders came forth and chanted to begin the ceremony. Elders, veterans, carvers and other first nation's people in the crowd were asked to help pull the pole into position.

But before this, Point, noticing a granite outcropping in front of the stand, encouraged the children to come close, sit upon it so that they could have a better view from which to serve witness so that they might one day tell their grandchildren of this most historic event; that they were there. He said, "This pole reminds us that different cultures need to live in harmony"...  it represents... "a new time for us all to stand in the same circle." In his powerful voice he chanted a song to B.C., our home. (I got a CD of it, profits from sales are going to help young women living on the street).

I held my breath during the initial attempts as the pole hovered at a low angle, the ropes creaked as it swayed and then returned to the cradle with a "thud". Patiently, the group co-ordinated their effort, guided by a man on the mic. The pole began to rise; he told them to stop as the thunderbird (eagle) came into view so that he might comment on it. They resumed, "stop" he said, as the whale below came into view and we saw the hole that Lt.-Gov Point contributed to the effort. They resumed, "stop" he said again as the pole leaned, so close to being upright. He announced,"I'm going to go to the bathroom. I'll be right back." Laughter rippled through the anxious crowd. I've come to learn that ceremony isn't complete without humour.

When the pole was firmly upright, I moved to the rock beside the statue of Sir James Douglas (also commissioned for the Queen's Silver Jubilee and unveiled on May 21/12, sculpted by Armando Barbon who was in attendance and introduced to the crowd) to get a better vantage point. The drumming, singing and dancing began (Hunt's son and grandson dancing proudly with the others) as a young eagle flew overhead and the scent of pines wafted through the air on a light, cool breeze.

Unfortunately I couldn't stay for the rest of the celebration (a feast of salmon, bannock and more) and the unveiling of THE SALMON PEOPLE a carving gracing the face of the bandshell, as I had to get ready for my trip on the walk-on ferry to Seattle on Sunday.
*        *        *
1.^ Lutz, John. “After the Fur Trade: The Aboriginal Labouring Class of British Columbia, 1849-1890” in Labouring Canada: Class, Gender, and Race in Canadian Working-Class History, ed. Brian D. Palmer & Joan Sangster. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press, 2008. P.26

2. ^ibid P.28

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Suitcase Diaries - for Derek & Carole

©Nance Thacker '82
appeared in Yoga Center of Victoria Newsletter
around the same year
click on item to enlarge
I'm going all over the map as I write about my trip on Vancouver Island but what the hell it's my blog, eh!?

Today I had truly wonderful and amazing experiences. What particularly warmed my heart was the open house at the Iyengar Yoga Centre of Victoria. There I sat with a former teacher of mine, Carole Miller, amongst a crowd of students, yoga centre teachers and staff members listening to my yoga teacher Shirley Daventry French along with her husband Derek French - an anatomy teacher of ours during my yoga teacher training and mentorship days - talk about the benefits of yoga.

I hadn't seen Derek since '86 when I left the island. I ran into Carole at an event at the synagogue 2 years ago and I last attended Shirley's class this past Thursday morning.

In true French fashion the presentation was peppered with spontaneous humorous asides. As I listened I was reminded of interactions and creative collaborations with Derek that ended up in the Yoga Centre of Victoria Newsletter such as the yoga snakes and ladders game and the letters to the editor that went back and forth between us - I recall one I wrote in which I took offense to his term "paste-up gang".

Derek French & Shirley Daventry-French

Ann Kilbertus, Shirley & Carole Miller


During his talk Derek recalled a particular cartoon, that I thought I'd entered into my pictures the day before I left for this trip but have discovered is not in my stash. I will find it upon my return and post it later. But there was also reference to "newness" the term coined by Norma Hodge (the teacher who introduced Iyengar yoga to Shirley and Derek during that eventful stay at Yasodhara Ashram that started the whole ball rolling) for the sensation - often confused for, but which is not pain, that one can feel during asana practice.
©Nance Thacker '85
published in the Yoga Centre of Victoria around that time
click on image to enlarge
And, after the talk Carole mentioned some cartoons I'd done prompted by her experiences as a young mother trying to maintain a daily practice as a householder with a husband and twins.

So, this one's for Derek and Carole
P.S Carole's kids were responsible for the cartoon that appeared in this blog post AHIMSA & REFLECTION ON VIOLENCE

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Suitcase diaries - 1

Hi all,

Since Aug 8th I have been travelling on Vancouver Island and having w-a-a-a-a-a-a-y too much fun in the process to write my blog entries.

Rod and I came out for our niece's wedding in Campbell River and stayed there for 16 days venturing out to local haunts, visiting with family members and eating w-a-a-a-a-a-y too much. Mid way into the visit we drove out to Tofino and stayed there for 2 nights. Rod returned home on the 24th to a heart warming poo and puke filled welcoming from PBG and Tiny Perfection while I've stayed out here spending time in Maple Bay (in North Cowichan), Sidney and now the Cook village neighbourhood (my old stompin' grounds) in Victoria. On Sunday I'll head over to Mosswood for Dream Teacher Training with Robert Moss.

*       *       *

Rod and I, along with his brother (Rog), his wife (Di) and our nephew (Shaun) and (Meaghan) his wife (does that make her my neice?) ... were welcomed at the airport by Rod's parents "the folks" and his sister (Sue) and her hubby (Paul).

During hysterical greetings we were gifted with sugar donuts that Sue had purchased from the "donut lady" at the COMOX VALLEY FARMERS MARKET the previous Sat. On Sat the 18th a pilgrimage to find and honour fresh sugar donuts and their maker was in order so we made the trek to the market to find ORGANIC ACRES - THE JAM LADY.
Although the sign says THE JAM LADY
she'll always be the DONUT LADY to me.
It's all so delicious looking but it's the donuts
that are calling my name!!!

The Jam/Donut Lady shows me this cartoon
- a synchronic moment!
As I dug into one of her tasty warm sugar treats I said, "You know in Hawai'i some people are greeted with leis, garlands of flowers, but at the Comox airport we were greeted with a bag of your donuts. I think that they should make leis our of your donuts."
She says, "Funny you should mention that. I have a cartoon in my cash box of a guy walking out of a bakery with donuts strung around his neck. The caption reads, "we ran out of bags". And, since I found that I've been looking for plastic donuts to string around my neck to wear at the market."
I see the name of the entertainer and am reminded
of my wonderful time in Hawai'i earlier this year.
Ah... all island life is magical!
We are asked to take a survey in this most fun way.
On the WHERE DO YOU LIVE? card
I am the little red dot at the bottom in OTHER.
We leave the market, on this most sunny day, to go in to Courtney in search of...more food which we find in abundance at MICHAEL'S OFF MAIN BREAKFAST LUNCH AND CHEESECAKE. Though the food looks and is delicious (I'm told); too satisfyingly stuffed with donut, I simply have coffee and watch as Rod and Sue chow down.
I know the date says 2010 but we made an encore
visit during this trip too
Somehow, on our way to the car our olfactory senses and taste buds are serenaded by HOT CHOCOLATE'S chocolates so, of course we have to answer the call. Though it seems impossible for me to eat another bite, I somehow manage to savour a peanut butter truffle.

And, the car groans as we motor our way back to Campbell River.

FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN DREAMWORK AND DREAM HEALING check out my latest blog entry at AWAKENING CHOICE DREAMS

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I get it now!

As a housesitter in Victoria in the early '80's, I moved from house to house every few weeks. When I could have been stranded between residences, I was always offered an extended stay of an extra day or even week at the beginning or end of a sit; in most cases, this was enough to fill the gap.

But, when the periods between houses were of longer duration, free accommodation was offered to me by my friends Bud on Moss St in Victoria, and Jim and Jennifer in Esquimalt; I am ever grateful to them for their kindness.

I am also grateful to Swami Radha for allowing me to stay in whatever room was free at Shambhala House Victoria (now called Radha House in honour of Swami Radha) on such occasions.

In '78 I was a temporary resident at Yasodhara Ashram. When it came time for me to leave, my big concern was how do I bring what I have learned into my life in the world. How do I integrate it into a real world model? Swami Radha knew that this was a common challenge of spiritual seekers and she opened these houses with the intention that they enable people to "stay in touch with their ideals while living in the world". Shambhala House offered (and I took part in) classes in dreamwork, kundalini yoga, satsang and other aspects of yogic self-study. Spiritual practices weren't relegated solely to the support and isolation of an ashram, as their purpose was enrich one's daily life, daily practice was essential and these programs provided continuity.

It was at this house that I became acquainted with the use of mantra outside of its identification as a formal practice during satsang and meditation. Swami Padmananda and other residents (who came and went, including Swami Radha) would go about the house humming or singing the repetitive refrains of their favourite chants while they washed dishes, wrote, cooked and went about their daily chores. When they weren't chanting (or Swami Radha wasn't present), Swami Radha's beautifully delicate, vibrato emanated from tape decks playing Hari Om, Om Namah Sivaya and others; the house was filled with monotonic sound.

Being of a different generation, I can't truly say that I appreciated the power and value of chanting day in and day out at that time. On the rare occasions when the house was my own, my exuberant nature couldn't be contained and I danced through the house and sang with enthusiastic abandon to the tunes of John Denver, the Blues Brothers, Boz Skaggs, Billie Holliday, Eric Carmen, Janis Joplin, Kenny Rankin, jazz, rock and the blues.
© Nance Thacker 1982
click on image to enlarge
(Shiva is considered a destroyer of obstacles)
But I get it now! Having lived a few more decades as I truly seek to bringing forth compassion in action and free myself from delusions and negative emotions, I find myself chanting silently or quietly - Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha (This softer, gentler chant to the white Tara of compassion was recommended to me as being a better balance for my nature than Om Namah Sivaya which I had been chanting to Siva the God of destruction.), or the Gayatri mantra - which I learned much later in the '90's after falling in love with this version which I first heard played during a savasana in a yoga class...

Monday, July 23, 2012

ahimsa & reflection on violence

© Nance Thacker 1990
click on image to enlarge
When I was living in Victoria and teaching yoga at the Y in the early '80's, many of us yoga teachers would meet in the snack bar at the Y after Shirley's morning classes. Lively conversations were had regarding the challenges yogis faced in living the life of the house-holder. Having no home, no family and being 15 - 20 years younger than most of the others, I was a "fly on the wall", privy to conversations about life events I had not yet experienced. It was with these women that I became educated about the challenges my future could hold.

The cartoon is a record of an actual conversation Carol, who was raising young twins at the time, had with the others; the best humour is found in truth.

The massacre in Colorado has me reflecting on the reality that we are a violent species and the sooner we realize this the better off we will be. It is not the "other" guy that is to blame for the condition of our society today, but ourselves as a collective and what we contribute as individuals. Our saving grace is that we are also a peaceful species. Which predominates depends on where we put our focus.

Our yoga group also participated in BEYOND HATHA YOGA a discussion group that explored the works of Swami Radha and the 8 limbs of yoga aka ashtanga yoga (an aspect of raja yoga - the cultivation of the mind through meditation in order to become acquainted with reality and ultimately achieve liberation) and, in particular, the yamas (abstentions) external aids to yoga. Ahimsa - non-violence in thought, word and deed, kindness towards all beings, avoidance of verbal and physical violence towards others and oneself is one of the 5 abstentions and was a prime area of under investigation.

My particular focus of late has been to check my tendency to swear when I'm frustrated. I don't swear at people, only at things (as if that makes it any better) - like computers - (apologies to my trusty laptop with which I am writing these words) which seems innocuous on the surface but investigate a little deeper and you will find it is a habitual reaction coming from a place of anger and aggression; aspects of violence. This realization became obvious during my self-study. Swearing is an aversion a resistance to what is; a resistance to "reality".

My visits to my nursing home client has strengthened my focus and intention. Just today, I passed by an elderly, demented resident spewing forth obscenities and swear words of all description as a nonplussed, patient, personal care worker helped her eat her meal. To the casual observer passing by it would seem that the words were being directed at the PSW but, upon closer observation it was obvious that these profanities reflected a state of being/mind in which the poor soul was lost in her own personal hell. YIKES! The emotion and anger behind this woman's words poisoned the very air in which we all moved, yet another reason to shape up now.

more to come in next post...

sleep paralysis, night terrors & false awakenings

Hi all,

I just realized I didn't give you a head's up about my latest blog post about sleep paralysis, night terrors and false awakenings on my website AWAKENING CHOICE DREAMS.

So, if you're interested in dreams (and who wouldn't be) click here to read the entry.

Have a great one!
Nt

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Best $5 I Ever Spent...


...was also the last five bucks I had to get me through that summer weekend in Victoria in 1985.

The first day of this house-sit (2 years prior I had become a house-sitter in exchange for a roof over my head) feeling restless, I went downtown. As I glanced up at the neon sign for BACK TO THE FUTURE flashing on the local cinema’s marquee that beautiful Friday night, I thumbed the five-dollar bill in my pocket and replayed the last words the homeowner had said as she headed out the door, “There’s plenty of food around. Help yourself.”

As a struggling cartoonist living in Victoria, in order to support my habit – I’ll call it a habit because I made virtually nothing as a cartoonist - I became a jack of all trades (gardener, artist, dishwasher, and artist’s model) because my other passion was yoga; my other “profession” – yoga teacher.

Before yoga went viral, if we got paid at all, yoga teachers made six dollars an hour, class offerings were few, less during the summer months. My meager bi-monthly check for teaching wasn’t coming til Monday. I’d spent all I had on rent for my studio space, art supplies and postage to send my cartoon packages to syndicates all over North America.

Movie or groceries, I asked myself. “There’s plenty of food around. Help yourself.” I ducked into the movie theatre and for two glorious hours Marty McFly and I escaped the reality of our lives.

That night I rummaged through cupboards, fridge and freezer. There was meat; I was vegetarian. There was junk food galore so all weekend I feasted on: Chips Ahoy cookies, ice cream, pop and Cheezies. I was filled with joy as I ate remembering the great night I’d had.

On payday, I slunk around the inner isles of the grocery store filling my cart with all the items I’d consumed. What would my yoga students think if they saw me?

I’ll say, “I’m having a party”. They don’t have to know that the party has already taken place.

*     *     *I

If you went over to Gail Vaz-Oxlade's website and blog and read the chosen stories, the reason my entry didn't get chosen will be very apparent to you. I can just hear the staff wondering, what kind of moron submits a story like this to GVO the queen of financial responsibility.

Well, I'll tell you. 

One that has had this story in her head for quite a while now and when she read - write a story about money - this is what came out without thought as to the intention behind the challenge.

But, my intention was to write a story about money in 350 words or less as stipulated in the challenge. So, thanks GVO for the inspiration.

P.S. sorry I'm late in posting this.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Catching up with you

It looks like I've abandoned you but not so...
Go to AWAKENING CHOICE DREAMS and check out the my blog over there.
I have 2 new posts on Dreams:
FEED YOUR SOUL - July 10 - about consulting the card oracle
and
GOOD NIGHT & GOOD LUCK - July 13 - about synchronicity and David Strathairn
2 things I have in common with David Strathairn, the wonderful actor:

  1. He began his career as a clown. Clowns freak me out! However, my nephew studied clowning as part of his university theatre program and told me that clowns are like aliens that have come into this world and don't know a thing - everything seems odd and wondrous to them. Since I can totally relate, and I find DS gorgeous, I'll forgive him for having been a clown.
  2. His maternal grandmother was native Hawaiian. I love all things Hawaiian.

Check out this site as tomorrow as I'll post the entry that I sent to Gail Vaz Oxlade for her WEEK OF STORIES and you will see exactly why my entry - filled with failure, no lessons about money learned and illustrating, probably not, the best way to spend money during a financial crisis - didn't make the cut. But before you leave here click on the link for GVO and check out the stories. They're fascinating, full of life lessons learned and they might even inspire you to deal with some nagging debt issues yourself.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ha Ha Ha

I'm a cheap laugh, as easily delighted by a good turn of phrase that lends itself to ripe imagery as something that brings forth humorous associations.

My brother was quite a fan of Robertson Davies writing way back when. Having similar tastes in literature, I highly valued N's opinions and vowed to dig into Davies' works but I've not been able to pull away from books on: Chinese medicine, dreams, anatomy, physiology, psychology, pathology, spirituality, shamanism etc; that is until this spring when I decided it was time to rectify the situation.

I have finally rewarded myself with "time out" for fiction and Davies' works are calling me perhaps because Robert Moss referred to Davies in his blog. Davies had said that the snowball incident in FIFTH BUSINESS that sets the story in motion was inspired by a dream and the novel is filled with: myth, magic, synchronicity, Jung and life in a small Ontario town; very appropriate reading for this Canadian dreamworker.

I began my reading reward with FIFTH BUSINESS the first book in the Deptford Trilogy which I found in the used bookstore on the corner. "Oh, you'll really enjoy this. He's such an entertaining writer, and so funny. You'll want to pick up the other two; you'll want to read them all" the shopkeeper said as she flipped through the book to find the price noted the inside the cover.

Later that afternoon I dug into the book, finding it fascinating and a compelling read but this was what really won me over... Dunstan Ramsay, at the age of 13, finds himself working as an under-librarian at his local library. Having much time on his hands he spends it perusing the odd materials in the acquisitions room. One of these is a medical text book with..."a portrait of a man with lavish hair and whiskers but no nose, which made me a lifelong enemy of syphilis."

OMG, I couldn't stop laughing. I could so relate. How much time have I spent going over just such material (not just as a reader but during my time as paste up artist for a medical text book publisher) being alternately fascinated and repelled by the text and the photos which illustrate all manner of pathology? With that phrase he won me over.

It still cracks me up and is now one of my all time favourite lines.

Another great line comes from Bill Bryson's IN A SUNBURNED COUNTRY when speaking of Australian prime minister Harold Hold's unfortunate demise (He was swept away into the sea and was barely missed as, being the resilient people that they are, Aussies took it in a "no worries" fashion. ) Bryson says that Hold took "the swim that needs no towel." Ha, ha...

Sick, I know.

On a slightly different, decidedly less literary vein, the last thing that cracked me up was a description of the 2004 Canadian movie, GERALDINE'S FORTUNE; "A local woman is randomly chosen to appear in a popular Canadian game show...". A fantasy to be sure; I was in stitches. This line triggered childhood memories of Canadian game shows and I can assure you that there was never such a thing as a popular Canadian game show.

While south of the boarder Americans were playing lively, wildly stupid, yet immensely rewarding, games often involving personal embarrassment we Canadians had the likes of FRONT PAGE CHALLENGE in which a panel of dour, ancient journalists tried to figure out what news story the hidden game challenger was related to and PARTY GAME* involving 3 Canadian "celebrities" (no such thing at that time in my neck of the woods, unless you were a hockey player) acting as the home team plus 2 other guest celebrities and a contestant as the challengers in a charades style affair.

There must have been more game shows but they were not nearly as memorable as the prizes associated with Canadian game shows. Unlike our American neighbours we had no appliances, cars, nor beautiful models waving their hands over these gleaming beauties. No curtain was drawn or floor spun to reveal what stood behind the dividing wall. We had no trips abroad; to a flea bitten motel on the Lakeshore strip in Toronto for a weekend, maybe, where, I imagined, you could have the opportunity to be personally introduced to young Dunstan's lifelong enemy. But, most common was a set of Blue Mountain pottery or 10 square feet of beige broadloom carpeting, undramatically displayed via a shot of a poster. So when I read, "...sparking a frenzy in her town" in the promo I just about fell off my chair.

* The one great thing about THE PARTY GAME was the brilliant, versatile Billy Van. As a result of his participation in that gig he landed the lead role, AND played a bazillion other characters, in THE HILARIOUS HOUSE OF FRIGHTENSTEIN a truly quirky, campy and funny Canadian TV kids' show whose 130 episodes were made in 1971. It was popular with teens and university students, after all Vincent Price, a true American celebrity was on a Canadian show; how cool was that!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tis the season

LADIES, summer in all its humid glory is upon us once more, demanding the observance of this most tedious personal ritual...yes you're right, the dreaded daily shaving of the legs. Even if you are not regular skirt wearers, some of you are year round slaves to the practice but my belief is that one of the chief function of jeans, aside from making your butt look good while hiding cellulite and making free movement possible, is to allow one to go unshaven for weeks on end.

In the beginning of my relationship, I whipped through boxes of razorblades every month, due to frequency of shaving and the fact that my leg hair was as coarse as a bear. 25 years down the road, as is inevetible — the bloom is somewhat off the rose — the frequency is not so much and (one blessing of getting older) my leg hair has thinned substantially.

But come the hot weather the water beckons to me and I must heed its call without grossing others out and so the ritual is practiced with more regularity. But this wasn't always the case...

Guy: "Say, what's a nice little thing like you doing here all alone?"
Me: Enjoying myself
Guy: "I mean you're not a bad looking woman...mmm,mmm NOT BAD AT ALL."
ME: This calls for drastic measures
ME: Leg hair was invented for times like this.
©NANCE THACKER '85.
This cartoon was done during my deep commitment to the feminist, earth mother-godess ideals of the times; to shave one's legs was sacrilege. And, though at any other pool in Victoria back then, I would catch nary a glance from the opposite sex, for some reason this particular establishment drew some guys desperately on the prowl. Maybe it was the odd half wall between the hot tub and the lap pool which afforded a nice vantage point for the gawkers, encouraging their bold outright stares; I don't know.

Aside from this petty annoyance the pool was fabulous, large and with a skylight over it allowing the sun to shine in, plus it was open late into the night for that before bed swim (hmmm, O.K. maybe that was part of this pools allure for this type of character). Anyway...

I'm serious about my workouts and have never used pools, gyms or weight rooms to socialize or hook up with anyone. Having been a former weight-training instructor I have no time for men or women using such places as dating venues. I exude the air of, Don't mess with me when I'm doing my thing. I like to be left alone. When swimming or resting between laps at the end of the pool, if I felt in any way that I was going to be approached I'd just get out and the dark, shaggy, soggy leg hair clinging to my calves would work its magic — instant man repellant!

Yikes! Technical difficulties - I've got a new scanner and the image is terrible. I need to get it sorted out!!! The image is blurry and can't be enlarged so I've typed it out as you can see. Words in italics are thoughts (see the little circles coming from my head?)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The island of the ancestors

He spins the dramatic story of the healing journey we are about to take. Every word is enunciated for dramatic effect and he speaks in a commanding, resonant voice, "You will go down to the sea. A boatman is waiting for you, to take you across the waters, which may be very turbulent. Though you may feel fear there is no need to be afraid as he knows the way and is a very skilled seaman. You will arrive at the island of the ancestors where all those in your lineage reside, from the most recently crossed over to the dead who existed eons ago."

"As you make your crossing, riding the waves and the storms, ask yourself: who am I seeking, what questions do I have for those who have gone before me who can see across time and space, who can tell me about the afterlife, the time between lives or gift me with insight regarding the earthly life I am presently living." His voice trails off as the beat of a drum faintly echoes in the distance, becoming  stronger and closer with each strike of the beater.

Filled with anticipation and excitement I ride on the beat of the drum, the heartbeat of mother earth herself as my heart falls in sync and breaks open.

This is like no place I know; part Hawaiian but also other. The undergrowth breaks under foot with each step and I realize I am walking through the cool shade of a rainforest. The turquoise blue of the ocean is just beyond the dense foliage; the waves break rhythmically on the shore. As I am about to step onto the expansive beach, something stops me. From my place in the shadows I see, a few yards away, a rustling in the dense brush that borders the deserted white, sand beach. A tiny, frail, figure wanders out, stepping tentatively as one lost in a dream. The sun, shining too brightly from a brilliant, unblemished blue sky causes her to squint and cower just a little. Pale, grey, bleached out after 90 years of life, she and her faded, flower print nightdress almost blend into the sandy backdrop.

She looks around for the first time in a very long time and begins to ask herself, for the first time in a very long time, Where am I? What is this place? How did I get here? Where did I come from?
Instinctively, she looks out to the sea knowing that it has all the answers.


The sunlight dances on the water like tiny glistening diamonds. They merge into the form of a young dark haired man who comes forth from the ocean. A tanned, dashing figure with sea blue eyes and heart-filled smile; he gently approaches her. She warily stands her ground, looks him up and down through dim eyes under her furrowed brow.

"I've been waiting for you for so long and now you're here," he reaches for her hand but she pulls away. "You were lost but you've found your way now. It's alright. It's time to go but first you have to change." She clutches her hands to her chest gathering up the folds of her nightgown close to her body, turns away from him then looks over her shoulder. He waits patiently. Finally, sensing he poses no threat she eases her position.

"Step out of this," he makes a sweeping gesture over her tired, old form. She looks over her arms and her hands. And then as she touches her face a shock wave of memories pass through her. Her dulled hazel eyes clear, allowing her to see that it is her beloved who beckons with an outstretched hand and loving heart. Looking into his eyes she remembers all and in that moment her old body drops to the sand; a discarded cloak revealing her true self returned, resplendent in the vibrancy of  youth resurrected. The lovers see each other for the first time in a long time. She reaches out to him, puts her hand in his and their hearts unite.

I remained spellbound unable to come out of the shadows nor walk away. How long I stayed I couldn't tell. After some time resting in each other's embrace they looked to the sea, strode into the surf, dove under the waves and became one with the dancing, sunlit waters.

The crashing waves became the drum calling me back.

I did not get to the island of the ancestors instead I serve as a witness to tell of their union and their journey home. Perhaps the locks of her hair that I strew out into the ocean in Hawaii in ordinary reality opened the way for crossing over into non-ordinary reality and the island of the ancestors.

In the spirit of ALOHA, A HUI HO Mom and Dad!
MAHALO for the opportunity Robert!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Over there...

HI all,

As you may know I now am managing 2 blog sites, this one and AWAKENING CHOICE DREAMS which appears at my website of the same name. On the latter site I'll explore all things related to dreams and dreaming - how to, Dreaming 101, history and interesting facts on dreams as well as experiences at workshops as a participant and a teacher (as long as students are willing to share their experiences/dreams with my readers).

I figure dreamwork is best shared with a sold audience, though I can't imagine what it would be like not to be interested in dreams, I'm not out to convert anyone.

Having said that, I find it difficult to compartmentalize my life - I work at what I love and dreaming spills into everyday life for me so you will still get dream stuff here but most likely dreams will provide sources for creative writing - we'll see how this works. This site is about heart, soul and mind matters as I travel through the mind fields of life so it's kind of a mish-mash; like my mind.

I'll notify you when a post appears on the other site so you can pop over there if you are interested in dreams. So, please bear with me as I get the hang of working the 2 sites.

Click on the link to go over to AWAKENING CHOICE DREAMS for the latest post on how I work with Robert Moss' Lightning Dreamwork Process, especially if you are interested in working with your dreams or attending the dreamcircle this Wed night June 20 from 7 - 9 p.m. at AKASHA'S DEN in Oakville. I'd love to see you there!

Sweet Dreams,
Nance