Tag Archives: challenges

I Am Going To Kill . . .

This was originally posted in October 2017. I think it is still relevant today. I hope you enjoy.

Now that sounds like a mighty provocative statement don’t you think?  But what does it mean? Am I going to end someone’s existence? Murder? Or am I going to end the existence of the hamburger on that plate?

Context.  It’s all about context. And quite frankly ‘Kill’ could mean any number of things: ruin something, overpower, block, hurt, make time pass, laugh . . . . the list is pretty extensive. Confused yet?

I speak one language well (well, pretty well) and I will acknowledge it is a rather confusing language.  “Stay where you’re at and I’ll come where you’re to”.  Drive on a parkway and park on a driveway. To anyone to whom English is a second language: Kudos!  Even some of us born to it have issues.

I am finding more and more that it is not how well I speak that is important, it is how well I am understood. And the onus is not on the person to whom I am speaking, rather it is on me. I love words. I have a university degree in English. I often use words that are multiple syllables long and sometimes archaic. To my ear I am speaking appropriately. Unfortunately it is not my ear that I am speaking to. I was in a grocery store the other day and looking for a particular item. I was looking for aubergines. For the life of me I could not remember it’s common name. When I asked I was told that they didn’t sell exotic items. I was looking for eggplants.

I love the fact that I live in a multicultural nation. I love the fact that people from all over the world choose to come to my beautiful country. I believe we are stronger for that. But it also presents difficulties that I’m quite sure 30 years ago we never thought about:  everyday conversations. And then of course you have the generation that speaks in symbols, short forms and acronyms. The flavour of the word is lost when you LOL. The first person that ever used that acronym for me was a dear, dear friend. I thought it meant Lots of Love. You can imagine my chagrin when an acquaintance used it. Context my friends, context.

There is a marvellous scene in an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation where one character holds up a hot cup of tea and asks another how he would explain what she is holding in her hand, to an alien race. For those of you in the know it was counsellor Troy and Capt. Picard. Was she holding hot, liquid, glass, cup of tea, beverage? And if the alien race had no concept of drinking a cup of tea how do you explain it to them? And that is our problem here in present-day Earth. Context.

All over the world things are done differently in different countries. They refer to things by different names. When we come together there’s a great deal of miscommunication. Our job is to keep trying to communicate until we’re all on the same page.  When I write that down it seems like such an easy thing to do. And yet you know as well as I do, easy is harder than it looks. We will never, ever fail as long as we keep trying.  I’ll keep trying and I’ll stop looking for aubergines!



The image is via the Internet. I still haven’t bought any.

The Zoo

Animals galore,

Abound in the zoo.

A weasel, a pigeon,

And a hippo or two.


There’s the shark in a frenzy,

So ready to bite.

And I saw penguin,

In a suit that was tight.


There are tigers uncaged,

Just roaming the streets!

And silly young monkeys,

That are looking for treats!


Some holiday cheer,

Abounds at the zoo.

They’re looking for animals,

They’re looking at you.


The cages are homes,

And jobs that we need,

The zoo doesn’t keep us,

And we need to feed.


Wants and desires,

Are what keep us locked in.

The way we move forward,

Sometimes it’s a sin.


We build the cages,

That lock us all in.

Freedom’s a myth,

That we fear we might win.


What animal are you,

As you journey through life?

Smile at the humour.

And challenge the strife!














At the beginning of April, I wrote a post about a rabbit hole I had fallen into. I had found an author who is new to me and whose work I was thoroughly enjoying. Well, I’m here to tell you that I’m still stuck. I’m reading book 28 and I’m doing my best to take a little longer to read each book. Because you see everything else has stopped. This is not good.

My muse seems to have taken a vacation and I’m pretty sure she packed a bag, a big one. I haven’t written a new poem or a new short story in months. I used to write a new poem every week, I did that for years. For a while it was two poems a week. Now I have the desire but not the thoughts. Fortunately, I have a cache to draw upon so I should never be without something. I have over 50 short stories, well over 300 poems and 10 years of posts to choose from so you will not do without. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I’m having a wee bit of difficulty getting you anything really new. Sorry.

It’s funny actually. I’m sitting here looking at this blank screen when usually my mind doesn’t stop working. I often relate it to a hamster on a wheel. It’s annoying but right at this very moment I miss it. That’s not always the way. My apartment is so quiet and yet while I crave silence, I’m not enjoying it in my brain. I think I have seven books left to finish. I wonder if my muse will come back then. I hope so.


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to turn off, well, everything? Have you ever wondered what the wind sounds like or are you too intent on looking at your phone? I have stated in the past that I wonder what would happen if we lost all power, all electronics. Yes, it would be devastating on so many levels, medical equipment, elevators, heat etc. etc. etc. but what if?

In my past I have spent days, many days in the wilderness where there is no electricity. You get up with the dawn and you go to sleep by fire light. The sky is breathtaking in its majesty, sound is magnified but harmonious, there are no screeching cars here, everything is more . . .  present. You can’t see things like that in the city because of light pollution. So much pollution.  But it exists.

I have always found the first night to be a little, awkward. It took me a while to get used to the, not silence, but the gentle background sounds that were often difficult to identify. There was a gentle rustle of the leaves and grasses. The unknown bird or animal squawking, whether as predator or prey was unclear. I could feel the wind on my face and smell the earthy scents of honesty. Because that is what it was, it wasn’t adulterated or modified or improved upon. It was reality in its truest sense of the word.

In our busy lives we rarely have time to sit back and unplug. We should. Would you take a few minutes every day and just turn everything off? Phones, computers, tablets and radios and TVs and, and, and. Now just listen. What do you hear? Yes, I am sitting in front of my computer writing this but I’m also listening and what I hear is fascinating. I can hear cars in the distance, not loud. Oh, I just heard a bird cry. I wonder if it is in anticipation or in fear. I’ll never know. I can hear people talking but I can’t make out what they’re saying. A car door slams. I am in a town, a downtown area. But it is surprisingly quiet. I listen. I can hear a clock ticking in my background, it’s in the other room. If I stop talking, I can just make out the refrigerator, I think. It’s quietly humming. I can hear a very faint roaring sound and it takes me a minute to realize that it’s the sound the car tires make as they travel over the roads. Interesting. I never thought of it before. We take so many sounds for granted but we never actually realize what we’re listening to. Much like talking to each other or listening to strangers. Do we really hear what they’re saying? I wonder.

Take a minute to unplug and see what you can hear…

Walk With Me

Would you like to walk with me?

The journey maybe long.

Side-by-side together,

Nothing can go wrong.


Put your hand in mine,

As we journey on our way.

Never fear and don’t forget,

The things we see each day.


Sometimes on a journey,

It causes us to part.

Perhaps it’s not an ending,

But just another start.


And then there’s things that happen,

To make us change our tune.

But with the bad there’s always good,

Let’s hope the best is soon.


The journey only lasts so long,

One day it all will end.

Between that time and what’s to come,

Best wishes I will send.


Perhaps in time we’ll meet again,

A friendship never dies.

Until that time, I’ll keep you close,

A smile will be my guise.

Wisdom 101

The wisest statement ever uttered is: “I don’t know”. It implies a humility and a willingness to learn. We are not born wise; we do not take classes that teach us to be wise. Wisdom is formed through experiences, through hardships, and through heartache. It’s called life. It’s something to be embraced and accepted. Some of the least formally educated people are the wisest. And vice versa.  Indeed, some of the wisest statements have come from children. From their innocence. There is no template for wisdom. We should take note.

Knowledge is not linear.  Each item we learn about opens up an avenue to another which opens up an avenue to another and before you know it you have a spiderweb. Spiderwebs with tendrils that meander through our entire lives and connect us with others. The willingness to explore those spiderwebs is what, in part, allows our wisdom to grow. The accumulation of information forms a basis upon which we can flourish. And wisdom is not tangible. You cannot look at a person and say: “Well, they are wise”. Wisdom is ephemeral, gossamer like and so very important to our lives. Seeking wisdom should always be paramount. But it also does not mean that everything we say or think is wise. We can show exceptional wisdom one moment and incredible stupidity the next. But part of being wise is accepting the fact that we are not always. Bit of a conundrum, I think.

We seem to think differently these days. It’s like our focus has changed from learning information to gaining entertainment.  The ultimate goal is not one of wisdom but of notoriety.I remember when selfies were self-congratulatory pats on your own back for a job well done. Now it’s a way to document the world around you without actually engaging because you are looking through your camera phone. Looking at your phone. I remember when phones had cords so that you were forced to stay in one place and pay attention to the conversation or conversely it was used as a vehicle for dispatching an errant husband.   Oops.

I don’t think our future is hopeless but I wonder if it is helpless to stop the changes that are barrelling through. I hope we come to our senses and learn that wisdom is achievable if we have a willingness. Future be damned, it will get here one day.


Do Not Annoy, Dastardly Narcissistic A-hole,  Damn, Nearly Away, DeoxyriboNucleic Acid .

Three little letters.  Or should I say three big letters?  Those three letters can make or break a criminal case in a court of law.  But what do they mean to you and me,  living our lives day-to-day?  It comes back to the question of nature versus nurture.  You hear people complaining that their DNA is the reason they are nasty or have pimples.  To some extent that is correct.  I had pimples as a child and it probably was because somewhere in my genetic makeup somebody had pimples.  But to blame my genetic makeup for being a jerk?  That I find….Irritating.

I am tired of hearing criminals blame the fact that they have committed crimes of such heinous nature as to almost be unbelievable on the fact they had a wet diaper when they were two.  Scientists will tell you that a great deal of who and what we are can be traced back to our ancestors.  On this I will concur.  But don’t use the fact that my ancestor was a bully to colour me with the same brush.  I am not my ancestor in the same way that I am not my brother or my sister.  I love and admire both of them but I am an individual.  I am myself.  Any blame with regards to malfeasance is mine and mine alone.

Children are being raised today to blame others for their actions.  I was reprimanded in seventh grade and I bear the scars to this day.  Horse hockey!  Or if you prefer: Bull crap!  While indeed we are the product of our upbringing as well as our DNA we also have free will.  Hopefully as children we were taught responsibility as well as compassion and integrity.  Nurture is important but so is nature.  One has the ability to supersede the other if one is lacking.  Time and time again people have proven that they can rise above their less than humble beginnings or the abusive nature of their nurturing.  People have the ability to be great but they have to believe and sometimes that is difficult.

Parents have the most difficult job in the world.  It is their responsibility to raise children to improve society.  Unfortunately, sometimes they never know if they have succeeded or failed.  Children also have responsibilities.  We don’t always know what it is that is lacking in ourselves and in others.  That’s why we need each other. We live in a world with other people. We can help one another.  The more we connect, the stronger we become and the better our world will be.



Unrequited Love

I see her from a far

And I love her.

I watch her sleep

And I want to

Nestle near.

Her lips part,

Warm sweet breath.

I gently touch her hand

And she dismisses me

With a flick of her wrist.

I weep in silence.

My eyes follow her,

I try to be near.

The wind blows cold

To keep us apart.

I strive to touch

Her glistening skin.

I cherish my love.

Our worlds

Are so different,

So alien.


There can be

No future

Between a woman

And a fly.

Lesson Learned…

I have always considered myself a bright child but a slow learner. I could usually pick up on what needed to be learned but I didn’t want do the work to get there. I am by nature lazy unless I get excited about something and then I’m a Pitbull. I am a woman of contradictions, but then… so are you. We are never exactly what we appear to be to others and that is not always a bad thing. Every book has a cover that entices you either by the words used or the picture it portrays. It’s what is inside that matters.

And the same is true with people. We portray an image to the world that is expected. We follow the rules and do as we are told. But we often let our hair down when the world is not looking and that’s when life gets interesting. But sometimes we need to learn our lessons the hard way. I occasionally need to run over my own foot before I realize I shouldn’t be doing that. I might do it once more just to be sure. But those lessons do get learned, eventually.

In school I was an average student. I excelled at the studies I enjoyed and I squeaked by in the ones I did not enjoy. I would study at the last minute or do my essay the night before and sometimes I got away with it brilliantly. Annoying to some of my friends.  I once wrote an essay, literally the night before and the morning of. When it was handed in, I was quite pleased with myself but I figured it was probably just average. When we got the essays back a week later the teacher stood up in front of the class held a paper up and said that this was a student who took the time to do the research and to do it well. That we should take note and realize that things didn’t always come easy, we had to work at it. My friend looked at me and quietly mouth a bad word. It was my paper. I never told the teacher the truth. But some things came easily to me and those are the ones I enjoyed doing. I loved to write those essays because I loved to write. I didn’t need to do a lot of work and that meant the lessons I needed to learn weren’t learned.  I was OK being average.

There is a part of me that wonders how well I would have done had I applied myself and then I realize that I had a wonderful life, I still am. I don’t look back with regret but I think I would have regrets had I spent the time worrying about things that were ultimately unimportant. I might have missed a great deal of enjoyment.  I got the work done. I learned the important lessons. And I made use of the world in front of me. That is a lesson we all need to take to heart.

It’s 4:00 in the morning!

I recently ran across this post written in July 2018. I thought I would like to share it again. I hope you don’t mind.

It’s 4:00 in the morning!

4 AM. The clock ticks inexorably towards 5 o’clock but it’s still a long way away. It is dark. It is quiet. But it is not silent. I can hear a clock ticking in the other room  . . .  tick tick tick. A relentless metronome. Tick tick tick. Isn’t there supposed to be a tock in there somewhere? It’s funny how we interpret what we hear.

I just heard a car, I think, it was a quiet, dull roar. Fortunately no car alarms! I can hear my refrigerator faintly humming. Not a tune I know. Silly me. I get a little punchy in the wee, wee hours of the day. Or is it still night? Technically it’s the morning but that doesn’t seem right until after dawn. But it is a quiet time.

I can hear my heart beating. Odd. It is something that has been doing the same job for more years than I wish to admit to and yet it is alien to me. My liver, my spleen. These are all important aspects of what makes me tick but I have no relationship with them. They are the mechanisms within the shell of my body. And I am no mechanic!

I am tired. But I am not sleepy. My body wants to rest but my mind insists it has something important to say. I wonder what that is. I wonder what is the meaning of life. Meaning. Mean. Such different meanings. Can you be mean to your meanings? How do we understand? Why do we not understand? We are not so different from each other and yet we insist that we are. Why? Why do we hate what we do not understand? When? When did we come to believe that it was okay to hate? Is that the meaning of life?

Understanding. Perhaps when we understand each other we will realize that only when we are acting as one, can we become one. One species, one race, one people. Too few people have tried. We are raised to be individuals and we cannot comprehend how we can be a part of something bigger when we come together as a whole. We do not give up our individuality by joining a group we simply enhance the group.

I feel I’m in ranting but I also feel that it is important. I am important. You are important. But even better than all of that:  WE ARE IMPORTANT!  WE MATTER.