From the monthly archives:

September 2012

A turn of phrase

by lulujane on September 22, 2012

1hThe other day as I was leaving my son’s home he was encouraging his 2 1/2 yr old daughter, my granddaughter, to kiss me goodbye’.  In the moment, she was reluctant and he kept encouraging her participation in the ritual.  Personally, I believe that if children are willing to give a goodbye kiss we can relish the moment, and if they are choosing to resist the suggestion”oh well, I’ll catch it later”.

All of a sudden my granddaughter, wearing a long sleeved white pullover, scowled and started rubbing her right elbow, pushing her sleeve from her wrist and up toward her elbow.  I looked at my son to ask what was the matter.  He said “well, think about it, what did you just say to her”?

I couldn’t think of anything I said that would give her a sore arm and after he coached me toward the answer I remembered saying “I’m not going to twist her arm to get a goodbye kiss.”

Perhaps in reading my comment it may sound a bit cold, but it wasn’t.  I just don’t believe in making a child kiss someone because they are told.

I was speaking in metaphor and my brilliant granddaughter was taking it literally, wondering if I was going to twist her arm. I have many bright grandchildren in my life, but at this time in my life I have  opportunity to spend more time with and observe this lovely child.

I continue to be amazed at how children interpret language and communicate and am reminded to be careful every day with the words I choose to speak.


Acts of empowerment

by lulujane on September 21, 2012

Untitled-31Sometimes my acts of kindness are an immediate, almost unconscious reaction to a situation that presents itself.  Other times I choose to ignore what appears to be an obvious request for help, and I question and judge myself about this.

As an example, at the bottom of an exit ramp to the major thoroughfare in our city, a man in blue jeans often plants himself at the bottom of the decline.  He carries a sign that says he is out of work and needs help to feed his children.    As I stop, a prisoner in his space, caught at a red light, he runs his fingers along each line as if he were a primary grade teacher coaching an early reader along to make sure they understand. Somehow I feel offended by this.

There is also a slender woman I have observed over the past few years who has chosen to alternate between two high traffic stop light areas.  I can`t even remember if she carries a sign.  I see her sporadically but have never felt charitable enough in those moments to make a donation to her cause.  And like with the man carrying the sign, I question why I feel no need to respond to their request.  I find that I don`t even want to make eye contact with them.  Do I doubt the legitimacy of their situation?  What is it in me that makes me feel so uncomfortable when I see them, but not so uneasy that I open my wallet to them?

Yesterday after a bit of shopping for a few hours in a hurried and harried state  I was feeling the need to have something to eat.  I went to the McDonald`s drive-thru and ordered a Junior Chicken Sandwich at a cost of $1.39.  Since I discovered the Junior Chicken Sandwich early this summer it has frequently been a quick way to quell my hunger and satisfy the responsibility I have to myself to eat when I am hungry, even if I am racing around.

Again, on a busy street and in a left turning lane I encountered a red light.  I was in rush mode and felt anxious while I was doing my best to be patient waiting for the light to change. With at least one eye on the light I reached across to my passenger seat to free my sandwich from the paper bag, and fiddled with the paper wrapping.  Just as I was about to take my first bite I noticed something, or should I say someone?

On the median beside me, beneath the street light and leaning against the pole I noticed a thin young man whose sign told me that he was hungry.  I looked at the sandwich and looked back at him.  I knocked on my window to get his attention, then rolled it down, re-wrapped the sandwich, placed it back into the bag and handed it to him.

He responded in an unexpected way. He took the bag and quickly scooted off the median, following the crosswalk to the safety of the sidewalk, excitedly fumbling in the bag for something to eat.

Tonight I was reading excerpts from a book by Carolyn Myss called Invisible Acts of Power.   Through simple things we can empower others.  It can simply be the offering of the right words at the right time, a hug that will keep someone going, taking time to listen to someone talk or quietly holding space to allow someone to cry.  I am thinking that this past week, for this young man, it was me giving him this inexpensive little chicken sandwich when his need was great.

I have no doubt that if I had tossed a financial gift to the man or the woman stationed at red traffic lights in hopes of a handout, the recipients wouldn`t have appreciated it nearly as much as the recipient of my sandwich, nor would I have  such a feeling of gratitude and joy about following my instincts in making this choice.


Opening up

by lulujane on September 9, 2012

DSC_0118aI’m thinking it’s odd that I wrote this piece a few years ago, and revised it in March 9, 2006.  I’m still here, still uneasy about times when things stay the same.


Some people are afraid
of change.
of staying the same.

Life is fleeting
an adventure
in constant flow.

When things are stagnant
for long periods
Ho hum, hum drum.

Feeling uneasy
in armchair of familarity.
Should be doing something.
Drudgery of sluggish routine
suffocates motivation and
spontaneous creativity.

Filling time
with pleasurable pursuits
that speak and are heard
intuitive whispers
that alert and guide.

Focus elusive.
Easily distracted
by eager eye taking in,
Magnetic energy attracting
Whirling sights and sounds

On precipice of risk
testing self
Urged to explore
each new place
where freedom allows
Detaching from outcome

Sampling and savouring
sweet morsels
manifesting feasts
creating rich reality
in delectable smorgasbord
called `Life`.

Stepping out
daring and fearless
saying “why not?”
keeping energy fluid
merging into rivers
inspired to navigate.

Feeling brave.
Opening up
excavating hidden talents
discoveries matching desires.

Meeting people
unknown before
in new ventures.
Heart sees.
Beauty and vulnerability
strength and courage

to stay
with one thing
as principal focus.

Difficult to figure…
or fear
that following it further
might bring elevation
to level of skill
where more
is demanded.

Gentle with innocent
Accomplishment pleases
Not shackled
by traps of youth
when perfection
determined value.

Favour of others
It does not
self perception.

if there is
doubt of not measuring
high enough
on yardstick
of self determined
ruler of success.

Likely closer
to hunger of what urges
is grace of insatiable appetite
to learn anew,
to bathe in the freshness
of each new day
to peek nose into space
where shaft of light
reveals itself at doorway`s edge
Nudging it open
To take rightful place.

As a child
judged as nosy
“You just don`t want to miss out on anything do you?”
Statement right
Judgment wrong.
Truth is
blessed with awareness
and curiosity
of a puzzled child
wanting to know more,
longing to understand.

from the banquet
where inner promptings
direct to new menus
unfamiliar, tempting main courses
and desserts
delighting in surprises,
gliding gracefully along
the buffet line.

Wafting like a breeze
on zephyrs of change
Big toe in water
feeling, testing
engaging to level
where thermostat
of comfort zones
registers interest and pleasure

Relishing excitement and lightness
Engaging loops and levels
on landscapes of life,
acknowledging presence of butterflies
spreading translucent wings
and moving
ever forward.

the coziness of familiarity,
rubbing against it
like a child
feeling warm and safe
snuggled close to mother
in church pew,
nuzzling face
into warmth and smoothness
of texture and smells
of old, worn muskrat fur coat.

Passion vibrates
heart sings
expressing photographic gift
by eye
and heart enveloping beauty
seen and sensed,
Unceasingly seduced
to look beyond
surface seen.

in a shining light
of beauty pool
where sacred subjects
reveal reflections
of souls
….And time stops.

and student
in game of life
observing ….. shifting…… like seasons
jumping in…. surrendering.

merged with the stream
and growing into awareness
of the glory

Linda Iler
March 2006