REVERB 2015 – waiting for 2016 – from Kat McNally:

Today, I invite you to think about the great unknowns in your life right now. Say to yourself this morning: “I am open to the answers finding me”. Then stay alert with as many senses as you can.

In what form did the answers find you?


IMG_2036I have been trying or not trying so hard to write on the above prompt for quite a few days now.  I am sad at the ending of things. I am not good with new beginnings or farewells. Our host, Kat McNally is saying goodbye to Reverb and her blog.  Then Christmas Eve, our neighbours had a house fire.  They lost their 2 little dogs to smoke inhalation.  My dog and I still look for them when we leave the house.  Where are those little rascals?  Loss takes time.  It’s not bad to feel it.  It is natural.  Now I have to move on – with the rhythm of life and my words.

IMG_2097The older I get the less I know, the more confused I am on how to be. That is very, very true.  The good thing is that I am getting more comfortable with this unknowing in life.  I am able to sit back and sink into that messiness of I don’t know where the hell I am going or what to do.  I’m okay with sitting in between answers.  Why kill myself in digging at the root of things? Sometimes there are no answers.  I am deliberately choosing to do something different.

IMG_3895In the meantime there is nothing to do, no place to go, no wants, no striving, no worries. I can sit here with the Mister and Sheba –  feet up, living in the moment, watching our breaths going in and out.  All is copacetic.




Another week, another story as Friday Fictioneers gather here to tell the tales of 100 words. Our host is Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Thanks for this week’s photo prompt, Rochelle.  I love windows and kitchens.  Kitchens are good places for story telling.

PHOTO PROMPT- © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

If the eyes are the window into the soul, windows are the eyes into the universe for her.  She loves sitting here in the mornings.  The world is still asleep but the darkness is lifting.  First a faint grey, then a haze of soft buttery yellow.  Now the orange is streaking through.

The kettle is whistling.  A breeze comes in the window. Contentment sighs through her.  She makes her tea and takes it over to the table. She gathers her pens and pads.  She is ready.  Ready and willing to tell the story.  The drama, lies and all the secrets.




Issue 5 of the beautiful magazine Bella Grace carries a gorgeously illustrated quote from a chap called H. Jackson Brown Jr as follows:

“Watch the sunrise at least once a year, put a lot of marshmallows in your hot chocolate, lie on your back and look at the stars, never buy a coffee table you can’t put your feet on, never pass up a chance to jump on a trampoline, don’t overlook life’s small joys while searching for the big ones.”

What small pleasures gave you moments of intense joy in 2015? 

What more could you cultivate in 2016?


Why is it that I always wait till I’m sodden with wine and then try to write?  That is the thousand dollar question as they say.  I’m happy to say my day of nothingness did go as planned.

I’ve spent the day admonishing my dog, Sheba and reading Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin.  The book is read and the dog quiet.  I’m having trouble retrieving myself from the book.  But I have come up with a word for the coming year: ORDER.

For now and today, especially these grey days of December, I like to indulge and pamper myself with the sensual.  ‘Tis the season after all.  ‘Tis the season between autumn and spring, after the harvest and before the sowing.  It’s that time of pausing to nourish and plan for the coming season.  There will be much work of sowing, creating, working – the projects, the garden, the life.

IMG_3789I’m learning to love the days I used to dread, these sunless days of December. Once they filled me with anxiety and sadness.  Now the grey sky blankets me with warmth and ease.  It tells me it’s okay to be slow. It’s okay to be lazy.  It’s okay to do a day of nothing.  I can languish with a book. I can indulge in hot chocolate with a marshmallow or two. Everything is copacetic.

There!  My two favourite words – languish and copacetic. Both in one paragraph. I’ve missed them, my two friends.  Such a long time since I’ve last written you. Surprising how two words can give me so much pleasure.  But I am not one with big desires.  Give me the smallness, the seemingly inconsequential.  I will find comfort and happiness there.

  • hot chocolate with 2 marshmallows floating on top
  • tapping out my words
  • capturing everyday life my iPhone
  • coffee with a friend/my mother
  • a smile from a stranger
  • the feel of his hands on my face
  • Sheba at my feet
  • the aroma of bread/cookies/cinnamon buns baking
  • warm bubble baths/clean sheets
  • a mindful swim
  • and so on and on…..

Memories of all the little and everyday things will sustain me into the new year and on.  I need not try harder.  I need not yearn for more.  This is enough for now and 2016.




I had given up espousing on Reverb15 for awhile.  I took it as a sign when I stopped getting Kat’s emails.  I needed a rest anyways.  But after a couple of days, the emails came back.  It was another sign.  So here I am again…Today’s prompt from Lisa Sadikman.  She writes:

You wake up and the light through the window seems different, the air carries a chill or maybe a hint of warmer days.

What has changed? You? The world?

It can be a change that happened this past year or one you’re looking toward in the time ahead. It can be a broad sweep obvious to all or a more subtle shift that only you know about.

Tell us about transformation. 


December 13th.  The mornings are oh so dark in the northern hemisphere at 7.  The house cold before the thermostat was turned up.  I had to turn the lights on to read Margaret Atwood with my tea before breakfast.  After, I stood to stretch and to do my qigong routine as on most mornings.  Darkness had receded somewhat and I could see out the windows.

IMG_3783I saw the spruce trees and wondered how they grew so big.  I remembered planting them with my mother when I moved into the house. They were mere saplings then.  Now, they towered above the garage, way up high in the sky.  How immense!  How impressive!  Just as life is.  Those thoughts came to me out of the blue – like text messages from Instagram, lighting up my iPhone.

I look at the spruce trees now and again throughout the day.  They form a canopy over the two buddhas below. One is in serious contemplation, while the other laughs at it all – darkness and light, the yin and the yang, all of life’s catastrophes and comedies.

These things, ideas, realizations come at me like ping backs, whatever they are. I’ve been called eccentric/weird before – for reading ‘weird’ books, for buttering my toast with avocados, for being just me.  I would not be insulted if you find me weird now.  What else would you call someone that has things coming telepathically?

When I see the spruce branches quiver in the wind, I’m reminded again of their enormous size, their grandeur.  I’ve grown them in my lifetime.  Isn’t that amazing?  Isn’t life amazing?  Isn’t it amazing how you can change how you see things in an instant, in a blink of an eye?  I am so happy that I am ‘weird’.


So here it is, another Friday, time for Friday Fictioneers.  I’m slow to show this week. Such a busy schedule being retired and all!  But here I am with my 100 words.  We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  We like to tell tales according to a photo prompt.

PHOTO PROMPT © Luther Siler
PHOTO PROMPT © Luther Siler

Two pairs of arms lifted her up, one at her shoulders, the other at her feet.  She was light as a feather. What was happening?  She felt limp.  Her head was all fuzzy.

She felt the arms lowering her.  It wasn’t soft, that’s for sure.  It wasn’t wide either.  She felt her arms dangling down both sides.  Oh, yes, she was in the OR for her surgery.

“I feel like a slab of meat!”  She giggled.

Blurry faces in green masks loomed above her.  “It’ll be over soon”  She recognized her doctor’s voice.  “Start counting to ten.” Said another.  One…



Day 8 of Kat McNally’s Reverb.

Today’s prompt and image come from Jennifer Williams-Fields (photo credit: Bing Osterman Photography). Jennifer is a true inspiration as she glides and stumbles through life as a single mum to six kids, yoga teacher, fitness instructor and writer. Her book Creating a Joyful Life: The Lessons I Learnt from Yoga and my Mom was published  this year to great acclaim.

Jennifer writes:

While alchemy is the active process of creating something of value, serendipity is the passive path to finding an unexpected treasure.

Looking back through 2015, what did you diligently try to create? 

What great thing did you just happen to find?


IMG_1625I started this year with great diligence and intention of smoothing out all my rough edges. I was going to cast out all my mean evil spirits, all my faults and become the woman of the year. I had good intentions but it all backfired on me.  I became a MESS.  But I was a very functional one, having past experiences.  Past experience is a great asset in these kinds of situations.  I survived, shivering and quivering inside, hanging on by my fingernails.

I survived by hanging on with experience, knowing that “This, too, shall pass.”  I healed by letting go, giving up.  I threw up my hands. C’est la vie!  I felt every one of those shivers of fright and lived to tell about it.  It’s much like the feeling of falling in your dreams.  You don’t hit bottom.  You float up.

IMG_3755That is the great thing I found when I gave up.  Life is messy and there are things that I cannot control.  Things happen. That is how it is.  Look at what happened to my bread!  Though I am SURE that I did everything right, they came out like this. Where are my usual PERFECT loaves? Wait, all is not lost yet.  I still have the baguettes in the oven.

IMG_3757They are out of the oven now, looking beautiful, brown and crisp.  Will they pass the French taste test?  Does it matter?

What matters is  – I am still here.  Though life is not perfect and there is darkness and meanness, there is also something greater than ourselves.  I have stumbled and fallen. When I was too weary, the Universe took over.  I am healing.  I have to believe in the ultimate goodness.  I have to believe in the Divine.



It’s day 7 of Kat McNally’s Reverb15.  Today’s prompt is:

In her seminal book Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott offers the observation: “The evidence is in, and you are the verdict.”

Regardless of where you live in this crazy beautiful world, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s been a BIG year.

Today, I want to acknowledge that you are here and I am here and we are here.

We’re just… HERE.

That feels like a BIG DEAL.

And, that being said, I invite you to reflect on all that this evinces. What are you the verdict of?


IMG_5420So we’re all HERE, you and I.  It is a big deal.  I am a big deal.  Funny – I’ve never felt that before.  It’s a turning point, this awareness.  I’ve always been in the shadow of someone else bigger and better than myself.  I’m along like the ugly mean sister, homely friend, a brown sparrow companion to boost someone else’s ego.  Those are stories I tell myself.

Well, guess what?  I no longer want to be any of that!  I want to tell myself different stories. I want to bust out my cocoon and morph into this beautiful butterfly that I really am.  It has taken me this long to wake up. I am the witness and the verdict of this stage in life. I can be a big deal.  Never say never.  Never say it’s impossible.  Never say you can’t change.  Never say miracles can’t happen.  Things can ALWAYS happen.  Treasure this life.  It’s fragile and beautiful.

IMG_1628I am a great admirer of Anne Lamott.  Bird by Bird has great instructions on writing and life. I’m heeding her advice of writing/living in a one-inch picture frame, within the range of how far I can see in a car’s headlights driving at night.  I’m guessing that means be in the present moment.  I am living and writing in the light though I’m surrounded by darkness.  I am writing myself out of the darkness.


Day 6

From Kat McNally:

Reverb15 Day 6: ancestral healing (a special guest post from Cindy Mearns)

Today’s prompt and image come from Cindy Mearns. In the new year, Cindy will be helping me to map out my ancestry… and shine light on the gifts and wounds I carry and transmit through the next generation. I am thrilled to be sharing Cindy’s considerable gifts with the Reverb15 community.

Cindy writes:

As each year progresses, we unknowingly gather many thoughts, beliefs, and patterns to us. In fact, what we are carrying may have been passed down to us from previous generations.

Looking at the thoughts and patterns that may be holding you back from living the life you want, trace back through the generations of your family and see if your beliefs originated generations ago.

In 2016, how can you bring healing to these patterns of thought that are holding you back?


IMG_3339I hold my maternal grandparents in the highest esteem.  Everything that I am, have been comes from them through their DNA, through the stories my mother tells me.  I feel them in my very marrow.  That is not to say, I don’t feel my paternal heritage.  I just don’t feel them as strong.  My father have never told me any stories.

My grandfather was a man of letters, a stern schoolmaster.  He was revered, respected and loved as well.  He passed on the magic of words to me.  I love the power and beauty of them, how you can paint pictures and stir up emotions with them.  They have the ability to hurt and heal.  I have been hurt by other people’s words, but I have saved my life with mine.  I am careful with my words.  I respect what they can do.

My grandmother was a very courageous woman.  She survived Mao Tse Tung’s regime. Many things are done in the name of/for the cause when a country is in a revolution as China was.  My grandparents were victims of such.  My grandfather escaped with his life but in his place my grandmother was jailed.  Her strength and faith enabled her to live. She believed that the heavens would save her and they did.  She gave me her mettle.

I feel their blood and spirits in me.  I feel them as I am sitting here, tap, tapping out my words.  The Chinese worship their ancestors.  We walk their mountains every year. It is called such because traditionally graves were in the mountains.  We take food, burn incense and paper money, bow and pour libation for them.  To you, my grandparents. Rest in heavenly peace and look down/after me once in awhile.


It is Day 5 of Kat McNally’s Reverb15.  The prompt is:

Go on, show us your selfie! You know you want to.

If you’ve been a part of Reverb before, you know that this is the bit where I invite you to share your favourite photo of yourself from the year (selfie or otherwise).

For bonus points, give us a montage of the photos you have shared during each Reverb you’ve participated in. (Throwback Thursdays #tbt are also welcome!)


IMG_1715The truth is I really DON’T want to share my selfie these days.  It is not as if I’m 20, 30 or even 40.  I won’t go any further.  What I’m saying is I am no long young or slim.  Show up and be humiliated?  No thank you. I rather hide in the shadows and glory in yesterdays – when I WAS young and beautiful.

Let me indulge a little in nostalgia.  Let me glory in yesterday, when I was young.  I did not know I was beautiful then.  But at least I am seeing and loving her now.  It’s never too late.



It’s day 4 of Reverb15.  Today’s prompt and image come from Kathleen Jowitt.  She writes:

As the year ends, and we look back at the joys, achievements and disappointments of the past twelve months, it’s worth taking some time to recognise what our efforts have demanded of us and where our resources have been depleted.

Whether you have spent 2015 bringing some long-cherished project to fruition or simply trying to keep your head above water, it’s likely that this has come at some cost to you.

How can you replenish your (physical, mental, spiritual and/or emotional) resources? What do you need most of all at this moment?


I am sure many of us arrived in December feeling the weight of the past year heavy on our shoulders.  I know I have.  It is wonderful that I have this revue, Kat McNally’s Reverb, to unload that weight.  Musing and words have always been my way of breathing in and out.  I am breathing in and out as I tap, tap out my thoughts.  I am relaxing and talking to myself.  My words and thoughts are all about myself, so no worries.  I am laying no blames, giving no excuses.  Nothing personal, OK?

2015 was one hell of a struggle, treading and treading, trying to keep my head above water. I had a project or two.  The biggest one was trying to ‘fix’ myself.  I wasn’t good enough, kind enough, generous enough, ***enough.  Enough!  Right?  Why is it that I/we feel this way?  I am sure I am not alone in this.

I failed fixing myself.  Instead I ended up harming myself more. I discovered that I did not need ‘fixing’.  Coming through the trauma of unravelling, I saw what I need was to love myself – MORE.

I am doing that – learning to love myself slowly and steadily.  New habits are difficult to learn, even loving oneself.  So I take it easy with the ‘musts’, ‘should’ and ‘have to’. I splurge a little on feeling good – nice sheets, dark chocolate, books…  No going overboard on anything.  I swim and have dates with myself. I tell myself what I like about myself.  I try to change what I don’t like.  I am luxuriating in the kindness to myself.  I have to stop writing and let that feeling sink in.