Saturday, my favourite day of the week. The sky and air are heavy, pressing their weight on me. It is difficult to feel at ease with the day. I am proceeding as best as I can. The time is appropriate to be reading Pema Chodron’s The Places That Scare You, A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times. There are many places and things that scare me but I am learning to sit and stay with them. I am learning to be a warrior-bodhisattva though I am at times quivering in my seat.

I should really come here regularly, more often than I have of late. I should but haven’t. I am really doing the best I can most days. I should give up the shoulds and just accept myself as I am. The complete acceptance of ourselves as we are is called maitri. The 4 qualities of maitri that are cultivated when we meditate are: steadfastness, clear seeing, experiencing our emotional distress and attention to the present moment.

It’s Sunday morning. It has drizzled overnight. The sky is overcast but the sun is trying to show up. I am, too. I am glad to have an art challenge to do. When the going gets tough, it is helpful to have a ‘chore’ to do. I’m doing Daisy Yellow’s annual ICAD (index card a day). It gives me a start to the day when I’m in stuck mode. I’ve been feeling stuck for too long now. At the end of the day I’ve created one thing even if it is the only thing.

Today is such a day. I haven’t even gotten out of my pjs. I should have used the momentum from the paint session to propel myself forward onto another activity. I didn’t. But I did learned that once I put a splash of paint on the card, it painted itself. The paint and brush had a life of their own. They were guiding and soothing me. I was infused with this exquisite feeling inside. My judgement and criticisms of my work and style evaporated. I was happy just pushing the paint around the card. I felt delicious just being me, painting the way I do. Perhaps I’m not stuck but just staying with being myself.


IMG_1158I’m in trouble.  I have my Chai.  Feeling better, head clearing.  I can feel things draining downward.  But when I speak, I can hear my hoarse voice echo in my head.  My ears pop and my eyes tear.  When I cough, I can hear the rattle in my chest. Too soon for complete recovery yet.  BIG HEAVY SIGH.

I need to be patient and let the cold run its course.  But I am getting cranky and feeling distraught with discomfort at times.  These are not the restful symptoms of being totally sick, of doing/not doing of yesterday. I’m going to take these as signs of healing.  I better keep pushing the fluids and take an analgesic to relieve my distress and crankiness.  This morning, my tapping fingers are not enough.

I don’t know how other Canadians are feeling, but I am sick of the Jian Ghomeshi story. Only a day out, it seems to be in our lives over everything else.  So much speculations.  So many different opinions.  So much #*^!!!!  Reminds me a little of the O.J. Simpson story. Let me not add to the hash and rehashing of these stories.

Let me move onto my second week in France.  I was interrupted by a slow Internet there.


October 22, 2014

It is now Wednesday in France. We are down to our last two days before heading home.

I am happy for this time away from my familiar surroundings. It helps to take me out of myself, out of my small mind and gives me a larger scope of the world. I hope I can be more open-minded. At this same time, being away from home brings me closer to understanding who I am. I see my small concerns for what they are. I see my selfishness and my mean ways. I wish to do better.

IMG_1249I am missing my fur baby, Sheba. I can imagine her excited barks upon our return. I remembered the first time we were away from her. She was so happy to see us upon our return that she ran circles in the street.  She brought tears to my eyes. I’m thinking that we could learn from our pets. They know how to greet us. We should let the people in our lives know they are appreciated.

This is what I’m thinking as I sit here tapping my words. It should be that simple. But it is not. We have to make things complicated. We put in conditions. We insist that people see things our way. We demand that they hear us before we will listen to them. I believe we call this tit for tat.

IMG_1692I am quite weary of this way of living. I am exhausted by it. I am at many crossroads at this time in life. What a better place and time to find this out than in a place of neutral ground. Perhaps I will have a clearer sense of direction as I fly home.

I am hoping when we get to the airport on Saturday morning, we will not be told there is something wrong with my ticket. It is strange all the things that had gone wrong with our bookings when they were done by professionals. Now I’m totally sold on that there are no such things as accidents. Everything is meant to happen.

IMG_1712On these last mornings here, we walk the streets of the village. They are still quite empty. We see the same cat and dog. Some cars drive by. We wave. Now we are able to discern a nod from the drivers. We see a woman here and there clearing the flower boxes in the windows. We say bonjour, the only French word we know besides Je ne parle pas Francais.

Well, I like to say I’m trying. I am. Every day. Always. Sometimes it wouldn’t hurt to give it a rest.


On a Wednesday I’m tap, tapping away on my iPhone. I’m trying to keep the momentum going. I’m such a creature of habit and routine. Little changes can easily upset my apple cart.

Change can be good for the soul. It jars me out of my rut and forces me to look at the world through a new lens. Uncomfortable as it is, it forces me to grow and develop new dendrites. It certainly adds material for the pen.

I don’t understand this reluctance of mine for change. I have never been comfortable with it even when I was younger. I admire those who thrive on it. They are blessed.

But I do TRY. Perhaps we don’t see ourselves objectively. Some people see me as brave and taking chances, always trying something new. I don’t see myself that way. I feel my smallness – the reluctance to let go of the fear and uncertainty.

I’m feeling a bit of this on this cloudy day in France. It must have rained. The balcony is wet. Perhaps it is just a little jet lag, a bit of travel fatigue. I’m tapping it away bit by bit.

I’m not up to my desired number of words. I don’t even know how many I have as there is no word count on the iPhone version of WordPress. I have tried writing on Werdsmith, which has a word count, then copy and pasting onto WordPress. It pastes but only into the box for the title.

It does disrupt flow, not adding to the creative process. But a person can learn to write under all circumstances.

It is Thursday noon in France. We rise late having breakfast after 10. Then it is almost time for lunch. Our host and hostess are having guests for lunch. With my clumsiness in language and manners I offer my help. It is good to be able to do something in return. One feels so selfish and lazy just sitting and receiving.



It’s not quite Friday, but nevertheless, it’s fiction time on Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoof-Fields. Here are my 100 words.  We will be heading out of town again.  Don’t know if I will have time or be able to access Internet.

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields
PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields


I’m missing my words these days so let me pick up my quill before we have to head out to the country again. I sorely miss the musing of my heart.

There will be no time for me to indulge in my fantasies there. The men will be out with the hounds chasing those poor creatures. I’m expected to be along side, cheering him on.

“Drat! What egos they have. I would rather sit here and scribble away. Two more chapters and I will be done.”

I settled into the comfort of my chair, picked up my quill and began.



IMG_5160Hurray, it is 6:30 am and the sun is up and so am I.  The house is suffused with the quiet and soft light of early morning.

I love this time of the day when the city is still asleep.  Traffic is sparse and slow.  It is quiet and peaceful.  I can think.  I can feel.  This is my favourite vantage point, in my sun room, looking through the dining room into  the living room.  The lines and spaces are very pleasing to the eye.  I feel pride in myself for having created it all by myself.

We must acknowledge and feel pride at our accomplishments.  They fuel our passions….to live and to build.  Passions need not always be fiery and grand.  Sometimes they show up in our quiet moments.  Our creative flair can appear in the soups, bread, pastries and snow forts we build on a whim.

IMG_5152 IMG_5168 IMG_5169 IMG_5179


So the bread is in the oven.  I have these thirty minutes to reflect on my progress in changing habits.  How am I going?

I would say I am doing fabulously!  Having been in denial for years, buried under useless thoughts and musings, I have come up for air and light.  After reciting Dr. Phil’s phrase that the greatest insanity of all is to expect a different outcome from doing the same thing, I am changing.

I have had a few almost perfect days.  You might say that I have all my ducks in a row, even if it is only two of them.  I’ve been moving and grooving, cleaning and tidying at high speed, not obsessing, not thinking, just doing.  I’m not even stopping to smell the coffee!

I pick up.  I put away.  I wash.  I fold.  I iron.  I do…at a steady clip.  I save my dawdling for later.  I listen.  I look.  I try not to talk so much.  I breathe.  When things don’t work out, I let it go.  And when that fails, I let it be.  I do the best I can.