Saturday, November 28, 2009

insane in the membrane

I believe it was Albert Einstein that once said 'insanity is the definition of doing the same action over and over and expecting a different result'.  As I sit here this morning drinking a delicious Tearo coffee with two dogs at my feet, I’m thinking back on this past week feeling like it was a week of pure insanity.  But that’s the blessing of a good Saturday morning - it can detach you from the week you just killed (or the week that just killed you).  And I also 'get it', in so much that I can comprehend it’s also just one mere blip on the radar. So while I do understand my small insane week doesn't really impact anybody other than me, I've been thinking that our collective insanity goes way beyond a simple work week.  

I’m in the midst of reading Loving Frank and just finished The Diary of Anne Frank. Both incredible stories in their own right.  One is set in 1909, the other in 1944 and when you’re reading both you feel remarkably connected to the moment, the year and the mind of the main storyteller, Mamah and Anne (respectively).   More importantly, both books feel like the setting could have been 2009 because the actions within both are happening in lives around me today.

In 1909, imaging a woman leaving her husband and kids to find a real love is astounding to me. I feel so close to Mamah's headspace because I too have often wondered the difference between sacrifice and selfishness.  We all continue to try to search for a love within ourselves, or an even greater love beyond our own mind – but why?  Why do so many of us never stop searching or wondering?  Trying to choose between settling, society and selfishness - do these choices mean we end up sabotaging our own lives and those lives around us?  And in fact living a repeat behaviour from 1909 to 2009.

There is a page in Anne Frank’s diary (pg 277 to be exact), and the first time I read it I felt the strongest lump in my throat.  Not only because it’s incredibly poetic, written from the point of view of a 15-year girl on the insanity of war, but it felt like it could have been written today about the war we’ve been fighting for the last eight years.  It's almost as though, nothing changes and overall, do we really get any further ahead?  I've traveled to parts of the world where signs of war remain, and I stood there thinking "what would have changed in history if war didn’t have to be the outcome?  Was it necessary?”.  But in the very real and honest words of Anne Frank:  "I don't believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone, are guilty of the war. Oh no, the little man is just as guilty, otherwise the peoples of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There's in people simply an urge to destroy, an urge to kill, to murder and rage, until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated, and grown will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again." 

If you think about it, although we evolve, we continue to repeat our actions, technology is added to our lives but at the core we are the all the same in so many ways.  And how much really does change because we do re-enact war, love affairs and our actions.  As the most intelligent species on the planet, kind of makes you wonder if we’re all just insane.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

now I lay me down to sleep...

From the ripe ole age of 9, I decided I wanted to be catholic.  Little did I know the lifelong implications that would come with this decision.  You see, my mom was catholic, but my dad, my brother and I were protestant.  But in grade 3, way too many of my friends were catholic and I felt left out. So with the wave of a regilious magic wand, I became a catholic.  And ever since that day, the guilt is ingrained within my veins.  

I feel guilty if I'm blessed, guilty if I'm grateful, guilty if I have money, guilty when I feel healthy, guilty sometimes for just simply being happy. Luckily years ago, I've let go of the guilt that was associated with having sex out of about freedom since the day I made that decision!  It was almost becoming crippling.  Until, I let it go.

This week I've decided to release more of this guilt.  And while it feels good, it's also fearful worrying about when the lightening is going to strike.  Life has been good to me, some years better than others.  This is a good year.  But it doesn't come for free.  A lot of hard work, belief and faith goes into the things I want...sometimes I don't even realize how much.  But I do think with so much grief and poverty in the world, it's hard to wonder why some of us have so many more 'blessings', while other good people hardly have one simple blessing in a lifetime.  It seems unfair (hence, the guilt). But I also know this goes beyond my own little catholic bubble. I've had girlfriends that worried about having a second or third child because the first was so great that a curse would ensue by having more kids. But in our very short span of living, shouldn't we all want for more?   And if we get it, shouldn't we share it?  We're told at a very young age that we need to share with our others.  So when we have good things like - healthy, money and wellness - share it with those that have less.

At this middle stage in life, it's time my guilt was replaced with giving.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dawson's Annual Holiday Greeting Card

It's that time of year again when I make my beloved pooch participate in ridiculous scenarios all in the spirit of winning "best Holiday greeting card" among all those that hit the fridge of my friends and family.  Stiff competition, but we always win. Always. (c'mon, look at that face)

This year, I thought that given that I'm learning more about the digital landscape that I'd make it digital and interactive.  But instead, I'm going to hold steadfast to my own brand, which means old skool Christmas cards - you know, the kind you get in the ole fashioned mailbox.  I love writing letters, thank you cards and yes, Christmas cards.

That said, I want to make a donation to a really good cause this year.  Dogtown and the SPCA came to mind.  But then I thought...I want my hard-earned money to go directly to an animal. So that means Dawson and I need your help. If you know of a family pet (especially a dog) that's in need of good medical care and without insurance, then I'd like to donate and help that one animal get the care they need.  So, know anyone?  If so, post a comment here or email me at

Peace. On Earth.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

summer of 69

In 11 days, it will be my brother's 40th birthday.   

From a very young age, I knew that 40 was a special birthday. Adults seemed to do crazy things like ordering 40 pink flamingos for the front lawn.  And the birthday boy/girl used to get (really) drunk spending the next day feeling sorry for themselves (my mom included).  Society ensures that we're well aware that 40 is old, or even worse...the ever-dreaded, "Middle-Aged" label.

But now that I'm among the elite adult group, many of my friends have turned 40 in the last year.  And at 35, I'm happy to say that not one of them looked like the 40 I remember in my childhood.  Sure, that's perspective playing a key role, after all I was looking up at those old adults from a 4ft frame solely thinking that pink flamingos and a hangover were all that I had to look forward to one day.

In the vast memory bank of my mind, time ebbs and flows, but is also rapid and flickering.  It's hard to comprehend it's my big brother's turn to be 40 when just yesterday, my dad was 40 dealing with the tragic news that his parents were killed in a car accident.  And my 15-yr old brother was devastated in the arms of my father, at the loss of his grandfather.  Dad, although incredibly sad, seemed mature and stoic enough to deal with it.  He was my dad after all; nothing short of a super hero from behind my 10-yr old eyes.  Now seeing my brother turn 40 and also selfishly sitting five years away from that birthday myself, I now see that my dad was so young - dealing with the loss of his parents, while trying to be a parent himself.  Without ever asking him, I'm sure he felt in that moment of not wanting to not be an adult-40, merely wanting to just give in to the significant loss in his life.  

Middle-age, a perceived time to be negative and depressed about hitting the top of the hill. But, as you know, I'm not a big fan of society (in general terms), so to my big bro - I say just grab your crazy carpet now that you're about to make it over the hill, raise your arms in a V and slide down the other side with a smile on your face and the wind in your hair.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

my adorable furry friend

After a year of waiting, I went to see Where the Wild Things Are this past Friday night.  I had full intentions of going to a friends' housewarming party, but after a brutal week I just needed to shut-it-down, put on some cozies and head to dark movie theatre.  I was so excited.  With a warm tea in hand, I sat in the back row wrapped in my puffy winter coat and kicked off my sneaks.

After spending a 100 minutes watching the relationship between Max and Carol, I felt like there were so many tender moments that reminded me of the bond I have with my sweet pooch, Dawson.  Without giving away anything significant, when the two had to say goodbye to each other on a beautiful sunny shore I started to cry (and maybe even cried some more). Spike Jonze created something on screen that was an identical dream to the way I had always envisioned the moment when I have to let go and say goodbye to my furry friend. 

When I was telling another sweet friend this story today, he looked at me and said, "but C., think about living a life where every single day you're 100% happy".  And of course, that too made me cry. But only because of the raw honesty and truth to this sentiment.

So when the time comes, I'll remind myself of her smile and the way we definitely lived 100% - together.