Friday, 24 January 2020

chasin' rainbows ... and other diversions



Over the past few weeks, so many heart-rending developments are unfolding in many places around the world.  The concern and sadness is mentally exhausting (as one attempts to take it all in)  ... and I found myself totally in sync with Magaly's remarks in opening the Poets and Storytellers United, Writers' Pantry, today.  In particular, the line:  'let writing and reading poetry and prose be our break on this day' really hit a chord with me.  As you will see (as you read on) I could not have gone in a less serious direction with my post this week.  And it felt good … to go there. 

A bit of silliness, inspired by a true story … a 'sticky situation' … I found myself in … or, more to the point, personally set in motion (albeit accidentally).  The incident/accident caused me to be late, meeting M.  When we finally caught up with each other, I apoIogized, of course.  At first, he thought that the excuse that I offered was that:  I had been chasing rainbows.  Close … I corrected … but sadly, nothing quite so wonderful as that.

I have come to discover, that looking for humor … is a good course to try and steer towards, when crummy things happen.  Thus (with a dash of hyperbole) … my explanation: 

I was a teeny wee bit peckish
and passed that bakery, you know ...
the one on Main … oh the aroma ...
and that … delicious, sweet window

when I spied those oatmeal raison cookies ...
well … what's a mortal soul to do … when …
scrumptious oatmeal raison cookies … fall ...
to earth … out of the blue

of course … they're leaving with you …
yep … I bought the lot to go …
there was just a mere six dozen
and … what-the-heck … you-never-know

and then I dropped ... the dang bag ...
and the next thing that I knew,
it was raining oatmeal raisin cookie crumbs ...
what a hull … of … a … baloo!

I said, that I was sorry ...
is there something I can do?
and  boom … before I knew it ...
someone handed me a broom!

believe me ... chasin' raisins
is not the snap that you might think ...
there were raisins on the counter ...
there were raisins in the sink

there were raisins in the hanging lights
and heading ant-like out the door ...
raisins scattered to the four winds ...
on raisin/oatmeal colored floors 

just when I’d think I’d done it,

and squashed their little raisin spree ...
I’d spot another raisin,
where a raisin shouldn’t be

and as the minutes ticked away,
gawd knows, I kept on trying ...
but I swear the little devils,
mark my words, were multiplying

in my defense: I’m sorry,
that I’m forty minutes late ...
but I’ve been chasin' raisins ...
and somethings … simply … cannot wait


photo:  'Bakery Window' (from a display window on Main - the window was actually in a paper supply store - and the cakes are all folded and rolled papers) – W. Bourke 

© 2020 Wendy Bourke

Friday, 17 January 2020

waiting




early january days ...
in this part of the world
(the last of the holiday bric-a-brac has been stowed away
to wait out the eleven months before the next 'big reveal')

the blue-green scene, outside my window, has morphed
into a grim cold-dark-wet netherworld … 
bare branches raise beseeching brown bone arms-to-sky ...
from time-to-time ... the wind shrieks, as if, well-and-truly mad

it isn't so, that there are four seasons,
each with its own marvels to behold ...
there are at least five … 
spring, summer, fall,  winter and waiting ...
the waiting season ... rarely, marvel-ous at all

in this part of the world,
waiting arrives with the start of each year ...
bedecking the landscape in shades of murky mud

but for the periodic, infrequent and brief flutter, of white magic
(shining as it does, as a subtle reminder that we are, in fact, 
commencing upon a new calendar,
and not entombing one which has sputtered to its end)
it is an incongruous backdrop to fresh beginnings

still ... to live ... is to wait ... 
all tallied up, over a lifetime,
each of us waits for years and years ...
we wait ... and then ... we wait some more ...
we wait in line … we wait on the phone ... we wait in traffic ...
we wait our turn … 
and of course, we wait for spring …
through the january blahs
and february doldrums ... we wait it out

and we plan ... oh how we plan ... like sun beams on a tropical sea ... 
the plans that we hatch ... the dreams we indulge …
the places we'll go and the things we will do ...
come spring ...
sustaining ourselves, while we wait ...
with the promise of bright beginnings ... fresh starts ... 
and the renewal of life ...
for that is the primal, inherent metaphor of spring,
that we carry with us … while we wait ... for the next great thing 

photo:  West Coast January Weather  – W. Bourke

© 2020 Wendy Bourke 

Thursday, 19 December 2019

A Holiday Puente

HEAD DOODLING BACK


✫ 

in that gentle place of light
between the peace of solitude 
and the joyful companionship of good souls

~ glad spirits bask in the warmth of contentment ~

when we find our way back to that sanctuary … 
we are comforted  …  we are renewed  …  it is the gift … 
that we seek  –  again and again  –  all the days of our lives


Best Wishes ... Peace and Joy throughout the Holidays and the New Year …
I am taking the rest of the year off from blogging, and will return in 2020.

photo:  This is the tree in the lobby of the Hotel Vancouver that I snapped three years ago, when my children took me for Christmas High Tea, there, as a treat … a lovely afternoon with family - W. Bourke

© 2017 Wendy Bourke

Thursday, 12 December 2019

this place in my life


this place in my life ...
chuckles ... cheerful as a rill
whenever soft music plays …
thus ... music plays ... now ... softly ...
I close my eyes
and I could be ... anywhere ...
wandering in the strains

at this place in my life ...
I find ... the spirits are inclined …
to recall to mind
the ways by which I arrived
at this place in my life ...
the best of times … mercifully …
better remembered

this place in my life ...
sighs with serenity
whenever I need ... nothing ...
and at this moment
I require no more ...
than what is here ... before me ...
lavished in simplicity

at this place in my life ...
there are people I love … and who love me ... 
there is sky … and land … and mountains … and sea
 … my days are filled with natural wealth ...
I am well and warm and pleasantly fed ...
content … that my path has led me ...
to this place


'Contentment is natural wealth' - Socrates (circa 470 - 399 BC)


photo:  A pathway at Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island – W. Bourke

© 2019 Wendy Bourke 

Friday, 6 December 2019

a good place under heaven


oh ... for the days
when I floated
down wilderness paths …
I unfurl my arms-to-wings
at-the-thought

... still ... this sky ...
lifts me from the mortal coil ...
all impediments and doubts
eclipsed by the profundity
... of being ...

there were tall green grasses
and cathedral trees ...
there were mountain trails
and dolphin blue seas ...
now ... in mind's eye

the days I embraced ...
the voyages I sailed ...
my life's passages ...
is it not so? ... all of it ...
has led me to this good place

under eternal heaven
far ... far .. beyond
the dissever of minutia ...
surely ... this is spiritual ...
for it confers ... such peace

 photo:  The Pacific Ocean photographed from Qualicum Beach – W. Bourke

© 2019 Wendy Bourke 

Friday, 29 November 2019

Rut Busters



I've been thinking a lot about ruts, lately ... life ruts ... not road ruts. Perhaps, that is because of the in-between season we are in ... in-between seasons seem to foster rut development ... both kinds ... though my ruminations have centred around the ruts of habit and routine.

Ruts and lethargy go together like kittens and cuddles. Ruts have a way of taking the gleam out of inspiration and the enthusiasm out of a day.  Once you are tapped out of OOMPH ... it can be a very alusive concoction to replicate.

Staying up most of the night, reading or writing or painting or sewing is a small act of defiance against the natural order of activities … and can offer, temporarily at least … a somewhat altered perspective ... outside the rut. Music ... reminiscent of a lighthearted time ... can go a long way towards making spirits bright. And I have found that gardens ... private and public ... are magical rut reducers … with their ever changing canvases of coloured leaves ... stark bare branches pinned against a gothic winter sky ... rebirth ...
and ………...

Needless to say, we all have our own very personal little ways of reminding ourselves what a gift life is ... when we need reminding. Mine is fudge ... mostly it's about making it for others ... though I do indulge myself in the odd piece. It was my Mother who introduced me to fudge ... She loved fudge .. and often, I suspect when she felt she was in a bit of a rut ... we'd smell that unmistakable aroma wafting from the kitchen.

Then she'd start to joke ... “I don't smell anything” ...“I never said I was making fudge”. She loved to tell the story of how her parents once ran a country store, in the 30's ... a 'just-the-essentials' kind of shop. Kids who had ridden their bikes for miles to spend the l or 2 cents they had earned doing chores, were so disappointed when there was nothing there for them, that my Mother began rising early to make fudge that she cut into pieces, wrapped in wax paper and sold for a penny. I am reminded of that when I make fudge for my own family ... a precious memory ...

A very precious memory ... which, I have come to discover ... combined with doing something nice for others ... out of the blue ... is the best rut buster there is.

photo/drawing: This is from a little doodle I did, years ago, while thinking back on my Mom's fudge – WB

©2019 Wendy Bourke

Friday, 22 November 2019

Beautiful Lives


Usually when I am having a disturbing dream ... I awaken (mercifully) because words and deeds have become so wrong ... the narrative no longer makes sense.  In response to wild deviations from norms … I begin thinking along the lines of ...

this is too crazy to be real ...
this could never be true ...
I must be dreaming ...
oh, wait ... I am ...
hallelujah ! ! !

Alas, these days, it would appear that freakishly strange mutations-of-truth … endlessly emanating from our phones and T.V.s … does not set off the same alarm bells in wakefulness … that alert us, in slumber.  The preponderance of lies and alternative 'facts' that pass for news-of-the-world … is troubling (to say the least) … so much so that I have come to remarking …

this is the part
where I usually
wake up

half way through a news broadcast.  And while most of the mendacity I am witnessing now (on a daily basis) is coming from 'on-high' ... from governments and rulers and certain media and 'organized' haters ... I do worry about the trickle-down effect ... especially upon the children of this global village … whose values are a work in progress.

Ultimately, all lives come to an end,  That 'truth', for me ... begs the question ... what do most people want their life to have been about ... (and by extension) how do they want to be remembered ... and how does that jive with the burgeoning exposure to 'pretend reality' we are currently being inundated with. Not surprisingly, these existential of all existential questions have been studied. I've looked into some of the results of this research and ... I have wonderful news … 'truth' is hanging in there, as the measure of a good life. The vast majority of humankind … universally ... echo (with minor variations) fundamentally similar responses. Most of us ... want to believe that we tried to do our best with the life we were given ... that we are seen as a decent and honest person ... and that we are remembered as such.

Moreover, beyond one individual's existence ... the fate of every living thing on this planet would be far improved if we all went forth in the spirit of 'doing the right thing' ... the epitaph ... the great-lot-of-us claim to aspire to. For most mortals ... that is the pinnacle ... that is the ideal ... that is the beautiful life ... lived. Now ... if we could just ... 

~ WAKE UP ! ! ! ~

remembering that ... treasuring it for the virtue that it is .. and demonstrating the good of it ... to the children of this earth.

photo:  Meditation – W. Bourke

© 2019 Wendy Bourke

Friday, 15 November 2019

frabjous


yesterday .... truly ... was frabjous ...
in that fabulous, frabjous fine way ...
it was joyous and stirring and mellow ...
A Great ... Great ... Great ... Great Frabjous Day

it was frabjous ... it was wonderfully frabjous ...
on a trek through the evergreen trees ...
the weather was fair … everywhere
... everywhere ...
simply rippled ... with wafts of pine breeze

there was kind-clever-sharp conversation ...
there was hot, steamy citrus-spiced-tea ...
and then there was dinner ... and candlelight
... 'FRABJOUS' ...
wine ... music ... and good company

it was thoughtful, sublime and engaging ...
it was brilliant ,,, and fun and ... happy ...
it was out-and-outstandingly frabjous ...
just as frabjous ... as frabjous can be


WISHING YOU ALL – at least one - GREAT FRABJOUS DAY -
at the height of these November Doldrums


note: a bit of fun today ... I haven't done a rhyming verse in quite a while, and was feeling the need of it on this November Doldrums Day.

frabjous:  (pronounced FRAB-JUS) - I came across this little word gem - and love it!  Originally it was a nonce (coined word) that first appeared in Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky in 1872 (probably, as a blend of fair, fabulous and joyous) and has come to be listed in dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster.  It goggles as a synonym for:  wonderful, marvelous, magnificent, superb, sublime, spectacular, lovely, excellent, fine, delightful, enjoyable, pleasurable, super, great, amazing, etc., etc., etc.  (All these many years spent amongst words … and I - almost - missed 'frabjous' … which has, totally, got me thinkin':  'I gotta read Jabberwocky ~ smiles ~ )

photo:  Frabjous – W. Bourke 

© 2019 Wendy Bourke

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Strange Beauty


There is often a strange beauty to this hour ... and once again, it comes to me as such. Earlier, the day was clear and sunny ... brilliant coloured leaves hung from the knotted branches of giant sentinel trees splashing scarlet-ochre-amber patches across a cornflower-bluest-blue sky ... And then ...

in the time it took to nosh down a good-sized apple ... contemplatively ... the painting transformed before my eyes ... from strokes on linen ... to the vespertine velvet shades that enhance the mood of evening with a wisp of the mysterious. The leaves – now – ­look much older ... the grand trees – more wizened in the dusk. I feel sporadic drops of rain as twilight falls. It is time for me to go ... to give the place back to itself as it glides from the carefree youth of day to the quiet still of night ... in the strange beauty of this hour.  Perhaps ...

it is a acquirement of age ... discerning a strange beauty, where once ... it was not recognized. Strange beauty ... in the subtlies that mark the passages of time ... or those small acts of survival we encounter every day ... a blade of grass, poking from a sidewalk crack ... a rainbow, at the cessation of a storm.  Perhaps …

we grow to find a gentle pleasure ... to find beauty ... in the ebbs and flows and sounds and sights that have accompanied us, through our life ... a capacity, that waits to unfold with time in the young. Would it surprise them to know now that one day, many of the books and movies and music they enjoy, will come to occupy an even more impassioned place in their hearts, as those 'old' things take on the patina of their 'glory days' ... imbued with a strange beauty that nothing else can duplicate. Will they come to discover, as I have, that even worn out party shoes can cast their own enchantment ... or find the strange beauty that shines from ancient faces ... especially when they smile. I have no doubt that they will ... for that, I believe ... is the rare gift that comes with age.


Beauty is truth, truth beauty,

that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know


- John Keats (1820)


photo:  Strange Beauty – W. Bourke 

© 2019 Wendy Bourke

Friday, 1 November 2019

Faking It


A couple of weeks ago M. and I were offered tickets to a pro football game and I suggested that my daughter-in-law go in my place. “You might as well go,” I prompted. “For the life of me, I still don't understand that game.”

Noticeably gobsmacked, she managed to eek out a dumbfounded, “You don't understand it?  What about all the Grey Cup and Super Bowl Games you and M. have hosted ... You looked so happy ... like you were really into it.  And the boy's high school games ... You went to games.”  At this point she began to laugh. “And cheered your little heart out, too.”  

“I know, eh ... sometimes, even I forget I haven't got a clue what's going on. It's just that I've never had any real affinity for the game ... well, let's face ... sports in general. But I didn't want to come across like Killjoy-Cranky-Pants and ruin everybody's fun, so I just kinda, ya know ... faked it.  Looking back, I think the sham began, in earnest, in high school when – while working for the school newspaper – I was assigned to cover 'The Big Game'.  I told the faculty advisor that I didn't understand football, and I truly believed in my heart-of-hearts, I never could ... it simply wasn't in me.  He advised me to: surprise myself and insisted I cover it in spite of my misgivings: a good reporter finds an angle and works it.

“As I recall, I got the starting line-up correct.  At which point my coverage moved on to an in depth description of the uniforms ... of both teams (let it never be said I demonstrated any journalistic bias) … where upon, I zoomed to the final score ... ending with a hearty tribute to the sportsmanship demonstrated by the two legendary adversaries ... Yep, that was definitely my baptism by fire, alright.  After that – there was no stopping me – I was ready to fake my way through football for the rest of my life, if need be.”

“Does M. know?” my daughter-in-law inquired conspiratorially?

“We never speak of it ... but yes, he's known for years.  When we watch a game together, he hollers out plays, and chastises players.  I suspect he's long since given up all hope that one-fine-day, I will learn to love his favourite game, as he does ...  though, I'm not sure he knows the degree to which I-know-nothing and care-even-less about it.  As I mentioned:  we don't go there.  Anyway, these days, I think it's become more of an atmospheric thing ... He enjoys the game more when he's yelling at the TV ... and seems to be less inhibited when I join in ... so we just leave it at that.”

“But how do you know what to say and when to cheer and when to holler at the refs?”

“Piece-of-cake.  You will observe, I never lead the charge.”

“Does everyone in the family know?”

“Well yes, by now, I think everyone's figured it out ... But you know, we all do it ... with a myriad of different things.  There's almost always someone who is lukewarm-at-best about something the rest of us are up for ... though you'd be hard pressed to spot who it is. That's because nobody wants to do anything that might rachet down the enjoyment level of everyone else. When there is a good time to be had ... all of us want it to be the very best it can be ... because ...

even if you aren't
exactly on the same page
if you are happy
spending time with family ...
it's all good”

Photo:  Patrick (our uber football kid) after a Game (30 years or so ago) – W.K. Bourke

© 2019 Wendy Bourke