A reflective state of mind …

I seem to be doing a lot of thinking lately.  Pondering.  Soul-searching.  Reviewing.  Evaluating.  Looking back.  Reflecting.  Not entirely sure why, to be honest.  Maybe it’s Man Sitting In Valleyin preparation for a change.  I wouldn’t mind.  I like change.  I crave change.

Life would be awfully boring if we just stayed the same, don’t you think?  Frankly, I’m probably due for a biggie.  I think it’s been in the works for a while, you know.  I’ve had that ‘unsettled’ feeling.  In a good way, not a bad way.  Not scary at all.  Sort of like when you know you’re going to sneeze.  It starts suddenly, with a little tickle.  It builds, and builds until it becomes strong.  Uncontrollable.

And then, ready or not, here it comes!  And what a relief it is.

Exciting, actually.  Changes and transitions, not sneezing.

So if anything, I’m impatient for it.

But ‘change’ isn’t what I want to talk about. Regrets are what’s on my mind at the moment.  It’s only natural Continue reading

Despite all the gloom and doom …

Last week I wrote about the sorry state of the world. Ironically, at around the same time I was feeling overwhelmed by it all, a ‘gratitude’ challenge was making Sunrise1the rounds on Facebook. It was really interesting, and inspiring, to see what people were sharing.

I’ve been thinking about it ever since — and about the coincidence of the timing — and realize it’s for an important reason; and it carries an important message: No matter how bad or challenging life may seem we must acknowledge the good, what is working, what’s right, what’s positive.

Which doesn’t mean to say we should stop questioning, or paying attention or ignore what’s wrong or never feel sad or turn our backs on those who need our compassion and help. But we do have to learn to be grateful, to thank our lucky stars.

In my case, there’s a lot to be thankful for. Starting with the fact I woke up today. I know that sounds cliche, Continue reading

Hanging on for dear life …

Me. The poster child for looking on the bright side. Positive thinking. Seeing the glass half full. A true believer in everything working out in the end. Me. drowningThat one. That girl. That woman.

Not so much at the moment, though. I’ve got to admit I’m struggling. So much bad news. Everywhere you turn. It’s absolutely unavoidable. We are just in one helluva mess. The whole world. All of us.

So much hatred. So much prejudice. So much anger. So much violence. So much bloodshed. So much death. So much destruction. So much rubble. So much despair. So much unrest. So much imbalance. So much poverty. So much hunger. So much misery. So much suffering. So much fear. So much grief. So many tears. So many scars. So much injustice.

So little hope.

So little respect. For each other. For life. For human rights. For freedom. Maybe even for ourselves.

Such a crisis.

There has to be something we can do. Why aren’t we?

Why aren’t we marching on our Nations’ capitals? Why aren’t we more selective about who we elect? Why don’t we demand more from them? Why don’t we hold

Continue reading

Glug, glug …

Well, this recent WordPress Daily Post certainly got me thinking:  “Captain Picard was into Earl Grey Tea: mention the Dude and we think:  White Russians.  drinksWhat’s your signature beverage — and how did it achieve that status?”

Fact is, I don’t have a signature beverage.  Never did.  I’m an equal opportunity drinker.

Although having said that, if I was going to have a signature drink it would be Lillet.

It’s a French aperitif and it’s delicious — at least I think so.  It’s wonderful on the rocks, with a twist of lemon.  I was introduced to it back in Montreal, at a French restaurant (Chez Georges) I used to frequent.  It’s Continue reading

Ninety-two years ago tomorrow …

Tomorrow’s my mother’s birthday.  She loved celebrating her birthday.  Even when she got older.  Especially when she got older.  She delighted in telling people chocolateher age; and loved their reactions.

Because no one ever believed it.

She looked considerably younger, but I think the main reason everyone stared at her in disbelief was her ‘spirit’, which was probably about thirty years younger than she was.  At least.  Her zest for life, her curiosity, her willingness to try new things, her open mind, her determination, her sense of humour, her giggle, the twinkle in her eye, her energy, her positive attitude all kept her young.

One of her greatest pleasures was eating chocolate.  You could see the look of rapture on her face the minute she bit into one.  And to her, it didn’t matter — it could have been a handful of chocolate chips or a candy Continue reading

Words to live by …

Do not ask your children

to strive for extraordinary lives.

Such striving may seem admirable,

but it is a way of foolishness.

Help them instead to find the wonder

and the marvel of an ordinary life.

Show them the joy of tasting

tomatoes, apples and pears.

Show them how to cry

when pets and people die.

Show them the infinite pleasure

in the touch of a hand.

And make the ordinary come alive for them.

The extraordinary will take care of itself.

I cannot tell you how much I love this. A fellow WordPress blogger and Facebook friend of mine recently posted it on her timeline; and I haven’t been able to get

Continue reading

The end of an era …

About three weeks ago, I wrote about my aunt, Leatrice, the last of my mother’s sisters. In my heart I knew, that day, she was not doing very well. I spoke with her every week and when I got off the phone after we talked for what turned out to be the last time, I was really concerned about her. What I didn’t know, BloomSisterswas just how rapidly she would decline. Unfortunately she passed away eight days ago.

She’s the one in the middle in the photograph. My mother is on the left and her twin sister, on the right. The twins were seven years older than my aunt. She looks about six or seven, I’m guessing — the smocked dress is a give-away, don’t you think? So they would have been thirteen or fourteen. Teenagers, although to me, they look older — more sophisticated. It’s probably the lipstick that was added to the photograph later. And the rouge, as it was called in those days.

I love this photo. The first time I saw it was at my cousin’s house, after my aunt’s funeral. Obviously in those days there were no colour photographs, so this was tinted. The three of them look like they’re in a

Continue reading

Well, they say it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind …

If I didn’t know better I’d say someone stole my brain while I was sleeping. Hell, who knows. Maybe it did happen. Something’s up, that’s for sure. Has been heartfor a while, only I’ve just really become aware of it.

Kinda crept up on me, slowly. And it’s confusing the hell out of me, if you want to know.

When I look in the mirror it looks like me, but I don’t know, in some respects it sure doesn’t feel like me. Here’s the thing:

For as far back as I can remember myself — and trust me — it’s far, far, far back — I’ve been a city girl. I didn’t even know what suburbs were and I didn’t like ‘em. All I knew was, sprawling ranch bungalows and big backyards and rock gardens and the sound of crickets and peace and quiet didn’t float my boat one bit.

It was always the city I craved. The more congested, the more traffic, the taller the buildings, the noisier — the more I liked it. My whole ‘being’ has always responded to the pulse, to the beat. It’s always made me feel ‘alive’. It’s always inspired me.

Gas fumes never bothered me. Neither did traffic, as long as I wasn’t stuck in it, behind the wheel of a car. I could sit in

Continue reading

Of all the senses …

… the one I think is the most seductive, even more than ‘touch’, is our sense of smell. It is certainly the most evocative, at least it is for me. And it’s the most smelldifficult to capture with words. Which is why writing copy for a perfume can be so challenging.

Last week I wrote about memories and some of the triggers that cause them. A friend of mine commented on how scents trigger memories for her. She’s so right. They do. Powerful ones, at that. And then when I was at the market last week one of my first stops was for bread. No sooner did I idle up to the counter, then the sales gal helping me
inhaled deeply, sighed gently, smiled broadly and asked me if I was wearing patchouli.

She was referring to my perfume.

Indeed, it does have patchouli in it.

In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s rather woodsy, or musky. Earthy. I happen to love it; and every fragrance I’ve ever been attracted to has had patchouli as an ingredient. Not that I knew that until I dabbed the last few droplets remaining in my bottle of eau de toilette behind my ears.

Quite a while ago I blogged about the horror of having to find a new perfume after Gucci sold the Saint Laurent

Continue reading

Moments in time …

It’s interesting, the things we remember from long ago. Really long, like our childhood. And what triggers those memories. Last week I called my aunt. The flashbackslast of my mother’s sisters who’s still alive. She’s far from young now and not so well and I guess, when I got off the phone, I was a bit melancholy. Ours had been such a large, and close knit family and there’s not many left.

I didn’t think much about it right after the call, but I guess it must have been weighing on my mind. Because days later, while reading, I suddenly had a flashback. I was really young, maybe three or four, five at the most. I was in a car. My grandfather was driving. My father was in the passenger seat. My aunt, this same aunt, her fiancé (very recent) and I were all sharing the back seat.

Like most little kids I was jabbering away. It was clear this was not my aunt’s idea of heaven. I could tell because she sighed a lot,

Continue reading