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Pieces of Peace, #PiecesOfPeace #FTSF

I’m sitting in a loud, dark, crowded bar on a Saturday night and I don’t belong here. I feel invisible and yet like I stand out, anyone who sees me sensing my feelings of not belonging, maybe not anywhere, but certainly not here. I am hear to listen to music sung with heart, guitar played with boundless talent, but I don’t fit in in this place. And so I begin to examine each individual bead on my little piece of Mexican memory and I feel like I am meant for something, somewhere, somehow.


I took it off the other day, likely to wash dishes or take a shower, and I couldn’t remember where I’d placed it when I went to put it back on. I panicked. It was a strange sort of panic I wasn’t expecting to feel.

It was like I was Gollum from Lord of the Rings when I couldn’t find my bracelet. I needed it. It is PRECIOUS to me.


It is how I find peace in these troubled times, times which test my patience with humanity and with my own patience with myself. Vicious circle.

A wise man with a long white beard made it. He chose it for me, out of a selection of other bracelets, and he placed it on my left wrist. He told me, in so many words, that writing is my destiny. All the new experiences I was having, making it all the way to Mexico on my own, I needed a little reassurance, in that moment, even though I’d started to feel it deep down, and he and his mosaic of art and wisdom came along at the perfect moment in time. His words and my bracelet came along, reflecting back at myself all that I can be and all that I already am.


Now, when my heart wants to jump out of my chest on a daily basis, when I hear news I want desperately to block out completely, the fingers of my right hand grasp and turn the beads on my left wrist. I turn the bracelet, every uniquely shaped and textured piece of colour and exquisite form over and over, around and around, breathing deeply and grabbing hold of the memories of those moments of peace I felt while I was away from home.

Thinking about the care and time that must have gone into making my newly acquired wearable piece of art, how someone even took the time at all, this brings me peace. I find peace from art, from a piece of jewelry or a piece of music created and played with passion.

This has been my story of finding pieces of peace wherever I can.

These pieces of art bring me a special brand of peace, one I’m currently finding it hard to obtain anywhere else, in any other way. Maybe, if I say the words piece/peace, again and again and again, just maybe I will feel just a little more of it.

And so, thank you to Mr. McLauchlin and the musicians and artists and peace bringers/makers of the world, for all that you’ve given me.

Bucket List, RIP, Special Occasions, The Insightful Wanderer, TravelWriting, TToT, Writing

TToT: Snow In April – That’s Disgusting! #10Thankful

Besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life,

an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition that is often associated with Buddhist influence

and which is embodied in the concept of:

Mono no aware

The transience of the blossoms, the exquisite beauty and volatility, has often associated with mortality

and graceful and readily acceptance of destiny and karma; for this reason, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic


I’ve been obsessed lately with cherry blossoms, which I hear are popping up in many spots around the world, from the west coast of Canada, to D.C. USA, to Japan of course.


I found several songs (Japanese folk songs) about cherry blossoms. I found, through further investigation and coincidence, that they have a meaning closely related to one not-so-thankful thing that did happen this week, along with the colder weather around here.

Here in Ontario, Canada it has been bitterly cold this weekend. Here’s my list of thankfuls, in spite of the weather, which I hope will improve very soon.


For a chance Facebook Messenger chat last Sunday evening, after months of a developing online writing relationship, and suddenly I had myself a writing mentor.

I wasn’t altogether happy with where I was with my writing and she saw that in me, rightly so. She volunteered and I eagerly reached out for her offered help.

For a return to my violin lessons.

Finally, there was no more interrupted holidays or illnesses. I couldn’t get by with only one lesson, if I were ever going to become even halfway decent.

For one hour, I go into a small practice room, on a university campus, and I funnel all my energy, all my mental power, into what my fingers are doing, holding the bow, how my arm is held to have a proper reach on the notes, and all the while making sure I don’t raise my right shoulder. It all takes incredible focus for me. I think nothing but violin, often forgetting many other basic facts and details about my life.

Sound dramatic? Well, it’s all true.


For the 100 year celebration of a life.

A master at work. Powerful performance.

Gregory Peck would have turned one hundred and I thought it worth mentioning the performance of a lifetime he gave. It makes me tear up when I watch, every time.

I like his reaction when he asks Scout if she knows what a compromise means. When she answers with “bending the law” as her guess, his reaction is priceless, not to mention the part about how “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view”.

For the sense of bonding with those who understand.

It’s just nice, even when I’m not feeling always up to going, to get out and spend a few hours, one evening every few weeks, at my favourite place: the library.

We may all be of different ages and have a wide array of writing interests, but we all are there because we love writing/storytelling in some capacity.

For a wide open release of our song.

And now…I present to you…


If you listen to one song today, make it THIS ONE! Lyrics written by – THIS GIRL!


For a dinner with my parents, after an afternoon where it was brought home to me how lucky I am to have them both.

We went to pay our respects, to an old family friend, someone who means so much to so many. He was a wonderful family man: husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend.

He fought hard, battling the cancer, that would eventually take his life.

I thought harder still about the cherry blossom, once I learned its meaning, the only actual flowers I saw (with the weather being as it is) this week was what I could detect the scent of, as people send flowers as a condolence to the grieving family.

For a history of 90s music remembered with a legend.

You Know You’re Right – Nirvana

Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain died, twenty-two years ago, but he will always be what the nineties were for my brothers, who introduced the grunge world and this band in particular, to me. It was a kind of music none of us had ever heard at the time.

For the first voice-to-face meeting with my new writing mentor.

What would we do without the invention of a little thing called Skype?

It was nice, though I was nervous originally, to finally hear her voice, after months of online interaction.

We had a beneficial first meeting, discussing writing and nothing but, for more than an hour. She told me some things I needed to hear, things about my abilities as a writer. She let me learn from her and the road she has traveled into the world of mostly literary travel writing.

I left the call, by the end, feeling highly energized and hopeful.

For another extremely enjoyable family gathering.




For my siblings.


It’s Siblings Day today and I celebrated yesterday: had some excellent discussions with my sisters, have enjoyed collaborating on a song with my younger brother, and had my older brother do what he does best and that’s take photographs. This, however, means he is rarely, if ever, actually featured in any of our photos himself.


I would not be the person I am today without these guys.

And so, all and all, it was an overall success of a week. Big things are happening. I can feel it.

While, at the same time, life isn’t always easy and things happen we’re never going to be ready for.

Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks

Traveling to pay our respects, driving through the old neighbourhood of the deceased and his family, my mom talked about the people and the history of the area.


The past felt so long back, to me, but it all felt very present just then, and I was left wondering about the future.


Goodbye Michelle, my little one

You gave me love and helped me find the sun

And every time I was down

You would always come around

And get my feet back on the ground

Goodbye Michelle it’s hard to die

When all the birds are singing in the sky

Now that the spring is in the air

With the flowers everywhere

I wish that we could both be there

We had joy we had fun

We had seasons in the sun

But the wine and the song like the seasons

Have all gone

All our lives we had fun

We had seasons in the sun

But the hills that we climbed were just seasons

Out of time



Fiction Friday

Gamophobia: Part Two

“The reason we all go to bars – to remember and to forget.”
– Benjamin Alire Saenz

If you Missed Part One, you can read it


And now, Part Two.


The younger man reluctantly took a seat on his bar stool once more, but he fidgeted uneasily, wondering what the older man was about to say.

“Why do you care so much?” he then asked.

“Tell me,” the older man asked him then,”what do you love about her?”

“Well, she’s very funny, so sweet, warm and loving, wicked smart, strong, cute as hell, but that’s not the problem.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean I could list things I love about her until the cows come home.”

“But that’s not enough.” The older man seemed to understand, suddenly, somehow.

“No. I know all this about her and yet I am still unsure.”

Just then a group of young women entered the bar and walked to a table in the corner, talking and laughing with one another, obviously letting loose after a long week. Both men, young and old, turned instinctively as the girls passed by the bar.

“What else are you looking for?” the older man said, returning his gaze to the lost young man sitting beside him.

“How did you do it?” the younger man asked finally, as if he had been wanting to ask this since they had started talking, but just now felt like he could.

“”I assume you mean how did I stay married for so long,” the older man said, reading the conversation well indeed, not to mention the young man.


“I know I said I had some things I wanted to say to you before you made any decisions, but I honestly can’t say the right thing that you might need to hear to convince you fully. I can see you are scared and I understand. I was scared too, but if you think there is something better or something more out there for you,” he said, gesturing to the group in the corner, “there is nothing I can say.”

The younger man couldn’t believe what he was hearing. This man clearly had years of knowledge on him, thus he should be able to reassure him that love was enough. Now here he was backtracking.

“Life is full of moments son. Moments and choices we must make. If you are so afraid of making these choices, you will never ever be happy.”

“So I’m just supposed to ignore my fears then?” Again the young man took out the ring and looked at it, waiting for the answer to jump out at him from the tiny box in his hand, or from the man sitting there beside him. Neither were forthcoming.

“Look at me. Time goes by and one day you are able to look back on things, to see what it all meant. I would give anything now to have my wife back with me, but what does that have to do with you, right?””

“And what does it all mean?”

“I honestly have no idea.”

“You know, you seemed a lot wiser when I sat down here.”

The old man smiled at this honest admission, or was it an admonition? “You really need to consider what you have and what you’re willing to lose. I almost let my fears ruin everything and I almost lost it all. If you can really say you will be happy without her, then you need to let her know that, but life flies by in a flash. Soon enough you find yourself an old man sitting alone, on a bar stool, on a Friday night. Is this fear you’re experiencing now, is it about her or is it all about you?”

“What happened to you? How did you almost ruin things?”

“The details aren’t the point here, don’t you see?”

So if I’m lucky I might end up like you some day?” The younger man said this, meaning to be funny, but the older man only looked at him with something like pity in his eyes.

“I could have missed out on years of memories, if I had run scared like I might have done and like you’re thinking of doing.”

“It just feels like either way, no matter what I do I will be giving things up, making a mistake.”

The group of girls in the corner seemed to be talking and laughing louder than ever now. For a moment their chatter drown out the two men, making further conversation temporarily impossible to continue.

When finally their talk seemed to have died down once more, a few of them having left for the washrooms, leaving the others to talk quietly, heads drawn close in a murmur, the younger man went to stand once more. This time the older man did not try to stop him.

“Wait,” the older man asked with concern. “What are you going to do?”

“I really don’t know.” This wasn’t much of an answer and they both knew it. The old man thought about saying more, but he felt that it was out of his hands. He must be satisfied with the idea that people come into our lives for a reason and he had come into this young man’s life, if only for a brief moment in time.

He never saw that young man again and so was never able to see what became of him. Yet, something about that night stuck with him, a strange feeling of recognition and a strange connection to that lost young soul. Perhaps he had more of an impact than he realized.


Things happen to us for a reason and we are the masters of our own destiny. These things are both true.

What could the older man have said differently to persuade the younger man that marriage was the right choice?

Life isn’t all roses and chocolates every single day. Life goes by too soon. Mistakes can’t always be reversed.

Did the young man live happily ever after? Was the older man’s conversation with the younger in that bar that night enough to make a difference?

Life is about decisions and choices. Nobody else can make them for us. Too many people let their fears dictate their decisions.

If only we could speak with an older version of ourselves, either to ask questions or to see how it all turns out.

Would you want that chance if you could?