Saturday, 18 November 2017

In this life, I lived it

In the life I have - I lived it.
I have made many mistakes, I know my weaknesses
my tumultuous blunders that played on the psyche
Yet in this life, I have lived it.

In this life someone touched my heart
It has affected me
in how I lived through the years
its mark embedded as a good sanskar resulting in
a life I live fully without regret

When faced with logic or emotion
I chose emotion each and every time
not one known to toe the line, I bucked reason
So at times I lived my life in pain and remorse

It is a hard road to live passionately
you are disappointed constantly
you except too much, won't settle for too little
in living this life I live fully and completely

I have tried to squelch it, this passion
the creativity, the longing, the need
it won't go, it hides in the waiting and wanting
for me to live it  live it passionately this life now

I have laid this heart bare, in a gooey mess
only to be drop kicked in life's other philosophies
these heart felt feelings gouged insanely deep
even in this life I have yet to live- it waits for me

These new heartaches, I embrace you 
because to not feel is to not live
I choose true heartfelt anything over ennui
I live life, I live this beautiful life I have

So take your heart and ardent zeal with you
your truth and soul felt intentions deserving proclamation
shine forth with all the precious offering you can bestow
especially as I live this life yet lived.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Montreal Cacophony

Elegant city stretched out before me
full to its November brim with
shiek condo's garnering city views
wait staff and chef's hopping in the kitchens
metrosexual men in their tight grey suits wearing
Italian shoes, man buns and trimmed beards
oysters with raspberry and coriander
parisienne omelettes, chocolate croissants
foie gras, filet mignon, veal shank, charcuteries
wine, old fashioned's, drambuie, whiskey sours
boulangerie's, boucherie's, p√Ętisserie's, markets
Fluevogs to covet and obtain in old Montreal
Daniel's google maps app leads to treasures
museums and Leonard Cohen to revel in
hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
sexual sexy city, sex shops, strip shows
St. Catherine's street, love protests and coppers
live jazz in festive surroundings, chandeliers and mirrors
snotty waitresses in silver mini dresses rush through
concrete jungle, construction zones, subway perfection
Jean Talon Market, LeExpress, Schwartz's, Biddles
Uber cars arrive wafting perfume with drivers named  
marijuana in the street, the vibe underground
and antique chairs covered in gold lamé
this the beautiful cacophony that is Montreal

Thursday, 9 November 2017

A momentary loss of sensation

It's been awhile since I have been in my happy place. For the record I have not sat and meditated as a regular practice since his death, in the past I did this 30 minutes a day. So as a result ??? maybe, maybe not??? some days it feels like I lost myself and can't seem to find my way back to her. I used to be slightly retrospective and in tune rather than flitting around lost and exasperated. I know where I need to be, where I need to go to be the women I am. Sometimes like today I just can't seem to go there for some reason. I feel like I am off my moorings. Like a twelve year old feels. Stupid and silly and lost and dumb. And forgetful, I am so forgetful, what is that about? It's about lack of intention. What is my intention as I move forward in this life journey? I have no answer, I am stumped. My mind in one direction my feelings in another. I have no desire for work, it sucks the life out of me. This is not good, this is shameful actually but I can't even get the energy up to change it. And I fucking hate it, for the record I fucking hate this feeling of being lost, this feeling of not being in my happy place. It's time to go to that field with the tall wheat, the grass blowing in the wind, golden sun shining down on me, in my meditative state. My grandmother close by, my son and Terry in the field guiding me with their wisdom on life's questions, of which I have many.

Iurie and Daniel took this picture of me in my happy place, we had discovered it was my actual happy place on this photo trip to Tuscany when I overheard them saying this is where the opening scene of the gladiator was shot. Well that is the scene I picture when I go to my happy place. Imagine me not knowing I was actually there, and I did not believe him. He said, wait there, stand there I want to do something, then he took this shot. He proved to me I was in the place. I remember feeling such wonder, such fucking wonder! I sat down and I took this photo of the sun setting in the grass to replicate my scene in my head. I knew what to do then, I knew how to feel and what to do. It was simple, just create it.

But I got away from that, I left my meditation, I turned from healing and left yoga, left that beautiful feeling when you work your body for good when you breath and breath your way to the answer.  I have no answers now, I have lost my creativity and do not know how to get it back, this scares me because it means I am lost to myself. I am this close to giving up photography, my efforts and results sadden and stifle me further. I stopped walking in nature, feeling the woods and what it means to my soul, the tears I shed in the confines of the protective forest, how it held me. I don't have that anymore.

Just sit down Sussey. Sit in your field and breath. Feel where you need to go what you need to do, how to gain your self back. It's all there for the taking you just have to want it. It is there just for you, no one else, yours to have for you.

Sunday, 5 November 2017


I love that creative flow that you get into, when you have an idea and you think on it and nurture it from inception to birth. I had an idea about this badly photographed picture above, this picture that has very special meaning to me, despite it's not coming out the way I wanted it to. This picture is the scene off my balcony of my cottage serenity acre. See previous post titled the same for the inception of this idea. I love this scene as well because it was taken the fall after Terry died, on a trip with Pam and Patrick to Cape Breton to photograph the fall foliage. On this trip was where I saw and felt him in everything. Where every sunrise and sunset was glorious in their display night and day just for me and me alone and offered, I believed, by him in the heavens. I saw the milky way later this night, I gasped at the red underlit clouds (muted here but glorious in my memory). I remembered his ashes strewn below my feet on this beach, this rock he often sat on or laid beside sunning himself. It has a lot of meaning this scene.

So I asked our stained glass artist in resident at the cottage, my cousin's wife Debbie to commission a window with her interpretation of this scene so I could have it forever captured. So it could become a physical part of serenity acre. I was more than pleasantly surprised at her end product. Her interpretation was special and the meaning she attached to it surprised and delighted me. Not only because it was splendid but because it was not what I had suspected. It was a "window" into a side of her I didn't know. She had interpreted all the rocks on this piece, not just the one with Terry's ashes in it but all the others (they represent all my children and grandchildren, even myself) and she left room for some to have our own memories attached to. I can really dig that, if you get my drift. So that along with the beauty of her interpretation really awed me. I delighted in the fact that an idea can go from inception to creation, I delighted even more that it was others who helped the process. Just as in what happens in life. When we allow others to come in and work on our little slices of life.

I have this beautiful work of art on my living room wall right now, it hangs there for me to gaze upon it all winter and spring until I bring it to the cottage and give it it's permanent home in the wall. Now this picture below does not do it justice, there is no light behind it yet, and it was taken with my iphone. When at serenity acre the light will bounce from the three facing windows onto it and make the colors come alive, they will look different depending on the time of day, and on where the sun shines through. It will be brilliant in its colors, in its creative hard work Debbie put into it, in its memory of mine, in its meaning. It will last as long as the cottage for all to see and revel in. Some down the line might not know its significance, they might guess it's the scene outside the cottage (as my granddaughter Molly did when she saw it) but not understand why it was created.  But I know. The creator of the piece knows, and together we know how and why this gem was born.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

All souls day

All souls day. The souls I witnessed passing, the ones who are gone to I know not where, it causes me pause for thought today.

Today is a bittersweet day. One where I remember the wonderful birth of my first born son Justin Timothy Charlton, oh the sweet memories I have. I still remember what he looked like when I first laid eyes on him, I still recall the details of the difficult and long birth if I think hard about it, the way the doctor looked, the way I felt about what I had accomplished. It is also a day where I feel bitter regret that I did not get to see him grow up to be the 34 year old man who should be celebrating his birthday. Justin died of SIDS at the age of five and a half weeks. I wonder sometimes who he would have been, how he would have matured, what job, what life circumstances he would have lived and created. Would I have a daughter in law and grandchildren from him, would he of remained single, been gay with a wonderful partner I could love also? All these unknowns surface on this his birthday, all the unrealized dreams for him that I grieved as well as the loss of him in the physical sense.

Thirty four years is a long long time. I am not the new mother I was then, the young girl really who fell in love so so deeply and totally with this tiny human they put in my arms. I have raised and let go of five other children since this day 34 years ago. I was shaped and changed by these humans I was allowed to mother for awhile, who were trusted to me in their life journey for a short time. A trust I never took lightly but because I am human I faltered in at times. I wasn't perfect but my love for him and for my surviving children (who are all here because of Justin I believe) was perfect. Of that I am certain. My love for them was perfect.

I, having lived like I have, with lots of death and adverse events in my life, often wonder what else is coming that will shape and teach me. I only hope death gives me a wide berth and a vacation for the next number of decades, I've had my share for now. Today I will think on birth, on your birth my dear Justin. The wonder you imparted in the short life you had here with me was beyond comparison. You taught me I could love more than one person, that I could create perfection. I had never felt love like I did when I first saw you and held you, what a gift that was you gave me. You have taught me self forgiveness as I struggled to live the years past your death. You accomplished a lot in five and a half weeks.

Now, your perfection knows no earthly bounds, you are in the universe in that perfection somewhere- a part of me- out there. A part of my own little soul created 34 years ago whom I can pray to or talk to or think about on this all souls day. Happy birthday my sweet Justin.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Leave what's heavy

"If you're lost and you're lonely
Go and figure out why
Take a trip to your dark side
Go on and have a good cry
Cause we're all lonely
Yeah we're all lonely together"

I woke heavy, that ever happen to you? Not sure why- but being who I am- I explored it. I knew eventually it would surface, I just needed to review some history, listen to some music, to my heart, my intuition and it would come. Eventually I had to put it away and work. So I did. I had a little cry and I went to work. Here in my -what is fast becoming- comfy homey-like apartment. I still felt the heaviness but work is a grand distraction. However, like returning to the scene of a crime you know you shouldn't you do it anyway, and I could not let it be. I wanted to see what was bothering me. Maybe I am under this grand illusion that if I know I can fix. Life is not that simple of course. Tangled and complex emotions took hold this am. From grief to coping mechanisms I use in life it was all there tangled up like Christmas tree lights each season when they are brought up from the basement.

And while marking my papers I looked down at it and realized how worn it is now. It's heavy and worn. It's broken and finished somehow. And it was oh so sad. A diamond missing, the emerald (my six year anniversary gift) dulled and craggy and sunken, about to fall out and be lost forever. I remembered the time I took the three original rings to be designed into this one, I remember wondering if he would be insulted and hurt by my change in the originals. I remember us walking from picking it up, how beautiful it looked then, all shiny and new, how I loved the one ring. I remember the comments I got. Secretly though I always felt bad about this ring, that I changed my three he gave me into one I wanted. I never stopped feeling that way despite loving the ring. I don't think he felt that, just me.

Suddenly I knew, it was time to come off now. It was time and as I pulled and pulled it felt tighter and tighter and the need to be free from this became ever more evident, ever more urgent. I was time, but it was so so sad. I ran cold ice water over my hand to help its progress, I tore my flesh, I yelled and screamed through the physical and emotional pain that surfaced. It came free. It was time and it was so so sad.  When I looked at it's sad sorry state I knew it was time and that this wasn't a bad thing, despite my really really good cry after I was released from it, it was a good cry I had. It's what was heavy and what I needed to let go of today.  I decided to keep his band for now, the one we bought on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. This ring I let go today was mine, it was about me and I needed to let go of that.

Leave what's heavy
What's heavy behind
Leave what's heavy
What's heavy behind

Friday, 27 October 2017


I read a study about people who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and lived. Every single one of them stated they felt instant regret as soon as they leaped. Think about that. To go from a state of such bereft desolation, pain and despair that to die is a relief, a chosen escape, to in an instant knowing that was all so so wrong. I can only partly imagine this scenario. Sadly, I have been in the depth of this type of despair in my life a few times, happily I never took any drastic steps. Happily I know that pain does heal and the despair recedes and is replaced with life.

Nothing is permanent. Not our most despairing feelings, not our greatest joys. It is kind of one of those enigma's in life, why can't we grasp and keep what is good? What is right?  What we desire? Damned if I know. Why does life shift and change and no longer remain permanent? Would it be boring if it stayed the same? Would we die inside if we lived a life the same with the same wonderful feelings and sameness around us? I can't answer that because I have not lived that life. I guess maybe somewhere some people might have? Maybe they lived a life where no one they loved died or changed -where they stayed in the same house, the same city the same life with the same loved ones and they just lived out life without any change or loss. It could happen maybe.

More to the reality is that we specks on this blue dot get tossed and thrown hither and fro to the winds of change. We all know it we have songs about it, movies and books and art reflect our common humanity as beings who must have our little pieces of permanence ripped from our arms, our hearts our souls. So here is what I was thinking about that.  That what a fucking marvel it is that we as humans know how to adapt and cope with impermanence. I've watched and studied those people I know humans who adapted well to huge change- new jobs, lost jobs- changes in lifestyle, loss of spouses, children- they all survived to tell the tale. They not only survived they thrived!

It makes my heart leap with joy that this is so, that it is possible to survive the greatest impermanence life can throw our way. Give it to me despite my death grip, pry those fingers, that mindset loose, walk out of the woods, step down from that railing because life is gonna sock it to you. You can go willing or go fighting but you will go, you will experience change. I fucking dare you to deny it Sussey. You too are becoming one of those you studied.

I feel it and it is not bad, it is not scary, it is welcome. It is coming my way plowing through the drudgery and staleness of my "permanent" roosting of widowhood. Hah move the fuck over the times they are changin as Dylan said. Let me blow in the wind of change, I want to feel that again. The newness the excitement to learn the newness.  And I thought just maybe we die when we no longer need to change, maybe we are dead when we are in a state of permanence. And then I thought- embrace change and life,  because you deserve it Sussey.