What to do when you don’t know what to do


Just stop.

Stop. Pause. Take a break. Rest. Hold still. Cease and desist. Be still. Just be.

And listen. To your heartbeat. To the sounds around you.

After a moment or two, you can start all over again.

Maybe now you will know what to do.

And if you don’t know what to do, then don’t do anything.

Don’t do anything until you know what to do.

Posted in CHANGE, Life, Mindfulness | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Just in time for the holidays


today's collage

In today’s news, I did a little collage and re-wrote the lyrics to a Christmas carol and posted it on my IG art account.  A friend suggested I share it, and let me say that I am shaking in my wool socks, BUT — who said life isn’t about taking risks?

Hope you enjoy!

(Sing to the tune of Do You Hear What I Hear?). .

Do you see what I see?
A chair, a chair, suspended in that spot,
With no space to grow, with no space to grow… Said the TV to the little chair,
Do you hear what I hear?
Screaming through the air, little chair,
Do you hear what I hear?
Sound bites, sound bites, crazy like the question WHY,
Telling lies as big as the skies, telling lies as big as the skies.
Said the little chair to the mighty TV,
Do you know what I know?
In your cozy spot, TV.
Do you know what I know?
A dream, a dream, shrivels in the cold,
Let us feed it with love and be bold,
Let us feed it with love and be bold.
Said the TV to people everywhere.
Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people everywhere,
Listen to what I say!
A dream, a dream, shriveling in the night,
Could grow to bring us goodness and light,
Could grow to bring us goodness and light.
A dream a dream, shriveling in the cold, that could grow to bring us goodness and light!




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A day of things


The first thing of the day — if you’re lucky — is this: You Wake up.

And then all the other things start.  The mind does its thing. Thinking things. Then your body does its thing. And you, well, you do the things you do.  Because You Do Things, such as:

Ignore things. Block things. Feel things. See things. Taste things. Eat things. Drink things. Watch things. Read things. Talk about things. Fix things. Break things. Question things. Fight things. Imagine things. Fear things. Worry about things. Laugh at things. Make things. Wash things. Take things out. Put things away.  Buy things. Give things away.

And, you heart things. You keyboard things. Look away from things. Do good things. Do bad things. Judge things. Cook things. Fold things. Pretend things. Love things. Grieve the things — objects and people and pets — that are lost.  Hope things go/do/be well.

You find things. Lose things. Move things.  Organize things. Make a mess of things. Clean things. Look for things. Ponder things. Believe you know things. Are ignorant about things. Throw things. Wish for things. Need things. Want things. Create things. Kill things. Try things on. Argue things. Pray for things. Denounce things. Vote for things. Vote against things. Sign things. Whisper things. Yell things. Cry over things. Regret things. Intend things. Curse things. Kick things. Hit things. Hide from things. Discover things. Squint at things. Sneer at things. Could care less about things.  Push things and pull thing.  Jump up and down about things. Balance things. Heat things up. Cool things down. Draw things. Throw things out. Pick things up.  Sneak things. Steal things. Offer things. Notice things. Hate things. Did I say you Love things? Obsess over things. Pick at things. Could care less about things. Wonder about things. Open up to things. Wind things down. Accept things. Follow things. Become aware of things. Do things blindly. React to things. Breathe through things.  Let things be. Refuse to do a thing. Think things will never change. Fight the things that change. Think things are awful. Then think things aren’t so bad.

Last thing of the day — if you’re lucky — is this: You Fall Asleep.

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Between Then and Now

photo of clocks at MOSS by FS

Photo by FS — clocks on the wall of a Toronto shop


Between then and now
(if by then you mean the last time
we saw each other to get caught up with the happenings inside and outside of us and
if by now you mean right now
as we are both here, together as in HERE — this point, this
moment, this place this NOW in a shared space that we inhabit)
she fell on the way back from the bathroom, the private bathroom in the private room in the cancer hospital and as she fell she didn’t put her (skeletal) hands out. Instead she raised them to her chest to contain a bursting heart and her partner caught her before she hit the ground and only then could she let herself relax, only then could she compeltely let herself go into the shaking arms that held her as she said in a voice that sounded like it came from a much stronger body, ” Oh! I think I’m dying now, I love you,” and her partner wrapped her up close — feeling life leave a body, energy leave the room,  a beloved heartbeat


Between then and now
(if by then you mean the last time there was a carefree moment in each of our worlds when we could get together and sip coffee and comment on passing fashions and smile at the silliness of wearing camouflage of a city street the has never known war and if by now you mean right now as we are talking)
he got into a brand-new truck and drove and drove and drove not knowing where to go not
about police bulletins asking the public to be on the lookout for a missing elderly man,
who’s a Dad and a widower and a grandfather
who once had gorgeous handwriting who once was in love and passionate about printing and gardening, and the opera, and cars, and meals of meat-and-potatoes and playing golf and who doesn’t understand dementia or how he ended up in the hospital a day later because they found him a long way from home sleeping in his truck in the winter by the side of the road.

Between then and now
(if by then you mean a point in time and if by now you mean another point in time) the care accident gave them both traumatic brain injuries because the 19-year old driver in the brand-new Mercedes didn’t stop, and he didn’t stop because he didn’t see the line of cars waiting at the red light, and he didn’t see the line of cars waiting at the red light because he was texting and he didn’t put the brakes on so he ploughed into their car and a year later they can’t read or organize or sleep well and they need special glasses because their vision is affected and their heads hurt and they can’t take care of their kids or stay calm, and it’s clear that a heart doesn’t have to stop for a life to be over. and he’s only 19 and his mother said, “No worries. It’s not that bad. You didn’t kill anyone.”

Between then and now
(if by then you mean — goodness only knows what you mean by then because then might be past or it might be future, I only know it doesn’t mean now)
but what I know,



not with any certainty mind you, but with a belief that is beyond certainty, is that now is here, with you and me and breath and heart and sight and sound and sensation beyond words
and that


what matters


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Life with a Pet

Gia and Piper

Part 1: A creative prompt about describing life with pets. The response could be in any media and I chose to do it in writing.  Well, not a choice. More of an experience. A stream of consciousness that spent its time capturing feelings and random impressions that were then wrestled and compressed and perhaps best expressed in words. Because collage just wasn’t doing it.

Part 2:  The response.

Life with pets

Messy.  Like life. Warm-bodied cuddlebugs or life-savers squeezed in to that impossibly small spot right beside you on the couch or on the street on a cool night.

Eyes connected to a heart that look into eyes connected to a heart.

A dog as a pet is reason and a demand to get out into the world and talk to other pets and other people.  I might not do that otherwise.  I might just do what’s easy and stay home. I might stay home and come to believe that the news is what my street and my neighbourhood and my city and my country and the world are all about.  I might stay home and not notice my world getting small and scary or how tight I’m holding myself.

Life with pets.

Messy. Like Life.

Maybe they add perspective. About taking care of this moment that leads to the next moment, and over time it becomes clear that life is simply living and adjusting to the weather and everything else. Seeing how there aren’t bad weather days or good weather days except by how we judge it, and what there is is simply and non acceptance and unpreparedness for the reality of what the weather is and does, and oh yes, inappropriate dress to go out and through it.

Life with pets.

Messy.  Like life.

Throwing balls, retrieving balls and buying poop bags and pet food in bulk.

Litter, blankets, cage things.

Dirty paws and dirty towels and barf spots on the carpets. Wondering and worrying what’s in their food.

Training them is training me.

Less selfish maybe. The weather is not going to change just because I want it to.

Pets teach.

Pets teach about being in relationship. Being in a good relationship with a pet is about Patience. Listening. Sensing. Adjusting. Pets adjust. I adjust. I can learn. I am learning. Telepathic talks. Not a child, but a pet. Not a pet, a living being. A responsibility. I’m listening.

Even the birds talk back now and again.

Looking at tree trunks and people slouching by faces hidden in hoodies.

What’s the pee-mail have to say today?

Walking and walking and walking. Going for car rides and curling up on a couch and singing along with the howls.  Heartbeat rhythms matching.  Oh, and Telepathic Talks.  Definite connectedness.

Life with pets.

Messy. Like life.


Trips to the groomer and the beach and the vet.  Toy box full of pet toys. Special blankets and beds.

And then it’s time for them to go.

One day you have that dog or cat or lizard or ferret or horse or pig or bird or mouse, or snake — one moment you have that pet and then the next moment, you don’t. That pet   goes to The Rainbow Bridge, or to nowhere we can understand but that always feels like Way. Too. Soon.

I won’t talk about the cost in money or tears or rips and shreds to the heart muscle. Can I do it again?

Living with a pet is all of life crammed into a best-before date programmed into the DNA of that living being we call pet. There is pain without suffering.  I can do this. I am doing it.

Life with a pet?

It gets messy. It gets crazy happy and fun. And scary and sad.

Like life.

Posted in animals, dogs, Life, pets | 3 Comments