Day One: To New York City

The blog posts I’ve most enjoyed writing have been part of a trip.  And here I go again.  I’m heading to the US Open tennis tournament.  Adventures will abound over the next sixteen days.  And I’ll try not to write about tennis all the time!

Toronto Airport is where I sit.  I hadn’t driven the two hours from Belmont, Ontario to Toronto for eighteen months.  This morning I welcomed the 401 highway as an old friend.

The airport is quiet.  Only passengers and employees are allowed onsite.  I wait happily in the departure lounge. 

As I walked the long halls to Gate F98, the moving walkway hummed beside me … empty.  Until two little girls on their scooters came rambling along – going the wrong way on a one-way street.  And here came a young couple entering the walkway, masked up like all of us.  They noticed the sliding kids at the last second, and I think their faces tightened.  It definitely looked different than when folks smile under their masks.  I wanted them to celebrate the exuberance of childhood.  I guess they had other ideas.

And now the plane. I was thrilled to have a window seat. Minutes after sitting down, however, everything shifted. I started talking to the young woman who had joined me. She mentioned her husband, who was sitting two rows ahead. Bam! Window seat out the window and I heard myself offering to switch so they could sit together. No thought … just a flooding of words. I marvelled how something so important could shift to meaningless.

My new seatmate was another woman, maybe ten years older than the first. We talked briefly about visiting New York. I told her about two of my local favourites: the Circle Line cruises around Manhattan and McSorley’s Pub. I was super duper enthusiastic, and she went quiet. Memories of “You’re too much, Bruce” came for a visit. I decided to be silent and see if she’d initiate more conversation. She didn’t. So we just said goodbye on landing. Should I tone it down? Am I scaring some people? No and yes. Marianne Williamson appeared in my brain:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?”  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us.  It’s in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

And that’s enough for tonight.

Recipe Cards (Part One)

I’ve just spent over two hours searching the nooks and crannies of my house for … paper.  It’s the first time I’ve really noticed what a “cranny” is.

I started perhaps in 1985, making notes about something.  Essentially, I’ve never stopped.  First it was random bits of paper, then sheets from a tiny notepad, then Day-Timer pages.  Eventually I graduated to recipe cards.

I’ve just counted them all: 900 recipe cards and 927 assorted pages, most filled with handwriting front and back.

There’s a journey here.  I’ll tell you more tomorrow.

Expressing

Well … it’s been awhile.  I’d guess six weeks.  It felt like it was over – all this writing.  There was a sense of moving on, away from a blog and towards teaching the Mutual Awakening Practice Course with the Evolutionary Collective.  I’m in a year long teacher training with the EC and it’s intense.  “No time for WordPress!” I solemnly declared.

But here I am.  Will this be a cameo appearance or a full-length novel?  (Hmm … that feels like a mixed metaphor.  Oh well.)

Part of the reason I stopped was that I seemed to have run out of things to say.  1374 posts.  Isn’t that enough?  Apparently not, since my fingers are on the move again.  I feel porous, and surely with all that space within and around me, there’s room for the new to show up.  How about something profoundly new, that I’ve never thought of?  Or maybe nobody’s ever thought of.  (Another hmm.  Do I hear delusions of grandeur on the horizon?)

The pot is being stirred, and it doesn’t feel that I’m the cook.  Hopefully something delicious will show up for supper.

See you tomorrow.

Ted

This is Ted.  He sits in my bedroom … and he never says a word.  But every morning after I’ve made the bed and rolled up the blind, Ted looks deeply into my eyes.  There’s nothing to add to the moment.  No wise words.  Just the eyes and the smile.  “I’ve got you, Bruce.  You may stumble today, or cavort.  It’s all the same to me.  I just sit here and love you.”  At night, Ted watches me from the floor, making sure I’m safe.  I don’t know what goes on in his mind.  Can I say it’s likely to be a lot of concrete thinking? 

There’s a poem on a wall downstairs that reminds me of Ted.  Here, I’ll go find it …

I especially like this part:

They do not sweat and whine about their condition

They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins

Good man, Ted.  You’re a natural, uncluttered kind of guy.

***

It’s been 22 days since I last wrote.  Maybe I’m drying up.  Maybe I’m slowing down.  Maybe the best is yet to come.

What’s Alive?

Last Monday I had minor surgery on my right hand.  For the first few days, the pain meant that no WordPress posts were forthcoming.  Since then, my dear hand has been feeling better and better, and here I am tapping away on my laptop.

My digital journey has been fascinating, from the strange sensation of cords being cut under local anaesthetic, to the freezing coming out, to trying to shave.  But sitting here right now, the story isn’t alive.  It isn’t juicy in my soul.  It feels like old news.  Oh, I could scribe about the last week with some level of proficiency but the writing wouldn’t bounce along, since I’m not living it now.  Sometimes on WordPress I’ve told you about events that happened before but they were also bubbling up in me as I sat down with my computer.  Not so for my recent hand adventures.

My last post was called “Hair Loss”.  It was accompanied by a shaggy photo of me, courtesy of Covid closing my hair salon.  I ended the piece looking forward to Amazon delivering a hair trimming kit.  There would have been much to tell here as well.  Trying (for a long time!) to remove the blade from the trimmer in anticipation of future cleaning, the same lengthy process of reattaching the blade, watching several YouTube videos about men cutting their own long hair, the first attempt at cutting, and today’s tweaking.  All of that was there … and I just don’t want to write about it.  The story isn’t singing to me.

What is alive to wanting to write again after an absence of nine days.  Right now, I’m being pulled forward to having my thoughts show up on screens.  I want my words to reach people, and to touch at least a few of them.  I want contact.

Will tomorrow offer me a topic that I can throw myself into?  I think so, without at the moment having an idea of what that topic will be.  The past has shown me that when my heart is revving, my fingers will find the keys.

Oh … and here’s a photo of the new me.

Petering Out or Diving Back In?

It’s been thirty-seven days since I’ve sat here, fingers poised over the keys.  How strange.  I can remember times when I wrote in Bruce’s Blog virtually every day for months.  I developed a trust that words would come each time, that there’d be something helpful to say, at least helpful to a few folks.  That was then.  This is now.

It feels like my life is changing fast.  I feel teaching coming back, teaching about we humans being together.  I feel some things fading away … golf for instance.  I still love the beauty of Tarandowah, a nearby gem of eighteen holes, but I no longer care about the swing and the score.

So where does writing show up in the swirl of today?  If I sit quietly, writing is right here beside me on the couch.  There’s a warmth, a “going towards” it, abiding with a friend.  I don’t know why I’ve been silent for so long, and actually I’m not even interested in knowing.

There’s no momentum right now in having 300 words make a difference on WordPress and Facebook.  Logically, it’s hard to restart after standing still for weeks.  Or … maybe that’s not true, since 201 words have come and gone.

What if I tap away every day for the next week and see how that feels?  Good idea, Bruce.  I’ll do that.  See you tomorrow.

Letters and Words

This series of photos sits above my stove, to remind me of the miracles of life. I love letters. More accurately, I love how they come together into words. Numbers don’t enthrall me so much but I do enjoy analyzing the performance stats of women tennis players.

I enjoy stringing words together … into sentences, paragraphs and ultimately stories. There is a grace to the English language which sometimes allows me to ride on her shoulder. When the thoughts flow, I am supremely happy. This is my 1,218th post on WordPress. I think I’ve made a difference here.

There have been some long gaps between posts over the last six years. Was I still Bruce during those times? Of course. Other projects magnetized me for awhile. But I’ve always come back home.

I notice that I have no interest in a diary. Even if it’s only a few folks, I want my words to touch people. Could I be happy on my deathbed if only ten people over the years were impacted by what I said? Now I’m smiling because the answer is “Yes”.

There are times of mellow union when I let go of the words. They still rise up out of my mouth but then seem to separate in the air. Love becomes four letters drifting apart, mingling with other ones that have come floating by. What remains is shining dots of light … a celestial blessing.

I have my rhythms but may I return again and again to writing. I give. I receive.

***

And by the way, if you want to know the subject matter of the art work, Google “rhopalocera”.

Nothing To Say

How about that?  I’m at a loss for words.  I sit and sit and sit … and nothing comes.  This has happened several times and I’ve wasted too much mental energy fretting about it.  No thanks.  Grunting my mind to get some sentences to come out just defeats the whole purpose.  I want my thoughts to emerge naturally, like someone is calling them forth.  Sadly, not these days.

The other factor is blunt: I don’t want to write (at least for the last week or so).  There’s no oomph there, no urge to influence or entertain or share.  As odd as that feels, it’s what’s true right now.

Will I come back tomorrow?  Two weeks from now?  In 2021?  I don’t know.  I’m well and happy and not writing.  Simply the way it is.

Cheers to life …

 

 

Say Something

I was sitting in a movie theatre tonight when those two words floated into my brain.  For two-and-a-half months, they’d been silent.  The last time I wrote to you was in early August, a post about my Belgian friends Baziel and Olivia playing basketball in Toronto.

Strange.  I’ve had no desire to write.  I told myself that my recent travels to a golf tournament in Toronto and visits to San Francisco and New York City left me with precious little time to tap on the keys, but the truth was that I simply didn’t want to.  I may have had the occasional twinge of guilt about this in August, September and October, but virtually nothing.

I knew I’d write again but I was giving myself infinite space to do what drew me and not do what had no current oomph.  Pretty cool, actually, to be so kind to myself.  Right now, there’s a tiny smile on my face as I honour the person I’m continuing to morph into.

So … tonight.  I watched a documentary called Aquarela, which offered stunning visuals about the power of water.  Cars slipping under the ice during an early spring in Siberia.  Hurricane Somebody lashing the streets of Miami, leaving the trunks of some palm trees flat and others curving under the force of the gale.  A small sailboat crossing the Atlantic with its crew of two, riding the immense swells of the ocean.  (In August I threw up three times on a little boat on Lake Erie, and tonight I could imagine a fourth.)  Building-sized chunks of ice breaking off from the mother ship and bobbing like corks in the water, while sounds like gunshots filled the space.

Awesome stuff.  And yet for me such natural drama doesn’t hold a candle to looking at someone’s face, to gazing into their eyes.  I’m a mite biased that way.  Give me people every time.

316 words.  How about that?  I’m back.

My Absence

It’s been two weeks since I’ve talked to you.  Have I been “busy”?  Yeah, some.  But the truth is that I just didn’t feel like writing to you.  There was no magnetism drawing my fingers to the keys.  I know that my life is about contributing to other human beings, and sometimes in WordPress the “should” of saying something has been strong.  Sometimes I would write just to keep my daily streak of communication going.  At those moments, I wasn’t being true to myself.  This two-week absence has felt true.  And now it’s time to return.

I woke up this morning with an uncomfortable thought: maybe you folks think I’m dead.  Ouch.  I never want to hurt anybody, and what if some of you are imagining a car accident, a big illness, or a major mental distress?  None of those are true but leaving you in the space of not knowing was unfair.  I’m sorry if I caused you worry.  I should have just done a post saying “I don’t want to write right now.  I’m fine.  It could be a week or two before I reappear.”  That would have been good.

Hmm.  I’m glad I’m saying these things.  And I’m glad that I honoured the rhythms of my life by not writing lengthy posts recently.  And now … it’s time to share my thoughts again.  I’ll be back tomorrow.