Saturday, November 26, 2005

U2 can be one of them...

Following an unforeseen turn of events, I found myself surrounded by over 20,000 enthusiastic and adoring U2 fans earlier tonite. By the end of the concert, I was one of them. It's not that I didn't know of U2's music before - it's just that I didn't consider myself a "fan" (ie. Do you know the words to Sunday, Bloody Sunday? Do you know Bono's real name? Do you know that The Edge is not the name of an album?).

The fact is, I don't really follow any band closely. I hardly listen to the radio or to CDs. I was trying to remember the last real rock concert I had been to. I was horrified when I realized it was April Wine's Farewell Tour (before they came back). Then I remembered I had seen Genesis in concert at the Skydome in 1990-something. OK, so that was a bit better!

But, allow me to get back to Bono... please! First of all, the concert was FAN-TAS-TIC... My ears are still hisssssing. Just when I thought the crowd couldn't cheer any louder, somehow they did. WE did! I allowed myself to be carried away by the experience. I was amazed at the effect Bono has on his fans - men & women alike. All he has to do is suit up and show up... and he is adored. He saunters around that stage like he owns it... like he knows something we don't. But whatever he has, he offers us every ounce of it. He stands there, opens his arms and drinks in our energy, then he pours it right back out for us in his singing. Stunning. Absolutely.

I got a real kick out of watching the crowd react to him... of watching him react to the crowd. It was like being involved in a love affair. It was completely anihilating. Yes, there are other band members... and they too are appreciated by the masses. But there's just something about Bono that is mesmerizing. His heart & soul, his entire being, comes out in his performance - or so it seems.

OK. I think I may be hooked. Will it last? Maybe it's just the intoxicating effect of sharing the energy of Bono... or maybe it's just lust. Whatever it is, in this moment, I am one of them.

p.s. I now know his real name! :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Passing judgement...

I was speaking to John (of no fixed address) this morning. He announced that he "finally broke down" and went to social services yesterday. He's now on file and will get a street allowance and assistance with rent if he can find a room. I found it powerful when he said that he enjoyed not having to be on welfare, but "welfare or not, you get judged either way". So true. Mea culpa.

It's very humbling to speak to John. He has a no-nonsense attitude and, despite his situation, he always has a smile and a friendly greeting to offer. As I approach, he croons his usual greeting: Heeey, pretty lady! I tease him about his Toronto Maple Leafs hat, which he tries to hide under his hood with a sheepish grin and his dazzling blue eyes.

Good luck, John. Sorry we've judged you. Here's hoping you don't have to spend another winter on the streets...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Gigowatt-saving Gospel...

Project Porchlight (PP) is surpassing all our expectations. We estimate that, by the end of this coming weekend, volunteers will have distributed 10 000 lightbulbs in their neighbourhood. And the expressions of interest keep rolling in. Community groups are realizing that this is a do-able project! This small act of energy conservation is accessible to all of us, regardless of our economic status, our ethnic group, our age, our employment status, our gender, our state of mind... PEI is interested in talking with PP. So is the Ontario Power Authority. The initiative has been highlighted in the media and is being mentioned as far away as Lethbridge and Waskaganich. This week, the Ottawa Business Journal writes about our hope to spread our "gigowatt-saving gospel across Canada". :-)

Indeed, spread the Good News. Change IS within reach!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Quantum Leap of Faith...

Come with me on a journey of exploration; let's link arms in a trajectory whose direction and destiny we'll discover as we go along. Enter into the experience of searching, seeking, exploring and, I hope, discovering. Participate in the task rather than remain a mere observer.

This is the invitation that is extended at the beginning of Quantum Theology (2004), a book I've just started reading. I first discovered its author, Diarmuid O'Murchu, in June 2004 while on silent retreat at Stillpoint. Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to hear him in person at a public lecture here in Ottawa.

When first reading his work, I remember being utterly amazed at what this priest was daring to say. His words echoed so many of my unspoken thoughts! In Reclaiming Spirituality (1997), I heard him say: Increasingly, I find myself in sympathy with the spiritual seekers who claim that formal religion, with its trappings and power games, is proving to be a major obstacle to spiritual growth and development. (p. 31) Could I ever relate!

I consider myself a Catholic-in-exile (for now). I have a deep desire to follow the teachings of Jesus and I honour him as my Beloved Teacher and my Guide. Every day, I pray for the ability to Love as He did, and to Trust in God as He did. Several years ago, I was encouraged by a priest to forget about everything else and simply allow myself to "fall in love with Christ". He sensed that formal religion - with all its doctrines & rules - was indeed getting in the way of my spiritual growth and development. I don't go to church these days... I fully trust the path I'm on and know that God is walking with me, wherever I may be. I haven't completely given up on the church, but admittedly, I don't miss it. Luckily, God doesn't take it personally and can handle my choices.

In response to this choice, O'Murchu offers me another challenge:

(...) most people who become disillusioned with religion do not confront the pain or discomfort religion is causing them; they simply opt out. It is easier to move away rather than face the challenge, guilt and fear which the confrontation might involve.

(Reclaiming Spirituality, p. 79)

And so, I accept the invitation that is extended to me. I will keep an open mind and an open heart. Here's to entering the experience as a full participant. I'll let you know what I find there...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Preparing for Silence...

delicious brilliant universe
an eternity within
celebrate myself
live... speak... think...
listen & learn
laugh... dance... embrace...
trust & heal
surrounded by sacred joy.

(Magnetic Poetry by jag)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Halloween Dud...

Another All Hallow's Eve has come & gone. Death came to my door. So did a peacock and a triceratops dinosaur. A wizard. A knight. A monster. And a miniature pumpkin. I had candy for 75 kids. A grand total of 7 showed up. Where have all the children gone?!

A friend suggested that perhaps word got out that I was handing out Sour Chews. What's wrong with Sour Chews??!