Tuesday, February 26, 2008

If you could see through my eyes...

“If the eye does not want to see, neither light nor glasses will help.” - German Proverb

I picked up my new glasses today. I was a bit worried about wearing progressive lenses for the first time, but so far... so good. I haven't tripped up on my own feet yet! I bought the frames in Firenze last summer and, if I do say so myself, they're pretty cool... black & lime green. :-)

Apparently, donning new frames can be newsworthy, especially if you're the Leader of the Official Opposition. I couldn't believe that the Ottawa Citizen dedicated an entire article to the fact that St├ęphane Dion changed his eye-glass frames. It morphed into a story about how politicians tend to lose their lenses in order to gain the confidence of the people. Ugh. I've long had a pet peeve about how glasses are associated to weaker and geeker personalities. Ever notice how, in the movies, the ugly duckling always seems to lose her glasses following her transformation into the elegant swan? I agree that there are ugly frames (usually acknowledged only in hindsight), but once - just once! - I'd like to see glasses portrayed in the media as vital, and creative, and fun. Since that's not likely to happen any time soon, I'll have to make an extra effort to communicate that message myself! :-)

In the meantime, hope you enjoy the beauty that can be found in a local optometrist's shoppe...

Pace e bene,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

On thin ice...

Some would say it's like riding a bike... although you may be a bit wobbly at first, you never really forget how to do it.

After more than three years away from the ice, I strapped on my skates today and joined the throngs on the our local World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal. The sun was shining... the temperature was perfect... and I felt like I didn't have a care in the world. - except for trying to stay upright. I think I may have been a bit too ambitious however; I skated its entire length and back again - a cool 13km (+/-). I can already feel the muscle pain creeping in; I'll have to let you know how bad it is tomorrow.

Mind you, tomorrow's pain may not be related to the distance I undertook... there was, after all, the fall. That single, hard fall - legs flying out from under me as I lost contact with the earth and fell flat onto my back. Now, the true elegance of my chute was not characterized by how I fell, but rather by where I fell. There's something very humbling about creating a thud! just as you are entering a port-a-potty. Yes, friends... that's right. A port-a-potty. I toyed with the idea of removing my skates first, but I really, really had to go... Time was of the essence! And that's the price I paid: my pride - and a sore butt. :-)

Well, back to the Oscars... Go Canucks!

Pace e bene,

Monday, February 18, 2008

Musical discoveries...

A short post to share with you my newest musical heartthrob, Jason Mraz. I've downloaded several of his songs from the iTunes store (a dangerous, dangerous place, BTW) and am actually looking forward to the release of his new album due out in May.

I have to admit... the iPod is giving me an opportunity to explore music in a way that I hadn't before. Some of my favourites from the past are there (Jesse Cook, Bruce Guthro, Great Big Sea, James Taylor, Indigo Girls...), but I'm enjoying some new-to-me stuff too (Andy McKee, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Vedder, Runrig... Jason Mraz!).

Hopefully it'll be a long while before I get myself into this situation again. :-)

Pace e bene,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Celebrating Love...

"Love is something learned only by the long, hard labor of life. It is sometimes over before we’ve even known we ever had it. We sometimes destroy it before we appreciate it. We often have it and simply take it for granted. But sometimes, if we’re lucky, we live long enough to grow into it in such a way that because of it we come to recognize the value of life. As the years go by, we come to love flowers and cats and small infants and old ladies and life on the dock and the one person in life who knows how hot we like our coffee." - Joan Chittister, OSB

Here's to celebrating the reality of Love in our lives - in all its forms, in all its expressions, in all its depth and breadth. Happy Valentine's Day, friends... and know that you are Loved.

And here's to the one I chose - twice. May we continue to grow together in Love & Life...

(photos by Findley Photography)

Pace e bene... e amore,

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Stuck on Idol...

My name is jag. I'm an Idol addict.

There. I've said it. A new season has begun and I'll be stuck to the TV every week until mid-summer. If I'm lucky, I'll get a wee break between the American and the Canadian Idol editions. Thankfully, one of Hubby's techno-gadgets will allow me the freedom to watch at my convenience - and without commercials (yay for PVRs :-)).

Admittedly, I can't stand the early part of the show, the one where people seek out their 15 minutes of fame by making complete fools of themselves. The off-key singing/yelping actually hurts my ears. I often skip these episodes or have the TV on "mute" in the background. Hubby, on the otherhand, finds these early auditions very entertaining. "These are my people!," he exclaims.

Now, as the top 24 are being selected, I'll become engaged and will grow attached to my favourites. I'll be cheering them on and hoping for those unexpected, jaw-dropping performances. I will be living vicariously through them.

It's truly Idol time... bring it on!
Pace e bene,

Friday, February 08, 2008

Immersing myself...

IMMERSED (by John D. Engle Jr.)

Immersed in infinite energy and love,
I'm part of the eternal flow of things.
No matter when or where or how I move,
whether on earth with wheels or in air with wings,
I am a part of everything that is,
all that has been, or ever will be.
Designed by the dreams of all the divinities,
all beauty and all truth are mixed in me.
Knowing this, I shed by shell of doubt,
until free in the freedom of the one Mind
and linked to laws of love, I go about
fulfilling that for which I was designed,
which is to sing myself and try to share
the loveliness of which I am aware.

I came across this poem as part of my Lenten reading & journalling activities, and it resonated with me. I love the reference to my being designed "to sing myself" - I don't need to change who I am, I just need to go home to my original song and sing it for all to hear.

This theme of "immersion" also aligns with a thought-provoking interview I listened to recently on the CBC's Tapestry. If you want to broaden your horizons on the concept of God - and the marriage of science and religion - set aside an hour or so and listen to what Michael Dowd has to say.

Pace e bene,

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Progressing well, thank you...

Time to celebrate progress:

  • Yesterday, I ran on the treadmill for 25 minutes straight without stopping. Considering that I could hardly do 10 minutes on that thing when I started, I'd say that's progress.
  • Today, for the first time, I ran the downtown two bridges route without stopping. Total of 4.5Km in 30:08. Next time, I'll break the 30 minute mark.
  • I am gaining confidence in the kitchen. I've told myself "I can't cook" for so long that it was becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. But with my renewed focus on eating right, I'm preparing more of my food from scratch. And as a kid who didn't eat vegetables, boy have I progressed! My favourite veggie dish this past week? Kale, sauteed in olive oil with lots of garlic, red onions and spritzed with lemon juice. Yum.
  • Leaving work at 5pm, it was still light out! Now THAT is progress that I look forward to more of...
  • After almost two months of being annoyed by a twitch in my right eye, I finally went to see my optometrist. Turns out my eyes are "progressing" alright, albeit in the wrong direction! The time has come for progressive lenses - it was bound to happen sooner or later.

I was contemplating these instances of progress over the past few days, when earlier this evening, I read these words from Joan Chittister, describing Lent: "Contrary to conventional wisdom Lent is not a series of behaviors. It is a series of questions that, year after year, is designed to measure our progress on the way to fullness of life."

Indeed, today also marks the beginning of Lent, one of my favourite spiritual seasons. See what I wrote about it last year... or the year before that... I love Lent!

Pace e bene,

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The day after yesterday...

Ottawa was wallopped by another snowstorm yesterday. But it all balances out - today offered so much beauty. Here are a few neighbourhood scenes from the day after yesterday...

Happy shovelling!
Pace e bene,