Tuesday, April 26, 2011

True Story

What is the last good book you read? If you're not a novel reader...do you remember a great newspaper article, witty advertisement or unforgettable movie that got on the inside of you? The sequence of events that was developing that just spoke to you?

I am betting that story has resonated with you, because there is truth in it. I am confident that it spoke to your life... your position, and your journey and told you something. Maybe it revealed something new to you, or maybe it whispered to your identity and made you feel clearly understood.

I love a good story. I love a million different kinds of writing. A great love story will bring out 2 things in me...hope, and cynicism. A great mystery takes me back to the rainy days of watching the Goonies, and hoping a treasure hunt is really possible. A psychological thriller will remind me why I love the intrigue...and why I walked out of a class in Forensics.

Stories should be told. Stories should be written...whether they are fiction or reality, our story is a fundamental base of our identity. When we fail to share our story, especially the parts that best identify *who* we are, and *where* we are at any given point in life...we cheat others of knowing who we really are. Worst of all... we rob ourselves of honesty and integrity as well.

Bravery lives in a story. Any story well told, that captures your attention and makes your heart clench in anticipation, is not likely to be one without challenges, drama, sadness and change. We love those stories because we can identify with the scenario. Imagine the value in sharing YOUR story...even when it's scary... even when it's possibly going to end unfavorably...even when you may not get your happy ending. Imagine the risk..imagine the rush...imagine the clarity and relief of being fully understood.

The best stories are the ones that are real, that are unashamed... that are honest. The people who have shared themselves with me on that level have my unending gratitude and thanks. You have changed me... you have mirrored me and told me it's going to be okay just by being brave.

True Story.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

We Will

The deepest and most valuable satisfactions in life come from being present in the small things. I believe life will arrive as we have wished it, as we are mindful in each interaction, transaction, and reaction to life. We will all do things in life...things we think are uniquely ours, completely solitary to us, and us alone. But rest assure...as we all need each other, and mirror each other in our humanity...there are things we will all encounter and endure.

We Will

1. Love. Love those who love us back...and sometimes, regrettably...not.

2. Laugh. Most often with others. However, on occasion God will drop a magic wink into your world, and you and He will laugh together.

3. Lose. None will be spared loss... unfortunately, it's a large part of the human journey.

4. Listen. Whether it be to our own voice...our intuition...or popular opinion, we will absorb that flutter in the soul that urges us in one direction...or another. Hopefully, it will be according to our own convictions and passions, and not the voices of a chaotic world.

5. Grieve. We will all be forced to let go of those we love. It may be the loss of love, it may be the loss of the familiar. It will find us all as we bury our kindred. Parents...friends, siblings, spouses...pets. The lesson is to love now. Make memories NOW. For you....for them.

6. Change. No person will be the same from year to year...experience to experience. Change will hopefully refine us...and not consume us.

7. Fight. Yes... we will. We do. Lets settle on fighting fair, and coming out the other side with understanding and not resentment. And, if it is unresolvable... may we walk away knowing we did all we could, and that we have retained humility and dignity.

8. Clarify. Defining moments. Forks in the road. We will all come to those junctures where we will make hard decisions. Hopefully we will choose what is right...not what is easiest.

9. Resolve. To be. Maybe it will be intentional in life...to be purposeful. Maybe it will be to not take anymore from someone who isn't good for us. Perhaps it's to retain peace in the midst of a storm. Resolve makes us unshakeable...it creates destiny.

10. Share. We will all do our lives with other people. Anyone, and everyone, has family...has peers. We will let people in. We will allow them to carve their names into the fibre of our identity. We will do this, because, at the end of the day...we need people. We need each other...we are stronger together than alone.

We will all miss someone. We will be glad we had them, even if for a blink. We will remember them everyday, in quiet and out loud. Their absence will sometimes be painfully tangible. We will feel things on their behalf. We will hope..and wish...and yearn for contact.

They will find us. They will soothe us...they will inspire us.

Miss you much MB, thank you for sharing those moments...every last one. xo

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


15 years old.

I was 15, going on 16 in 1991, as was my brilliant friend, Keri. We had talked about getting our drivers licences, we thought down the road to the careers we might chase...and the lives we dreamed of having. We visualised our apartment in Toronto with a glass block wall in the entry way, and a part of the livingroom that would be void of furniture, and only pillows.

That's who we thought we'd be.

She died. She died 20 years ago today. Her life came to an abrupt end, and the trajectory of my life was forever changed that day. The loss is not lessened due to time...the emotion and ache is merely more tolerable, but not less persistent when I permit myself to think about her...and us, and our childhood moments that should have stretched out into adulthood.

I stood at the foot of her grave today. The wild wind whipped around me and felt strangely comforting. Snow began to swirl, and I heard echoes of who we were. I closed my eyes...I felt the moment...I embraced the sadness like an old friend, and I remembered. I remembered all the things I was so scared would leave my memory.

She used to pick my nailpolish off in church. She bit her nails down to the nub, so she would occupy herself in a boring church service picking mine off. We often skipped Sunday School, or service and would hide out in unoccupied classrooms...sometimes under tables in dark rooms, just daring someone to catch us. She wore insanely baggy jeans. She wore high top Converse. She had her own phone line. The smell of baby powder still reminds me of her. We used to sneak into her brothers room when he wasn't home and read the scandalous love letters he got from his girlfriend. We swung on the rope swing in the barn. Her lovely sweet dog Sandy was a faithful companion and staple around the yard. She had a crush on a boy in a far away town...and she used to write him love letters.

Funny that. I have often wondered about him and his sister when the name of their town has entered my mind. A month ago, my sister went to a ladies retreat, and unbenounced to her, as she talked to a new friend, Keri was an unexpected connection they shared from that life those many years ago. She named her oldest daughter after her. In some small way...my dear friend lives on.

I miss her. Every year the missing is different. The older I get, the more I wonder who she would be. Sometimes I like to think about her life out there...in a far away busy city, where she is a graphic artist, or a hippy chick with a guitar, with a fabulous loft apartment, and a black cat named Jinx. I think she'd have amazing laugh lines around her mischievious eyes by now, but the glorious sound of her laughter would still be that of a 15 year old girl...

The girl I knew. The girl I know. The girl who is forever a part of me.

Miss you much, George.


Jenaroo. xo


Friday, April 1, 2011

Ugly Beautiful Truth

Sometimes you come to your end. Somedays...there isn't enough left inside, and the tank runs dry...leaving you emotionally stranded on the edge of your own life. Sometimes, the suffering, both personally and to those you love...and to a broken world is just SO exhausting that there is nothing left to do except surrender to emotion...to tears...to a break.

I do believe there is cleansing in tears. I have fallen under their medicated washing, I have succumbed to the flood on occasion..and I have felt relief at their end.

But sometimes... it just hurts more. Sometimes...there aren't enough to cover your head in glorious submersion...there is merely a misting on the tips of your toes.

Then what?

I know we have all had those days when we feel that surely nothing more can be endured. Perhaps, it's a season of darkness that violently swallows the light of peace...the glow of possibility. It's likely a time in life where it appears that everyone else is finding their way...and you are painfully behind. Or maybe, it just appears that they are better equipped than you are to bear the burden.

I'm not built for a broken heart. I'm not built for rejection, or dishonesty... half truths, or ignorance. A broken heart paralyses me. Rejection and dishonesty claw at the thin membrane around my soul. Half truths and ignorance taunt me and buzz in my peripheral.

The only remedy I can come up with tonight for these things is to fall back on my resolution for 2011. Don't be that person. Live with integrity. Live in honesty...be open minded and realistic about boundaries. Be ruthless with what is and isn't acceptable in this life. Stick to it.

As for a broken heart? What can I say? I don't have a means of seeing myself out of it. I have no recommendations for survival. Letting someone go who isn't good for you is a chosen grief. I suppose, it comes down to a quote I hope to someday tattoo on the inside of my everyday consciousness,

"Don't be reckless with other peoples hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours". ~Mary Schmich