Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2008

diamonds

Have you seen the new Diamond Shreddies ad campaign? I think it is absolutely brilliant! I wish I had come up with the idea! Something old and familiar suddenly becomes new and exciting just because someone gets you to look at it from a different angle. How much of what we see and experience every day has become old to us? How many people and scenarios do we take for granted and are in danger of becoming cold towards? Staleness and familiarity can wear away at the joy and appreciation and newness and wonder and overall quality of being in our lives.

Looking through a camera lens is one way for me to notice the wonder and beauty again. Go out and buy some Diamond Shreddies today! Or at least go to the website and watch some of the market research videos. Quite amusing, and done with real people in Toronto.

http://www.diamondshreddies.com/videos.php

This is an iris on the east side of my house this afternoon. I don't remember the irises being this colour last year! Perhaps I just wasn…

closet

I am in serious downsizing mode. In this present house I have four bedroom closets plus a big storage room in which to squirrel away my various clothes, boxes, files, papers, extra chairs and blankets, games and puzzles, camera gear and all those things I think I might eventually find a use for. In the new place, I will have one average size bedroom closet. That's right. One. The smallness of the number smacked me square in the face last week when I was taking a second look at the property. I came home and realised I had to rethink my packing strategy.

Careful collecting was soon replaced by ruthless jettisoning. No more room to store the original boxes for every piece of sound gear, small appliance, computer accessory or piece of stereo equipment. No more setting things aside because of sentimental value (just pick one thing to keep and move the rest on to a better home). If I will not use it in the next year, it is gone. I am busy selling unusual items on ebay, including Dean…

God is not a conservative

I just realised the other day that in all the reading I have done over the years in the Bible and in all my encounters with the living God, he has never shown himself to be a conservative. I am not talking merely about a point on the political compass or a fiscal outlook. Let me refer to Miriam Webster for some clarity:

conservative (adjective) a: tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions b: marked by moderation or caution c: marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners.

I am in the middle of the book of Ezekiel now and this God tells the prophet to engage in some of the most outlandish acts as illustrations of God's divine love and justice, as well as his intense desire and even jealousy for a close and exclusive relationship between him and his people. There is no careful check and balance that he adheres to - he is passionate and angry and righteous and holy and loving, all at the same time. There is no vie…

the NO

I am 16 days away from moving back onto the island of Montreal. In the last few years, almost despite myself, I have developed a strange love for this city and her inhabitants. Quite unnatural, really. Last night as part of our home group session on taking risks in areas that we have had bad experiences in, we were wandering the streets on the lookout for anyone that we could connect with and show some love to. We started out at Second Cup but soon realised that everyone was in their own little world: on their laptops, reading, or talking intimately with a group of friends. Not much of a place to connect. So we headed out down Parc Avenue to see whom we would meet. The streets were pretty empty and as we walked on, I felt this love grow big inside me and I yelled out some spontaneous thanks and prayers to God to bless this place. Yes, we were on our way to changing the world, I could feel it.

On the way back up Parc to fetch my car, my friend and I came upon a lady with several large …

36

It is done. Well, almost done. We still have to secure a mortgage and do an inspection, but we bought a condo in uptown Montreal this weekend. We saw it on Saturday, put in an offer that afternoon, negotiated through Sunday about price and a few details, and while I was sitting on the toilet at church on Sunday night, peeing, I received a text message that the place was ours. Don't you love God's way with timing? I finished my business and ran out to inform Dean. He was relieved, and so was I, just having come from the bathroom, but after that, the sensation that kept washing over me in waves that evening was of being slightly overwhelmed by the goodness of God. Sometimes I have so little faith. Sometimes I doubt that God will do what he says, even though he always comes through and he tells me in so many ways all the time in every situation that he can be counted on to get us through it. But I have been known to mix superstition in with my lumpy faith, so I hesitate to jump i…

juggling

I had this great idea yesterday. I have started packing some of our stuff in preparation for moving and discovered a few things I had borrowed from people and need to return because I don't want to move other people's stuff. That would be silly. And then I thought, but I won't ask for any of my stuff back that I have lent to others until after I move because that's a few items I don't have to lug from one location to the next. And then, voila, or voici, a bright light went on inside my mind! Why, I could lend out almost everything I own just before my moving date, and then simply ask for people to bring it back just after I move into our new location. Absolutely brilliant! No need to move much at all, really. Just lend things at strategic times. Something like juggling bowling balls...it is not like you actually hold those heavy spheres at all, they are virtually weightless because most of the time they are in the air!

Okay, it is late and I need to go to bed, but i…

activities from a hat

I just got back from our weekly church home group. Once a month we do a NITE OUT which is basically a fun evening where we get out of the house setting and do stuff together. Tonight I planned something I call "Activities From a Hat." It ended up being activities from a plastic bag, due to my not bringing a hat, but it was one of the most memorable, funnest, deep and silly evenings I have had in awhile. Perhaps you want to try this at home. Just list a bunch of random activities, toss them in a hat, have different members of the group pick out slips of paper one at a time, and do each activity as a team before going on to the next one. Fun! Scary! Challenging! Profound! Revealing! Here were tonight's activities:

1. Give one reason why you like Montreal (insert your city of residence here).
2. Do a happy dance in a public place.
3. Exchange an article of clothing with a team member for the evening.
4. Do not break any laws tonight. If you do, you must make a donation to the …

predator

We are on the hunt. Tracking skills are being honed, foreign territory is being covered with ever increasing familiarity and efficiency, and it is only a matter of time before we rustle that illusive new home out of the bushes where it hides.

There are several ways in which to snare a home in its natural habitat. Some believe in the shotgun approach, rushing in with all options blazing, rooting through everything and anything that doesn't move, shooting off offers left and right and hoping one of them sticks. Others methodically plan out their strategy before they deploy any attack, mapping out specific locations and likely scenarios for success, hesitant to leap in without doing a thorough recon first. Some sit back in a comfortable chair in the hunting blind and wait for the real estate agents to fetch and bring in the game.
Dean and I do things in different ways. He is a man of action. I like that about him. But when he, and then we start to depend on our own efforts to accompli…

goodbye and white

This afternoon I signed my name a few times, and so did Dean, and we are no longer home owners. This morning one of my close friends, who had been staying with us for a week as she was between places, left to journey back to her family in B.C. She is leaving her life in Montreal, not sure whether she will return or not. It has been a day of goodbyes, goodbyes that leave one hanging, as none of us know quite where we will land next. This place can be unsettling or it can help me focus - my choice.

Tonight I have 3 more house guests coming. Tomorrow I have an event where I am acting as producer/set-up person/refreshment coordinator/public relations/host. Saturday we look at some condos downtown, then head away for a quick meeting and a bit of a getaway at our friends' cottage up north. Next week I will start sorting and packing. Life is clumping up again, as it tends to do when change is imminent. Like labour pains, there usually seems to be increased activity and stress just before…

follow

I went dancing Saturday night. Dean was supposed to come with me as we joined a bunch of friends at a swing dance club, but he was working all weekend and had no energy left to give, not even to one of his favourite activities. Dancing is something I have come to late in life; growing up in a conservative Mennonite community offered little opportunity to learn this social skill. This was my third time at this club and I proudly noted that I was no longer the least skilled person on the floor. After the basic lesson at the beginning of the evening, I danced with several in our group of friends and a few guys I had met during the group lesson. I so admire men who are learning to dance. They are the ones that have to lead, even when their partner might be more skilled than they are. I tried to be as helpful as I could be to the guys who had never done this before - helpful, yes, while never crossing the line of usurping their leadership role. There can only be one leader on the dance flo…

sing

I had a dream yesterday. In it, I was in a public gathering of some sort with lots of people and quite a few of them famous. It was a conference type of setting so we were all supposed to be listening and being wowed by what was coming forth from the stage area. For some reason, I was reading my Bible (don't remember which bits) and the words and concepts gripped me hard. I was deeply stirred by the immensity of the love of God for us and it nearly ripped me open. I couldn't help it, I began to sing. It was not a pretty song. I wailed and moaned and tried to hit some notes as I wept and cried out and made a fairly sad attempt to put a voice to this intense sensation of being loved so largely that it almost swallowed me up. How does one receive such a pure and holy thrust of white-hot passion? I maneuvered my vocal chords through a raw and underdeveloped melody, my voice cracking and changing register as I did so. I was sure I was not making much sense to anyone but myself, an…