Mom, you are always right. 

My mom texted me. We text now.  My mom and I, semi regularly…and I love it.

I love texting. It’s one of my favourite things to do. My day gets filled up conversations with people I adore talking to. I love talking, always. And now with today’s technology, having conversations in my own introverted world is so much easier…but that is a topic for another day. 😊

So now I text my mom.  I adore her conversations.  I adore talking to my mom.  So we talk more often, and her texting etiquette is getting so much better. 

Last Friday we were texting. I was telling her about a new tunic I had bought for a date night with courtney. We were heading to the NAC for a comedy show. I was telling her it was burgundy, how it was flowed, the linen was delicate and embroidered.  It was my new hippy tunic.  She joked with me to make sure I rubbed lavender on as well, to seduce court with… ( the smell of lavender is not is his favourite…it’s a big joke in our family, since the kids and I smell of lavender often) 

I responded to her text saying something along the lines of…’haha, gosh right?! We all know how much he loves my hippy perfume…lol…we are so different!’ 

My mom wrote me later in the day saying: ‘opposites attract, you should really write a book about that’ 

Confused, I responded with: ‘a book about a wannabe hippy girl who marries jockish boy  and how they created three kids who are hilarious melds of their opposite personalities?

She responded with ‘yes, and even I would read that book, and we both know how much I live to read…lol’ 

I though about that for a while. Writing a book. A book about me. The idea seems so indulgent. 

Because really what do I have to say that hasn’t already been said more brillantly, more beautifully and more clearly?

I know my mom would read it.  She loves me. She reads what I write, just like I read Chloe and Charlotte’s stories like they are Pulitzer Prize winning pieces of art. She hears my words like I hear the songs Canton creates with wonder and beauty. She sees the art I create like any parent sees their children’s art, like it is most breathtaking thing they have ever seen. 

Of course my mom wants me to write a book. My mom thinks her daughters can do anything. But did I believe I could write anything worth reading?  Do I believe anyone wants to read the words I write, the stories I weave?  My writing has no comparison to the beautiful words and stories already created. 

And then I was reminded of this quote I had saved on my google drive for just the right moment:

The answer is YES. You should write. Even though everything’s already been said beautifully. Even though there’s nothing new under the sun. Even so. Because there may be nothing new to say, but if you haven’t spoken up yet – then there is a new VOICE to hear. That’s all we have – our voices. No two are the same. No one sees the world QUITE like you do, and no one else can tell us your story QUITE like you could. You are our only chance to know you. You’re it. If you yearn to use your voice and you don’t – we will all suffer for it. Be brave. Be audacious enough to consider that your story is worth telling and your voice is worth hearing. The secret it- it IS. Your story and your voice are worthy of occupying some space in this world. Take it, Sister. Take your space.
Glennon Doyle Melton 

  I thought to my self, that quite possibly nobody wanted to read my words and that was ok. Just like anything we do, we should do it for ourselves first and foremost. We are our number one supporters. We need to carry ourselves through this life with fulfillment and beauty, if not, no one else will. We do what we love, we create for the love of ourselves, for fulfilling a dream, a destiny a purpose. We do all this for ourselves, Not the validation of others. 

I have my voice. My stories. And I write, I share for me. 

So mom, once again you are right. 

I should write a book, because I have always wanted to. Simply put because it seems right to me. 

Because I have a voice. 

A woman who is a complicated sometimes loner, a bossy oldest 1st born child. A woman who loves talking but sometimes gets scared of social interaction. A girl who often doubts the things she has said while nervous. I have the voice and words of a woman who loves poetry, has hippy dreams  but struggles to figure out who she is.  A girl who gets angry often, who gets easily excited, who feels guilty, who believes in love and trusts it always wins.  My voice is filled with laughter lost days, and sometimes a darkness that looms over head. A woman much too complicated, but yet held together with simplicity. 

And this girl married a sports loving boy, with a playful heart.  A man who loves to laugh. Who has complicated emotions.  Who easily makes mistakes and feels deep regret, very quickly. Who is harder on himself then anyone on the outside.  The youngest child mentality of carefree spontinatity. Who’s soul is so deep, sometimes it feels it takes an eternity for it to show its depth and for him to come up from the ravine. 

And these two created three lives.  A mash up of their unique beings.

The twin girls, who form a tapestry of eccentricity. Who souls wind into one other as fluid as water. Chloe with her  mothers anxious soul, her fathers competitive nature and her own deep artistic ways and Charlotte with her mother love of words, her own deep compassion and her father’s sense of humour. 

 A boy child , Canton, with his mothers fears and  ability to love hard, his father ‘s playful heart and his own way of seeing beauty in almost everything. 

These five are my story.  They are us. The voice I have been blessed with.  

With my voice I tell this story.  A story that only I get the privilege to share. Because like the beautiful Glennon Melton says, you voice and story are worthy of occupying space in this world. Take your space in this world. Take it sister! 

Much love, 

Jessica 

Cannot take her beauty

My hand wrapped in hers. I curled up beside her, in the fetal position my body pressed as close to hers as I can get without disturbing the calm. My head resting on her rolled up housecoat. The sun reflects off the water, streaming into the room. The temperature rising in the tiny white space, my neck sticky with sweat. My hair damp with perspiration but she still has five blankets on her tiny frail body.

She is dying. Cancer. And my heart breaks.

My grandma, the woman who taught me the love of creating. The woman who patiently sat with me and tried to pass on her craft, her creativity. With much fail, I never really seemed to grasp drawing, painting, knitting, sewing, quilting, or any of the other marvelous skills she tried to teach me. All those lesson, all those Saturday mornings spent at her kitchen table are painted in my subconscious. They are there to stay, because I was taught something greater then how to hold my pencil, or how to see the lines, or how to hold the brush.  I learned more from her then she ever knew. She showed me that the world needs beauty. That the world is full of art that needs to be created. That it is never to late to be, to do, and to create what you love.

She made me want to create art, even with my limited skill set. Everyday. To show the beautiful existence of our short life.

I watched her fill her life with art, I grew up watching this beautiful woman become her true self. Becoming exactly who she wanted to be, exactly who she was meant to be. She spoke her mind, she did what she wanted and she made no apologies for who she was. And if I become an ounce  as incredible and strong willed as her, I will feel truly blessed to have inherited her beauty.

And now cancer is ravishing her body, but she maintains her beauty. Because I cannot be taken. There is too much there.

So with a lump in my throat I hold back tears, as I know she will scold me for crying. Because she told me not be be sad. Because she told me she wants to see ‘daddy’ and that he waits for her.

I curl up beside her and hold her hand. I imagine we are back in her home (the home I now live in), with her flower wallpapered  bedroom that smells like ‘Oscar de la renta’ perfume. I pretend I am curled up beside her, as we listen to grandpa shuffling around in his room. I pretend I am 10 and we getting to spend the day together.  I feel child-like again, in the wonder of my beautiful grandma. I close my eyes and fall asleep beside her, synchronizing my breath to hers. I am doing right by her, and finding some beauty in the darkness of this time.

Losing our stories: how today’s storytelling is breaking us down.

Storytelling has been a part of our cultural, our society for centuries. Humans have used storytelling platforms to pass on their history, to entertain, to share and to connect. From the very beginning  we have used our skills to tell stories to better ourselves as a race, this incredible human race. The act of weaving, creating, building and dictating stories is built into our core. It is in our bones, made up in our blood and is an important part of who we are.

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Instinctively we desire stories. No matter how much we change and grow as a society, we crave the connection that a good story brings. We want to share ours, hear others, watch new ones and read deep ones. We simply crave the existence of well developed characters, amplified dialogue and fulfilling plot. Just think of how amazing you feel after a good book or at the end of an incredible movie? We still need our stories. It simply creates the people we become.

Our primal connection to ‘the stories’ has lessened as we have ‘grown’ as a society.  Our world is expanding and we are becoming more technology based. Science has taken us so far. It has developed our world into something almost unbelievable.  But with technology, come less attachment to one another, and nothing can replace that. Human connection, a key ingredient the fulfillment of storytelling. We have moved so away from shared fire pits while communities circle together sharing stories and learning from one another. We have lost that primal need to be near each other creating and learning.

We have become a world that simply swallows our stories whole. We eat them up, without sharing. We are creating story indigestion. Pain travels up and we gulp it all down.  We sit solo on our computers and read article after article telling us what we should think, who we should be and how we should live. We circle around giant screens and watch dramatic depictions of the terrible depths the human race has gone. We watch, hear and read about the hatred, anger and persecution that surrounds us. We take it all in, without realizing where, what, who and why it has been sent here. We lose the connection to the purpose, to what it was meant to teach us.

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We crave storytelling so strongly that we still create our own stories. But since we are so over stimulated by obtrude and over processed tales, we are slowly losing our ability to creatively weave stories that better us and our lovely roommates on this beautiful earth. So instead we degrade each other. Create dramatic stories that belittle one another. We gossip. We judge, point fingers and blame. We displace our own confusion and dysfunctional emotions on to our fellow humans. We are so disconnected that instead of weaving tales of love, growth and emotional acceptance of who we are we break each other apart.

We tearing each other down hoping to find the missing piece that is lost in our own soul. But my friends, we will not find that gem in the rubble of our broken spirits. The answer lies in us. In our stories. Our ability to creatively weave them into channels of knowledge and growth.  We listen, we love, we create. We build each other up and learn from one another. This journey is shared one. We need each other.

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Today’s problems would disappear if we talked TO each other instead of ABOUT each other.

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See the sun light today my friends. Feel the warmth. Grow your branches out and lift each other while you do so. Live tall, love strong and lift each other up.

Three things I tell my self when the chaos is too much.

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This past 12 months have brought on alot of changes. Changes which have rocked my world, changed my direction and made me see things differently.
Not all these have been detrimental….but with changes come emotional adjustments. Good and bad. There comes periods of adaptation. Learning to change patterns and habits. There comes an adjustment of our reactions and expectations.
I have been slowly shedding the skin a former self and realizing that being the real me is always the best choice.
When the expectations of social requirements become too much, the chaos is simply over bearing, I have a few concepts that I tell my self before surrendering to the chaotic tidewave of life.

1. Do not rely on one person to be your everything.

I am married. We are committed to one another and share our life. Sometimes it’s hard sharing your life with another. But most of the time it is the most fulfillibg experience to witness the beauty and pain of the world with the one you love.
In those moments of marriage ectasy, it is easy to give into the idea that ‘They are my everything’. It easy to put your expectations of happiness in one person.
But that is not fair.
Over this last year, Through some rough times, CK and I have reconnected our appreciation for one another…as people. I am in love with a man that is funny and imperfect. He is enjoyable to spend time with. He is more then my partner, my co parent, my room mate, my lover…He is my best friend.
But his not everything.
He takes up most of the aura of my soul with his beautiful existence but there is room for more. More space to find what fulfills me. What makes me happy. What pushes me to change and grow. 
We are complex entities that require an array of people and ideas to fulfill us. Putting everything in one container shelters us from who we can be. It stifles our growth.

2. Not everyone has to like me.

This one is hard. I struggle with confidence on a good day.  Like most human beings, I believe the opinions of others dictates my worth.
It’s a common missconneption that most of us have bought it too, and it is rubbish.
Not everyone will like me. As I do not appreciate the company of everyone I meet. We are all allowed our opinions. That is a simple truth of our existence.
That truth does not design my truth.

3. The real me is better then a masked version.

I may be loud. Rude at times.
Excitable and intense. I may be reserved and moody. I may like to vent and tell stories. I am sometimes oblivious and ditzy. I am weird and insightful and I love with all of my heart. I am open to bringing my walls down and respectful to my world.
I am me. And watered down version of that is boring and  tasteless. The real me is sour and bold with an aftertaste of sweetness. I deserve to show that real side. The world deserves to have the real me in it.

It is OK if I don’t fit in everywhere. I may see exactly where I fit yet,  But my puzzle piece has a perfect spot. I just have to be patient and find it.

I do not have to surrender to ideals of social expectations. And neither do you. Your story is worth sharing. And we are worth it all.

Tantrum

Can I be kind today?
Kind to myself, kind to others, kind to my world.

Some mornings I wake up and really have to think about it. The urge to go back to bed, to snap, to yell are all to overwhelming.
Anger can be so intense. The urge to explode, lava pouring out with the words of feelings of frustration. The daily grind becoming too much to handle.

The list is too long,
The kids aren’t listening,
I am tired, hungry, etc
Money is tight,
My husband is preoccupied,
There is not enough time in the day.

The constant feeling of hovering over the edge. Swaying dangerously on the ledge of explosion.
It stays like that, waiting for that moment, the moment the release will occur. The yelling, the stomping, the crying, the screaming.
The tantrum.
In the moment it feels worth it, but is it?
What was accomplished? Really…

The high after release, then the guilt of explosion.

It can be hard to be calm. I know.

Tantrums are a tool in my adult tool belt. Inappropriate for my age, but I still haven’t grown out of them.

Tantrums haven’t gotten me anywhere efficiently. The slow down the progress, push me down until I can build myself up again.

So today I will be kind. I will be calm, and breath.

I will remember that it is never worth the tantrum.
I am stronger, smarter and better then that.

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Much love,
Jessica

Poetry: long conversations.

Today I had some much needed time to myself. Not doing errands, not shopping or tending to little ones, just sitting in the cafe with coffee, poetry and my journal. I read a great poetry anthology called ‘day into night- a haiku journey’ by Gunther Klinge. There was one haiku that stuck with me.
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It was a fitting poem. I was blessed to meet up with many people today by chance, to converse and feel each interaction with my full spirit.

What a concept,
‘Life as one long conversation’
The ebbs and flows
The pauses and the breaks
The breaths
Tensions
Releases
Problems resolved and ideas shared
Oh what a thought
What perspective it brings

‘Life as one long conversation’

Beginning to end,
Who chooses the start

How would I describe the conversation?

Am I waiting for it to end so I can rush out to more important events?
Running out as quickly as I came in

Or is it a conversation full of moments
Moments of appreciation
Of love
Of insight
Blessed moments
The warmth of that conversation overwhelms my senses

But just a true with a physical conversation,
The ‘life’ conversations are ones of choice.

They are chosen by me and me only
Like a choose your own adventure book.

I choose the speed, the context, the reactions

Do I choose to rush?
Or do I choose to slow down,
Listen,
Cherish,
And enjoy.

Will I choose to find the beauty in each interaction?
Will I choose to find the beauty in each person I meet?

Will I choose to let go of the past and jump fully into the future,
And the future conversations that will come?

I do.
I do.
I do.

Not letting the past cloud my vision, choose my path or decide who I am.
I choose light,
Love ,
And willingness to let go.

Let go,
Let it flow,
Let it grow with me as I breath space Into my long conversation.

Much love,
Jessica

How slicing potatoes changed my whole outlook.

Slicing potatoes

It helps,
Putting my hands on a pot, on a broom,
In a wash
Pail.

I
Tried painting,
But it was easier to fly slice
Potatoes.

-Rabia of Basra

I read that poem this morning, and simply fell in love. The truth of it lay flat upon me. Staring me in the face.

Since motherhood has taken me in, I have struggled with ways to hone in on my creativity. I have blogged about this before, it is not news. It is a constant struggle for me to utilize my creative energy while still staying true to the reality of my everyday life.

I have made the decision to stay home with my kids, and provide care for other children. I love my decision and am generally happy with knowing that I made this choice. But I miss challenge and adults. I miss the world out there.

Somedays I thank god that I have been blessed with the life I have. Carefree kids on sunny days, giggle and hugs at random, smiles and bright colours. But Somedays I miss the other side of grass, the grass outside my house. Some days it seems greener.

I think if I was out ‘there’, I could use my creativity more. Not struggle with balance, and the need to challenge myself.

I know this to be untrue. If I worked outside my home, I am sure I would struggle with staying true to my creative soul. I know many woman that do. But it is so much easier to look away for solutions then to fix what is already established.

Reading this poem really allowed it to click for me.

Motherhood, accepting my role as the matriarch of my little family is creative. I clean, I cook , I bake. I put love into the snacks I bake. I put heart and soul into the laundry I fold. I put creativity into the food I cook. I just choose to not see it sometimes.

I forget that the work I do is powerful. The mundane and monotonous labour I preform in my home is the energy that keeps this family happy and content. Allowing them to go out into the world with a smile of kindness and love. The work I do is soulful.

The work we all do is powerful and full of truth. The labour we ALL do it full of our creative soul. We cannot help that. We are in everything that we preform and create.
From the lunch we make for our kids, the floor we mopped or the document we wrote. We are a part of everything. And that makes it special. That makes it unique because there is only one you. What you put into the world changes it. No matter how mundane or simplistic. We all have a voice, the power to change the world around us but using the simplicity of our lives.
You are powerful. The work you do it incredible and loving. Go out into the world and put heart into it. Even if only by fly slicing potatoes.

Much love,

Jessica

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