Been working on this more than a few days. Been a journey. Learning to relax.

I’ve heard this advice more than a few times lately, even though I’m also told I seem happier than a year ago. Relax. Who knew it was so hard? I’ve been working on this more than a few days. Been a journey. Learning to relax.

Last week I pulled out my watercolours and took some quiet moments to work on a few unfinished pieces. They were started ages ago then left in my art bag while I did other things. I have travel paints from a new brand and pulled these out to try. Thicker than I expected as I loaded the brush, they felt lovely and smooth going onto the paper.

A beading workshop on Sunday brought the tangible to the fore again. Working with the beads was a kind of spiritual exercise for me. Choosing the colours and textures, working slowly, giving them time, I felt surprised by my choice of subtle pinks, gentle yet strong. Peace and Joy.

Keyboard moments … who told me sit and hold out hands? … I will myself to relax into it. Wisdom from friends, encouragement to spend time in this spiritual practice; I’m learning to trust myself and the instrument can find something to say.

Guitar lesson, Tuesday, first in decades. Prompted again by desire to become friends with my instrument, to not back away, not shut down so readily. Learn to trust that fingers and frets will find common ground, lean into a conversation and sound joy that brims in smiles.

Guitar Circle. At end of day, tears turn from sorrows to joy in this gathering of friends. In sounds, songs, stories shared, we become more than individuals, our lives interwoven during this time, belonging more to ourselves and each other as we sing.

Reflecting.  Reminiscence colours mood.

Singing and listening draw from me sounds of contentment, deeper breathes. Learning to relax, I rest among these trusted friends.



Begin with laughter. Always … begin with laughter.

Writing gets away from me. At times it feels like I’m not achieving, but I’ve actually written quite a bit the past two weeks.

April is national poetry month. I love writing poems and have finally fallen in with the opinion of friends who have tried, for years, to get me to write a book. Given that I have a number of already-written poems and some short prose pieces with which to work, I began my first week of book creation on my friend’s kitchen table sorting little pieces of paper into ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘maybe’ piles. The piles grew quickly while we spent time laughing at some, perhaps more appropriately fitting a ‘what was I thinking!’ pile. Some in that category may yet turn out to be my best, or most fun, pieces; definitely some of the enjoyable in round one picks.

I know there is hard work ahead. It scares me. I may do this and people may read it. Why does that really scare me? I need to hold it lightly.

My advice to those of you considering a writing venture is the same thing I tell myself. Find a friend with a great sense of humour: at least to start. There will be plenty of time for seriousness later.

Begin with laughter. Always … begin with laughter.