July 30, 2015

Observed on the street: One “sharp” Thule

Or should I say “shark” Thule? :-) Gotta admire this person’s creativity!

Photo of car with "shark-adorned" Thule roof rack.

July 28, 2015

Observed on the street: low-stress zone

Every one needs a break once in a while. I found this “low stress zone” in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Photo of city sign reading "low stress zone"

July 27, 2015

Home: it’s the heart of any matter

Ever felt like you were truly “home”? What did that mean to you? Jennifer Hahn, in her travel memoir Spirited Waters: Soloing Through the Inside Passage, offers this wonderful reflection after spending months at sea on a solo kayak trip:

A sense of “home” isn’t conjured so much by a particular geography, defined by house walls, property lines, or loran[long-range navigation]-exact latitudes and longitudes. Rather, the feeling of “being home” grows out of an openness of the heart.

July 27, 2015

Your body is not your art, it’s your paintbrush

Wonderful words from Glennon Doyle Melton, excerpted from her larger article “Your Body is Not Your Masterpiece,” published in The Huffington Post¬†on May 8, 2014. I encourage you to read the full article; it’s worth it.

Your body is not your masterpiece — your life is.

It is suggested to us a million times a day that our BODIES are PROJECTS. They aren’t. Our lives are. Our spirituality is. Our relationships are. Our work is.

Stop spending all day obsessing, cursing, perfecting your body like it’s all you’ve got to offer the world. Your body is not your art, it’s your paintbrush. Whether your paintbrush is a tall paintbrush or a thin paintbrush or a stocky paintbrush or a scratched up paintbrush is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is that YOU HAVE A PAINTBRUSH which can be used to transfer your insides onto the canvas of your life — where others can see it and be inspired and comforted by it. . . .

Stop what you are doing and say THANK YOU to your body. Right now. Say THANK YOU to your eyes for taking in the beauty of sunsets and storms and children blowing out birthday candles and say THANK YOU to your hands for writing love letters and opening doors and stirring soup and waving to strangers and say THANK YOU to your legs for walking you from danger to safety and climbing so many mountains for you.

Then pick up your instrument and start painting this day beautiful and bold and wild and free and YOU.

July 26, 2015

Eat your fear

Great quote from Tom Ryan, author of the book Following Atticus:

When you eat a fear, it makes you stronger.

Chow down.

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July 3, 2015

“Take up your bed. Go! Walk again!”

Ever get the urge to set out on a journey of exploration, to watch new horizons and new adventures unfurl before you? This wonderful quote about the pull of travel was written by Isobel Wylie Hutchison (1889-1982), Arctic wayfarer and botanist, in her excellent travelogue North to the Rime-Ringed Sun:

It’s strange that though my lines are set so fair and pleasant here [at home],
Yet every now and then there comes this whisper through the year —
“Take up your bed. Go! Walk again! Oh man! Your days are few,
And lo! The earth is very wide, her treasure waits for you.”

July 1, 2015

Happy Canada Day!

Ten reasons why I love Canada:

  1. Abundant and easy access to nature and green space.
  2. Friendly people.
  3. Geographical and cultural diversity.
  4. Big cities, tiny hamlets and everything in between = countless living and travel opportunities.
  5. Lakes, lakes, lakes! (And rivers and oceans, too!)
  6. Four seasons.
  7. First Nations’ history and culture.
  8. Environmental ethic.
  9. Diversity of wildlife (and an ethos to respect and protect it).
  10. Natural beauty, from coast to coast to coast.

Happy Canada Day!

20150701_Canada-flag-icon

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June 22, 2015

The journey is the remedy

Ever faced a long, daunting project, the scale of which set your anxieties astir? Actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman did so when they embarked on a four-month motorcycle journey around the world, following a route that included some of the toughest riding conditions on the globe.

Here are a few tips from their book, Long Way Round, about facing down your inner demons and just getting on with it:

  • The secret to any long journey or project is to take it in blocks — little chunks that you can process and manage bit by bit. A week into their 29,000-plus-kilometre journey, McGregor writes: “Even now, I couldn’t conceive of the scale of our undertaking. For months [before the trip] I had been talking people through the map [of our route]. Now I was sitting on my bike riding it. . . . But I still couldn’t fathom the distance ahead. The secret, I felt, was to take the journey in little blocks. Morning til coffee break. Coffee til lunch. Lunch til mid-afternoon break. . . . By breaking it up into chunks, we’d make it manageable. But the moment my mind drifted to the bigger picture . . . , the journey became overwhelming and panic set in.”
  • As the journey progresses, it’s also important not to let setbacks and disappointments get you down. Obstacles will crop up, and when they do, they may appear overwhelming. But if you take the time to step back and examine your situation from a broader perspective — one that looks beyond the obstacle looming right in front of you — you may see that the bigger picture is more important than the immediate, in-your-face details. McGregor and Boorman faced abysmally difficult roads in Mongolia — so bad that McGregor wanted to pack up and get out. But as he talked about his dilemma with his team, he realized that turning tail would rob him of the opportunity to experience more of a country that was already affecting him on a deep emotional level. Fighting through the roads might be difficult and put the trip “behind schedule”, but did that really matter in the long run? “It’s hard here,” Boorman tells McGregor, “it’s really hard. But it’s also really beautiful and we just have to concentrate more on the beauty and less on the hardship. . . . We [need] to open our eyes to our surroundings. Any journey [is] difficult when the field of vision [is] just five feet ahead of you.”
June 12, 2015

Fire lives within you

Great lyric from the song “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten:

I might only have one match,
But I can make an explosion.

Get out there and burn.

May 28, 2015

Every second counts

Something to remember:

Twenty-four little hours make a difference, sure.
But so do twenty-four little minutes, or seconds.

(Dinah Washington song lyric quoted in Corked: A Memoir by Kathryn Borel)

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