A reminder that sometimes it is OK to do less.

I have been slow all day– I am trying to allow myself time to stop without guilt, to allow this feeling of weariness, this reminder that sometimes it is OK to do less.

What is this weariness?  Yes, I am recouping from a flu and yes, I have many multiple projects going at once, yes I have a long to-do and commitments, but is not physical, no, it is this familiar feeling of saudade.

Saudade is a unique Portuguese word that has no immediate translation in English.  Saudade describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves.  It often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.  It’s related to the feelings of longing, yearning.  

Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again…  It can be described as an emptiness and the individual feels this absence…  In fact, one can have ‘saudades’ of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future.

I look at my to-do lists and I sigh.  I walk to the kitchen to make myself some coffee and it is an overwhelming feat today.

I have a precious day at home alone to catch up, but I really just want to sit.  To sit in this emotion, hang out with my parrot, and feel nostalgia.  To go inward, to regain some energy to move forward.  To embrace missing as a gift/reminder to rest.

I tried though- went back at my computer, preparing to write a letter, and as I was searching online for something specific, I came across an old blog post I wrote in 2013.  And I knew, this old post was a reminder again to stop today, to allow the feeling of saudade.  

Look who is saying hello in that old post!  How precious to see my dog Tobey (who passed away Dec 23, 2015), walking in the forest. 

A walk in the forest August 31, 2013.

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A GIFT.  So I share this here, pack my bags for tomorrow and STOP for the day- for sometimes it is OK to do less.

“About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from the roof gutter of a four-story building.  It was an act as careless and spontaneous as the curl of a stem or the kindling of a star.

The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped.  His wings were still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not falling, accelerating thirty-two feet per second per second, through empty air.  Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his wings with exact, deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his elegant, white-banded tail, and so floated onto the grass.  I just rounded a corner when his insouciant step caught my eye; there was no one else in sight.  The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest.  The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them.  The least we can do is try to be there.

– Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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CHECK OUT THE POWER PATH:

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To live until we say good-bye. Tobey: Jan. 14, 2000-Dec. 23, 2015

December 23, 2015 3:52 PM

As I write this, I await my brother to pick me up to take Tobey to the vet.  I awoke yesterday with a painful heart, knowing it was time to help Tobey let go.

My nephew and Tobey, Stanley Park, 2014.

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I said goodbye to my sweet Tobey at 5:45 PM. So much love and gratitude for my companion.  

 

Tobey with my father, October 2012, shortly before my father passed away.

 

Recall: Can a dog live forever?  In this case, yes.

Tobey by my street wall, Downtown Eastside, 2012.

 

Tobey loving to run at the field at Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary, 2011.

 

Tobey guarding his master, as we await Hollyburn Funeral Services to move my father’s body, October 25, 2012.

 

My “life-partner.”  Always present.  My buddy.  My comfort.

 

Getting shampooed- again…

 

Tobey would always come along- and I’d look to my right while driving and see this face.

 

Deep Cove.

 

Tobey was my father’s dog initially. He’d always be with my Dad and I at the Lion’s Gate Hospital cafeteria.

 

Remembering him digging in the garden at Evergreen House as Dad and I worked on our book.

 

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Tobey this morning. December 23, 2015.





 


  I love you, Tobey

Special thank you to my brother Anders and to Dr. Caroline Wark and the kind staff at:

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Pay attention to the birds: Part 3- Pigeon

Delighted that my dog has entered some kind of remission.  One week after believing it was time for that “family meeting,” he is well enough to eat and walk again.

He runs like a, somewhat lame, puppy after his bath- so it’s all good for now.

I savour every minute with Tobey, knowing he has lived

and is living

a full

and lovely

and loved life.

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And so I walk with him when he can.  Like yesterday morning at 6:30 AM.  Under blossomed trees at Comox and Chilco.

Tobey and I were enveloped in the whooop whooop whooop sound of pigeons flying and landing on balconies.

What could I learn by listening?

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The pigeon is a determined creature. It will stay in an area as long as there is food, despite attempts by humans or other birds to chase it away. The pigeon sighting can encourage you to be stubborn and hang in there, regardless of what challenges are thrown in your path.

The pigeon also has strong connections to house and home. If a pigeon appears to you, take a look at your relationship with your home. What does it represent to you? What would you like it to be for you? If these things don’t match up, you know you have work to do. The pigeon is safest in a flock. Don’t discount the strength and support found in a community. Furthermore, remember the importance of communication within that community; don’t assume people know things just because you do. Make sure everyone is in the loop regarding important information. [source]

I like paying attention to those magical moments, standing rooted in my new neighborhood– full of gratitude for the struggles and gifts that brought me to this place.

Birds hold so much meaning to me.  And they always feel like messengers, telling me to pay strict attention.

See also:

PART 1: Kingfisher

PART 2: American Robin

POST: They let their wings down…

POST: Dead messengers

Can a dog live forever? In this case, yes.

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They always love you.

– Alexander McQueen on the joy of having dogs

After my mother passed away November 8, 2008, I inherited my parents’ dog and parrot.  My father was already in residential care.  I LOVE having the pets.  The parrot, ASTERIX, speaks Swedish and belly laughs like my mom.  There is great comfort in still hearing her voice.

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My father lived for Tobey.  I never visited Dad without bringing the dog along.  Tobey would be under the table in the cafeteria,

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waiting on Dad’s bed if we headed next door to the hospital for an X-ray,

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walking alongside the wheelchair when we’d go to the podiatrist, shopping, to the coffee shop or Fat Burger.

My Dad would always ask me, “How can we keep Tobey alive forever?  Is there a pill he can take?”  He LOVED Tobey.  He worried endlessly about losing him.

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Dad passed away October 25, 2012, knowing Tobey was still alive and well.  Indeed, alive and well forever in Dad’s eyes.  THAT IS TRULY WONDERFUL!

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Tobey Thorsen b. January 14, 2000

Can a dog live forever? In this case, yes.

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They always love you.

– Alexander McQueen on the joy of having dogs

After my mother passed away November 8, 2008, I inherited my parents’ dog and parrot.  My father was already in residential care.  I LOVE having the pets.  The parrot, ASTERIX, speaks Swedish and belly laughs like my mom.  There is great comfort in still hearing her voice.

IMG_9690

My father lived for Tobey.  I never visited Dad without bringing the dog along.  Tobey would be under the table in the cafeteria,

IMG_8035

waiting on Dad’s bed if we headed next door to the hospital for an X-ray,

IMG_8364

walking alongside the wheelchair when we’d go to the podiatrist, shopping, to the coffee shop or Fat Burger.

My Dad would always ask me, “How can we keep Tobey alive forever?  Is there a pill he can take?”  He LOVED Tobey.  He worried endlessly about losing him.

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Dad passed away October 25, 2012, knowing Tobey was still alive and well.  Indeed, alive and well forever in Dad’s eyes.  THAT IS TRULY WONDERFUL!

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Tobey Thorsen b. January 13, 2000