Waking Up In Canada

Time Out Just To See

Don’t love, DO February 15, 2013

Filed under: writing — wakingupincanada @ 8:41 am
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This is my seventh day in a row, writing. It has been a long time since I invested this much time in what I love, and I have loved it. It has not been easy; taking the time to write, usually first thing in the quiet of the dawn; coming up with topics that strike me, and give me enough to go beyond a sentence; long, clumsy sentences that don’t make sense, deleted, re-written, deleted re-structured, not perfect but completed. For me, doing what you love is knowing you are far from perfect and doing it anyway. It took discipline and a little bit of commitment.

I once again return to those wise words that caused me to begin: even those with great talent must practice, and so, for me with little skill and only a wish, I must work doubly hard. I am better than I was a week ago, because a week ago I did not write. If the slowest run is faster than the couch, is the worst paragraph better than a blank page?

Writing has given me more than words. My thoughts, an often crowded, confusing chaos that needs a bit of sorting on a regular basis enjoy quality time to just roam free within the structure of sentence. Thoughts in order often help order elsewhere, like my desk, my kitchen and my laundry. Writing gives me a sense of achievement, I planned, I did, I completed. Every day. It is like ticking of your to-do list, a gold star, or for me at least, red tick in my copybook.

What good is a hobby that you don’t do? I ask sometimes, in conversation for the first time, “what do you enjoy doing?”, and they say reading. What did you last read? Oh, I can’t remember. What a shame. Or I love golfing but I only play when we are in Mexico. How sad, that you have to wait until you go on holiday to enjoy that which you love. It seems a bit of a waste, a waste of fun. There are those whose hobbies ended when they left school, I used to play football, I used to skate, I used to, once upon a time. Then there are the opposite, I quilt and there, you see in a massive handbag a small patchwork peeping out, waiting for an idle moment to finish the line of stitching. I scrapbook, and I am going away next weekend to get my next calendar done. You can hear the passion and feel the love, and these voices are the ones we gather to, the people who love and do. I run, I play football with other Mums. These are the people we follow. They don’t say I love to, they just, do. We all need a little fun and enjoyment. Life is hard. It is full of work and responsibility, paying bills, paying attention, getting the dishes done and remembering birthdays and anniversaries and who is married to whom.

My name is Kellie and I write.


Reading, deliberately February 13, 2013

Filed under: Books,Uncategorized — wakingupincanada @ 6:23 am
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Some of you will know about my love of reading and books; those underestimated resources of knowledge, emotion, inspiration and escape. Standing in a second-hand bookstore on Saturday, I realised the amount of books I have at home, unread. I also realised the amount of books I am reading, right now. I have 3, that I was occasionally picking up, more of one, one day, a little of none the next day. I was grazing on words.

I don’t usually have so many books on the go. I take a taste from a few maybe, until one just cries out to me and I must keep reading as if my very happiness depended on this story unfolding. A book I cannot get into today may sing to my soul in 2 weeks. A good book is not just about the story but about where you are, body, heart and mind, when you read it. However, my 3 books right now is a perfect synopsis of my head right now: all over the place. I am flicking from thought to thought, project to project, book to book. The Dalai Lama may classify it as undisciplined. So I am taking his advice, and injecting some discipline into my book-reading. First, I sorted them into spaces. By my bedside now, sits Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, a fantastic story of the search for the secret of eternal life in a conflict between traditional books and ever increasing technology. One night, I got so enthralled by the late night secret scanning that I stayed up to the early hours, which for me, old before my time, is a true wonder. On my Kindle, in my handbag, for waiting situations, is Samantha Power’s A Problem from Hell, a tough read that takes an honest look at our world’s lowest moments and our own responses to them. The third, on my office desk is a reflection from the Dalai Lama on Happiness, for early morning coffees and after dinner tea. It inspires and soothes me.
With the Dalai Lama’s, I have begun taking chapter end notes, just a few words or sentences to summarise my understanding of what I just read. I want to give those great pages the respect they deserve. With the amazing Twenty Four Hour Bookstore, I want to slow down, read deliberately, take it all in. I want to pay attention to Samantha Power, so that I don’t close my eyes to the worst of our world. Regardless of what we do in life, when we pay attention to that which we do, right now, in this moment, it is a moment well spent.

Books give me inspiration, information and escapism, so I want to give them the time and the space to work their magic. Not a bad investment, I think.