The cost—and the lesson

I’ve made a dumb mistake. I’ll be on my way back from Sargans at 2pm instead of at my appointment. The email I sent my physiotherapist earlier today was not cheery.

After three and a half years of taking Swiss trains, I got on the wrong one today, costing myself 2 1/2 hours, upwards of 30 CHF, and a missed physio appointment.

Ugh. I was not meant to be in Sargans.

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“Be the Queen”

Entrance to a bathroom in France (W-C Publics) with 'Je pisse donc je suis' in cursive writing and a silhouette of Queen Elizabeth II superimposed in the lower right corner

People celebrated 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II on the throne last weekend with street parties (it looked cold in the UK!), reminiscences about her reign (like this secret 1970s lawn chair party in Manitoba), scones and Pimm’s, and staggeringly expensive memorabilia.

My memories related to Liz are much more, um, visceral. Yes, I mean related to intestines or digestion.

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The start of 100 days

"Even long journeys begin with a single step" - written in black felt marker on a piece of cardboard

I’ve been writing short aphorisms with my left hand nearly daily since the middle of February. The plan is to write a full hundred of these short, often blithely meaningless sayings, before the end of May.

Do I expect to be ambidextrously proficient after 100 days of left-handed scrawling? Probably not.

Will I at least get better at it? On day 28, my progress looks minimal, but I’ve got another 72 days to improve! And my intent is practice, not advancement.

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A fundamental force of nature

Sofie, a small black dog, amidst long grasses with a raspberry ball in her mouth — waiting to test gravity

It’s been a year since Sofie died.

Twelve months adjusting to her absence.

A full 365 days of missing her.

She’s still very much a part of our lives, so much so that she inspired one of the eleven poems I submitted for my term assessment in December.

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Resisting stillness

Light purple sticky note with script reading "my brain has too many tabs open"

At the start of my regular Tuesday meditation sessions, the teacher usually asks how we’re coming to practice. Yesterday, I said I was feeling a lot of resistance. 

After her regular thank-you-for-sharing affirmation, she encouraged me to question what was feeling threatened by the practice. THREATENED. The word hit hard. The question caught me off guard. 

Partway through the meditation, I found my answer.

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Meanings, meditations, and modifications

The report from the most recent MRI on my right knee is filled with words I don’t understand — and not just because they’re German. ‘Subluxation’ is the same in English and auf Deutsche. ‘Chondral degeneration’ and ‘joint effusion’ are pretty close. ‘Arthrose’ translates neatly to ‘osteoarthritis.’ And meniscus is readily understandable with a ‘k’ instead of a ‘c.’

The meaning of the medical terminology is opaque in either language. The effects on my life, however, are obvious — and leave me wondering about what osteoarthritis and a host of complications mean for meditating.

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The 22nd

The current term of my creative writing programme is all about poetry. Lots of reading, critiquing, analysing, and, of course, writing. We’re being asked to write about things that move us deeply. And to share work from published writers (who I think of as ‘real‘ poets) that inspire us.

The first poem I wrote this term is about saying goodbye to Sofie. She comes to mind so clearly on the 22nd of each month: the date of her death (in February) as well as the date of her birth (in December).

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