I haven’t had the time or the energy to come here lately. I don’t feel I have a voice right now. Since I wrote my last post, I’ve been working on putting myself back together. It is a bittersweet thing to think I exist in a world that my Nana does not. I’m happy that I had her for so long, but sad to think that we will no longer exchange letters, or telephone calls, or have our little chats over lunch or dinner when we can be together. Sad is such a poor adjective to describe how I feel right now.
We rarely watch TV and were on no social media networks last night, so we had no idea what had occurred in Manchester until we awoke today. I don’t like to use this space as a political forum, or a soap box. But this goes beyond that; this was an attack on humanity. As I ran through the woods this morning, I kept going over the news story in my head. It has sickened me. What a cowardly act, to go after children, young adults and people who were simply out enjoying themselves.
I know how excited everyone must have been, how far some people probably traveled, what a big deal it would be to see a concert on a “school night”. To have such a wonderful evening finish on such a sour note. Last night must have been the longest night of their lives for the poor families who spent it wondering if their children were safe? Would they ever walk through the front door again?
How you could do this to people, to plan to carry out an action like this is beyond me. To go into an place, watching the faces around, laughing, talking, singing and know that you will take it all away from them, makes you more than a monster.
The saddest part of all of this, is that these events are happening more and more and we are shocked, saddened, can’t get enough information about it, but the news cycle is brief. Something will come to fill its place. These atrocities need to be stopped.
And through this barbaric act, what shone through? LIGHT! People offering their homes, a safe place to stay, a free taxi ride, phone chargers, food… the list goes on. Goodness will prevail. The darkness shall be defeated. As Leonard Cohen said, “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” We must continue to seek out the cracks, to look for the light and the kindness that exists within humanity. When you’re out and about today, commit a random act of kindness. You never know how one kind word, a friendly gesture or even a smile could make all the difference.
To the good people of Manchester, we stand with YOU in solidarity.
We had to run a few errands today as there was some things I didn’t quite get to with my crazy working week. Once we were done we realized we had quite a bit of time to kill before the next train home. The nearest place to the station was a little McDonald’s, so we ran in there to get a drink and sit down in the warmth. In England at the moment McDonald’s is running their Monopoly Game campaign, so all the food and drinks have stickers on them with board game pieces or instant win food prizes.
We sat down and were chit-chatting away, when an older couple came and sat down near us. The wife was arranging their food on the table when a somewhat scruffy looking gentleman walked up to them and asked her if she was collecting her tokens. She, replied with a swift “yes” and he smiled at her, nodded and then left the restaurant.
The couple started talking to each other and the husband realized that the gentlemen who spoke to them is a homeless man he has seen around town. The wife told him to go and get him. So, he got up and ran into the square to find him. A few minutes later he returned, pleasantly talking to the homeless gentleman and the wife handed him the game token off of her coffee cup which would give the man a free drink.
They made sure he had enough to eat, wished him well and then went back to their dinner, not saying another word about it. The homeless man went to the counter to get his drink and stopped to thank them on his way out, they smiled in return. They didn’t do it for any recognition. They made no fuss over it. They did it, because that is what we should all be doing. We should all aim to help those in need in whatever way we can. Maybe it can’t be a monetary value, but a smile and a kind word are FREE!
I was blessed to have witnessed this moment. For the giving of ourselves is a way forward toward inner peace and true happiness. Commit random acts of kindness, the world will be a better place for it!
“Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things!” I don’t care how old you are, Julie Andrews belted it out correctly when she sang that line in The Sound of Music, packages are wonderful scrumptious surprises.
There was a package waiting for me yesterday. It was from my adorable sister and some extra treats hidden inside from my very sweet mom. I am telling you, that just made my day!
Yesterday was a day and a half! My Monday misadventures seem to be carrying me through the week. I have my own little uniform that I wear to work, because I normally come home covered in paint, dust, dirt… you name it, it is probably somewhere on me. So, I never wear anything that is that nice, because of course, it will get ruined. But, yesterday I wore my favorite pair of mustard colored pants with a little white top (white in the Cupboard, what was I thinking?) and a cute green with white polka dot sweater I got when I went shopping with my sister at Target. She got the orange one and I got the green one, that is just plain simple sisterly shopping happiness!
I was setting up for Life Drawing and when I walked back into my room, I noticed that right across my upper legs were two perfectly huge lines of thick black paint. I scrubbed and scrubbed and sprayed and washed, but it is still faintly there, only now it is the color of charcoal. I have one last hope in some magic stuff my mom uses, but if all else fails, I shall cut them up and make something out of them. I haven’t made anything from my stuffed animal book yet, and the pants would make a cute tiger or cat or pony.
It is a sorry thing to be sad over, I know. I am not materialistic, I just really loved these pants. But, the package that was waiting for me, definitely improved my mood! Inside it was a plethora of pink and red and cupcake designed paper. It was Valentine’s in a box!
There was candy for me and for Mr. Michie. There was a cute cupcake tea towel and adorable sweet treat erasers, that I think Gigi and Foxy might just enjoy playing with and heart garland ribbon and a Valentine framed picture of my sweetie pie niece, who I could gobble up and a cute Valentine’s storage container. It made me so very happy. Even better, I got to open it and talk to my sister at the same time via Skype! I am very blessed!
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this:
One of these little candy dishes jumped in my cart at Target to live at my sister’s house and she surprised me with one. So now one is living in my house too:
No package from my sister’s house would be complete without a Luna hair or two. Luna is the most beautiful Lab lady in the world. She is a black Labrador that could be an Eddie Bauer model:
As always, my family was too generous! That package made me the happiest lady in the world last night! I munched on Dove chocolates and read a most delicious book!
This has been a long week and a crazy one too! It always seems to be that way, the last week of the term always makes me feel like I am working in a 3 ring circus! Everyone is tired, their stress levels are raised, their tempers are shorter. You never think you are going to catch your breath, but somehow you make it to Friday, bleary eyed, happy you have survived the week and simply ready to just flop down and slowly exhale.
I have had one of those weeks. I love the daily challenges of my job. I never fully know what to expect when I come through the gates in the morning, as my day consistently changes from one to the next.
I have been asked to run a session tomorrow that has been offered to students who need a bit of extra help. So, we will be working together to first make photograms out of objects I will be giving them and secondly to make a photogram from a piece of work they will collage based on 3 artists and a piece of poetry (an old favorite of mine by Robert Frost).
A few students needed to be chased up today, to find out if they would be attending tomorrow. I stood next to my colleague as he spoke to one student in particular and I was taken back by this young student’s attitude. I could only think of myself for a moment. I have given so much to this project, given a great deal of my personal time to make and create all the necessary ingredients to this pie, but, this student knew none of that, this student simply scoffed. Attending this session was the last thing he wanted to do.
I shook it off, because I thought, if you come tomorrow, I will prove you wrong! I will show you this is worth your while and if you don’t come, well then you are going to miss out on something that could make a difference to you, personally. You might even learn something about yourself you weren’t aware of.
I keep an open mind with the students, for I never let myself forget that like myself they have a life outside of those gates and for some it is a far from easy life. I get along with the students, it is very rare that I ever have any issues, because I have made it known from the beginning the rules of my Cupboard. One in particular is, that I do not care what others think of you outside of my door, I form my own opinion and you have a clean slate with me when you cross my threshold, unless you do something to tarnish it. I treat you with respect and I expect that in return.
I spoke to Mr. Michie about this on the way home, he smiled at me, with a slightly bemused expression. He has eons of teaching experience over me and you know what I love about him? He isn’t jaded as others are, he heard what I was saying, he took it in his stride, he told me the likelihood of the situation, but he hoped for all the best tomorrow.
That is all we need isn’t it? A little encouragement! I have more students who have been added to my list, I don’t know what numbers I will actually walk in to tomorrow, but if I can make a difference to one student, then I have done what I have set out to do. In saying all of this, my situation earlier today has still preyed on my mind.
I flipped my shoes off when we got home, sat on the sofa and grabbed my laptop to catch up on a few things, while Mr. Michie got ready for a meeting. I clicked to my Google Reader account first and slowly began to go through the posts awaiting me. There was a post from SwissMiss that focused on Austin Kleon’s book Steal like an Artist, with a picture capturing a page from his book (see below):
This is what I needed to see today! That is it! That is what we are here to do! DO GOOD WORK AND SHARE IT WITH PEOPLE! It doesn’t matter what your work is, take pride in it, be the glow that lights the flames around you. This made me feel lighter.
After this, I moved on to catching up with my e-mail and was greeted with another piece of happiness in the form of a note. A letter awaited me from someone who had recently come across my blog, they had even been brave enough to go back to the beginning and read through all of my ramblings.
In reading her words, I thought back over my day. Her words of kindness erased the words I had heard of ugliness today. Her words about my blog lifted me like a pink balloon. Her honesty about herself, to me, a perfect stranger, again brought me back to reflecting on my day.
She shared with me that she has been treated unkindly and made fun of, for sharing with a few people that she likes to make crafts. Do some of us ever grow up? Are will still living in High School as if we have never left? Have we not moved on to being more accepting of others?
To this young woman, I want to say to you, THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your kind words today and for the sunshine you say I give you every day, know that your words have given that to me in return. Do not let others inhibit you, for often those that lash out the most, are the ones who are truly jealous of what you are. For you have found your place and they have not.
Continue to do what makes you happy, find that one thing every day that allows you some peace of mind and DO GOOD WORK AND SHARE IT WITH OTHERS! For the path you are on right now, is where you are meant to be. Maybe this journey isn’t completely about you, maybe you need to be on this journey so your path crosses another’s and gives them the advice, the encouragement, the kind words, that they so need to hear.
I came home with a bit of a rain cloud over my head today and you have shown me the silver lining. So, today, this post is FOR YOU! You know who you are.
I found this on the SwissMiss today and it made me very happy! Wouldn’t it be nice if we had something like this at work, in our neighbourhood, on Main Street, just so we can make people smile, laugh, feel good about themselves!
P.S. Besides the Buzz LightYear shout out, I loved the lady who said she like the other lady’s umbrella. Kindness is contagious, so spread it around!