Of a Certain Age

Hello Dear Ones!

This week, 1 of our 3 grandsons had a special birthday. Being too far away to connect with him in person due to the coronavirus restrictions, we were still able to reach out to him by cell phone. Though it was his Dad’s phone, he was allowed to answer it and talk one-on-one with us. It was a delightful treat! We chatted for about 45 minutes. He’s becoming quite the conversationalist!

To answer your unspoken question, Asher just turned 11. He’s officially a ‘tweenager.

How does Asher’s age tie in with today’s topic? That’s a simple story. His Grandy (that’s me!) loves all double digit years. So, of course, I had to tell him about it.

When I was 11, it was the best year ever! Life was glorious: fun, lots of friends, good grades, built a tree fort… Then when I turned 22… 33… 44… I didn’t go into details, in order to spare him. However I got him doing some math by asking him if he noticed a pattern. He didn’t, so I explained that now that he’s turned 11, every 11 years will be another double digit year! That’s when he did the addition and went through those special numbers all the way up to 99. But, smart young man that he is, he realized that the next magical number was 111! Triple digits! Again a question from Grandy, “… and from there?” We figured it out together. Add 111 to each number and you get: 222… 333… 444… And we laughed together when I revealed that I didn’t plan on being around quite that long!

Back to this topic. Asher is now of a certain age. His brother will be a teenager next month. Mike & I also have a grandson who is a toddler, and a soon-to-be first granddaughter due early in July. Each one of them are of a certain category of age. Our sons are both considered middle aged.

And their Grandy? Well, I’m of a certain age as well. A senior. Older than 65, not as old as 99. (Actually closer to the smaller of the 2 numbers, blessings be. Still lots of life in this ol’ gal!)

There. That’s my post today. You may have noticed, there are no major ‘aha’ moments in this share. What I am wanting to convey is the purely wondrous aspects of life in its simplest expression. Generations connecting… love shared… pandemic be damned! (Please pardon my language.) And through it all I am so very grateful to technology! Isn’t life grand?!

Are you, Dear Reader, of ‘a certain age’? Any aspects of this post that inspired you? Please drop a comment below, or send me a tweet:
@tomarciamae
I’d love to know!

In Light & Laughter,

Marcia

Happy Pi Day!!

Hi Folks:

It’s Pi Day (3-14)!! Since there are few things more irrational than the alchemical blending of fat and flour, it means it’s time for another recipe. A pie recipe, of course. Today’s recipe comes from the book, The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Chocolate by Christine McFadden and Christine France. The book was a gift to us from Mike’s mom, and we trust the publishers won’t mind us sharing a recipe if we encourage you to buy the book. It really is a perfect gift for the chocolatier in your life. Before we get started we also wanted to mention how important it is to buy Fair Trade Certified chocolate. From the site:

You may not know it based on first glance, but chocolate products go through a lengthy process to earn the Fair Trade Certified™ seal. Producers and businesses we work with adhere to strict labor, environmental, and ethics standards that prohibit slavery and child labor and ensure cocoa growers receive a steady income, regardless of volatile market prices. It’s not an easy process. You can thank them for their commitment, and incentivize even more sustainably-made chocolate, by enjoying fair trade chocolate in its many forms, from chocolate bars, powders, and baking chips to ingredients in energy bars and snacks.

If you live in Victoria, BC, be sure to check out The Chocolate Project at the Hudson Bldg, and also the new Chocolat and Co on Fort Street.

Today’s recipe is for “Chocolate Truffle Tart” because, well, chocolate. ’nuff said.

Continue Reading →

Ways We Perceive Our World

Hello Dear Ones!

This has been a fascinating week of revelations.

It all began while reading Kate Clayborn’s book Love Lettering. (A charming book about the complexities of relationships, all types of relationships. Well written, it has great characters & a well thought out and designed storyline.) Kate’s prime characters each have, as do we all, their own unique ways of perceiving and responding to their shared world. His passion is for numbers. He sees, thinks, defines, even eats and breathes numbers ~ their shape, use, complexity, simplicity, malleability. Her passion is for letters ~ the structure of them, colours, textures, fluidity, use. She sees them everywhere: in books, on billboards, store signs… Not the compilation of letters into words, but as a standalone piece of art when shaped into a uniqueness all on it’s own with a variance of font shape, design, thickness, even emotion. For example, have you ever read a book where the opening of each new chapter has the very first letter larger than the ones following it, often bolded with swirls & curlicues, some shaped like balloons perhaps interwoven with vines? That letter sets the stage for the emotions and the experience you’ll have as you read that particular chapter!

Anyway, to get back on topic here… all of this had me contemplating how I perceive my own world. After much thought but no resolve, I let the idea go. Then one night through the week a dream woke me up ~ the answer right there. My ways of perception are through curiosity, satisfied through the use of the camera lens and my own eyes, and presented back to me in the words of poetry. What a precious revelation! I think, eat, read, play, perceive everything as a poem – usually the potent brevity of a haiku style. And you’ll often find me tapping out syllable counts with my fingers. I have to keep a notebook & pen with me at all times!

Once I was comfortable with my own method of perceiving my world, I began to look around me. My husband and I talked about it, and he shared that he sees his world through patterns. My best friend sees her world through connections or links that flow one into another. I can imagine that Vincent van Gogh saw his world through colour. Leonardo da Vinci likely through function and structure.

Each one of us unique. All of us see our versions of this world from our own perspectives. With each perspective we have our own unique perceptions. And that makes for a rather complex world if we are all seeing things so very differently. There’s a tale about the perception wheel worth reading. My husband Mike tells it simply and well here.

So I bring my post back to you, Dear Reader. What are the ways you use to perceive your world? When and how do you find yourself happily obsessed with the world around you? Anything you’d care to share? Do drop a line to let me know. I’d be delighted to learn of your particular style!

In Light & Laughter

Marcia

 

Lightbulb Moment

Hello Dear Ones!

What do synchronicity, mathematics, games and poetry have in common?

I certainly found out in an astonishingly delightful way this week! In a rather quiet (insert: bored) moment, I was inspired to begin reading a novel by Kate Clayborn: Love Lettering. What a charming, well-written book! She references mathematician John Horton Conway who was apparently known to play games all the time: dice, playing cards, he even played with the Slinky! According to the novel, Conway’s behaviour was at first considered unusual, even to himself. “People used to think – even he used to think – he was wasting time. But he was really working out math… loosening up his mind for ideas that were on their way.” Interested, I did some research and was pleased to learn that Conway was a real life, 20th century individual, and a prolific mathematician.

So, why was I interested? Reading the quote from Clayborn’s book, I took a sudden deep breath and must have uttered quite a verbal expletive because my husband Mike asked me what was up!

“That’s me! That’s me with my crossword puzzles, my online word games, my apparent obsession with them at the oddest of times! That’s my way of opening up to receiving my poetry! Poems are on their way to me during those times!”

In that very moment I took my first bold step into self-forgiveness for what I had been perceiving, through this entire global pandemic, as being pure laziness. Sure I had been writing and posting poetry every single day without fail since even before the lockdown in our area of the world. But it was just poetry! (What do you mean: “Just poetry?” Mike would ask!).  I didn’t see my poetry as having value. However,  reading that sentence from this somewhat historical perspective, I felt as though someone had opened up a glorious skylight from, and for, my heart… a precious breath of fresh air & sunlight! My lightbulb moment! 💡

Back to my original question: what do synchronicity, mathematics, games and poetry have in common? We’ve touched on all of them except synchronicity.

And yet we have actually dealt with that as well. Starting as far back as J.H.Conway’s ‘extraordinary’ discovery of his own at first perceived laziness in his life, Slinky’s ‘accidental’ discovery & invention, my apparent need to honour the value of my poetry and for the self-forgiveness I needed… all culminated with my husband suggesting I read a book he had just finished.

Then today, my online Twitter #SpiritChat family discussed: The Heart’s Synchronicity. A natural fit, of course!

What synchronistic events have occurred in your life to confirm for you that such a phenomenon does exist? Do share! I’d really love to know!

In Light and Laughter,

Marcia

(BTW: it was sad to learn John Horton Conway passed away just last year – 2020 – from Covid-19.)

 

Quality vs Quantity

Hello Dear Ones!

Ever make plans to do something big, and then… at the last moment… change your mind? That’s what I’m here to write about today.

This past week ~ Monday to Friday ~ I reopened my Marcia’s Meanderings blog post for new entries. Nine years since my last foray into this venue, it felt right to jump back in! I was so excited by the idea, that I felt I could easily write a post every weekday if I kept each one brief.

Monday to Wednesday, topics flowed.

Then came Thursday, and I was uncertain what to write. It took me till almost 6pm to decide a topic that might be of some interest to my prospective readers. Finally grabbing a theme, by playing my very own Glad Game, the Pollyanna Takes Centre Stage post crafted itself into existence.

On Friday, the same situation. No topic. Nothing that inspired me to share with you. Later in the day, though, a playful interaction with a fellow Twitter poet prompted the Poetry at Play post. Up until then I had been considering merely sending out a replay of one of my favourite posts from many years ago. I’m certain that would have been well received, but it felt wrong, somehow.

Over the weekend, I reconsidered my decision to provide what possibly could have become 5 wussy posts per week. What good would quantity be if there was no value? Value is what I wanted for you, and for myself. Quite honestly, I was feeling I didn’t need the added stress and pressure. I don’t do well with obligation.

So, what would work to provide a comfortably paced and successful return to blogging? My goal was to create a quality post that could be of value to you, the reader. Once a week had worked well back those 9+ years ago. It felt right to return to that format.

Quality vs quantity.

Having written that simple phrase, has me wondering now what other areas of my life might benefit from a similar perspective. I have a feeling I’m writing this post as much for myself, as I am for you!

Are there any aspects of your life that might benefit from a perspective of quality enrichment? Do share! Leave a note in the comments below to let me know!

Looking ahead, watch for my Marcia’s Meanderings posts every Monday!

In Light and Laughter,

Marcia

 

Poetry at Play

Hello Dear Ones!

Recently I’ve had the privilege of expanding my poetic skills with the coaching, guidance and inspiration of several fellow Twitter poets. I was encouraged to commit to writing a poem a day through 2020. Well, we all know how that year unfolded! For me, it was a series of lessons, of deep diving within my own being. Powerful! Not only did I succeed at the commitment, but I have continued to do so daily  since! And it wasn’t all doom and gloom. There has been a great deal of play in reading the works of others as well as in my own writings. Especially the writing of my favourite ~ the haiku: a Japanese-style poem of 3 lines &17 syllables, usually in a 5/7/5 format. 

Just yesterday an online friend challenged me to write a 3-word, 3-line haiku with the required 5/7/5 syllable count. Three words! Yikes… it meant I had to come up with two 5-syllable words & one 7-syllable word and to make it actually sound like a coherent thought or series of thoughts!

Here is what I published after much playful deliberation:

incongruencies
infinitesimally
extraordinary

You know, it actually was really fun to do! The fun aspect is what encouraged me to use that theme as my topic today.

Referring back to a post written by me several years ago. I chose a snippet of that article as an example of Poetry at Play. Though not haiku, it is a technique I’ve often taught to youth and to folks new to writing their own poetry.

Here’s the description:

Envision an 80 something woman with long ringletted hair, wearing a sun-faded yellow, broad brimmed hat with wilted blue silk flowers. She sports an aged gingham print summer dress hiked to her knees, showing off her rolled-down support hose while riding a rust-red bicycle. She hums a tune that has her smiling. Though you do not recognize the tune, imagine it to be … any tune you choose. Possibly: “K-K-K-Katie, Beautiful Katie, You’re the only G-G-G-Girl that I adore” … Or maybe: “Barney Google, with the goo-goo-googly eyes, Barney Google with a wife who’s twice his size” … ( yes, those really were songs that were popular in her day!)

Now, make a poem from the above as it inspires you. Make it playful, fanciful, light, loving. Yes, you can make it sad if you are so moved … yet my hope for your expansion today would be to show you how easy it can be to become poetic – in every aspect of your life, from the frying pan’s sizzle to the awe of dew drops on the first crocuses of Spring – and to do it playfully as a child might.

Here are a few examples from my own inspiration:

The yellow hat brim flapped and flapped
Against her cheek it slapped and slapped
The bicycle chain it tapped and tapped
As the old woman hummed a tune.

Or how about?

The blue flower wilted, drooping sadly
Rolled support hose retracting badly
Little old lady peddling madly
Humming gladly.

Or this one?

Yellow hat and wilted flower
Hair in ringlets a winded mess
Support hose rolled beneath the knees
Above the knees a gingham dress.

I’ll leave you now with, hopefully, inspirations floating around in your own mind. Go find that pen and some paper or open up your word processor and have fun!

So today, this 19th of February 2021, I wish you a play-filled weekend!

Happy poeming…

In Light and Laughter

Marcia

Pollyanna Takes Centre Stage

Hello Dear Ones!

Who of you have seen the 1960 classic movie: ‘Pollyanna‘, starring Hayley Mills? It’s the tale of a young orphan who played the ‘Glad Game‘: engaging positively with her world as a method of coping with the challenges and sorrows of everyday life. Always a bright side to be seen, this youngster could find joy in the simple, the unique, the seemingly unimportant; always finding a positive twist to each and every encounter. The truly charming story-line worked well on the big screen. I am, however, of an age that allowed me the privilege of reading the original 1913 book ~ and the continuing series (by American author Eleanor H. Porter) ~ long before the movie was made. (Yes, I’m aging myself… but when one gets to a certain age, any stigma of age no longer holds significance!)

So, back to my attempt at a topic today. I proudly consider myself a Pollyanna… someone who lives by the Pollyanna Principle of being excessively cheerful. I learned back in my youth to play the ‘Glad Game’. This positive approach to life generates a way of seeing blessings everywhere when we take notice to appreciate the simple, the beautiful, the wondrous, the magical, and often times, the innocence in every situation.

Today, I still see the best possible outcome in most every experience or situation. There is always something for which to be grateful. Gratitude is the 21st century version of the Glad Game. Here’s a “for instance”:

Today, I misplaced my debit card. I retraced my steps to no avail. Checked pockets, hallway shoes, every location I had been. No success. I could have panicked. But no. I called the bank. No one had used the card since my last transaction, so they simply cancelled my card. I do have to go in to the bank in person to be assigned a new one. Do I consider this an annoyance? An inconvenience? Am I angry? No. I’ll get to meet my new bank manager tomorrow. The outing will add an additional few thousand steps to my exercise regimen. And, even masked, I’ll get to smile at other socially-distanced folks who, like me, miss the human connection in these most interesting of times.

Finding something positive in each challenge has its blessings. I have found mine and am looking forward to tomorrow’s outing.

If you play the Glad Game today, what joys and magic might you find in these challenging times?

In Light and Laughter,

Marcia

Writing as an Art Form

Hello Dear Ones!

So… you write? Well then… consider yourself an artist!  As a writer (yes, even when just journaling), it was only recently I considered myself an artist. It was my journaling that helped me recognize the artistic value of my various scribblings. Here’s how…

The blank page, whether screen or paper, awaits my verbal drawings upon it. This is my art work ~ the work of words, ink on white. There is a shape to what I draw, a flow to what I craft. There is colour in the meaning behind and within the curls, the dots, the crossed t. There is beauty in the swirls and loops, lines and circles that form. My inner beauty reaching out and letting itself step into the sunlight of this brand new day, this very moment. It feels so preciously alive! Full of hope. Happy. Honest. Filled with potential and purpose.

I’m sitting here smiling as I type: a spontaneous, natural smile radiating up from my toes, flowing through my heart, out my hand, onto the page and into my wee corner of the world… to where you are! Hello! It’s so wonderful to be here with you!

How long has it been since you expressed your artistic self? How does art reveal itself through you when you do open to its passions? Does it fill you with joys and smiles? Does time stop for you? Or, when there is love and passion and creativity present, does time disappear ~ hours gone in the blink of an eye?

Sure hope something I’ve shared today sparks an artistic, creative expression of some form within you!

In Light and Laughter,

Marcia

 

 

Write On!

Hello Dear Ones!

It feels good to be here… with you. No cell phone. No checking on other’s words, thoughts, influences, impact. Just me. Just here. Just now. With you. Yes, it feels very good to be here.

In yesterday’s post: Yes, Most Definitely! I revealed my daily writing exercise called Morning Pages. Back on July 24th, 2019, I made a commitment to myself to awaken at an early hour, and before breakfast, before opening my cell phone ~ even before coffee! ~ I write. That first day I intended to write the recommended 3 pages. You’ll likely hear the chuckle in my voice as I share with you that I actually wrote 7 pages! Once I got started, I just kept writing… it felt so good, so right! A year later, as I reread my words, I was fascinated with how often, in those 7 pages, I wrote the phrase: ” It feels so good to be here!”

Keeping this post brief today, I’d like to share a snippet of what I recorded that memorable day:

I’m writing. I’m writing for me. I’m writing to hear what I have to say. I am writing to honour me. I’m writing to connect my head and my heart and my hand… spreading it all out… moving it from inside to the outer extension of me via a thread of ink onto paper. Movement outward into being. What a sweet visual ~ both literally and figuratively.

The space beneath my hand is white with hope and purpose and potential… playfulness with power in the process, and filled with promise for this newly-forming day.

Yes, it truly does feel good to be here this morning!

As I close out for today, I’m sharing a phrase I now commonly use as a salutation: Write On!

Hopefully something I’ve shared today inspires you to do just that… to Write On!

In Light and Laughter,

Marcia

(By the way: I’ve not missed a single day of writing since… that’s a consecutive 573 days!)

 

 

 

Yes, Most Definitely!

Hello Dear Ones!

Once upon a time… a long long while ago…

Thinking it had been about 4 years since my last Marcia’s Meanderings, you can imagine my shock at discovering it has been 9 years… 9 very unique for all of us years…

Some of you reading today’s post will have read other of my writings. Many of you will be new to my work and words. Welcome to you all! Thank you for stopping by!

Since my intention today is to reestablish a brief daily connection, it will be just that… brief! And, as with everything I write, it will be heartfelt, positive and inspirational.

What has prompted me to connect with you in this fashion? Why today?

Every single morning, before I have my coffee or open my cell phone, I write. Referred to as ‘Morning Pages’ per Julia Cameron in her book ‘The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity’, this daily routine began for me on July 24th, 2019… before Covid-19. And the other day I returned to reading what I had written back then.

You might (or perhaps might not) imagine my response to my own words, experiences, emotions, growth…

During those readings I began to consider how others may relate to some of what I’ve been ~ not going through ~ but growing through.

Promising to keep these posts short, I’ll close for now and will write again tomorrow with some meaty material.

In Light and Laughter,

Marcia

Interested in knowing more about the posts I tend to write? Check the link below for that last entry from February 2010.

Marcia’s Meanderings ~ Most Definitely!