21 December 2012

More Raindrop Reflections by RoxanneGalpin
image credit: More Raindrop Reflections, a photo by RoxanneGalpin on Flickr

I miss you. However wrong that seems, I miss you. Despite the monster you became, the one I had to run from, I somehow have this delusion that you loved me. I tell myself that a sociopathic narcissist lacks the capacity to love. And then I lie to myself, insistent upon your love for me. Am I deluded, or a liar? I’m never sure. I can only describe our time together as surreal. I feel as though the monster wasn’t you. As though, you liked to play with gamma rays in your younger days and that’s the cause of that raging monster which manifests itself inside your body. How can that monster, who deliberately set out to physically harm me, be you ~ a loving man who held me tightly in the aftermath of a frightening nitemare? You became a frightening nitemare, one from which I had to escape, fearing for my life. How is it that I can still love you after all that?
 ~Roxanne Galpin

I wrote that almost two years ago. And yet, the sentiment still seems quite real to me. I made quite a mess of things by taking a beautiful dangerous angel as a paramour. I will call him my paramour because he was forbidden fruit for me, a married woman. I committed an unforgivable faux pas. And sent my marriage into pain filled ruins. What I did was, to me, unforgivable. And fraught with so much pain and longing. A longing that darkens and desiccates the heart. Oh, did he hurt me. And still, with the approaching holidays, I find myself thinking about him. I don't understand how love can overlook all the pain my paramour inflicted upon me.

He frightened me with his drunken rages. He violated me, disregarded my whimpers of pain and pleas for him to stop. And still, I loved him. He raged at me. Time and time again. He struck me, and left a bruise. And still, I wanted to make a future with him. Why? Did I think that I didn't deserve any better? Did I place such little value in myself? I don't have the answer. Perhaps I never will. I'm just beginning to learn that I do deserve better, much better. And so, I keep myself at a distance, prevent myself from thinking of him. For nothing good can come from thinking about my paramour. It would be so easy to pick up my phone and text him. And then I ask myself, what's the point? The answer? There's no point. Only anguish, self-inflicted anguish.

I've learned to savour and cherish the now and all it's richness. I've learned that wrapping myself around the past, however painful, brings nothing but aching inertia. I've learned that, all along I had a man who loved and cherished me ~ my one true thing. I've learned that, sometimes you have to burn the house down in order to rebuild it to it's proper and beautiful form. That's what my life has been about these past 3 years ~ disassembling and reassembling. When I think of the pain I caused my one true thing, I shudder. And when I think of the forgiveness I received from him, I feel so humbled.

I think of healing as a life long process. I think that I've yet to forgive myself for the chaos my decisions and actions caused my one true thing and others who love me. I also think that every unwise decision we make and every painful obstacle we encounter make us the person we've become. And every circumstance that renders us bare and exposed ~ i.e. leaving almost everything I owned behind to go to drug treatment ~ teaches us the true value of life and the people in it.

Not everyone gets a second chance. I did, though. And I feel incredibly grateful for it.

No Words

15 December 2012

I cannot go on like nothing has happened. Because something has happened. 26 lives were taken, 20 of them tiny lights that had barely begun burning, and 6 of them teachers, wives, daughters, aunts, mothers, sisters, friends. We are NOT supposed to worry about our children's' safety when they are at school. Children should not feel unsafe at school. Children should not worry about the bad guy coming back to get them. Parents should not survive their children. This is so wrong, so against nature. I watched the news coverage Friday evening, and it gave me chills. It also left me feeling so incredibly sad.

image credit: greenleaf-stock

This is not the time to talk about gun control, or about the social and moral underpinnings of society or about this culture of violence that seems to have swept across society. This is a time to grieve. Plain and Simple. 40 parents are reeling from the loss of their 6 or 7 year old child. Wrap your head around that. Hug your children and other loved ones. Remember the reason for the season. (Hint, it's not presents or shopping or amassing more and more stuff.) Love. Just love.


8 December 2012

The picture is mine, taken on retreat [here]
The words are those of Martin Luther King.

I Believe ...

7 December 2012


6 December 2012

The View From Here

19 November 2012

Friday Evening at the Beach

28 October 2012

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”
~Loren Eiseley

A Taste of Autumn

15 October 2012

the colour of autumn on Pender Street in the Strathcona neighbourhood

a day at Kits Beach

I am Canadian (taken on Pender Street in Strathcona)

the view from here, at Kits Beach

seagull, at Kits Beach

I'm Baaaaaaaaaack

28 September 2012

Well I had quite an adventure. Some of it horrific (that entirely due to my choice of travelling companion), and a lot of it wonderful. I love France. Much more than the UK (sorry to my blog lovelies in the UK). The people are friendly, and even the children have manners (wow, I know). The food is to die for. The architecture is breath-taking. The Eiffel Tower does not disappoint. She is grand. And the Louvre left me overwhelming and in awe of human capabilities. There are hundreds of museums in Paris, many that have free admission! One of these, The Museum of Romantic Life, has a plaster cast of Chopin's hand. Yes, the Chopin! Place de Concorde left me in a continuous gasp ... I could not seem to close my mouth, which gaped at that famous water fountain we have all seen on-screen (even if we don't know we have). 
The carry-on experiment was a success. I didn't need any more things than I travelled with, and laveries were all over the place, enabling me to launder my clothes as frequently as I needed. I ended up buying a new suitcase, one of those with a hard shell that you can pull. I got it for a steal at the Cora supermarket. As far as clothes go, I got a very few items. And a lovely long cardigan sweater that would have cost a bomb in Canada (pictures of that to come). 

I didn't spend all my time in Paris, I also visited a place in the country called Auxerre on the recommendation of a Parisian. It's a quaint and tiny city with a really old part to it. 13th century cathedrals catch your eye on the skyline as you walk across the bridge from the train station on the way to centre-ville. And there are narrow old streets (well, they're lanes, really) and all the buildings are ancient. The river Yonne cuts through Auxerre and there is a charming little marina with many houseboats for sale. In many ways Auxerre looks like a city whose future is behind it ~ I noticed many abandoned buildings as well as businesses for sale. Also, true to small cities, everything in Auxerre closes at ten or eleven pm. Still, I certainly don't regret going. In fact, I made a couple of friends while there and also got the inside scoop on living life as a local. More on that in a future post. 

Well that's just a little bit about my time in France. More to come!


20 August 2012

1. the view from our hotel window; 2. Psyche and Cupid, by Canova inside the Louvre; 3. the Louvre, under the pyramid (lobby).

The Passage of Time

11 August 2012

I've waited ... waited for so long. Four long years. In some ways I find it hard to believe that much time has passed. In others, each moment of each day of each year has felt infinite. My bag has been packed for 2 days now, except for the small last minute bits. I have only 2 more sleeps until I fly. I keep looking at the clock this evening, as though that will speed up time. Time feels sluggish. And it grows more sluggish with each glimpse at the clock.

Paris ~ My Carry-On Experiment

In 3 sleeps I will be flying to Paris, France. I am getting really excited. Not only to see Paris, but to see, feel, taste the man who will be waiting there for me when the plane lands. Inspired by Susannah Conway and her recent experience travelling across the pond with only a carry on, I am doing the same. Here's my list. Keep in mind that it was longer, and I've had to cut it down, to decide what not to bring.

1 pr trainers ~ WEARING
2 pr of socks ~ WEARING one
1 pr yoga pants ~ WEARING
3 tops ~ WEARING one
1 hoodie/cardigan ~ WEARING
1 pr yoga capris
1 pr capris
1 pr sandals
2 prs PJs
6 prs of knickers
2 bras
1 towel
1 89 ml (see-thru) container of shampoo
1 89 ml (see-thru) container of condition
2 disposable razors
1 comb
1 toothbrush
kobo e-reader with cable
2 books
camera/card reader
2 journals
hair accessories
my mobile with charge cable
my laptop with cable
individual pouches of Crystal Light

The photo above is not mine, but I hope to take one just like it in a few days' time. And I will post them, oh yeah I will post them.

I Am Still A Child

9 August 2012

I made some arrangements with my parents, who live three provinces away, for today---Thursday. When these did not happen, I called Mum and Dad. They weren't home. Since my dad's stroke 4 years ago (from which he recovered excellently, you wouldn't really know he ever had a stroke) he can no longer drive, and so my parents have sort of become homebodies ... in Winnipeg you cannot go far without a car when you are an octogenarian. That's simply the nature of Winnipeg. And so if I call them and they are not home, I wait a half hour and call them again. If they don't answer, I start getting worried, envision myself telephoning the hospitals' patient enquiry numbers and having the operator forward me to a nursing station, where a nurse tells me something utterly devastating, which I find myself unable to handle because I am so far away and feel so helpless and do not by any stretch of the imagination feel ready to lose my parents. {whew that was a long sentence, wasn't it?} Well, I feel very grateful for mobile phones, because that is how I reached my dad on his, to find out they had an outing to the shopping centre this afternoon and were about to call my uncle for a ride back home.

How quickly my imagination runs away on me, totally red-lining it, nearly sending me into an emotional tail spin! The bottom line is I love my Mum and Dad loads and loads and losing them is my greatest fear. When I start to think how it will be like, how it will feel, I get anxious, and a suffocating darkness seizes my soul. A friend of mine once told me, "Roxanne when you lose your mother, you're gonna lose your mind." He based that simply on the ease and depth and intensity of my telephone conversations with her, during the few months he couch-surfed at my flat. No truer words were spoken. However, just because I don't have really long, intense, heart-to-heart conversations with my Dad, doesn't mean I don't love and cherish him just as much. In fact I was a daddy's girl growing up. And still am. In many ways my heart belongs to him, and his to me. Every day I am thankful that I still have my parents: many people at my age (43) do not. I am thankful that I have generous, loving and supportive parents. I miss them loads and loads. And I cannot ever take them for-granted. Ever.

A Journey Into Love

20 April 2012

They told us to pack a small bag. So I did. I packed my short fuzzy housecoat with matching fuzzy pj pants, a towel, one change of clothes, and a few toiletries. And a book. And a journal. And a pen. And my camera. And that's it. And the house was so lovely. And the yard/land was so quiet. No sirens, no skyscrapers. No smelly alleys. No traffic noise. No glaring city lights. And bathtubs. The house had bathtubs. Big, deep bathtubs. With plenty of hot water. The kind that makes your skin turn tomato red. And pink towels. (I love pink, in case you didn't know, LOL).

The food was to-die-for. Seriously. And the table setting, so elegant and formal and pretty. There was a gathering room (called The Great Room) with six comfy sofas, complete with pillows and soft blankets. To lounge on, nap on, to curl up and read a book on. The people at the house are amazing, wonderful people. Love fuels that house. It's palpable, from the moment you first cross the threshold into the house. 

I feel so rejuvenated. Like, I'm seeing the same, familiar things differently. I feel inspired. Really inspired. In every area of my life. Including the mundane ones. Like food. So, late this afternoon I went shopping for some baby spinach, dried cranberries, almond slivers and raspberry vinaigrette. And I made myself a bedtime snack of salad with these ingredients. I feel transformed. And I had no idea how much until I got home, and started to seep back into my regular life. I am that butterfly. And that one, too.

To learn more about this place and what they do, check out their website.

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