August, 2012

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Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

I am very aware that my Summer travels have been a blessing.  Going so far away, so able bodied, with the resources and people to make it happen are something I am beyond grateful for.  Paris, Berlin, and Whistler have been far, far more than anything I ‘deserve’ and well beyond what I’ve worked to earn.  These travels and the  independence do it all have been a luxury.

Such excessive joy and indulging so much are a bit incomprehensible, especially if you come to such moments neither expecting nor demanding them.  Instead, just opening up to opportunity, and accepting.

It’s then a bit ineffable recollecting them all.  In part, …because you kind of have to have a glass of wine on the Seine, as the sun goes down and the under lit architecture begins to shine,  to know just how much that you can bring you back to the moment and into your own heart.  …you kind of have to leave your luxury hotel where the blinds go up and down on their own in Berlin and into the terraces smelling like food and excitement to know just how electrifying it all feels. …you kind of need to be doing a yoga practice under Blackcombe and a waxing quarter moon to Michael Franti to know how freeing and and peaceful it feels, and how all that mountain air smells.  Also, though, there are no words.  Words, in fact, would simplify the unsimplifyable.

Once you’ve been given too much though, you also immediately want to give back.  Back to your friends.  Back to your family.  Back to your school and learning community.  To the known and unknown world and communities that make it all possible.

So here I am the day before the ’12/’13 school year.  Words from Sean Corne and an invigourating evening yoga practice are echoing in my head.  Like really echoing.  She spoke about all the work there is to do in the world for peace and for learning and for the environment and for rights and for equity and for those somehow less fortunate or less free.  She repeated over and over again, “What do you need to go forward with this work? What do you need to hear?”

In summer, away after being even further away, I KNEW this to be true.  It was a message that didn’t just resonate, it stood out as obvious.  I also needed and needed to hear nothing… I was and am full-up.  Rested and recharged and inspired.

It’s not always like that, though, is it?  Sometimes we do get tired and stressed helping, and working, and serving, and doing what’s right.  We get stuck, discouraged, and unsure.

So when you’re having a moment where you need something or to hear something, tell me.  What do you need?  What do you need to hear, probably just a reminder of something you already know to be true.

I’m stepping up to ask the same; whether you tell me you’re available.  Or not.

However it happens, lately I’m being given a TON.  So that, I hope and assume, helps me give a ton too, I hope.  To my friends.  To my family.  To my students.  To those in need.  To the worthwhile and endless movements and gestures.

School starts tomorrow so the easy and obvious place to start is with my students and colleagues.  Fall is lining up to be an exciting one; how can I help yours just as amazing as it deserves to be?

If I can juice anything out of my time under the Eiffel Tower or my time on the mat (or in an auditorium) with some REALLY exceptional teachers… trust me, I’m more than happy to think back to all that and tap into some……

…..Hanuman[asana]-style Superpowers.  …and more than keen to try!

Leaving Berlin

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Leaving Berlin is leaving a space that doesn’t take a few things for granted, among them: peace, freedom, and prosperity. I guess that’s why, maybe, weeknights feel like weekends… art and culture are EVERYWHERE… and there’s this sense that nothing will shake (or rush!) a Berliner.

We’ve been both laughed with and laughed at… usually by servers. English here is met with a smirk, usually a gentle one.

History has you here. The first day it gripped me. Enough to gladly take in more our remaining days.

Now to find a souvenir or three. Thinking I’ll probably be back… months ago, not knowing I’d be here in the 1st place.

Paris, [I really truly actually do] Je T’Aime

Monday, August 6th, 2012

You only get to discover Paris once for the first time…

…and as I did, it had me.  I walked with the boys and my suite case rolling behind me earlier today……. captivated.

It didn’t hurt that our stop on the RER train was Notre Dame along the Seine.  Striking.  Beautiful.  Amazing.  Surreal.

As we walk on towards where we’re staying, we walk into a city that I fall in love with more deeply.

The sound of the language.  The detail in every building.  The fountains, the foods, the fashion, the everything!!

When you can’t even believe it all, I guess you just leave it at that.  Two amazing weeks ahead!  Great company and so much good to take in!

Grateful!!  …and awfully addicted to this whole travelling thing.  :S

Drop

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

I like a good theme park.  I also like a good water slide.

As far as water slides go, I was pretty surprised to see (via Twitter link) that I’ve ridden 4 of the 20th best on earth; in fact, I could potentially ride the 5th in Berlin in the upcoming weeks… except I think I’ve already Travisified (*cough* Disneyfied) enough of our European séjour.

It’s nice to look at a global Top 20 list and think of nice global memories, water sliding or otherwise, especially when those memories are with amazing company.

Calypso, near Montréal ( …or more accurately near Ottawa as I’d come to learn) particularly awesome to think back to.

The air was dripping with humidity and the forecast wasn’t great.  We wrangled up a car and a breakfast sandwich and were on our way, navigating Highway 417.  The sky was crazy cloudy but it wasn’t cold (it wasn’t abundantly hot either), but this was the only window for actually making it.  A forest is cleared just enough for a water park and a parking lot.  As if meant to be, we get there.

Continuous lazy river laps.  Slides that actually scared me.  Spirals. Ramps. Bilingual lifeguards.  Giant rafts, tubes, and black holes.  Races and the bright colours of a brand new themed water park.  A new wave pool (warm enough to pretend is a hot tub?). A thousand steps.  Lunch outside.  A perfect day.

Not a minute after our last slide and the clouds burst.  Like really burst.  A storm unlike any I’d ever seen.  Rain so hard, the drive becomes a bit of an ominous adventure; it doesn’t stop.  We pull through and arrive to the familiar, Montréal.  All that’s left is to get a fill-up-of-gas and a thank-you for our borrowed car.  …grateful the storm that was our drive home wasn’t our entire day.

My closing-my-eyes-and-hoping-Calypso-would-happen-and-would-be-just-as-great-as-anticipated pays off!

No water slides are actually that different.  The sensation is pretty much the same: lying down wet with some shimmies and drops.

And yet I keep getting drawn to them, and keep looking for water slide adventures (and chances to scream and cool off and stay young and explore and discover)… and keep looking back on those adventures found, awfully fondly.  More fondly than most probably do.

I guess that’s life as an ex-Kipper.

Western Canada? Eastern Canada? Europe? …looking forward to the next slide. and wave. and smile.