September, 2015

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front row

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

I like k.d. lang.  Enough to notice that I wanted to get to see Balletlujah.  Enough maybe even to remember her on The Muppets growing up.

I saw k.d. live in Summer 2006, discovering the world.  So naturally, I thought about that a bit.  It was a big summer.  A Montreal summer.  So as I sat in one of Alberta’s two Jubilee’s I thought about the Olympic O.  And all of that.  There was a moment before k.d. sang then when people stomped their feet to stop a Member of Parliament from speaking, and I had never experienced anything like that before.  Ever.

But, what I didn’t know ballet or music could do, the song before the final song (spoiler: Hallelujah), was really bring me back in time.

k.d. lang’s cover of Jane Siberry’s “Love is Everything” put me in 2004–not so long before 2006.  Smack dab in the middle of it.  Pretty instantly.   In winter.  Freezing cold winter.  Hymns of the 49th Parallel was out and I wouldn’t have discovered it on my own.  Listening to the song and the narrative of the ballet, I was on Whyte Ave in the freezing cold winter, hearing all the rest of it, in the Grand Am that didn’t always start, and at the legislature skating, and smelling Thierry Mugler pear green cologne no idea at all Calgary life lie ahead.  Behind on everything.  Serving tables, and that’s actually probably why.  Trying mussels.   A favourite zip up sweater.

And she was there in the audience watching, too.  Probably not thinking about Montreal.  Or Radio-Canada.  Or breaking up or mussels. Well.  Actually she probably was a bit, the breaking up part, that theme was pretty prevalent.

But interesting to grieve a bit and give gratitude a bit for what was and what wasn’t in an art form mostly unfamiliar to me alongside ms. lang.  With that unfamiliar, some unexpected.  So I’m glad.

Courage

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Bright and early this morning I provided a really short reflection on the idea of courage.  I looked towards Dr. Brené Brown and to my basic understanding of French and framed courage as moving forward, maybe fearlessly but maybe fearfully too, but with a passionate heart (Coeur.  See what Brené taught me to do there?).

The point wasn’t to say to colleagues, “Ah, gee! Look at me with so much courage!”

It was to give sincere thanks to colleagues for the work I’d seen so far: really important and heart-felt work and an invitation to continue in that spirit.

My work, though, has invoked courage.  Courage to join a new team and context.  Courage to learn.  But courage, too, to leave somewhere for change: where I was more than happy and more than challenged, surrounded by incredible and inspiring people.

This week was a strange one.

I started work last week getting to know my sites, coordinators, working with teachers and schools participating in our program.  But it was this week when I didn’t have a first day.  I didn’t have a bell.  Not the harsh usual one or the pleasant magic wand one I had most recently.  I didn’t have a usual, normal, familiar anything.

This week was also, though, a really satisfying one.

I’m loving what I do.  I’m doing work I feel is essential to our city (and world).  I’m challenged.  Days fly by.  And I’m doing something new.  In fact, I’m doing something I couldn’t have known I wanted to do growing up because I didn’t know it existed.

I’m getting much better at telling people what I do.  And gauging if they care before I get into details.  Maybe I’ll have to post the synopsis.

But I’m getting settled.  I’m learning more. My heart is in it.  And I’m grateful.

Not a bad place to be to take on the new adventure.