“Miss Erin, what’s your favorite sea creature…
“Oh, my favorite sea creature is a jellyfish.”
-Lucy, June 2010
You don’t often get to know the anniversary of your friendships. But I know my friendship with Catherine, Shehzad, Sam and Lucy began three years ago about two weeks from today. That’s when I first went to their house to help out with newborn twins. I didn’t know my life would be changed and enriched by that friendship, but it has been. I write about them almost as much as my own family. We were meant to be friends. Of that I am sure.
It is Sam and Lucy’s third birthday today, and they had an “under the sea” themed party this weekend. Fitting for two little kids with whom I have conversed about fish and jellyfish and seahorses and dolphins a good deal this year. Those conversations remind me of how big the world is to a little kid, and those conversations make me want to pause and love on those two incredible little people for their birthday.
I held onto these photos, from our June aquarium visit, for just this occasion. Happy birthday, Lucy and Sam. Thank you for the joy you add to my life. I love you to the sky and back!!!
And a video… just in case you don’t know this song yet, my little friends.
“And hope, of course, is the way time is shaped.”
-p 45, Living Gently in a Violent World Stanley Hauerwas
Oh my pride, I give you up in barter for my freedom.
these four walls had and beheld our story and all the word and fleshiness of it
the way that looked, of course, changed over time
sometimes maturation and brokenness butting heads and dueling
the coarseness of pride sometimes rubbing raw
the gentleness of humility sometimes healing balm
and we err if we think that perfection could be obtained here
not perfection, no
but humanity, yes
and it’s that common denominator out in the open in between these walls
that sometimes shakes cores until tears fall
and just last week i felt only unsure ground beneath my feet
and let my head drop to my hands that my knees collected
the only way back to joy was to walk straight through the lack of understanding
clinging to stories past and future hopes
because our todays in these four walls changed
and i do not know what to make of a place i so love
because here i have been loved and know i should love in return
our todays in these four walls, at the moment,
a haunting reminder that though all can play
we are needing, we are wanting, we hunger, how we hunger
for humanity, yes
with that abandon not yet outgrown
if still too little for some things
then stepping into others makes space
for these micro-truths to be shown that
make macro realities out of a better story
than the page of present tense
with hope like that (nothing etched in stone)
the road widens as shoulders shrug
disbelief in the wonder-sort-of-way
what a life to behold
what depth drives a soul
joy sets the pace as each one lets go:
abandon not youth as you grow old
childlike always, please be so.
I’ve got a city love.
Excuse me while I go sentimental, in both the following commentary and poem. This photo? Pretty much one of the best things I have ever seen. My friends’ kid pausing with his stuffed dog, who he always walks along with the family’s pets, at the Lake Ontario beach. So stinkin’ sweet.
all i know as of today (recognized, anyways)
is you can peel away the trappings of this city-
this much loved and so celebrated city with
her skyline coupled with lakeside and
her trains and subways and planes and motorways and
her eateries (some like home to me,
a bar or two and oh, the food) and
her endlessly fascinating international streets-
you can strip this city utterly bare
and what lies exposed is the wonder type of beauty.
externals removed to stare in pairs upon pairs of eyes
belonging to friends far and wide
of the best, the very, very best kind
for they walked and walk alongside
in highs and lows, they are much loved and so celebrated
they make this place mine
and me? they make alive.
that’s all i know as of today
so goodnight. so very, very good night.
“The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the marvelous; but we do not notice it.”
(Please forgive the rhyme-y musings. This place draws out sentimental gush.)
once upon a time
on a whim
i moved to this city
after visiting friends
two quick years
just a flash in a pan
too many fears
stacks of stories on hand
so when i come back
here i am
I love Toronto. This city gets got under my skin and resides in my heart in a way no other place has. It captivates me. Most of the wonder has to do with the people here. Some of it, though, is the cool air in summer and the stacks of flats and the curve of the city as it spoons the lake. These aesthetics? They feel like pieces of my life that I somehow pocketed and carry with me wherever I am. The backdrop of this place? It suits me.
No photos tonight because someone packed her camera sans a memory card when she went downtown for dinner tonight (with Joni! and Paul!). That same someone didn’t even bring her handy dandy i-Phone, which would have sufficed for a photograph or two of the splendor of this place. Apologies.