Category Archives: I have no idea where to put this

creative people full body walking

Doesn’t this sound fun?

Someone actually typed this into their preferred search engine and found 3limes. I think it is fabulous, a) that someone actually had the poetic inclination to type such a concept at all and b) that it found 3limes, quite obviously the temple of creative full body walking.

And it got me thinking.

Because I am doing a whole lot of thinking at the moment; what with living on an Arab Desert Isle and teaching TOK ( Theory of Knowledge) ( google it, it is the most awesome part of the IB course and the reason I love IB), and teaching Media to a bunch of kids whose eyes visibly open with empowered recognition in class. And because I am teaching Camus and Kafka to 17 year olds who are actually getting it.

We need to open our eyes. And we need to walk with our full bodies, not just the little feet that take small steps. We need to be creative people, not just painters and singers, no, but creative with everything we do, whether it be brushing our teeth, choosing our outfit in the morning, making toast, or having a heart to heart with the teenager who finally put down the phone to listen. Creativity is about having eyes open and being awake.

So if life is a conveyor belt that you are just riding on, get off and take some full body steps.

As part of my intent to stop, listen, watch and take notice I have created a Tumblr account ( yes bandwagon, a bit) to drop off lots of juicy morsels that I see and want to share. This is not a place where I will ever put something I create. Rather, it is a glorious depository of things I find. Think of it as a magic chest of treasures. There are words and small films, poems and photos, quotes and links.

I have huntered and gathered for ages but finally now I have a place to put the things I find. And I realize how it could be a full time job, this finding and storing, and how I don’t have enough minutes in this life to read and watch all the things I want.

But I can try. Small steps towards full body walking.

http://extraplums.tumblr.com/

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Stop all the Clocks

 

I am reading about Silence and the lack of it in our world. I am reading about how much we need it but we might not be aware of this need. I am growing aware that the lack of silence and peace in my life is taking its toll on my creative abilities. My schedule is jam packed. There is school, there are friends, there is the organizing and to-ing and fro-ing of Trooper and Princess’ lives; there is the Pantomime and all the fun that entails. There are the far away friends that I like to email, skype or facebook, there is my photography that has been shoved to a rather tatty backseat, there is 3limes which I feel has been rather neglected of late. There is the reading, that which is prescribed by being an IB English teacher and that which I simply want to read. I am longing to snatch Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom” out of Handsome Husband’s hands, I am addicted to the wonderful literary journal Granta and have been for 18 years, but now I am 6 editions behind. There are films that I hear about but never see, there is the FT and Globe and Mail that I read religiously each Saturday morning. There are the blogs that I like to read but find I can barely get to. There are my favourite photographers that I like to follow on Flickr. There are websites to follow, texts to answer, emails to reply to, letters to write, photos to take, marking to do, essays to read, research to do, ideas to form, meals to cook, friends to make, friends to meet, photographs to take, photos to process, favorite shows to watch…

And yet there is no time for Silence. The moment to simply switch it all off and just pause and let those creative juices flow. Reflection. Peace. Quiet.

Who would ever have thought that we would need to carve out time just to be quiet.?

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Thing ones and thing twos.

Just a few simple questions that I am mulling over when I should be asleep.

  1. How is it possible for someone to steal a laptop and not feel even a little bit bad? Does poverty just simply eradicate the guilt most people would feel upon taking something that doesn’t belong to them?
  2. How do you tell a parent that their child is just not very bright and actually quite vacant? I know it is so much easier to just blame the school, and I know you think your child is a perfect 12 year old genius and I do realize that the bad marks can’t possibly be her fault.
  3. How did someone find my blog by typing in kill chicken? And more importantly why are so many people searching for Kill Chicken so often?
  4. How can passion fruit taste so divine but look like frog spawn?
  5. Why is it that after making an announcement 3 times, people still don’t do what I had announced?
  6. Why doesn’t everyone back up their computer?
  7. How can some people be so immune to bad smells while others gag?
  8. How did Africa end up being the gigantic rubbish bin of the world? Please believe me when I tell you that what ends up here is what no one wanted to buy in the West.
  9. What do bed bugs look like and how do they get into bed?
  10. The auto focus is not working on my camera. How do I know if it is the lens or the camera? How can this situation be attended to over here?

The mind boggles.

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facebook is weird

Facebook is weird. I know what an old school friend, someone I haven’t seen for 20 years had for breakfast and I have seen the wedding photos of an old work colleague that I imagined I would never see again. I have been sent a friend suggestion that makes me laugh. She was the girl who bullied me at school a life time ago. Do I want to be her friend? Just to know what she is doing somewhere out there in middle America? More importantly do I want her to know what I am doing?

On the flip side I have reconnected with an old school teacher, the most inspiring teacher I ever had, someone who impacts my teaching style every day. I have found a long lost friend that I searched ages for and now we will meet up this summer and exchange memories. I can read the evening plans of two of my old students, I even know what film they are planning on seeing tonight, but does it all really mean anything?  I now have these superficial connections to people that are not really in my life, albeit by a sliver through a computer screen. The people I really want to see, and hug and hold are not living in my white laptop, they are living in my mind, my past and hopefully my future.

Facebook has now overtaken google as the most viewed online search engine. To use a Trini term it is the ultimate “Maco” tool, meaning we can spy on one another and be misled that we know what we are all doing. It presents a warped truth, but one that satisfies some of our curious inclinations. Through Facebook I can see what my daughter’s status is and then berate her for spreading her private life throughout the cyber world. These are things I probably shouldn’t know and yet I keep logging in, coming back for more, looking, as I scroll through the names, for connections, knowledge of what people out there are doing today. It makes the world so small when in many other ways it just feels too big.

Those of us who live so far away, across oceans and continents, shops, markets and deserts, need to feel the world is small.

I just purchased my airline tickets to London this summer and judging by the price of those tickets the world is quite enormous. Instead of looking into my screen to hunt for shiny things and old friends I will have it laid out on a concrete pavement for my delectation and choice. For three weeks I will spend my days in London town, soaking up the culture, the dust, not from red pounded roads, but from smog and the frayed, chipped ancient paint from antique buildings. I will revel, spin and worship at the alter of the Great Shiny West.

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Just dance.

Sometimes all you need to do is close your eyes and dance.

Dance to a different rhythm, one that pushes and turns your body into a myriad of directions; directionless places where the world disappears and time does not exist.

Dance is the only language whose tongue tells a tale of forgetfulness. Telling us to only remember the body and forget the mind.

Turn the lights low, music high and forget yourself in dance.

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Filed under I have no idea where to put this, Photography

Counting days

If I haven’t written as much as usual it is because I feel it is necessary to find something cheerful to write about, amusing perhaps or maybe simply anecdotal. Seeing as though I spend most days either tucked away in my classroom trying hard to get 11 year olds or even 13 year olds (can you believe?) to use a capital letter after a full stop, and then driving along the highway passed decaying cow horns back home to spend the evening with one grumpy Trooper and one Princess hyped up on her imminent appearance in Grease next week, I haven’t felt particularly inspired.  The swelling from the nasty bites caught during last week’s visit to the very Hairy Lemon has subsided due to heavy doses of steroids and enough anti-histamines to put an elephant to sleep, and those little pills coupled with a glass of wine or two send me into a post Entourage Dvd stupor.

I am counting the days until we leave on our much anticipated vacation. On December 13th we will finally set off in search of Hippos, Lions, and Elephants; in short we are heading on Safari for 5 nights. Every time I think about this road trip, with just our little family, I feel little butterfly flutters of excitement bouncing around the walls of my belly. I am just so excited.

Yet, there are still 7 days of school that remain, two drama performances, ( including the aforementioned Grease), a dance to chaperone and 120 projects to mark. On a more sociable note we have an art exhibit, a Christmas party, a dinner party and another little event so I know time will just fly by. Before I know it we will be packed up, in the Beast and heading West to the border of Congo.

Term one is nearly over.

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Making decisions, making a list

It is hard to know if a decision is the right one. Some are small such as:

‘Should I wear/buy this dress or that one?’

‘What do I want people in shiny big cities to send me for Christmakah?’

“Should I have really spent my  paltry end of year teaching bonus on a Mac or should I instead have invested it for my old age?’ ( I don’t give enough thought to the fact that one day I will be old and unemployable.)

Some are really big such as:

‘ Should we move to Uganda?’

‘Should we take our dog?’

‘Should we adopt Casanova?’

‘Should we buy the Beast?’

‘Should we open a business?’

I feel we have had a significant amount of big decisions to make recently. Far more than we would have if we had taken the other route and continued with our lives and status quo in Montreal, 3 years ago.

So how do we make a decision? Guts mainly? I think if you cannot decide something you need to lie very still and listen. Which voice is louder? The yes or the no side? It may take a long time to tune out the noise and really listen but I do believe this is the only way.

I am tired of the big ones, although they do keep the heart beating and ward off any comforting signs of boredom. It would be perfectly pleasant to chill out for a while. However, there are more coming; and they do not involve dresses or shoes, sadly.

On a happier note, I have a few small and fun little conundrums to solve. I am compiling my  Xmas list of what I want friendly and cheerful bestowers of goodie boxes to send. It is an interesting challenge. The items must weigh next to nothing and be small. They have to be quite inexpensive. ( Despite jewels fitting into category #1, they get swiped off the list with #2. ).

So:  small, light and cheap.

Thus far I have got as far as lip gloss and Yogi tea bags.

The mind hums.


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Filed under I have no idea where to put this, personal