Saturday, December 31, 2011

art liberated

a few months ago I saw this artist at market collective and her work totally inspired and freed me, I've been doing my own portraits ever since...the freedom came in the fact that they dont HAVE to look like who I'm drawing (although some of them do which is COOL)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

pins and needles

I don't desire authority. I don't desire big. or process. rules. reasons. exceptions. bus tickets.

I desire my hand against a wound. I desire soft voices. I desire sitting on a floor. looking up and listening. I desire dialogue and pillows.

Work has felt weird this week, which is strange because I have been away due to illness most days.

I feel bogged down by passive aggression and working against the grain.

So many much anger. The rhythm of God is slow...but I wonder if this is His idea.

Last week I had a awesome conversation with K and W. There were only two chairs so I sat on the floor and told him things i learned in my class. Something felt good when he threw his hands up saying "Someone understands!" but it mostly felt bad as he shows me scars from abuse he endured as a child and tells me about electric cords. She is so quiet and I feel like holding this moment in cupped hands.

They saw him down town messed right up on some drug and I don't know how I feel.

I desire music. and coffee.and cigerretts.and gentle. I desire God's presence. His audible breath and the fact of love.

Monday, July 18, 2011

inheritated habits

So I have this box full of Cards, notes, letters, random scraps that are special to me and I was going through it last night. I decided that I was going to go through and get ride of all the envelopes because they are just a waste of space. I opened up this envelope which holds a card from my Oma, I decide that I don't want to get rid of this envelope and I open up the card, then something catches my eye in the envelope and I find this:

cutest thing ever right? they are little hearts cut out of napkin, cutest birthday valentine found 4 years later ever!

and one of them says:

"Birsday" was how she said "birthday" (because English was her second language) Although In the card she wrote birthday so she must have been trying to figure out the correct spelling...

I just thought this whole thing was super cute and super special and I'm so glad I found this

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

a story from victoria

One of the things on "My life's to do list" (this is the term I use instead of bucket list) is to one days share ALL my journals with one person...I don't know if there is ever going to be a person who is going to want to sit through my whole life experience,but whatever hahaha. One way that I can share parts of my journals though is this blog! I was recently looking back at my journal from March 2010, I had gone to Vancouver for a wedding and then spent a beautiful week in Victoria with Brianne and Matt.
Anyway here are some journal clips

"Jen texted me about something called "tent City" Bri and I looked it up and its a place near by where homeless people camp out. Tonight we went to look for it but came up with nothing.
Its funny cause in thinking about going there to look and in what Ive already seen in life I wonder what my hoped for outcome is...hopefully one day I will be able to recall the things I've seen and pair them with a heart filled action"

"I am back at Solstice (coffee shop) I found it all by myself and I walked up to the counter and asked "what good?" and just asked him to pick what to make me. I've ended up with something dark...some sort of mocha...I will drink it only cause the barista (its a gender neutral term right?) had a wonderful beard.

As I was walking around I came across a panhandler...well he was standing asking people for money as they went by. I asked him how his day was. He said "horrible" because he hadn't made anything. I asked him if he wanted something to eat and if i could go with him and buy something, he said yes and we started walking, then he asked if he could just have the money. I said "why?" and he said he needed it for liquor and I said "no" he replied with "but i need to have it everyday" i again asked "why?" and he said "because I'm an alcoholic" I said no and again offered food, he passed and i kept going. I came across a old man in a walker with signs that said "I am 73 and homeless everything helps" I asked him how he was and he said "today I am very happy" and began to tell me about his health problems. He has cancer and just found out they would remove it by surgery. His name is Jack, as I was talking to him, the first guy walked up and asked if I was still willing to get him food. I said "for sure" and followed him. I had to run to catch up. We went in a mall I asked his name, Tre, 26 years old, homeless in vic since he was 18, lives at "tent city"
I bought him Chinese food, and asked if he wanted me to stick around or leave him alone. He said he'd like to just eat and gave me a hug.
Not even two minutes later he walked by me without the food. He either stuffed his face or trashed it. Either way is fine I guess. Mean while I purchased a burger for Jack but when I got back to him he was gone...across the street was someone else.
His name was Sean and he kissed my hand twice. I think he has cerebral palsy...that's my story from this morning.

I was thinking about how I wasn't expecting any sort of transaction from my un-sheltered encounters. I feel that its to easy for people to be like "I will buy you food, you tell me the story of your life or something that will enlighten me"

Stories are/ can be piece of your soul. I wouldn't expect someone to give me that in exchange for some nutrients"

Friday, June 17, 2011


I did a post it note street art project at the mustard seed a while back and recently bought a new pack of post its for a different project for a seed guest, but at the end of it I had several sets of post it notes left. CCharlie and I have decieded we want to invest in and spent more time hanging out in Kensington, so when we were there tonight I decieded that we should do some post it note art. Several of them blew away before living a long happy life but many of them were seen and commented on, this one lady actually came up and hugged us after she saw what we wrote.

It must be noted that CCharlie needs so mentoring when it comes to being a street artist, several of the post its that he wrote said "are you loved?" instead of "YOU ARE LOVED" but his giant tallness was helpful for putting notes up in high places.

We left way more then these pictures reflect but it was a kind of on the go project not a lot of time to stop and take picture

love hides everywhere

I walk past this tree on a regular basis...figured the random heart shape needed to be accented with some safe paint...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gideon didn’t have an encounter with God on a mountain top

Simply put, the mustard seed tends to break my heart. I was writing a letter to someone the other day about how I remember being in jr high/ high school and being afraid of homeless people, then having an incredible experience in east Hastings and no longer being able to look at un-sheltered friends without thinking "beloved"

When I was walking around the shelter tonight I stopped and saw this written in the bathroom, I noticed it yesterday but didn't read what it said and now i just feel sad. This is the only place they can find for quiet. I think about myself and people in my life and how we talk about "me" time and how refreshing it can be to just be alone for a while and then I think of being in some sort of devastating situation where I would need to live at a shelter and have 300 roommates from all walks of life, in all stages of being, some happy, some angry at the world, some using drugs, some dealthy sick, and I think about feeling trapped there and how my only quiet place might be a bathroom....

A while back at a event for hands at work my Friend heather said "Sometimes the experience runs so deep its hard to find the words but we must tell their stories"

This is how I feel about the seed, I'm hoping to find the words soon...

Monday, April 4, 2011


My Oma passed away when I was in India. Talking to my Mother before I made my way home we decided i would read something at the funeral. When I got home I found out that based on Catholic Law I had to read whatever the priest choice. SO because I didn't get a chance to read the letter I wrote I will post it here. Its written like it would be read out at the funeral (I am just mentioning that because there is a part near the end that might seem strange to read)

Dear Oma

I'm sorry that I wasn't here to say goodbye. I'm grateful though that my last memory of you was one that I walked away exclaiming how adorable you are and how much I love you.

1John 4:12 says

No one has ever seen God but if we love one another God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.

When I think about you all I can think of is how much I love you and how much I know you love me.
Thank you for always expressing your love, your joy and your pride in being my Oma.
There are many things I remember about you and cherish, like when you would volunteer in our elementary school (this action making you "Oma" to many of our friends) when you would take us swimming, Shu-pan and Stumpot, Stories that started with "well you know what my Mother always said" your willingness to pray for my friends in Africa and your endless support of the choices I make. one has ever seen God but when we love one another his love is made complete in us.

Thank you for loving us the way you did because through that I have been shown an aspect of God's love.

Something Sister recently said was "No regrets only beautiful memories" this is true of how I feel also.
Thank you for always being apart of my life.
Oma, I love you and as cliche as it may sound I wont forget you
Rest in peace

PS I wont talk to Strangers

I have another letter I need to read. This is a time for honoring my Oma but there are people who were apart of her life that I'm sure she would want me to address now. So..

Dear Mother and Dear Sister

As I have said No one has seen God but when we love each other his love is made complete in us.

I don't even know how to express the gratitude each of you deserve.
You were both such a blessing to Oma, even when it was hard and when you were unsure of what to do.
I want you to know that the way you loved her inspired me and is so true of the verse i have repeated.
Thank you for loving as you have.
I adore you both.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

brushing your teeth out a window

So today Laura and I went to the market, I have arranged for some punjabi dresses to be made and I'm pretty excited about it...I wanted to share this picture and a story with you about this picture.

Laura and I were on way home in a rickshaw, the traffic was ridiculous...then a head i saw a elephant! I guess my excitement was apparent because our driver started to laugh, i got a crappy picture as we drove past but then our rickshaw driver swerved to the left so i could get a better the process he hit a cart full of coconuts, and I achieved the above we were driving away I asked Laura to look at this situation from outside of our perspective and how it is actually such a hilarius story...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

incense burning in a taxi cab

India and I are still trying to figure each other out, and as I feel that process is going to take a while i dont know that I can really blog, I do want to share some clips from my journal to maybe help you see where im at and what im doing.

I wrote this piece after my second day at "Kalghat" which is the Mother Teresa home for the destitute and the dying.
Its a building big enough to house 80 people and opposite to the west the point is not to cure people but rather to give them a place to die with dignity and love. I stayed mostly on the womens side and it really made me question my understanding of the word "beauty" these women skin and bones, blind and not all there putting there hands together to there face and saying "nameste didi" (which translates to something like the divine in me see the divine in you sister) are beatutiful! I feel like im getting in the way of the nuns as i sit and stare, i hold hands, i caress shaved heads and smile into faces while repeating bengali words that i dont understand...anyway lets see what i wrote in my journal that day

"I also spent more time feeding people, there was one little lady who I hand fed, she is blind and would go into convulsions and scream and as startling as that was it is still sch a blessing to be able to do this. I found myself thnking "anyone could do this...I'm not really making a difference" but i guess thats where i have to think I am the one doing this today and this is a love offering to God and hopefully a blessing to this women"

these entries are a little out of order but here is another one

"I helped give out meds and spoon fed one lady both snack and lunch. No teeth and I think she was part blind, skin and bones but oh so beautiful. Everytime I ran a hand over her head, I was thinking about Jesus as I placed rice and bits of orange in beloveds mouth I asked "God please see this as an offering to you"

I keep looping through the thoughts of "I need to come back to Kolkata, I need to make a routine here and build relationships, I need to work every day with those who are dying and spend my evenings in prayer with the sisters" and "Im never ever coming back to India"

maybe one to make people laugh

"oh! this morning at the mother house there was this dak haired boy with starter dreads (like he hadnt brushed his hair) and a beard and dressed very earthy and probably my soulmate and i found myself thinking "are you allowed to think someone is hot when your sitting in a convent?"

Thursday, January 20, 2011


"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference. "

I went to a narcotics anonymous meeting yesterday.
I think part of the love tour is learning empathy for what others go through and being able to start to understand what people go through on their road to recovery is essential to my job at the seed and to my life as a person who loves other people.

It was really intense though for a number of reasons and pretty much the whole time I sat there feeling like I was going to puke, and I like chewed my coffee cup to bits...but alas.

When I sat down a lady asked me if I go to this group often and I responded with "this is my first time" I didn't want to try and draw some sort of line in the sand and say "Ive never used drugs" because this is a safe place with no judgements and I didn't want her to think that I thought I was different or better then her, and she was so lovely! telling me "you are courageous for coming here! we love new people!"

I watched this amazing video this week on vulnerability and life and relationship and it was talking about how "whole hearted people" have 3 things in common, courage to accept who they are and to tell their stories regardless of the pain/success, compassion for themselves because they know you cant be kind to others without being kind to yourself first and believing they are worthy of connection with other people.

The essence of that is what I felt and the NA meeting and processing it now I really think that was a incredibly beautiful experience regardless of the anxiety I felt.

One of the things they value there is the anonymity of the program and I hope by sharing things here I'm not breaking that because I do so respect these people and have gratitude that I was able to see a part of their lives.

One man's sharing really struck me because he said something like "I had just accepted that I was going to be a homeless addict"
It made me wonder how many people I come into contact at the shelter who feel that way. and it also made me think how much more important it is to just pour out love to everyone everywhere I go.

I adore the self aware-ness of recovering addicts and how they fight vigorously to give everything over to God (as they understand Him)...something I strive for.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

my therapist would love you guys

So sometimes I deciede that Im not going to tell people stuff and do things secretly but then it turns out Im not very good at secrets so I end up blogging about it.

Tonight I had a very intense experiance at the shelter and it really jarred me but it was so nice to off set that feeling with this lovely project.
I thought of this idea a few days ago and my co-worker Cristina helped me implament it!
We did it in the middle of the night (one of the advantages of night shift!) so the lady guests would find it in the morning. As I was buzzing around the shelter one of the women asked for a moment of my time, she is someone that I find especially intriging and she said to me "I just wanted to let you know what you did in the bathroom was amazing, I literally walked around it at least 4 times just looking at all the notes and my spirits went from here" she motioned to below her knee "to here" and her hand went above her head.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mittens aka December

Because Brianne was in calgary in December we were able to take our twelve month project picture together!

Eyes Closed Aka November