Sunday, June 24, 2007

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd

WHEN lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d—and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

O ever-returning spring! trinity sure to me you bring;
Lilac blooming perennial, and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.


O powerful, western, fallen star!
O shades of night! O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear’d! O the black murk that hides the star!
O cruel hands that hold me powerless! O helpless soul of me!
O harsh surrounding cloud, that will not free my soul!
A sprig, with its flower, I break.

Here! coffin that slowly passes,
I give you my sprig of lilac.

(Nor for you, for one, alone;
Blossoms and branches green to coffins all I bring:
For fresh as the morning—thus would I carol a song for you, O sane and sacred death.

All over bouquets of roses,
O death! I cover you over with roses and early lilies;
But mostly and now the lilac that blooms the first,
Copious, I break, I break the sprigs from the bushes;
With loaded arms I come, pouring for you,
For you, and the coffins all of you, O death.)

O how shall I warble myself for the dead one there I loved?
And how shall I deck my song for the large sweet soul that has gone?
And what shall my perfume be, for the grave of him I love?

Sea-winds, blown from east and west,
Blown from the eastern sea, and blown from the western sea, till there on the prairies meeting:
These, and with these, and the breath of my chant,
I perfume the grave of him I love.

Then with the knowledge of death as walking one side of me,
And the thought of death close-walking the other side of me,
And I in the middle, as with companions, and as holding the hands of companions,
I fled forth to the hiding receiving night, that talks not,
Down to the shores of the water, the path by the swamp in the dimness,
To the solemn shadowy cedars, and ghostly pines so still.

And the singer so shy to the rest receiv’d me;
The gray-brown bird I know, receiv’d us comrades three;
And he sang what seem’d the carol of death, and a verse for him I love.

Passing the visions, passing the night;
Passing, unloosing the hold of my comrades’ hands;
Passing the song of the hermit bird, and the tallying song of my soul,
(Victorious song, death’s outlet song, yet varying, ever-altering song,
As low and wailing, yet clear the notes, rising and falling, flooding the night,
Sadly sinking and fainting, as warning and warning, and yet again bursting with joy,
Covering the earth, and filling the spread of the heaven,
As that powerful psalm in the night I heard from recesses,)
Passing, I leave thee, lilac with heart-shaped leaves;
I leave thee there in the door-yard, blooming, returning with spring,
I cease from my song for thee;
From my gaze on thee in the west, fronting the west, communing with thee,
O comrade lustrous, with silver face in the night.

Yet each I keep, and all, retrievements out of the night;
The song, the wondrous chant of the gray-brown bird,
And the tallying chant, the echo arous’d in my soul,
With the lustrous and drooping star, with the countenance full of woe,
With the lilac tall, and its blossoms of mastering odor;
With the holders holding my hand, nearing the call of the bird,
Comrades mine, and I in the midst, and their memory ever I keep—for the dead I loved so well;
For the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands...and this for his dear sake;
Lilac and star and bird, twined with the chant of my soul,
There in the fragrant pines, and the cedars dusk and dim.

~Walt Whitman

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

one of my least favourite feelings in the world: mosquito bites on top of a sunburn

Thursday, June 14, 2007

mental breakdown

So remember that post not so long ago about me having a mental breakdown? Yeah, unfortunately I wasn't exaggerating.
This morning on the c-train (which was incredibly late and slow and took an extra 20 minutes and kept stopping) I had a bit of a panic attack, which is strange, because that has never happened to me before. I was crammed in there, surrounded by people, with very little air and I started to hyperventilate. So I intentially slowed down my breathing and tried to get some air, but really, when the train wasn't moving there was no air movement. My legs felt like they were going to buckle beneath me and I would faint, and one of my hands went completely numb. I thought I was going to throw up on everyone, which would have been SO awkward. Fortunately I made it until the train finally stopped and I escaped and threw up into a garbage can. So gross.
So yeah, I was a bit shaken and extremely pale when I made it to class, but fortunately I feel much better now. It just took some time.
Still...weird that I had a panic attack like that. Thankfully after tomorrow my stress level will be seriously decreased and I will be refreshed to face life again.

Monday, June 11, 2007


The Great Canadian Superstore really lives up to its name.
Not only does it have speculaas for sale (as ecstatically noted previously on this blog) but it also has stroop wafels! Made in Holland. So, clearly, not as fresh, but still utterly delicious. What a perfect treat that Merissa surprised me with...totally made my night! (Thanks Mer!)
I've seen them for sale in Ontario before, but not here in Calgary, so you better believe I will be introducing my stroop wafel virgin friends to them very very soon. Heel Lekker!!!

Happy Anniversary!

Today is my sister's second anniversary.

Can't believe that two years ago you were getting married Meil...time goes so fast.

So...Happy 2nd Anniversary Amelia and Curtis! Love you guys!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

love is a risk

I'm reading a book called "The Beautiful Risk" by James Olthuis right now, and I'm really enjoying it. A lot of what he says in it is stuff that I have been trying to express without much success, so it's been refreshing to read my thoughts expressed clearly. And also a lot more thought out and expanded upon.
I just read a chapter which was about "Understanding Ourselves: Love is Who We Are" and thought I'd pop up a few quotes. Or just long sections. We'll see :)

"God is love, and humans are made in God's image. Love, then, is who we are--love's agents. God is the giver, we are the gifted, love is the gift. God is the caller, we are the called, love is the calling.
This is what I mean by the gift/call structure of humankin. Being and becoming lovers--the gift of being human and the call to become human--happen together, inextricably, simultaneously in a process of being and becoming. To be human is quintessentially to be and to become a love--a lover of God, neighbor, self, and world...
Not only do we seek love, but love seeks us. Not only do I know love, but love knows me. We love even as we are loved. To be human is to participate actively in God's movement of love that is happening in the world. We are agents of love called to love, and called by love."

"In this way, loving--receiving and giving love--is not something, first of all, that we do. Love is who we are, as gift and call, as passion to be lived out. It is in love (or not loving) that we are (or are not) human. It is in heeding the call of love--in making life-affirming connections--that we become human...Loving is of the essence of being human, the connective tissue of reality, the oxygen of life."

"Our spiritual interconnectedness with God means that to be a human person is to be a self-in-faith --that is, a self centered in faith rather than in self, a substance, an ability, or a role. The secret of our existence finds its origin and home in the mystery of God's gift of love, which is known through faith."

"Needless to say, the fact that we are interrelational beings defined by process only underlines just how fragile and exposed we are. We depend on our interaction with others and with creation to stay alive and become ourselves. That very interdependence makes us susceptible to injury and harm. To be alive is to be vulnerable--but how do we stay open, yet protect and hold on to ourselves at the same time?"

I think that last sentence stuck out to me the most. It's kind of a paradox...desperately wanting to live, really live, yet understanding and fearing the risks.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Mel's wedding

This past week I was in Regina for Mel's wedding. It was so good to be with those girls again. I didn't realize how much I had missed being in community with them until I was there.
It was also great to get to know Lester a bit better. I must say, Mel and Lester are really great for each other and balance each other out so well.
The wedding was beautiful and went really well. And we had a lot of fun taking pictures. I'll post a few that were taken on my camera here.