The Sunday List {25}


Here are some lovely things that I’ve enjoyed recently:

Elizabeth Gilbert’s posts on her Facebook page. Her new book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear comes out on 22nd September and here’s the story of the cover.

This article: S is for Space: A-Z of Simple Living.

Damien’s From poem ~ his homework for Geography of Now.

How to become a better person from The School of Life. {This video is 4 minutes and 10 seconds in length.}

PicMonkey: Free Online Photo Editing

Dr. Elaine Aron defines the highly sensitive person (HSP) as someone with a sensitive nervous system who is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment. Here’s a test to help you determine whether you are an HSP. If you are, you will LOVE The Highly Sensitive Person Podcast.

What has been catching your attention lately?



I’m from long days spent laying in fields of tall grass.

I’m from hay and straw
and rubber boots
and more cows than people.
I’m from a long tree-lined laneway
canopy green in summer
where once my middle sister
challenged our dad
to a race and he ran so fast
it felt like magic.

I’m from a small black dog named Poncho
(the result of an inter-species tryst
between a French Poodle and a Mexican Chihuahua)
who loved to cuddle
but suffered terribly
at the sound of bursting balloons.
We discovered this fear
at my parents’ New Year’s Eve party
and I learned that people
could be divided into two categories:
People who wanted to pop more balloons
and those who wanted to help the dog.

I’m from Anne of Green Gables,
Harriet the Spy,
Little Women,
and Nancy Drew.
I come from the Vernon Public Library
where I’d sit on highly glossed hardwood
and read
until it was time to go.
I could take out as many books as I wanted.
Librarians have always been my friends.

I’m from yellow and white checked curtains
on the windows of my 5th grade classroom.
I was always staring out the window.

I’m from my grandparents’ camper
and a trip to the Provincial Park at Fitzroy Harbour
with all seven grandchildren.
We assembled meals in the tiny kitchen
like playing house.
In the wavy heat of long afternoons
we walked barefoot in the river
and collected the roundest smoothest stones.

I’m from the hockey rink in Metcalfe
where my friends and I
witnessed the Jets and Hawks battle
and discussed important matters
which players were the cutest.

I’m from the epic bonfire at Diana’s house
the night we graduated from high school
and from toast and jam in the morning.
The last time we were all together.

I’m from novels as a food group
and early morning lectures
with professors who were once Jesuit priests.
I’m from figuring it out
later than most
that not everyone likes school.

I’m from the kind heart of a man
who carries an orange knapsack.

I’m from passports and visas and packing and moving and searching for things I already had.

I’m from salsa dancing and being mugged in Cali
and Christmas posadas in the hallways of school
and Mexican folk art and chilaquiles in San Miguel de Allende.
I’m from buying avocados at a market in Barcelona
where the woman always asked
what are you making
when will you make it?
I’m from cava and green olives.
I’m from tuk-tuks, phad thai and mango
and a South East Asian city of angels
where I’m a happier tourist
than a resident.

I’m from a land of extraordinary suns
rising over Mount Fuji.
I’m from Family Marts and the art of bowing
and eathquakes and tsunamis,
from courage and
the preservation of order
in times of immeasurable loss.
I’m from courtesy
and harmony
and Hello Kitty.

I’m from introversion
and taking risks.
I’m from the Internet
and writing novels.
I’m from long decadent talks about the meaning of life.

I’m from making and collecting art.

I’m from travels.
Pablo Neruda’s houses in Chile,
falling down houses in Valparaiso,
broke-down palaces of Budapest.
The golden light in Rome
and sexy green Cyprus trees in Tuscany.

I’m from Paris.
{Surely, in some other life, I must have lived there.}

I’m from luck, hard work and gratitude.
From hope.

Hope, long days, fields of tall grass.


Things that don’t exist


From the film As Good As It Gets:
Carol Connelly: Why can’t I have a normal boyfriend? Just a regular boyfriend, one that doesn’t go nuts on me!
Beverly Connelly (Carol’s mother): Everybody wants that, dear. It doesn’t exist.

Other things that don’t exist:
* Work-life balance
* Normal
* Perfection
* The One
* A better time to do something

What have I missed? What else doesn’t exist?

Geography of Now: Scholarship Winners

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Giving this course away is such lovely fun!

I’ve discovered that I like giving things away so much that it may prevent me from becoming a great business person. {I can live with that.}

Two people received two nominations each so I have offered scholarships to both of them.

Congratulations to Hiyori Takashima and Zoe Page.

This six-week e-Course begins on Monday 19 January and you can learn more and register here.

I’d love to have you join us.


Japanese slang for lovey-dovey


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We had lunch with a friend
who had just spent some time
with a lovely couple we know.

He is amazed by them.

Perhaps you know
{or are in}
a relationship
like this.

When they look
at each other
a shy sweetness
something golden
and fills all the spaces
between them.

Their love
does not exclude.
It’s big.
It wraps its arms around us.

Magical campfire gazing.
Shadows of purple-orange flames
transform faces
known forever
into Queens,
slayers of dragons.

It’s love-love.

They say it in Japanese too. Love-love.
{Young people mostly.}

To hear these words
pronounced in Japanese
makes my heart
as soft
as buffalo mozzarella.


Geography of Now: The Scholarship

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The Geography of Now begins on Monday January 19th and I thought it would be cool to offer a free scholarship for the course.

If you know someone who would benefit from this scholarship, email me at monnamcd@gmail. Please write me a paragraph explaining the reasons why your friend or family member would appreciate this creative opportunity. Please include their name and email address. Please note that you must nominate someone else and, in order for your nominee to really participate in the course, she/he needs to be a Facebook user.

Nominations are due by midnight EST (Ottawa and New York City time) on Monday 12 January. I’ll announce the name of the scholarship winner on my site on Wednesday 14 January.

Here is the trailer and here are all the lovely details of the course.