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Showing posts from August, 2012

The Safe Keeper

By Belinda

Memory fascinates me. Being a writer, one for whom the past is an endless source of material, I am often struck by the fact that an event can be remembered, or "seen" differently at different moments, by one person.

And a person can be remembered at one moment for their flaws, along with the pain they caused. At another moment, their many redeeming qualities surface in memory: the person's humour, sensitive soul or work ethic. 

It's as though light catches the sparkle or casts a shadow, depending on the angle it's shining from at a given moment. Ideally we would remember absolutely factually, and yet facts can be fluid in the mind; fraught with feelings and layers of complexities that are hard to understand and unravel.

I have been deep in the shadows of  memory; facing hard truths with greater clarity and courage; sharper pain and deeper guilt. Of course, how can we ever truly understand or "know" the past? And yet, we try, whether it is raking …
Hey there friends...It has been a busy few days and there will be no let up for a couple more. I have much to write, but not enough time! But I didn't want to vanish without explanation.

Paul and the team are back from Mishkeegogamang. I am thankful to again have the company of my best friend and husband of 43 years (even though a day late for our anniversary on August 23.)

Stay tuned! :)

The Burden

By Belinda

The old ache surfaced recently. While walking sunny summer streets, with green leaves dancing playful and holly hocks nodding as I passed, with an incongruous mourning in my soul.

There is no sense to this guilt, and yet it lies like undigested meat in my gut, an unwelcome, yet familiar inhabitant in the deepest recesses of my being.

I weep in sorrow for a wrong not mine and seek a means of atonement, as though somehow that might make amends. But that would be impossible.

I try hard to understand, to resolve the impossible dissonance. 

The heartache is like an aching tooth that reminds you constantly of its presence. I pray, I read, I seek peace, and finally a glimmer comes. 

Guilt is anger turned inward on oneself. Far easier to bear it personally than to turn it on ones you love, no matter what. 
And understanding that, helps...a lot.

Ephesians 3:20-21New International Version (NIV) 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his…

Voices Past and Present

By Belinda

I am a listener rather than a talker. 

I don't mean to say that I am skilled in listening, because I'm still working on that. But I do prefer to listen rather than talk and I am blessed to have a family and friends that enjoy talking. When any one of them falls suddenly silent and turns to me, saying, "You're quiet, what's going on in your life?" I suddenly feel like a bit of a dud, as though they got short changed if they want sparkling conversation from me!

Those whom God has placed in my intimate circle, do not disappoint in conversation however, and many a time during a phone call, I find myself reaching for a notepad and pen, to record a  funny or witty sentence, or a story.

And I sometimes feel as though I carry within me echoes of voices long gone, through stories I have listened to. I find that very cool; that in story, a voice lives on.

This morning, being Sunday, with a little less rush than the usual morning sprint, I made an egg for breakfas…

For Those Who are Weary

By Belinda

No words tonight, but I am posting an old Steven Curtis Chapman song. 

For those who are weary and need to know that God is with them: "When you are a Soldier."

Crazy Lady on the Loose

By Belinda

Tonight after cell group, Susan and I sat our the gray-green back room. The colour, called, "Sparrow," by Benjamin Moore, reminds me of the North Sea, and I love it. 

The crickets and cicada's chirped and sang loudly through the windows that I had just wound open to let the in the summer field symphony and a little cool evening breeze. 


Both our homes are in the throes of being organized; ours after a long series of renovations, and Susan's after one set of married children has left, and another son is about to leave for university on the east coast.

Susan said that what drives her CRAZY is when people leave things in her laundry room, like piles of clothes or stuff in the dryer, or things that don't belong in a laundry room.

"Do you know what drives ME crazy?" I asked. I didn't wait for an answer, but went on, "It's when people go in MY tool box, borrow things, and DON'T put them back!" 

I have my own little tool box for simp…

Peacemaker

By Belinda

I'm not sure where the page popped up from in my office today, but there it was with the words to the beautiful song by Greg Ferguson that we heard at a Willow Creek Summit, several years ago. I brought home the piece of paper intending to look up the song on You Tube and share it here. The song is really a prayer, but its words will also minister to the hungry soul. Be blessed.

Call and Response

By Belinda

It was July 26, just over two weeks ago, when Paul and I, along with Paul's cousins, Stephen and Sam, and two friends, Arthur and Liz, drove high into the Malvern Hills, a place of immense beauty, to scatter Uncle John's ashes.
(A quick aside: I found a link here to some breathtaking photographs that capture the dramatic and glorious landscape.)I've wanted to tell this brief story ever since.

I had met Arthur and Liz, Uncle John's friends, in the past, but I only knew them slightly and knew nothing about them. I just knew that they respected and loved Uncle John. 

The weather on the hills changed every few minutes. While we   prayed and scattered the ashes, the rain held off, but before the storm clouds shadowed the fields below us I took advantage of what sun I could, and ran around taking photographs. 


As I returned to the group I heard Arthur discussing something with Paul. What grabbed my attention were the words, "I am the only one in my entire family w…

The Face of the Future

By Belinda


Our house, which has been tense with a gradually cresting wave of anxiety all week, was suddenly empty this morning. 

The tension was about the details that needed to come together for Paul's latest trip north to the Mishkeegogamang First Nation.

As of Thursday he had a van (a bit beaten up in appearance, but in running order) and a camper trailer (fully equipped with everything the tiny team would need and generously loaned by Susan and Ron Stewart,) but no hitch; the one he had ordered hadn't arrived and he worried that it might not arrive on Friday. It came first thing in the morning on Friday, and by 8.30 a.m. was on the van to Paul's huge relief.

In the afternoon, Ron came over to give Paul a quick tutorial on how to work the hook up and other trailer details and then the anxiety turned to anticipation.

Each trip north has been unique. The difference this time is that Paul is leading a group of four females, three of them between 14 and 20. There is Joyce Marsha…

Nobody Tells You

By Belinda

Nobody tells you that when you lose someone you love, you don't just lose them.

Everything in the complex network of relationship around the space that held the person, shifts. You lose the way the missing person affected the interplay of those relationships too.

Five months since Mum died, and I am just realizing that she was the glue that held some relationships together; the mortar between the bricks; the sun around which our planets circled!

Without her we flounder a little, trying to find our feet on this unfamiliar terrain. So much of our relationship and conversation was about her. 

We need to redefine our relationship now; find new common ground...without her.

What we have in common is tainted by pain, though each differently affected. There must be more.

We will find our way and find one another in a new way. We love each other. We just don't  know quite how to be yet; now that she's gone.

The View From Here

By Belinda

We left our home in the hands of Sue, our daughter-in-law, when we went to England. She was painting our entrance hallway (which is huge;) kitchen; office, and TV room. 

We were coming back on August 1, and on July 30, she sent me this message on FB with a photo.


"The view from up here. I would take a better shot but I don't want you to see the colour yet. Should be all finished tomorrow!!"

The photo was scary in more than one way. Of course, my heart leaped into my mouth at the sight of the height to which Sue had climbed on the scaffolding. Even now it makes the palms of my hands clammy. I was also nervous about my colour choice for the hallway, Benjamin Moore's Honey Moon, a pale dijon yellow. I left for England wondering if I'd made the right choice.

I have had my share of decorating disasters. I don't think that I have an eye for choosing colour, but I know when I love something (and it's usually in someone else's house.) 

Our hallway had b…

Missing in Action in Bond Head

By Belinda

Just in case anyone thinks I've vanished from the earth, no, I am still here. I have just been working hard at things other than writing since I got home from England. And hoping that all of the ideas dancing about in my brain don't vapourize the moment I sit down to write. 

To show for my efforts at non-writing things I have six clean downstairs rooms and only two messy ones (this is a rare occurrence, I'm afraid.) Let's not talk about upstairs; but the ones below that are spotless look so beautiful that I am inspired to conquer the rest of the messy kingdom that is our home with the same zeal that overtook me when taking on the first ones.

What came over me? You might well ask! Well, a couple of things:

One of them was the fact that while we were away, we engaged the services of our daughter-in-law Sue, who is an incredibly good painter, to paint our massive entrance hallway and three of our rooms; more on that tomorrow, I hope. But, coming home to freshly pai…

The Case of the Cases

By Belinda

We arrived safely back in our second homeland, Canada, this afternoon, grateful to be home after our time away, full of memories to cherish.

Three days before we left though, Rob said, in an innocent attempt to be helpful, “I was thinking Belinda, I can get the suitcases down from the loft and put them behind the settee, and then you can pack them.”
I tried hard to calm my voice, and hoped he wouldn’t hear the tension I felt at the suggestion, just saying, “Oh, no, no, Rob, that’s okay, I’ll pack them on Tuesday; it won’t take me long.”
“I just thought it would be easy for you to start putting stuff in,” said Rob, and then joked, “I didn’t mean to make you feel like I wanted you to ‘get packing!’”
Rob aborted his plan with no further protest however, while I was left to ponder my adamant rejection of it. Packing to go home is always stressful to me, but I’ve never given much thought as to why that is. I realize that it’s associated with the fact that I hated going near a suitcas…