Monday, July 19, 2010
I was talking to my friend Julie the other day while she suffered through a cleanse. No carbs, no refined sugars, you know the drill. And then I woke up the next morning with this nagging sense that it was my turn.
It has been a year since my last cleanse, and all signs now point to the necessity of it. My acne is getting out of control, I'm tired for no reason, my hormones are wacky and I sometimes feel like...well, for lack of a better term....a cow. Not because I think I'm fat (because I don't - so don't go writing lame comments as a guilty response to my fishing for compliments), but because things just don't feel quite right inside. I literally feel the effects of carbo-cose build up (I made that term up - it's what I call the globs of flour and sugar that I imagine are sticking to my insides) and I want to GET IT OUT and start fresh.
So, I bought myself a nice companion, a 7 day herbal detox that focusses on cleaning the blood, flushing the system, and restoring fibre and other good things in the process. Which is good...you don't just want to wipe everything out! And now I'm ready to fill my body with goodness.
I have a few things to share with you, then. The first: some recipes for delicious things that are good for you. The second: a food-for-thought moment.
The point is that if you have Quinoa, you can make an awesome salad, and it can be different every time. Which is fun. What I'm giving you below is not so much a recipe, but a list of what I happened to throw in, because these are ingredients I almost always have in stock. And it was DELICIOUS! But it will change next time I make it.
2 cups cooked Quinoa
half of a large onion
kernel corn - half can
goats feta (crumbled on top when serving...so it doesn't get soggy)
fresh chopped cilantro (also mixed in fresh when serving so it doesn't go limp)
chopped cucumber (take out the squishies first - seeds etc)
Dressing: a bit of olive oil, a bit of balsamic vinegar, a bit of mustard, lime, and some minced onion.
You can add pine nuts, seeds, tomatoes (fresh or sundried), roasted garlic, pickled beets...anything. And it keeps for days (if you leave out the liquidy things and limpy things until last minute).
Who says eating on a cleanse has to be painful?
Also, I'm cooking up a curry right now, and serving it to myself in a roasted green pepper (lop the top off and voila! insta-bowl. Isn't cleansing fun?). Also, never underestimate the power of baby bok choy to add life to a stirfry.
Food for thought:
We really do love to be inspired for a fresh start. And when an inspiring moment strikes us, we often get all eager-beaver for a day...but inspiration fades quickly as the reality of the difficulty that lies ahead sets in. C'est la vie. Now seriously, get on with it. La vie, that is. I don't want to not do things that inspire me because I'm afraid I won't succeed in finishing what I set out to do. But I also know that we can't follow every whim and fancy that crosses our path or else we'll be too tired to live. Choosing which inspiring bandwagons to jump on and actually invest ourselves is tough, because there are just too many inspiring things out there to keep tabs on. But for a season, an inspiration will present itself as a gift, and if you ask the right questions, you will know if it's got your name on it.
I would also like to point out that doing a cleanse is more than just good for your body. It is a practice that puts hunger and suffering in perspective, that tests and fortifies discipline, that differentiates between need and want. How could I possibly think that my cravings are remotely worthy of the statement 'I'm starving', or that my dietary restrictions are a form of suffering in any way shape or form? I'm glad for the reminder, as I walk by the bakery on an empty stomach, that I have it good.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
So as I was driving the long drive back to Thunder Bay after the Winnipeg Folk Festival this week, I had the same tremendous urge to make music, to get my hands on some notes and some rhythms. Music has always been a part of me, but it always takes a back seat to things that I'm better 'known' for. Funny, because I still get that way about some sports sometimes too...but people have a hard time imagining that I was a serious jock in high school, so I just kind of laugh it off with them, and leave it to the pros and resume being the tree hugger (which is by definition non-jock) people see me as. As for the musician in me, I suppose having a solid handful of friends that are wonderful and super talented musicians makes it a little easier for me to leave the real music to them, and to disqualify my own desire to make music by calling it 'mucking around' or 'just for kicks'.
When I realized that even now, being what I consider to be entirely self-aware and free to be who I am and yada yada yada, I still very subtly compartmentalize myself into what I can and cannot do, or into what I think others expect me to be able to do or not do.
So I'm going to make music when I want to. Even if it's just mucking around. Even if my friends are pros and I'm still in musical adolescence. Even if it's not what I want to do for a living or for any particular reason at all for that matter. Just because the season is right, and I feel it in my bones.
So, to put my money where my mouth is, here is a song I wrote and recorded one afternoon in my living room, straight into my computer. A guitar, a plastic container, a christmas ornament with bells on it, and egg shaker, and my snappy fingers compliment the sound. It's ghetto, it's imbalanced, it's flawed...and I'm learning to not be afraid of that. It's just the way it should be. In fact, those same words might be used to describe me, so it fits nicely.
Even if you don't believe in God, or are unsure of where he fits into your life equation, this song holds truth that is unavoidable. When life gets too hot to handle, we often react by turning our eyes upwards and asking 'why?' and 'what now?'...often in frustration and usually as a last resort. We have the tools at our fingertips to navigate these rough patches, but we often don't trust that we do. It's much simpler than we make it out to be. So, without further ado, here is my ghetto little poppy gospel song:
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
After a tour around the lake, and after exploring some surrounding neighborhoods I had not yet seen, I set up camp at an empty picnic table, did some morning calisthenics, sucked back my entire water bottle, then got to the warm-down routine. Coffee and reading. Mmmmmmmm. Perfect.
I wanted to share a bit of what I was reading this morning, because I was a good moment digesting it this morning....which usually means that it's the kind of thing that is good to be shared with other people.
George A Buttrick writes:
'' A lecturer to a group of businessmen displayed a sheet of white paper on which was one blot. He asked what they saw. All answered: a blot. The test was unfair: it invited the wrong answer. Nevertheless, there is an ingratitude in human nature by which we notice the black disfigurement and forget the widespread mercy. We need to deliberately call to mind the joys of our journey.''
I think that we are not naturally optimists. But I also think that many of us, if not most...if not all... wish, however subconsciously, that we were. Sometimes a certain level of deliberateness is required to overcome our ungratefulness, to see through the lies we have come to believe about ourselves and our neighbours, to escape the trap of lazy thought and thoughtless talk....in order to see the paper through the blot. Something like seeing the forest for the trees.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I know many faithful followers have expressed their disappointment over the last 2 months of lightweight blogging. And as I have just travelled across Canada, I discovered that far more of you were following my blog than I would have imagined. So I have a hard time letting it go.
The problem I have is with the expectation of context that comes with this blog's short history, and more evidently, in the blog title itself.... 'Northern Exposure'. It was a blog started for a number of reasons, all of them having to do with my adventurous hiatus in the North. It was a reason for me to keep up the discipline of writing, having public accountability. It was a project to keep me motivated to write while I (for once) actually had the time to do so, living so far from my regular life and lifestyle. It was a way of keeping friends and family informed on what was going on in my life. It was a way to keep people in touch with a part of the country they feel connected to in terms of cultural and national identity, but disconnected from in terms of actual knowledge.
So, having moved away from the Northwest Territories, I feel a bit weird about where to go with it now. I feel like a fraud keeping the title. I had my saturday morning rituals, I had my interesting northern tidbits complimented by random thoughts and perspectives...but they were somehow all connected to the North, or, at the very least, my northern experience. So the title of my blog is distracting me from moving forward.
To most Canadians, I AM in the north! If I were to ask the bulk of the Ontarian population their opinion on the matter, they'd heartily agree that Thunder Bay qualifies as Northern Canada. Heck, they probably all assume it's north of 60 anyway. This from a group of people who think Barrie is the far north. (sorry, Torontonians - you don't have the best reputation as being the most geographically aware...but we are endeared to you for it).
So without further ado, I will continue my relationship with Northern Exposure. But I want you all to hit the reset button on your expectations, because there are no rules, and I don't want to to have to change my blog name and theme every time I move. Those of you who know me and my vagabond-y-ness well will understand why. I'll blog about whatever comes up, be it Northern (or not), Canadian (or not), or Exposure or...mmm, let's hope it's not the latter. Though could make for some saucy saturday mornings.
For now, I continue to justify the blog title by seeing the world through Torontonian eyes. Come september, I'm back to the drawing board. Thoughts?
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Hey there long lost friends and followers -
After what seems like a very long stretch of non-blogging, I thought I'd show a sign of life. I'm going to take this little moment to redirect you towards my other blog, which briefly explains what I've been up to these days...and promotes my upcoming (and very last minute) Living Room Stage "tour"....
Soon and very soon, I will give a full explanation of m whereabouts the last month or two...complete with pictures. But not yet. Soon.
Cheers, y'all. Cheers.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Originally uploaded by Joanne Abraham Photography
Bisous. Kisses in french.
It all started with my name, but now... I have bigger plans. Time for me to invest in a few different flashlights, I think...and some color gels....
Any suggestions for my next drawing? I want to work my way up to complex images, but I need to start small. If you suggest it, I promise I will try it out and post it on here for you to scrutinize.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Originally uploaded by Joanne Abraham Photography
It is cold today. But not in measurable terms, unless you count skin pain and swollen hands as valid measures as degrees C, F, and K.
Good thing there are beautiful things to keep your mind off the weather.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
Originally uploaded by Joanne Abraham Photography
Yesterday my friend Adam and I skulked around the in the woods. He was hoping to find lynx. We found Ptarmigan instead. We shot them, like we shot the bison. Note his weapon of choice. It's a cruel life here in the great white north. No sissies allowed. Hawksely would agree.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
- I am a procrastinator. I had my suspicions in the past, but it has been confirmed. In the past it was never obvious because I was always working on ten things at once, and while each thing was put off to the very last minute, I was busy all the while. There was always daily deadline. With no sense of immediacy or urgency, I putter … even more than Ben Braun-Kauffman. Because there is always something to accomplish in puttering. It’s just harder to measure.
- I will always and forever wish for more time. I will always yearn for the mythical Someday, when I will be able to release and act upon projects that remain blurrily confined to my brain. These ideas will always grow and spread in painful and inspiring spurts, and my desire to accomplish them will always be eventually converted into guilt or pressure. Even if I have the time to do them.
- I am 75% ideas, 25% action. I always thought I would readily take action on my ideas if I were (in the mythical Someday) granted to time and space to do it – I hoped I was a more balanced 50/50 split. Turns out, as I am now living in the not-so-intangible mythical Someday, I’m only a really devoted do-er when I have a full schedule and I have no choice but to get ‘er done. But lighten the load on my plate…(see item #1 above)
- I have a lot of ideas.
- I am afraid of taking on a major project on my own. I’ve been talking about writing all year, and was waiting for the opportunity to be away from my normal distractions and commitments to give my brain room to de-fuzz from fatigue and busyness. Now I’m supposedly in it. And I revert back to items #1 and #2. And then taking #4 into account in conjunction with #3…well, you see where that leads...
- I need people to keep me going, to hold me accountable, to inspire me, to bounce ideas off of, to collaborate with, to goof off with, to run around outside with, to adventure with, to get me out of my head and to keep me from going too far inside it for too long. I might think I’d rather be alone, I might think I need to be free and totally independent, I might think I would like to be hermit. But I need to connect. I am neither rock nor island, as it turns out.