Unconditional Acceptance

In light of yesterday’s awful1 news, I wanted to share this TED talk by Andrew Solomon, titled, “Love, No Matter What”. Know that Mr Solomon starts off quoting an article, that include some rather shocking statements against homosexuality but I promise you his talk is one you will want to watch/listen to if you haven’t already.

I have no words. If you need more to read though:

How They Got Their Guns | The New York Times
Deadliest Shooting In U.S. History: Suspect Purchased Guns Legally, ATF Says | NPR
Toronto police to boost Pride security in wake of Florida shooting | CBC
‘Love is love:’ Orlando shooting victims honoured with rainbow-themed tributes the world over | CBC

Or, you can watch/read what Obama had to say about the massacre.

Love is Love.

Footnotes:
  1. is there an adjective that appropriately depicts the atrocity that occurred?[]

Changing my relationship with Anger

I was originally going to call this post, Leaving Anger Behind, except that isn’t what I’m going. I am not going to pretend or lie to myself that I would ever be completely free from anger. That would be a little naive of me. As someone born with the ability to feel things so incredibly, intensely1, I need to accept the fact that this ‘gift’ includes the entire spectrum of emotions from elation to devastation2.

This is an endeavour that I’ve attempted before, and I thought I had succeeded… but of course, I didn’t anticipate going through a trauma like I did in the last two years. I didn’t prepare to deal with healing from a trauma3 before it happened; I was ill-equipped to come out of it with as much poise and grace as I would have liked.

Oh but the lessons I’ve learned! So. Many. Lessons.

Take my relationship with anger; for example. Anger is this… temptress… it uses it’s hardness seductively to make you think that it will serve as a good shield to protect you from things that might hurt you. Oh and how it works; it works really well. What it doesn’t tell you? What it doesn’t tell you is that it also shields you from the most beautiful moments, when you are vulnerable enough to feel the kind of joy that comes from being completely real with someone. When both of your shields are down, and you’re able to look at each other with all of your battle wounds and just be4. It doesn’t tell you about missing out on that, and you don’t realize it until that moment is long gone.

Now I may have missed moments already, but I’m in a much better place now to see any future moments that may come my way. I didn’t get to this place on my own. This place where I can finally say I am no longer angry5. I am incredibly blessed to have the most amazing friends who spent many hours listening to me when I needed someone to listen, and holding me when I needed to be held, and working out with me when I needed to let off some steam. There is no way I would have made it to this point if it weren’t for any of you6.

I digress.

It may seem obvious, but it wasn’t always obvious to me; the most important thing I’m practising is how to avoid getting angry with myself for things that really aren’t my fault, nor are/were in my control. Also important, is not getting angry at myself even if something is/was within my control. I know I won’t always succeed7, and because that falls under the category of ‘things I can’t control’; if it happens, I just have to recognize what’s happening, accept it and forgive myself rather than getting upset that it happened ‘yet again’. It’s a practice that’s easier said than done. Until you’ve practiced it enough times that it just becomes easy, and oh-so rewarding.

It’s been nice being able to come across a situation that – just last month – would have had me spiraling into all of the negative thoughts that have kept me down, but to instead be able to take a breath and let it go. Sometimes, I have to vent to a friend first and talk things out before I can let go, and that’s okay too8.

I’m not saying anger doesn’t have it’s place in a person’s life. I’m just saying it has no place in mine.

Photo unrelated, though somehow related. Taken while out on a hike with my brother and his/the family dog, Drogo. Follow me on instagram: @fragileheart
Footnotes:
  1. double adjectives because that’s now intense it is[]
  2. or whatever extreme you’d prefer[]
  3. how could I know I would be traumatised by such things?[]
  4. Oh right, I’m not writing a poem right now. Heh. I got carried away with my analogy[]
  5. or depressed for that matter[]
  6. there is also therapy but um, I actually pay him so…[]
  7. because surprise, I’m human![]
  8. thankfully, it’s okay to my friends too – THANK YOU!![]

Kintsukuroi | Kintsugi Art

I don’t remember when I first heard the term. It could be from one of my favourite bands, Hey Rosetta!, or from one of my best friends who lived in Japan for two years. Anyway…

Kintsukuroi means golden repair, and Kintsugi means golden joinery. Either way, the process results in beautiful pieces of once-broken pottery, vessel or piece that is even more beautiful as any cracks and/or holes have been filled with gold. As someone who has had a lot of things broken in her life – both metaphorically, and literally1 – I can appreciate the ability to turn something broken into something more beautiful that it originally was.

I have an opportunity to do exactly this – take something broken, fill it with beauty, and love and make it better than it was before2. While I’ve never attempted the [literal] process itself, it looks fairly easy, though a little time consuming and a test of patience; I can only imagine that applying the same concept to other aspects of life would also involve similar levels of patience, determination and time.

Patience has never been a strength of mine, but I have been practicing it a lot of late. I would like to think I’ve got a pretty good handle on it, and this would certainly be a good test to see how far I’ve come. I don’t think I’d be attempting this if I wasn’t determined, and time… well… I have no control over that but I’m ready to invest the time and I guess that’s all I can really do.

Apparently, the idea behind Kintsugi comes from the “Zen ideas of Wabi Sabi which cherishes what is simple, pretentious and aged, especially if it has a rustic or weathered quality”. In a world that is so obsessed with the latest technology, or the latest trend in [insert cool thing here], my hopelessly romantic and sentimental soul can’t help but cherish the idea of repairing something broken, and making it stronger in the process.

See it in action:

I couldn’t mention Hey Rosetta! and not show you the song their song called Kintsukuroi. It’s from their latest album called Second Sight, which has been a guilty pleasure for the past 6 months. I love these guys so much. Please enjoy:

Oh, and don’t be fooled by all this, I still love shopping for new things 😉

Footnotes:
  1. I inherited this trait from my mom called, ‘butter fingers’[]
  2. and no, I don’t mean literally[]

A belated recap: My Canadian Music Week 2016

I was able to catch quite a lot of live music during the week, and I’m sure I could write about a lot more than I have here, but these truly were the performances that really touched me – or that I was able to stay for long enough to have been touched by them. I know it’s not the first time I’ve admitted that it’s a highlight of my life working for the festival, but it isn’t always awesome shows: I do actually get work done!

My favourites this year:

Lights at Danforth Music Hall

Lights at the Danforth Music Hall | Monday, May 2nd

At this point, I hadn’t been to a show in ages. Ages. I’ve been to small shows, and they have been lovely and intimate but there’s something about attending a show by someone who has been through it all, and has continued to hold on the thing that makes them magical.

It was an acoustic set for almost 1500 people, and you could feel the intimacy in the room all the way at the back of the balcony where I was seated. I am ashamed to admit I haven’t listened to any of her latest stuff but that didn’t stop me from enjoying her incredible talent.

What a delightful way to start my Canadian Music Week experience.

Royal Canoe at Mod Club Theatre

Royal Canoe at Mod Club Theatre | Wednesday, May 4th

I hadn’t planned on staying long, but the route I chose to check-in on my venues for the night made me quite late for my check-in at this venue. I’m so glad it did. I ended up being able to catch Royal Canoe‘s entire set, which was so much fun. I wasn’t that familiar with their music, but it was easy to enjoy.

Definitely a highlight of my week.

The People The Poet at Cameron House | Thursday, May 5th

I tried so hard to make it back to the area from the east end of the city to catch some friends, The Cat & The Queen, playing at The Hideout but I didn’t quite make it. So I thought I would check out The People The Poet at Cameron House. I discovered this band from Ireland while I was investigating international bands, and our potential transformer needs and had penciled in a few of their showcases in case I could catch them.

As a lover of Mumford and Sons, the Head in The Heart and of Monsters and Men, these guys were right up my alley. Would definitely go to see them again if they made their way back to Canada.

Demi Louise at Drake 150

Demi Louise at Drake 150 | Friday, May 6th

I wasn’t able to catch her whole set as i had to get started on my schedule of venue-checks for the evening, but I managed to stay for a couple of songs performed by this gentle-woman. I first met her last year when I advanced the shows at the same venue. She reminds me a lot of Rory from the GIlmore Girls, except that she actually has musical talent1. With a buttery voice, tunes that are funny and serious at the same time it’s hard not to swoon when she starts playing.

Very glad I was able to catch her set, ever-so-briefly.

Motel Raphael at Lee's Palace

Motel Raphaël at Lee’s Palace | Saturday, May 7th

Three years ago, my life was very different, and meeting and working with this band was one memorable experience. I was still Stage Managing. They were gracious, humble, and they rocked. I’m very happy to report that they still rock, and I can only assume they’re every bit as gracious and humble (I wasn’t able to stick around to stay hello – duty called).

I can only hope they keep coming back so I can continue to catch their live shows. So much love for these gals (and their band).

Who did you get to see at Canadian Music Week 2016?

Footnotes:
  1. where Rory did not[]