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collage, Cat Charissage (c) 2019 a.r.r.  with artwork by Rima Staines

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year on this first New Moon of 2019.  I’ve chosen the word Spaciousness for my Word of the Year.  I’m speaking here of an inner contemplative spaciousness where I go for depth, not the shallows or the simply  urgent.  We shall see. . . .

As I’m putting 2018 to bed and prepping my journals, files, studio, and inner self for 2019, I thought I’d show you my collection of journals for 2018.  Remember I told you that I’ve started a new journal on the new moon of each month?  Here are the results of that practice for this year:

journals 2018

My journals include not only my writings and daily schedules, but copies of my artwork and poetry, doodling, smashed in images from the internet that I love, and copies of selected emails that I’ve sent.  They are the chronicles of my everyday life.  Each journal is 9 in. by 12 in., and about an inch thick.  Here they are on the shelf (including my 2017 journals as well):

journals 2017-18

I’ve been so happy that several opportunities to share poetry have opened up here in Lethbridge.  There is the now monthly Open Mic on the 4th Thursdays at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.  Shaw Cable is filming those to show on their cable channel here, and also at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M9VHrOeCZY&t=74s.   If you follow the links you will find 3 of our sessions.  New ones are added as they become available.  Out of this, the host of our Open Mic nights was offered a radio program!  Teri called it “For the Love of Poetry” and I was honored to be her first guest:  https://www.facebook.com/jessfm/videos/2093527114041007/.  I thought I’d also share with you one of my new poems.  It’s a good reminder for me in these dreary days of winter to live with as much gratitude as I can muster.

May your days be filled with as much grace and fullness as you can handle!

With much love and many blessings,

Cat

 

ORDINARY DAY                                                  Cat Charissage

I show up with pen and paper anyway

Even with nothing to say.

The muse might be visiting — but not with me.

 

Any good ideas anywhere?  I look around.

Nope.  Just an ordinary day.

 

My tummy full from a hot breakfast, plenty of protein.

The quiet house, warm.

The comfy bed calling me back to its embrace.

Wet hair, drying after a hot shower.

 

My ordinary:

Good food — plenty.

Indoor plumbing — reliable.

Central heating — cozy.

Water — hot at the tap, enough to pour over dear body

Over and over and over again.

 

But only a few centuries ago,

These were not so ordinary,

Not even for kings and queens.

 

And not so ordinary even now,

For children in refugee camps,

For migrants walking a thousand miles towards safety,

For the homeless, here in Lethbridge, sleeping under the overpass.

 

My ordinary day is really not quite so ordinary —

My ordinary day of warmth, comfort, enoughness.

Extraordinary, isn’t it?

 

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