Night crawl with Krystyna

Night crawl with Krystyna

Photos by ALTB…

A perfect night…a walk downtown to Cineplex Odeon theatres (Ex Tinseltown in Chinatown) to see MUD (a coming of age story, with a twist) – a coffee to keep the eyenypineys open, smuggled into the theatre – a bag of Purdy’s chocolates to sweeten the plot and a great walk home to burn off the calories…past the night market in Chinatown, up Main Street, past the Cobalt, and Farina’s Pizza – and shining to the west, the jeweled crown of BC Place – photos taken from a different vantage point…the evening was balmy – more calories at Mario’s gelato with the hill climb our only salvation, from 2ndIMG_3698 IMG_3705 upward! Aren’t we lucky to live in one of the most gorgeous cities in the world! Even the movie was worth seeing, in a corny way. The young boys in the film made it for me, although Matthew McConaughey isn’t hard to look at. Reese Witherspoon had a rather understated and dramatic role, not typically her ‘comedic’ persona…all in all, the night was a little bit of everything! Vancouver in the summertime!

Jian Gomeshi with Joni Mitchell


I don’t know if you were ever a Joni Mitchell fan or not, but I certainly was and loved singing her tunes, loving the lyrics and the music, the inherent theatricality of her music.  She painted vivid pictures with her music and Gomeshi’s interview gives us good insight as to whether she sees painting or making music her most preferred art form.  I won’t spoil the interview by going too in depth here – she says it best!


Jian has done his research as usual and I think conducts a really probing interview.  Imagine how daunting it could be to connect for over an hour
with such a well-lived and sophisticated woman…Enjoy!

From “Both Sides Now”



Today whilst helping a friend pack up her condo for moving day, we
discussed that she was heading into a whole new phase of her life.  On the
brink of her 60th birthday, she was ready to get rid of the ‘stuff’ she had
been storing in cupboards, garage and storage lockers for a long time.

What an unburdening to finally be able to ‘let it go’, to live with a very select
number of necessities and treasures that will be with you till your dying day (so you think!).  And so it accumulates – for example, all the collections of shells, stones and plant matter – all precious reminders of a great trip or a special beach, fun with friends and family on a camping trip – then there are the mementos, souvenirs – things you and your family just had to have – all that STUFF.  As with almost everything, timing plays a huge part in whether your are ready to give up something that you’ve held on to for a long time.  As we delivered numerous boxes of photographs and frames and relics from another time and place to a woman who owns a ‘prop’ shop for the film industry (and makes it her business to have MORE), my friend literally seemed to float a little higher up in her car seat as we drove off sans all the STUFF.  Simply, it means that there are fewer things to schlep to the new place, to unpack, to find a spot for, or even worse, to realize that you really don’t like or need it anymore and then guess what?  You have to shove it into a closet or another storage locker, and yada yada round and round it goes to prove that all this stuff makes us CRAZY!

So, my advice is – once we reach our sixties, it’s best to adopt the theme ‘Less is More’…and enjoy the great purges and clean-outs, the garage sales of the century – they are your friends!  Stay away from other people’s garage sales –  flea markets, and secondhand stores – use Craig’s list and Kijiji simply to GET RID OF all that stuff that you have had enough of…god knows, and give it to others who want to ‘try it on’.  And peace be with them, because some people just haven’t yet had enough stuff…and imagine if you can make some $ getting rid of it all –  here’s the best part!  My lighter-load friend just paid to have her new place painted from the sale of her tchotchkes…what’s not to like about that?

So, the mantra we say until we go out with but the shirt on our back is “less is more”.
Go on, say it!



June 6, 1944 – D-Day
I’m remembering my mother who died on June 6th, and her passing will
always be synonymous with D-Day – she played such an active role in the
war.  Here is a short clip about D-Day…we were lucky enough to bring
my father back to those very beaches in Normandy 50 years later, to
visit his brother’s graveside, which he had never done…my mother was
not so lucky to make the trip.  She died a year earlier, in 1998.  More on
my dear mum in ‘Thinking About’.

I cannot shine in isolation* (ALTB)

IMG_0410“PERSEVERANCE FURTHERS…..”  from Hexagram # 34 – Ta Chuang or The Power of the Great – Nine in the second place- “Perseverance brings good fortune” OR “perseverance in inner equilibrium, without excessive use of power, brings good fortune.”

Nine in the fourth place = “Perseverance brings good fortune, remorse disappears
the hedge opens; there is no entanglement, power depends upon the axle of a big cart…”

This quote has stayed with me since my  best buddy gave me my first copy of the I Ching in 1977…we traveled Europe together and threw our Chinese coins every day, noting with  delight when a hexagram happened to mirror the day’s events…or in some way indicated whether fortune or misfortune awaited us if we made certain plans or decisions.  I won’t go so far as to say that the I Ching was our ‘guide’, but it did at some level become a daily meditation and added a ‘spiritual’ quality to our journey that perhaps wouldn’t have been there had I not lugged the book around with us.

In 1980, I sent my first copy of the book to a friend who had the great ‘misfortune’ to end up in prison in Thailand and I felt that this book might lend some comfort – I don’t really know if my copy ever made it past the gates…so few things reached prisoners in the hell holes they were in.  I bought myself a second copy when living in Georgeville, PQ,  and ended up leaving the Eastern Townships to go back to Montreal.  # 24 – Return or “turning point’ was a particularly meaningful hexagram at the time because most assuredly, 1980 was a turning point.

So, why does the two word phrase ‘perseverance furthers’ remain etched in the minds of many people who were 20 something in the 70s?  What is it about these two words that resonates and leaves an indelible imprint on our minds?  Do we believe that perseverance furthers?  Does persevering at something always help us get through? Is it not wise to abandon a course of action or a way of behaving or thinking if in the end it is not going to ‘further’ us?  What kind of perseverance is the I Ching referring to?

The I Ching says “If a man (VERY gender biased text) goes on quietly and perseveringly working at the removal of resistances, success comes in the end.  The obstructions give way and all occasion for remorse arising from excessive use of power disappears.”  “The less that power is applied outwardly, the greater is its effect.”

This describes perseverance as using one’s inner strength to remove obstacles.
“Six at the top means:
A goat butts against a hedge
It cannot go backward, it cannot go forward
Nothing serves to further
If one notes the difficulty, this brings good fortune”

This is explained as:  “If we venture too far we come to a deadlock, unable either to advance or to retreat, and whatever we do merely serves to complicate things further.  Such obstinacy leads to insuperable difficulties.  But, if realizing the situation we compose ourselves and decide not to continue, everything will right itself in time.”

So, I interpret this to mean that removing obstacles in your life so you can proceed forward is the goal. If an obstacle is seemingly insurmountable, then it serves us better to not remain stuck, but to find another way around it. So, perseverance is not blind determination, but recognition that there is  more than one way to confront obstacles.

All fine and well.  I like to think that the opposite of perseverance is giving up – and there is another saying which I like and that is ‘quit while you are ahead’.  As we meet life’s very real challenges, we learn along the way that some things are worth pursuing, and others are not.  If we are merely avoiding ‘hard work’,  perseverance pays off…but, if you are chasing after something you really don’t need, then, why persevere!  What if we really believe we need something?  How do we know we do not?

A good example of ‘perseverance furthers’ for me is my University Education – I persevered, I graduated, went on to post graduate studies and consequently got a much more interesting and better-paying job.  Not for everyone, I know, but it’s a choice and you have to make it work!  I could have bailed, it was tempting at times, but I knew that in order to achieve success, I had to persevere.  Was it perfect?  Of course not!  Was it challenging?  Undoubtedly.  Am I pleased I persevered?  Yes.
Why?  Because it was an opportunity after inputting a certain kind of knowledge (Linguistics, 2nd language education, pedagogy) to make a difference, in this case, to give students the benefit of my knowledge and creativity so they in turn could move forward.  Very satisfying, indeed.  I also believe that life is what you make it,
difficult as this is at times.

Any examples of where perseverance paid off for YOU?
Any examples of where perseverance didn’t pay off?  Then what?
Do pay off and further mean the same things?
Can we be ‘furthered’ through our mistakes?  Give an example…
Do we ever NOT learn from our mistakes?

Into the day…