Thursday, December 7, 2017

No Title

The morning sun rises slowly as the full moon fades from view.  
The rising and the falling are a part of me,
I long to rise and set and yet  

                                                              and yet

Sleepiness pushes at the eyelids of my mind.
The rising and the falling are a part of me,
I long to be awake  and
                                                                                when I am

                                                                      then I am

Flames flicker, orange, yellow, blue, red heat.
The rising and the falling are a part of me,
I long to feel the heat of all passion             and yet                  then  I feel

                                                              when I feel

Green boughs festive sparkling,  light in darkness.
The rising and the falling are a part of me,

                                                                                                                                  I long.

gkn December 2017


Friday, December 1, 2017

November...continuing reflections

No NanoWrimo this year....

We, Liw and I,  babysat five grandchildren ranging in age from seven to almost nine months.
I slept five hours, and read stories and watched paw patrol and chuggington and played with trucks and went for walks with a stroller and a baby attached.

I smiled a lot.

On the way home from our babysitting weekend, we went to a family gathering with aunts and uncles and cousins.  I visited with my ninety two year old aunt, her husband died less than a month ago,  I heard her as she tried to plan for this next uncertain future.  I visited with her sisters, their children, my cousins, and  my siblings.   We played games.

I laughed a lot.

I arrived home.
I slept for twelve hours straight.

We, Liw, Susan and I, went to Lora's ordination.
We sang, we listened, we visited, we shared soul,
 heart stories, food.

 I cried, a lot.

We went to a grandson's concert, heard bells ringing,
went to the movies with the fourteen and the eleven year old,  ate popcorn, frozen yogurt,
talked about school, about video games, about music, about friends...

Liw's parents visit has just begun.

In the summer after my sixty fifth birthday,
I will have a tea party in the back yard.
It will be a celebration.
 I will share my completed incomplete memoir then

2020 is coming fast.

gkn Dec. 1/2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

My daughter's Ordination

blowing leafless trees
frozen lashing 
leaking eyes

trampled grass 
jagged beach glass

racing heart 

honking geese 
grey blue clouds

moving fingers

dancing flames 
blue orange red 

soul wonder 

gkn November 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Days in this Sacred Life

On Sunday I visit friends I have not seen for years.

On Monday I attend the funeral of a dear friend's mother.
On Tuesday a friend cancels our tea date because she had her license taken away because of stroke like symptoms.
On Wednesday I share an afternoon with my cousin,  my childhood neighbour and playmate and
 I hear that another friend went to emerg because of dizzy spells,  she needs more tests before they will know the cause.

I spend time with grandchildren.
One of them has a runny nose and cold and another ended up in bed early because of a fever.

I drive home in the blowing snow,  I need to keep the lights on low in order to see, as I pray that the temperature does not change enough to cause the melting snow to turn to freezing rain.
Freezing rain is the worst according to me.

As I drive I listen to As it Happens,
 I listen to Holly Near and Chris Williamson sing.
 I drive in silence.

Today is Thursday.

I sit by the fire at a desk and I write

I give thanks for friends whose lives, whose challenges cause me sorrow,
and grief.

I give thanks for a life in which children tell me that they like me so so so so much,
and whose faces broaden with smiles when they see me in person
or on the screen,
and who squeal with delight,
interrupting my conversation with mama.

Mama who has a birthday.  My baby with a big boy of her own now.
 My baby who fills me with pride.

The wind is blowing outside.  It is damp and cool.
I sit at my desk with the fire burning beside me,
warming my toes.

gkn Nov. 2017

Sunday, November 5, 2017



s       i    g
    w    n

refuse to

give up

stand back

             be afraid
             with nothing 




gkn Nov. 2017

Monday, October 30, 2017


It is ten years ago today, that my mother died.
Yesterday was the Schlegel family gathering.

Family was so important to my mother.

Ten Years Ago at the family gathering my mother
said, " I don't know if I will be here next year."

Two days later she was dead.

She left me with a rich heritage,
a heritage that I saw in many of the relatives
who were gathered yesterday.  

She taught me if I didn't have something nice to say to not say anything
neither of us were able to hold to that at all times.

She taught me humility,  and the recognition that all people are of worth in the
world, a world that was changing rapidly and filled with changes she did not
always understand or support.

I learned from her that mother's cannot always protect their children,  and that it is important to
acknowledge that.

I remember the first time she met the first grandson I came to love,  she said
" Oh, his skin is so black."  I did not understand why this was the first thing she said about this beautiful boy,  until she told me the story of seeing her first black person in Detroit,
on a trip with her brother Roy.  She said she was sixteen.

  I learned something about her and the rapidly changing world she lived in,
 Oh, how she loved Isaac and his mother and their family.

She taught me to love my neighbour as myself,  and she was very good at loving her neighbour.

By the time of her death her family ( of love)  included people who had come
to Canada as refugees from Russia and Germany (people of her heritage) and people from Vietnam, Central America,  and Kenya.  Those are the ones I knew of.  

and oh how my mother knew worry...we did not talk about that yesterday either.

She worried and she prayed...

she is with me these days as racism seems to be growing and I wonder about the safety of children, especially in Canada and the US who do not share my skin colour.

she is with me as I/we welcome people from Syria.

she is with me as my grandchildren grow in size and number

she will be with us as Lora is ordained, and oh how she will celebrate

she is with me in my labyrinth garden, my rose bed,  my vegetable garden

she is with me as I travel, as I learn, as I give,  as I take, as I laugh, as I grieve...

she is with me as I live with all the attributes of being a descendent of
Barbara ( Sommers) and Aaron Schlegel.

gkn Oct. 30/2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

Wrinkles Meaning

We were in the change room at the pool when we met,  we had not seen one another for some time.   "How are you?" she asked.

 " I feel like,"  I said, " I am living a dream."  " I have known struggle"...  "and it is not now."

 I spend some time each week with my children and grandchildren.  I am grateful that one of them lives close enough for me to make weekly treks.  I am grateful that others live close enough for travel and welcome my visits.  My grandchildren and my children inspire me with their wisdom and openness to growth and becoming.

Two weeks ago a precious grandchild asked, "why?"  " why gg do you have those?"
He clarified my confusion by telling me he was asking about lines on my face.
Why indeed do I have lines on my face.
I assured him it was because I have lived a long time.
This was for him a satisfactory answer.

How blessed I am to have lived a long time.
It is over twenty years since I sprinkled the ashes of my beloved Bonnie.
 Last weekend I got together with dear friends whom I am fortunate enough to still see on occasion ( we counted 49 grandchildren among us).
We all of us gathered, all nine of us, have had the privilege of living longer than Bonnie ( and Gord Downie).

I have lived long enough to have lines on face, to have a daughter who will, in less than a year turn fourty,  a daughter with whom I am beginning to dream, about possible mother daughter celebrations.
I continue to live with two of the most supportive people on the planet,  and most of the time I appreciate their support and all of the time, I am grateful for their love and acceptance.

I no longer struggle with the churches acceptance of me, and yet I am pained by the behaviour of an institution, a community that gave me so much and continues to cause so much pain for so many, including my children.

I continue to be blessed by sacred presence in my life.

I am able to see the divine not only the many weird and wonderful people I share the planet with,  but also  on a daily basis in my backyard labyrinth, shade and vegetable gardens, growing trees,  Georgian Bay and the glorious Bruce trail.  

I live in a time where,  I can connect with friends  around the planet.   I can share dinner and stories with my 96 year old aunt, stories about hearing the first airplane with fear, and about her Thanksgiving dinner that included kith and kin with backgrounds unimagined by my grandmother.
 I get to visit places that my aunt revels in hearing about and never dreams of seeing.

".... and you" I asked my locker room companion," how are you?"

" just entering one of those struggle times,"  she shared honestly.

 I  sit at a computer and write words, string together sentences, call them what I will and share them with you.  Sometimes I even hear back from some of you,  always I hope that my words inspire, challenge and invite you to be a little more of the wonderful being you are.

These words are for her and for you,
May peace be yours.

gkn October 2017