View from Hike

Dear diary, today was a good day.

Friends!

It’s been almost a month since I’ve last put fingers to laptop in an earnest attempt to pen the CRAP out of a blog post.

But things be happening.

At the beginning of August I traveled to the lush and magical land of Hawaii and spent eight days hiking, running, swimming, snorkeling, attending weddings, and waking up at the crack of dawn in order to witness the most spectacular sunrises of life (again, and again, and again!)

I mean, if there is one thing I can say about crawling out of bed every day at 5:30am – on vacation at that – it’s just that there are some things in life that are hands down worth it EVERY TIME.

I mean, why wouldn’t you want to get up early everyday when you’re viewing things like THIS:

Sunset

IT’S JUST TOO GOOD.

Some other snaps:

Beaching!

Beaching!

Hike

Hiking!

Wedding-ing!

Wedding-ing!

Travelling home I was so incredibly knackered from all of the physical activity, coupled with the early morning beach trips, that it was all I could do to keep my eyes open as the flight attendant prepped myself and the other folks sitting in the emergency exit row. As soon as she left, I put up my hood, wrapped by arms about my body, and settled down to (what I hoped to be) a relatively uneventful five and a half hours of airplane rest.

I was just drifting off to dreamland, when another flight attendant woke me up with a look of grave concern on her face.

“Yes?” I asked.

She looked at me and loudly whispered, “I’m sorry, but I just need to confirm before we take off, as you’re sitting in the emergency exit row, that you are over sixteen years of age?”

Oh how I laughed (and thanked her, weirdly?)

However, I did want to clarify that she was asking due to my physical appearance and not, you know, in reaction to my general comportment.

She just looked at me weirdly and then told me that I looked young for my age.

(I probably shouldn’t have used the word “comportment.” I think it REALLY aged me.)

However, I won’t lie and say that I didn’t smile and smile as I drifted off to (my much needed,) thirty thousand foot, recycled air dreamscape.

Strangely, these early morning events never curtailed after arriving home from Oahu.

In fact, for about two months now, I’ve been getting up before work and running like a loon, mostly in preparation for my marathon on November 2nd, but also because the weather has been so darned hot I cannot fathom leaving the office in the afternoon and belting out a 10k in 25+ celcius temperatures.

Because gross.

Also. Man. November 2nd.

Let’s not beat around the bush here folks – that date is very soon. And what with how quickly days seem to be slipping between my fingers, I’ll probably take a long nap in a week or two and wake up on race day fretting about the fact that I’ve forgotten to pick up my race package in time.

Good grief.

OKAY. What else has been hammering at the proverbial workbench of life…

I have been doing quite a few speaking engagements and interviews for work, hosting the radio show, Big Sistering it up, and trying to get my head wrapped around the idea of sifting through approximately 400 blog posts in the attempt to MAYBE put together a book proposal based on all of these insane musings.

Because you know – everybody has to have a goal right?

Or else what the heck is the point of chewing through those leathers straps every morning!?

Since being gifted with free HD cable, Marc and I have been watching a crap ton of US Open tennis because everything else on the ol’ boobtube is absolute garbage, and the only thing that will ever get me to turn on the television is electric athletes and their incredible displays of strength and agility.

Anything and everything else? Just GTFO.

On September 16th my AMAZING friend Alex and I are headed to the Kaiser Chiefs concert and I have all of the excitement.

Equally because Alex is truly one of the greatest people I am lucky to count as a friend in my life, and also because the Kaiser Chiefs are such tip-top groovemeisters and I cannot wait to get my epic dance moves on to their fab tunes.

The last time this band was in town I was forced to go to the concert by myself, which in retrospect wasn’t all that horrid and turned out to be quite a blast. However, in my nervous state, I drank half a bottle of wine and ended up speaking in the absolute worst British accent of all time to the teenager who wouldn’t stop pestering me for my phone number on the skytrain home.

Because I am the worst and desperately needed him to shut up, I just threw in the towel and gave him Marc’s cell phone number.

(Which I am still laughing about to this day.)

(This may also be why I am mistaken for sixteen year-olds on airplanes.)

Finally, I have been reading some absolutely excellent texts of late, including the newest Murakami (melancholy and beautiful, as always), some old Henning Mankell (that I somehow missed? P.S. I am planning a trip to Sweden next April so STAY TUNED), some Jo Nesbo (that stuff is DARK!), some Lev Grossman (TERRIBLE STAY AWAY – dude is an amazing writer but absolutely crap at storytelling and character development), some Carl Sagan (my imaginary boyfriend), much Dostoevsky and Bradbury (my two literary husbands), and will next be venturing into a biography on the late, and utterly devastatingly brilliant Alan Turning.

Lev G

Like so many things in this bonkers world of ours – I cannot wait.

And I leave you all with this little ditty:

SEPTEMBER

sept is an English word for a division of a family, especially of a Scottish or Irish. The word may derive from the Latin saeptum, meaning “enclosure” or “fold”

Ember: a small piece of burning or glowing coal or wood in a dying fire.

ERGO – September = fireplace.

And that has been your piece of monthly trivia.

Pun intended (of course.)

I shall desire more love and knowledge of you

In Act Two Scene Seven of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, the melancholy Jacques begins his monologue with the line: “All the World’s a Stage.”

To this day, this is one of old Willy’s most famous and oft quoted lines and, of course, like so many of Shakespeare’s brilliant quotes, has become interwoven into our everyday parlance and vernacular.

Aside from humanity’s daily play-acting and always-dramatic machinations (think of how your “work” self might differ from say, your ‘home” self, as well as the ever-degenerating circus we like to call International Politics) there are many people for whom the world IS a stage, both personally and professionally.

I am of course speaking of thespians, or actors, or dramatists, or however else we (or they) would like to be classified.

Actors make us believe in make believe.

Through this proclamation – that all the world is a stage – they actually make us forget this (easily parodied but always present) reality.

This is one hell of a paradox, but is ultimately the magic of great theater (or cinema, or whatever other artistic medium a performance might take.)

Brilliant actors have the power to transform – not only as individuals on stage in character, but transform all of us who sit watching, entranced.

When I was in grade twelve I went to a production of the Daniel McIvor’s Marion Bridge.

For three hours I sat barely breathing, enraptured by three women who commanded the stage with such understated and yet overwhelming brilliance.

The play is about three Nova Scotian sisters – a nun, an actress, and a truck driver – who are all coming to grips with the sickness, and eventual death of their mother.

It is an uproariously hilarious and deeply devastating work of art.

Driving home with my then-boyfriend after the final curtain call I cried harder than I can ever remember crying up until that point in my life.

It was as I had stumbled upon and then cracked open a long-forgotten and deeply hidden store of unrelenting sadness.

When I think about that drive, all I can remember is the taste of my fat, hot tears, and the sensation of my deflated body wracked by a heart-shattered palsy.

My poor boyfriend just kept looking over at me and asking, “Are you alright?”

And while all of my answers were just different iterations of blubbered wails, all I really want to tell him was that I couldn’t be more right.

I was all right.

Second.

Of late, I’ve been moving. Gifted with an abundance of extra energy, I feel like an ever re-generating battery, charging about in search of my lost bunny ears.

This dynamism has manifested itself in early morning pre-work runs, and late-evening workouts (as I watch old episodes of QI on Netflix.)

Yesterday morning I ran the farthest I’ve ever ran in one outing – twenty-three kilometers. I recently signed-up for my first full marathon (Boundary Bay on November 2nd) so I figured it’s time to stop faffing around and get serious.

I even fell at 12.5km, but picked myself up and carried on my way.

I want some serious mileage under my belt by the time that starting gun is fired.

(Because I secretly, though not-so-secretly, really, really want to quality for Boston at this race.)

However all of this activity can make it hard to find the quiet moments.

So I’ve been using these long training sessions to work on my ability to just “be” with myself.

I’ve been really trying to focus on this whole mindfulness thing.

I’m trying to be fully engaged – both mentally and physically. (Much like the aforementioned Jacques, only my wealth of optimism stands much less depleted.)

I’m trying to really feel everything.

Which is hard.

Third.

Dance parties ALL OF THE TIME.

Which is easy.