Reflecting on a thought from an earlier story post—that “life tends to be a little full when you’re trying to live it and write about it”—I give myself permission to occasionally lapse a little on my current goal to post bi-weekly stories, which I established upon my return to my day-job from my Book Writing Tour 2013. Easing off the pedals is a strategy I am learning to implement in order, among other things, to keep from imploding on myself under the vastness of life-engaging possibilities.
One of these occasions is the birthday weekend getaway for a friend, together with a few of her girlfriends, which we spend in the relaxing, if rainy, Roberts Creek on BC’s Sunshine Coast. We spend our days together savouring an abundance of very delicious dishes made with ingredients obtained during a damp but enjoyable walk to the village and a likewise damp but fruitful mushroom picking expedition.
Most fortunate for me, many of our companions come from the publishing industry, and some, too, are writers; thus, we enjoy many a chat while relishing the beachfront hot tub, warming fireplace, and elaborate candelabra. The sun does make a welcome appearance at the very opportune moment when I step down onto the beach to snap a few photos whilst the rain lets up. Sunday morning, before we depart, I get adventurous and make mulled wine out of the left over red wine, orange juice, honey, and some cinnamon that I find among the kitchen supplies—the Glühwein is a hit! And the Roberts Creek retreat inspires two consecutive Special Dishes for the Week: Quinoa and Chickpea Salad and Sweet Potato and Peanut Butter Soup.
The following weekend, I spend feeding my soul at the Vancouver Art and Book Fair with a performance of a short story, entitled “I Fell in Love with Black”, from which I soak up the wisdom of the “Sky Cathedral” sculpture: “I only speak to those who listen.” The Art and Book Fair is held in the old Courthouse Chambers within the Annex of the Vancouver Art Gallery—itself a treat for me to see for the first time, and to momentarily feel transported back in time to another age. I learn from another presentation about a personalized yet affordable publishing-on-demand option that I may look a little more into when I get closer to that stage in my book process.
With two weeks passing since I braved, with mixed results, going dancing—and with publically tested affirmations of a less wiggly body this weekend—I decide to get back onto the dancing horse once more. Much to my relief, the evening proves relatively uneventful for my ever-vigilant self, and I find that I even enjoy myself, the music, and all the people who appear to be in a good and non-judgmental mood that evening. The one person, who distinctly misinterprets my facial expression, readily receives with a genuine smile my brief explanation that it was not intentional on my part; I feel relieved to have been able to get my voice to work; and we both get back to enjoying ourselves, perhaps a little more accepting.
Mid-week, I take myself on another Artist Date—this one, a play: “Assassinating Thomson” at the Firehall Arts Centre. I revel in appreciation for how this lone performer weaves his own story with the mystery surrounding the death of a famous Canadian painter from a century before. I leave this clever performance reflecting on several meaningful for me quotes, including: “Maybe you get to the point when you no longer grieve what you’ve lost, and you celebrate what remains” and “The story changes with the telling and with the teller”.
In my culinary adventures, one night, as an accompaniment to a colourful plate of orange carrots, green peas, yellow potatoes, and red tomatoes, I try out the iron-rich turkey livers that I previously acquired at a downtown farmers market outing. Prepared similarly to fried-up chicken livers, with sautéed onions, salt and pepper, and a dash of red wine, the turkey livers prove likewise tasty, though more gamey and not as tender. I may try them again, as a paté! On another night, I harvest more greens from my herb garden, grate a carrot, hard-boil an egg, make up some lentils, slice up an avocado, toss in some baby plum tomatoes, and sprinkle these with olive oil, balsamic vinegar glaze, and black sesame seeds, for a deliciously balanced—in flavour, colour and nutrition—super salad. Naturally, I enjoy both meals with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon each!
Cette semaine, mes études françaises ont aussi recommencé pour les dix prochaines semaines, so that my French homework will once again compete for my limited book-writing time—but there is method in my madness!
While seeking balance between engaging in life and easing off, I plod away at my recent log jam of thoughts, and feel that I am reaching a possible resolution on one significant part.