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Sunday, December 4, 2016

My Christmas Reminder

I send out this piece every year in mid-December, mainly as a reminder to myself. (You might want to admire the way I reduce my own list of things-to-do by recycling this Scene from the Journey instead of writing a new one.) Here's the message:



This is such a time of list-making for me. The list I made this morning includes "make lists," proving that the high-tension time is well on its way. So I decided to make a new list for myself. Here it is:

CALM DOWN. If it doesn't get done, will the world end? Don't get frantic about trifles (or truffles, either, though I wouldn't mind having one right now).

SIMPLIFY. I envision a Christmas dinner made up of X number of dishes. Well, how terrible would it be if I served X minus 1? Or X minus 2? Or even X minus 3? (But I suppose Chinese take-out is out of the question.)


Bring an OPEN HEART to every encounter.

GIVE to those who are less fortunate. Whether it's time or money that I give, and whether it's a lot or a little, giving will help everyone, including me.

And as a gift to all of you, I offer this prayer from the Dalai Lama:

May the poor find wealth,
those weak with sorrow find joy.
May the forlorn find new hope,
constant happiness, and prosperity.
May the frightened cease to be afraid
and those bound be free.
May the weak find power and
may their hearts join in friendship.

Copyright © 2011 Ann Tudor




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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Pink and Purple during a Farm Visit

Pink is the colour of my nose because I went for a walk and the sun took full advantage of the fact that I was not wearing a hat. My cheeks and nose are flushed.


Purple is the colour of my tongue. I passed several thickets of wild grapevines that held bunches of blueberry-sized grapes. I investigated carefully. Were these really grapes? Really on grapevines? Really surrounded by grape leaves?


I picked one. I smelled it. Peeled back a bit of skin. Smelled again. Tasted with my tongue. Ooh! Sour! But definitely a grape. Having satisfied myself, through this rigorous testing, that it was not poisonous, I popped it into my mouth. Almost all of it was seed—one large seed filling the whole little grape. I popped in another and walked on.


Then I saw, growing on branches intermingled with the grapevines, an even blacker berry. It was NOT a grape, did NOT grow in bunches, and was definitely on a different stem with different leaves. So: NOT a grape. But the first ones were, and I stole an entire bunch and ate them all, spitting the fat seeds onto the mowed path to create the possibility of new vines the next time I visit.


Copyright © 2016 Ann Tudor

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Balancing Act

I am in a strange limbo,

between two stools.


I always liked the metaphor of walking.

When you lift a foot to take a step you are unbalanced, nowhere,

in danger of falling.

When you put that foot down

you are once again grounded and safe

and you know where you are.


And then

(oh, we humans are relentless

in our search for forward movement)

then you lift the other foot

and you are again off balance,

perhaps frightened, certainly unsettled.

And then you put that foot down

and you are safely home again.


We do this over and over as we walk through our lives,

not just physically

but emotionally and spiritually.


And that's where I find myself right now.

One metaphorical foot in the air,

motionless, waiting, a bit off balance.

In limbo.


I am as attentive as a member of the Wallenda family crossing the chasm between two skyscrapers,

balance-pole in hand.


Copyright © 2016 Ann Tudor