My whole body feels like it was beaten with a baseball bat. Strangely enough, it is a good kind of hurt; the type of hurt that reminds you how wonderful it is to be alive and out in the big, wide world. Sundays have generally been a write off for me, as I am usually exhausted, overworked and in a panic to do urgent errands that I had been putting off for weeks. As the warm sun shone onto my bed through the blinds this morning, however, I felt like I just had to get out there and drink life to the lees.
Grafitti has become a constant fascination since I travelled to Berlin and Rome a few years back. I specifically am fascinated by the stencil art that I find in the most random of concrete walls. At the end of my afternoon walk along the shores of The Beaches in Toronto’s east end, I came across this hog town stencil. Art like these pieces speak to me most because an artist takes the time to “put it out there” without being concerned about the unnecessary bits: fame, money and flattery. I respect that modus operandi. Mingus and India are big sucks. At half way point Indy needed to be carried out and Mingus began to falter just at the storm fences. Only my two yorkie poos would be levelled by a long walk through the snow and sand. Mingus started to fall on his face by the end. What a world. I did have the opportunity to enjoy time watching a beautiful pair of white swans float majestically along the shoreline. Their bodies were like helium balloons skimming the frozen waters, and the warm rays of sunshine gave the pair a magical aspect as they swam by the dogs and me. My afternoon ended with a foray into Indian food. I began with a collection of various spices: cardamom, cinnamon, white pepper, coriander seed, long pepper and cloves. These were carefully roasted until warm, then ground into a powder that was added to argan oil to produce a beautiful curry paste. Unlike any other garam masala I have yet produced, this spice mix was rich, earthy and exotic in a way that was clearly not Indian, but that was also clearly Indian-inspired. Dinner consisted of saag paneer, coconut shrimp curry, chicken in a cashew spice cream, and red kidney beans. I always need be careful with Indian food, as I have no “I am full” warning. Perhaps the spices mix my brain signals, but if I do not portion out my servings carefully I might eat myself into a sick disaster. I did well, and the warmth of the spices filled my blood with a comfortable peace. Too often we fill our time with television, mindless sports fandoms, and fast food. My mission this weekend was to fill my time with conversation, physical activity and slow foods to feed my soul as well as my belly. Too often we stunt our own personal growth by not giving ourselves the permission to get out and chase the wind along the metaphorical shoreline. My greatest learning has come from my recent discovery that if I do not give myself permission to live as I desire now, then when will I? The answer, of course, is never. Therefore, I will live my life like the precious gift it now is: wear it in, bend it around and shrug when the weight is unfair.