Tag Archives: Humour

Because Poetry Month . . . God Kin

From one of my favourite books: The Gift,with poems by Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky. You can see that I have sticky notes on many pages.

Book cover of The Gift


So that your own heart
Will grow.

So God will think,

I got kin in that body!
I should start inviting that soul over
For coffee and 

Because this is a food
Our starving world

Because that is the purest

How to respect other (sport) religions

942719_504226456292469_1866570234_nI received this image on one of my social media feeds.

I like what the Salt Project has to say about religious respect. After the hockey events of the past week here in Canada’s capital, I thought that the same principles could apply to our sports religions.

I wrote earlier about the stewpot of hockey rivalry in our area. That was my way of trying to come to peace with residents of my town who support opposing teams. Playoff action creates even more tension. Above all else, people, we need to get along and respect each other. I invite you to adopt the Salt Project’s suggestions:

1. Educate yourself: Find out the history of your own organization and others. If you disagree with an action of someone on an opposing sports team, chances are your research will expose a similar transgression by someone on the team you support.

2. Be amazed or even converted into a better version of yourself: Allow room for awe, no matter the source, or the team. Try appreciating quality plays by either team. I think you will find you feel calmer and happier.

3. Be patient – Don’t form opinions too soon: Let time, or replays, mellow those knee-jerk reactions.

4. Build relationships: Nothing  breaks down barriers like getting to know someone who holds an opposing viewpoint and discovering that they really aren’t so bad. Get to know someone who supports another team and look for something to admire.

5. Keep your sense of humour handy: This is good advice every day, but especially when it comes to sports. Sports are supposed to be fun, for the players and the fans. If animosity ruins the fun, there’s something wrong.

6. Ask questions – Listen: This is part two of Educate Yourself. As you build relationships with other people, suss out the roots of their dedication to their team. Ask them about their past experiences as a fan. Find out what fires their passion. Listen without injecting your own opinions into the mix.

7. Say “I don’t understand – yet”: If you feel strongly about your team, you likely won’t change your allegiances after a few conversations. That’s OK. Some day you might. Leave room for that possibility.

8. Experience how others worship: Step into the milieu of the fans of the opposition. Try on one of their jerseys. Maybe a little of the mojo will seep into you.

9. Honour Convictions – Don’t try to remake people into your own image: The people with whom you build relationships aren’t likely to change your mind after a few conversations, right? You’re not going to change theirs either. Honour their convictions and accept.

10. Eat together, play together, and hold each other’s babies: A game of pick-up road hockey followed by a pizza feast, perhaps? Let your kids play together. Build relationships through food and fun.

11. Embrace mystery: Anything can happen in sports. Open yourself to the mysterious possibilities and embrace whatever comes.

12. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you: Ah, the Golden Rule. Always good to keep in mind.

Above all else, we need to get along and respect each other.

How the universe answered my request for perseverance: Fun.

Photo courtesy of RozSheffield from Flickr

Photo courtesy of RozSheffield from Flickr

Have you ever had an unusual and timely answer to a plea or question?

I spent the weekend at a Healing Pathway workshop. During one session, I had to ponder an intention. It didn’t take long for mine to bubble up.

I needed a push to persevere.

Being a writer isn’t easy. Every day I receive feedback from someone about something I’ve done wrong. It could be as simple as a misplaced comma or as a grand as a challenge to my central theme, but no matter how large or how small, every negative comment dents my armour. Most days I’m strong. I accept it as part of the job and use it to better my work. But every once in a while, all those dents blast a hole. When feedback tells me, over and over again, I have failed in some way, or my writing is off target, or “not what we’re looking for,” or just plain “not good enough,” I wonder why I do it.

In my daily life I get paid to write in a corporate environment. I’m not passionate about the subject for which I get well paid. I am passionate about my creative writing, though. My short stories and my blog stir my blood—and garner very little financial compensation for me. Lately, that frustrates me. I’m supposed to follow my bliss, right? All the self-help gurus say when you’re doing what you’re supposed to do, money flows to you. Why the disconnect? What gives?

What. Is. Up. With. That?

I carried my frustration and discouragement into the weekend. Why bother with all this creative writing? Life would be so much easier without it, really. I said to the universe (or God, or whatever you choose to call that mystery we’re all trying to figure out): “What do you have to say to me about perseverance?”

At the end of the day, I climbed into my car, turned the key and the song “Carry On” by Fun. blasted out of my radio.

Let it never be said that the universe doesn’t have a sense of humour.

My favourite line from the song: “May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground.” What a profound, inspirational blessing. The line fires me up and rekindles my spirit. In ten years, or 20 years, no matter what happens, I hope to look over my shoulder at the past and listen for the sound of my feet upon the ground, step by step, going somewhere, taking action, doing something, trying. Persevering.

“I upped my pledge—up yours” and other unfortunate word choices

Humour is one of the side-benefits of grammatical errors.

I am studying to write an editing exam next weekend, so my brain swirls with misplaced modifiers and parallel sentence structures. When I work on the practice exercises that come with the preparation material, a small part of me yearns to leave the material as is, because sometimes it is hilarious.

Like these samples of faulty subordination from church bulletins:

Don’t let worry kill you off—let the Church help.
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Sometimes there is nothing grammatically wrong with the sentences, but the reader draws unfortunate conclusions due to the ideas presented in each:

Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What Is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.
The sermon this morning: “‘Jesus Walks on the Water.” The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus.”
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 p.m.. Please use the back door.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

Yesterday was Stewardship Sunday at my church. It is a day when the members of the congregation reflect on how they can share their talents to make the world a better place. We didn’t use this slogan though:

The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new campaign slogan last Sunday: “I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours.”

People like me who write and edit for a living often wake up in a cold sweat in the night when they realize a written piece has a grammatical error or an unfortunate unintended meaning.

If you find any mistakes in my posts, I hope you get a good laugh at least.