Monday, 11 February 2013

Music, moments and memories

One of the last distinct conversations I remember having with my father happened a year ago today. There were more, of course, but this one stands out in particular because of the date. It was about the death of Whitney Houston. She, for as long as I can remember, was always one of his favourite singers. "She has such a powerful voice, no?" he would often say to me.

He would then go on to compare her to the latest singers -- most of whose names he could barely remember. He would make up their names, coming as close as possible, but never quite get them. I guess it showed he didn't care much for the Britneys and the Chris Browns of modern music. He often vented about how the latest music was "rubbish". "Whitney -- wow!" he would say.

So when he found out one of our timeless favourites had passed away last February, all he could say in reaction was "So sad..." over and over again, with a contemplative look on his face. He knew her life story and said all of that didn't matter because she was an amazing singer with a beautiful gift. It was fun watching him talk about the things he felt passionately about.

The more I think about it, the more I realize he must have known he didn't have long either. Just over four months later, he passed away.

Image courtesy of Google Images

That's the thing, though. My father always had a special connection to his love for music. He preferred his trusty little transistor radio (tuned in to one of two stations -- CBC Radio 2 or the best of the oldies), to any television show. Well, except for Turner Classic Movies.

But the one thing that defined my father... The one way everyone knew he was home from work was because of the music -- soft acoustic jazz, classic crooners, the oldies and so much more. He loved it all.

And that's how we knew something was amiss towards the end. He was home, but the sweet sounds that floated lightly through the silence had stopped. The music had stopped, and that's how we knew.

Today, his little transistor radio sits on my kitchen counter, tuned to the same station that played his favourites for him in the evenings -- CBC Radio 2. Sometimes, when I miss him the most, I turn it on and it feels like he's in the room with me.

That's the funny thing about music -- it's the easiest way to connect with a memory. Music evokes emotions, and it's a wonderful thing. Whether a vacation, a moment of nostalgia or a person, music is universal and it acts as the invisible thread that ties our past, present and future together into a lovely package.

So whatever happens, whatever you do, don't let the music in your life stop playing.



Friday, 8 February 2013

Friday evenings are meant for...

Friday evening. It's one of my favourite times during the week. When the day begins to close, I get a sense of satisfaction from having finished another set of work days. I always take a moment to sit down and quickly reflect on all that was accomplished, and make a mental note of all that needs to be done. But not till Monday. On Friday evenings I look forward to two days of just being. I look forward to no forced commitments (for the most part) and I enjoy a few moments of quiet when I can simply just be.

I think we forget to do that more often than not. Unwind. When was the last time you did something just for yourself? I think it's important to reconnect with yourself from time to time. Whether you simply take yourself out for a coffee date, go for a long drive or spend a few moments just paying attention to where you are in time and space... it makes a big difference to your overall being.

Image courtesy of

My favourite things today include:
Songza (and how the app knows just which song I need to hear).
. Woollen socks on cold days.
. My desktop background: A photo of waves hitting the shore. The perfect solution to getting through Snowpocalypse 2013.
. A fantastic and talented graphics designer who has been working with me on a special project.
. Spring flower bouquets on dull, dark days.
. Receiving texts from my mother.
. Remembering one of my favourite quotes from Mansfield Park: "There are as many kinds of love as there are moments in time." - Edmond
. These boots.
. Knowing I'm going home to a warm bed tonight.
. The fact that two weeks from today, I'll be here.

Now it's your turn to fill in the blank. "Friday evenings are meant for _______________."

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Simple love in real time

How can it already be February? Where did the last month go? 2013 took off to a busy start for me in terms of work and my personal life as well. I was knee deep in all things Valentine's Day, but I was also experiencing something that I hoped would eventually happen... 

In the cold days of January I felt the fog over one of my past experiences lift... and for the first time in many years, I experienced clarity. And oh, what a feeling that is! It's that moment where there are no more doubts about something weighing heavily on your soul. There are no more back and forths; no more what ifs; no more maybe this and maybe thats. No more tug of war games between your heart and your head. It's the moment when you realize that things are exactly as they are supposed to be -- and that you're completely okay with that.

Ah! And in that moment of clarity I did something for myself. I booked a trip to a country that's been at the top of my travel wish-list ever since I fell in love with Pride & Prejudice as a fourteen-year-old girl. I'm off to England at the end of the month to visit a dear friend, to have some of my own adventures, to dream, write, breathe, laugh, and to maybe... just maybe meet my Mr. Darcy. (Hey, a lady can dream, right?)

But before I do that, I need to reaffirm some things. It's kind of like my own take on therapy for 2013. To focus on the positive. My goal is to end each post this year with some of my favourite things. These are the ordinary, everyday things that bring a smile to my face without effort. They are the simple strokes that add to the the painting that is my life and I need to acknowledge them, because let's face it -- It's so easy to get lost in the negativity sometimes. So here we go. 

The simple things...
. Perfectly ripe avocados
. Wildflowers 
. The way the sky looks during sunrise/sunset
. A cool breeze on a warm day
. A warm spot of sunshine on a cold day
. Plain bread and butter sandwiches
. Cursive writing
. Snail mail (Flyers and bills not included)
. Big, oversized scarves -- no matter the season
. Sam -- the eyebrow cat (Those eyebrows are 100% real + he has a very sweet story!)

Image courtesy of

What are the simple things in your life that you love? Can you list at least three?

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