“Featherweight” by Suzy Klassem

 

Featherweight
by Suzy Kassem

“One evening,
I sat by the ocean and questioned the moon about my destiny.
I revealed to it that I was beginning to feel smaller compared to others,
Because the more secrets of the universe I would unlock,
The smaller in size I became.

I didn’t understand why I wasn’t feeling larger instead of smaller.
I thought that seeking
Truth was what was required of us all –
To show us the way, not to make us feel lost,
Up against the odds,
In a devilish game partitioned by
An invisible wall.

Then the next morning,
A bird appeared at my window, just as the sun began
Spreading its yolk over the horizon.
It remained perched for a long time,
Gazing at me intently, to make sure I knew I wasn’t dreaming.
Then its words gently echoed throughout my mind,
Telling me:

‘The world you are in –
Is the true hell.
The journey to Truth itself
Is what quickens the heart to become lighter.
The lighter the heart, the purer it is.
The purer the heart, the closer to light it becomes.
And the heavier the heart,
The more chained to this hell
It will remain.’

And just like that, it flew off towards the sun,
Leaving behind a tiny feather.
So I picked it up,
And fastened it to a toothpick,
To dip into ink
And write my name.”

 

pexels-photo-196667.jpeg

 

Featherweight attribution:
Kassem, Suzy. "Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem". Awakened Press, 2010.

 

 

 

Autumn Rain

I caught myself today in the Autumn rain, 
Making due with all I’ve got today. 
I caught myself today in the Autumn rain, 
And the love I’ve got won’t fade away. 

Tonight I am grateful for friendships worth missing, the comfort of fire, the optimism of sunnier days ahead, and the gift of staying in- cozy safe and warm. Happy Tuesday friends. Know that you are loved!

Grande Prairie Skylines

It has taken me a while to ween off of the safety of the automatic settings, but I am getting there. There is this irrational insecurity that blares through my head – that those who are photographers will see through the fact I don’t know what the hell I am doing and cringe at the photog-faux pas I am committing. The narrative that plays out in ones head can be quite life or death – as I am sure you may have experienced in your life, when you’ve encountered fear and kicked fear straight in the face so you can pursue what you love.

My broken foot has been a great source of learning, growing and inspiration. I am still unable to work either of my jobs, but motivated as hell to explore different ways to cultivate positivity, growth, and expansion into my life. Capturing moments of the world on stage is one way I have been accomplishing this.

In Grande Prairie, we do not have inspirational rocky mountains glazing the skyline. Nor do we have the boundless ocean to capture our attention or a majestic assortment of gems such as melodic waterfalls, wild diversity of agriculture or buildings that showcase the powerful fusing of imagination and art.

But we do have these clouds.

And, let me tell you – they are not ordinary clouds.

They are the type of clouds that can erase your thoughts, make your walking legs begin to soften into cake batter, and erase your extensive vocabulary, as you stare with an open heart and lips that exclaim “wow..!” Every sunset is a chance for atheists and agnostics alike (including myself) to question their beliefs, because only a God could paint Heaven in the sky for all to see like this.

After exploring fun edits to the colors and scenes, I have decided to leave all photographs unedited so you can experience the view as we do.

And perhaps, while you are here, I welcome you to share in the comments section, what piece of hometown beauty devours your attention each and every time.

Love, and respect. -k.p.

 

 

 

 

Photography Credit:
Davey H Productions

 

I Dare You to Focus Inward

Social media is loud.
The world is loud.
Loneliness is loud.

Sometimes,
It’s so loud.

So loud, that your “groove”, your “essence”, your “it” factor melts fast.
So loud, that you may feel instinct to pull away, retreat and hibernate away.
So loud, that your brain is cramping up from wringing out the external stimuli.
So loud, that perhaps, you reach for a self medicated madness of your choosing.

And you know what –
That is okay.

More than okay, really.

When you find this, experience this, observe this-
I dare you to tackle the world around you by first turning your focus inwards.

I dare you to take off your Boss Man / Babe shoes and walk barefoot on the outside ground.  Can you brave yourself one minute to just observe what you feel as you slowly take one step after another? The sensations arising as your physical body shifts weight into the ground, the movement of grace as weight shifts from heel to toe, the flight of your foot as it takes you one stride farther – I dare you to try to direct your attention to this.

I dare you to go breathe outside. Maybe relaxing deep breaths, cozied up on your deck or perhaps with your back perched on the trunk of a noble tree. Or maybe you feel called to run with the breeze, setting your tempo, saying “fuck it” to the noise of thoughts of “how long you should run/ how many calories you are burning” and just moving because of the sheer curiousity. And, maybe, if you are feeling extra brave, you can take out your headphones and perhaps align your hearing to the sound of your breath. That takes massive strength.

If you want to take back your power, nothing says “I can take care of myself” than building a badass campfire without the coddling of others. Watch your thoughts from before sizzle into the flame as you now have the task of continuing to light up the sky with your efforts. But don’t forget to enjoy the scenery of dancing flames- you composed this work of art!

Then when your time out is up, go back into your life and see how the volume of the world, the inner chaos, seems to have lessened. Then in your prime element, your world, I dare you, to keep challenging you to take those pauses. Maybe in time, you will soon realize that the control is all yours. In your hand, you have been holding the remote the whole time. You have the fierce spirit to pause, mute the world and the noise, and breathe / create/ build / do whatever the fuck it is that makes you feel comfortable back in your own skin, then hit play, continuing on to do what you do in your journey to success – however you define it!


photography credit: Tobi Dami

 


Davey H would love to know – How do YOU focus inward when you are feeling out of sync with yourself / your goals / your aspirations? Comment below and share your story of how you focus inward so you can share your gifts with the world around you. 

Earth, Air, Water, Fire.

Contentment
by Jim McGregor, The Tao of Recovery

I want money, houses, cats, furs, stereos, friends, and … contentment!

I have everything that I need, but I want more. Then I will be secure.

But will I be content?

My inner space is empty, and I have tried so hard to be fulfilled that I am tempted to give up.

It seems that I have treated spiritual fulfillment as I have treated cars, money, and houses. I want it and I am fighting for it.

I have heard that desires cause pain.
I have heard that peace and serenity are already present in me, if I will only allow them to manifest. 

I believe that I will give up the fight and wait for the beautiful gift of contentment. 

 

 

Wapiti River + O’Brien Provincial Park
South of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada

 

#lonelyYEG

Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
Nisku, Alberta, Canada

I’m not sure if it’s the setting sun, the way the Edmonton International Airport’s feature entertainer is serenading in a pitch perfect acoustic medley, or the way the body walks just a little bit slower and smaller after coming home from a grand adventure.. But I feel overwhelmed by the empty feeling of a jarringly quiet return home.

                                         “The world is so big… I want to go play.” 

Returning home, I choose to remain focused on the positive opportunities that arise with a broken foot and a career that demands my physical body. As my foot heals, I have the time to find so much that blazes my restless soul.
     Maybe I’ll learn a song on guitar? 
           Maybe I’ll learn some Hindi?
                 Maybe I’ll start piecing together the plans of a Southeast Asia exploration? 

              Oh the things you can do, when you can’t do the things you need to do.

The lonely timbre of Purple Rain in a humbly soft rhythm,
The gentle heat lamp warmth of the setting sun.,
Watching the rise and fall of each plain en route,
Feeling the glow of sun flirting with my platinum hair
Shimmering a soft haze of pink and lavender regret.

“PAGING PRESSLEE TO GATE 49 C”

Bewildered.
I check my watch.
“Fuck.”

I go now, almost missing my flight.
I am enroute home to Grande Prairie.
All is safe and well,
I know this to be true.

IMG_2928IMG_2900IMG_2926IMG_2892IMG_2929IMG_2932

(Feels like) Home.

The West Coast Runaway
Pacific Coast Hostel, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

If Whistler taught me to find the courage to sit in moments of extreme anxiety, returning to Vancouver is giving me the canvas to explore slowing down just enough to listen in to what my body needs.

I have had my successes today (resting when feeling a throbbing pain in the foot of my broken navicular bone, taking a mid-day siesta instead of trekking back into the intoxicating town, taking time to just gaze at the Sauder School of Business at UBC like a love sick puppy) and the not so successful moments (saying screw it to healthier options for dinner and hobbling over to Triple O’s for a Bacon Cheddar Burger + Sweet Potato fries (#worstvegetarianEVER), only to recognize after inhaling my sweet potato fries that I am full and should take the burger home with me – which then was concluded with me eating every meaty bite until it was gone).

I found myself pondering while sitting on a weathered wooden bench across the pathway from my bucket list wannabe postsecondary business school, the importance yoga has had on my life and how it is bridging me towards the life I want.

You see, I’m not involved in yoga for the physical benefits, the cute outfits, the feeling of community/ tribe with being a member of a studio, and certainly NOT to balance on my head…

I am on my mat as of late to develop an inner awareness so I can continue on my journey with ease. This isn’t a mystical floofy concept imagined when you may think of those eccentrics personalities speaking in exotic tongue and swaying with the smokey purr of tantalizing incense.

It’s the simplicity of being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a possible anxiety attack, allowing me to take preventative measures. It’s being able to recognize tension in my body and possibly observing the linking factor of a short, shallow breath that may be accompanying it. It’s being able to recognize that voice, that feeling, of negative emotion – witness it, experience it and let it go. It’s knowing that whatever I desire the most, will come to me when I’m at my most centered and balanced.

There are a lot of “I should be….”‘s floating around my head right now.
“I should be in Grande Prairie.”
“I should be studying, reading, learning..” 
“I should be doing this. Not that.” 

And the really cool thing about building the skills acquired from a yoga practice is to remember to stick to the absolute basics.

My body needs time to heal.
I need to rest my foot, to allow the bone to repair itself.
In an event where difficult emotions may already arise, I also need to take time to do what feels good for the soul.

Right now, what feels good for the soul is being here in Vancouver. (Give it some time and it won’t be good for the pocket!) But in a moment where I feel constricted, confined and suffocated from anxiety, it is my job to take the time to be in an environment that revives me emotionally, mentally and yes- spiritually. There is little physical difference between being here and being in Grande Prairie – but at least here, in the beautiful city of Van-city, I have the endless ocean to gaze into as I rest my foot. I deserve this rest. And I also deserve to wobble down the streets of this intoxicating city, just me and my boot!

 

 

Just keep walking.

I may have found the peace of Whistler, in the chaos of Wanderlust:
Florence Patersen Park.

I am here.
Wondering.
What is next?

What is next after this perch?
– this day?
– this departure?
– this return?

What’s worse?
Feeling like I can’t keep up?
Or feeling like I’ve been left behind?

Oh, I know, the silly twist of dissecting feelings.
I know they are not real.

Being here is real.
– The feeling I don’t belong here is not?

So what next?
What does a fawn with a broken hoof do?

“Just keep walking.”

 

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