In light of recent events…what is the solution? For you and I and the whole world, I am suggesting a rising.
A rising of Love in the language of every culture on this planet. Let it be: The Love Manifesto. Let it be yours.
The action part of the manifesto is “manifest”. So what you write in your Love Manifesto has the power of action. It could be written on a napkin in a restaurant or etched on a stone in a field. Sign it, and it becomes active. You can use initials or any word you love about yourself.
The marks and words of Love are not for your eyes only. Chances are an Angel will move it further down the road. One day you will notice something beautiful, out in the world, with your name on it!
Knowing we will be followed all the days of our life – write yourManifesto of Love. Make a paper plane out of it and let it go. From time to time – write a new one. Make it your biggest secret or tell everyone you know.
Remember, Angels, are waiting on us with boomerangs.
So play alive and write your Manifesto of Love as only you can.
I am writing this having come back from a long-overdue walk down my road. After two driveways, I observed my neighbours abandoned house and acreage. Here the horses died over the winter, and now their dirt pasture is a mass of daisies.
For 20 plus years, I knew Patches, Babe and Dusty. I like to think they knew me. Being able to talk about the evidence of this in this world is still pending…
This spring, I took a while to register their absence. I was still looking for the horses. Visible at the intersection every time my car returned home and when not visible…noticed. I didn’t realize how much I was watching, witnessing and when I could participating in what was the best I could do for them.
Now I like to think a display of white daisies on their earth table is their reward. What they really ate and what made them survivors and not sufferers.
This arrangement included in the early years the Black Lab “Blotto”. He was abandoned to a chain and a dog house to protect what an empty place can invite, how he dragged his dog house to show his enthusiasm for Jessey and me when we walked by — waiting to repeat the effort when we walked back. A few times he escaped and like all Labs slobbered his way down the road. A black flash oblivious to a heavy chain flying out like a ribbon on a kite.
We knew he was gone when the house and chain disappeared. But not before he spent a few weeks dragging his dog house without his back legs working. For several months Jessey turned her head as if to remind me we were walking by Blotto’s post. Jessey had empathy as most animals do.
You can’t start with what’s wrong to make something right. My neighbour knew I liked his horses and even asked me to ride them. I said no. But I phoned him every time the horses were out and in danger of the Highway. I helped him catch them ’cause wouldn’t you know they usually came to my house. Last spring I called him to let him know I didn’t like the way Patches was looking and were he aware?
So I’m telling you this story to emphasize what seeing Daisy’s in their pasture meant to me today. Here where there was never enough grass growing for three horses to eat. Tall waves of white dancing in the breeze. I had tears in my eyes.
The daisies are telling me to celebrate. Celebrate the beauty of all those years. Of the horse’s survival and how they were actually cared for by Life! In the presence and absence of suffering, they lived into old age, and that is their Victory. For Horse and Dog and one nosey neighbour maybe mine too.
In my poem, “Married With Cows”, I take aim. I hope the poem hits your funny bone.Here’s some background.
While I was on the ranch, I gave it my best shot to be part of the Canadian music scene.My ability to write about my experiences is one of my strengths. For this, I was hired by Ian Tyson.He was looking for a performer to represent the cowgirl at his Cowboyography Show during Expo ’86. Writing songs about cows and fencing had an audience…and now I had permission to write more!
For his show, I wrote four songs of which there was time for three.After twenty-one shows that week, I was geared up to play my spurs on both sides of the border!What a wonderful time. So many beautiful “salt of the earth” people to be around.Like me, they were expressing themselves and their worlds.
Later I wrote “Married With Cows” to put into perspective all those phone calls I’d had on the ranch. There I made cold calls to agents and managers I had heard of.
Life is more satisfying when you can see the funny side of things. Especially when you don’t have to make it up. Even though…it meant I would never be part of the Canadian music scene or on the radio. When was the last time you heard spurs played over the air?
Not Just My Experience…
“Married With Cows” was on at Poetry poem.While it was there, I heard from several men (husbands). They wanted me to know the same events had happened to their wives. They felt bad about it.
So this is what I found to be true as a folk performer.
Everyone loves a good song and a sincere presentation.Everyone loves to laugh and learn a little about the country they are visiting.
So after the cowboy gatherings, I started performing for bus and rail tours. I no longer aimed for agents or managers. From my homeland, I sang to the travelling world about the wonders of the Cariboo as a “singing cowgirl”.Spur playing included and I also taught the Cariboo Yodel!
I wanted to be a singer and sing my own true songs… They wanted to know my measurements, was I a redhead or a blonde? And just how old are you? And before you send your tape… Send us a great big picture and for the last five years – your weight. “We’re not signing married women – their husbands make them quit! With years and years of experience – our investments have to stick!” So I didn’t send that picture, my hair type or my weight. I didn’t bother fooling them – and I never sent a tape. For the rules, they were describing I never could kowtow… so I told them, “I ain’t single, I’m married with cows!”
Back in the ’80s, on the ranch, I met a neighbour whose story inspired me. She had been a single mother who had once been a teacher. Now she was in a new relationship and dedicating her time to homeschooling her son.
As she explained to me on a visit with him, he was dyslexic, and she wanted him to have what she knew she could do as an enlightened teacher.
She said, “getting the left and the right and the up and the down to move together as one picture.”
When they left my home, I noticed the essence of “love” hanging in the air from their visit.
A Little Bit Of Love was recorded in Vancouver, B.C. Gord Maxwell on fretless bass (Ian Tyson), Larry Pink on steel guitar (One Horse Blue) and Rocko at the controls. Vocals: Katie & Gord. Katie on her Washburn guitar.
In 1974, after graduation from high school, the spiritual community I lived in with my parents handed me and three others a brand new suitcase. I often joke there was a hint in this….
However, the blue Samsonite suitcase was a well-known one as lots of people travelling by bus had one. On one of my trips home via Greyhound, I arrived back in Vancouver minus my suitcase.
The Greyhound bus station then was on what is now an empty lot in Vancouver where an Art Gallery is planned. A few days after this happened I received a call from Greyhound freight. So I picked my suitcase up and headed back to North Vancouver.
I didn’t have much in it. Just a few clothes, mostly dirty ones from my trip and my diary. I wondered if anyone had looked at my stuff…
Monday night was my laundry night in my small apartment building. So I tossed the dirty clothes out of the suitcase and into the machine.
My diary which I hadn’t used for a while had made the trip and seemed no worse for wear. I seldom wrote in it now but when I did I was passionate. I signed off on everything I wrote there with a “Praise the Lord” ending.
As I arranged my dirty clothes evenly in the drum of the washing machine I felt something hard. Something wasn’t right. I pulled a piece of clothing out… a pair of undies…with a 1″ x 3″ piece of cardboard stapled inside the crotch. Written with all caps in blue ink was: “PRAISE THE LORD”.
Lots of folks are trying to improve themselves and their worlds. But does it work? If you are trying to improve the you that isn’t you, what will you get? A better false self?
If you know, you are different, and you somehow don’t fit with the herd…Congratulations! But if you have been plodding along with the herd…now’s the time to set your sights higher. YOU deserve it. The real YOU wants it — NOW!
So give some thought to opening up, to a larger YOU emerging – the real YOU and don’t care what other’s think. If they’re stuck in the herd, they’re probably high on methane gas!
In celebration of YOU getting out of your rut this year and into a new adventure; I give YOU this poem to read. Let me know if any of this makes sense to YOU.
Sometime in my 40’s, I discovered Emily Carr’s writings. Oh, how I grieved! If only I had known about her books in high school…As much as I loved reading Steinbeck and Hemingway, I would have benefitted more with Emily’s words.
Emily was an artist, a gardener, an animal caretaker of all kinds and most unpopular in her time. Later on, she camped in her “Elephant” and painted. This is where I have joined her. I too camp and paint.
As much as I love her paintings…
I love her writings more!
She had an honest way of describing how she feels and what she longs for in her art. Through the lens of her day to day world, her books have much to teach a creative person.
I hope by now you are thinking, “I better check this out.” Do a google search for Emily Carr and you won’t be disappointed.
This winter in Value Village I found a “new” book of hers.
“Emily Carr and her Dogs”. Apparently, she made a calendar, one year, from the point of view of her sheepdog “Billie”. If you’ve never seen an Emily Carr drawing in caricature – as I hadn’t – you should.
As with “Wildflowers”, once again, the B.C. archives have pulled another gem out of their vast collection of Emily Carr’s personal belongings. They have been the best “relative” she could have had and all to our benefit.
My art teacher at Emily Carr School of Art, in Vancouver, B.C, asked us to study other artists and determine who we would like to have a cup of coffee with. Who would we like to have a conversation with? Well, coffee or tea…my choice is crystal clear…
Sometime in the late sixties, The Star Weekly published a story about a woman who had been given a few months to live. The magazine story focused on the fact that it was now 10 years and she was still alive and thriving! They wanted to know how she had done it and they wanted their Canadian readers to know about her choices.
I was a child then, and my Mother wanted me to know the story too. Of how this woman had sold and rode away from everything, with a horse and a saddle. I was fascinated with the newsmagazine’s large photo of her face. I had never seen so many wrinkles before and she wasn’t even old. Yet she had spent the last 10 years of her life sleeping on the ground with her horse.
I don’t remember the woman’s name only her face and big hat. If you know of her let me know. My question here is “Would it still work to do what she did? Sell everything and buy a horse and a saddle and plan on sleeping on the ground?” If you had a few months to live, what would you do different and what if it was the cure?
I too have lost family members to cancer. I know there are miracle survivors everyday we could all sing about.
Sometimes it’s a sad song when the miracle is to quickly leave the pain in the body.
I never forgot the story of this woman and the look of her face. So years later I wrote a song to celebrate her with. It’s called Saddled and Gone.
Here are the lyrics to the song I wrote about her story and further down this page the recording: