“Meanderings” is my own ideal of a space where I am allowed to meander, not aimlessly, but rather seamlessly, between the mundane and the exotic, or one corner of my world and another. I join up all the pieces of the fragmented self in the way we live our lives into an integrated whole. Here, I don’t have to leave a part of me “at home” when I get on a plane to Burundi or Bangladesh and call it work. There is no compartmentalizing between the metaphysical, the natural world, my sense of social justice, and the methodological issues that dog me on the job. In meanderings, I concede that every experience and thought I have belongs to the personal.
As someone who has spent a lifetime traversing different cultures, borders, and geographies, here I am able to build the bridges where there were no connections before, all on the plane of my own life journey. But the most formidable boundaries are erected by the mind and those are the world we carve out of our roles, identities, and presumptions. In this space, I am without a role. I am who I am, inviting the heart into conversation with the mind or the body or the soul, sustaining one another like old friends. And I do not need to show up with answers; on the contrary, meanderings ushers me into the play of life with a question and where it leads me, I am only certain to find another question. All of it is just fine.
Come Inside They called me by name First the grey stone lying face down by the sea then the sage bush whistling in the wind then the turtle neck thrust upwards toward the sky. “Come, come inside,” hushed the tiny yellow buds, on tippy-toe high in the dunes. Then the mussels in their shells … Continue reading »
Spring has arrived . . sort of. This is Spring in Quebec where the snow melts like a glacier, and the small talk in the corner dépanneur is drumming a tired refrain. “The winter is too long here. I can’t wait for the warmer weather and the snow to disappear.” Coffee shop owners dust off … Continue reading »
In my morning emails today a friend wished me a “luminous day.” I wondered for a bit about how that would express itself, what would it look like to have a luminous day? Or was it a simply a way of wishing me well? Upon reflection, it is true that we are luminous beings, is … Continue reading »
1. Down the hill past the bridge over the river, I take my silent pause by the cemetery of forest trees drowning in a swamp from the overflow of the nearby lake. In summer, it is a beaver’s paradise, worn out branches plunging into the shallow stagnant waters. Now under the winter cover, all is … Continue reading »
When the first call to prayer wrestled me out of a deep sleep, it was still pitch black in the room. Nothing stirred, not a rooster could be heard, and even the guards kept their silence. This was license for me to drift back into a luscious sleep while the echoes of the muezzin faded … Continue reading »
We have crossed over the winter solstice. The light will grow longer with every day and we will slowly start to move out of hibernation, leaving the bears to dictate when winter is truly over. And we are in the midst of the yule season and many people today are celebrating with family and friends. … Continue reading »
Free-floating, drifting flakes No reason, direction, or purpose I am their mirror Seeing through eyes through glass No reason, direction, or purpose Just here, where I happen to be. Give me time and in time, I will act and interact For now, leave me outside of time Where nothing matters And the frosty-white painted … Continue reading »
Not unlike the subconscious layer of the mind that drives most of our behavior and interaction with other fellow beings, plants also have an underground system for sending out signals in affinity with other kin or other species. There is a lot going on underneath the surface to which we humans are not privy. But … Continue reading »
It wasn’t just any crafts store, selling cheap souvenirs to tourists. Tourism had long ended in Niger and the only foreigners passing through were by and large in the aid sector. Many of the visitors on UN Missions or working for NGOs like myself found an oasis in the Grand Hotel du Niger since it … Continue reading »
Development organizations for which I work like to see themselves as empowering women, youth, girls, and marginalized groups. Empowering in most instances refers to facilitating the means for these groups to lead the social change process, make their voices heard, and gain access to their rights individually and collectively. However, I would argue that the … Continue reading »