Radical Love

So I’m listening to the CBC as I’m driving back from my dog walk, listening to an Islamic scholar (of the Sufi tradition) talking about “radical love.”

And inside me there is this flower blooming, opening up – unfurling from a tight, curled bud – and part of me is screaming – but if you open up and bloom, you can be sliced down! You will surely be hurt.

And the word, “vulnerability” pops us – my most hated “Angel Card.” After all, my mind says, if you are vulnerable, you will be hurt. Vulnerable means, “Being willing to be hurt.”

Who earth would want that? Another part of my brain (or is it my heart?) says, “Yes – but if you do not open up and bloom and if you are not wiling to be vulnerable, you cannot experience the fullness of love – either in the giving or the receiving.

And I find myself in a place of resistance and anger. I experience loving as a sign of weakness – of being taken advantage of, of giving up all control over myself.

And at the same time knowing that this master is correct: radical love.


“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

“A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”

I love the idea of being drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. There is an instinct at work – and when you allow yourself to be pulled, a peace – a profound peace.

To listen to your heart: that is the secret. In our world, not always such an easy thing to do – to listen over, under and around the noise of our busy, frantic minds – to let go of our cravings and needs and simply listen to what is right and true inside.

Listening to this lovely scholar, Omid Safi, speaking about radical love, I was gifted with one of these all too brief flashes of insight – it disappeared too soon. It was a shooting star, speeding across the nighttime blackness of my mind. But for a brief moment, there it was. And I loved my mountains, the sun lighting the golden leaves of the maples, the warmth of the afternoon, turning my pup’s fur to tinges of gold – and it lit up a love of my man and what we have together – this fragile, beautiful family and this unknown future we are building tentatively step by step and day by day.

Listening to the heart – working hard at listening. Because what it say is true – this I know.


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Today, Tammy and I hiked up Mount Kuskanax in sun and warmth and under beautiful blue skies. Well, it wasn’t quite as warm on top – rather windy in fact (and a bit of snow but not much). Did I mention putting on all my layers including my down? And yes, we deked down a wee bit for lunch in the shelter of some trees.

Surprisingly, we hiked into a small burn zone. Looked like a forest fire this summer came up to the ridge and ended there. I suspect the fire roared up and hit wind coming up from the valley, blowing it back on itself and putting it out.

In short, Tammy and I had a totally awesome day. And – two more hikes planned! Yay!

Also, Simon came home announcing interesting (exciting) options.

More on that when the time is right.

Don’t you love being left hanging in suspense?

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Dog Day

No rants today – and nothing particularly exciting to report on the hiking end of things – just a day of taking a dog to the vet and then walking with the dogs through a rain forest (pretty) and coming home and hanging out.

Off and on Simon and I have talked about the state of the world (depressing) and the state of our future (interesting) and really – that’s about it.

Various things weigh on my mind – but they’re in a state of cooking – too soon to open the oven door.

Tomorrow – a hike – and that does this particular body good.

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Dennis Basin plus

The day turned out not at all as expected – in fact, ever so much better than expected.

We tossed around at least a Plan A, B and C for hiking and ended up with D – Dennis Basin, hoping to get up to the ridge.

It was a delightful morning. Snow started pretty much at the parking lot and got deeper the higher we went – but not cold at all! Of course, we were on the north side – so the snow got deeper.

When we hit the saddle we started up the left hand ridge. I thought we could get to the top but the others nixed the idea so down we went. Safety first, right?

And then, partway down, Tammy had the brilliant idea of ducking across and up to see if we could find the lake we had spotted from the right-hand ridge last fall. And boom! There it was. Way cool.

As far as I was concerned, that was the cherry on top of an already super morning cake (worst metaphor ever!). And then Tammy had yet another genius idea! She’s spotted a trail past the Wilson Creek Road to the falls a couple of years previously. How about investigating?

Sure, we said. We took a couple of false trails and then – OMG – a sign for the trail! Who would have thought? We followed it and then took another likely trail and suddenly we were on top of the falls.

Thrilled to bits!

We followed the trail, got down to the creek, got photos of the amazing colours and just generally had a super time.

I think we were all pretty much in agreement that the day was a terrific hodgepodge. Loved it! And with a stretch of great weather on the horizon – more to come!

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Another Climate Rant

I’ve participated in a few chats – on and off-line – about the climate lately. It’s front and centre for me, not just pursuant to the latest UN report, but also following on the heels of record-breaking fire and hurricane seasons, refugees from Africa and a simple, general awareness of what is going on in the world around me.

Mostly, I hear people talking about what we can do: reuse, recycle, take public transportation, use solar panels – there is a long list. These are all good and I agree that we should do these things wherever, whenever, however we can.

But none of these individual changes mean a thing without political will – and because politicians are bought and paid for by corporations, mainly the oil and gas cartels who care only for a quick profit and the planet be damned – I don’t think we have much hope.

That said, there are two extremely powerful things people can do – and these are the two things people most resist to the point of not even wanting to talk about them. These are the two things that take create a monster carbon footprint.

  1. Stop eating meat. This includes chickens. This includes fish. Just stop. You won’t starve. You will simply have to adjust. I can already hear the outcry. “But I only eat free-range!” Vegetables also take up a lot of room!” I’m not even going to argue this one. Just look it up.
  2. The biggest difference you can make – stop procreating. Stop putting more people on our already overcrowded planet. If you must, have one. Yeah – I know the argument – but people in developing countries keep having kids; why should I stop? Because your kid consumes 10 times the amount of “stuff” that a kid in India does. And even if they consumed the same amount, just stop. It’s more powerful than stopping plastic. No one wants to talk about not having kids. All I see are FB posts about cute babies and congrats on being pregnant and – here’s a reward for having a baby – child subsidies from the government, and tax deductions.

There are too many people on the earth.

As Simon so eloquently put it – we are all Easter Islanders – chopping down the very last tree, knowing that doing it is going to kill us. And we are doing it anyway.

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In the Middle of it

I read the news – catastrophic effects of climate change by 2040 – or maybe 2030 – if we don’t do something right now.

Well, we’re not – we’re building pipelines and starting more fossil fuel projects. And to the south of us the dictator-in-chief is firing up coal plants and dismantling environmental protections. So you can bet humanity will do nothing.

That hope has to be laid to rest.

Hey – its 20 or 30 years out – the election cycle if every 4 years and people want jobs and money – that’s all that counts.

No one seems to give a rat’s ass about air to breathe and food to eat. They do care about refugees and immigrants but only about keeping them out – not about the fact that we are creating them.

Here’s the thing: I listened to an interview with a scientist today on the drive home from Nakusp and he stated it so much better than our watered-down news reported it. We are in it. The mass extinction is well under way. Our floods, fires and storms will get worse every year and there is nothing that we can do about it. We reached the tipping point years ago.

All we can do now is perhaps lessen the impact a tiny bit – but only if we mobilize the way we did for World War 2 – only if we put every effort and every resource behind it.

We are not going to do that.

And it’s no comfort to shrug and say, “Well, I’ll be dead by then so it doesn’t matter to me.”

No – you will not be. You are already in it and next year and the year after and the year after that it will be worse.

And if you really are dead by then? Shame on you for being such a big shit that you don’t give a damn for anyone but yourself. (the biggest shits, it seems, are the people we elected into power). The even more humongous shits are the people who voted for men like Doug Ford and the orange terror south of us.

Shame on you – all of you. It’s called societal homicide – look it up.

Despair is completely understandable. Hopelessness and depression – yes. I get it. I understand. Without a conscious effort and grounding, it would be easy to give up all hope.

And we can’t. If there is to be even the tiniest glimmer of hope, it’s with people who care.

I hope we keep caring.

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Idaho Peak from Wakefield Trail

Today Tammy, Nicky and I headed up the Wakefield Trail to Idaho Peak. We hit snow surprisingly early – but good snow – snow you can walk through!

And although the skies were mostly grey and although it snowed a wee bit on top, it was a totally awesome day. No rain. Not much wind. And, best of all, it was utterly deserted. That’s the bonus of hiking when the road up is closed.

Not much more to say really. Just wonderful company and a great day followed by a hot bubble bath.

Happy place!

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