A Little Healing Harp

Today I listened to a harp. Right up close –ear to the wood. Very slowly the strings were plucked, and I listened with eyes closed to the vibration. The sound would start very deep, and made me think of the colour brown for some reason, then it would stretch out far and just continue and continue and continue until finally, eventually it faded away.

Good Vibration

There is a lovely lady in Ottawa who invited  me to her home this Monday morning. I won’t say her name only because, I forgot to ask if I could mention it here. She is an actress and musician and writer and counsellor and traveller and the perfect example of a renaissance woman.  Through a small series of coincidences, I found myself in her living room today, ear on her harp as she plucked different notes.

Two weeks ago I was at the Ottawa Women’s Business Network Courageous Women’s Event, which was organized by the lovely Camille Boivin, for whom I support in writing the blog “Sister Leadership.” This women’s event was held at the Bytown, and part of the evening involved storytelling and meeting notable women of Ottawa’s past. One lady there was Mother McGuinty. Mind you, she’s not the real Mother McGuinty – that lady being from the canal building times in Ottawa, which was long, long, long ago. The women at the event was an actress, and she often plays this role. Anyhow, she was by far the most popular person at this party as she played the role – and she wasn’t even there to network! Mother McGinty kept asking us to show her our ankles, and invited us to work at her ‘bar’ over the way where men would go crazy over the flash of a lovely ankle.

She was totally charming.

Then the other day, I was at the OICC, and there she was on the cover of a music CD – Mother McGuinty. She was on the cover of this CD, playing the harp.

And then, I was asked to find and interview her (for a series of Ottawa women we are doing over at SL). Which I did, because that’s what I do – and during our conversation it came out that she had had stage four lymphoma many years ago. To help herself feel better during treatments, she found a favourite note on her harp, and she would play it, listening as it stretched out and vibrate into her, until it finally faded away – then, she’d strum it again, and again, and again, resonating with the notes.

During my interview with her, which will sooner than later be on Cam’s blog, I had mentioned seeing her CD at the OICC, which is when she learned about the stage 4 breast cancer, and invited me over for a cuppa and some harp-listening.

It was a lovely part of today. It’s lovely how the notes flow right into me.

Never in my life did I imagine holding a harp and resting myself against it to listen and vibrate and heal. But that is exactly what happened today. It was lovely, she was lovely, and now I know my notes. J B and C – deep and strong.

So there is a little story about that.


How things are going, and a story about worms

I’m waiting for the chicken to defrost just a little before I slice it up. In the meanwhile, it’s time for a blog post! While I often update on Facebook and occasionally through the Kickstarter campaign, I thought maybe here in the land of blogging, it was quite a good idea to share on how the book is doing.

So, how is the book doing?

Very well, thank you for asking. There were starts and stops with a few things, but in reality  none of that even matters because it is all very good. This reminds me of why it’s good to do what you really believe in – like, from the gut and heart and whatever part of you taps that inside strength.

My point: When it is good, the hitches don’t matter.

The book is now off to the printers with the editing done (well, we did our very best for the time being), and cover designed. I have a proof copy, and it’s gorgeous.

Check out that investment sweater! Me being interviewed by Tina of Women In Leadership, Ottawa.

Check out that investment sweater! Me being interviewed by Tina of Women In Leadership, Ottawa.

Internal debate: When to reveal the cover?  Zsolt thinks we should ship out the book first, then show everyone the cover. He thinks it would be a lovely surprise in the mail. The man has a point. But on the other hand, I LOVE IT, and it’s sooo hard not to show the world when I’m going bonkers over something. Though maybe opening a book in the mail and seeing the picture would be very exciting… I imagine it could be fun. Your opinion?

Also, I’m planning on having a launch party. Now I’ve typed it out loud, I’m obligated! You heard it here – LAUNCH PARTY IS HAPPENING. Most of me wants to have it at the apartment. I’m wondering just how many people can fit into this space. Because really, all the best parties are house parties, no? Yes. It’s good to launch in a book store with wine and conversation… but perhaps it’s better to launch this book in my kitchen with pot luck, music and laughter? While the book is literary, it’s by no means stuffy. The party should reflect that, wherever it may happen.

Finally, in the very smallest cracks of the day, i.e. midnight-ish, I’ve started working on my writer’s website. This is all on me, I’m not outsourcing the business of websites. It’s mostly just a bit of fun, but also something quite practical. Below is a picture from the website, featuring an image from one of my oldest postcards:


And just to give a little update, kind of imagining that Lulu was still reading this blog, and I know she’d be curious: How are we doing? Zsolt and I are doing really well, thanks for asking 😉

In terms of life, it’s been beautifully normal lately. There’s an oncologist appointment coming up this week, and I am praying Dr. Canada isn’t going to ruin my buzz. Onco appointments give me anxiety hot flashes.

The IV Vitamin C is going well. I go to the OICC in Ottawa, and I’m very grateful for their services. It’s not cheap, but like one of my doctors said: can you really put a price tag on your life? Well, yes, you can . . . but nevertheless, this is my shot, my time to try my damn best with what I’ve got, and I’m going to take it. I’m lucky to be able to do this. Part of what I make from the kickstarter campaign – like whatever I get to take away after making the book, etc., will hopefully go to this sort of thing.

I’m also doing something called mistletoe. It’s an injection 3x a week that is meant to stimulate the immune system. Truth be told, this isn’t fun. But I’ve heard some good results from others, so that is very encouraging.

Also, Zsolt’s parents are bringing us to Hungary for the holidays! I guess you can call that a gift for the soul. I had tried suggesting they come over here, but it’s not easy for them with the language barrier and the world being big, fast, and a little intimidating. So we go there! I’ve found a place that will administer vitamin C while I’m in Hungary. There will also be Christmas markets, and puppies and goulash (I’m hoping). I reckon it is better to go now than wait, wait, wait for the right moment. Forget waiting for the right moment—I don’t know what that even means anymore, except that body allowing, now is the right moment for everything.

And we are happy. I haven’t been crying every day, Zsolt and I laugh and play, and I am glad. I’m glad to be happy. Not much has changed one way or another, I guess . . . well, we’ve just been allowed to step-back from the drama (or get used to the drama) and a bit of happiness has been finding its way back in.

Also, I went to my parents’ workshop this past weekend, which was a HUGE help emotionally. There were a few really solid realizations during that workshop. Mostly, I realized I’ve been quite hooked on this idea of ‘home’ and maybe that’s not working out for me anymore. Maybe it’s time to let go of that allusive dream, or redefine it. I like that, it’s less pressure.

Other news? Oh, let’s see. The man is cooking me eggs. I’ve been so busy that Zsolt has been making lunch several times a week. He has mastered the art of eggs with yolk that isn’t too hard or too soft. He fries the bacon so it’s cooked but not chewy. And, he’s insisting upon frying up broccoli every time since it’s so healthy.

*MAN. Speaking of broccoli. A while ago, we bought broccoli from the local organic farmer who sells on the nearby street corner. So, fresh broccoli – la, la, la, happy days. Zsolt does his thing and cooks it all up while I’m at the computer working away. We eat dinner, and then, toward the end I notice a dead worm! Grossed out, I push away the last bit of broccoli and refuse to eat more (due to a traumatic broccoli freezing incident as a teenager that also involved worms). So Zsolt tosses the insect, then goes to eat the remainder of my broccoli—again finding another worm, then another, and another! THE ENTIRE LOT OF BROCCOLI IS FULL OF DEAD WORMS, and we’d eaten it all, minus that clump on my plate.


But, at least they were organic worms.

The END. (of this blog post)