The view overlooking English Harbour from my new home in Antigua...for 6 weeks at least!

I do get around..but get your heads out of the gutter people....I'm talking about getting around geographically...of course.

As I type tonight I listen to the songs of crickets, grasshoppers and other nocturnal melody makers, through the open windows, with the ocean breeze gently forcing the sheer thin drapes to dance. Clearly, I am not in Toronto. I write from Antigua, the winter home of my dear Kitchi friend Mary; my new home for the next six weeks.

I moved out of my beloved Toronto home with some sadness over the weekend, and I'll miss my roomie and sister Gisele as I embark upon the next part of this journey I'm on. My beloved Amir had no idea that being involved with me involves moving on a semi-regular basis (we just moved my belongings from Midland to Barrie a few weeks ago), and becoming a storehouse. I'm so grateful for friends and family who accept my nomadic ways, and offer help, storage and muscles on a fairly regular basis.

That being said, this past move really got me thinking about how much "stuff" I have, and how much I really need in life...which in reality is very little if I am honest with myself. I've been carting and schlepping a huge box of magazines around (for yoga art workshops I host maybe once a year), a box of toiletries and makeup, most of which I never wear, but it's such "good quality" that I haven't parted from it. I parted from most of it and am trying my best to just have the basic necessities.

On my last day in Toronto, Gisele gave me her sacred mala that she's had for years, and I was so touched that I was brought to tears: her gifts and talents have that effect. The next morning at Pearson Airport, I again was almost brought to tears because of the mala; it broke. I was in duty free browsing before my flight and bent over my suitcase to get my wallet, and the mala got caught on the handle when I stood up again. Beads rolled in every direction on the floor and with the help of two early morning shoppers and the lovely woman who was working, we managed to pick them all up, so I still have 108 beautiful tiger wood beads, but about 12 of them are not attached to the mala. Currently, the mala is sitting on my meditation table in my little room above English Harbour (see the picture below). Please note the picture drawn by Jaz...my surrogate 5 year-old niece here in Antigua. I realized I had forgotten to pack my little carved ivory Ganesh (the Hindu elephant God which represents removing obstacles), and of course, Spirit intervened and had Jaz draw me a surprise gift of an elephant. She had no idea I forgot Ganesh, but made sure I was supported with his presence nonetheless.

As I sat on the plan, I thought about my stuff even further. I was a bit upset by the fact that just before the broken mala incident, I had another incident involving my "stuff". I had brought my magic bullet blender in my carry-on, in my haste of packing and of course, due to the blade, it was confiscated and I had to leave it behind at security. The security woman felt really bad and gave me options to store it for a dollar a day, or check it in with the airline. I didn't have time to do this, so I begrudgingly left it. My mind raced with, "How am I going to make my spirulina protein power shakes in the morning? Why was I so stupid and why didn't I put it in my checked baggage?" and so on. As I sullenly repacked my carry-on, I saw I had my Shambala Sun magazine with me, and a journal with a picture of the Buddah on the front cover. I had to smile and see the lessons that I was almost missing: everything is impermanent and did it really matter that I wouldn't have my blender? I'd survive. I'd more than survive in fact: I could still flourish and flower without the damn blender. I could still meditate deeply with a broken mala sitting on my altar. I could still embrace every moment with an open heart, with gratitude, even the losses and times when things break.

The night before I left Toronto I met a friend of a friend who had just lost most of his belongings in a fire when his condo burnt down. He lost instruments, videos (he makes documentaries), photos, records, CDs and much more. He said it was the worst thing that could ever happen, or that has happened to hims so far. I thought about this, and reflected on Mum, and how I still miss her; how I would let all of my instruments and belongings burn to ash to have her back sometimes, and how for me, losing her was the worst thing that had happened to me so far.

Whether we lose people in our lives, or personal belongings, I see that eventually, we will lose all of it. I'm no longer lamenting the loss of the blender, and drank a lumpy yet nutritious smoothie this morning that I stirred in a cup. I meditated at my alter in front of the broken mala, a hand drawn portrait of Ganesh, and will now do what I love and what I do best: write music. It's my intention to write a new tune each week here for the next album. I'll send out the rough sketch next week on a video blog and you can let me know what you think. If you have any ideas on themes for new tunes, please feel free to let me know...I cherish all of your thoughts and inspirations. 

My new room, and meditation table, complete with a picture of Ganesh, and a broken and beautiful mala from The Barber's Daughters.

 

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