Sunday, November 25, 2012

This Sacred World

University of Victoria, Autumn 2012

Where is the peace I desire, if not in the arms of life itself? Where is my heart, if not in the universal hands, beating and quivering as delicate as a chickadee?

I am here, now, present and somewhat uncertain of what I am told I am missing. Though people may attempt to negate my joy or aim to tear me down, I bathe in my life light. I hold myself up to the sun and it is here I will remain while it shines.

I wander the woods and know the joy of the bounce of the forest floor in lieu of remaining chained to the desk from dawn to dusk. I do my job indeed, but I step away for there are no funds for which to buy life, no other path to beauty than the one I choose, no light that will shine brighter for me than my own. 

You will find me in Mystic Vale with a golden leaf floated from the heavens cradled in my palm and my face tilted toward the sun. 

At my best, I will be a guardian of the Mother Earth and staunch in my protection of her, for the purity and sustainability of the world and the lesson of how I lived in her arms is my only true and valuable inheritance to give.  

With love,

-Gillian Cornwall, November 25, 2012

Bowker Creek Trail
University of Victoria
November 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Time Spent

Saanich Farmland, October 2012

Tension and release are natural in all life but when the rhythms of the cycle are knocked askew, internal and external environments are impacted and it may take a conscious effort to initiate the release. 

Many of us have changed the way we live. We've added a step. In times gone by, we worked to produce that which we require for survival and enjoyment. There were fewer middle men and that which we did not, or could not, produce, we traded with our neighbours. If we wanted food we worked the land, cared for the animals and we fished. I know this was not easy. All daylight hours were spent in toil but evenings were spent in a certain quietude and peace that I think we may have forgone for the pursuit of others lives on TV and through the computer. This is not a judgement, merely an observation.

Now, we go to work to make the money to buy that which we need and desire. That which we desire often outweighs our needs and income so, in order to buy more we work more, decreasing the amount of leisure time available to simply enjoy life and that for which we toil.

I am trying to be more cognizant of the difference between need and desire and to be clear of the motivation behind the desire. I'm not saying desire is bad - not a chance! I want to be more aware. I want to be more present in the decisions I make around time. Perhaps it is a result of the amount of time I have already seen go by but I have realized that time, and the way I spend it, is what I most value. 

"There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy." -Ralph H. Blum

-Gillian Cornwall, November 18, 2012.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Love and Molecules - Lest We Forget

Eunice Audrey Jay(my Mother), Circa 1943

Imagine, my mom was driving a Velocette motorcycle around England in 1943. She was 19 then. She had a boyfriend who was a pilot. They used to read poetry to each other at Harrow on the Hill by Byron's tomb. They were in love. My mom was in the ATS at Biggin Hill fighter station where her boyfriend, Rick, was posted. They lived fast and true to their hearts. There was no time to waste by not feeling, blocking and worrying if it was right. Life was so tenuous - up for the lottery every moment as planes fell from the sky, bombs fell from the sky and buildings crumbled around people daily. The world was at war and nothing was forever. There was only the moment in which the truth existed.
Rick was shot down. Killed.

In 1948, my mother married my father. They had four kids, moved to Canada from England twice, started their own business, and divorced in 1975. My mother continued to work to support the two children she still had at home. She created a new career for herself and kept my brother and I in school, in good clothes, with enough food to eat and the occasional vacation and special treat. She did well by us although she was sad - she had lost a part of her self in the process of all this.

At 58 years old, she died of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease); robbed of her retirement and her chance to go to Europe and explore the arts of the countries she had spoken of so passionately over the years.

Her wish was to have her ashes taken to Byron's tomb to be spread in the place where she remembered her passion, her love and her truth. This was done. I hope that my mom and Rick's molecules are dancing together still.

Live, love, be brave.

The Tear by Lord Byron

When Friendship or Love our sympathies move,
When Truth, in a glance, should appear,
The lips may beguile with a dimple or smile,
But the test of affection's a Tear:

Too oft is a smile but the hypocrite's wile,
To mask detestation, or fear;
Give me the soft sigh, whilst the soultelling eye
Is dimm'd, for a time, with a Tear:

Mild Charity's glow, to us mortals below,
Shows the soul from barbarity clear;
Compassion will melt, where this virtue is felt,
And its dew is diffused in a Tear:

The man, doom'd to sail with the blast of the gale,
Through billows Atlantic to steer,
As he bends o'er the wave which may soon be his grave,
The green sparkles bright with a Tear;

The Soldier braves death for a fanciful wreath
In Glory's romantic career;
But he raises the foe when in battle laid low,
And bathes every wound with a Tear.

If, with high-bounding pride he return to his bride!
Renouncing the gore-crimson'd spear;
All his toils are repaid when, embracing the maid,
From her eyelid he kisses the Tear.

Sweet scene of my youth! seat of Friendship and Truth,
Where Love chas'd each fast-fleeting year
Loth to leave thee, I mourn'd, for a last look I turn'd,
But thy spire was scarce seen through a Tear:

Though my vows I can pour, to my Mary no more,
My Mary, to Love once so dear,
In the shade of her bow'r I remember the hour,
She rewarded those vows with a Tear.

By another possest, may she live ever blest!
Her name still my heart must revere:
With a sigh I resign what I once thought was mine,
And forgive her deceit with a Tear.

Ye friends of my heart, ere from you I depart,
This hope to my breast is most near:
If again we shall meet in this rural retreat,
May we meet, as we part, with a Tear.

When my soul wings her flight to the regions of night,
And my corse shall recline on its bier;
As ye pass by the tomb where my ashes consume,
Oh! moisten their dust with a Tear.

May no marble bestow the splendour of woe
Which the children of vanity rear;
No fiction of fame shall blazon my name.
All I ask – all I wish – is a Tear.

October 26 1806
Edward Jay(my uncle)

Sunday, November 04, 2012


Buddha - Hawaii 2006

Let the love flow through you.
Do not attempt to hold it for questioning.
All will be well.

Walk the path of love rather than the path of fear.
Give what you have to give freely and without expectation.
Make way for those you love to follow their paths without impeding their journeys.

Hold up a light for them when they are in their darkest hours.
Hold up a mirror when they need to see their beautiful perfection more clearly.

Love freely.
This is a good job.
This is a good life.
This is a beautiful life.

All is well.
Blessings to all.
Love to all.
Love and blessings gratefully received.

-Gillian Cornwall, August 25, 2011.