Sunday, July 28, 2013

I Want To Write

Lana'i, Hawaii
G. Cornwall, c. 2006

What I want to write about is truth, as I know it - the truth as I see it. I want to write the passion, the filth and the joy. I want to write it all. I want to write from where life springs forth in all its mess. I see. I am whole. 

I want to write about how I know that if I remain open and fluid, the chaos will flow through me and I will know where I am in the midst of it. I want to write the perfection of science and art from my open thermodynamic system. I want to write about how one needn't fear love, giving love, if one expects nothing, fearlessly. I want to write from that place I've seen, that place I've been, in which I'm completely connected to everything, where there is no loss and no gain, where everything stands sublime. I want to write about walking through the shit and the quagmire along the way, how I push myself away and pull myself closer in the want and don't want of it all. 

Where are the heart and mind if not in this universal woods of life and story? Who have we created as the Big, Bad Wolf today? I want to write it all and write it again with new eyes everyday. Passion and madness like torn streamers and deflating, escaping balloons at the end of five year old's birthday party where you find gum in the cat's fur and a hot dog in the toilet. 

Passion and madness and sweet release. Chaos. Entropy. Acceptance. A toolkit of heart and mind and nonsense. Perhaps all of it is without sense. That is the sweet spot. Fear. Dirt. Sunshine. A friend told me that if you hit dirt hard enough it will become sunshine. I want to write dirt into sunshine and sunshine into dirt. I want to write.

Gumby and Pokey
Lana'i, Hawaii.
G. Cornwall, c. 2006

-Gillian Cornwall, c. February, 2011

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I have decided to post this piece from 2011 as I feel it warrants a reprise. I hope it brings you joy and peace. 
Buddha - Hawaii 2006

Let 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.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sarcasm, Irony and Clear, Kind Communication

Fog in English Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2009 

The Art of Language

Sarcasm: Noun. The use of irony to mock or convey contempt. 
More on this word from wikipedia

Irony: Noun. The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect. 
More on this word from wikipedia

While recognized as literary tools, perhaps these should be known as massive bombshells of misunderstanding. 

This is what I am thinking. One has to be an extraordinary communicator in order to know where and when to pepper one's speech with irony. I have seen it used perfectly in poetry, fiction and dramatic writing; however, it is a rare phenomenon to experience its effectiveness in oral communication. In fact, personally, I have no use for sarcasm and find I only use it when backed into a corner and resort to it in retaliation. I always feel disappointed in myself afterward. 

When used in workplace communications or any relationships where there is an imbalance of perceived power, the results can be disastrous. Consider when and how to use these tools -  learn about them. Have you walked away from conversations wondering why someone would say something so unkind to you, only to find out years later, that somehow they were using a failed attempt at irony or sarcasm, alleging an absence of harmful intent? For in truth, all comedy and irony bears a weight of truth and is often used out of fear of the results of straightforward, clear communication.

In our world, language is changing rapidly, particularly with the use of technology. The art of written and spoken communication is in continuous flux. Perhaps this speed and offhandedness with which we can communicate might give us more pause to consider that which we say in advance of blurting. I am trying, though sometimes failing, to use clear and kind communication rather than irony and definitely in place of sarcasm. It isn't always easy but I want to ensure that people aren't walking away from me hurt or confused by a glib, thoughtless remark I have made.

Awareness. Intention. Kindness. Clarity. Let these words guide our path of communication. Do not let fear dictate our words and result in bitter strikes. Indeed, the pen is mightier than the sword but can wound as effectively. 

I suppose what is rather silly here is that I am simply saying something most of our parents taught us when we first formulated speech, "Think before you speak."

I wish you all a beautiful week filled with joyous, kind interactions that ripple out across the world. Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

-Gillian Cornwall, July 14, 2013. 

Gillian Cornwall, c. 2009

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Perspective - Creating the Positive Picnic Basket

Picnic Basket
Charmaine's Past and Present
Fort St, Victoria.
G. Cornwall, 2012.

Life doesn't always feel like a picnic but if you are prepared to have one anyway, looking for the positive in every situation, life does become more simple. 

The unexpected turns of life, the potholes, the sinkholes on our path, the barriers of our own creation, can be our demise or our opportunity to shift our thinking, our way of travelling through life, for what are we without these challenges. 

Stagnation may bring us peace, opportunity to rest for a time, but in the long run we must shift in order to grow. Even as my bus driver takes a wrong turn as I write this, there must be opportunity. I see it as extra time to write on my way to work and, as one of the elders on campus once said, "You're not late unless everyone has already gone home."

It is not the perceived errors in our life that define us, rather the way in which we mitigate them. How do we face change or loss? Is there loss if nothing is held tightly? Like all things, like thermodynamics, we will move to where there is space for us to be. This is how we grow and learn and gain perspective.

Do not fear the fall. Prepare yourself for it by living a life of gratitude, in peace, accepting that change will come and that all is well. Accept each breathe as a blessing in which to be present, an opportunity to live and to love with an open heart and an open mind.

A poem on perspective:

I elevate
I reach
beyond that which I believe
the land of exploration
the sensation
the bold and brave new world.

I search
for another way of being
something more freeing
with more meaning
where a hand reaches out 
for another hand.

For if we truly work together 
there is enough for everyone.

If I take away desire
-for stuff brings strife-
and focus on the stuff of life
If I let love be my fire
and make true
the path between me and you,
then I elevate,
I reach
beyond that which the world believes.

If I live a life of gratitude,
not servitude,
If I  feed the world 
with my soul, my light
then I will know
what it means to live free, to live right.

-Gillian Cornwall, c. July 7, 2013.

Big Island - Parker Ranch
c. Gillian Cornwall
Oil Pastel on Paper, 2007.