Sunday, April 26, 2015

Signs of Life

 Gore Park, Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

Signs of life
in every sense -
to hear, to see,
to feel and taste
- the scent upon 
the ocean breeze

 Gore Park, Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

the beating heart
in the earth
below our feet

Gore Park, Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

she pushes love
through loamy skin
as camas and as clover born 

Gore Park, Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

for bees to buzz
and propagate the species

Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

each wave upon 
the pebbled shores
is yours

 Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

your blood
coursing and caressing

Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

through Spring,
for life, life
in every bird song

 Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

a call to the duty 
of your life,

Brentwood Bay, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 25, 2015

through space,
through time
- from your heart
to mine

-Gillian Cornwall, c. April 26, 2015

Sunday, April 19, 2015

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

Stillness 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 causing delay, 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.
Re-posted here: April 19, 2015.

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

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Chat with a tree today.

Western Red Cedar by Gillian Cornwall, c.2005
Oil Pastel on Paper $900.00
22" x 30"

If you have a chance, go to a forest today and breathe deeply. Feel the life, the peace, the perfect gift of nature. Restore your soul with the elements that really matter in this moment - life, love, and peace. I'm re-posting this from last year because it feels like a good time for it. I hope it brightens your day. 

A naive poem follows. It is meant to carry you to a peaceful place, a remembrance of how it works when we stop and listen to all of life and that we are one, inextricably connected.

The Western Red Cedar

I'm a western red cedar 
thuja plicata
green perfect plaits 
well-organized leaves

'tree of life' 
for the next thousand years 
I will reach for the sky

My limbs droop downward 
in peaceful repose
while birds fly and sing 
from my tip to my toes

I spread my feet wide
for fear I may fall
though I suppose the fact is
I'll outlive you all

I live in a forest 
you may never find 
It's a place tucked away
on the outside of time

Far down below me 
'mid the moss and the ferns
One day I shall lay there 
my death bed I'll earn

As trees came before me
may I feed many more
In the depths of the rich 
thick, lush forest floor

Do not forget me 
I bring you your air
for the breathe of the forest 
Is the life we all share

-Gillian Cornwall, c. May 4, 2014
Re-post, April 12, 2015

Cedar by the Lake
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2011

Sunday, April 05, 2015


A Belief I Can Get Behind
Gillian Cornwall, Photo: c. 2014

Beliefs - we all have them. Our collective human history is filled with them. We base our culture and our systems on them. In some ways, they are the building blocks of our lives. They are held from perspectives - our own, that of another or our own translation of that of another.

A timely example: There is a bunny and he has a basket of eggs, sometimes chicken, sometimes chocolate, and he hides them on the Easter weekend for children to go out and discover. From this, I surmise that he can walk or hop on his hind legs. This is cool. My understanding is children get the eggs if they have been good, similar to Christmas presents. Here is some Wikipedian history of the Easter Bunny

It is Easter weekend in the Christian faith. It is Passover in the Jewish faith. Later this month it is Ridvan for those of the Baha'i faith. There is a great deal of belief, faith and wonder in humanity. I like that. I like the variety of our ways of being and I can find peaceful joy in our differences. 

"Peaceful joy in our differences" why are there wars fought over who has it all right? Do we need so desperately to believe our way is the right way, the only way? I feel that my greatest knowing comes through listening and learning and making informed decisions as I walk my path. The way of knowing is not a still pond but a flowing river. My beliefs have changed over the years and I have not felt the need to hold fast to one way. I do not need a head nod from another, an " I agree with you. We believe the same thing." 

Does it feel good to share belief with another? Absolutely. Whether it is spiritual, or about the benefits of the practice of Qigong or the foods I eat, I love it when I find another who likes what I like. It gives one a sense of camaraderie and belonging; however, it is through difference that I learn and grow. I am not a stagnant being. I am amorphous and in motion. I want to challenge my beliefs which are largely based on those of my culture, my people, my history and the stories I have been told. 

I am amazed when people are adamant with me that I have to do Yoga - even after I explain that it does not feel good to me. I have been to a number of classes and it just doesn't suit my body. In fact, it hurts. On the other hand, Qigong strengthens me and provides a great sense of well-being. It works for me. I am delighted for the people who have found what they need through Yoga and I'm glad I had the opportunities to try it, but why would I continue if it is not for me? Is it to make others feel that they are right in their choice? Of course they are; they have found that which works for them, as have I. Neither activity hurts nor diminishes the other; they are just different. Can it not be this way with all difference? Can we not just listen, explore and celebrate one another with an absence of harm? I am probably over-simplifying, but I would love it if we could live and let live. 

I wish you each kindness, respect, peace, love, compassion and joy, no matter your beliefs and choices. Let us all try to care for one another and our planet. 

Happy Spring. I hope you enjoy the pictures below. They are all from springtime in Victoria, BC, Canada.

-Gillian Cornwall, c. April 5, 2015

 Different Ways of Being - Tulips
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2008

 Tulip, Spring Rain
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2008

Gillian Cornwall, c. 2008

 Cherry Blossoms
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2012

Gillian Cornwall, c. 2010

Gillian Cornwall, c. 2014