I’m working on a script for a conflict situation, using the approach from Marshall Rosenberg’s excellent book, Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life. I’ve found the book very helpful in the past to deal with conflicts that had me at a complete loss. We don’t learn how to handle conflict well in our society. There’s a lot of judgement, which Rosenberg calls a form of violence. I wouldn’t go that far, but I agree that communicating without judgement gets you further.
Photo: My kitty with my Christmas reading
I enjoyed reading a heartwarming new anthology of fifty-five Canadian Christian writers, Christmas with Hot Apple Cider: Stories from the Season of Giving and Receiving. I read it each morning at breakfast for about a month. It was a lovely way to enjoy the holiday season and continue to experience its warmth after the celebrations were done for the year.
At an event recently, I found myself avoiding the eyes of someone. I remembered how he had hurt me, and thought that maybe if I avoided him, I could convey that it wasn’t cool what happened. I could choose not to engage with him. Later I was scrolling through my photos and noticed someone who looked similar. I remembered how every time I saw him, I would draw back a little, before realizing that he was not the same person who had hurt me. Had I made a mistake?
My father told me the jaw-dropping story of how he and his brother Henry played with a homemade pistol in the USSR (now Ukraine) in the 1930s. I was struck with how lives were endangered and how lives were protected. Amazing things that happened, and that didn’t happen. Good people who played an important role. And the thread that runs through it all is faith. And humour!
Ginger before her great adventure
A few years ago I had an experience that felt like the power of prayer. I had just moved back to Vancouver. It was summer, and I kept the litter box on the balcony of my third floor apartment for my two cats while we were settling in. But Ginger was curious and sometimes tried to jump to the rooftop patio of the suite above us. I deterred her as best I could, but one day I noticed a distinct absence.
Animal Planet has a great reality show called Dr. Jeff, Rocky Mountain Vet. Dr. Jeff Young and his clinic provide low cost services to thousands of clients who couldn’t otherwise afford them in Denver, Colorado. They often rescue animals and do volunteer work, and can receive animals in need from hundreds, even thousands, of miles away. At the beginning of the show, Dr. Jeff says, “This is me. This is what I love.” Those words resonated with me.
On Monday, August 15, TV personality and author Mike McCardell visited White Rock. I learned that he actually spent his first days in British Columbia living in a tent here. There was a housing crisis when he and his young family arrived in 1973. Sound familiar? Earlier, I had been in touch with the White Rock Library about possibly filming Mike’s presentation.