Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tenda - Seitlhamo Motsapi

i look at you

& you remind me of all the


i haven't seen or embraced

& since you are like every one of us

you rise out of my heart

with the craggy serenity of kilimanjaro

enduring like prophecies

peaceful like distances

since you are like all of us

eternal like every river

even when the sea claims us

for me you carry affirmations

a sprout in the parch, a mend in the rend

water from an ancient well

& since every one of us

carries the seeds of a storm within him

since the mountains come to rest

in the breast of every one of us

beginning the long journey across the desert

since the forests & the skies & the faces of children

overflow with lessons of love

for all to learn

i will always remember you

& your face that is the end of all roads

poetry will never travel

i will remember you

when i have learned the rustle of rivers

when i have learned the inconvenient gestures of compassion

when i have learned to be infinitely present

& yet invisible like the sky

Friday, September 18, 2009


Lately I've been drawn to this photo I took of the lotus-filled pond at Kanavu. With the sculpture of mother and child. It fills me with a certain peace. As if I'm sitting there right now. Maybe that's why I put it in the Josh album I created as a pool of photos for the website. I hoped we could somehow incorporate it into the website to share that feeling of peace with every visitor - and somehow transfer that peaceful energy to Josh.

Our Journey

These are our students. Sitting by the Kanavu pond in a rare, peaceful moment in our journey. I had planned to write about our journey together while we were on it but as I wrote in Bangalore and never posted:
"Namaste from Bangalore! I have now been away from Toronto for close to three weeks - first in Boston, then Geneva and now Bangalore. During that time, my life as a traveling professor has been so intense that I haven't had a moment to start this blog! In Boston, we had intense but productive meetings."

Things never changed. Things never became less intense. I rarely had time to reflect on our experiences let alone write about them. Then I came back and thought it would be pointless to write about our journey after the fact. Now I'm being taken back on the winding, spiralling paths as I think of Josh and remember so many moments we shared. While he is detained in Iran with our communication abruptly and painfully cut short, moments of memories randomly flash through my mind. And I want to take our journey together again.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Man Jing Yi

My blogging of our journey retraces the journey in my mind. Winding, spiralling, webs of memories sometimes triggered by specific encounters, experiences, other times by powerful feelings emerging from deep within. Today I saw a group of people practising Tai Chi in Riverdale Park overlooking the sweeping Don Valley. A group diverse in age and race "waving hands like clouds" with slow, tranquil, intention ('man jing yi' in Mandarin). And I remembered Josh Tai Chi-ing throughout our journey. And living with 'man jing yi'.

Spiraling Journey

Josh is on the spiraling journey with me.

Where it all began

Well, it really began in my straw bale apartment in the Gatineau hills, when I received the phone call offering me the job of Traveling Professor for the International Honors Program. I felt so intensely excited about the offer that I walked out of the house without my cell phone, and then without my map, as I tried to come back down to the earth I was standing on so that I could find my way to my office picnic at Britannia Beach. I envisioned myself leaving that beautiful earth I had lived on for the past year for new adventures with new people in new places all over the world. First Boston, then Geneva, then Bangalore, Changsha, Cape Town and beyond. Traveling miles.

Traveling miles

born with the lightning and thunder
sound descending proud and bright
walk into the wind
singing god in
the night

traveling miles
crossing time
shifting style
traveling miles...and miles

you can hear him humming on a country road
as the shadows grow to night
swinging through seventh avenue
underneath the city lights

ringing out with no fear or doubt
we can live our dreams right now
right now

~Cassandra Wilson

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


We met the students in DC...at the airport. A chaotic time and place for introductions. While I awaited their arrival I walked through the airport absorbing the historic moment. It was a mere few days before Obama's inauguration and in true American style, the airport was full of Obama paraphernalia. Books, t-shirts, chocolate bars, gum, and paper dolls...of course. The life size one was the best. I wanted to take it with us.


This is the book I never read
These are the words I never said
This is the path I'll never tread
These are the dreams I'll dream instead
This is the joy that's seldom spread
These are the tears...
The tears we shed
This is the fear
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head
And these are the years that we have spent
And this is what they represent
And this is how I feel
Do you know how I feel
'cause i don't think you know how I feel
I don't think you know what I feel
I don't think you know what I fear
You don't know what I fear

~Annie Lennox