Began the day at the Listening Center for an early session. As usual, little man insisted he was not going, that today was his “day off.” Since we were heading to Niagara afterwards we took a car so I bribed him with breakfast out. Fortunately for everyone, he can be motivated with food.
As we waited for therapists to fetch each of the children for their sessions, I picked up the book “Music Is The Key” by Karen O’Conner (shown just above). My heart did a little somersault reading the incredibly poignant dedication on the inside cover:
“I now know that the essence of an excellent therapist, doctor, teacher or clinician is their passionate belief that there is a way to make things better and in believing there is a way they are creating the way. I wish you the joy of knowing and working with someone like this.”
Believing there is a way, creates the way.
This is really a critical piece of any healing journey. I’ve been doing some studying of the ancient Toltec teachings, which are mostly universal ideas, and learning the art of “not knowing” as a means of potentially knowing. This is another type of beginner’s mind or being “child like” in faith and trust of the wisdom in life’s unfolding. My lesson most recently was to place the question of resolving my son’s struggles with sensory, impulse control and dysgraphia into the east, or the place of not knowing and by doing so, allow the answer to come. Or not come. As it may or may not be something I CAN solve. Long story but this taps into a long storyline in my life of trying to fix everything, to make it all right. So, releasing this “problem” and allowing the perfect and wise souls involved in this life dance to blossom and unfold in their own magical and astounding ways, being open and ready for the gifts of this struggle, is the most powerful action I can choose.
Lord knows worry and anxiety weren’t working very well.
And here, after I have made this renewed pact with myself to let go and “let God,” are these incredibly perfect words in a book sitting on a shelf in a place I am now becoming very at home.
And yes, I am so grateful and blessed to be knowing and working with several someones like this…the entire staff at the Listening Center has opened their arms and hearts to me and the children. They impromptu sang “Happy Birthday” to my daughter on her birthday. L went out of her way to make up a list of things to do for me, including places to play tennis (for me), get inspired by art (for C), and visit “Hogwarts” at the Royal Conservatory along Philosopher’s Way (for little man).
As I waited for the children’s sessions, I took my usual walk around the neighborhood that I now know is called “the Annex.” I cannot escape Honest Ed’s as it’s right there between the Listening Center and the subway station. There is so much going on inside and outside that building that I laughed noticing the vault door only for the first time today, though I have walked past it at least 10 times.
There is apparently a very cool street called “graffiti ally” which we “L” gave me a sketch map and directions to find one of these afternoons. Until then, I’ve been enjoying the street art I’ve stumbled on my own. There was a man standing nearby when I took this. Perhaps the artist? Or someone who knows them? He asked me if I found something I enjoyed. I winked and said I did.
Once the children’s sessions were over we got our iphone map apps cranked up to find the expressway to Niagara Falls. It’s about an hour and a half from the city center. The drive was quite nice down Bloor. It’s interesting to see the changing character of neighborhoods every dozen blocks or so.
We were a little overwhelmed by the carnival atmosphere in Niagara once we arrived. Casinos and haunted houses? Ripley’s Believe It Or Not? Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum? It felt like Universal Studios, Vegas and any seaside strip mall rolled into one.
Thankfully, the river and falls were nearby and impressive even from the arcades and high rise amusement centers. We were able to get immediately onboard one of the Horn Blower boats with another 60+ pink poncho clad tourists. Little man and C immediately complained about the smell. I recognized au d’poisson from years of vacationing at the sea. There were thousands of gulls hovering and plucking fish from the brown tinged whipped water clinging to the boats in harbor. Niagara Falls seems to thresh itself free of all kinds of debris. I wonder what or where the contents of this foam come from?
The falls were incredibly powerful to stride alongside. In the rocking and swaying waves, we were thoroughly soaked in mist and rebounding spray.
Forcing, coursing, frothing
life pouring walls of watery steel,
jolted atoms dancing delight,
joyful squinting soaking,
our bodies aligning in natural magic,
her powerful body unbound,
drenching and quenching thirsty earthly surges,
healing a gulf between our inner and outer shores
A little rough improv poetry inspired by our proximity to powerful water medicine.
After the boat ride, I was browsing in a souvenir shop with little man and I heard some cool drum music. I walked past a display of dream catchers and saw the drummer was my very own son. He was just jamming nothing in particular but it sounded great. He seemed very in tune with the pounding and intensity of the falls. I wondered if the sound of water falls was soothing to his nervous system? The ear for music syncs up with rhythm and coordination, timing and control. Here he was moments after hovering 15-20 minutes under the thundering pulse of water igniting over rocks and turbulent waves. Perhaps this was a clue…for what he needs?
We ended our musical day, where else? At the Hard Rock Cafe. I figured I might as well get it over with. The food was spectacularly terrible but our waitress was a doll. And, it was a very happy serendipity to find my very first and last concerts of childhood in one glass box: Elton John and Depeche Mode.
I have got to figure out how to get these blog posts done before midnight. Tomorrow I have a progress meeting with Paul Madaule. Curious to hear what he has to say.