Sounds and Scents

Photo credit: Annie Zalezsak

Sounds and scents take me back to long ago distant places that seem here and now, tugging my heart, whispering in my ear, “Come back!”

The pools in my eyes attest to the futility of the idea that it could ever be re-lived. Even my mind knows the truth: that my memory lies by omission.

Sounds and Scents © December 7, 2017 | Annie Zalezsak

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Seabank Studio

Photo credit: Annie Zalezsak

Seabank Studio, silent and serene
Bathing in big moonlight every night I dream
Penarth Pier, pizza, puppies, people
lonely seashore, tidy tides tidalling.

Walking, wandering, welcoming who?
No one, no where, by myself, too.

Lonely, legacy, sea air keeps us healthy
Peaceful and noisy, impoverished and wealthy.

Atop a tower, tides rushing gently
Trapped in tiny trendy, gone half-mentally.

Yearning, churning, burning
all the while, learning;
Ready, steady,
left and now I’m mourning.

I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate you more, Seabank Studio. I picked at all your faults. The thin walls (I could hear the neighbour pee). The hymn-singing piano lady below (that was nice, actually). But the brash, brass (out-of-tune) band on Sundays, oh, I hated you! And I cursed the perfumed breezes that gave me headaches.

But laying down at night, to the sound of the tides, the moon’s gentle light filled my spirit (I always kept the blinds fully open at night to let her in).

A stupid grievance with the maintenance man was the last straw; I had such little patience then.

Every place has it’s good and not so good.

This place was a jewel and its imperfections, a decade later, seem insignificant. I wish I had explored it more.

Seabank Studio © December 7, 2017 | Annie Zalezsak

Toil or Dream

Photo credit: Annie Zalezsak

I’m aware it’s nearly a year since my last post. I got caught up in the day job. In October, I was drawn back into reading spiritually uplifting books. Today, I read (the first stanza of) this poem, and it asked me to return to writing here.

The Cry of the Dreamer

by John Boyle O’Reilly

 I am tired of planning and toiling
 In the crowded hives of men;
 Heart-weary of building and spoiling,
 And spoiling and building again.
 And I long for the dear old river,
 Where I dreamed my youth away;
 For a dreamer lives forever,
 And a toiler dies in a day.

There’s this tendency I have to become so work-oriented, I forget that what truly nourishes my life and soul is creative activity. While I’m fortunate enough to enlist creativity in my job, I forget and neglect that my soul craves something deeper, someplace meaningful to linger on a regular basis, and give my personal reflections a safe place to flow.

This is where I planned to do (at least some of) that. I now acknowledge this is more than a frivolous past-time; it’s a downright need.

I welcome myself back.

Toil or Dream © December 6, 2017 | Annie Zalezsak

Women’s March

Kelowna, BC, Canada was one of the cities that participated in rallying to support the Women’s March on Washington, DC on Saturday, January 21, 2017.

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I am so grateful to live in a conscious, caring, aware community that exercises our freedom to voice thoughts, ideas and concerns, safely in public.

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I have a lot of respect and gratitude for the willingness of Beth Farrell and Alison Moore to take the lead on this event, and for organizing it so well. It’s the movers and shakers like you that make it easy for the rest of us to just show up.

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Thank you to all the speakers who shared their words of inspiration, their personal experiences and insights, to make us all understand better, and feel more connected in a purposeful way.

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(See many more photos in my Women’s March album on Facebook.)

I appreciate the thought-provoking and eloquent words shared today. I’m still processing my personal ‘calls to action’. In this photo below, I think Alison captures what many of us felt: freedom to proudly and safely express who we are, what we think, and how we’d like to change the world.

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Women’s March © January 21, 2017 | Annie Zalezsak

#womensmarch, #whyimarch

Love Our Mother Earth

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Our Mother Earth cradles us,
upholds life,
provides our every need.
Her boundless love
contains us,
sustains us,
despite our growing greed.

Like rebellious children
her boundaries we test;
yet by her unconditional love
and providence, we are blessed.

Please stop poking and prodding her.
Give back her dignity.
Surrender to HER rights.
Let her rest.
Let her heal.
Let her BE.

Love Our Mother Earth © November 26, 2016 | Annie Zalezsak
(Inspired by the Pray for Standing Rock worldwide synchronized events, specifically the meditation held at the Pandosy Peace Centre in Kelowna.)

Going Minimalist

Having relocated many times over the years, I tend toward a minimalist philosophy. With each move, I determine what possessions I value most, and let go of the rest.

I have rare moments of “whatever happened to that…?” but I don’t yearn to repossess anything I gave away. Life is so much easier with less.

When I stay in one place awhile, I accumulate again. (I come from a long line of pack rats!) I get to a point when clearing the excess feels necessary for my sense of peace.

Here’s how I assess what stays…

1. I LOVE it! It’s ‘me’. It resonates with my soul and the person I want to be in this world.

2. It brings me JOY! I want everything I own to make me happy. No point in keeping things that don’t.

3. It’s MEANINGFUL. Association with a happy memory is good. A gift I don’t like or use, and keep out of guilt, evokes discomfort. Not good.

3. I USE it. It’s practical and makes my life easier.

Here’s how I determine what goes…

1. It’s served its PURPOSE with me. If the reason I got it has long since passed or my situation has changed, it can move on to live a new, fulfilling life with someone else.

2. I won’t MISS it. If I haven’t thought about the item for the last few months, I don’t need to continue paying for the space to store it.

2016.05.10 Stuff for Fort McMurray (4) WP3. Someone else NEEDS it. There are people in dire need of stuff that is sitting here doing nothing in my life.

For me, the Fort McMurray wildfire motivated me to haul out brand new (still tagged) clothes I bought on sale over the years (but didn’t quite fit into, yet!). Six bins full.

The things we redundantly hoard can make a world of difference to someone else.

Going minimalist is not about living without stuff. It’s about consciously choosing to surround ourselves with the best of what we love. And that is what make us feel rich.


Going Minimalist © May 11, 2016 | Annie Zalezsak

Will the Real Me Please Stand Up

Over three years ago, I had the most astounding experience of my life.

Facing my own mortality, I knew that if I could tell just one story, this was the book I had to write. I self-published We Are One Blood: Honouring the Body’s Right to Heal Itself.

And then, I went back to my day job.

Last week, I saw Anita Moorjani, author of Dying to Be Me,  give a talk in Kelowna, BC. In her book, she details her healing from stage four cancer following an extraordinary near death experience.

I related to Anita’s description of the aftermath. How does one go back to ‘normal life’ after such an experience? She, too, had fears of judgment and while she wanted to share her magnificent story of the truths she’d experienced firsthand, she was a bit shy about revealing her full identity. No one wants to be mocked, called ‘delirious’, or disappoint people in respected circles.

She laughs about it now, as she stands on the stage in utter, admirable confidence, firmly voicing what she knows for a fact, because she lived it.

Anita isn’t out to convince anyone, and neither am I. But people are clearly curious, and comforted to learn about what lies beyond death.

During my near death experience, the veil to the spirit world was lifted. Communication with the other side became easier for me. Facilitating conversations with spirit for others came naturally. I felt completely and utterly called to help people in this way.

While physically and emotionally recovering (and in need of rent money), I focused my energy on my reliable profession, an arena that requires certain boundaries that don’t include woo-woo.

Anita’s recent talk has given me fresh courage to come out of that professionally-suppressed closet, and proclaim “I see dead people”.

I’m now peeling off those thin layers of fear that have accrued over the last three years. Dear public, I am ready.

Thank you, Anita Moorjani, for demonstrating your courage, expressing your voice, and reminding me why it’s so vital I stand up now and present the real me to this world.

2016.04.24 Anita Moorjani & Annie Zalezsak at Kelowna Community Theatre

Will the Real Me Please Stand Up © April 29, 2016 | Annie Zalezsak