Ars Longa 012 – I’m Not Meditating

garden-aug-2014I’ve been spending quite a lot of time working in the (container) garden this year. I love to watch the seedlings grow, I care for them and I feel them responding to that care. Being with them helps me to centre my attention. Gardening can be a form of meditation.

In this photo of my (container) garden, you can see these food plants: asparagus; blueberry; chard; kale; snap peas; green beans; cucumbers; green onions; sage; thyme; rosemary; sweet basil; rhubarb; tomato; jalapeno pepper; raspberry; strawberry; corn; lemon balm; mint; and mixed greens. You can also see a beauty berry bush, a small azalea and a rose. In another part of the garden I have some zucchini plants, some dwarf sour cherry trees; a saskatoon bush; a pair of blue honeysuckle plants and some other flowers. I have managed to fit a large variety of plants into my outdoor space.


This season is the first that I’ve tried to grow raspberries. This berry is one of the few that managed to survive the slugs and ants (and their aphid herds) to grow into part of a healthy breakfast. Delicious.

I loathe the slugs; I’ve taken to going out after dark with my headlamp and hunting them as they hunt the new growth. Not much survives them, but if I find them they’ll not survive me. I admit that I am not loathe to killing slugs – truth be known, I have slug killer instinct.


My outdoor space is about the same size as my apartment, about 650 square feet. It consists of a balcony that is 100 square feet, a patio that is 450 square feet, and a 100 square foot storage space under the balcony (all measurements are approximate). I am fortunate to have so much outdoor space, though I do have to share it with much urban wildlife: the aforementioned slugs and ants (and their aphid herds); snails; squirrels; birds; bees; wasps; spiders; flies; moths and butterflies. A few months ago I saw a pair of monarchs frolicking and sparking in the (container) garden. Here is a photo of the happy pair.

baguette-1I spend most of my making-time weaving on my cardboard looms. I have refined the process of making the little bags (disco bags, party bags, bag-ettes…I haven’t figured out the best name for them), adding closures made of interesting and unique beads and buttons. These little bags really are lovely; if I did not make them, I would want one.

baguette-2I really enjoy the process of the weaving; the physical process, the focus, the back and forth motion of the yarn brings me serenity. Something in weaving triggers the part of my brain that is triggered by math. This is a good thing.

I have helped several women at EWMA to learn to enjoy weaving too. None of the knitting workshop attendees ever seemed to continue knitting, but a few of the weaving workshop participants have carried on weaving. One of these, J*****, who is bipolar, told me that weaving makes her feel calm. It is always gratifying to be told that something that I showed someone has become a positive aspect in their lives.  Weaving can be a form of meditation.

I’ve been thinking of teaching myself to play piano, but didn’t have a keyboard. Suzy, a musician friend who is moving to Montreal, sold me her Yamaha PSR E413 electronic keyboard for $5 (just putting it out that I offered more, but she refused). Now my only excuses not to learn to play are: lack of auto-didact materials and sheer laziness. I can go to the music store and find some auto-didact piano books, but the laziness I’ll have to overcome by some other method. Will power and resolve.

Will power and resolve can get me to the piano stool. Focus can take me to the place where playing music can trigger that serenity-inducing part of my brain, where playing music becomes a form of meditation.

That, my friends, is much of the news that’s fit to print.  I hope you’re having a wonderful summer.



~ by thiscassandra on Monday 18 August 2014.

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