Saturday, July 28, 2012

Does it make a sound?

"So lonely I could curl up and die." Is what the deer said as he intently set his eyes upon the blinding light of clarity

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chronicles of the Occupied Car Roof pt1

So I am going to attempt to tell how many times I have absent-mindedly left stuff on top of my car and drove away. Should I tell in order of most significant/stupid circumstance to the common everyday mistake? Or should I tell from the first time to the most recent?... which so happen to be last night. Does this mistake happen often to others? You would think that one would learn after the first, second or third time of doing it, but nope. My complex, irradic, anti-mulittasking train of thought leads me... what was I saying? Lets just start with the most recent and see how far we get:

1) After floor hockey last night, I was getting pumped up after our 17-12 win by blasting the tuneessss and singing as loud as I could. How else do you celebrate but by being obnoxiously loud and fist pumping all the way home? Well as I was about to pull out of the parking lot I heard a car honking its horn repeatedly and loudly. I was thinking, "I know we were so awesome and killed it out there but it probably doesnt deserve either the rub-it-in-their-faces-glory-honks or the im-a-degenerate-loser-and-must-tell-you-so-honks." But I stopped anyways and the car pulled up beside me. The butch and slighly intimidating goaly from the other team poked her head out of her car to say something to me. Eff. She made me have to turn down my tuneeessssss. Ever so kindly and patronizingly (can those work together? Oh the paradoxes of life!), said to me, "uhh you forgot something on top of your car." Embarrasedly I jumped out and grabbed my new metal water bottle which sat (very solidly I'll have you know) on the roof of my car. I would be lying if I admitted to never wrecking other water bottles the same way. Okay. Fine. So she saved my water bottle. But she couldnt save the 17 goals that whooped her ass last night! If there was ever an appropriate time for this term, it is now: BOOYA, BOOYA indeed.

To be continued...

Monday, October 25, 2010

pocket truths for one year of loss

Life prevails over death. This is the hope of Christ's resurrection. He brings new things. There may be seasons of darkness and death but LIFE reigns.

Life is victorious. We begin as dust and our bodies thrive. Then bodies wither and eventually return to dust. My father's ashes will forever be washed away in the ocean sand. Yet that is not the end. Christ once and for all defeated death and that means there is always a way for new life to form.

There is however a death that must occur. A repentance, a changing in my deeply ingrained reality that I am and will always be a victim. That my circumstances will overcome me. That I am only a mourner. Only His revelation can do this and my "putting it into practice" so to speak. I worked with young women in England this past year where I taught them: "life is half of what happens to you and the other half is what you do with it." I must eat my own words. The great power of Christ's resurrection has only just begun to be opened to me.

Although I believe in taking the Word in its context (in this case Romans is one of the best books you could want to study), this statement has much deeper meaning..."This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who brings into existence what did not exist before." (Rom 4:17).

This does not mean that hardship and death and loss will perish in this present time. No, not at all. But with it comes the promise that the story is not finished. It is just the pause, the comma, the sigh between the sentence, the "if" before the "but."

But the BUT does come.

Life and hope prevail because of Christ's resurrection and restorative power. Ask Him for yourself what the power of resurrection means.

I love you papa and I miss you deeper than I can ever express

Your and my Story continues...

Friday, October 22, 2010


There can be nothing more bizarre than carrying one's dead body through an airport in the form of ashes. I never knew a body in a box could be so heavy. Remarkably the weight of loss is far more agonizing.

The image that could not be amputated from my imagination was me physically dragging my fathers dead body up to the baggage check in; "yes, ma-am one bag to check. Oh dont mind him, he's coming as my carry on." Then limping along through security showing the death certificate and asking, "is it okay if he doesnt go through the x-ray check? I promise im not smuggling anything." Then finally on the plane the lovely flight attendant warmly reminds us to "securely stow all items in the overhead bins or underneath the seat in front of you." Realizing that his body is far to big to fit in either spot I neatly contort my father's dead body to "securely" fit under the seat. Candidly, this left little room for my feet.

This twistedly humorous and nauseating picture branded itself on my eyeballs through the entire flight to NC. Everyday i imagined my fathers dead body resting silently in my room as I slept. On the last day when aunty and I hiked out to a beautiful cove beside the ocean, father's body finally looked like ashes to me.

It is a bizarre thing to spread one's ashes in the ocean. Inexplicably it is also a beginning of an end...

Bodies. Dead bodies.
Chafed cheeks do not absorb the tears.
Cold. Rigid. Skin.
Skin dissolves to Ashes
Ashes heavy and dark.
Beauty from ashes?
Not quite yet

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Eulogy for my father

Thank you so much to all of you who have come here today to honor my father or to support me and my mother. Each individual life can be compared to a pebble being cast into a body of tranquil water. Even the tiniest stone when it hits causes ripples upon ripples to stir the whole body. Never does one’s life not deeply impact things seen and unseen. It is encouraging to see that even though Norm was a complainer that his life held bearing more than I will ever know.

Norman Bertram Magder was 61 years old and he just about made it to his 62nd birthday. Survived by his cousin Robert, his sister Rosemary and me his only daughter. My dad’s family come from Eastern Europe and extend from a Jewish background. Norman’s grandfather was Joseph Cohn who was born in Lublin, Poland on July 17, 1889. His parents immigrated to Toronto when he was two years old. His great-great grandfather was Rabbi Judah Ha-Kohen of Budvic, Lithuania. Nettie Temes Cohn was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1894. Her parents were from the province of Galicia in Eastern Europe. The family moved to Toronto when Nettie was still a young girl. Joseph and Nettie were married in Toronto on June 25,1919. Nettie became a well-known caterer in Toronto. Her specialty was apple strudel.
I did not have the whole of 23 years to become acquainted with my father so sadly, I do not know him as well as I wish I did. Regardless there are a few specific details that I have undeniably inherited from him.

I have never known my father with a full head of hair. Lets be honest, my mother never knew my father with a full head of hair and they met when she was 24 years old. That persistently sun kissed-bronzed bald surface of his was the envy of many supermodels dreams. He left me with a love for the sun, little jewish ringlets on the sides of my face and beautiful five-head that I will never again be ashamed of.

When Norm was not working hard at his job or enjoying fellowship around the poker table, he was constantly watching sports. My desire to spend time with my dad developed in me a competitive edge and a love for (some) sports. I do not know if my dad was a rigorous athlete, but he certainly was knowledgeable about the things he cared most about. (He will be happy to know that the Flames are doing pretty well this season). When I told my dad that I joined our prestigious floor hockey league in my first year of college I could see his subtle interest. This year when I called him up to tell him that we won the equivalent to the Stanley Cup, his subtle interest swelled to a teeming pride.

When I was a little girl I saw my dad as a suave, cultured man. When he lived in Vancouver and Calgary he was connected with many high rollers and those in big business. He had a deep appreciation for other cultures, especially the cuisine part of the culture (as most could tell by his plump rounded center). However infrequent our time was together, the most memorable moments were spent enjoying delectable, mouth-watering food. He knew every exceptional restaurant from the hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese joint, to the lavished fresh seafood locales. It did not matter if we went to Tim Hortons to enjoy a coffee (a custom he fulfilled a number of times a day) or if we enjoyed take out sushi at the house, my father instilled in me a great love for food and fellowship.

There are many tough situations I have walked though in my short 23 years on this earth. In all honesty this is the most devastating and disorienting circumstance I have had to face. Death is one of the only things we can know for certain will come to pass, yet there is never anything that can prepare us enough to absorb the feeling of loss. My father is gone and the world as I see it will never be the same again. Although I have experienced some lasting memories with my dad my deepest laments are that he will not see me graduate with my degree in the spring. He will not be there to walk me down the aisle at my wedding. He will never experience being called grandpa.

In the end however, there is hope for the future. Hope seems to always be mixed with disappointment and the despair can sometimes seem to overshadow the expectation for the good that is to come. This is one of those times. But hope will always stand in the end. I will deeply miss my father but I can stand here today and say that I know that the Lord is in control and His plans are always good.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Learning is Incarnational

In my last semester of College I took a class called Integrative Seminar. The purpose of this class was to look back on the many topics that we have discussed in previous years and re-examine our thoughts towards them. It is Socrates who said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” How necessary it is to not simply buy into culture but to be courageous enough to examine who we are, why we think the way we do, and if our culture is functioning in a right and truthful manner. Facing ourselves is neither easy nor pretty, but in order to become whole we must!

If I could pick an overall thesis for a liberal arts education at Eston College it would be to, “learn how to incarnate Truth by weaving together one’s belief and behavior into a consistent whole, whereby one’s life engenders a humble openness, a worldview sufficient to answer the questions of life, and an ability to engage a broken world.”

So. Where does that leave me now?

I am finishing the degree that I have started by embarking on another adventure with LifeFORCE Teams UK. Meditating on this idea of an integrated life makes me wonder, how does this actually work? Our intentions can be so fragmented from our actions; we are broken humans. Spending this year in Walsall, England is not a year allotted to finally “figure out” how to become an integrated whole. It is a year of beginnings. The nature of fusing the most important things together with how this shapes one’s life is a long process of challenges to one’s current worldview and relationships with people who will help embody this integration.

Most of the things I am doing for my internship are new things. I do not know if I was designed to do them or not, but this is the time to find out. I will be working mostly with students ranging from the ages of 4-18. Assemblies, RE classes, enrichment courses promoting a holistic lifestyle, dance, art, networking, community development. Fun, vulnerability, humility, failure, learning, reading, interacting, sllooownesssss.

Here's to weaving. Cheers.