Dear Tiffany-Amber

Dear Tiffany-Amber,
I'm addressing you by your given name rather than nickname as doing so reminds me of your adulthood. I hope it doesn't sound too formal!

Happy Canada Day! You've been in my thoughts ever since your mom left for home and we spent a few enjoyable hours together yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday over supper at The Mandarin, you were so engaged in exploring ideas about politics, and at one point you looked at me and said, "What do you have to say, Omie? Any thoughts?"

You should probably know that when someone says that to me, I usually feel like a failure, as though I've been handed the conversational ball, but dropped it. I know that you love a meaty debate and long for substantial conversations with people. I hope you meet people to fulfill that hunger and respond to the challenge of your thoughts better than I did. Don't think that I'm hard on myself because I had nothing really thoughtful to add; well, maybe when it comes to politics, I don't have much, except to say that I am deeply discouraged by the range of options available. I am just less of a talker than a listener by preference. I'm not sure if that's by nature or lack of practice. Anyway, I loved listening to your thoughts--I always do but will try harder to be an engaged partner in conversation next time we talk.

I've thought today about our hour at Chapters yesterday, killing time waiting for The Mandarin restaurant to open for supper, and how each of us left with a bundle of pages bound into a book that says so much about us individually. You, with your Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, which I hope you love. I think you made the right choice as it is compared often to other works of dystopian fiction, such as Orwell's, 1984. You mentioned having several copies of that favourite and that you love it. Then there was Grandad with a new book by Dr. David Jeremiah, The Book of Signs--31 Undeniable Prophesies of the Apocalypse, and me with my treasure--a book about the artist, poet, songwriter and singer, Leonard Cohen.
Fahrenheit 451: A Novel
 I enjoyed hearing your thoughts on Shakespeare--Hamlet and Macbeth you loved--Romeo and Juliet, not so much. And I smile at your answer when I asked if you found it hard to understand Elizabethan English, you called some of the translations of the language as "like learning slang, but old slang." I didn't know that you appreciated the genius of Shakespeare so much. It is never too late for more profound discoveries in those we think we know. I love that!

Today I've thought a lot about Pastor Juan's sermon at church, which I mentioned yesterday was so good. One thing that he said, particularly struck me. He was talking about the story of Gideon in the book of Judges. The main point was how we become distracted from our calling or relationship with God by idols, but how all of his power is available to us if we clear out the clutter in our lives, and resist the things for which we sell out our souls. Pastor Juan was measured in the way he referenced cell phones and social media, saying that he wasn't against phones. But he made a point and made us laugh when he demonstrated our posture of bowing to our phones to look at them. They are ever-present, never far from our hands by day, pillows at night,  or on tables at social gatherings. I find myself participating in these habits, passively joining the herd, instead of resisting something I actually dislike.

I am doing my best to change that since hearing Pastor Juan's talk. I know that if I added up all the time I spend checking and posting on FB, it would probably shock me-- such fun, but an enormous waste of time in comparison to the things I'm not doing; things I consider callings but haven't found time for. "Ding-dong," rang a bell in my head, "there is always time to fulfill your calling." Pastor Juan said that God wants us to live into our callings and not our circumstances. So, gently and quietly, I'm going to try to do less posting and checking on FB, and to do more writing that is substantive. Just having practiced disengaging a bit since yesterday morning, I feel more peaceful, focussed, and quietened somehow. And it helped that I forgot my phone at home yesterday morning.

This is something you already have right, even though we often harass you for being unreachable. Your focus is your art, and you are detached from social media.

Well, those are my thoughts for today. I love you, dearly.

Omie

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