Hakuna Matata

It’s amazing to think I met her 9 years ago, when summer theatre was still held in the teen room. Back in the day if Alice in Wonderland where we were both cast as garden flowers with about a quarter of a line each and High School Musical where we composed 2/4 of the “skater dudes”. The next year we moved up a little higher and received parts with names in Treasure Island and Jake and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. The following year is when we really blossomed with our breakout roles of Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King. Not only did we steal the show, but these roles brought us together as really great friends. We continued with musicals, participating in Cats, Mary Poppins, Finding Nemo, Seussical the Musical, The Jungle Book and Wicked. Theatre really brought us together. After our final summer performance I went off to high school and no longer participated in the shows. That was the last time I ever performed on stage.
During the Jungle Book I went through sort of a rough patch, and trust me, apologies have been given out generously. I did a lot of things I’m not proud of but no matter how stupid the thing I did was, she always just said in the motherly tone she was so famous for, “do you really think that was in your best interest?” She was one of the only people to not lose faith in me during that time of struggle and I wish I would have taken the time to make my gratitude known to her.
I recently read a book that taught me a bit about infinities. There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course there is a bigger set of infinite numbers between 0 and 2 or 0 and a million. It just shows that some infinities are bigger than others. There are many days when I resent the size of her unbound set. I would have loved more numbers for her yet I am thankful for her little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. She graced us a forever within her numbered days, and I am grateful.
She was one of my best friends. We didn’t talk every day but then again we didn’t need to. She would call me once a week or so to catch up and we were constantly gossiping about which guys we had crushes on. We made time to see each other as much as we could but encountered some road blocks along the way. When she was away for treatments she couldn’t always call but never failed to message me over Facebook a very long and detailed paragraph about how she was doing, always upbeat and always positive. She taught me the power of optimism and what true strength looks like. She is an inspiration to me in do many ways and I miss her dearly. A friend like that is irreplaceable. We had last made plans to see Finding Dory since we were in Finding Nemo together. Although she is no longer able to come to the theatre physically, I know she will be there in spirit. As reads the Irish blessing, “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sunshine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”
I believe she is with us all everyday. Her mothering nature wouldn’t allow for anything else. Her love radiates upon us all and she is a constant reminder of the beauty and fragility of life. She was always beautiful to me before the cancer and long after she has gone. We are never truly without her as a little piece of her lives within each and every once of us. May she be remembered for her beauty inside and out, her strength, her sass, her talent and her grace. I will never say goodbye to her, I never have, like it has always been and will remain, it’s a see you soon Pumbaa.
Love always, Timon

Winter

Sometimes I leave the window open
At night because when the cold air
Whistles through
It mimics your soft voice
And the cool breeze kisses
My skin just as you did
But the funny thing is,
Even though it is below 50 outside
The kisses were never as cold
As yours

Silence of the Faith

I have recently become aware of the happenings in Quebec wherein the Bloc Quebecois is interested in disallowing people to publicly display their religion through the means of a turban, veil, cross, or what have you. I brought it up at the dinner table which, in turn, started a rather heated argument between myself and my parents. Let me first explain to you my parents beliefs; they believe the Bloc Quebecois is ingenious for this new law. They have this opinion that if an immigrant has decided to come to Canada they should adopt our customs. My mum furthered this by proclaiming that if she were to travel to an Islamic country she would wear the traditional veil or bur qua or which ever is fitting for the area. My dad added that by foreigners coming in and spreading their ideas and culture, that our own beliefs and culture is being threatened. 

My first reaction was that my parents were crazy. They were old school and stuck in their ways. I was rather heated for a few hours actually, and I sat in my room silently lamenting about how ridiculous they were. But then it came to me, they are right. No, not in their exact statements but in the roots of their claims their argument collapses on itself. My mum said that immigrants should adopt our customs when they come to Canada and I very much agree. She says that if she were to travel to an Islamic country she would follow their customs as well. The difference lays in the fact that there is no differentiation between Islamic law and religion; they are identical. Wearing a bur qua is the law. When an immigrant decides to land in Canada they then have to follow our customs and laws. In the Charter of Rights it is clearly stated in black and white that every Canadian citizen is entitled to freedom of religion. By a man of the Sikh religion wearing his turban daily he is merely following our Canadian Customs and well within his rights. 

My father added to the conversation that immigrants will eventually suppress our own culture. To this I ask; are we really so simple minded that we can not maintain our own values and beliefs despite new ideas? Are we really that easily convinced? Now you may just think, “well hello, media and government propaganda.” But I have to believe in humanity enough to think that our religion is ours and our faith is unbreakable. This argument made by my dad reminds me of high school, when the new girl came in and the queen B decided to try to make her a humble servant before the new girl was even able to show who she really was. Are we really so insecure as a nation that we can’t just accept the new girls and guys as they come? 

I am an 18 year old Canadian girl and was baptized Catholic. I love my religion and my faith as it is presented (not as it is depicted). I have no problem with other religions, in fact I love learning about their practices and beliefs. I also have no problem with gay and lesbianism, I have no problem with the theory of evolution, and I dance with the idea of reincarnation from time to time. I’m malleable. I’m human. I don’t know what to believe at this point, I’m young and I don’t have all the answers. Like I said I am baptized Catholic, but in my mind my beliefs span so much farther. I have adopted ideas from many other cultures and religions including the Anishinaabe tribe, Buddhist religion, Muslim religion, and even a few ideas from my Agnostic friend. To wrap it all up, I think that abolishing the ability to display ones religion is the governments attempt to make a colony of clones. How interesting can our country truly be without diversity? Religious diversity is a very important part of the North American fabric, and part of what makes our country really attractive. 

True North strong and free? Prove it.