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Each Day Holds Surprise + Privacy, what Privacy? + Open the Door!

Good Morning from Prince Edward Island, 

Thank you for letting me into your world today. I hope you had a peaceful and stress-free week.

Let’s have a cuppa?

I brought my favourite morning tea to start the day. Darjeeling Ambootia a flowery and full-bodied tea; harvested on the Ambootia tea plantation on the Himalayan mountains’ edge.

PEI Covid News + PEI Weather

I am happy for this family—what a great day!

It is lovely that we can celebrate another’s good fortune.

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity. ~ Henri Nouwen

Thinking about last week, all I can think about is the book—Blood in the Water by Silver Donald Cameron. Three readers of this blog wrote suggesting this book. Oh my, I loved it.

A shortened description from Indigo.

A brutal murder in a small Maritime fishing community raises urgent questions of right and wrong, and even the nature of good and evil, in this masterfully told true story.

In June 2013, three upstanding citizens of a small Cape Breton town cold-bloodedly murdered their neighbour, Phillip Boudreau, at sea. While out checking their lobster traps, two Landry cousins and skipper Dwayne Samson saw Boudreau in his boat, the Midnight Slider, about to vandalize their lobster traps.

This story is not about lobster but the grand themes of power and law, security and self-respect. It raises a disturbing question: Are there times when taking the law into your own hands is not only understandable but the responsible thing to do?

My favourite books are the ones that make me laugh and cry. And this was one of them. 

I learned more about our regional history, especially the Acadian community.

In my early teens, we had a city mayor who was a well-known bigot against the French community. I didn’t understand; they were some of my best of friends. I loved their humour, loyalty and camaraderie.

One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives. ~ Euripides

It was all too confusing to me; I wanted to run from this city for several reasons. Mainly to get away from the negative discourse all around me. Looking for peace, an opportunity to find it revealed itself Christmas of ‘72. At 15, I would leave school and move to North Carolina with a golf family to begin my journey of becoming a golf pro.

After three weeks of life’s lessons in a segregated North Carolina, I decided it best to drive back with the family and finish high school.

Heading back didn’t get me closer to an understanding of why people dislike other people. Language or colour, really?

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that."
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Do you want peace? I learned it is about the heart. Show me your spirit. Not your rancour towards others.

A wise old owl lived in an oak.
The more he saw, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?

I am sharing a bit below from Blood in the Water, page 166.

"Privacy?" cried a friend. "Privacy? I'm an Acadian, me—I don't know what that is."

I came to realize that although I didn't have much privacy, I didn't greatly care. I wasn't doing anything I was ashamed of, and my neighbours' attitude towards one another's foibles-and mine was one of amusement. Over time, I came to feel that the two great Acadian values are truth and tolerance. Acadians want to know what's going on, want to understand who you are and what you do. There had never been a freelance writer here before, and people were intensely curious. What kind of exotic bird was this, perching in their local tree? Eventually my neighbours decided I was a tradesman, like a pipefitter or an electrician working construction. My home was a base, I had no one employer, I was highly skilled, and I travelled a lot. It's an excellent analogy-far better than the mystical nonsense about the tortured role of the artist so common in literary and cultural circles--and it satisfied my neighbours' passionate need to understand.

But they never used their knowledge to wound me. I was alone and I welcomed company, so people dropped in, invited me to parties and barbecues. One time, early on, the man filling my order in a lumberyard asked if I was married. No, I said, divorced.

"But you got a woman wit' you?"

"No," I said. He fell silent and looked out to sea for several moments. I wondered what he was thinking. Then he turned to me, looking apologetic.

"I don't know any women," he said sadly.

While writing today, I have been listening to an Apple Music playlist called Piano Chill. 

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. ~ Henri Nouwen

Many of you send me book recommendations; keep them coming. I’d love to read more Maritime writers and will start seeking.

On book recommendations, here is a neat site. People well known and not so well known list the books that they recommend. Most Recommended Books 

How are you doing?

Are you stuck?

The painter Vincent van Gogh on taking action:

“I tell you, if one wants to be active, one mustn’t be afraid to do something wrong sometimes, not afraid to lapse into some mistakes. To be good — many people think that they’ll achieve it by doing no harm — and that’s a lie, and you said yourself in the past that it was a lie. That leads to stagnation, to mediocrity…

You don’t know how paralyzing it is, that stare from a blank canvas that says to the painter, "You can’t do anything." The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerizes some painters so that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the truly passionate painter who dares — and who has once broken the spell of "You can’t."

Life itself likewise always turns towards one an infinitely meaningless, discouraging, dispiriting blank side on which there is nothing, any more than on a blank canvas. But however meaningless and vain, however dead life appears, the man of faith, of energy, of warmth, and who knows something, doesn’t let himself be fobbed off like that. He steps in and does something..."

It is the weekend….let’s dance!

I wish you a lovely weekend and a great week ahead. 

Thank you to Bev, DeFrench, Derinda, Lillian, Marcia, Mary, Molly, Murdock, Susan, Tati, Victoria for taking the time to leave a comment last week. I appreciate it.

With love from Prince Edward Island,

Bruce & Millie

Ps. Your Morning Smile.

Previous article Happy News + Rewilding + Magicians Dilemma


Deborah Rose - March 1, 2021

Bruce, I wondered if the photos at the top of your blog were taken by you? I would LOVE to use them as reference photos for a pastel painting (or two). I don’t have any photos of PEI winters and this one and the previous one of the dunes are so striking, they have inspired me.

Linda Lowther - February 13, 2021

Hi Bruce,

If you would like to read No Great Mischief, I can bring it down to you along with one of my favorite books: Where the Crawdads Sing. You have my email I think. It was our number one pick at book club before the pandemic. Still love to read everything you write and to listen to everything you post.

Patricia Stewart - February 12, 2021

What a stunning image! All of your blog photographs are lovely, but this one is exceptional. Catching the light on the seagull and the breaking wave is the “luck” that only happens to a photographer who has spent long years learning the craft. Thank you.

Susan B - February 8, 2021

Pardon the delay in commenting. I like to take time and watch/read all of the blog. Absolutely loved the quotes, the amazing music and that wonderful man winning the lotto, not to mention the morning smile :)
Thank you Bruce.
I wonder if that 15 year old golf pro wannabe ever imagined that he would be written about in the Zoomer Magazine !!
We enjoyed reading the article very much; Congratulations.
And yes why can’t we all get along ?
Enjoy the week, Susan B

Peggy Freeman - February 7, 2021

I so enjoy your blogs, Bruce! It starts my week out with a smile and a feeling of good will. I look forward to the day when we can all accept each other regardless of color or beliefs. There’s enough space on this spinning ball for all of us. What a joy it would be with everyone sharing ideas and thoughts that would enrich each other’s lives! Have a great week!

Kathryn J Zaengle - February 7, 2021

I love your blogs! Thank you so very much for the music “Higher Ground”. I’ve been listening to it all afternoon and even went out on a limb and forwarded to my son. My 74-year old husband even liked it. (Pretty good for someone whose favorite performer is Elton John. Yes…opposites do attract.) I look forward to visiting PEI once the pandemic is over and Canada and the USA can open their borders.

Laura Clines - February 6, 2021

Bruce, if you only knew how much both my mother (part-time resident of Brackley Beach) and I (her fortunate daughter) look forward to your blogs. My mom summers there and I visit every year. PEI is akin to slice of paradise; a land and people, we both miss dearly due to the pandemic. But your stories, poetry, stunning photos and updates (not to mention your wicked humor) bring such solace and offer a vivid connection; reminding us both that one day my mom (and fortunate me) will return. With meta, From Away…

Jasmine - February 6, 2021

Oh dear lord this morning smile had me laughing forever, Bruce! Thank you.

Cynthia McDougall - February 6, 2021

Love Henri Nouwen. In this fragile world, sorrow can take our breath away as well as joy.Embrace the moments, the blessings,those that make us smile.Thank you Bruce.You are a treasure and your blog is a wonderful, look forward to read. Higher Ground is another favourite song.
So many books, however, A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan comes to mind.
I so enjoyed this today.

Debbie - February 6, 2021

I really enjoy your quotes. You choose them well to fit your subject.

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