Monday, May 08, 2006

how do you know you're alive?

This is what my yoga teacher asked us this evening. After centering and preparing to move on to the remainder of our practice, she had us think about what it means to know you're alive. Is it a sensation in your body? Your breath? A certain warmth or feeling? It sounds remarkably simple - like duh I'm breathing so I'm alive right? But, as usual, Maureen was spot on as far as getting in tune with us (I say *us* because I firmly believe that if she's in tune with me - as she always manages to be - she's in tune with everyone) and it was remarkable for me to focus on my life like that - to consider what it means to be alive and to know you're living. And I love the awareness it sparked in me - just that simple, yet loaded question - and as a result I feel amazing right now - and completely alive.

So now, to transition to more about life - past lives, in fact - I offer a fantastic website/zine devoted to all the past lives of buildings in and areas of Hamilton. There is beauty galore in Hamilton. I'm utterly biased, naturally, because I've lived here my entire life. But I also believe in urban beauty - to me, there is a magic about cities, and Hamilton just happens to be the one I know best. So when I checked out the current issue of H Magazine (I picked up a copy at the yoga studio) I was mesmerized by what I saw. This particular issue is all about ghost signs - the ones you see on old buildings - advertisements, names of the business that once occupied the building, etc. and Hamilton is full of these things if you know where to look. There are other editions focussing on art, parks, etc. and highlighting historic Hamilton landmarks, but the ghost signs are just incredible. Definitely worth a tour and I think touring the signs will be a day trip this summer with the boys - I know they'd love it too. Another great publication devoted to all things Hamilton is Urbanicity (they have a website too here - it's mostly letting you know where to pick it up and how to advertise, etc.) but the editor of this great paper is a friend from highschool, none other than Reg Beaudry - wow. Most impressed by this and Reg is one of the funniest guys ever. His dream in highschool was to be a director - if I remember correctly he admired David Cronenberg immensely - make of that what you will... Anyway, he once drew up an 8 1/2 x 11 move bill of a horror movie entitled "When Elizabeth Sneezes" - an homage to my ability to sneeze about a thousand times in a row at any given time - and starring our friends from the music department. I still have it, and my plan is to have it laminated - I'd hate to lose it. I might even try to scan it - it's quite well done and very funny - Reg is definitely an original.

So that's my shout out tonight - to life - and to the Hammer - and especially, to life in the Hammer. I can't imagine it any other way.

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