It’s a perfect September day for a walk – sunny skies, warm air, beautiful colors. As I round the corner of our house and head down the city walkway in the direction of the river, I meet a duo who are also enjoying the morning.
The young girl (maybe 5 or 6 years old) crouches over a pile of multi colored leaves that have fallen from the maple tree that leans out over the sidewalk. Her mother stands nearby.
We exchange greetings and I say how lovely the leaves look today. The little one tells me she’s searching for a red leaf to give her mother, explaining that red is Mom’s favorite color. I crouch down to lend an eye. (more…)
A Walk In The Rain
August 11, 2023
Along Meewasin Trail On A Rainy Friday Morning
I went for a walk in the rain this morning. Although a morning walk wasn’t unusual for me, the rain certainly was. We’ve had quite the dry spell here in Saskatchewan this summer.
Only one lonely dog walking its master crossed my path. On any given morning, along my regular riverside loop, there are easily ten times that many walkers with and without dogs – and a half dozen cyclists thrown in for good measure.
But, this morning, I had the river to myself. Well, not exactly to myself. I had a podcast playing in my ear.
During the dark days of covid and the cold winter months, I started listening to podcasts on my walks. It was a way to take my mind off the pandemic and entice my reluctant, cold-resistant self to get out there and keep moving.
Previously – in my years of regular Pause blog posts – those morning walks were a time of meditation. (more…)
Rediscovered: A Passion For Facilitation
February 15, 2023
Recently, I’ve focused more on art than speaking. However, my experience last week reminded me of how much I love working with groups, too.
I facilitated a half day retreat titled, Cultivating Collegial Connections, for the staff and leadership of the Legislative Assembly Service with the Saskatchewan government.
Like many groups, the distancing they experienced during the pandemic strained that sense of connectedness. Partner a couple of years of remote working with retirements, new hires, and changes in roles means that it can be a real challenge to maintain existing relationships and establish new ones.
Perched on the corner coffee table in our living room is a digital photo frame.
It only comes out to play in December and it’s tucked away again in January.
Loaded on its SD card are 500 family Christmas photos spanning two decades. The frame is set to just keep cycling through the images over and over again.
Sprinkled through the collection, you’ll find the odd attempt at a ‘formal’ group photo, but most of the images are candid shots that capture the spirit of our holiday times.
You’ll see Christmas ornaments, trees, lights and decorations, tables set for brunch and dinner, and baking fresh out of the oven. But even more importantly… (more…)
From Ho Hum To Woohoo
April 22, 2022
‘Rekindling Spirit – Moving Through Malaise’ is the title of a seminar I’ll be delivering next week to a group of financial folks as part of their upcoming professional development event.
Every time I work with this material, I’m reminded of the wide range of options we have for getting ourselves unstuck – shifting our experience from ‘ho hum’ to ‘woohoo’.
As part of the program, participants will be invited to reflect on their past – from childhood pursuits and skills sets to bold imaginings and deferred dreams.
The idea is to take a look backwards at things we used to enjoy and interests we may have discarded along the way – to see if there is something that might add a spark of joy and excitement to our lives today.
Along this vein, yesterday I helped my octogenarian Mom hang a newly framed cross-stitch that she recently completed. It was and is an epic piece of work.
Mom first started working on this piece of handwork in the 1980’s. As life grew busy in other areas, (more…)
Making It Personal Pays Off
February 11, 2022
When it comes to appreciation, one size does not fit all, and a generic thank you falls short of the mark. This is a point that I often stress when I speak and write about how to boost the impact of appreciation and recognition.
Today, a prime example of this idea arrived in my mailbox.
For several years now, I’ve been a member of CARFAC – the association representing Canadian professional visual artists. Each year I pay my dues and in return I receive my membership card, a receipt and a letter pointing out the benefits of belonging to the association. Pretty standard and a tad ho hum.
This year, I found something extra tucked into the envelope. (more…)
Wishing You The Best Of The Season
December 30, 2021
As the calendar turns on our second year of the Covid 19 Pandemic, we know more and we’re protected some; but the virus and our understanding of it keep changing. If there was ever a time for resilience, this would be it!
With the introduction of vaccines throughout 2021, some of life’s normal activities returned. Even being able to do simple things like meeting for coffee or sharing a meal were greatly appreciated.
In our world, all but the most modest of travels were curtailed. What took on great significance for me were short visits with nearby family. I had missed them so.
In recent years, I’ve made it a practice to sum up our family’s year in photos. As you will see from the Katz Family Christmas Letter 2021 included here, we continued to find joy and pleasure in spite of the various restrictions of our times. We’re especially grateful for blessings of good health.
May this message find you well and looking forward with hope to life as it will unfold in 2022.
Warmest wishes to you all, Pat
Mining Life’s Experiences
December 10, 2021
The more attentive we are to the events of our lives, the richer the potential in mining for meaning. As I reflected on themes around my recent adventures in art, I found myself seeing more than a few of my life experiences with fresh eyes. Reflecting on some of your everyday experiences might prove rewarding for you as well.
If you’ve been following my recent posts on social media (Facebook and Instagram), you may have caught one or more of the ten brief videos vignettes in which I shared some of the experiences and inspirations that gave rise to the ‘Care For A Cuppa’ exhibition and the Café Series in general.
The series touched on all of these themes: hospitality, contribution, community, relationship, connection, contemplation, beauty and creativity.
The entire series of vignettes has now been combined into this composite video along with a selection of the paintings from the show. If you are so inclined, I invite you to grab a cuppa your favorite beverage, press play, and reflect on your own life experiences connecting with self and others over a mug of coffee or a cup of tea.
As promised in my previous blog post, I’m sharing here the video tour of my ‘Care For A Cuppa’ art exhibit showing at City Perks Coffeehouse here in Saskatoon (807 7th Ave N).
At the request of City Perks, the show has been extended another two weeks until December 15/2021. So if you are in the neighborhood and would like to see the works in person, there is still time to do that.
Hope you enjoy the images whether you see them virtually or in person.
Thanksgiving has come and gone and as I took my morning walk today, I remained thankful for all kinds of things. In particular, I noted how grateful I am to have my mind and my memories.
What prompted this line of thought was the news that beloved children’s author, Robert Munsch (I’ll Love You Forever, Mortimer, Thomas’ Snowsuit, The Paperbag Princess, and so many more modern classics) has been diagnosed with dementia. This means that eventually his many memories and the stories he has created over the years will be gone to him.
This made me sad, and it made me appreciate my own memories even more. Many of my earliest recollections involve (more…)