Lucky you, Murphy

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In this cold, cold tundra (though today I was informed, “it’s only chilly, wait until winter…”) every bit of colour and positivity counts. I have yet to encounter a blizzard, a long power-out, or the days with 20 hours of darkness, but it won’t be long. I’m working to forge friendships and build personal strength that will get me through the winter.

In my last post featuring positive graffiti, I featured a local artist and someone (unknown) who had changed F*** the police to Hug the police. I found some more today on a photo walk that made me smile and that I wanted to share with you.

Murphy’s law is something that you come to expect and anticipate here. Staff shortages, unpredictable weather, losing your internet if the wind is too strong or it rains. I really like the graffiti I found that says “Lucky you Murphy” because Murphy’s law never leaves you feeling lucky. Things go wrong up here, and you just have to deal with it and keep going. I hope you enjoy these pictures and that you remember that you can get through whatever is going on in your life right now.

If you are clever, you can probably see what the word graffiti used to say before it was changed to something more positive.

“I wish you didn’t have to fly away”

posgraf1

“Shucks, you’re #1”

posgraf5

“Lucky you, Murphy”

posgraf4

“Cook’n peachy” – on a second glance, I realized this probably says “Look’n peachy” … guess I had food on the brain.

posgraf2

“<3”

posgraf3

“you kno you luff it”

posgraf6

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aksarnerk | aurora borealis

Film, Love, Thoughts

Either God was up late painting, or there’s an alien invasion on it’s way, but they can’t decide where to land. 

Tonight I got to see the Northern lights for the first time.

NL2

During my last shift, someone at work told me the lights had been good the night before. Around 11:30pm I remembered this, and I peeked outside… to a glorious green-streaked sky.

First, I got shivers all over. Then, I knew I needed to grab my camera. I brought my camera out onto the deck and was trying to use auto focus and it was obviously not working, so I just stared at the lights and there may have been a few tears. Disbelief, gratitude, amazement…

Back inside the house, with the help of light, I managed to figure out my camera settings and brought my conveniently just-made cocoa and a blanket outside to keep watching and hopefully to capture some of this beauty. I am very happy with the shots I got. Even if they aren’t totally clear, it was my first time seeing the northern lights, and I’m thankful I got a few shots.

NL5

NL4

NL3

After a while, I came out from behind the lens and just sat back to watch. I reflected again on a word I’ve been writing about frequently in my journal: transient. It’s a word I like so much I’m contemplating getting it tattooed. So much in our life is transitory, temporary, just here for a brief moment in the wide scope of time. Even us, we are just passing through. But it is in the impermanent that there is so much beauty and we can appreciate and remember the temporary moments, people, experiences that brought us the most joy. I am all the more grateful for things that I am unable to hold in my hand. I am more grateful for things that I have lost. I am more grateful for the passing and changing beauty of the world around me than anything solid.

It was a beautiful night to be alive, really.

Once again, thankful to be where I am in this moment, and looking forward to everything that the year will bring.

Thugs, Hugs & Dumpcano

Love, Style, Thoughts

Magical narwal!graf2I will always find graffiti intriguing. I have never done large-scale art, I have always been more at home with my nose in small sketch books at home and scrawling on paper napkins when eating out. Iqaluit has been great for the street art (not only graf, but there are also stone and metal sculptures everywhere). My brother in law’s friend was commissioned to do these murals. These ones pictured are on the side of the fire station, I have yet to photograph the very large mural near the hospital, though that is another one I must get some pictures of.

graf3This is one of my favourites. It’s completely magical and I just love it. The colours and concept are amazing.

graf1Some other non-commissioned street I’ve come across include “HUG the police” on the side of a shed, and “west coast Thug Life” on a shipping container. I could make a whole album of things I find in the tundra. One of the most interesting so far was that plastic boot. There is a lot of litter, I wish I had the time and resources to repurpose them into something cool. But they are fun to just come across when I’m running too.

Dumpcano, you ask? Our dump has its own Twitter account, because it’s on fire. It has been for months. I can read about the drama in the local newspaper. I have only really skimmed our newspaper, though that’s something I’d like to be more diligent with, in order to connect myself better to the community.

thugshugsdumpcanoLife in the North has thus far been an incredible thing. I feel healthier, happier, and more whole. I’ve met some first-class people at my job as a waitress. I can easily walk to work, the store, the library, the ocean. My runs through the tundra are challenging and breathtaking. My love bank is filled every day by three amazing little boys who want to draw and play and dance endlessly with me. I have stuck with my vegan lifestyle. The 6 weeks I’ve been here have flown by.

I’m feeling endlessly inspired by this new environment. I can’t wait to share more through blogging and YouTube!

Thanks for reading!

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jessihall1
Health Blog: milesonmilesonmiles.wordpress.com
Instagram: @jessihannahjay

To See

Love, Thoughts

I remember the words of my art teacher in my first year of university. 

tosee

The landscape here in Iqaluit is amazing. The tundra rolls as far as you can see, lichen-covered rocks jutting out everywhere, explosions of purple arctic fireweed (which, I am going to try to make tea with!). 

I’m grateful for those words, and those lessons. Even more so since having aged and experienced a few more years in my life, progressed in my mental clarity… I feel like I see more. The light is a little brighter to me, the flowers more fluid and the changing terrain more enticing for exploration. Even the litter which can be found in crevices and nooks along the tundra is interesting for my eyes to cross. 

loveshadow

Outside my house, there is a lot of construction going on, as new houses are being built around ours. As it was Sunday today, there was nobody on the lot, and as I walked back from a little adventure on the tundra, I noticed this shadow on some of the heavy equipment. A heart shadow. 

Maybe most would walk right past it.

But my eyes are ready and my brain is receptive to everything. 

So what are you missing in your hurry, in your worry? We’re all in such a rush, that nothing is in focus. What opportunities have you missed because of an inability to recognize them as such?

What a gift it is to see, let’s make the most of it. 

To hear more about my move up to Baffin Island, check out my vlog about Moving to Northern Canada. 

peace, 

J.