Monday, 28 January 2013

Bridges Song of Hope

Bridges-Over-Barriers update:
I am very happy to announce that our Bridges Song of Hope is now published as sheet music! It is dedicated to all our Bridges friends and allies.
You can see it online at:

Getting this far has been a collaborative achievement and a kind of miracle. I composed the words in November 2010, just as we were completing the editing of our Bridges DVD and book, In Our Own Words. We were in time to include the song in the book, on page 106. During 2011, we talked about setting it to music. I wanted to have it played by piano and flute. That happened in early 2012, thanks to a new Bridges friend who teaches music and helps many people in Simcoe, Ontario. Leah read the lyrics and immediately composed the music which she recorded on the piano with Tyler playing the flute. At most 2012 gatherings we listened to the music and tried to sing along together. Judy Loman Umbrico and Linda Umbrico, Joey’s mother and sister, helped us to play and sing together, and Judy with her colleague Mitchell edited the final version of the musical score for publication. My friend Marie, a cartographer and graphic designer, used one of my paintings to create a cover design. The painting is my vision of a Bridges Centre, a golden dome-shaped house on a bridge in the green forest with all of us communicators shown relaxed and happy. As with all my art, it is a collaboration with my art mentor, Heidi. I type about the images, colours and shapes that I want, and Heidi helps me to get the paint on the canvas.
Now we are sending you copies of the sheet music for you to feel inspired and to share with anyone who could be interested. I have another idea. Everyone connected with friends who are singers and musicians could play and sing the song wherever you are. If you could record the playing and singing and send this to us, we could put all the recordings artistically together in a DVD to inspire even more people. We need so much to speak up for our rights and abilities to express our thoughts. Being helped to do this makes life better for everyone!

We are beginning our tenth year as a community of communicators. Up to 15 of us meet monthly in Guelph, with our families and friends, to share ideas and friendship, and we have some distant members as well. In 2013, these are dates of our monthly meetings (all Saturdays): March 16; April 13; May 11; June 8; July 6; August 10; September 7; October 5; November 2; November 30
As well as meeting in our gatherings, we also try to keep in touch by email and Internet. Look up my Andrew’s Bridges blog at:
Link to our last full newsletter:

Monday, 21 January 2013

Thank you, snow

Appreciating Snow
AB 9 Jan 2013
To some people snow is a nuisance.
but I like snow.
It is good in many ways
even though it can be ugly
when it gets grey and dirty.
Snow is good for the ground
because it gives us moisture
in the reservoirs and lakes.
Snow helps the birds to have something to drink.
For me it provides a visual blanket.
I like the crunching sound it makes
when I walk on it.

Snow in the air feels fresh on my face.
I like the quiet of the neighbourhood
after a snowfall.
I hear the flakes settling
on the branches of the trees
and on my head.
Under the car tires
there is a funny sort of screech
and it makes me laugh to myself
as the dog and I
walk safely on the sidewalk.

I like to get bundled up in my coat
and don my boots.
I won’t wear a new t-shirt,
but my old boots and coat
are my winter friends.
I think I could walk forever
on a snowy day.
No heat and humidity
to disturb my inner thermometer.
The world seems calm
and peaceful and pretty
when the snow falls and
I am out in it.

In my younger days
I used to ski across the fields,
but winters were colder then
and we had more snow.
I like the thought of snowshoeing
like the native people of Canada
and our early settlers.
It feels like you could forget
all the cares of our modern day lives
when out on a good walk
in the snow.

Today is the day to make it happen:
Let’s go for it!

AB 19 Jan 2013
I am a proud man
who prefers to do my best at all times.
I am trying my best always.
Today is the day to make it happen,
so let’s go for it!

I will do my best
which may not be
the expectations of others.
Is it necessary to be the way
others expect me to be?

I am a man with new thoughts and my own ideas.
If it is important to me, I will make it happen.
I need to know that,
if I don’t get to the finish line,
it is okay.
It is a journey, not a race.

My dreams to make my life the best it can be
need to be worked on every day.
I am a man with great determination;
but there is a limit.
I am a great schemer of good ideas;
I fool myself.
I want things that are always out of my reach;
but I keep stretching myself to get there.

It is my responsibility and choice
to be the person I choose,
whether it is making the best
of a not-so-great situation
or seeking something new.
I need to run towards it
and take the decision to make it mine.
Today is the day to make it happen;
so let’s go for it!