Future Skills

Evening Clouds by Cathy (Kate) Johnson

Evening Clouds by Cathy (Kate) Johnson

9 November 2013
8:48 am

T. —

I am so glad you’re safe. Don’t worry about the letters – you know how to backdate =) (another skill I don’t have!). What did it feel like, living by the sea?

I’m writing this quickly before we spend the day back at the Augustine United Church with Garchen Rinpoche. This morning, we have the opportunity to meditate with him for two hours. I welcome that opportunity with open hands. Last night, when we came home from his first set of teachings, my cold was completely gone. This morning, I have a bit of a lingering headache, but my whole body feels at peace otherwise.

Skills I don’t have. It’s a long list, but the shorter list is: skills I don’t have that I would like to. I have a whole Pinterest board about that. It’s called Goal Growing. It includes very focused things:

  • Painting. This is a huge one. It’s related to drawing and sketching, but a bit more specific. My grandmother used to paint watercolors, and she had a beautiful gift for art. I only wish I had asked to take some lessons from her. I love the impermanent tone of watercolors, how the colors are brought together and blend where they meet. I wish I could sit down with a scene in mind and create another vision of it, on paper.
  • Quilling. This is a skill I don’t know very much about, but that I would like to learn from someone sometime. I think quilling makes beautiful cards and pictures, and I would love to give them as gifts.
  • Growing herbs and vegetables. Just generally to be better with plants, to have more living things around me. I adore my Aunt Katie’s backyard with her lemon tree and fruit bushes — and both of my aunts have a beautiful love of farmers markets. I do love farmer’s markets, but I would love a lemon tree. I would love to run my fingers through lavender. I would love to share a garden with others.
  • Sailing. I went sailing once, on Loch Tay, in 2010, and I was hooked. There were four other people on the boat, plus the instructor, but it was cold and no one wanted more than one turn at the helm. This meant that in my first experience sailing, I took the boat up the entire length of Loch Tay, and turned it about for home. I was definitely hooked.
  • Kayaking. Likewise, I have only been lake kayaking a few times, but I would love to learn more, would love to go sea kayaking, would just generally love to be closer to water and in it and riding on it. Water is a double-edged sword that both calls me and scares me.
  • Dancing. I have danced in my life, but I would like to go back to the basics. I would like to become more flexible, and do more ballet. I would like to become more fluid and do more jazz. I would like to become more loose and rhythmical and learn tap.
  • Budgeting. Andrew has a good head for budgets, but I would like to learn more about them myself. The discipline, the practice, the achievement. Sometimes I think I need a job for that. I need money to budget with, but other times, I think: I can already practice budgeting my time.
  • Piano. It has been a long time since I have played piano with any regularity, and I never got past a certain level with it. I don’t know how to break plateaus like that, especially when you are self-taught. I have a piano here, in the flat. This is something I should maybe work at.
  • Cello. I always wanted to learn the cello. I listen to Yo-Yo Ma with half my heart in my mouth. Instead of learning the cello, I learned to play the flute. I don’t regret it. Maybe I do. I would just love to learn the cello at some point in my life. Likewise the violin, but sometimes it feels too shrill and shrieky.
  • Horseback riding. Another skill from when I was younger, except no one really taught me the specifics. It was more, climb on, hold on, ride on.
  • Chess.  “You sit at the board and suddenly your heart leaps. Your hand trembles to pick up the piece and move it. But what chess teaches you is that you must sit there calmly and think about whether it’s really a good idea and whether there are other, better ideas.”

    – Stanley Kubrick


    “In chess one cannot control everything. Sometimes a game takes an unexpected turn, in which beauty begins to emerge. Both players are always instrumental in this.”- Vladimir Kramnik


    “Chess helps you to concentrate, improve your logic. It teaches you to play by the rules and take responsibility for your actions, how to problem solve in an uncertain environment.”

    – Garry Kasparov

So there you have it. My future skills.

Good morning,


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