Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016: Sealing Shabbat with a kiss

Celebrating Harreson Sito’s birthday capped an action-packed Shabbat – certainly not a restful sabbath, but very fulfilling.

At the end of the evening, Joan de Verteuil and I gave Harreson a birthday smooch at a party at his family-run restaurant, the Blue Moon Cafe, on West 4th Avenue.

The long day began at 5:30 when I woke up for one of my passions – tennis. Not playing, in this case, but streaming a semi-final match between Canada’s No. 1 player, Milos Raonic, and the world No. 1, Andy Murray, at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, England, where only the top eight players compete.

I set up my laptop on my treadmill desk, plugged it into a larger display, turned on the treadmill and started watching and walking. It was a thriller, lasting three hours and 38 minutes, the longest in the tournament’s 46-year history. While Milos won the first set 7-5, he lost the next two in very tight tiebreaks 5-7 and 9-11. But still he finishes the year as world No.3, his highest ranking yet.

So while my guy lost, I logged more than 24,000 steps toward my Movember Move goal of averaging at least 10,000 steps a day this month. You could donate to my campaign here.

I arrived late for Shabbat morning services at Or Shalom, my spiritual community, and left before the potluck lunch afterwards to attend the demonstration and march against the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline that would triple the amount of oil coming from Alberta to Burnaby, the Vancouver suburb where I grew up, and dramatically increase the number of tankers in Burrard Inlet. The consequences of a spill would be catastrophic.


Demonstrators begin the march against the Kinder Morgan pipeline project.

I really only made a token appearance, arriving at Vancouver City Hall where thousands had gathered to hear speakers, including Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, and then joining the march downtown for a mere half-block before rushing home to Vancouver Cohousing for a three-hour workshop on conflict transformation.


David Hatfield leads a workshop on Conflict Transformation at Vancouver Cohousing.

The workshop was led by David Hatfield, who specializes in the design and delivery of transformative, experiential education. An excellent facilitator, he led about 35 of us through two processes. One is pictured above on the flipchart where we formed dyads to work through past conflict scenarios to shift from polarity where the two people are separate to fluidity where we could take more than just one side.

When we finished at 5, I grabbed an hour’s nap and drove to Harreson’s gathering with my triple-chocolate brownies. It was a beautiful evening of food, song, friendship and sharing. We passed a mic around and spoke of where we find joy in our lives and how we met Harreson. I talked about knowing Harreson from the chant world in Vancouver. When I’ve seen him he’s invariably smiling, and his smile makes me smile.


Birthday boy Harreson with a few of his friends.




4 thoughts to “Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016: Sealing Shabbat with a kiss”

  1. Phew – I’m exhausted and I’ve only been sitting reading about your very active weekend! Surprised you had no Buddhist chanting. Next time you have multi-faith Chocolate and Chanting let me know. I’d love to be jikki jitsu as learned when training at Gyokuriuji Monastery in the mountains of Japan 2003 and again in 2004.

    1. Hi Trysh. The Anglican organizers of the five-night series chose which traditions to present, and I don’t know why the Buddhists weren’t represented. So many faith traditions have chanting as a spiritual practice. I spent a little time at Niihama no Zuiouji, a Soto Zen temple on Shikoku Island, and the chanting there was monotonal. Was it melodic at Kyokuryuji, which is Rinzai?

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