Chris's Journal - October 29, 2002

up, up and away. Into a new province; a new city, language and culture. The drive from Ottawa may have been the shortest yet of the tour, however, the gap between these two communities Is by far the largest. My heart thumps with excitement Knowing that I will soon be gazing at the st. lawrence, sitting atop the famed mount royal, as the first settlers did scores ago. Montreal is destined to be a great stop, for we can finally put to test whether kindness truly is a universal language. A touch of fear rises in me when I think of hugging strangers In this city: how do I say want a hug en francais; what will the fashion conscience think about our attempts to wrinkle their clothes while massaging their shoulders, will the Quebecois embrace the kindness of strangers from the west coast of Canada. I may be hesitant, but I’m optimistic.

That feeling of hesitancy tends to come to the fore anytime I forget about the value of our kind-acts and our mission. Helping out seven days for two months can fatigue a person, and I think this is where vision can become fogged. There is also the doubt that every person has in their life about the direction they are taking; then of course with fatigue comes stress, and with stress, frustration-sometimes directed at others in the group, but always a result of my own distorted cognitions, not reality. My moods seem quite slippery, and I my mind plays like a child on a swing, moving from bliss to boredom quickly. I do however, have a cure for my malaise: 20 minutes under (meditation to slow my swing) and I‘m fine, Feet firmly planted on the playground again.

I always try to meditate or exercise (my other cough syrup for my cranium) before any media appearance, or presentation in order to calm my body, which tends to act as if being chased by a crazed grizzly-heart palpitating, hands sweating, body tense. My mind has learned quicker than my body to let go of the fear of failure; my body still quakes although my mind is calm. I have been lucky enough to find something besides drugs that will soothe my anxiety.

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