by Tara Osipoff on November 4, 2012
There have been nights where I am laying in my bed, wishing for there to be more hours in a day, to get a few more things done.
Sometimes my life gets so busy that I may not remember to call you back, or I might completely forget about you—not because you aren’t important, but because I get caught up in the spin of things. At times life spins so fast that you almost lose your step.
The job, the madness, the commotion, the chatter—it all starts to take over and you don’t know whether you are in or out, or if you’re comin’ or goin’ anymore. You are on the edge of losing your balance. All of the things that keep you in line like your friends, your family—hell, even food and sleep—get put on the back burner, and you are on the verge of falling out of control. Then, just then, when life gets really hard, when you feel lost and sick because things are spinning so fast that everything becomes black, just then, there is a place that you can go…
A place made just for you.
A place that will ground you,
that whispers out to you, “Don’t fret, sweet, sweet human, you are not part of that spin; you are you.”
A place where all of the screaming noise turns into silence, stillness.
This place doesn’t require your I.D.
No one will ask you for your ticket when you arrive; there is no guest list.
There is no dress code, no prerequisites needed.
All it asks is that when you arrive, you be there fully.
Where is this place?
It is a pretty place called Earth.
How do you get there?
Well, there isn’t much left of it, so it’s a bit tricky.
Go past the city limits, past the last street lamp, and drive ’til you can’t see the lights.
Get out of your car and walk ’til the only sounds you hear are the wind and the trees.
Listen carefully—they have a lot of wise tales to tell.
They’re there to remind you that all of that “stuff” going on is just “stuff”, and none of it matters.
Go there, and tell them I sent you (though you won’t need to—this place will know you by name). It will tell you that all of the roadblocks and walls getting in the way of your dreams, all of the problems that are going to pop up, are all just signs. Signs letting you know that you’re on the right track.
Nothing wonderful ever comes wrapped with a pretty bow; the Earth will tell you that.
Mountains and canyons weren’t made overnight; beautiful waterfalls and glaciers didn’t just appear.
Everything takes work, and so does your wonderful life.
The secret is, though, just to have trust.
Trust in this world, in this universe.
Trust that you are made for big things, HUGE things.
Things that even though you can’t imagine them, you to start to try to.
Because if you can believe them, you’re halfway to achieving them.
Earth is wise; it doesn’t always have a lot to say.
It is there to listen.
So tell it all of your trials and triumphs.
But, if you are quiet enough—if you breathe in deep, and exhale slowly—you will hear its wisdom inside of you.
So what is this all about?
It’s about drowning out the noise, being grateful for your path, trusting the universe and letting go of the ego.
All you need to do is step away from it all once in a while and be naked and be one with the place from which you have come: sweet, sweet Earth.
Thank you for reminding me that my life is perfect, just because I am in it. How wonderful—I have my very own life to do miraculous things with, and so do you.
Take a step back, take a deep breath, and remember that you’re worth it—all of it.
Thank you for reading, lovely readers.
Photos of myself by Scott Goodwill
by Tara Osipoff on November 1, 2012
Okay, so there’s this guy. His name is Joel Hansen. I’ve run into him a few times here and there around the city, at local coffee shops or Ohanlons pub or just while cruising the streets. It’s always a pleasure running into this fella—I mean, he isn’t hard on the eyes, and he always has interesting things to say.
So here’s the weird thing about Joel: he disappears. I mean, I’ve only ever seen him from time to time, but it’s literally been well over a year since I last saw him sipping on a coffee or pint.
Anywho, about a week ago I sat at my computer, latte in hand, surfin’ the interweb. Online shopping, naturally—when all of a sudden, I stumble across this product. An assortment of amazing leather belts, wallets, and lanyards. Clean, simple, and beautifully made, the best part about them was that they are made right here in Canada. Well, sure as shit, Joel didn’t run off to Tennessee to try and make it as a one-man band after all (one of the assumptions I had made after not seeing him for a while). Joel has apparently been hard at work, coming up with this amazing leather product that was staring me right in the damn face!
Hansen Leather Goods.
So I open up my email and fire off a message to long lost Joel. I think the email went something like this: Joel, your product is awesome! Let’s chat about it.
And here’s what I found out.
Joel moved to Calgary and his girlfriend, a tattoo artist, works a lot and periodically leaves Joel with very little attention and a lot of time to kill—bored, and no TV! (A series of fortunate events, in Joel’s case.) So, he decided to put all of this extra time to good use.
Joel realized that there have been a lot of handmade leather products popping up onto the fashion scene. Joel, good with his hands, decided that he is going to come up with his own range of handmade leather products. Except Joel’s products, from start to finish, are all ACTUALLY made by hand—there is no saving on labour by using a machine for parts. He is the machine—a one-man wrecking machine. He goes to the tannery to pick out the hide, and he gets the tools in town as well. “It’s nice to be able to go in and select everything for myself rather than someone sending it to me. I like to be able to oversee the quality of everything I’m putting out right from scratch.” That there is straight from Joel’s mouth… and yes, that’s a product you can trust.
His product is strong, well made, and durable. When I asked Joel what kind of guarantee he offers with his product, he simply replied, “I recently took a six-foot Nestea Plunge off a chain link fence to my back, and the lanyard I used didn’t break. So that has got to be saying something, right?” If that doesn’t make you feel like you’re buying something with an extremely long lifespan, then I simply don’t know of a product that will.
I find Hansen Leather Goods to be very fashionable with its simple yet rugged beauty. Joel told me he looks to heritage brands for influence, which is smart—look to the past for influence when wanting to create a new product, to see what did or didn’t work. This is a product that, with its inevitable wear and tear, will only become more beautiful. How many products can you say get better externally over time? Leather is one of them when it’s done well, and I can tell you—this product is done well.
That’s about all I can say for now about Joel Hansen’s whereabouts, and about his classic and fashionable leather pieces. It is beautiful to see people, born and bred in Saskatchewan, taking chances and pursuing things that they are passionate about. You can tell by looking at these pieces that there is an art to his work, and I eagerly await what else is to come from Mr. Hansen.
Also my lovely readers I would like this to be a lesson in what amazing things can happen when you simply turn off your TV and focus your energy into something useful.
You will probably find Hansen Leather Goods featured on my blog in upcoming posts. Stay tuned to see how I style them with some great fall and winter pieces.
To see more of Joel’s work, check out http://hansenleathergoods.tumblr.com/ or email him personally to get your hands on his gear at firstname.lastname@example.org