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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Graveyards



Old Graveyard, Placentia - click to enbiggen.

Dateline: Fredericton, New Brunswick.

A long day's driving from the ferry in Sydney, Cape Breton to Fredericton, New Brunswick this evening to the accompaniment of Grandgirl's playlists and mine, some of which we have melded into a joint list. I got her hooked on Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone at an early age and she got me hooked on Dido, Cold Play, Adele and Train. We call ourselves the backup singers these unfortunate stars have missed out on as we add our special savour to the vocals. Makes the time fly.

Graveyards are another thing our family "does", I was hooked on them at a young age by my father and I in turn got my daughters addicted and now Grandgirl is equally enthralled. The headstone above is from the old Placentia graveyard we traversed yesterday.

I was struck first by all the drownings listed, these were obviously seafaring people. And I also can't imagine the grief of the widow, when having lost her husband, leaving her with a one month old baby, she then loses the baby six months later when he was seven months old. And then four more sons predeceased her - two together in drowning.

The often extremely sad lives of those who went before us depicted on these lonely headstones in far flung graveyards can only be surmised upon (the dashes between the dates). I imagine Mary Kelly's fortitude may have come from the strong religious beliefs of those bygone days: that one day she would be re-united with all she had lost.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sidetracked!



Placentia

I'm writing this on the Atlantic Vision, the wonderful ferry running between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and which is even better than before as it now has highspeed.

Well, ahem, we're a day late. And, ahem, there was a slight problem in that I thought we were sailing on Monday 29th, when in actual fact, ahem, it was Tuesday 30th. Says so right on the ticket. The ticket that Grandgirl and I failed to look at until the security guard pointed it out to us at the gate to the empty ferry terminal.

So no, we didn't skulk the 200K back to home (something about waving goodbye to all and sundry as we left and then showing up on the evening of the same day with a red face). We stayed in Placentia. At Harold Hotel. A most fortuitous decision as it turns out.

We went for a wonderful walk on the Placentia boardwalk after dinner. The dregs of Irene were all around us, unseasonable heat, raging wind and the ocean beating off the rocks below us. Magnificent.

Today we visited the old graveyard, some of it early 18th century. The old caretaker was shattered to hear I was of the lapsed catholic variety. I regretted telling him as soon as the words were out of my mouth as he took it so personally. He insisted on showing me a grave that held a Margaret O'Brien whose epitaph read "She died as she lived in God's Grace." And told me to think about that. I too could live like that, it wasn't too late.

"Maybe I already am in the grace?" I said to him and he shook his head sadly muttering about the one true church.

After the attempted conversion, we went for another long walk, this time by the wonderful river with the boats tied up and the sun splitting the rocks.

Meanwhile I ran into the president of the historical society whom I had met a few times at conferences and took the opportunity to talk about my play. We popped into a gorgeous new cafe recommended to me by a friend. Stunning. Home cooking and patisserie and the old general store beautifully renovated with floors and walls restored to their former glory. The owner and her husband are currently living upstairs but plan to eventually transform this space into an art gallery for her work.

She owns one of the inns in the area and in chatting it turned out she was looking for an accountant.

Well, duh, bingo. I have a new client. A most fortuitous misreading of tickets. All is not lost and Grandma is not destined for the home or a minder. Just yet.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ferries & Irenes Don't Mix?



Photo by Grandgirl who raced out in stockinged feet to get this wondrous shot the other night.

Grandgirl and I are packing up the house and sorting out the car and assuring Ansa, that yes, she is coming with us even though we are washing her bed and packing all her stuff in her own little bag. She looks stunningly lovely actually, as she was groomed only a few days ago. But she walks around the house with that worried look that dogs get. Comical. But we try and keep straight faces around her as she goes from bag to bag and the place where her bed used to be. And licks our legs as she walks by reminding us that "Lookeehere, yes, you do have a dog!"

So far the ferry is leaving on time. Even though this morning's was moved to an earlier time because of Irene. We are sailing on the Atlantic Vision, which I sailed on before and raved about.

They have changed the hours of operation to be more people friendly. We are leaving at 6.30pm and arriving in the morning at 9.00 a.m. A huge improvement. Before it was appalling, arriving in the middle of the night in Cape Breton with long, long hours of mountainous, often foggy, driving in darkness in order to hit the Nova Scotia mainland.

It is well over a year since I was in Ontario so I am looking forward to catching up with everyone. Reportage from the road may be sporadic.

So far Irene is avoiding us. Let's hope she stays that way. My sympathies to all and their dear ones who have suffered.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Long Lost Words


I remarked to Grandgirl the other day, on spotting a girl of about twelve passing us by in those plain white tennis shoes beloved of my own adolescence when I was the same age:

"My goodness, I haven't seen a pair of plimsolls in years!"

"What?" she said, "What word was that?"

"Plimsolls," I said, noting the strangeness of the word in my mouth, a word I haven't used in maybe forty years, "That's what we called those kind of shoes then."

"Weird," she responded.

And then playing Scrabble, I used the word "Unman". I remember my father using it.

"The cancer was so bad it just about unmanned him."

And wondering about it at the time.

About a catastrophe so awful it degendered one:

1.To deprive of the distinctive qualities of a human being, as reason, or the like.
2.To emasculate; to deprive of virility.
3.To deprive of the courage and fortitude of a man; to break or subdue the manly spirit in; to cause to despond; to dishearten; to make womanish.
4.To deprive of men.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition1.To cause to give up manly courage or spirit.
2.To take away virility from; emasculate.
Wiktionary1.To castrate; to remove one's manhood.
2.To sap the strength, whether physical or emotional, required to deal with a situation.


And then I thought, is there the equivalent "unwoman"? And sure enough there is:

1.To deprive of the qualities of a woman; to unsex.
Other (1)
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia1.To deprive of the qualities of a woman; unsex. Sandys, tr. of Ovid's Metamorph., ii.


Apparently not as cataclysmic to be unwomanned as it is to be unmanned.

Words. I love them.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

There are shoes and then there are Shoez



Sometimes you're out and about and something catches your eye, not necessarily big or expensive or modish or fashionable and you say: "We have to have it".

That was yesterday. And we said it together.

There is something about these Converse-Type shoes. The ridiculous pink, the grey polka dots, but most of all the satin ribbons for laces.

There is a world of possibility in these magical shoes. As if one could fly over rooftops, skim over stages, bring the heels together and say: "Home now, adventures are over for another day."

She is hopelessly in love with them. As am I. So I had to take a picture before they got scuffed up.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's All Been Said



A true Canadian hero, Jack Layton, has left us.

I just want to add:

Thank you, Jack.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Last Iris of Cape St. Mary's


We hiked out to Cape St. Mary's today. I have to admit I was nervous going out there after the Gulf of Mexico spill. The Gulf of Mexico is where the gannets winter and then fly all the way back up to Newfoundland in the spring to breed. I wrote about my concern for the birds here.
I am delighted to report that not only are the millions of birds back here this year but that they have spread their nesting grounds to another promontory in the same area.

The weather has been magnificent since Grandgirl arrived. We were lucky to catch one of the last few irises on the cape, a late bloomer because of the weather (above). Photo above taken by Grandgirl.

I also took one of her staring in awe at the gannets. I've been out there many times but still stop in my tracks at the number and sound of them all.



And a closeup of a pair, again taken by Grandgirl.





Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Review

Ramana gave me this idea of having a summary of my week here. So I am trying it on for size.

And by the way, click to enbiggen any of the photos.

Grandgirl and I are just back from a few days in the Trinity Bight area and today were going to move on and stay further north but changed our minds. Our stay in Doran House was so perfect ("awesome!") that we knew anything else would be a let down so home we came and are planning a pyjama day tomorrow (reading, pizza, movies, games, making another Ipod playlist of a mash of our favourites).

First off is a picture through one of the windows of Doran House:



Then one of my favourites, a picture of Ansa on the cliff with Grandgirl below on the beach, embracing the water. She said she felt like she could take wing along with the birds at any moment and fly over it, it was all so beautiful.




Then we hiked up to the lighthouse at Trinity Bay, the view from there was astonishing, there are still remnants of the ramparts and the cannons used to defend this important harbour 400 years ago. And I bring you a picture of the lighthouse:



And this is a photo of the view from the lighthouse, doesn't it look like a magical town? (it is).




The weather was amazing for the time we were away and we drove back to more and more RFD and now, ha, that we're home, full RFD is upon us.

We ate last night at the Twine Loft (a special treat), the second sitting at 7.45 (how European of us!) and got dressed up to match the auspicious occasion. The food was amazing, a four course meal, she had the coq-a-vin entree and pronounced it a winner, I had the hazelnut encrusted salmon with scallopped potatoes (seriously scallopped in swiss cheese AND whipping cream, there should be a law against such offerings - how can one ever go back to plain?). A magnificent salad was served after the mains which enchanted Grandgirl, never having been introduced to this particular prandial routine before. The dessert was also crime laden. Barren Berries Pudding floating in rum sauce topped with whipped cream laced through with a reduction of raspberries. And oh yeah, carrot-orange soup as starter with just-out-of-the-oven bread. I don't know how we rolled ourselves to the car afterwards. And on top of that, our marvellous waitress and I became friends and exchanged contact info. She is heading off to Ireland soon on a life-dream project involving a spa (she's in her late fifties and now or never is upon her.) I told her my life dreams were happening rather late too, so she found it very encouraging.

I managed to finish a Richard B. Wright book which I loved, he's an author that I greatly admire. And I started a short story involving a guy just released from prison.

All in all a wonderful week. Grandgirl and I are having a glorious time, singing in the car to Lady Gaga AND Nina Simone, walking with the dog, getting caught up on all the doings of each others' lives. I feel so very lucky to have this gorgeous and intelligent young woman in my life.




Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Travelling


Thank you all so much for the lovely wishes and compliments on my birthday. So appreciated. I was a little overwhelmed on this birthday. Grandgirl wrote me a poem which I will frame and hang, wishes and cards and phonecalls kept coming in all day. My cup runneth over mightily, many times. I will treasure each and every single wish. Thank you, fellow bloggers!

We are currently in Trinity Bight staying in a house that is over 100 years old (see picture above but it is now painted dory yellow)and is one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed in, in my life. I can't find the words. Seriously. I did take pictures but forgot to pack the camera downloady thingamajiggey but hope to share when we get back. The place has got books everywhere. Every corner seems to feature a chaise and throw and there is a wood fireplace in the middle of the parlour surrounded by comfy chairs and a huge sofa. And all the old wood has been exposed. Soft linens and lace blow in the windows, duvets float on the high queen beds, mounded with pillows and soft cotton sheets. Grandgirl has the bedroom with the two windows overlooking the whale (minke and humpback)infested ocean. I just have the one window overlooking the sea, poor Grams.

Grandgirl did a sundance yesterday on a wild windswept beach and swear-ta-gawd didn't the sun come out and it hasn't left us since. Seriously.

The house is on a ledge with a panoramic view. Grandgirl did cartwheels on the meadow on the cliff today in celebration of the weather and our good fortune to be in such a breathtaking spot, surrounded by magnificence, a folk festival, theatre, some possible icebergs approaching and also multi-star restaurants that we are salivating to try!!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RFD*

*RainFogDrizzle




It's my birthday today and you'd think Gaia might take a chance on me and drop a bit of sunshine my way? Not a hope.

The best birthday gift I get every year is another year of this precious life. The next is the Grandgirl who never misses it. She arrived late last night and between the RFD and the moose (we counted four on the roads) it took us till nearly 2 in the morning before we got home.

And this year daughter sent me a birthday gift of a GPS for the car. Something I have coveted for a long time as I have a problem I label geographical dyslexia. I can never tell you what direction I'm facing in unless it's a well known landmark like Lake Ontario and I always knew how to get there from just about any point in Ontario. Here in Newfoundland, St. John's is confusing as it's not laid out like a grid and streets and roads keep changing names just to laugh at me. And though I've learned a pile of these name changes there's still the odd one thrown out of the blue which in turn throws me.

Directionally challenged, that's me. I come by it well. My father hadn't a clue and when we would travel together we would pore over maps pretending we had inbuilt navigational skills, hardy-har. I remember one spectacular night in Quebec City where we (I) drove down cul-de-sacs that were an armslength apart in width and then I would have to reverse back again, confounded and baffled. At around three in the morning, after hours of this maze-like meandering seeking our hotel which neither of us could remember whether it was in Lower Town or Upper Town or even the name of it, Gawd help our simple Irish souls, when the Da looked at me and said, "OK. Next time we will tie a long string to the back of the car and the front of the hotel before we go anywhere." I remember us laughing ourselves silly at the thought, just before finding a gendarme who spoke English and drew a map on a page of his notebook for us.

The Da would have dearly loved my GPS.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What's That Golden Ball in the Sky?


Have I talked about the weather here this summer? No? Well joke is it is the mildest winter we've had in years.

We are now celebrating our second day of sunshine in 7 weeks. A dicey thing this day of sunshine as it changes its mind now and again and shyly ducks behind something that is nearby and handy. A bit of fog, a sudden low flying cloud, the trees. As if it isn't used to any kind of attention. Which it isn't. We'd forgotten about it.

So here it is, back, the brazen thing. I check out the forecast for the week - see above. The Grandgirl is coming tomorrow for a whole two weeks. Two weeks!!! And it would be nice to show her another colour besides grey. And cold. And endless RFD*.

What should I pack? she emails me. Grandmothers are supposed to be wise and all-knowing, right? A mix of stuff, I respond, covering all grandma bases, I've now probably jinxed everything and it will be a 2 week scorcher.


*RFD=rain,fog,drizzle.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Deadlines


I had a couple of deadlines in the last 12 hours. One was for a tax client who was in an awful mess and needed refilings of incorrectly filed tax returns by another accountant. I hate that taking apart of another's work and finding all the differences and anomalies. I put it off as long as I could and then sorted everything properly into new files and new headings and it all felt a little cleaner and I was able to tackle it with a fresh perspective over this past week.

The other was much more enjoyable in that it was for two stories, one I had to finish and one I had to expand a little and fine tune and then file both by a deadline. I love the process of re-write, though it is always a little nerve-wracking too, reading stuff aloud - I do this as I wander around my house, pages in hand, if anyone barges in (and they frequently do, it is the Newfoundland way after all), I am sure they think me certifiable judging by the slightly raised eyebrows and the pattings of my arm as I try and explain what I'm doing. "There, there honey, you'll be alright once you have this soup I broughtcha!"

One story I was particularly pleased with, as it has taken me a few years to refine it and I have good hopes for it. But then again, I'm never sure. Is any writer ever sure?



Friday, August 12, 2011

Stuff I Miss


About once a week I have a hearty breakfast: sausage, perogies, eggs, toast. I peruse the paper at leisure, soak in the weekend's activities listings, reviews, etc. Part of the ritual of this breakfast is HP Sauce - a first cousin to YR Sauce (anyone remember that?)

This morning, I was holding the bottle of HP Sauce in my hand and felt saddened that something so redolent of my childhood could be so substantially changed, and by a plastic squeeze bottle. It was sacrilegious, this squirting onto my plate rather than feeling the heft of the glass bottle in my hand and thumping its bottom, always in such a way that the amount seemed to be just the right size when it finally plopped onto the plate.

It tasted differently then too, better, sharper. Glass is obviously more hospitable than plastic. The same applies to pop/soda/minerals. Glass all the way. The cans and the plastic alter the taste. I recently had a bottle, a real glass bottle, of Coke. And I was startled when it put me in mind of the Coke bottling plant in Cork where on race days (there was nearly always a race on the Straight Road in Cork) we would get a bottle (or maybe 2?) of Coke for a shilling directly from vendors outside the plant. And here it was - the taste was exactly the same, over 50 years later.

Something has been lost (or gained) in packing foodstuffs in plastic and tin, losing flavour and gaining an overriding plastication in all our basic condiments.

And I haven't even talked about Hellmann's Mayo, have I?

Don't get me started.

And totally symptomatic of our sad old world isn't it?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Terrorists, hooligans, vandals, blackguards.


These were the epithets flung at my people - even by their own - when the few struck out for Irish liberation back in the day. They were young and idealistic too. And could no longer bear the poverty and hardships and hopelessness with which they were surrounded.

A poverty I saw up close and personal. And I'm not talking just material – even though my ancestral lands were seized and my ancestors, including the infants, massacred (I've written about it here). I'm talking poverty of education and opportunity, of advancement and enlightenment.

My grandparents were tenant farmers on a couple of acres' holdings when I was a child. Things were beginning to change. But never fast enough for them. My grandfather would hunt our supper in the fields and speak of his rage against our terrorists, the English landlords. He carried the memories of shock and horror with him, passed down through the generations. I never knew what missions he carried out for the IRA before I was born - when Irish freedom was being fought for on the crossroads and hidden valleys of Ireland. He would be a terrorist/vandal/criminal in today's world.

Today's heroes were yesterday's terrorists. To the victors go the re-writing of history.

It is easy to say: yeah, we can understand what is happening in England and now in the U.S. – six generations of population explosion and living on welfare in the UK and nearly 50 million on foodstamps in U.S.: it must kill the spirit, the hunger for the “better” life they see on their televisions and the fact that their peaceful protests against injustice are ignored and not even mentioned in the media, their voices unheard. And then in the next breath condemn their criminality. Does it have to be this violent and destructive? Like the examples they see on their Teevees of invasions and annihilations of the innocents and conflagrations of property in Iraq and Afghanistan et al?

Well, the peaceful protests gained nothing – and this has gotten the attention of the world.

Just saying.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Coming Soon to a Country Near You



{Photo courtesy of Guardian}
Daughter sent me a link today, a blogpost from the trenches of the urban warfare that has broken out in England.

Here are extracts:

The violence on the streets is being dismissed as ‘pure criminality,’ as the work of a ‘violent minority’, as ‘opportunism.’ This is madly insufficient. It is no way to talk about viral civil unrest. Angry young people with nothing to do and little to lose are turning on their own communities, and they cannot be stopped, and they know it. Tonight, in one of the greatest cities in the world, society is ripping itself apart.


and more

Violence is rarely mindless. The politics of a burning building, a smashed-in shop or a young man shot by police may be obscured even to those who lit the rags or fired the gun, but the politics are there. Unquestionably there is far, far more to these riots than the death of Mark Duggan, whose shooting sparked off the unrest on Saturday, when two police cars were set alight after a five-hour vigil at Tottenham police station. A peaceful protest over the death of a man at police hands, in a community where locals have been given every reason to mistrust the forces of law and order, is one sort of political statement. Raiding shops for technology and trainers that cost ten times as much as the benefits you’re no longer entitled to is another. A co-ordinated, viral wave of civil unrest across the poorest boroughs of Britain, with young people coming from across the capital and the country to battle the police, is another.


And more:

Most of the people who will be writing, speaking and pontificating about the disorder this weekend have absolutely no idea what it is like to grow up in a community where there are no jobs, no space to live or move, and the police are on the streets stopping-and-searching you as you come home from school. The people who do will be waking up this week in the sure and certain knowledge that after decades of being ignored and marginalised and harassed by the police, after months of seeing any conceivable hope of a better future confiscated, they are finally on the news. In one NBC report, a young man in Tottenham was asked if rioting really achieved anything:

"Yes," said the young man. "You wouldn't be talking to me now if we didn't riot, would you?"


Read all of it here.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Sorry, My Head is Exploding


Per capita government debt in 2010 in descending order, thank you Irish Times. Big changes in 2011?

I wrote here quite a while ago that I would only touch upon this crazy world of ours and all its ills if I felt my head exploding.

My head is exploding with the confluence of all that is happening. I have many questions. And very few answers.

Why is everyone so shocked that the global economic meltdown is happening?

Did everyone seriously think that this unsustainable way of life would continue forever?

Didn't the serious imbalance of food, water, housing amongst the wealthiest and the poorest (of which there are far, far too many) weigh on those who are so privileged?

Why on earth was the population of the world allowed to explode (and continue to explode) to a completely unsustainable level while the majority of the Woo practitioners and their worshippers condemn birth control and abortion? And allow thousands upon thousands of birthed children to die each and every single day?

When and why did we allow psychopathic corporations to dictate who gets into the highest offices of government and then allow them to pull the puppet strings of their patsies?

How on this tiny planet did one country spend one trillion dollars illegally invading another (not to mention all of the others) and not expect it to come back and haunt them. For generations yet to come.

How can we be so flip as to say “technology will solve everything” whenever the subject of finite oil (peaked and gone in my humble estimation) is mentioned. And people run out and buy these great gas guzzling rigs to get their weekly groceries? Using decades worth of gas and oil that would supply tiny cars like mine for another 50 years if we all drove environmentally responsible vehicles?

Do those in charge (Demz Wot Rulez) not give one single shyte about their own grandchildren?

Whatever happened to making the way we run our little portions of the world smaller – i.e. Locally supplied power, etc., community gardens, etc. Instead we are planning multi-billion dollar hydro developments here in Newfoundland. I won't get into the destruction of tribal lands and environmental degradation this will entail. Mortgaging our great-grandchildren's lives (if they survive) and doubling our utility rates. All this in a province where wind and waves can be harnessed at a fraction of the cost. And locally.

Gaia is beginning to shrug us off like the pesky bunch of fleas we are, is there anything we won't destroy for money?

But, of course, the ICH* will save the repentant and the prayerful, like Rick Perry.

*Invisible Cosmic Housekeeper

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Inside Looking Out


A Storm on the Bay

The wild of it
The wind of it.
The wend of it.
The weft of it
The warp of it
The whisht of it,
The whelp of it
The whinge of it.
=======================================================

It's a nor'easter - a savage day, wind howling, blowing the bedroom curtains across the room in jigs and reels. Trees screeching sideways. Reluctantly, I close all the windows and glance at the wood stove. And glance again and set a fire and light it. Birds dart around the empty bird feeder. I had to move it when I spotted the squirrels hanging upside down from an overhead branch and swinging towards it and tipping the contents on the ground. Barnum and Bailey acrobats had nothing on these critters.

I think, in gleeful anticipation, as I do on such days, safe indoors, wind and water tussling to the death in front of me, what will I do? A friend had recommended a great read, her favourite book for the last five years, and it arrives from England yesterday and I hold it for a while, heft the weight of it, find the love note within, savour that, read the reviews printed this way and that all over it. A Sunday Times bestseller that never found its way here, it seems.

I defer the actual reading of it. I smell it. Touch the slightly worn pages between my fingers. The energy of previous readers cling to it, I imagine. I anticipate the pleasure of reading that first page. On some books we agree, my friend and I. On others we engage in animated discussion. It's been that way since we shared Annie Smithson's Irish novels of love and love lost in Sixth Class back in the day. We each came out of the cradle reading, our mothers would say.

It's coming up to a night for a fire and a read and maybe a movie later. I've a few lined up, some from friends, some rescued from bargain bins in various secret shops around St. John's. Maybe a bit of knitting. I've always loved days and nights like this. It seems to me like the pressure is off.

You ask me what pressure?

Ah, sure now, I 'd be hard pressed to tell you.

Friday, August 05, 2011

The Care & Feeding of my Groupies


Normally I'd have been delighted.

Normally, I'd have got right out of my car and stood and chatted for a while with such lovely people.

Normally I'd compare notes on the very best french fries (chips) this side of the ones I get in Dublin in Powerscourt (fried in duck fat), and available only on the side of the road off a wagon as one heads towards the TCH* where we were all stopped.

"We've been to both your shows!" They say, "And when and where is the third one happening? We want to book tickets for that too!!"

Through the car window I shake hands with all four of them. Keeping my left arm pinned across my chest. Praying they're going to move along, there's nothing to see, nothing peculiar at all about my dog licking my lovely linen jacket, just one of her tricks. She does it all the time. Cute, ha?

I'm breaking out in a sweat as they finally wave goodbye, full of compliments and admiration for the licky dog.

What I've desperately tried to hide is my catastrophic spillage of one small pot of gravy all over my white, yes white, jacket and down my pants with my beloved Ansa frantically trying to clean me up.

I mean, public image, papparazzi, 'n all that. One has to look one's best for one's fans. Right, Angelina?



*TransCanadaHighway

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Blog Jam



~~~Through The Fog~~~

I spend a lot of my time alone. Which is my preference. People would say I'm extroverted but I am not. I spent a lot of my time as a child escaping, to bathrooms, under the stairs, solitary bike riding, solitary walking and cliff hiking. Reading. Writing. Playing the piano with the door closed, oblivious to any query as to what was I was playing in there.

I live in my head most of the time. Always have. Escapism? I suppose so. I sometimes find the insanity and pain of the world too much to bear. This heading straight off a cliff into nothingness which looms ahead of all of us. I talk to the spirits of my grandmother and mother that live inside me. Certifiable? Perhaps.

I find it such a challenge to be understood. I would love to do light and fluffy like so many I know but I'm just not put together that way so I hold myself back a lot of the time. I have very few friends that I share my inner thoughts with for fear of being found incomprehensible, or being ridiculed and rejected. I differ in values with a lot of my family. As I get older, I realize the chasms are getting larger rather than smaller. And when I reach out across the voids created by others that were once close to me it is more often than not met with a stinging silence.

Daughter recently went on a hiatus from Facebook as she discovered that it was increasing her sense of isolation, seeing photos of other family members temporarily unite from other corners of the globe and excluding her even though she is in the same city as them and is all by herself. I surmise it was probably inadvertent. People just don't think, do they?

I saw that for myself in the past 9 days when I was carless. Only one person called to see if I needed groceries or anything else. But it just takes the one. I see that too. We just don't think outside our own personal self-contained little boxes.

I am going to try and do better with this. To jump outside my own personal safety net a little more and see if others could use a hand or even a listening ear. And risk.

For after all I am the change I wish to see in the world, right?

Monday, August 01, 2011

Reflections



Sunset from the deck, tonight.


I never get more excited than when I'm working on a new piece of writing, followed perhaps by a new knitting design. The creative process. It's wonderful. Nowhere else in life can this thrill and excitement be sustained and for so long. It must be the same for all artistes whatever the medium.

The complete forgetfulness of self.

I have a couple of stories on the go and a concept for another musical drama which is filling my mind at the moment.

I get these little frissons around them - not fear - but of the excitement itself, as if sometimes I can hardly believe my absolute good fortune in doing exactly what I dreamed of doing when I was a very small child.

And I'm simply blown away that this has all come to me so late in life and is filling it with such passion.

Newfoundland and Newfoundlanders: Best Kind! I just loves ya, b'ys!!