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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pacing


The first time I felt the Black Dog pacing was at an impossibly young age. Age 6. I would not have known it was the Black Dog, of course. I would have called it being afraid and very sad.

At that age, I had had measles which affected my eyes with ulceration. It necessitated hospitalization as the infection had also spread to my adenoids. In those days there were no children's hospitals so I was put into an adult hospital. I remember all of my stay there, it stands out in a kind of gothic starkness. There were no children in the ward I was on. Just all these adults. And casual cruelties were thrown my way (my eyes were bandaged for about 4 days)- being deliberately misled as to where the washroom was, my few toys being hidden, my hair being pulled,another patient assigned to feeding me and deliberately missing my mouth, all this accompanied by raucous laughter,etc. In those days it was called "teasing" today it would be called abuse. I was wretched.

It was to get worse.

My throat was healing from surgery, my eye bandages were removed when my mother visited with some handmade clothes for my doll. Including a little nightie. When she was leaving, I followed her out of the ward and as she went down the main stairs I screamed and screamed until my throat bled. I fell on the floor until I was carted off (roughly I remember) and told to behave myself.

The following night my father visited. In a rage. He told me I had upset my mother terribly and if I didn't promise to behave myself she would never visit me again.

It was to get worse.

I woke up the following morning to be told there was a great surprise in a cot (crib) down the ward from me. Come and look.

I did and there was my baby brother, under a year, pulling himself up by the bars, recognising me, delight all over his little face. I remember touching his soft head, rubbing my hands over the bandages on his ears. It seems that the measles had given him massive ear infections and primitive tubes had to be inserted to drain them so he wouldn't go deaf.

I remember feeling overwhelmed. I remember thinking my parents had gotten rid of their defective models and were just keeping their perfect middle child (another brother).

I resigned myself to a life on a Dickensian ward, knowing that keeping my mouth and tear ducts shut would mean a possible sighting of my mother again.

My therapist said it was one of the defining moments of my life.

It certainly removed the foundations from it. The idea of abandonment has always haunted me. More than anything the abandonment of myself by myself.

On another note, in adult hindsight, I can't imagine what my parents were going through with two of their children in hospital.

Knowing the reason for one's anxieties and irrational fears will not fix them. I'm just very grateful the episodes get further apart as I move along on my journey.

I'm not at the point where I can chase the Black Dog off my psychic landscape yet. But his visits are shorter and I recognise his pacing and know that he will get bored very quickly if I don't feed him.

And I think I know what to do to protect myself. Very little contact with other, more 'normal' humans, and some contact with those who know exactly where I am.

Pace on, BD, pace on.

Friday, October 28, 2011

New News

(1) One of my stories is up at The Elder Story Telling Place

(2) Quotes

"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes .. Pass a law that says that if the deficit is more
than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election."
-- Warren Buffett



(3) And (tongue firmly in cheek) ad of the week:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Old News


I stumbled across this postcard which was in one of a pile of boxes I am slowly plowing through and sorting. I am reluctant to throw it out. It bears such sadness. It's from Leeds and sent to me on April 15th, 1984.

I find the picture itself rather odd. It looks like an artist's rendition of a municipal building. But the people sitting in front of the wall belie that impression.




The message says:

Dear -------Thank you for all your thoughtful help. I was too late. Buried Dad last week. Will see you in June. Love Pat.


Pat is consigned to the mists of time but the poignancy of her message lingers on.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Conversation



At cards tonight:

Ron: Hey Phil, do you know anyone with a harness?

Phil: Yeah I do, b'y, what d'ya want it for?

Ron: Not for me, b'y, it's for John.

Phil: What he want it for?

Ron: For his shrimping pool.

Phil: Oh right, that's some pool, I seen it.

Ron: Yeah, that's why he needs a harness.

Me (bemused at this point): Why would someone need a harness to catch shrimp?

Ron: Wha?

Phil: Wha?

Me: And I don't think he'll have shrimp up in that pool it's on a hill and not connected to the sea.

Ron: Wha?

Phil: Wha?

Me (knowing the difference between my seas, rivers and fish varieties): Like it's freshwater?

Ron (sighing tolerantly): Of course, yeah, it's freshwater. He needs the harness to finish the sides of it, it's very deep.

Me: So why is he putting shrimp in it?

Ron: First I heard of that.

Me: You just said....

Ron: Wha? No, I didn't. He'll be using the pool as a shrimping pool.

Me: (light bulb flashing, translator in overdrive)Oh, a swimming pool!

Ron: Yeah, that's what I said, a shrimping pool.


Note to red-faced self: Please, please, please, stay out of any shrimp harnessing conversations.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Moral and Ethical Authority


Am I missing something?

So this bunch of (mainly white) old men living in the lap of obscene luxury in the Vatican are calling for a crackdown on the financial markets now that the Occupy Movement has established its global street cred and gained such enormous traction.

"Oh, hang on everyone, wait for us, we're on the side of the people, the poor downtrodden people!"

a document released by the Holy See is calling for a "world authority" to crack down on capitalism and suggests some are considering it. Written by the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and released on Monday:
Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public Authority


Read more about it here.

It is difficult to put a figure on the extent of Vatican wealth. The closest average I can come up with in dive-bombing around the web is around 50 billion US dollars. Most of it is invested in the banking, insurance and commodities stock markets. And as we all well know transparency isn't one of the Vatican's strong suits. Somehow so much poverty in the world never equates in my mind with so much wealth in the Vatican. Is this how Jesus pictured his future church? Upon this rock which shall be rolling in red velvet and yay I say unto you a listing of stocks and bonds rippling down the steps of the Sistine Chapel?

So pardon my cynical black heart here. Isn't there a self serving whine to all of this noise about looking out for the financial interests of we the people and hear ye now from henceforth only fairness in all financial dealings?

All this coming from these outrageously wealthy masters of cover-up, these irrelevant old hypocrites

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Exploding the Fantasy


The fairytale aspect of life is presented ad nauseum both by books and films and TV shows. One of the primary sells being that the magic princess/prince will arrive, snow white charger optional, and whisk you into a life beyond your wildest dreams. Nightmare more like. At least for over 50% of us.

Case in point: Carol (not her real name) is a 40 year old woman living up the road from me. Attractive. Five children. Two husbands under her belt. Children by 3 different partners. None of whom give her a dime of support for her family's well-being. So we the people do it with our slim taxation dollars. Us 99% I am referring to, of course. I doubt if it crosses the 1%'s mind that such people exist. And if it did it would be “their own fault,” “bootstraps,” and “I'm alright, Jack”.

Nothing wrong with Carol and her life, though there are some that judge her. All the time. Her unhappiness leaks nearly every day from her Facebook posts. She is poorly educated and if you knew why, you would weep (snippet: as a toddler she saw her mother murdered in a bath of blood by her father). Her dream for the knight to ride in and save her has never left her mind since she was fourteen. She just made poor choices in the past, you see. But HE is still out there and will find her. Just like the soaps she watches in the afternoons. So she does herself up right sexy before she even opens her door and zeroes in on any available upright man who walks around. HE will be the one. It is a constant uphill struggle as sometimes they use and sometimes outright reject her. But her poverty and belief in this dream enables her to continue getting up in the morning.

It never crosses her mind to get an education now that all the children are in school full-time. To change. To determine that her happiness is an inside job. Not the knight's responsibility. I've spoken to her about this. About the joy of personal fulfilment and she looks at me sideways. This credo has absolutely no perceivable benefit to her. I just don't get it, you see.

How many countless others are waiting like her for this fantastical teevee land of Father Knows Best and its ilk?

No one talks about failure having much better odds than success in a relationship. And if we included the incredibly unhappy and abusive ones that manage to hold together in a kind of misery loves company toxicity, the odds would be overwhelming indeed.

Why does no one ever talk about limiting the size of their families in this overpopulated and abused planet - while we breed ourselves to the point of extinction? Children are being raised in poverty just about everywhere by single parents. Why? Because they believed in that Princ(ess) Charming and forever with a brood of happy kids frolicking in the meadow. Hell, if the sex is good than it follows that everyone and everything around us would be too, right?

I was one. The only lifestyle that improved after my divorce was that of my ex-husband. All sorts of both material and other benefits were cut from my two children's lives. I had bought into the dream too, you see. Like most of us. Forever and ever, amen.

What a crock of shyte as my people would say.

It is time we stopped this massive delusion.

So that Carol's children won't perpetuate the insanity.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Blog Jam


I'm one of those boring people that can watch a movie twenty times over a period of, oh, a long time, and still find something new in it. Mind you, it has to be a good movie.

Hence watching The Red Shoes again last week. I don't know how many times I've watched it and am still mesmerized by the ballet in the middle. And yeah, the ending is weak, but who cares. It sure puts Black Swan to shame.

One of my frustrations in living in Newfoundland is that we never get so-called art house, foreign films and good documentaries here. As in shown on the big screen. It's never the same on the little screen.

I usually go on a movie rampage when I hit Toronto, my hunger is so keen for real films in a reel (sorry) theatre.

And on another note I'm rather ticked off in that I can't seem to stay up late and have a fairly normal day of it the following day. Not at all. I was with some friends last night, great talkers - you should hear all our monologues going off at the same time, over and over - and we cracked the clock around 3.30 a.m., very normal for us. But oh today! I don't drink, neither do they, so there are no hangovers. Just this: OMG: my legs, where are they, OMG: what time did I get up, why is the sun looking sideways at me? OMG: why am I reading things twice for the meaning to penetrate. And on. Some useless day for this cranky old lady today.

But: no regrets. I so love the chat. And there are so few in my world who love it like I do.

As a result I figured I could watch a film without overly taxing the few braincells left to me so I am halfway through Mr. Roberts as I write this, another old hairy one. But what's not to like about Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon and a demented old James Cagney chewing the glue out of the scenery?

Did I ever mention I have a breath-taking collection of old movies?

No?

You see this obsession all started with an uncle who owned a cinema back in the day. Hooked like heroin. At the age of 6.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

For Sale: 300,000 Babies


I was processing some papers for a dear Irish friend the other day. As I was reviewing the documentation in her file, I was struck once again by how the Irish government (and people) handed over all responsibility for medicine, education, registering of marriages and even the methodology of births (see here for my post on that) to the Catholic church. Shame on my government, shame on the brainwashed people who believed so unquestioningly in this cult. That abused everyone around them through massive cover-ups of their paedophilia and their funnelling of billions of wealth gained from such government-funded enterprises to their leader in the Vatican. And don't get me started on their tax-exempt status around the world.

And if you tell me about missionary work I will tell you that the poor unfortunate children in Africa and other Third World countries do not have access to lawyers or to courts that will hear them.

I am exhausted from all the exposed corruption in the last while as are the rest of you, I am sure. But this latest about Catholic priests, nuns and doctors stealing and selling as many as 300,000 babies in Spain for eager adoptive couples made my already sickened heart retch again. For those sad deceived mothers (shown the same frozen infant's body over and over again to convince them their baby had died) and for those lost babies, growing up outside their country, cultures and families.

Is there no depth to the depravity to which this wretched and corrupt organization won't sink?

Read more about it here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Night Owl


This is the latest addition to my owl collection - a birthday gift of a commissioned handcrafted rug from a dear friend.

My animal totem, given to me by a shaman many, many moon cycles ago is an owl. For wisdom, he said, and for night-loving and wooing. I don't think he was punning but I like to fancy he was. Either or. I've woo-hood back at any owls who flit around here and I would like to woo another night owl like myself if he ever presented himself.

I fight this night living thing all the time. It is late now, I look out over the mirror of the bay and see the lights reflected on the water and feel happiest. Day time is not my preferred time but as it's nearly everyone else's I have to suit up and show up when dawn appears.

A belief in former lives would say I must have been a courtesan or a night club dancer or at the very least a jazz singer in a smoky boite.

And of course any relationships I've had were mainly with day people with a few notable exceptions. With one, we would always make a point of having breakfast at Vesta's in Toronto at 4.00 a.m. As we both had to work, this was only accomplished on the weekends to our great glee. We often walked the boardwalk in the dead silence of the deep night, only the waves and the odd flutter of a sleepy bird underscoring our conversation.

With another we would drive off to, well, anywhere. Niagara Falls. Kingston. Sarnia. Only the midnight ribbon of highway beneath the car and some well loved music on the car stereo.

Now I savour the silence as I write this. How wonderful is the silence of an outport late at night. It comforts like a warm cloak.

Simon and Garfunkel were right. Darkness and the sound of silence. Truly my old friends.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Summer's Still With Me


It is extraordinary to me that I can plant all these pots of flowers in spring of each year and NEVER have to water them. The weather takes care of that. Rarely too hot and enough rain to keep these babies happy. Still in bloom today. We expect our first snow, usually, in February, which always startles people who view Newfoundland as a land still in the Ice Age. Well, no.

We have a micro-climate where I live and since I've been living here, we always have a green Christmas. Our trees are still more green than russet or rust as our spring is always later than others (May-June). Late June is when my lilac blooms for instance. So our fall is later too.

My driveway which is long and winding, was ploughed 4 times last winter. Yeah, 4 times. Not much of a winter and it was always worse in Ontario. It can get biting cold when the Nor'easter blows and being An Outport Woman I can be caught huddled around my woodstove when that happens, reading a good book and tossing bon-bons while my woodstove soup simmers away.

Ah poor me - life lived in the rough by the Outport Woman.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Dreams Beneath


I was thinking back to my fourteen year old self. I remember walking along the beach in West Cork in summer, picking up shells, discarding them if marred in anyway, looking at driftwood, seeing the pictures inside, bringing pieces back to our tiny rented cottage (parents, six children, 5 tiny rooms, no bathroom), my mother looking at me aghast:

And where do you think we'll find room for this?

Me finding a space over the cliffs in a difficult to access bay and finding a cave for my treasures, thinking:

Some day, I'll have the sound of the sea beside me all the time and my treasures will be part of my life.

I was walking along the beach with the dog today, we love this daily romp, she and I. She finds her own treasures (crabs not quite cleaned out by the gulls, unlicked clam shells) and I look for old glass and driftwood and feathers and shells. And my fourteen year old self presented herself and said excitedly:

Look, we made it happen, you and me!

And we brought our treasures home.

And together, we looked for the pictures.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Might


He thought to have one last sail on her before winter crept up on the dock. He'd have to put her away immediately after. Haul her up to the boathouse and wipe her all down. That should take care of the rest of the day.

It was October chilly, nothing that his thick aran sweater wouldn't handle and he'd tug the old wool watchcap tight over his head. Alone. That was why he got up so early, so no one could see him rowing the wee dory out to the boat, his Sleveen, and want to tag along. Now he was tying the dory on to the back of Sleveen so he could anchor just off the island of Colinet where his ancestors had settled back in the day. The island his grandparents had to leave in the sixties when Newfoundland had the massive resettlement programme. Poppy and Nan never got over it. They had their house towed by boat off the island and put it up again on the mainland. Facing the island that they loved so much for the rest of their days.

He remembered Poppy saying to Nan, every morning, "What's the weather like on Colinet today, Rose?" and she'd look over at the distant island and always answer: "Right easy over there, John, right easy."

They were buried there, on their island, and he wanted to visit them. So he did. Rowed in the wee dory up onto the beach below the old graveyard, carefully walking around the wide gaping hole where the old wooden church had been. Taking his cap off, in respect, when he stood in front of their gravestone, not praying exactly. But close.

He circled the bay a few times after, showing off a little, though he couldn't see anyone, it was still early, but you never knew who was looking out their windows. He'd always loved the way the Sleveen handled herself, no matter the wind, its speed or its direction, she bent into it, or danced in front of it, loving the lick of it, the slap of the water on her sides.

He should have felt sad. He'd anticipated it. Packed one of his old hankies in his back pocket just in case.

But he felt happy. The gulls shrieked overhead, the wind bit into his face as it puffed out the white sails against the blue sky above him, the ropes were easy on his hands. The Sleveen was riding right gentle today. As if she knew. And of course she did.

It would be the last time.

You might see Christmas, the surgeon said yesterday, as if he was handing him an early present.

Might.

What an enormous word.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Lump In Throat Time



Before it all started.

I was a guest at a rural high school graduation last night. I had never been at such an event and perhaps won't be again. There were 26 graduates, amongst them 2 sets of twins.

Their beauty was breathtaking, both the boys and the girls - young men and young women facing their future, most already in university, some on waiting lists for colleges of their choice.

This was most definitely a community event. Apart from the grandparents and parents in attendance, all the local municipal mayors, the member of parliament and even the senator of the area was there.

I was stunned at the listing of scholarships: from the local firehalls, the legions, private citizens, townships, in memories of, etc. The school's graduating class average was in the top 10% of the province. No mean achievement.

The advantage of rural school education was made abundantly clear, the investment by the teachers in their students, often taking them in to their own homes at night to tutor and nurture. The hunting down of errant high school seniors, always located in the kindergarten room playing with the little ones. The series of projected photos of ALL of them as babies, as grade school students, in play, in study, on trips, all together from infancy.

It was joyful to see the capped and gowned students receiving their diplomas and scholarships and honours and then tossing their caps in the air before revealing their gorgeous dresses and suits.

One of the most moving moments came when two of the girls came on stage in all their finery, both sobbing but wanting to honour and talk about their mothers who had died in the past six months. Young mothers in their late thirties/early forties. Who should have had most of their lives ahead of them still. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. I can't imagine their pain.



The finale (at least for the adults) came with the Grand March, which had all the students walking slowly in single file down to an arch at the end of the hall and then pairing off, to march down and loop around again, this time in fours, and so on up to eights.



Notice how the young men's ties and handkerchiefs match the girls' dresses?

And then, oh my, lump in throat cubed, the graduates danced with their parents and grandparents.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

First One To Say It


Hats off to Sir Mervyn King of the U.K. The first major politician to say: Yes folks, we're all fubared. The rest of the pols have all been hiding behind the Ministries of Disinformation long enough and it takes true guts to come out of the closet like the good Sir and tell it like it is. He's also giving us the possibility of no pensions and no savings. I'll repeat that: No pensions and no savings. I would add healthcare might be in jeopardy. You start pouring meaningless paper into a tanked economy and it might slow the fubar for a month or three but we are all facing the black chasm. No one is spared. Even up here in smug old Canada.

I love how he advises us all "to do the right thing".

As if the unregulated wankers who got us into this mess to begin with ever did or ever will.

World facing worst financial crisis in history, Bank of England Governor says

"The world is facing the worst financial crisis since at least the 1930s “if not ever”, the Governor of the Bank of England said last night.
Sir Mervyn said the Bank had been driven by growing signs of a global economic disaster.

Sir Mervyn King was speaking after the decision by the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee to put £75billion of newly created money into the economy in a desperate effort to stave off a new credit crisis and a UK recession.

Economists said the Bank’s decision to resume its quantitative easing [QE], or asset purchase programme, showed it was increasingly fearful for the economy, and predicted more such moves ahead.


Sir Mervyn said the Bank had been driven by growing signs of a global economic disaster.

“This is the most serious financial crisis we’ve seen, at least since the 1930s, if not ever. We’re having to deal with very unusual circumstances, but to act calmly to this and to do the right thing.”

Read more here.

Photo of the Week

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

'Strue



One of my conversations, yesterday around the bay:

Ed: Did you read about that married couple who couldn't get accommodations anywhere in town?

Me: No - but rental costs are going up everywhere.

Ed: Oh, they could afford it alright.

Me: So what was the story then?

Ed: They were gay!

Me: In this day and age that kind of discrimination exists in St. John's?

Ed: Well, I'm not prejudiced at all, they could live with me, I wouldn't have a problem!

Me: (looking at Ed in a new light, never thinking him so liberal) Really Ed?

Ed: Of course they couldn't sleep in the same room in my house, I'd put them in separate bedrooms.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Be Careful What You Read and When You Read It


The supposedly grand old lady of newspapers, The New York Times, was caught with its knickers down today for the manner in which it framed the OWS demonstrations, subtly changing the language in the space of 20 minutes:

'changing the first line of a story about the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. The change subtly shifted the blame for the mass arrest on the Brooklyn Bridge from the police to the protesters. In the first version of the story, police allowed them onto the bridge and then “cut off and arrested” them. In the second, there was a “showdown” in which demonstrators “marched onto the bridge.”'


Thanks to my friends at Sociological Images.

Read it here.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Has The Revolution Begun?


There has been very little significant coverage of the Revolution on Wall Street. All main stream media has to talk about are arrests. But I thought to ponder the manifesto and discuss it with a few friends today. It all makes so much sense and I applaud those participating. Will they make a difference? I doubt it. The oligarchy's tentacles are everywhere, including the police-puppets. But the movement is spreading and we're not going down without a fight:

Occupy Wall Street Protesters General Assembly—Declaration of the Occupation of New York City:

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one's skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers' healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.

They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people's lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

* These grievances are not all-inclusive.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Shifting Landscapes


I was sending a long email to a friend last night and I got to thinking about friendships. How hard they are to maintain for some when geographical distances come between and how easy for others who pick up the phone or toss off an email or post on your FB wall or as as a few of my friends and I do, send each other cards or interesting articles from magazines and newspapers. Watering the landscape of friendship. Supportive and loving.

With my move to Newfoundland, I knew which friendships would survive and which ones would perish. And most survived. And one I valued very highly didn't. But I had known it wouldn't due to the lack of effort she made with the long distance gardening tools. No calls initialized, no comments on FB, no letters or emails: no plantings in the garden of friendship in other words. It was left to wither and die.

This new remoteness was further underlined when we took a flight to Europe together (I'd paid extra to fly to Toronto to be with her and catch up on our chat both ways) and on the way back she chose not to sit with me. I still don't understand it. When actions come from a place I wouldn't tread, I am baffled. And mightily hurt.

All part of the shifting landscapes of friendship, I suppose. When actions cease to be out of love and become out of a desire to hurt or punish. To uproot.

I am lucky with the friends who sustain me and love me. And tell me so. As I tell them. It is important that we break down our own false barrier of pride and reach out and say "I miss you", "You are dear to me", "Our friendship is important", "I love you", otherwise how do we know?

I've just renewed a long ago friendship with someone who vanished into the bowels of the USA many years ago. I found her in FB, and she had been searching for me too and had even found my daughter but was too shy to barge right in and e-announce herself.

We knew each other back when. Our twenty-two year old dreams shining on our hopeful faces, making the huge nose-holding leap to sail the Atlantic and find fresh dreams and leave that repressive, strangleheld Ireland behind us. I am so glad we found each other. I would think of her often.

But the old landscapes stay fresh in our memories too. Even if it is just to remind us of how we used to be and never to lose that self. No. Never lose it.