Thursday, August 11, 2022

Good News

I'm finally walking. I have a marvelous physiotherapist who's one of the few making home visits. Not walking far but walking. Getting the odd night, very odd, in my bed as I still wake up with pain and have to move to the recliner for any ease.

I had to really talk myself into going outside my apartment and walking. Agoraphobia had set in - a fear of falling, a fear of being outside without help, a fear of catching Covid as my building is not safe. 

I drove my car after months of not. I met a friend for coffee. We are super safe and joke we're the only two eejits wearing masks on the whole island. But elders are falling like flies here and very, very sick. And mortality rates in my age group are very high. 

I had a treatment today and he noticed I was very tense. A type A personality does not drift easily into old age and serenity. I am pain free for now after the treatment.

I'm working away on a memoir of a year in my life way, way back in prehistoric times. Creative non-fiction. I am startled as to how much comes back to me. It's really all coming to life and I relive the intensity of that long buried time.

As for the rest of me, still taking my - what feels like - 200 pills a day and marveling at the fact that I have outlived most of my friends. I will be 79 in a few days and at some point later in that day I will enter into my 80th year, my 80th turn around the sun. I am astonished. I lived hard and fast for many years and had terrible depressions and considered ending it all many times.

Looking back, in spite of everything (life is far from perfect) I am so very grateful to still be part of the human race, still full of curiosity and occasional joy, capable of sadness and delight, still full of wonder and awe at how beautiful this planet is, especially my little corner of it.


We have a fishing village, Quidi Vidi (pronounced Kyda Vyda by many old timers!), right in the middle of our city of St. John's. This village is right around the corner from where I live and has fabulous restaurants, a brewery and a whole building full of incredible artisans while fishing life goes on around them.

Saturday, August 06, 2022

Rant Season

 




First of all, I offer you the above.

Then I offer you these:




You imagine these are comfortable to wear? The wires alone dig into the skin leaving terrible marks, sometimes the ends break loose and pierce the skin. Many scientific studies show they might even cause cancer from restricting the breasts so tightly.

As for the so called shoes, many I know (usually short women) had to have bunions removed surgically. And other appalling distortions of the feet. We don't need foot binding done to us, we do it to ourselves. I only had to look at Nancy Pelosi staggering around on hers in Taiwan and want to scream at the screen: "Wear comfy shoes Nancy, you're allowed, you're 82!"

And if you're a man reading this, imagine binding up your dangly bits in wire and rigid satin and teetering around in six inch (or any inch) heels. And thrusting all of yourself outwards in enticement. How long would you last?

And PS full confession: I did these nasty things to myself even though five foot eight. But not for long. And never in the last twenty five years.

But I so wish other women would wake up sooner and stop this spanxy self-torture and mutilation. But yeah, I know, ageism and so called beauty products are a trillion dollar industry.



Friday, August 05, 2022

What's Next USA?


I was flabbergasted to see many of my USian female friends post the above as their profile picture on Facebook today.

The comments were chilling. Many considering sterilizing procedures, their husbands considering vasectomies. Others stockpiling birth control methods. Others putting out words for friends who need abortions. Canada is taking in droves of them at the moment and offering services free of charge.

And then I thought, of course. The Handmaid's Tale, long predicted by Margaret Atwood (a Canadian) has arrived and this is how it arrives.

It's 2022, I keep reminding myself and rights are being removed in the country to the south of us by a positively evil misogynistic Supreme Court who are planning to take away the rights of gays next and have gleefully announced it.

All this trailing back to the rapist and racist they put in power in 2016. One who promised he would take his revenge on every woman who rejected him. A psychopath, fraud, grifter and grafter - who will never be charged for all the criminal acts he performed before, during and after his election. His (paid?) fall guys will take it all on the chin for him. Because that's how a mafia works.

Meanwhile, this is all a great distraction for a country burning  up or flooding catastrophically while racist cops stop and sometimes kill  those who drive or walk while black, and AK47 wielding 18 year olds kill random children in schools as the cops cower outside, afraid. And enshrined by the NRA is the right to bear such weapons, concealed or not. And Monkey Pox declared a national health emergency.  And in the midst of this, the speaker of their house marches off and pokes the beast that is China.

All this while climate change is the only item that should be on the agenda of the USA - the worst polluters on the planet.

/end rant 

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Ordinary Things

 I need reminders of the pleasure I get from ordinary things so I don't overlook them

I must have read this poem, oh, about twenty times since I saw it first on a friend's Facebook page a day or so ago. And then I posted it myself on my own page much to the delight of many.

It doesn't have to be sunsets and seascapes and the tops of mountains and gourmet meals and meaningless acquisitions, does it?

The ordinary doth suffice and can fill the heart with wonder.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

So on and so forth


 

I get these messages.

I get it. I really do. As I might have, in my past, being equally guilty of these kind of projectional questions to friends who were ill.

Following are the questions, followed by the real questions friends/acquaintances might be covering up.

"You must be better by now". i.e. for gawd's sake if you're not, stop malingering.

"Still your legs?" i.e. that's a hell of a long time to have your legs betraying you.

I've stopped explaining it's my entire body and its innards and I must have a world record for lack of sleep because, you know, disbelief reigns if I even mention it.

Because I've been so long on the medical treadmill and all the tests, some are giving up on me. I hear that. I don't dare ask for more that 1 item on my grocery list to be picked up. This week it was bread. I wanted to get two loaves but didn't dare ask as my friend who volunteers for me has massive handicaps of her own and is in constant pain.  I am feeling like my own nuisance that I wrote about.

I am so grateful to Daughter who comes in faithfully every couple of weeks - she's living way off, 2 hours away from here. That's 4 hours of driving plus picking up items for me, bank (cash) groceries, library, drug store at times and driving my car to make sure it's running. Other essential errands. And she has her own medical challenges (MS).

Grandgirl can hardly wait to get here in a few weeks so she can help me negotiate my life.

  • There is so much wrong with me that for the first time I'll list everything here:
  • Weekly lab work due to high potassium levels and monitoring of 50% under-performing kidneys. My doc calls me "the pin cushion." Funny not funny.
  • Extreme pain due to arthritis in my back exacerbated by a bad fall about 6 years when I was concussed after a spine shattering fall on the ice. 
  • Pulmonary vascular disease in my legs.
  • Far too frequent high blood pressure bouts and breathlessness  due to elevated something (forget what). Creatin? Not sure.
  • Occasional white light blindness when my chronic anaemia kicks in for a go at me and my iron plummets.
  • Far too many hospital procedures, I've had it up to here with tests which basically show nothing can be done. 
  • Blindness in my right eye brought on by one terrible procedure where because of my kidneys I couldn't get an anaesthetic. Ophthalmologist baffled.
  • I can't lie down due to terrible pain. I have morphine but am reluctant to take it due to developing an immunity and also I don't want to feel half-corked.
  • At night I try to lie on my bed with 3 pillows for a couple of hours but give in and go to recliner where in a pretzel-like position I attempt sleep, usually failing. This has been going on for three months.
  • Due to unseasonable and awful record breaking heat here I had to suspend physiotherapy as it would have been dangerous. Old women are at mortal risk in this heat as their hormones have reduced sweating ability. And no, our province is not equipped for heat like this, thus no air-conditioning. Thanks once again climate change.
  • Every expenditure of energy is an effort due to the afore mentioned challenges. The Spoon Theory holds fast for me.
  • Doc has been ill and my meds  have been screwed up. This takes a huge stress toll on me, explaining it all to the pharmacist who is now God. When one is exhausted, stress is like the final straw. I am sure I whimper now and again.
So one long whingey whine here. I'm truly having a terrible day and this might cheer you up, thanking your stars that things looks a bit sunnier for you. Far too many of my blog friends stopped writing when they were ill. I understand that. I miss them. But I also miss the absence of how they were dealing with it. Or not.
And no, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," by Monty Python is terribly unhelpful unless you're a saint.





Friday, July 22, 2022

At Least

This painting by Franciszek Paderewski reminds me so much of going wild mushroom foraging with my mother when I was a child. What a feast she would create afterwards.

I comfort myself with the oddest words and phrases. Living alone, I suspect I'm not alone in doing this. I imagine if not living alone we rely on a partner to buck us up.

Self bucking-up involves tasks that are often challenging but can be managed with a little encouragement. 

But I say to myself regularly: at least I can do this or that. And remind myself that so many don't have homes or have far more serious and life threatening issues.

I remember one time, on a summer spent on a West Cork, Ireland island about twenty years ago we were discussing how often airline pilots were applauded at the end of a flight just for doing their jobs.

And we asked each other shouldn't that apply to those who weren't paid but were just doing what was necessary?

There was a huge cast of characters in the old farmhouse, relatives and dear friends coming and going all summer. Each time someone brushed the floor or did the dishes or went down to the farm for the milk or gathered field mushrooms for supper or brought in the clothes from the line we all stood and applauded. And it made everyone feel good, so much is taken for granted in the small tasks of necessary work that we do, often completely unacknowledged by those around them.

So on particularly poor days I applaud myself with little phrases like "good girl!" "well done!" even for washing a  few dishes or tidying up or paying the bills. I sometimes take a little bow to my imaginary audience. Because some efforts are supreme and exhausting. A couple of "well dones" from my doctor the other day stoked me up a lot. He knows. At least I'm on the phone or on the internet. At least I am managing my own health along with my medical people.

Being old and sick is a full time job. Very poorly paid. We need all the encouragement we can get.


Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Sanity


 

Do you ever wonder about your own status? I'm talking mental health of course, per the heading.

And what is sanity?

Well, here's a definition:

the ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner; sound mental health.
"I began to doubt my own sanity"

We know what insanity is, of course - and this is just my recollection of a good one:

Performing the same task over and over and expecting different results. 

 Do we all fall between these, somewhere?

I don't know what thirty odd months of basic incarceration has done to my brain.

There have been spurts of outings and trips, but far too infrequent and, unlike some, I don't hold out any hope this pandemic is ever finished with us, too many variants with too many ineffective vaccines. I remember reading when I was in my early twenties that the greatest threat to humanity was a virus and it would take us all out.

I lived through the polio epidemic, which I've written about here. I've lived, again as a child, through the threats of cold war and nuclear chains being rattled every day on the news, and believing in the cataclysmic threats of Fatima - the angry virgin, seen by peasant children, threatening all of humanity until Russia succumbed to Christianity or some such rot. I imagine that must effect an unformed child-brain in ways we can't imagine. 

And yes, we all have trauma of some kind as children - from peer bullying, to drunken fathers (or mothers) to poverty and unimaginable abuse.

I suppose if I'm questioning my own state of mind, the brain health meter would point to sanity. 

I'm dealing with inertia, loads of it. It's hard to get enthusiastic, to experience joy, to make any kind of plans, to even call my doctor (who last time was coughing through a Covid variant- much to my shock as he was rigid in precautions).

There's also massive denial out here on The Edge of those also caught with The Covid. They label it something else, like cold or flu. Statistics are lacking. Many Covid deaths are written off as something else. The Economy defeats public health mandates or precautions.

And note I haven't touched climate change or Roe or Ukraine or all the other shyte happening around us. We really, really, don't deserve this planet. Like the pestilential fleas we are, we will be shrugged off. The Virus is winning.


All your thoughts are welcome.




Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Blog Buddies



 I've been fortunate in the friendships I have formed over the many years I've been blogging. A few I have met in the flesh and interestingly the friendships are just as solid and connected when that happens. A few stayed with me in my last home. I held wee dinners for some there and the conversations never ran out.

Many have died too. Which took the heart right out of me.

Marcia was a gifted woman, a teacher, a writer, with a tremendous wit. We had personal correspondence and Facebook chivvying and then 9 years ago she reconnected with a man who used to work with her years before. He had lost his wife. And the rest is history. He became the love of her life and they travelled the world together.

She didn't maintain her blog, unfortunately, life was too full I imagine, and there were his and her grandchildren to entertain and visit all over the country.

On Friday, she died. The Big C took her too. 

She was a vibrant soul, one I will always remember.

Marcia: a kindred spirit indeed. You will be missed.

Friday, July 08, 2022

A Nuisance

 


My mother died young and my father was a long time widower. He thought it would be a dishonour to my mother to marry again and also that he had seen far too many families suffer under step-parents hauled in.

One of his greatest fears was to become "a nuisance." A nuisance in his mind encompassed a huge range of character defects. Such as neighbours who were always borrowing stuff, people dropping by uninvited, hypochondriacs diagnosed by him, drunks, cars who cut him off, asking for any kind of help if you were sick, children who threw balls over his fence, workers who needed to use his property to perform essential task for the neighbourhood (cable, telephone, electricity, water).

He had adjectives to add, of course. A right nuisance, and awful nuisance, a thoughtless nuisance, an unimaginable nuisance, et al.

Of course I inherited this feeling but only in some areas that I know of  though some might differ.

And that is in being sick, in being needy, in being sad, in being in grief, in being worried. I just don't want to inflict myself and my state onto anyone else. I truly don't want to be a nuisance. 

I think part of this is the fear of being incarcerated in some awful place with no privacy, sharing a room with an irritable noisy crank, being hauled into terrible games and sing-songs by attendants and being forced to be nice to everyone.

Recently, I've had a few bad days and felt like a total nuisance even to myself. I could barely move and just about everything was a challenge. I did not reach out but did respond to one who checks up on me all the time (she would be a nuisance in Dad's book).

She came over and took care of me even though she has her own health issues. And I was so grateful to her for attempting to feed and water me. I was also nauseous on top of everything else. A triple nuisance you might call me.

Most of all I am nervous about being a nuisance to my family. My health is unpredictable and varies wildly from wheelchair use to a modicum of walking. So I bottle up a lot.

The reason I am writing this is to see if there any others out there who feel as I do, bordering or being "a nuisance" because of health or other issues. Or even fearing of being a nuisance at some stage in their lives.

Or maybe it's a strictly Irish thing.


Sunday, July 03, 2022

Sanitizing


 

I am continually fascinated by how people's lives, once dead, can be sanitized to the extreme where you wonder whom the obituary is talking about. Or whom the article or book was written about.

A friend dropped off a magazine for me to read as it featured her father, a brave Norwegian sea captain who saved many lives during WW2 and had a full chest-load of heavy beribboned medals to prove it.

She has shared much of her father's story with me. None of it good. For instance he moved to St. John's after the war and married her mother. He forgot to mention that he was also married in Oslo.

He was a man who was into the swinging lifestyle in a major way and her and her three siblings' childhoods were warped by the mad drunken key-swapping parties in their house.

His first wife tracked him down when my friend was around twelve and he was yanked back to Norway to parent the two children he had had there. He never returned to St. John's.

My friend tracked him down when she was twenty-one so she could introduce him to her infant daughter. 

He was pleasant and polite, she told me, but very disinterested in her life and baby. She was introduced to wife number one but this woman had no English so she wondered  what lies he told her to account for my friend's presence in their home.

Needless to mention, wife number one is not mentioned in this glorifying article, just the second wife and her four children.

And I know several such immaculate life stories far, far removed from the dark underbelly of truth.

How about you? Know any?

Friday, July 01, 2022

Understated

 

I love my adopted country with all my heart. I was out on the beach today and I observed how discreetly we observe Canada Day which is today, July 1st. Little crests on polo shirts, grannies wearing red cardigans over white shirts, small maple leafs on beach chairs and umbrellas. Red and white beach balls, little girls in red and white pleated skirts and so on and dogs with small maple leafs on their collars.

We don't blast it from the rooftops. There's just this quiet pride in this beautiful country rolling from sea to shining sea and fact: our landmass is greater than the United States.

The land area of Canada is 3, 855, 103 square miles compared to America's 3, 794, 083, making Canada 1.6% larger that the States.

And we invented so many things - here's some you might not know about.

  1. Paint roller
  2. Garbage bags
  3. Pager
  4. Peanut butter
  5. Road lines
  6. Wonderbra
  7. Search engine
  8. Imax
  9. The pacemaker
  10. Basketball
Sometimes we're number one in the top countries in which to live but this year we're number two.

Round-up of the best countries to live in the world in 2022
  • Switzerland.
  • Canada.
  • Norway.
  • Singapore.
  • Australia.

And oh yes, a picture of the beach from today. So many birds on the water following the capelin, a small fish (note granny in front of me in red cardie). It's been four weeks since I've been outside my door. I'm so grateful to be somewhat mobile.






Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Lana

It's about time for an update on Lana, my dear friend who has dementia. I call her every week and she never fails to remember me.

For a while, I was nervous calling her, would she forget me, would she have bouts of paranoia, would she ask me too many questions.

None of that never happened. 

Our last call lasted an hour, the longest ever.

She had me laughing uncontrollably at one point in the call when she talked about a kind of spa in her luxurious assisted living complex which has beauty salons and hair styling units.

I said how's your hair looking? Look in the mirror and tell me. she told me it was crawling down her back.

She's a fan of really short hairdos, always has been so I asked her why the change.

She explained that to go to the salon would involve her emerging like a "fizzhead" and that, she would never, ever accept.

I know exactly what she meant and I said "like those tightly permed old women?"

And she started laughing uncontrollably too. 

Then she said there's a new invention I have to tell you about.

And she proceeded to tell me about "something" that helps with hair and keeps it off her face and her aide showed her how it operated..

After a few minutes I said, you mean a headband I think.

And she went yes, yes, a headband. A brand new invention. You need to find one. They are amazing.

She's still so articulate in so many ways and sometimes her flashbacks astound me. I remind her that she is in a very luxurious residence when she asks where her money is.

She tells me she walks every day and sits on a bench and counts cars to keep her brain exercised. 

I preplan the number, she says, and I don't get off the bench until I reach the number, hundred, two hundred, fifty.

She was a numbers whiz in her past life and this is no surprise to me.

I cherish our time together.




Sunday, June 26, 2022

Confined to Barracks

 Well that's it. The headline. 

Three words.

The story of my life at the moment.

Normally I love being home, not having plans. But three weeks of it?

A bit of a challenge.

So what do I do with my time?

I read.

I'm on the internet.

I play Scrabble with friends around the world more frequently (we've been playing for over a decade and we all have high ratings)

I started to take pictures of this interior life.




I welcome guests, but only those who are safe. Masked. Careful. Cautious. As the Summer Wave of the Pandemic still hasn't hit here yet but has in other parts of the globe. Some of my friends have been, and still are in some cases, deathly ill with the blasted thing.

I social-media-post outrage for that patriarchal country to the south of us throwing women to the curb once more. Has ERA ever been ratified down there? I doubt it but am too lazy to check. Or care. The women need to arm themselves with the liberal gun laws and determine their own futures. As guns are the only thing understood down there it seems. It's heartening to see many younger Canadian women of my acquaintance offering Usian women sanctuary and abortion free of charge if and when they need it.

And PS I'm on a pain medication but still sleeping in my recliner as lying down in a bed is a thing of the past for now. I feel like I'm permanently camping (which, ps, I've always hated) but in my living room without the views of the great outdoors.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Whales

Out here, every year around solstice on The Rock, at the edge of the North American continent, we anticipate the hump back whales rolling in after the capelin - shoals of small fish that they feed on.

Anticipation is everywhere, the weather gives the signal first. Daily, the fogs start to roll in followed by the shoals of fish, followed by the dive-bombing gannets, who mate for life and are constantly grooming, feeding and cuddling each other.




Then the whales drift in to their feeding grounds. They come from as far away as South America, an incredibly long journey, fraught with the peril of huge ocean liner propellers and other challenges.


Photo from today, courtesy of Regina Molloy.

Speaking for myself, I breathe a sigh of relief. Our planet is OK if our whales roll in.

It's an awesome sight and one not to be missed if at all possible. I have spent whole days, and many evenings, just sitting by the water, while hundreds of them came near the shore, some as large as buses. One time I was all alone and could hear their kitten-like cries over the surf. I still get teary when I think about it. The real gifts of life never, ever cost money.


Photo from today, courtesy of Clifford Doran.

Solstice and the arrival of the whales will be forever linked in my mind.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Pain and fear, isolation and loneliness.



I thought to write here today. Even though I don’t really want to.

It’s the topic everyone works hard to avoid bringing into conversation.

PAIN: Chronic and severe and endless.

With the result that there is a loneliness that seeps over the sufferer. She knows no one wants to hear the same old, same old. So she lies, or covers up or uses a selection of old tropes.

Q How are you?

(1)Oh, you know.

(2)Much better than yesterday. (Lie)

Q What does the doctor say?

(1)We don’t say: Well (s)he too is sick of my calls.

(2)We mumble a selection of vagaries.

(3)Waiting for a call.

(4)Will call them today.

Along with the loneliness there’s the exhaustion of just plain dealing with life. Or not dealing.

There’s lack of sleep for one. There’s the ongoing decision of:

(1) suffering and being alert or

(2) ingesting painkillers and becoming a zombie.

Friends and relatives get impatient. I understand that.

But it really makes things far, far worse when they ask for details of the pain and it’s offered, only to be met with deadly silence or the clicks of an escape hatch being opened ("gotta run, talk soon!") and the listener vanishing.

So chronic pain is isolating for multiple reasons. We are not looking for solutions. We know all the solutions, we’ve explored many avenues, some involving more pain we can’t endure.

Out tears are in isolation along with frustration and a sense of hopelessness. And loneliness.

We are the brave.

We learn to let very few in to what is really going on. We forego, with longing,  the things we used to do in our health that we would simply take for granted. For example, I see someone walking on the street or in a movie and I go "look at that! they're walking with a smile!"

My big job today was sorting my weekly pills. A job I detest with all the fires of hell. It takes 30 minutes. If I don’t drop pills on the floor.

My helper comes tomorrow so I don’t have to do dishes which is excruciating, standing at the sink.

It’s over two weeks since I slept in a bed as the recliner is the only place I can do a series of catnaps through the night with some small semblance of comfort.

I can see why some go insane from this kind of existence.

And so very few that understand it.

I know I never did.

And I realize one of the greatest gifts in life we can offer each other is to listen.



 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Quality of Life

 Living in Canada, as one wag put it, is like living with a meth head as a tenant in your basement. A tenant who is so out of touch with reality that he keeps screaming in your face at every opportunity that he is the best tenant ever and he has all these friends who will tell you the same thing.

Well let's start with quality of life.

Canada is, guess? 1.

Followed by Denmark, Sweden, Norway. and way down the list at #20, is the USA.

And then you get healthcare. The U.S. healthcare system only extends to those with money. Lots of it. If you are barely surviving economically, serious health issues can result in bankruptcy.

"Medical bills are reported to be the number-one cause of U.S. bankruptcies. One study has claimed that 62.1% of bankruptcies were Caused by medical issues Another claims that over two million people are adversely affected by their medical expenses."

The U.S. ranks last overall on the health care outcomes domain (Exhibit 1). On nine of the 10 component measures, U.S. performance is lowest among the countries (Appendix 8), including having the highest infant mortality rate (5.7 deaths per 1,000 live births) and lowest life expectancy at age 60 (23.1 years).

Best healthcare systems in the world are:

  1. South Korea
  2. Taiwan
  3. Denmark
  4. Austria
  5. Japan
  6. Australia
  7. France
  8. Spain
  9. Belgium
  10. United Kingdom
And gun deaths, so far  in the US in 2022. Those red dots? Use your imagination.

And then we have this travel advisory/warning from the Canadian government on going to the USA, as if one is entering a "third world" country:

"Gun violence

The rate of firearm possession in the US is high. It’s legal in many states for US citizens to openly carry firearms in public.

Incidences of mass shootings occur, resulting most often in casualties. Although tourists are rarely involved, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Familiarize yourself on how to respond to an active shooter situation."

No other country in the world shoots its children in schools as they hide under desks. And the solution? Arm teachers, reduce number of doors to schools.

The louder one screams about being the very best, the greater the lie.






Monday, June 13, 2022

Querulous


 

The hardest NOT to do is give up. I've had several years now of health challenges, one variation after another.

And seriously, who wants to listen to it.

How does one respond to "how are you feeling?" Truthfully or dishonestly. Serious question.

The brave world of "everyone has a cross to bear, so get on with it." RC liturgy says it right there in the bible. Some bible version anyway.

And of course I hesitate to write honestly. I try to "get on with it."

But old age is baffling - I basically have no role models apart from the "getting on with it" brigade.

I haven't slept in my bed for well over a week now. For the simple reason I can't lie down. So I nap in my recliner. I can't call it sleep.

Hence the title of this blog post:

quer·u·lous
/ˈkwer(y)ələs/
adjective
  1. complaining in a petulant or whining manner.
    "she became querulous and demanding"

I may sound on the dark side of sanity at the moment. With good reason though, we can all agree.

Lack of sleep does weird things to the brain.

I've arrived at the Querulous Station.

Full steam ahead.

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Etc

I've been struggling a bit with health challenges - mainly, and sadly, much pain, some of it completely baffling me. I couldn't even lie down yesterday, I had to sleep in my recliner.

I talked to other elders today about the pain we know and the unexpected pains we get which seem unrelated to medication shifts.

The two of them produced evidence of similar episodes which vanish after a couple of days.

I've never seen it written about before. Aging body ambulation's suddenly seizing and flattening with surprising outbursts of unexpected aches and near immobility. Some so severe that walking is impossible, along with, like myself yesterday, not allowing even a lying down.

Living with the unfamiliar.

Today is better, the mysterious crippling lurch not as severe.

I am managing a pile of editing today as we have a deadline for June 30th for The Big Finito for publishing the latest anthology sometime in July. 

I am playing Bach on one of those five hours streams which fills me with gratitude. And a kind of reluctant joy.

Iceberg Season is here and here is one pic from yesterday.


And this is right by where I live, a village right in the City of St. John's by the name of Qidi Vidi - photo courtesy of Jonathan Cooper. Fog can be a glorious sight.





Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Blogger Issues and a Poem on Aging....


Has Blogger sorted us out? I must apologise to many, many commenters. Your comments were caught in that dismal dark hell of a spam folder that I rarely check but will do so more frequently. The platform has been iffy lately and I know Nick and Ramana have problems and now I'm seeing my own. Anyway, I see their heads are up today so maybe Blogger has fixed it. Vast apologies to Secret Agent Woman whose every comment for the past year has wound its way into that hell.


I wrote this poem that many have really liked so I include it here for your comments.



Reflection on Aging

We do not grow large as we age

We shrink in all things.

Our demands are the smallest of birds

Timid and shy, flying away

To invisible trees.

Our desires are few and private

Lying unfulfilled on bare ground.

Our opinions lurk, hesitantly fearful of

The prey of younger, sharper minds.

Our circles wink smaller in the fading light.

Shrinking until we are the only holder

Of youthful, joyful memories of beloveds

Long gone.

Hunching down to count pills, count money, count meals, count hours, count bills paid and unpaid.

Fearful of that nameless elder unhome of unassistance, unmeals and unindependence lurking out there somewhere

Ready to grab us by the throat if we slip and fall

Into helplessness.

Wisewebwoman -April 2022.


Saturday, May 28, 2022

My Evil Twin



I have this twin. I call her my inner evil twin. She doesn't emerge very often, but when she does, everyone watch out.

Today, my long overdue writing workshops resumed. Due to Covid and its unpredictable rises and falls, I've had to suspend more than I can count. But today, I went ahead. Everyone had advance warning as there was so much ground to cover. And extreme protocols were put in place.

I was up at dawn preparing. That is not procrastination, though I can be an industrial sized procrastinator at times.

I work long hours before workshops as I want it all to be fresh in my mind once it begins.

At the very last minute several cancelled on various pretexts, one was away, one was quitting due to family commitments, another had a sore back, another felt too sad and I can't remember the last one, maybe it was a cold.

As I read the cancelling emails my Evil Twin emerged. 

"Why am I wasting my time with this ungrateful group?"

""Don't they realize I have far better things to do with my time?"

" I should cancel every single future workshop and just show them."

Etcetera, etcetera.

But I was able to strangle my ET within minutes of the workshop starting as for the few of us there, it was one of the best ever with regard to sharing hopes and dreams and childhoods and tragedies.

Those who weren't there really really missed out on a very special ninety minutes.

My ET is always, always wrong on her reactions to life. 

I need to remember that before I paint myself into a corner with no escape.