Thursday, October 23, 2008

Faraway Spirits Touching My Daily Life.

In response to my good blog-buddy Twilight, I am endeavouring to offset my sometimes bleak and heavy posts with something lighter.

And I should add that even though I comment on the dismal aspect of this ever-changing new world we have wrought, I am not a pessimist by nature.

There are only two outcomes to the current condition we are in:

(1) Most of us are shaken off by Gaia in one huge shrug of her shoulders

(2) We regroup and reform a kinder, gentler world of equality in an image more befitting to Ghandi’s exhortation: “Let me be the change I want to see in the world”.

Meanwhile, to get back to this post’s topic.

This was my second home for a while, now it is my primary. Even so, I am continually touched by the little gifts that have been given to me over the years that I have painstakingly transported, sometimes unconsciously, and see or use on a daily basis, bringing those who are no longer of this plane or those distant, close to me.

My mother was a fabulous embroiderist. She would sit on the strand in the summer, surrounded by her friends, me playing with sandcastles or reading books or in and out of the water swimming while she diligently embroidered maybe a square inch of a tablecloth. Even at a young age, I was appalled at how little she accomplished in an afternoon. What an effort for so small a result, I thought. But before she died at far too young an age, she had embroidered a tablecloth each for her six children. Mine is in the living room here, on a table in the corner. Reminding me daily of her patience and love and incredible artistry.

I have an ancient electric coffee grinder, it must have been one of the first invented, given to me by an old and dear friend, Toddy, one long forgotten birthday over thirty years ago that I still use every day to grind my beans. It has never needed servicing and I think of her every morning as I reach for it.

On my dining room wall are four canvases created by my granddaughter filled with poetry, each running into the next, meaningful to her and to me, spinning in wonderful rhythms and patterns and colours. A labour of talent and love.

Hanging on a hook is a bag with a picture of my previous, now deceased, dog, her back and her front on each side, now used by my current dog for her ‘gear’. Having a dog and travelling a lot with her is like having a toddler, lots of ‘stuff’ to pack. This was given to me by a dear friend, Judy, who died very suddenly, five years ago. The bag is getting the worse for wear but I will never throw it out.

Hanging from my wooden clock is a smooth stone with my name carved in druidic symbols on it given to me by a dear Irish friend, exiled, like me, to another country.

On my couch is a wild multi-coloured afghan, given to me by a new friend last year, concerned I would get cold in my car in the long journey across Canada. I will now take it in the car with me on all my long trips.

There are more of these mementoes but you get the idea, I am touched and strengthened every day by these beautiful and priceless objets d’art.


  1. We don't have a lot of things given to us by others but we have loads of things that remind us of places we've been to and past experiences. Like a beautiful dish from Barcelona, an aboriginal print from Sydney, and a lovely vase from Florence. They constantly remind us of our connections to the whole world, that we're not just a little isolated corner.

  2. Oh, but your posts are more often light and bright and thought provoking than gloomy, WWW! Otherwise the post on which I grumbled a bit, coming from you, wouldn't have struck such a wrong note with me.

    I'll keep my mind focused on #2 of your projected outcomes, and if enough of us do so, maybe Gaia will relent and give us one more chance. :-)

    Like you, I've managed to keep a few memories from "the old days" with me here in the USA. I was limited to what I could transport, so much had to be discarded, and so much had been lost in an earlier fire. Just one or two small items though can bring back so much. I wear a ring from my late partner whenever I leave the house, I have at least one small ornament which used to belong to my parents or grandparents in each room, and boxes filled with photographs - an eternal memory bank.

  3. I love your list of mementoes. It amazes me how looking a particular item can bring right back to you!

  4. They need to manufacture green, brown, blue coloured vacuum cleaners, pens and rubber wrist bands to find cure to the cancer Gaia has (pls detect sarcasm).
    Although the cure would mean elimination of the cancerous cells, i.e. the modern human beings.....
    Ahh the irony of it.
    Your posts are informative, thought provoking, passionate, kind and lovely, fun. And I am not just saying it. I always look forward to the next one and I think gloom is part of life as much as happy, jolly stuff anyways. Ying Yang!

    Due to moving home a few times more than I should have, I don't have the lovely old things of my own. I always somehow manage to shed them along the way. :(


  5. I have always traveled with my books, they are the one constant thing in my life and some of those books were given to me by my children and are extra special. The most special thing I have, is a little container with some of my son's ashes (the rest was scattered on a lake in Alaska). My daughter is my living memory, she carries my genes and my memories with her and hands them on to her son. I have very few items that I hold very dear. I am trying to leave this life unencumbered. The things that I find important can be put in one box. I want to make it easy on my daughter who lives so very far away from me.

  6. @Nick:
    That is lovely, the mementoes you and Jenny have gathered togethered in the world outside your own.
    Yes, I agree something tiny can bring back a flood of good memories.
    Thanks and right on!
    Ying and Yang, I will try alternate posts, I think. I can't afford to lose touch with reality and the sorry state of the world!
    You have kept the important things, Irene. It is never the monetary value but rather the emotions certain objects evoke.And yes living legacy is so important.

  7. you have never struck me as pessimistic, WWW, but as someone who thinks and feels deeply and fiercely about life and who is much aggrieved at injustice and stupidity in our world leaders.

    the tablecloth is lovely (i wish your picture were bigger) and i love, as you do, all the little things in my house that nobody else would value but i do, because of their history.

  8. Laurie:
    I'm shrinking my pics because of the uploading problems caused by this dialup doldrum I am in. I've been activating for some time now for broadband. I'm not going away, I tell them, bring me the tools to conduct my world from here!!
    Meanwhile of course, the locale is so gorgeous it makes up for the lack of high speed.
    Yes, we'll keep railing at the injustice and downright stupidity!!!

  9. Hi WWW

    Having lived out of a backpack for the last year, I'm looking forward to being reunited with my stuff. The bulk is books but there are three crates of oddities I've been given over the years I couldn't throw away. One day I'll create Joseph Cornell boxes out of them. I love embroidery - both doing and owning - partly because it's a women's art. I have a soft spot for Tracey Emin for this reason. I also like it because you can create objects out of scrap or spruce up tired ones that have seen sprightlier days. I have a feeling the crafts are about to make a comeback in the new reality. Good thing too. (The word verification is 'womedgen' btw)



  10. Funny this Pants, I have some old discarded embroidery pieces hanging on one of my walls.
    I'm learning more about you, you closet embroiderist you!
    I agree about the new reality. I have a lovely stash of knitting wools and am working on a few designs at the moment.
    PS I love how the word verification ties in sometimes!


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