Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thing Is.....

~~~~The eyes of Ansa can take my breath away~~~~

online life takes a chunk of my days. Maybe not yours. But certainly mine. Some can make a living at this. Others not.
Then there are people like me who partake in the etherlife for the sheer pleasure and enjoyment of it all. Not to mention the fellowship, the kindred-spirit-club membership of it.

I took the time off to write, to finish a novel started far too long ago (along with one finished, another half finished and a book of short stories, completed).

It's not so much the getting published and making millions, ha. It's the wrapping up. The freeing of the imagination for other endeavours like a couple of plays. Or even another book. I feel so many nested within me.

But getting down to the writing all day, every day. What a challenge!! I had all my meals pre-cooked and frozen. My phone was barely used with a message telling people to call back in March, message on FB, on blog and on emails. No visitors to the house - stay away. Let me do this.

Without any distractions, devils start dancing, unbidden old memories surface and strangulate. Depression skulks around the corridors of the brain, old, old templates form on the edges of reality and point wizened fingers behind the eyeballs, I won't repeat them here as their harsh roots may take hold one more time.

The time off yielded more despair than delight, more sads than happies, more unforgiving ghosts than amiable friends.

Would I do it again? Hell, yeah.

But I missed you guys.

And now I'm off to visit the lot of ye now.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Battening Down the Hatches

What hatches?

Of my mind, I should add.

I will be gone from here for approximately 2 weeks.

Actually gone far from telephone, email, the Book of Face and this blog.

Some serious brain mastications, ruminations and perorations will be happening. I hope.

I'll so miss the tinsel and the glitter of my etherlife.

I'll catch y'all up when I return.

Carry on.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Some Would Say

Some would say
We're compatible,
Fun and dance
Well together.

Some would say
We like each other,
And I've always

A talky man.
I'm quite done
With strong
And silent

In this lifetime.

Some would say
He's kind
And honest
And bonus

Very tall.
And yet
Some secret

Is buried
Under that wide brow
Those kind eyes.
I feel it.

Why is he
Not telling me?
Meanwhile we
Talk on.

It's cheap,
Some would say.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mother of Inventions

With all this modern technology about I am amazed at what hasn't been invented yet. Or maybe it has. But there's no profit in it.

Look at 1935 and the robot that could do just about everything while you stood around in your pearls. Mix your drinks, wash your clothes, make butter, knead bread, ironed sheets, etc. See how we've backslid?

Examples of stuff we don't have yet:

A fridge that will scan all the contents by barcode as you stock up and then suggest recipes and tell you when the eggs are running out, etc.

A sensor in the washing machine to detect depths of soiling and apply stain remover automatically.

A double doored dishwasher, interchangeable units, one cabinet for clean, one for dirty. No moving of dishes out of the clean one except to use and then when soiledd put into dirty. Huge amount of space and labour saved. Would detect when dirty cabinet contents needed washing.

A lightbulb. A lightbulb from a 100 years ago. That lasted forever. Oops, goodbye GE et al.

A more accessible grocery store for the elderly, handicapped or fans of fuss free living. Where you could roll in and scan your grocery list and review and add the specials and it would be trollied to you while you drank a cup of coffee and read the paper.

On line clothing stores where you could plug in your size, review the selections, dress your virtual self, approve and pay and have the items shipped to you immediately. (Hello? Failing Post Office?)

Motion detectors in every room to adjust heating, lights, air conditioning downwards and upwards as people move around.

Thumbprint security for access to homes, computers, etc.

A car you can "halve" depending on number of passengers or cargo.

I could go on.

Any more suggestions?

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Hell Ain't Hot

My grandmother held an Irish wake for her eldest daughter (my aunt) who eloped with the local protestant minister. This from their small Irish Catholic town. Subsequently, the whole family was denounced from the pulpit by the compassionate parish priest who accused them all of harbouring a harlot. Then my father, her brother, lost his position as the head altar boy. And another one of his sisters was refused admittance to the convent because of her shameful family. This all happened in the early thirties of the past century. My grandmother and grandfather never spoke to their daughter again. They say she broke her father's heart and sent him to an early grave as she was his favourite.

A few years ago I phoned an aunt (now deceased) to cry on her shoulder about Missing Daughter. I knew my mother, if she'd been alive, would have sorted it all out. She had that way with her. So telling her sister made sense to me. Even though she lived in London, England. She wept with me. And then told me one of her grandchildren had done the same thing. Fled to Australia with a boyfriend, severing ties with her parents and by extension, her grandparents. She could only offer me empathetic tears, no solution.

We're a very fragmented family, our family. Very rarely is Missing Daughter mentioned. Except by one or two, who always ask for news. Whether this absence of support is a genetic legacy or cold-hearted 'I'm alright, Jacks'. I don't know. I don't care. I'd sure like to fix it though. Inject some compassion into the dispassion. Heal it up a little.

This whole post was triggered by a long, sobbing message left on my voicemail by Daughter while I was out yesterday. She was in Montreal and missing her sister so much she had to call me in floods of tears.

And ended her message with this:

"Mum, I can't imagine what hell you're going through without any family support. At least I have you!"

Yeah, hell would be a good term for it. Forget about those fires those compassionate parish priests talked about.

Hell is just unbelievably cold, bleak and lonely.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The Famine and the Laundries

I had a long, long conversation with a good friend in Ireland yesterday about the Ireland we grew up in, the Ireland of shame, guilt and sorrow.

I can't have conversations like these except with "one of my own." One who was brought up with the almighty grip of the Catholic Church running the lives of all around us. A grip that despised women and hated their children even worse. Where sex was a filthy word and if you had a "flirtatious" personality and were incested by your father or uncle or brother or raped by the parish priest you could be committed to an institution that would work you from dawn to dusk. Slavery by another name. Tiny children imprisoned and working their fingers to the bone. The government was complicit in these incarcerations. No surprise at all. Fear was a constant companion. An innocent walk with a father would result in him pointing out some of these grim gray buildings with barred windows in the middle of the country where "bad" boys and girls, some as young as 5, could be thrown, never to see their families again.

My friends, you have no idea. I'm just giving you the very spit of it, a wee taste.

To read more of it go to Bock the Robber's blog today. He connects the Famine (a genocide actually) and the Laundries in a way I've thought of but could never articulate as well as he has. He does it beautifully. Savagely. And succintly.


Crushed. Demoralised. Three to four million native Irish speakers removed at a stroke. Its culture eviscerated by emigration, starvation and disease, thanks to a government in London that believed in tooth-and-claw laissez faire economics. A government whose only interest was the wealthy merchant classes, and the devil take the hindmost.

This is an Ireland far, far removed from those travel posters and paddywackery.

And the horror percolates downwards through all generations of my country.

Ask anyone there, ask me, what their families did to survive the famine and you will get a blank stare. We just don't know.

One of my family members ran one of those laundries.

And my highschool mini-choir would go to the institutions to sing for the unfortunates. But we were forbidden to speak to them and they to us.

And we knew our fate if we stepped out of line.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Blog Jam

Do you find that as the world spins more and more out of control males seem to fixate more and more on the world of sports? The gear, the beer, the cheer, the FB postings? I shouldn't say male. Some females of my acquaintance do too. I've always found it an odd pursuit, gaping at widescreen teevee sports, beer and wings and chips and popcorn at the ready, cheering for millionaire unknowns as if one knew them.

In extremis of the above paragraph: the superbowl had the most viewers, the most sexually charged performances, the most human traffic with pimps (an estimated 10,000), the raunchiest, most violent ads., etc., in history. And very few see anything wrong with that.

I'm thinking of starting a more cerebral type of dinner party circle here. A potluck and "bring something to read" event, drifting around to different houses once a month or so. I ran it by a friend today and she was really enthused. Elevating the level of discourse which tends to circle around the 3Ks here in my wee outport. If it doesn't start with me, where does it start. I instigated a really lovely one in Toronto years ago and most of us are still in touch.

I don't know why this story (true) popped into my head today, but it did. About 12 years ago I had a call from another accountant who had her own practice. She said she had to meet with me as she had a very sensitive matter to discuss. The long and the short of it was her son had died. He was a highly successful IT entrepreneur and hadn't filed his taxes in six years which was a total shock to her. A bachelor, he had left everything to her. She couldn't face the boxes and boxes of material he had left behind and engaged me to do the work. Which I did. But the oddest, weirdest thing was the way he died. The overhead fan in his bedroom had stopped working. He took a knife from his kitchen drawer and attempted to tighten one of the screws. The fan started up and the knife flew out of his hand and into his heart. Instant death. 34 years old.

I am preparing a story telling talk. I have so many stories. I really want to tell them. They float in and out of my head to bursting.

All of us should be telling more stories. I remember my granny's and even my great-granny's. And so many in between.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Conversational Booby Traps

It seems I'm always being taken unaware by conversational booby traps. It must be a comedy to be around me. I think to myself, privately, was I sometimes so unaware as a child to learn how to extricate myself from such entrapment? I could have been, though I can tell you I didn't miss much, I was your silent listener with a book behind the sofa or lurking at the top of the stairs, soaking it all in.

To my utter shock, I was caught a few times recently.

Example 1:

An acquaintance who has never been to my house grabs some DVDs off my shelves and announces:

A. "I am borrowing these."

WWW: "Well, actually, I never lend out my movies"

A.: "Don't you trust me?"

WWW: "No, it's not a matter of trust. I base this on past experiences..."

Friend standing by: "Oh, you can trust her. I'll vouch for her."

A.: "See how ridiculous you are?"

A marches off. With my movies. I still don't know what I could have said to her.

Example 2:

I tell a friend here I am going to Toronto for a few weeks as another friend has offered me her downtown house.

F.: "Oh great, I've always wanted to hang around downtown Toronto! We'll spend some time, you can show me your old haunts. Great!!"

WWW: "Well, the house is a bit small, my granddaughter might want to stay...."

F: "Oh, I won't be in the way at all, just point me towards the subway!"

WWW: "And I'll want to entertain my friends and gabfest, etc."

F: "I'm dying to meet your friends, see what your Toronto life was like..."

Why am I always afraid to say NO out loud and vehemently?

So here I am now, still shy of a couple of movies a month later, and with a Toronto flight unbooked.

People pleaser. Yeah, I know. But how to stop? Is there some kind of lingo I missed out on?

Friday, February 01, 2013


Today was Imbolc, a great pagan feast in pre-Christian Ireland, "one of the four quarter days of the pagan year, which marked the beginning of spring, lambing, and lactation in cattle." Commandeered, of course, by the early Christians who created the feast of St. Brigid in lieu.

My mother's middle name as it turns out - she was born on St. Brigid's Eve, and the eldest daughter. Bridie, Breed, Brie, Brigette, Gette, and my favourite "Bridgeen", are all variants of the name.

Daughter gave a talk last night on the story telling tradition of the women in our family. I had hoped it would be filmed but alas and alack it was not to be, but she summarized it for me today via speaker phone as she made her way home from doing familial representation for my friend David's wake. I would have loved to have been in her audience.

I was out driving last night in rather nasty conditions - fog and a high wind. I know that mix sounds crazy. But this weather is. Probably for you too. The fog was thick and nasty on the high hills and very distracting as it whirled and danced to the tune of the headlights. To add to my stress level I had a midnight deadline to meet for an "Expression of Interest" in a theatrical venture. Don't you love these terminologies? Like putting your toe in the water when you want to dive full throttle off the pier.

Anyway, I reached home in one piece and the phone was ringing. And it was a friend. Wanting to make sure I was OK after the drive. I was so touched. This check in is not a norm for me at all. Having a solitary existence 'n all. Sometimes these tiny touches of kindness are immense. This was. I knew I had to pass it on. And I did today.

Happy Imbolc to all.