Sunday, September 30, 2018

Blog Jam

May Sarton:
"Solitude is a way of waiting for the inaudible and the invisible to make itself felt. Solitude is never static and never hopeless."

Embers of Time.
These last fragile moments,
These burned out coals
Hold no flame now.
But I blow upon their
Dusty pink ashes
And a tiny flicker wavers
Long enough to spark
A memory of fire
To warm me briefly
In the uncertain light.
WWW 09/30/18

Does the inner life grow richer, more fearless as we age?
We have more time for reflection and creativity even if it resides only in our inner.
Do we keep these strange thoughts, these rich inner happenings to ourselves?
Do these griefs and joys and inexplicables remain forever under lock and key?

Monday, September 24, 2018


We all get them, n'est pas?

I was feeling "off" yesterday and a few health issue challenges threw themselves at me. A good reminder of the fallibility of the aging body. I find this was succeeded by floating anxieties which pop over the parapet and remind me of poverty, forgetfulness, who do I think I ams, and a kind of general malaise of why botherism.

Cheer deserts me, every perceived slight is taken to a deeply personal level and scrutinized carefully for even more hidden pinpricks of disdain or contempt.

Are you still with me? Can anyone relate?

I try and counter all this with my daily dose of Tao.

Today it was to scrutinize all the tiny physical things around me and reflect on their origins, transitions and possible 100 year decay far into the future and way beyond my lifetime.

Then I focus on what I see: the glorious sunshine, startling greens, transcendent blues outside my window, my blackboard of writing projects.
What I hear:: silence, the flapping of the flag against the pole outside, the odd birdcall
What I touch: the keyboard now, lastly the knitting of a shawlette that I had to rip out as my pattern didn't work. A gift.
What I smell: some wonderful incense, a healing scent, to lift the spirit.
What I learn: Trying so desperately not to let my new phone (the old one was whimpering and finally died) frustrate and defeat me in a challenging learning curve of swiping, shaking, touching what I shouldn't touch, installing endless apps, promptly forgetting the new system protocols, digging for accounts and passwords and finding I am an inpatient whiny mess after about 15 minutes of this. Not helped at all by losing all historical texts (essential in the case of my friend with dementia challenges) and having wires crossed in my contact list - now sorted.

Living in Tao I am not. Though I try.

Friday, September 21, 2018


I spotted this ship Amadea curled up to St.John's Harbour yesterday and just had to look her up.

Here she is in Wikipedia.

I wouldn't mind one of the two Royal Suites. You could have the other one.

She has a crew of nearly 300. More crew than the passengers and she cost $150,000,000 when first built.

I wouldn't mind sailing to Greenland on her. That would be my type of cruise. And I like to believe she's small enough not to do much damage to the environment.

Here's her schedule. Expensive.

From my rusty Latin, Amadea would mean love of the goddess or goddess love.

Ships and trains fascinate me. Always have. I see one like this and I want to board her and see where she takes me.

I apparently can at Harbour Symphony Time where one year the Amadea was part of the annual symphony, a meticulously planned sound event, conducted digitally and all boats in the harbour participate. Best heard from a distance. But magical nevertheless.

PS Isn't our harbour beautiful even on a mauzy day?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

On the Go

Another shot of Eastport, some day I will write about an extraordinary experience I had there.

I keep planning a no-do day with PJs, books and knitting on the go. But no dice. Not happening. Today was a good one I thought, just a phone call with a distant friend booked for 11.30 and then the rest of the day to moi. Not to be. Joanna, my cleaning genius, called and said she was "doing" me today and her car was banjaxed so I had to pick her up (dressed for that, nothing worse than tempting fate with a bad accident). Joanna is the boss when it comes to cleaning my place. She is at a bargain basement rate and shovels me out and keeps me reasonably civilized. Left to my own devices I can't tell you the condition this place would be in.

So I'll briefly list what's on the go here:

(1)I've created a strange androgynous alter ego (Pat Picco) who's making a series of interview type podcasts with off the wall others. More on that later. I've had to work very hard in talking out of the left side of my mouth and lowering my voice to create this persona and sound tests are tomorrow. Her first interview will be with me and another knitter discussing the mathematics and other elements of knitting. Other interviews lined up will be with a naval architect and another with practitioners of a Philippine martial arts (kali, escrima, arnis) who come from opposite sides of the globe and met accidentally at a brainstorming session I was at. More on that and links when up and running.

(2)The long overdue anthology has been published!! Yay! This is the collection of the short stories, essays and poems that came out of my writing workshops. It will be launched formally next month followed by a book tour.

(3)I'm on the Board of Directors of a feminist theatre which supports women playwrights, directors and actors and is putting together a new season of great plays and a grand gala in November.

(4)I'm working on a collection of my own short stories and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I have enough for a book. I'm enjoying the process of super-editing and culling.

This is all keeping my life full beyond measure but exciting and enriching and stimulating too. I believe I'm the elder (by far) of every space I'm in but hell, I feel so much gratitude and sheer old-fashioned lucky for this privilege.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Returning Home

Today was one of those days of laundry and catching up with my St. John's Life. And exhaustion.

I've taken on two long road trips this past summer and maybe that wasn't so wise of me. A lot of driving.

However, the other side of me thinks this is a good thing, to still be semi-active, not as much as I'd like, of course, but savouring the sweetness of life. Particularly beautiful Newfoundland. I never tire of the scenery and here are a few samples:
The Architecture of Trinity

I spotted this man painting his extraordinary shed, more delicious architecture, again in Trinity, I was desperately trying to get that can of paint on the ground in the picture:

We stayed in Eastport also, the beach was breathtaking, my friend is a speck in the distance in this picture and she's going to enlarge it and put it on her bedroom wall.

And finally, Salvage. An artist's paradise.

The great news is that I am newly inspired, freshly minted in fact, with many wonderful events and projects about to unfold. More on that later.

Once I catch my breath.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

We Count Blessings

A dear friend has come to stay, one with her own health challenges.

We are heading off today to points northish.

A Grand Tour.

Of Trinity
Of Twillingate
Of Fogo.
Of Eastport.

Much theatre is scattered in there. And if we can manage wee hikes we will do so. Sticks and stones.

Weather is spectacular today. But we pack books to read. And an excellent coffee.

I have found her visit here so far has been about blessings, good fortune and contentment.

I will post when I return.

Write amongst each other for now.

Saturday, September 01, 2018


No, that's not a typo. An acquaintance self-published a book. Without formal editing. Five years ago. About women's lives, which is beside the point for this post. Very few men I have read and indeed have known intimately, know very little about women's lives and heartbreakingly to me, don't want to know. But that's another post entirely.

Unfortunately he wrote about the month of Septemberember frequently as he was a schoolteacher (I know) for many years. He also performed insane things to other words, particularly place names which made the stumbling reading of it a headache but generated guilty laughter amongst us wannabe literatis as the writer is extraordinarily pompous and self-important.

To get back to Septemberember, even now as I type it, spell check alerts me a "WTF is this word, numbskull?"

It has become the family name for this most poignant of months, the end of summer, the colours of fall, beginnings for so many students, evaluation of the sweaters in the closet, maybe gloves and caps and where are my good socks and a precis of the summer on everyone's lips, too sunny, too smoky, need rain for the crops.

Septemberember makes it linger. Stretches it out. Keeps us tasting it a bit longer, rolling it around our hopes and dreams as we stoke up our winter expectations and look behind us at the fresh memories of vacations and the love of family and friends and adventures.

As to our writer who gifted us with this word? I've never seen a man more distraught when he discovered the multiple errata in his book, especially Septemberember which he counted at 25 times. He clutched his head as he told me this, being very much a drama queen, moaning his reputation (?) was now ruined and what was he going to do.

Speaking of books, I updated my 2018 list on my sidebar, I am so pleased that one of the upsides of moving to a simpler life is the time it gives me for indulging my voracious and sometimes unsatisfied reading addiction. 2018 is a stellar year for good books for me.

I now leave you with the September song from one of my favourite all time singers.