Monday, May 25, 2020

A New Life

A photo of my beautiful city, St. John's, Newfoundland.

The skin of all this politicism and activism has peeled off me and I am as newly re-birthed.

I am no longer gripped by Facecloth and all its doings or Twister and its evil manifestations and counterpoints scored and activists removed without apology if they don't toe whatever is the party line of the day.

I honestly don't care.

One thing still lingers in that tomorrow the newspaper is publishing what I wrote in my fit of disdain on the weekend and tossed off in a blast of the last volcano ashes of the rage I was feeling. That should bring out the pitchforks for me. But a staff member did call me today and assured me that, contrary to all Twister and Facecloth feeds, the journalist in question had not been fired but as personal threats had been made on him and his family he chose to fade into the background of other responsibilities within the newspaper's framework. Par for the course here, I have been attacked for speaking my truth and I fully anticipate this will happen tomorrow when the paper hits the stands or the devices. Negative opinions are not tolerated here. Critical thinking is unheard of and everyone knows someone employed by government. The smallness of the place can be such a negative. The record breaking show "Come From Away" tells one side only. There is a darker side. As there is in all places.

Enough on that.

The novel I am working on has come to life marvelously well. There is so much time to reflect on it and sit and be still and play music and think and reflect some more. I no longer have distractions so I can place myself in sixties Toronto and breathe in the aroma of that narrow wood paneled coffee nook with the huge spitting urns and the fresh pastries stationed in the lobby of the building I worked in and say good morning to Brenda the elevator woman (called "girl" in those days) who wore white gloves and never smiled but nodded politely at all of us as she pushed her lever and only asked for visitors' floors as she knew us all and our landings. All day, she sat like a queen on her green leather stool.

Every morning at eleven, one of the servers in that standing room only coffee corner would wheel up a trolley in that very same elevator and bring coffee and tea around to all of us with real mugs and small plates, along with more pastries, and pick our detritus up an hour later. A silent, cheerless grey haired woman ("tea girl"). None of that British lovie-have-a-cuppa stuff in her. I did wonder if she was related to Brenda.

So there you have it.

As one of our wise ones commented "Enough".

I have taken it to heart.

37 comments:

  1. I hope you can find peace and joy in your rebirth. And love that your novel is going well.

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  2. I can't wait to hear more about your novel. Brenda and her "tea lady" compatriot sound like characters from my youth.

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    1. It's only when I reflect on these professionals (and they truly were) that I realize how much the world has changed.

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  3. What a wonderful picture you paint of Toronto in the sixties and I suppose it wasn't so different here although I expect there would only be bought biscuits served by the 'tea lady'. Our lift operators were often returned servicemen, perhaps missing a limb. You sound more relaxed now. Good luck tomorrow.

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    1. Thanks Andrew, so far the feedback has been positive and private as so many are afraid to speak out.

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    1. Thank you Ernestine, it's chugging along nicely.

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  5. Isn't it true (or so they say)......write about what you know.
    The time has obviously arrived for you to write more about what you know:)

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    1. Yes nearly all are dead now, so I can write freely.

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  6. The idea of elevator people and tea ladies just seems so redundant these days but that's half the problem with the world, isn't it? Anything that shows some grace is discarded.

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    1. It was less hurried as well, imagine the tea wagon and the elevenses break and LOL drunken lunches too. And smoking in the offices and open windows.

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  7. I had an elevator girl in my doctor's office. Her uniform was green. Her seat was green leather, and the handle she pulled to operate the doors and make the elevator start and stop was gold. Sometimes there was an elevator man, in a green uniform. He stood to run the elevator

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    1. You paid attention too Joanne. I don't recall who relieved her but I think I'll make him an ex soldier now :)

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    2. I hope there were double "doors". First the heavy inside and outside doors opened, but between was a set of doors you could see through, like those collapsible gates between rooms to keep children or dogs corralled. The name escapes me. Rotating her handle part way opened the solid doors, then when we were safely stopped and immobilized, she turned the handle all the way to open this gate. At that point, parents removed hands from children's shoulders.

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    3. Totally Joanne, it was a very complicated system and quite dangerous looking back as we had all heard of plunges, hearsay only then. Were they called cages? The cage door? I must look it up. Noisy and brassy. Last time I was in Paris a few years back they had one in our ancient hotel. I was enchanted.

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  8. May your rebirth be a Wonderful Journey!

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    1. So far so good Bohemian! Time is running out but in a good way.

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  9. You had a "tea girl"! We called them tea ladies and I always wanted to be one, but they were obsolete already when I was young and looking for work.

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    1. I think they vanished in the late sixties with the beginnings of self-service everything. Self-service of course meaning no service. How quickly we got programmed for that!

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  10. Thank you Gemma, I like knowing you're out there.

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  11. I can grow to like the place where you now live. I eagerly look forward to reading your novel when it is published. I hope soon.

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    1. Yes thank you Ramana, I did another 2,000 words today. I am really pleased it is coming together.

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  12. Thank you for having the courage to speak out and face whatever consequences come. I'm glad you've chosen to not to engage with the people commenting, though. You've got better things to do now that you've reminded sane-minded people that they're not alone.

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    1. Linda it is good when feedback can be positive, people here are very afraid to speak out, it is a very small place.

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  13. What a beautiful place you live. And good for you to be reborn. I hope you enjoy your freedom!

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    1. Thank you Charlotte, it's rather special and I am so enjoying my writing with no interruptions unless I make them.

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  14. I've never joined Twitter. I want nothing to do with all the hatred and vitriol that seems to be most of its modus operandi. Good to know negative opinions are not tolerated in your neck of the woods.

    Ah yes, the days of uniformed lift attendants. I haven't seen one for many years now lifts are fully automated. They wouldn't have allowed some of the hanky-panky that goes on in lifts these days!

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    1. You speak from experience Nick? Another previously unknown side of you? :D

      I was involved in some hanky panky in elevators in my time. :D

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  15. Your novel is going to be a winner, WWW - in just those few lines you've written about it here - I was there! I could see and smell it. :)

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    1. Thank you T, it is really quite galloping along not that I have switched off the screen sucking apps that can eat one's time without being aware of it. 15,000 words already!!!!

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  16. I get on facebook only briefly to check on family and friends (and Twitter not at all), but have tried to distance myself from the drama.

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  17. I remember elevator girls in Eaton's and Simpson's in Montreal. Ogilvy's continued the tradition for a while dressed in their plaid. They would call out the floors and the merchandise on display.
    At the moment during the virus our building has assigned staff to push the button for the elevator and then push your floor button so we don't have to touch anything. The first time I saw this I said it reminded me of the elevator girls.

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