Friday, December 30, 2011

Where are the WBS's?

First, Happy 2012 to All -- and now my Exit 2011 Story....

Where are the WBS's?  That would be the Walnut Butter Slices.

Obviously, she should know, but she doesn't.  The reason?  A bit of memory loss.    

Evident, without medical diagnosis, because didn't she recently find the missing carton of coffee-creamer in the microwave instead of the fridge?  And didn't she, the same week, find herself dialing some friend on the remote control instead of the phone?

So of course she knows.  But nevertheless one must carry on and do as best they can.

And so, compelled by society, tradition, relevance, dignity, and God knows what else, she did some Christmas baking.  Quite a lot, actually.  And then she tucked that baking away in safe places, out of Hub's reach, so that when visitors came by, she could serve delectable homemade dainties.


And so the company started coming.  And with  that company, frozen pies were thawed and eaten.  As were the butter tarts, the lemon tarts, the spice cookies, and the carrot cake.  But never the WBS's  (they were still in hiding).

Each and every social gathering, and of these there were many, she arranged and served trays of baked goods.  And each time she found herself thinking that now only WBS's were needed for the tray to look perfect.  But it didn't happen.  She couldn't for the life of here find those damnable WBS's.

She and Hub went to several Christmas fetes.  Each time her expectation was to take a hostess gift of WBS's, but they could not be found.
She went through the deep-freeze, till her hands were numb with cold.  Several times.  And then she put on heavy gloves, removed all contents and went through it another time.  Still no WBS's.  

Hub said she could be looking straight at something and still not see it, so twice she went through the contents of the rest of the refrigerator including meat and veggie drawers.  Hub even joined in the search.  Still no WBS's.

Then the thought occurred to her to search the long shelves in the basement next to the deep freeze.  The shelves where she keeps plastic, tin, and cardboard containers to freeze goodies so they wouldn't be crushed by the heavier packages of frozen goods.  Maybe she stored the squares in a can or box and then forgot to put them in the deepfreeze.  So now, every container on those shelves came down and was thoroughly inspected.  Nothing.  No WBS.s.

So now she really wracked her mind.  Did she make some?  Yes, she did.  Shortly before Christmas.  21st or 22nd -- some where around then.  Two large pans in fact.

But wait.  There was something else.  The recipe said there was no need to freeze them.  Said they would keep nicely in a cookie tin for up to two weeks.  That gave her mind a turn.

She had fully expected the slices would be eaten in four to five days.  At the same time was the cookbook trustworthy especially for something with a egg meringue base? 

So to freeze, or not to freeze?  The lengthy moment of indecision, she remembered.  The choice she made, she could not recall.  

Maybe she didn't freeze them.  So now the pantry was checked.  The spare closet that stays relatively cool.  Kitchen cupboards.  Basement cold-room.  Still no WBS's.  

Oh well, oh well.  Is this what they mean by, "You win some, you lose some"??  

Guess they'll surface when her and Hub sell the house and move to town.

But then today, oh yes, today, she goes downstairs to the old fridge that contains those jars too cumbersome for the upstairs fridge - the gallon jugs of maple syrup, pickles, and ketchup.  And guess what she finds?

The Walnut Butter Slices!!

She should have froze them.  Because now she has doubts, despite what the cookbook said, about how good they might be.  It is after-Christmas-quiet-time and the neighbors will not be stopping by for a week or so.  So at this late stage of the game, she will not be gaily serving not-so-fresh WBS's.

For a time they languor in the upstairs fridge in their little round glistening boxes with lovely floral and snowflake designs.  What is to become of them?  They were so fine.  So worthy.  Too good to throw out?  Maybe.  She can't be sure.

This morning the garbage bag displays what appears to be not-yet-unwrapped-decor-embellished-hat-boxes.  Appearing rather out of place.  There must be some mistake.  But nah, there's no mistake.  After another one of those overly long moments of indecision, the decision was made to say a painful good-by. 

So now, if there is a lesson or moral to be found in this overly-long rant, she guesses it would have to be that if you have obvious, though perhaps only occasional, symptoms indicative of memory loss....Don't make WBS's for Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Living an Inspired Life

I truly like living the inspired life.

I like having no fixed agenda and no hard and fast commitments. It’s one of the few glories of being retired and being an elderly. No more alarm clocks, no more merry-go-round. I take my ease and do as I please.

Nevertheless, I do have fixed daily routines – dishes, beds, meals, showers, laundry – those things – but anything else? If I don’t get it done today, there is always tomorrow. One of the reasons that lately my blogs are so few and far between.

But mostly, whatever I do, if I want to be happy while doing it and completely satisfied with the result, it must be done, not as a chore, or as an obligation of dignified living, but rather as an endeavor fueled by ‘inspiration’.

 Cooking the most intricate of dishes will not fail if done in a moment of inspiration. The house will be as clean and neat as I could ever wish it to be if the job is done in a moment of inspiration. The card I send will have the right words to express the best kind of wishes if done in a moment of inspiration. Even shopping, when done in a moment of inspiration, brings better choices and greater satisfaction. And if my blog is not fueled by inspiration, which it oftentimes isn’t, it can be such a drag for both writer and reader.

Now, for the most part, my inspiration serves me well enough. It kicks in come spring when gardening should start. It kicks it at harvest time, and fuels my days well when I have guests. It kicks in for extra baking on cool and rainy days. It even kicks in when walls, curtains, floors, or windows need cleaning. So with my inspiration, I really am not just an eternal procrastinator and ruddy slouch.

But oh, but oh. When Christmas is coming my inspiration is so oft times tardy, and when it does kick in, so bloody sporadic. That’s when I dearly wish that I lived the life of the self-disciplined, and organized individuals, who know what needs to be done, how soon it needs to be done, and by God, come hell or high water, they will get it done.

At no other time of the year do I envy these people. They take life way too seriously. For the most part I feel quite sorry for them, and oft think that on their death bed, in that final hour, they will bolt upright in bed to tell someone to please ‘do the front window before the surviving members of the family come for visitation’. And they meant to ask, but the light went out too soon, for someone to polish their Sunday shoes.

But as for me, right now, my inspiration is to wish you and those you love, a bountiful, meaningful, and joyful Holiday Season! Be inspired and delight in it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


While bumbling about on the Internet, looking for some sorely needed blogging inspiration, I stumbled on a blogging rule -- Don’t write anything that you wouldn’t say out loud.

What a bunch of crapola! I’ve been blogging now since 2003 and 80% of what I’ve told you I would never consider speaking out loud. At least not in a social conversation at my kitchen table or any other oral interactive venue. And the reason I wouldn’t is because so much of what I reflect on and explore is too intimate. Not as in sexually intimate, not as in real life drama intimate, or as in vulgarly intimate. No, none of that.

Intimate in the sense that if what I so often write, were to be openly spoken, in a regular neighbor-to-neighbor conversation, I would be strait-jacketed, locked up, and the key ground into powder. I guess the closest allegory to what I mean that might help the reader to understand is that what I say to you on my blog is too often similar in content to a seriously spoken tale of alien abduction.

That does not mean what I write are bold-faced lies. They are not. The happening is true, and so is my reflective exploration of that happening. But the reflective part is often so far out of left-field that it does sound like someone who not only could tell a tale of abduction but quite possibly might still be in that abductive stage without consciousness of it.

Now that I’ve got you thoroughly confused, this is what I am really trying to say.

Society, in general, now consider themselves so uninhibited, so out there, so with it, so conscious of all things to do with the intimacy of sexual relations, preferences, mind workings, etc. etc. We proudly feel we are modern, fact-based, uninhibited by Victorian rules, or naivety or the once held honour and magnetism of ‘innocence’ in the form of the blushing cheek or quivering lip.

We speak vulgarity without flinching. Movie characters engage in flippant, snippy, and cheeky language with children and peers that for the sake of common civility, I can’t believe could be so casually spoken.

Even commercials. There’s the commercial for a gravy mix where the hostess snips at a guest in the kitchen about when she’s going to bring in the gravy. Meanwhile she is simply taking a wee taste. And the one for a business that is not on line, ends up with some smart ass telling the ‘proprietress’ for a lack of a better term, that if she does not have her business on line, she doesn’t exist. And when she courteously asks, “Are you leaving now?“, his snippy response is “Was I ever here?“

Somebody should slap those kind of unnecessarily brusque individuals.

But, oh yes, we are there. So accomplished in our tolerance, and understanding, and intimacy that discussion of it all, exposure of it all, knows no bounds.

But intimacy has become so intertwined with things of a sexual nature, we have forgotten the real meaning - i.e. personal considerations within a quiet and private atmosphere. It is not, as so many tend to think just about sex, crotch shaving, and arm-pit hair. Somehow the true and real meaning of ‘intimacy’ has fallen by the wayside.

We no longer contemplate or consider the spiritual intimacy we had and shared before God died. And it matters not to me whether he died or not. That point of intimacy still exists but is never discussed at least not at the raw spiritual level. And by that I mean, it is never discussed by laymen, only those trained to think along a specific formula within a specific trench.

I want an intimate exposure of how people feel within themselves when dealing with broken relationships, health issues, old age, and great loss. I don’t want the language of programming. I want the real raw stuff. The casting about in a raw mind for a raw solution, and a raw sense of comfort.

The most and deepest intimacy of their souls. But seems to me we have cremated and discarded it as we tend to do with anything too puzzling, unpleasant, enigmatic, or mystifying for a fact-based scientific mind.

In today’s society, running through the public square buck-naked is easier than having to reflect on the intimacy of the soul, the spirit, and the moral fibre and all these other things we were born with, rather than taught, buried subterranean-deep within all the over-wraps of modern sophistication.

Can you not share with me the deepest intimacy of what you believed before you believed what you believe now?

[Despite the blogging rule of ‘not writing anything you wouldn’t say out loud’, that is a an utter falsehood. Blogs are exactly meant for writing what you cannot speak.]

Monday, October 31, 2011


When the elderly reminisce about childhood, there are always those of us that had to walk miles to school – uphill both ways. And then there are those of us, who with too few resources, learned long and early to ‘make do’. That is where I come from.

As a child, if a thing was needed and couldn’t be got, my parents made do through resourceful substitution of unrelated materials – a practice newly renamed ‘recycling’.

A quick and simple example is the bits of horse harness leather my Dad used to repair the plastic straps that so quickly broke on my new sandals.

And I laugh remembering the day, as a youngster, I mixed up precious sugar, and butter, and flour for cookies – and then, when I went to add the eggs – Oh My God, there were no eggs.

What to do. What to do. There had to be a fix. No one could for one moment consider throwing out those costly ingredients that I had already so deliberately blended.

I was sick, and yes, I was horrified.

But my Mother remained her usual calm self and simply scooped a cup of snow from a fluffy drift by the outside stoop and added it to the ingredients.

“Do we need to pray for a miracle?” I asked immediately reflecting on the Biblical tale of the water that turned into wine.

“It probably wouldn’t do any harm,” she said, with a laugh.

I didn’t consider praying about it, but maybe my Mother did. Maybe she prayed for a ‘water-wine’…I mean ‘snow-egg’ miracle. I’ll never know cause I never asked. Still irregardless, something special happened that day because those sugar cookies were some of the best that I have ever made.

And so, raised in this environment, I quite smugly consider myself a journeywoman in the industrial art of Making-Do.

And this Halloween, I needed to be.

Last week I made the dreaded trip to town to buy a pumpkin. Usually grow my own but this year, I forgot to plant pumpkins.

And so, for probably the first time in my life, I was on the hunt to find and purchase a lovely fat orange pumpkin.

But all I found was one store with a bin of about 8 pumpkins. They were not orange, they were dusky brackish brown. On many stem root was so advanced that the wizened and blackened stems has committed hari-kari by diving into the mouldy and blackened interior of their relevant pumpkin cadavers.

With Halloween a week away, there was nothing in that bin with a hope to retain the slightest semblance to a pumpkin for five days – so back home I went – empty-handed.

But we can make do. Yes we can. So here is my Halloween display for this year. It’s not all I hoped it would be, but then, Halloween is supposed to be a bit morbid, but not quite so morbid as those pumpkin cadavers they were selling in town.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself!

I am done with it. I’ll have no more of it. I am finally old enough to freely think, openly speak, and indiscriminately choose my own course of thought and action. And that means, at long last, I can finally, without guilt or impediment, feel sorry for myself. As sorry as I want to feel. Oh yes, I can and I will.

Though having avoided such an exercise for a lifetime, when I test this new thing that I avoided doing in my past, how shall it be tested, developed, controlled, and instated? Am I suppose to weep, wring my hands, get a monster lump in my throat, or just do a mental laundry list of everyone’s injustices to me? I really don’t know since I’ve never been here before.

And if it is a good thing, and I somehow think it is, should I find comfort and recovery in it? I expect I will because I’ve never felt comfort or recovery in not feeling sorry for myself -- just utter frustration.

I still remember my Mother forcing me to have an afternoon nap when I was just a toddler. I ranted and roared, balled up my quilt, and fired it repeatedly out of my little bed, crying and loudly wailing all the while, “I am NOT tired. I do not need a nap.”

And her response was, “Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You are going to have a nap.”

What did she mean by that silliness? It had nothing to do with anything. The only thing that had something to do with anything is “I did not need a nap!” For all I knew maybe when you ball up your quilt and throw it on the floor, you are feeling sorry for yourself. Well, if that was the case, why didn’t she say so?

That’s when it started and I’ve heard it at every unfortunate moment in my life ever since. Whenever, as a child, an adolescent, an adult, even as an elderly, I have expressed a strong and true desire to do something that did not fit within another’s framework, [i.e. to nap, to leave the party early or avoid it all together, to eat, to knit, to withdraw], I was accused of feeling sorry for myself and badgered with the same old meaningless jargon -- “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.“ And I no more understand it now than I did back then.

I can only assume that if you feeling really bad and bite your lip, you are not feeling sorry for yourself. But, on the other hand, if you are feeling really bad and say, “Oh woe is me,” you are engaged in an activity more disgusting than playing with yourself.

The experts say that feeling sorry for oneself can lead to depressive and dysfunctional behaviour. Of course any sophisticated learned academia would never allow themselves to go there, so how could they know?

What could be worse than a depressed and dysfunctional academic? Particularly when splashing about in a puddle of their own specialty and expertise. God forbid.

As for me, I’ve never been there in that supposedly quicksand bog of feeling sorry for myself cause no one would allow me to be. But guess what, this is as I initially said, not going to continue. I am going to feel sorry for myself, because not feeling sorry for myself is exactly causing, you guessed it, depressed and dysfunctional behaviour.

Experts must be wrong, they have to be because they are theorizing these things, but I am living them and have been living them, this often woeful life without self-pity for more than fifty years.

And with that (my out loud confession of a ‘woeful life’) I slip into the comforting and nurturing halls of self-pity. It’s very nice here -- warm, comforting, nurturing. I think I’ll stay awhile.

I might even let you know next time we talk, how it’s working for me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

D.O.G.'s Bad, Bad Day

It was not a good day for Dough-Gee Dog.

Now D.O.G (slow pronunciation Dee-Oh-Gee, fast pronunciation Dough-Gee) only knows two tricks. That is all I’ve taught him.

What he knows is “No Bites” and “Come here”. Seemed to me like the most important things for him to know being that he is a cross between a Bassett and a Rottweiler. With a monstrous Rottweiler head and jaws attached to a less impressive Bassett body with short crooked legs.

Today’s unfortunate accident occurred when D.O.G. was out for a walk with Hub. That incredible hound-scenting-ability told him an interesting critter was harboured in a large brush pile. Hub had seen the creature there a few days before so he knew what it was. A porcupine, no less.

So frantically he called D.O.G. to ‘Come away’ but for D.O.G., the beast within was too excited to respond. The command was ignored.

Then a blood curdling D.O.G. wail and next thing we knew here’s D.O.G. coming across the meadow with a brush of porcupine quills in his nose. We were a distance from the house so D.O.G. pushed and scrunched his nose in the hard dirt to try to rid himself of all those painful thorns to no avail. Then quickly he sped home.

He came immediately to Hub and I for assistance. It is spring, all farm animals are birthing, so the vet was out on call. Evidently this was a job Hub and I would have to do on our own. So Hub got a pair of pliers and we quickly wrapped D.O.G. tightly in a blanket so we could keep him laid out on the ground. Then I held D.O.G.’s body still while Hub extracted those quills from inside and outside that dog’s mouth with pliers and his bare hands.

How trusting that dog. He at no time tried to bite Hub although I can’t imagine how painful that operation must have been. Hub removed at least twenty quills. As many well back inside his mouth as there were on the outside. I thought D.O.G. would pass out or go into shock. I wanted him to, just to relieve his agony somewhat. But it didn’t happen.

We turned him loose within perhaps 15 minutes. I thought he would make a run for it. But he didn’t. I brought him a pail of ice water to drink. He rested and as we walked about him, Hub still carrying pliers, he made no evasive moves.

He relaxed for about an hour, but we still weren’t done. There was six or eight quills still remaining. Again we wrapped him in the blanket and removed the rest. By then I was so stressed my hands and body were quivering. Finally we were done. Poor puppy. So much pain, so much discomfort.

I went to the house to wash my hands. To breath a sigh of relief. To calm my anxiety. And then looked out the window.

There was Hub lying on the lawn beside his Dough-Gee Dog, rubbing his ears, scratching his stomach and telling him what a brave and good dog he was. Dough-Gee looked happy and at ease.

Now Hub is talking about getting his gun and going porcupine hunting. “No,” I say. “Please don’t. Porcupines are cute in their own way. And they only reproduce one babe every two years. Far too many are killed on highways. And they have such cute little paws. D.O.G. knows better now. He won’t be doing that again.”

“But dogs don’t know better. They get nasty scratches from cats and still won’t leave them alone and porcupine encounters are no different.”

“But D.O.G. is different,” I say. “Dogs can learn up to 35 commands according to the experts. Dog only knows two. I capped his lessons at number two so there would be no confusion. So ‘avoiding porcupines is only 3 out of 35 so we should be okay.”

“Don’t count on it,” Hub says. He forgot the business of ‘come here’ when he first discovered that porcupine in the brush pile. So he may well forget lesson number 3 to leave porcupines alone.”

Hub makes a good point but still the porcupine is not and will not be harmed for now. God, I hope I’m right. Dog doesn’t need another day like today -- and neither do I.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Big Weep

Sometime around the time that I became an Elderly, I shut down the conduits of emotional weeps. I decided it was all for aught. And granted, although I still might get watering eyes when in severe physical pain, through some process outside of my control, I decided that emotional weeps help nothing, cure nothing, do nothing, so why bother. So I’ll not do that anymore.

And, surprisingly, with that avowal, I’m managed to keep my emotional weeps in check. When I have lost dear ones, I have simply stated, within my mind, ‘This is the way of life. This is it’s cycle and this is what is to be expected.’

Now prior to this time, I used to go out on my deck in the cool of the eve and contemplate constellations, wondering how amongst a limited number of misaligned stars in the heavens, I was supposed to see a helmeted warrior with a novelty belt and sword strapped thereto, and a bear, and God knows what else. I am imaginative. I have always been imaginative, but really. How could anyone see these exotic impressions in a very few star-to-star dotted designs?

But I digress. What I wanted to tell you is that of late, I have lost many dear friends and many dear neighbours. It’s what happens when you live in a small community. I somehow think there wouldn’t be so many if I lived in a large metropolis. I would only be aware of so few. But here, even those I don’t know intimately, or even conversationally, I still know. People say to me, “Did you hear so and so passed away?”

I say, “I don’t think I know that person.”

And they say, “Of course you do. She is the red-haired lady that always grocery shops late on Friday nights, and is in the beauty salon every Wednesday.”

And then of course, I realize that I do know her, have occasionally spoke with her, and she is like so many others, except the odd newcomers, that are an integral part of the familiar landscape in a small town. In a small town there are few that one doesn’t know, albeit in a casual way, enough to feel a vacancy when they are gone. And lately there are many. So very many.

Anyway, this among other emotional traumas, are things I no longer weep about having matured enough to fully understand we all come the same way and leave the same way.

But out on my deck in the cool of the evening, something is happening that I really don’t like one little bit. I don’t like crowds but when I sit on the deck after nightfall it seems so crowded. With a silent crowd. Yet a crowd that is wanting something from me in a restless kind of anxious way.

And though I vow not to feel bad enough to weep, I sit out on my deck in the evening and find myself thinking, with much loneliness, of the many I once knew that were such brave souls, such fine people, such lovers of life, so sturdy and brave and kind; but now they are gone. Yet I feel their presence out on the deck.

A restless kind of presence. They touch me not, but they harass my mind and they are as clearly present as the pictures the constellations hold in such an oblique way.

And finally, finally, I realize I cannot deal with their ghosts any longer although I am glad they are there, but at the same time would rather just sit there mindlessly on my deck for an hour or so before turning in for the night. Does it make sense? Me wanting them there, but yet wanting them to be calmer, quieter, more transparent, more settled.

And finally, I give up. I open up the conduits of salt and water mix and let it flow. I think it is such a stupid exercise. It changes nothing. It alters none of the hard cold and grey facts of what life and death is about. But yet, amazingly, the crowd on my deck slips into a happier venue and they do become warm and transparent and okay as if bathed by my emotions.

Why, or how, I have no idea. Cause despite what I have done, that great big weep didn’t change anything in a concrete way, but in the world of abstraction, it did a beautiful, healing thing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just Get Me A Chair

I have always hated it. Those social gatherings, with all chairs removed, wine and grapes and cheese laid out on long tables, for an afternoon or evening fete.

The notion in standing, strutting, plying, one’s way about the room was that people would mix. But they didn’t. We came from a variance of social strata that cringe from each other and would not even mix if thrown into a high-speed blender. It just wasn’t going to happen.

Now I’m not much good in social situations at the best of times. Especially if most of the people in the room are strangers to me. And furthermore I cannot think on my feet. I have a process. A convoluted internal process that in conversation, takes a relaxed chair-position to execute.

I must, with much diligence, take what is said to me, turn it over, contemplate how meaning and source is to be interpreted and examine a collection of possible comebacks in a search for something light, graceful, humorous, or witty, that won’t sound utterly stupid. I’m slow that way. Very slow.

And further to that, I have not the physical grace to carry a glass of wine, a napkin, a small plate with four grapes, and three cheese chunks around and at the same time think about what to say or do next.

But for some stupid reason, when sitting (with a ledge for my stuff), I manage rather well. Speech comes easier. In a more fluid, self-assured way.

Maybe in my soul there is too much intuition. In the same way that I can walk into the dwelling of two people and know without any external sign that a grand altercation is going on, I can feel the cringe of the social stratification barriers. And so at wine and cheeses, I have more difficulty, than most seeking out conversation with others.

I want the comfort of a chair. Even if I have to hold my stuff on my lap, I am good with a chair. A chair can hide a wrinkled skirt, a run in one’s stocking, a wet coffee stain, one’s insecurity, stupidity, over-thinness, over-thickness, even one’s social stratification. A chair by day is as good as a blanket by night.

But having said that, I am reminded of the silly notion I heard year’s ago about elementary classrooms no longer engaging in playing Musical Chairs. Apparently the lonely soul left at the end of the game without a chair could suffer life-long trauma over the rejection they could feel because of ending up odd-man-out. As comforting as a chair is to me, that is utter silliness.

It is not as bad as the teacher, and for some reason, these teachers are usually men, that stand at the front of the class and say things like “and the earth is _____ miles from the sun“, while pointing at some unfortunate soul who doesn’t know or even have a clue. That kind of crap is what causes lifelong trauma.

Women teachers on the other hand are more likely to say, “Can someone tell me how far the earth is from the sun, if so, please raise your hand.” Good, that is good.

And so I say to Hub, “How did you feel in school when the teacher stuck his finger in your face and said, “the sun is ____ miles from the earth”. Did you not feel too obvious, insecure, shamefaced and so stupid if you did not know the answer.”

“Of course not,” says Hub. “I always knew the answer”

“You did?“ I say, in utter disbelief. “What is the answer?“

Without hesitation, Hub replies, with a sneering snort.

“A great distance, a very great distance.”

That’s one for Hub, but he can think on his feet. I can’t.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What Does he know?

Today was a beautiful spring day. Finally, finally, icicles dripped and water ran and snow melted. Oh, at long last. Could it be the last of winter?

But then, late this evening I went out for a stroll and there was a frigid wind blowing. The temp was around freezing which is to be expected at nightfall, but with the wind chill it felt like more miserable winter weather.

So I said to Hub, “What are we in for tomorrow? Did you listen to the weather?”

“Yes,” he said, “and the guy on the news said cold and blowing snow for the next three days.”

I pulled my longest fed-up-with-winter face.

“Don’t look so down,” Hub said. “What does he know? The guy is just a meteorologist. He’s not a weather man.”

Oh what good news.

P.S. I can only surmise from that discussion that a meteorologist studies weather patterns, but a weather man can construe weather more to Hub’s liking without any patterns.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Ultimate Betrayal

This is the ultimate betrayal in a once wonderful relationship. I’m talking about winter. And I will be as direct as I can be. We are no longer friends and will never be again.

Hub bladed out that long strip of snow in front of the house and for a few days the sun shone till bare grass showed through. And just when I thought I could use that lovely strip for a few putts, you plugged it up again.

You’ve even changed that dry crisp air, that I could muffle myself against on the coldest day with down jacket and three pairs of pants to a moisture-laden coldness that seeps through everything. That climbs right into the marrow of my very bones and now – even if I do no more than glance out the window, my teeth chatter and my blood gels.

I generally can walk away from a bad thing and wait for it to cool. But not with you. You are too cool for that kind of resolution. And so, rather, I simply have no choice except to be as bitter a fiend as you are.

And so, I want you to know, that I will never again walk on snowy trails and sing because even my voice in the still cold air has a sweet kind of clarity that surprises me. And I will never make fresh prints in your blankets of white and think about the wonder of newness and the glory of having walked where no one walked before.

I will never suck in your crisp cool air and think of it, as I so often have, as lovely as the bouquet of well-chilled wine. And I will never watch in wonder the symmetry of over-large snow flakes descending from the sky.

I will never smile again with pleasure at the flash of so many flawless diamonds in your morning glow.

Oh ‘tis true, on the outside, you look stunningly beautiful. But on the inside you are wicked, mean, and nasty, and completely capable of being the worst kind of villain. I am so done with you.

Friends? No. No more. Not ever, ever, ever.

I have learned to love mud. Gooey sticky mud. And rain, and thunder-storms, and flies, and mites. Even mosquitoes. I won’t even flinch when they all zone in. I can take it.

But what I can’t take, is anymore of you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Today’s Eyes & ‘Oh’s

Yesterday I had eye surgery on my other eye which means less computer time for a couple of weeks. I’m happy it’s done and over with and seems to be going well. But Hub is even happier.

Tells all his Buds,
“Oh, it will be so much nicer living with Roberta now that she will be able to see whether or not I am happy with her.”

See how much sympathy I get.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Winter of Endurance

There’s an orb in the sky that I scarce can remember
That I haven’t seen since way last November.
‘Tis for me the last icon of the Fall season norm,
Before we were hit by the imperfect storm.
And, from that moment on, in that season of change,
Nothing would ever, be ever, the same.

Here came a winter with snow augmentation,
Antagonized daily by more trepidation.
A winter so fearless, too long, and so cheerless;
A winter of twice, and thrice, and suffice
Of snow and blow, and cold-moulding ice.

A winter of sadness and intimidation,
A winter of shuddering and chilled palpitation,
That held tightly captive the Canadian Nation
Buried helplessly deep in a reversed excavation.
With so many ice crystals whirling and twirling –
That one had to cancel both hockey and curling.

A state of alarm. And a state of much dread.
Stuffed up our noses, stuffed up our heads.
And to deal with our suffering with no buffering stop
We reached for the ‘Vicks’ for that chuffed-up nose-block.

Still all we could do was to fret and to fume,
When the fog of the darkness continued through noon.
We were trembling and quaking, quivering and stuttering
Still clouds overhead and more snowflakes a-fluttering.
All heightened and raised up to such an excess
Surpassing all history – the shock and distress —
Intensification up and at nightfall spurred on,
Till all thought of red roses and summer was gone.
Still winter lingers. It stays. It remains.
Hopelessness is all; we can’t stand the strain
Of a Season we wear, we share, and compare,
In Sub-Arctic temps that thicken the air.

What I tell you now, and I tell you quite true
I have ne’er been so sad, and ne’er been so blue.
And I’ve ne’er seen before such a seasonal storm
With hell frozen over and we thought it the norm.
And what I say now is with sturdy assurance
‘This winter was simply a Test of Endurance!’

But oh, sing with glad tidings of joy and of mirth
We have sunshine enough to warm up the earth.
‘Tis time, oh ‘tis time for a bewildered dance ‘round,
A BIG FAT WARM SUN is in the sky…
Shining down.

P.S. If the picture has you puzzled, this is the uncanny art that I found on the window in the back bedroom. This is an old house with old windows. Storm windows have to be manually put up each winter and screens removed. I never did put the storm up on this window. I'm rather glad I didn't cause isn't this picture truly lovely? And the tops of the ferns reflected upside down in the mirror pond, is that not totally awesome?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Art of Cessation

I was raised in the old school. In summary, it went like this:

Each day strive to learn something new. Do good work. Finish what you start. Keep at it and never give up. And no matter what the discouragement, strive to keep on with the keeping on.

Cessation? Wasn’t taught that. And when encouraged, it was encouraged in such an oblique way, who could possibly understand or apply it?

For instance, I was told I must stop stealing cookies from the cookie jar. But having no knowledge of how to do the cessation thing, the only method that worked was for Mother to put them on a higher shelf, lock them up, or physically chase me off with a paddle.

There was no heal. There was no cure. And there was no cessation of cookie-stealing as long as those cookies were within reach.

And of course, I was encouraged to cease biting my fingernails. But because I bit them owing to the guilt of stealing cookies, and I bit them even more because I had no methodology for the cessation of stealing cookies, what else could I do but continue to go on biting them?

These then were the desired cessations, but so few, so minor. Anomalies really. Because it went without saying that to cease anything when once committed too was a bloody shame.

So now where am I?

Can’t cease anything. Can’t stop drinking too much coffee. Can’t deny myself cholesterol rich foods. Can’t ease up on the salt. Can’t force myself away from the computer.

So now, whose fault is that? Certainly not mine. “Cessation” just never was a part of my education. Not in primary school, or elementary school, or even high school. We were still doing the same old thing about getting started and never giving up.

And so, I wonder if that is why it is so hard for so many to cease drinking, gambling, drugs, radical sports, fast driving, and all the other foolishness that entraps people in ways that are harmful to life, limb, and health. And poor souls, without an education in ‘cessation’, there is no way for them to cease doing what they are doing. Rather there is just the push of that other thing of striving, striving, striving to keep on with the keeping on.

‘Cessation’ of anything pretty much runs contraire to that fast-held-to principle of just ‘bloody getting on with it’. And so ‘cessation’ was missed and I think it is still being missed. But despite all that, I feel that somehow there must be a positive methodology for ‘cessation’.

If I only knew what it was, I’d have my cholesterol count back within reason by next Tuesday.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Euphoric Dog-Jog

Old Dog was 17 years old. She was weak and palsied. And one leg was wizening up at a rate that was almost visible. She was stone deaf but had learned to respond to body language. We would beacon her with one hand or hold a palm out for her to stay and she understood all that very well. Her last couple of months she mostly slept. She ate little but seemed to not be in pain as she never whimpered or appeared restless.

Often in the last few weeks, I would have to lift her into an upright position and support her for a few steps before she was able to commence movement.

I felt the time had come so I said to Hub, “There is nothing for it, but to take her to the vet and have her put to sleep.”

Hub shook his head in disagreement and I could not understand as I knew we both wanted the same thing. For her end to be painless, and as humane as it could possibly be. So I just had to ask why he was not in agreement.

And that is when he told me the most surprising thing. Of all the magic ‘devices’ that make up a physical body – sight, touch, smell, emotions, etc., there is one too often overlooked. And it is the thing the brain does at the moment of death.

Hub was talking about the bright light, the warmth, the comfort, the peace, that comes at the very end. And although Hub (I think) holds no great faith in a paradise with harps and streets of gold, he is confident that at the moment of transition, our physiological bodies go into a transitioning mode that is as delightful as a sweet afternoon in the sun.

And his fear was, if Old Dog, was put down, shall I say, for lack of a better word, artificially, he feared that that loyal dog, so absolutely deserving of all good things, would miss the grand moment of euphoria, prior to that transition into --- nothingness, I guess.

I was amazed at this confession, but in pondering it I could not help but think that perhaps it was a notion with some worth. Many scientists are absolutely convinced that synapses in our brains do in fact deliver the magical euphoric visions that people with near-death experiences testify to.

But thankfully, if it be true, Old Dog was given that vision. She was given the bright light to guide her, the warmth and comfort of that light, and the peace it gives as well, because there she was one morning, asleep on the floor by the bed, and sometime during the night, she had followed the guide master sent to take her over to the other side.

We are sad because she has been with us daily for so long, life is not the same. But, at the same time, we are relieved that her exit was seamless for her.

And I am so much less sad, in believing what Hub told me, and thinking that her final dog-jog, was more than a well-lit, peaceful, warm, and comforting stroll. That it was, in fact, euphoric.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Piggy Puffs & Sardines

[Some days I have little to write, but still I write, because I feel I must.]

Hub and I are in the grocery store. And we are on the prowl for something fat-laden. Hub gives me points when I suggest Piggy-Puffs. Oh yes. That would be perfect.

Seems like a grand idea because with pork rinds being the fundamental ingredient, we are confident there is no way a cardboard-clone could be struck. But doesn’t it go without saying that the principal comptrollers of healthy diets seem to have obliterated them. None can be found.

Could it be that for the kindly care and protection of non-educated heathens like Hub and I that fail to understand the principles of healthy eating, someone, somewhere has completely annihilated piggy puffs? Appears so.

So now we continue our prowl hoping to unearth something exciting. And that’s when Hub spots a lovely display of canned sardines. Like an unexpected magical vision. Same can, same color, same look as canned sardines have had since the beginning of time. We haven’t eaten them for years but we both remember how we mushed them up on toast with thin crisp slices of raw onion, when we were young and so broke.

We take three cans home and later Hub makes sardines on toast and offers me some. I am not interested, but he goes ahead and begins eating with sentimental and joyous expectation his so-long-ago, but still cherished in mind and memory, sardines on toast.

Now Hub, even in a completely objective assessment is a handsome man. But suddenly, his countenance radically changes.

His eyebrows are furled, his forehead knotted, lips curled, eyes glazed and tearing, cheeks caved in, and his mouth is moving in a slow agonizing manner. And amidst all that, with the look of a Gargoyle, his adam’s apple is bobbing up and down in jerking spasms. And when I look at him, I am quite certain that even piggy puffs made out of briskly dipped and fried toilet paper could not have wrought such a change.

“My God,” I say, “What are you doing? Are you sick?”

“No,” he says, “but as much as I hate the cardboard fat-free snacks they make nowadays, this is so much worse.”

“Then why are you eating it?” I ask.

“Cause I don’t want to waste food,” is his simple, but direct answer.

I am amazed, as I so often am by that unique species they call ‘men’. Why in God’s name doesn’t he spit them out? Why doesn’t he trash them?

I feel an agony of my own stemming from empathy and the sight of his miserable condition. Makes me feel I should kiss it all better. But I cannot, amidst such ugliness, touch those Gargoyle lips, or risk inhalation of that Gargoyle breath. Yuk, oh Yuk!

Hub bravely fights on, and eventually manages to force down the contents of that can without a retching return. After which, he rushes to the bathroom where he vigorously rinses his mouth and brushes his teeth.

He hasn’t completely recovered his good looks, but he is looking better when he turns to me and says. “They used to pack those little fishies in olive oil and that was good. But they just can’t leave well enough alone. Now it’s soy oil. Not because it’s better, cause it bloody isn’t.

And you know what else, Roberta? There just has to be a better way to torment one’s self. But right now, I can’t think of what it might be.”

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Chalk Line Between Provocation & Amusement

I have no idea how academics see or explain the difference between provocative and amusing, because I am not one of them. But, believe me, there is a difference, a big, big difference; though this epiphany only just came to me through some recent reads.

First off, do you remember how in past rants, I so smugly insisted that the reason so many relationships fail is because, after the nuptials, too many women think that daily life will now be a flurry of fun. And their partner, for the next forty years, will continue to amuse them as adeptly as they did during the courtship interlude.

And, I have also insisted this is ridiculous. It won’t happen. Cause, the truth of the matter is that each person makes or breaks their own day by choosing to make or break it, and that this parasitic dependence on the other is neither fair, right, or just.

Now, if you can just keep that thought in mind, let me discuss, if you will, what I have been reading of late.

I have no new books to read, and with all my reading materials so sadly depleted, the only thing I could find that I hadn’t read before, was a Literature text published in October, 1930. And in reading it, I immediately felt unbounded sympathy for students of that day who were expected to develop a love and respect of literature by reading that crap.

It differed considerably from today’s Lit in that there were quite a few Biblical references. And yes, there were small excerpts from Shakespeare’s works. But beyond that it was bor-or-ing.

Dull. Big time. Though admittedly, I did applaud the worth of the frequent references to personal loyalty, honour, honesty, and respect for others.

Nevertheless, through all the dullness, I languished in a bitter state of mind until I came across an essay titled “A Piece of Chalk”. That perked up my hopes and my spirits.

Neat title. Does that not sound as if this could be a truly fascinating story? Perhaps about a common yet mystical notion, that is rock-solid one day and completely irrelevant the next?

But, oh no. Titles can be so deceiving. No magic or mystic stuff here. Only a long-winded geological essay about the history of chalk and its derivation from a deep-buried ravine in Valentia (?) — whereever that may be.

That was almost enough disappointment, but then the author carried on with the foolish assumption that anyone who read the story was as well acquainted with that particular strand in the earth’s strat, as they are acquainted with the reflection of their own face in a mirror. I ground my teeth with frustration.

I finished the book, nonetheless, to satisfy my mind that it really was crap and moved to another high school English text published in 1980. This book I read once before a very long time ago, and remember thinking how puzzling and incomplete the stories seemed to be. As if each of the contributing authors planned a grand and polished opening scenario and then, unable to bring the story to conclusion, just killed or maimed someone, to make the ending rise to a point of impact (climax), as stories are supposed to do. I was not amused.

This time, however, when I sat down to re-read the book, I did what I so often don’t do. I read the introduction.

And that is when I discovered something about the book and about myself. All my life, I have had the notion that a good story must first and foremost be amusing. But now I find out these stories were not written to amuse.

They were written to encourage students to quest for meaning and examine several possible interpretations. The stories were meant to be provocative, which is quite different from amusing. Amusing rants provide laughter and hilarity. Provocative rants, on the other hand, are meant to be stimulating. Perhaps, even confrontational.

And so, I continued reading, and found myself extracting the most amazing things from what I was reading, having erased the Chalk Line in my own mind that heavily marked my lifelong expectation that literary prose, in order to be worthwhile, must amuse!

And in taking this new enlightenment to heart, i.e. the understanding that all stories are not necessarily meant to amuse, I found remarkable the things that surface when one reads with an expectation of provocation.

And with that came another realization that it is amazing how delightful life can be when it is lived with a balance of provocation and amusement. Kind of like our appreciation for the beauty of sunshine, only because we have been in shadows. Yet each has a sweet value, shade for its coolness, and sunshine for its warmth.

But are we losing the value of provocation? I don’t watch a lot of movies but are any of the current ones put out there for provocation, or is the mandate forever and always, simply amusement. And is all that we read meant to be amusing, rather than provocative?

In fact, are we a society that wants no part of social engagements unless they are amusing (NOTE: Informative venues are not a part of this particular discussion). Do we consider conversations a waste of time if they are not amusing? Have we, for the most part, utterly forgotten the value of provocation? I certainly had never for one moment thought it could be a part of valued reading.

I would be amiss if I did not tell you the other thing I learned in all of this. I am fond of Hub and always have been. And up until now, I thought it was because he is so amusing. But now, only just now, I realize I appreciate in some oblique, yet endearing way, the provocative part of him as well.

But then, in retrospect, right from the get-go, after the nuptials, I didn’t expect provocation, while at the same time, I didn’t expect him to amuse me every day either. But this latest epiphany has revealed to me there is worth in provocation.

And so, on television, I watch news stories, investigative stories, crime stories, and comedy stories, and I only see one of two things — amuse, or violate. That’s all. Seems like ‘provocative writ’ some time ago quietly slipped away when no one was looking.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Snow Mass

Snow and snow, and more snow.

Wraps wisps around obliques, thick leggings around verticals, and re-shelves narrow latitudes until they become fortress walls. Superimposes every inanimate representation till the essence within becomes a ‘higher form’ through the magnification of obesity.

Mortal man stumbles about inelegantly in multi-layered muffs and earthly frame. Up to the hips in a stupefying and terrifying abundance of snow.

Warm the air by sucking it in. Let imagination run wild. Mentally paint the landscape green and yellow. And even then, you will find no flavor of August in this day. Only a random arrangement of winter matter.

More, and more—tumbling, drifting, floating, and falling, into covers of instability. Snow-weaves of batting that like memory-foam-mattresses leave only imaginative outlines of what lies beneath.

‘Higher forms’ of a spiritual nature of what once was. Icons of holiness. With the crystal whiteness of altar cloths, lace, and silver chalices in place.

Listen. Do you not hear it? The Hymn of wintry solitude sung earnestly and soundlessly?
That song of consequent stillness, that sanctifies January. Its remembrance, and longer endurance.
Repeated utterance of the refrain and second verse, same as the first.

This is a January celebration of Vigil Mass on a white altar.
Vigil, as in waiting, and expecting more, and still more.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Politically Incorrect Fockers

In this oh-so-politically-correct society, ethnic slurs must be guarded against.

And so, even those books that make us weep with empathy and understanding of the mistreatment of others like “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, and some of Mark Twain’s writings, have to be either pulled from library shelves or rewritten.

I’m not saying this to judge whether that is a good, or a bad thing. But what is bad is the media portrayal of babes and young children. They are not misbehaving, noisy little brats.

They are a race of little people, deserving of all respectful consideration. They are, so much more so than wee baby puppies, cute, funny, darling, and the joy of life.

I say this because recently a new show has aired called “The Little Fockers”. I have never watched it and don’t intend to, but I’m assuming it is about children.

The name of the show, of course, has led me to believe that. And I don’t care if the show is witty, funny, or even complementary in every respect towards the tiniest individuals in our society. The name speaks differently. And such labelling should be considered a crime.

But when I expressed my concern about the name of the show, Youngest Daughter, simply said, “Oh, for crying out loud, Mom. It’s just the surname of the family.”

That doesn’t do anything towards excusing it, because as a TV show, that particular family could have any name they wish to have. And obviously there is a meaning intended that is not so nice. And so, if this show is about family, with children, this is an inexcusable slur against children.

And so are so many other shows (and commercials), that concentrate on children being sassy, forever whining, and disruptive, rather than the sweet and precious individuals that they are.

Politically correct is meant to eliminate the unfair judgement and detriment of others. At least, I think that is the case. So let’s have more of it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Home Free! - Part IV (conclusion)

The Worth of This Spiritual Exercise

This story has been one about trying to find resolve for extreme sadness. Sadness wedged solidly in my soul.

And so, with no place else to turn, I have been reviewing my past to see how such problems had been solved in my earlier years. And as I told you, being a tattle tale worked for a time. But eventually one becomes a teen, a mature woman, a mother, a fully fledged adult and then what does one do?

Not much of a solution to be found in my teen years. It was over-dramatization that helped me through that segment of life. Flung on the bed in a puddle of tears is where solace was found when I was a teen. But, as an adult that all seemed such foolishness.

So as a young mother and a mature individual I could no longer tattle tales, or swim in tearful wails, so that is when I slammed doors and went to my therapist.

My therapist had pale blue eyes tinted with a wash of extreme kindness. My therapist was rather plump, with gray hair pulled back tightly in a tidy bun. She always wore cotton flowered dresses that had the appeal of gaiety. And an apron that gave her the appeal of complete devotion to her designated tasks.

And so I went in to my ‘therapist’s office’ and flopped on her couch. And immediately the healing began. Did we talk? No we didn’t? Did I tell her what was breaking my heart? No I didn’t.

I simply flopped on my therapist’s couch and the healing began while she went on doing whatever it was she was doing—as if I wasn’t even there.

She went right on whistling, and bustling, and sewing, cooking, or washing dishes. And my healing raced along. Swiftness encouraged by water running, dishes clanking, a sewing machine humming, knitting needles clicking, the smell of cooking, or by nothing more that the soft rustle of her apron against her skirt or her shoes against the floor.

The mend was not the result of any discussion or great wordy interchange. It was in the aura of home, being home, the safety of home. A grand feeling of security that erases sorrow like a fine bottle of White-Out.

Reminding me with such intensity, how I used to feel when playing ball and racing, amidst such risk and danger, full-tilt for home-plate. And then, the grand moment of majestic glory, when my foot safely touched the home-plate. Dancing, prancing.

“I’m Home Free! I’m Home Free!” (nothing can harm me now).

Like home-plate, home was just a place free from harm, fear, care, or any kind of inharmonious interface. That’s all. Nothing more.

So obviously, in my present distress, that is where I must go. But it’s a bit too late for that.

I look for a place to run, the plate to touch so I can yell, “Home Free”, but I can’t find it. Like some old ball diamond, fallen into disuse, the home-free-plate is covered with leaves and turf and can no longer be found.

Yeh, it’s really a bit of a shake-up when there is no place of true comfort where one can run to and skid in there yelling, “I’m Home Free!”

Of course I no longer have a therapist, and it’s bloody ridiculous that I should be whining about this so long after the fact. But this whole rant has been a rigorous spiritual exercise that has been comforting.

Proof of the worth of self-reflection. It has softened the rawness. Eased the pain. And although I’m not “Home Free” …— going back to the analogy of softball, I’m not in a hot box between second and third either.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Home Free! - part III

"Tattle-Tale! Tattle-Tale! Hanging on a bull's tail..."

And so, when I was a small child, telling on the perpetrator was what comforted a dismayed spirit. Particularly because I was the child, that wanted to do the caring and admirable thing.

I did nothing to become this wanna-be-good, self-sacrificing individual. I did nothing for the care and grooming of it. Rather, it came upon me insidiously (something modern society will most certainly fail to understand), through a religious upbringing that made the worth of a righteous character so much greater than my competitive spirit.

And fortunately or unfortunately, depending on whether one is the aggressor or the aggressee, from a child perspective, it seemed to me that God wanted most of all, remorseful and truthful confessions from evildoers.

And if they were not willing to do that, I was. And of course, all my tattle-taling was wholly and holy truth. I’m prett-ty sure.

And so, was it not like a ‘blessing’ for me to bring evildoers, through my well-articulated, third-person confessionals-on-their-behalf, into a state of guilty pondering? Perhaps even remission? Seemed like the righteous thing for me to do.

And so, I’ve said quite enough about tattles. Or have I?

Have I told you that because I was ‘a good little girl’, my parents and teachers were the backers of my tattles and so, as a result, it was rather serious when I told a sneering school-mate that I if they didn’t back off, I would tell on them?

Well your know now, and right about now, you’re probably saying that ‘this is the longest rant about tattle-tales that I have ever heard in one lifetime’.

Sorry about that, but you really must realize, if you haven’t already, that this kind of telling is at the very heart and nature of the DNA of a tattle-tale. The need to tell and tell and tell again.

But to bring this to a summation, ‘tis true, tattle-taling worked well for me in primary school but eventually that kind of juvenile reaction had to be discarded. And so with adolescence and eventually adult maturity, I moved on.

NEXT POST: Therapy and my oh-so-lovely Therapist

Friday, January 7, 2011

Home Free! (part II)

Now some might wonder why I continue this whine. In seems quite unnecessary in the midst of a modern and sophisticated world with the fullness of understanding how to have and maintain ruddiness of body, soul, and oh yes, spirit as well.

Don’t we just hear it all the time? That if we eat the right foods, drink the right amount of water, run the right number of miles per day, stretch before exercising, love ourselves, and take time for ourselves, our spirit will be right on the blue dot. Exactly where our spirit is supposed to be.

Excuse me, but that is a lie. Though my body feels better after this kind of ritual, my spirit does not. My spirit does not thrive on nutritious food and a quota of exercise, and furthermore, my spirit is not insulated from woe by any watershed effect of these disciplined physical routines.

And the difference between my physical body requirements, and my emotional spirit requirements, is this. My body thrives on healthy nutrients without junk food. My spirit thrives on harmonious environments without junk conflict.

Now I’m not going to tell too much. Dumping it all will have me watering down this keyboard to the extent it most certainly will short out and permanently crater. I can only tell you that I have been separated from a precious someone I love, not by fate, but by stupid stuff that I fail to understand.

And no it is not Hub. Hub is still here.

Now in my search for some kind of comforting heal, I have thought of past states of crisis that were heartbreaking and how I fared through those trying times.

It was great when I was a child. If anything or anyone was not harmonious in their dealings with me, what did I do? I told on them. I told my mom, or dad, or the teacher. That fixed them. (smugness here)

And so I’m telling. I’m telling the one, possibly two, readers of this rant. But I know and they know that tattle-taling isn’t going to help me one iota. And so, the quest begins to find a new and better soul-salve for the rawness of my spirit.

NEXT POST: The search for healing.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Home Free! - (part I)

You can’t describe this kind of Christmas. You can’t because there are no words to describe it.

Now I know my Old Dad used to say, and I’ve never forgotten it....”Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” And maybe feeling sorry for myself is what I’m doing, but how do I stop?

Truth is even long-standing addictions are easier to halt than emotions. Emotions are slithery and slippery things that can even crawl through blind-openings.

I mean…Think about it. There are other emotions that are not good, that should, and need to be stopped, but how do we fare with them? You can’t halt worry, or guilt, or regret, or sorrow.

And so, likewise, in an analysis of joy, can we neutralize joy so long as we remain in the midst of a joyful environment. Is it possible to say, “I’m not going to let myself feel good.” and succeed at that endeavor? Perhaps it can be done if one removes themselves from that joyful place and at the same time forces their mind to concentrate with hardened intensity on some negative situation as well.

But of course this is wholly speculative. There are no sample groups to study. So how can anyone know anything about the viscosity of joy or its dilution? Or the indices, weights, and balances of big joy, less joy, no joy, or slight joy?

Cause quite honestly, though the world be flooded with fools, what fool would ever attempt to eliminate joy when it pours down in a grandiose flood?

Now if I might deviate for just a moment, I remember when I was a child coming into my elder sister’s bedroom and discovering her sitting on her bed, her cheeks bathed in tears. I was shocked. Of course kids cry – they’re supposed to, aren’t they? But adults? What’s with that? When there are no visible signs of cuts or abrasions?

I asked her where it hurt and to this she replied.

“You won’t understand this now but someday you will. My feelings have been hurt and when feelings are hurt, it is way more painful than a bump on the head or a skinned knee.”

I thought that bloody stupid. If it don’t bleed, if it don’t smart, if it don’t need a band-aid, it don’t hurt.

Of course, I now know better. It was so solidly reaffirmed this Christmas.

NEXT POST: My sorrows diplomatically revealed.