The connection for the lights must be reconnected each time. Usually about dusk, which is slightly later each evening I go from the living room to the small den and connect the lights so that any passerby in my neighbourhood can see the fairy lights festooning two large artificial, salvaged wedding trees The choice of lights vary from ordinary illumination to varying speeds of twinkle. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a pleasant speed of twinkle but often I am not. Tonight only one set of lights is on in the living room and it is so late now that my usual friendly neighbours are home with doors locked. The curtain is pulled to show the fairy light though, just in case there is a random person walking by with their dog or perhaps a soul or two might be out watching the changes in the moonlight sky. When the deer go through the yard at night maybe they look at my lights in the window and wonder how the stars got inside the house. My elderly cat likes the tiny lights on in the living room. She perches close by on the back of the couch and looks directly into the lights as they shine through the darkness and reflect against the window. She watches the deer go by and any other night creature that likes to venture around the village. It has finally rained enough to cool down the steam of the summer heat but there is a heavy warmth lingering in the night air. Many garden plants have scorched leaves and some have collapsed. Some plants have survived and carry on . At this point I am sad to see the end of the garden but indifferent almost to the fate. We tried our best both plants and I but there comes a time to be overwhelmed and give in. It has been a hot couple of months with the fans on full time in the house. The small air conditioner has made it’s noise so deafening that it has altered my routine. I avoid going into the den to read or watch television as the roar of the air conditioner , necessary to the comfort of my home is just too much for my sensitive nature to tolerate. Tonight it is turned off, the house is quiet except for the low sped hum of the fan directed at me in the darkened living room. It is too dark to read a book or write any letters that I still send off once a month. Those letters are another story. Tonight the fairy lights are on, the house lamps are off, not flickering, the curtain is open just enough to share the steady small stars and let them bounce back off the glass and no one knows if the deer is watching the elderly cat glaring back at him.
Category Archives: allegories and parodies
It’s that time of night that I prefer for my writing exercise. It is very late, dark and quiet. Nothing is going on outside that has anything to do with me . I’ve spent the day again. There is no time left for any duty or errand or guilt. This is the time of night, crack of the new day that I seem comfortable with my pouring of words onto some surface.
Late to computer skills I prefer the use of a three ring binder, fluid black pen and a notepad for fly by ideas. I prefer to keep this all in an printed orange Bahamas cloth bag, slung either on my shoulder or tossed in preparation in the backseat of the car. The only trouble is that it is now often left there, forgotten in the backseat.
The actual use of this blog and it’s technical aspects has started to fade from my experience as well. Desperate times require desperate action.
This past week I went to a book event and this week I plan to visit with some local writers. Just doing those two things seems to have injected some enthusiasm back into my writing attempts.
It seems to be the stress of having to type rather than physically write that annoys me at the moment.
Here in the darkened house I have only the one light on in the corner of the living room and it casts a gentle nursery glow. In front of me now is the clinical office glare of the computer screen. I find it intimidating and yet the features of computer writing are useful for editing and review or should that be review and editing.
All of it is an excuse for not doing the work. When I was about eighteen I wanted to study to be a journalist and also write novels. That didn’t happen. What happened instead was tragedy, graduation, bereavement, marriage, university studies, family issues, loss, more work, teaching, having a baby, weight issues, divorce, raising a child,more tragedy, more work , non stop teaching, more studies, bills, repairs, friends, loss, another bereavement ,health changes, responsibilities, exhaustion, fatigue, retirement and then sitting on the yard swing, reflecting back as far as possible.
The step of starting this blog about eight years ago was the crack of the night that I needed. It started some writing and endured for a good run. It ran itself out and then went away exhausted again but not to die.
The writing notebook, the note pad and the fluid pen are mostly still in the backseat but have recently shifted around. Sometimes the notepad is stuffed into a purse and used at a whim. The notebook is flipped through occasionally. New black fluid pens were recently purchased and one has leaked rather badly into the lining of my purse.
At the book talk this past week I made some notes while being scathingly critical of the speakers( internally in my head) and making abrupt (thankfully silent) judgement calls on their work which I knew nothing about. At the end of the book talk I left in a hurry to avoid making eye contact with these speakers who were actually writing and publishing their work. However, at the exit I turned and spoke to one writer and expressed thanks for her contribution to the evening. Wasn’t that big of me?
A few evenings ago, during the wee hours of the night I did a tiny piece as a homework assignment for my pending visit to the local writers group. I’ve received several welcoming emails from one of the members and read the upcoming agenda for our meeting. Tonight at the crack of midnight I have considered the universality of writing (another point for discussion at the upcoming meeting) and found myself stumped.
My only thought about this universality point was that I have reached some readers around the world with my blog posts and usually had the most positive reaction from my poetry. Yet, this isn’t a poem. It is nothing more than an essay (of sorts) on finding that collapsed writing than ran frightened into the woods somewhere and nurturing it again with enough jazz to give it the will to live. All of this. timed from the crack of midnight to 12:38 am. ,not including review and editing.
Oddly, whenever Wizzy ( an owl, if you haven’t been reading her old adventure stories) ventured out of her hideout in the boreal forest something always happened to startle her and she flew back to her favourite old branch.
She had hidden from the chaos for a couple years of several confusing seasons due to her vulnerable and sensitive nature. The final straw of weird and reckless nonsense surging through the little blue button in her nest riled her up however and brought her back to the border between the Land of Pinecones and Maple Vistas and The Land of the Right and the Left.
It was time to dive in and try to straighten things out once and for all. The survival of bird values was at stake. More than her feathers were ruffled. Wizzy felt inspiration for protest welling up in her craw and it was time to sing out, loud and clear once more!
Where to begin?
The situation was dire!
Everyone was in a flap!
Baby birds in cages, separated from their parental flocks and ….no reason, no plan or solution in sight for restoring things to the natural order of give and take, live and let live or don’t be a bird brained fool if you can help it. What a mess!
Apparently advised by a few cuckoo birds who were of questionable pedigree and enforced by pterodactyl wannabe’s the attack seemed focused entirely on the exotic southern song birds seeking refuge by migrating from terror and destruction from deranged and violent gangs of vultures straight out of a Hitchcock movie.
After a long and difficult journey, expecting only a chance for rest and possibly acceptance,as other tattered and torn birds in the past had hoped for and flocked to these shores and lands, the songbirds had a terrible experience of detention, rejection and separation from their young. Identification slip ups galore ensued and you know what hit the fan, big time!
Wizzy flew directly to The Roost on The Hill searching for Old Samuel the Eagle but he unfortunately was gone and wouldn’t be barack (unsure of spelling here) and was somehow replaced by a huge stiff looking Leghorn with small claws scratching around in the dust and raising a twittering ruckus to beat the band.
Surrounding this old bird was a tired gaggle of geese, hissing and spitting in frustration and threatening to quit and take off at any moment. Looming overhead was a very sneaky falcon, surveying the damage with elaborate swoops and smirking into his well preened wings.
Oddly enough there seemed to be dens of foxes everywhere on the grounds as well, mostly muttering to themselves and whispering updates into the Leghorn’s ear frequently, just adding to the general uproar and confusion.
Fortunately for all, the Fearless Birds of Intelligence were quietly on the case and almost ready to send out their pecking order of charges to expose the whole darn thing and set the record straight on the scrambled mess of rotten and cracked shell games afoot.
Wizzy returned home, back to the Land of Pinecones and Maple Vistas, protest singing loudly and flapping wings of strong support in hopes of encouraging the terrified fledglings and heart broken and confused flocks of adult jailed birds.
What else could she do?
Well, she would turn on that blue button to keep abreast of the daily squawks and keep her beady eyes on the situation for starters.
Wizzy, the owl was a Canadian bird after all. She would politely and respectfully protest the situation for the sake of the downtrodden and of course not let anyone push her around.
The idea of a labyrinth was discussed a few weeks ago at my church during an informal service in the Sunday School room. We had coffee, activities, games and a discussion, Afterwards, we had lunch. There was a Biblical reference to being guided to understanding in the worship part of the gathering.
One of my soulful neighbours often walks a labyrinth on her outings to the university and another ambitious one is hoping to create one in her garden. I have instead experienced a form of labryinth on my country drives, searching for inspiration and motivation for my writing.
I noticed the sameness of my path and that the circuit chosen was repetitive. Often it seemed I ended up where I began.
As a writer I am a gardener, going here and there, digging at things, ignoring some monumental tasks, pulling a few weeds along the way and scattering some seeds of ideas and hoping for the best. With the seasons, my writing changes and I don’t quite know what will root and grow and what will dry up and wither away. Usually, I end up wondering ,what on earth do I want to say?
Slightly changing the path and broadening the scope of my travels still well within local communities I have encountered new people and struck up conversations about a range of things. Connections with past experiences and familiar names and places came up. Sometimes new notions and sensations stirred the day and shook things enough that I felt I could write freely about my observations.
Landscapes of small rural villages have opened up into more complex backstreets and hideaway spots. Large swooping connections of country roads revealed some flat farmland giving way to rolling hills and valleys. Houses of all descriptions and rural business endeavours have suggested the thousands of stories of hopes and dreams available to a perceptive writer. However, bulldozers and construction crews were sometimes found inconveniently ripping up sidewalks and main streets discouraging my path in going any further off the beaten path. Dark storm clouds overhead reinforced the merit of turning around and navigating along familiar roads. The labyrinth had enlarged itself but directed me home once more, back to safety.
Signage along the way home sought to encourage the wayward traveller to take advantage of what was offered. Two handmade signs, along the same village roadway were of special note. One sign outside a rural antique store said” We Have It All” and just around the bend another sign read “Jesus Lives! Roosters and Bunnies”. Both signs made me smile. I didn’t stop at either place although I did slow down and consider their messages. They are probably of no use to me whatsoever, but I will plant these ideas somewhere, wait and see.
A long time ago, in this land of sandy soil, evergreen trees and old houses, I started to write some posts. Stories began to appear sprouted from little word gardens scratched into the keyboard. Sometimes poetry surfaced, usually with a reflective tone, sometimes with a satirical voice and occasionally with a slight edge of humour.
Life at that time carried on quietly and some attention given to my writing was most appreciated. With the passing of time I wrote a little less and then stopped. Blow sand covered my work.
The land of sandy soil, evergreen trees and old houses remained the same and quietly waited. Wet winters and hot humid summers, fast windy springs and stunningly golden short fall days swept by. Snow fell once for days and days and days.
Slowly seized and creaking passages of time lengthened my reading and I found it challenging to find the right book to fill my escape. Searching for the right book to inspire, uplift and relax with proved to be an all encompassing goal and yet it was never really found.
Oddly enough, a lover of books, a devoted reader, a timid writer and an occasional speaker I found myself tossing aside some very well thought of books and not feeling the inclination to finish the work in front of me.
With a weariness in mind and body surging into atrophy fortunately some small and sustained healthy efforts took hold and gave me a good shake. Further details here are not necessary and perhaps just as well kept to myself as that is a long standing family trait.
Something that can be shared is the renewed search for the perfect book, a sudden burst of interest in creating something visual which could be considered spontaneous joy art, continuing the quest for the perfect quirky coffee shop, settling down to a quiet journalling time, dignified writing and living life in an artful and kind way ,another long standing family tradition.
I missed you.
The book is well written and poetic but it doesn’t appeal to me. I will finish reading it because it is for book club. It is the kind of book I have to take to my reading hideout in the market parking lot and finish as I eat an oversize sandwich on whole wheat with choice of pickle, celery or carrots and drink dark roast coffee. I can’t read this book at home.More to the truth, I won’t read it at home. The afternoon sun will fade. Grey nothing best described as late afternoon surrounds the car and I drive home. It is the way this book is tolerated. In a few days there will be a meeting and we will have a good time as usual for this is the book that has brought us together. A well written, poetic book,complicated and thoughtfully done, it has merit. Historical, educational, sensitive and bluntly graphic with images of sunlight on the feathers of geese and the flight of a terrified child falling into defective net,a flag held by other children,breaking both arms and no one coming to help. It has become a chore and most likely worth finishing to get the full benefit. My book, which I’ve never written glints in the moonlight. No geese.
Not the way to go home but in the immediate vicinity
a dark moody time
sometimes a brighter sunshine filled afternoon
the lane to take in
being at home again
among the ancient
trees and tangles of undergrowth and weedy growth
just to feel the air
and hear it
through my mind and soul
to the very quick finish of the lane
along the hardened surface that takes me suddenly back to even a safer spot
sometimes I just need
as the dusk gathers
once more around
the older part of the world
the ceiling fan and the surprising chill
the night caused me to wrap up in the summer quilt
me off guard
my dream worked
seeing someone surprised at me being in their house
checking on things and scaring them no doubt by hearing my footsteps
at their front door
shocked at what was
and then only a few moments to make the morning coffee and see the neighbour
before finding out the news
yet again about the crazy
that happen oddly
a form of shock
had the impact of overwhelming
and a need to either go back to sleep or find a place with flowers and trees where some beauty remains
Such along time has passed since my last post. Why has the title appeared so bold faced when typed? I no longer know the features on this blog site so everything is new again.
Hot chocolate, made from a dark chocolate bar and hot milk( don’t try it) at hand and very late at night I settle into the chair , aching from an old church parking lot injury ( (don’t ask) and therefore suffering a bit for my art I decide it is now or never. I must write. Fighting off the cat from the laptop and from sticking her nose into the hot chocolate ( I’ll use milk chocolate next time) I make this feeble effort to at least open up the writing part of my quiet existence once more. I know I can do this.
It is the will that has somewhat atrophied almost to the point of disuse.
Folks in general have noticed my absence from writing. Comments, blunt and discreet are often made. The greeter at church one day mentioned it to a visiting minister. The coffeeshop staff have cleared a spot for me and reminded me of their hours of business, gently suggesting I should return to my table of soup, sandwich coffee and journal writing, people watching and listening in on conversations. Family send updates to writing events. Hints drop, suggestions are made, jabs here and there.
Even the winter creature that lives somewhere along the exterior wall under the radiator behind my desk has rattled on a bit with encouragement for me to return to my swivel chair, laptop and late hours. Mr. Mole or Miss Mouse or possibly worse nibbles and scratches a bit as I type keeping me alert. Nothing more arouses the will to write than the prospect of having this wee soft creature zip across my foot. It is like having a snake loose in a dark bedroom and being too petrified to confront it so the imagination must cope.
Topics to write about are overwhelming and yet some appeal to me. Reading, writing, poetry, music, theatre, family, cooking, gardening, teaching, pets are my comforting favourites. My own stories are on the surface, bubbling, waiting to be stirred. World issues, problems and general chaos are too much for me, yet provoke thoughts and disturbing dreams. Am I reluctant to write of these things because of what they are or am I afraid that I will write?
Cat has jumped over the screen once more, the mug of wretched chocolate has been drained, the small creature behind the wall is quiet once more. The will to write has stretched a little ignoring the ache.
Deep down there is a belief that a profession in vulnerability would have been the right choice and I could have been a contender. It all bubbles up and down ,still there but all along but no one, including myself seemed to really notice or take it seriously because there were gaps of knowledge and confidence.
So wandering off led to a very long road which with all the right turns and defeating disappointments led to here and there and now a stopping place where there are so many thoughts and dreams and memories and gaps in those memories that is almost funny.
Despite the loss of some of the unwritten songs that should have been belted out and too little and too late training in something poetic like a profession in vulnerability that would have been exciting, I managed.
Yet no regrets because it all happened in a different parallel with all the fun and meaning still intact and it left me at the end of the time used up and battered about but glad enough and relieved there was just enough of me left to have the time to take each shattered piece and give it a turn in the sun and then shade and hide a bit of it in the dark and try to find something to say that matters in a time of strange human tragedy and confusion.