30 Dec 2013, 11:13pm
Comments Off on A Look Back

A Look Back

reading sandra beck
An old Selfie of reading John Lavery, who liked this photo very much. His birthday would have been tomorrow.

Also among photos that got hits today on Flickr, one from 2007:

I'd give my eyeteeth for
I’d give my eyeteeth for…

Yes, I kept them.

I’m not sure where they are after the last move, but somewhere in the house.

Do I have an irrational fear of losing such body parts? Must I gather the body parts that fall off? Maybe sentiment could be applied to better use. I can’t scrape back every bit of skin cell but eyeteeth, sure. But books I can sometimes get another copy of…

flower book
There’s no duplicate of a book I made to amuse myself, then updated at a couple later times in childhood. Any speculation on my nested houses?

And is it time again to mark the pages, or should I take an art course first and make a skilled-drawn garden first so I can impress myself at 60 when the skills erodes back from before they came?

[Hallelujah, I don’t have to embed in iframes. I can go back to the old default at Flickr. Which is particularly good since scaling images in WordPress is eluding me. Think I got it. I swear I was ahead of the curve with computers in 1992 and have been falling further behind into its wake for the last few years.]

It’s been a glorious few days finding our way to coupledom, solitudes, pottering, work, all the balancing things that holidays are so good at depriving us of. Wonderful to inhale some books, play with the impossibly soft and silly cat.

I suppose it’s the time of the year to reflect on this year only but for lists of favourite books in the year, they wouldn’t necessarily be from this year. I tend to be a year or few behind the front list. Although spring 2013 seems years ago already, a look back at only this year is kind of like looking back at your own shoulder instead of past it.

Even among books I’ve read over the last couple months, I’d be remiss not to mention near the top: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself, by Harriet Ann Jacobs, 1813-1897, and The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare by G. K. Chesterton (1908). I’d like to run my eyes over titles back to a year ago and see what pops out. But not tonight. I’ve got some sleep that needs doing and only I can do it.

Until we see one another next, or first, as Lisa Bonchek Adams tweeted:

And humour, and wisdom, and insight and a good dose of neutral. Can’t let a day pass without a good portion of that. It’s nutritive, it is.

Quote: “I know it’s Rossetti! I love poetry, just not in the station. We’re here to either get on trains, get off them or work in different shops. Is that clear?” ~ Inspector Gustav in Hugo

24 Dec 2013, 10:39pm

So this is Xmas

The niece and nephew playing a memory game.

Their kitten bought a gift for a our kitty. Oops, we, er, she, didn’t reciprocate.

It hold some interest with it being batted about.

Countdown: We’re narrowing in on the 24 hours where Christmas carols are okay, provided they are a cappella.

A refrain going through the holidays is “this is all they will ever be”. Never a in-depth conversation, never the whole casual endless evenings with people from my childhood. No returns. It blunts disappointment and expectation. Flat isn’t always bad.

Do you suppose I’ll cure myself of desire for sugar by having xmas sweets for this many weeks? And another Yule log to go tomorrow, and cookies, and cheesecake, and pie. And somewhere in around there tofurkey and veggies and lentil loaf. And a pile of presents that looks rather obscene.

12 Plankton for Christmas. Preeeetty.

But soon it’s not-Christmas.

Towards return to normal life, this: Oddly, according to the dialect quiz I most closely match English speakers of Spokane, Washington, where I’ve never been. I’m least like the bottom 1/3 of the U.S. which I suppose makes sense, being geographically furthest in a way. But then, New England matches poorly too. Huh.

Quote: “Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” ~ Les Brown at QB

15 Dec 2013, 2:55pm

And Don’t Fall on your (Egg)noggin’

Is it possible I won’t blog here again until after Christmas. Just In Case, Christmas, Christmas to you.

*coughcoughcough* It’s a wonder those lungs don’t pop right out, isn’t it? Well tethered. Or else just bottlenecked by the trachea. That must be it.

Quote: “Like Midas, the Rationalist is always in the unfortunate position of not being able to touch anything, without transforming it into an abstraction; he can never get a square meal of experience.” — Michael Oakeshott (1901-1990) [via BooksInq

11 Dec 2013, 1:16pm
Comments Off on There’s no Dull in Doldrums

There’s no Dull in Doldrums

I guess we all have to do time being the people we don’t want to be. Wait out the irritation.

Good things come.

And what would also happen invariably adds splinters.

For example, my knuckle is now purpling around where I pinched it in the slide bolt lock. It doesn’t hurt but looks miserable.

I would be a pacifist down to the relevant level of heart — but then aren’t we all good at heart and patient so long as untested — were it not for the Christmas tune mandate punching into every public space. Pop music is bad enough but the rotation rate of carols is worse.

Oy. Reading Henry James is ruining my sentence structure.

What to do. Colleen pointed out lessons from Conscious Loving: From Co-dependency to Co-commitment

– By holding the peripheral muscles of the body in a state of chronic tightness, we block the flow of information that we could be getting from deeper inside us.

– You will be surprised that when you allow yourself to feel a given feeling, it usually does not last that long. Repress it or interrupt yourself in the middle of it, and it will usually last much longer.

Admitting things can become a risk of story-making, self-making, distorting identity and future acts, a form of cling presuming past thoughts have constancy or relevancy instead of a thing to just drop and keep moving. I know I’m in a distortion field. Cling-nature wants to keep it. Life-force wants to sigh and ignore the grump in the corner. Grump sez,

I have such dread at busses because of the rodeo drivers who make sudden braking and starting off as if startled each time as my hips, knees and back are yanked about as if under the enthusiastic but incompetent hands of I-read-wipipedia-about-this-masseuse.

1 driver was smooth out of 6 this week. I could walk. Have. I’d rather not walk where cars may veer into me, or at intersections watch only for other cars and bump forward not noticing me standing right in front of fender going at a walk signal. Seeing a human as road kill in his own blood pool. The twisted form did not help my sense of safety as pedestrian. I watched for him in the news. He never appeared that I saw. I appreciate rides but I’d rather not be in a car either.

I could go on. Like the whine as music of the spheres, the base note of the cosmos as melancholy.

But then, who would that list be good for? What is worse than someone writing about disinterest, disgust, boredom or trivial things, except possibly to read about it.

I thought of making a list of things that don’t matter and see how long I could write under the frame of dismissing my own perceptions as trivial under the grand scheme.

I could work up a sweat of enthusiasm if I persisted in a subject. Maybe add to the pile-on of paying attention to Mandela with that mayfly attention span of current events?

Behind the digital curtain I start posts, in my head or text, then decide they aren’t worth saying.

As Lesley Strutt said in last night work shop is we use the perspective of removing what is unnecessary — rather than the one of appreciating what works and why and assume it is for knowledgeable purpose — soon all would be deleted.

Is it the line that matters, or the procedure?

As Rosemary said,

I do my ‘small stone’ dutifully each day, mindfully looking outside myself. It works up to a point, to take me out of myself

Here is something that matters. I don’t know what to do with it, but *point*. An Irish setter does as much. (Which is aspiration to be as good as a dog, not a lowering of people.)


When full of sugar and chocolate I’m crisp and clear, life is easy and amusing. All things are manageable under the security blanket of sweet. Or when I’m with favourite people, fully exercised, well-nutiented, hydrated and doing something useful.

Until I go all nervous. From sugar or from over-stimulus. My body runs thru its resources too fast. I’m irritable then wingy and blurred.

Then I crash. Sleep. Except that eludes. Involuntary leg jerking though the night. C’mon body, work with me.

And who is that all good for?

Much I could do and say. How to get the log out of my own eye to do so? Moderation. Where’d I file that? Did the cat knock it off the desk with the books and headphones?

Wait for the good is to cramp chances. Watch for the neutral, the possible. To oblige oneself to be upbeat is an out of time racket. Let be. Stop shoving. To oblige oneself to align with the negative might propel neutral-ward. Or not. So be it.

Linky-Links: Got a sweater that has worn thin in the elbows? Make it into slipper boots.

From the same folks, for the new year, consider balance and compassion and where its not. Time to cut off toxic friendships or let it meh away?

While I was thinking about it someone was already invented bedding with a trough for the breasts.

The Santa Brand Guidelines

From elsewhere, art is not your tools, but your vision.

Quote: “The main thing is to write for the joy of it. Cultivate a work-lust that imagines its haven like your hands at night, dreaming the sun in the sunspot of a breast. You are fasted now, light-headed, dangerous. Take off from here. And don’t be so earnest.” – Seamus Heaney

6 Dec 2013, 6:45pm
Ottawa Photos

On Walkabout

Cube Gallery's winter window
Cube Gallery has a bit of a surreal scene with a fiery snow hill and meteor both en route and arrived at the house roof. Santa is parachuting in. Just out of shot is that one of the snowmen is carrying a hatchet.

Also seen around town: A man paused to look in the florist window. His dog looked around and saw sticks, bushes and plants and lifted a leg. Man noticed and hastened dog away in time. Well done, dog owners. You’re the hero the florist will never know crossed its threshold.

Did you know on Tuesdays Ottawa’s CKCU has a radio show Welcome to My World radio Show with hosts and guests that are disabled? (That’s a video story on it.) It’s podcasts are here.

Did I mention here the couple who fell in love over chocolate, then created Cylie Chocolatier on Dalhousie. Great story of them at CBC.

I updated the CKCU links to LitLand shows here including the animated interview with Marco Fraticelli.

Quote: “Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.” ― David McCullough

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