9 Jul 2014, 2:30pm
Glad Game


It’s good to count your blessing while you can remember them. When the neural weather system reverses, they still may be unreachable as something with significance but they might glimmer.

A family reunion was fun. I like having something to do that is needed. So I was in charge of getting people to sign the attendance sheet and write their names on a slip for door prizes, and then going to find the people when they won who had scattered all over, in a circle playing music, or another playing badminton, or kicking a soccer ball,
or gone up to visit the neighbour’s cows, or down to the river to look for snakes, or gone for a walk around the pond, or sitting in the shade.

Got a chance to have a few words with a few. Lowering expectations to dribs and drabs that may accumulate or not, but being present for little bits.

Mom dropped another couple bags of things I left at her house when I moved out, including the best jeans ever. If I ever return to my 8-year-old frame, I would totally wear those red roadrunners again. Also, this:

I do not remember cutting the sleeves off a sweatshirt. Or writing this. Misspelling totally unintentional I’m sure. Did I wear it in public with that written on the back? The past is a mysterious country.

Five social events in 2 weeks. What butterflies we are. And after a sense of well-being. For Canada Day I thought I pulled a muscle in my face from smiling. I haven’t laughed that much in a long while.

Yesterday slow, mellow easy company. Sometimes it feels impossibly hard as such a long pattern and then this. Sometimes one gets the illusion that life might be easy. And/or funny.

Older Ladies by Donnalou Stevens has that wonderful balance of good humour and standing self-assessing as acceptable and self-assured. With 5 million views in a month, seems the world has been waiting for that message.

A time for refusing and reflecting putdowns, not silently shrugging off like that 14-year-old Carleigh. Determine one’s own terms of engagement.

And canning small joys. For almost a month I’ve been planning to try this. (The post at Eaten Up at noon tomorrow.)

It’s a hard sweet spot to hit to want something enough to do it and to not want something so much that it is paralyzing. Stage fright and performance anxiety aren’t just for conversation and presentation. Alone in the kitchen. Until it’s in the thick of it. Then there’s a breakthru in the doing. As with anything else.

To do something concrete. To saw off 4 limbs and have the backyard less overhung with leaves. I have a sap-lust. Is this how lumberjacks start? Or deserts? If only we could eat Manitoba Maple we’d never be able to go hungry.

Sometimes I feel darnright domestic without it seeming pejorative.

Imagine all the funny human tricks I can do — like lift a heady pot, or carry limbs again. Or lift laundry onto the line. Or carry a table. It’s been 14 months or so since I was that normal. Sometimes the shoulder aches if I lift too much for too long, or lie on it for too long, but it is largely normal.

A good normal of wanting the well-being for one another, asking after, the casual walk by with a touch on the back or arm. And the longer time off together, with an excuse of food.

IMG_1436 IMG_1483
The garden is growing. So are plans for the next. Maybe take out that tree, and put a fruit one. Or move such and such. Nice to see a bit of future instead of being in the smaller now.

What a profusion of flowers. Everything is blossoming. Except poetry. I’m writing at probably 1/10 or 1/20 of my normal rate but life in general is a creative outlet.

Sunny days of zig zag hopping all around the yard. I don’t know how we’ll explain winter to her. A rainy day is lament enough. Her ears back and meowing when it’s raining out not just the front door, but at the back door too. She adds an inordinate joy with her curiosity and innocence.

The good life must include watermelon in the shade.

And yesterday the sweetness of standing together under a roof in a white out of downpour, sheets of rain blowing down the water-covered river of a street. Cat at our feet. On other verandas along the street other people out watching the torrential rain. I ran out in it for the cold shock and at my squeak, the cat retreated closer to the door then as the rained eased came back to hunker between our ankles.

It’s rather nice that a being so independent could be anywhere and chooses there. I woke to her sleeping against my ankle. Hubby at the other side. Good way to ease into a day.

27 Jun 2014, 3:13pm
Glad Game
1 comment

Glad Game: Summertime

The weather is not trying to kill us. Moving inside to outside isn’t a shock.

Barefoot in grass. And in hammock.

How hard and intense reading sessions are completed by work of the body. I see why monks do practical gardening and so on. The mind processes better and the body is more complete with useful muscle work.

Since 2004, this is post 2001 at Humanyms.

The yard is taking shape. The new doors in the studio brighten the whole place.

I found all the missing hats. The mysteriously missing baseball caps fell to the back of the top shelf. Thanks to a chair, I saw them, and the missing scarf, the badminton rackets, the frisbee and 2 bottles of sun protection.

That brings our total house count to 7. 2 empty. 2 creams of 30 and 50 spf, of known location. These found. And one other spray bottle on the lam.

Homemade rhubarb juice and homemade lemonade.

It’s date day. Our take off and talk about nothing instrumental or practical while we eat somewhere for a couple hours. It’s a lovely tradition.

Fireflies. I was sure I’d never see them again since we left the countryside but here they found us in our very yard. All this and bat swoop too.

Bruce Taylor Workshop
The Bruce Taylor workshop closed the season with lots of food for thought on didactic poetry from the time of Socrates to present. None of which I’ll pass on here in the interests of going back outside among the sun and ferns.


take a thing, leave a thing box
The exchange boxes are back. Here’s the story behind the people of this round

Make yourself a good day,

23 May 2014, 9:02pm
Glad Game Thirteen Thursday

The Little Things

I’m too late for 13 Thursday. That being the case, why 13? Let’s see where it goes.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. The good stuff I mean. Like?

  1. Finding the book you want in particular at a particular moment even when it goes peek a boo on you.
  2. Progress in gardening. No pics yet. Take my word for it to hold ya over.
  3. And in sewing with the little helper,
  4. mushroom rain
    A good mushroom rain.
  5. Remembering to remove the marshmallows from the pocket before the washing machine.
  6. Western Creamery cream cheese and the best bagels in the city — Kettlemen’s.
  7. A visiting elder checking out the place,
  8. Realizing that I’m not super spy material; trying to release a book into the wild 3 people came after me saying “miss, miss, you forgot your book.”
  9. on the plus side people see books as valuable things no one would want to lose.
  10. These are days of hug low, kiss high. But I’m down to 1 ibuprofen a day, if that. The chest isn’t entirely normal and neither is the shoulder but I can do neat human tricks like move the arm from a brain command instead of moving it with the other arm against discomfort.
  11. That mom’s mammogram shadow was a shadow and nothing showed in the second.
  12. The humour of cat being called Honey while I am called Holly.
  13. Small blessings of quiet nuzzle and kiss on the forehead.
  14. Bonus: Glad also for the hours weeding and the Lee Valley nail brush.
18 Apr 2014, 11:44am
Glad Game
1 comment

Me and My Bookish Ways

In good news my new chapbook has arrived. Some poems go back 6 or 7 years waiting for a place to live. It’s good to have them in the page finally. When I get myself sorted I’ll scan the cover and add a way to buy it. Apart from at the launch May 15th.

That’s in under a month. Which in mid-life time is 3 blinks and a sleep.

And on the 23rd is the launch of Vertigoheel for the Dilly at Raw Sugar. Co-reading with Kevin Spenst and Sneha Madhaven-Reese.

One hour at a time Sweet Jesus…ah… yes, hubby is right. Religious songs do sound like curses.

Too much pleasure ceases to be a pleasure and is converted to a stress, so to schedule less pleasure becomes more of a pleasure.

Books wait. Emails wait. Lifetimes don’t wait. People and moments blink in and out of existence. I really expected my uncle to be around long, to talk with him.

  • Glad to get a lunch with a friend.
  • Glad to make time for a walk most days. Keeps the keel even.
  • Not so glad for the knee making a reflexive stretch and kicking the faucet but heel is thick enough to not bleed. And glad to live with someone who cares if I yelp.
  • Glad to not be bored in repeating old mistakes. An infinity of new mistakes to make.
  • Glad to make more steady pattern of meals. (Breakfast at 2pm and super at 2pm may be romantically continental and all but it also bears a resemblance to a sumo wrestler diet.)
  • Glad to share the bed with a cat even if she takes 2/3 real estate unless we nudge her back.
  • Glad that so far today gimpy hip hasn’t given any erratic jolts.
  • Glad to have a place where we can self-determine when we eat, sleep, cook, shower, work. A place where there is quiet and a place to go outside where the weather doesn’t try to kill us.
  • Glad to sleep solidly and to get to go to summery Paris in dreams.

read, write, sun
The Bluebird Effect. Great detailed stories from bird rehabilitation.

And notice the comic effect: a new whistling bird outside the window but I’m too busy typing to turn my head.

And so much backlog to blog. Rather daunting.

I have ramped up a to-list that if it weren’t digital might put my back out to hoist.

I need to still. Today’s date date with hubby. That should help decompress.

  • Glad, against all expectations of decades, to wake up again in the morning.
  • Glad to be able to call my brain on its game and when its haranguing me (the way I wouldn’t tolerate in another person) to tune it out and dismiss it. It’ll still be trying to derail whatever I do but I see its game instead of getting caught up in its false wolf urgencies. Sometimes it will catch my body and my heart races but progress. It is just an indicator not a mandate or manager.
  • Glad to have the sense to schedule time off and schedule time on so there’s life/work balance.
  • Glad to have a place to go where we get recognized and welcomed back.
  • Thank God for Kids so there’s magic for a while — how they turned a machine box and a lawn slope into a game and made a line taking turns sliding down their snowless hill
  • Glad to get to a reading that makes the rest of the world drop away and to be able to surf in the poetry. That’s the 3rd time this year which as a rate is exceptionally high. Once was during 2 Dope Boys at Versefest, once during Ottawa’s Messagio and this during Steve Artelle’s reading. It’s the state of suspending disbelief that I think people can enter for music and movies and novels that is so rare and elusive.
  • Glad to get to look forward to a chance to swim again.
  • Glad for those small snippets of seeing friends to tide over until a longer sit with
  • Glad for literacy and email to tide over to times when words aren’t needed
20 Feb 2014, 12:17am
Glad Game

Glad Game

Glad Game: To start with the obvious, bananas, the blessed herb. All other fruit may taste plastic and smell like wax but at least there’s banana.

Glad that there’s some food my body doesn’t reject. Choco-fruitarian may sound like a glamourous all-you-can eat fondue life, but is pretty limiting.

Glad I’m not getting the visceral wall at the sight, sound, taste, smell or idea of meat. It makes it easier to walk in the world.

And muscle relaxants. Walk, baths, stretches, music can go a distance but at times, what a wonderful invention.

Glad for them all, ibuprofen, antihistamine and knowing the migraine meds are there in the wings.

The understandingness of hubby who does not hup-hup, c’mon get up at me. Some nights it takes me hours to sleep and then I wake for an hour or two in the middle. By 8 a.m. I may only be towards hour 5.

Glad for the release and for things made.

Thankful that sometimes I can write like 6 hours flat out yesterday. No need to eat or pause, rapid edits and clarity in groove. The fishing about for something to care about as I read or write is all washed back onto shore like so much bleached deadwood.

Glad for the joie de vivre of the cwazy cat that seems to mistake herself for an anklet that play-bites my feet.

Blessed are those who retweet or favourite on twitter so there’s an indication of saying something of interest.

Thankful for those who reply to emails with any length.

Glad that mom is gradually remembering that phoning after 10 a.m. is almost infinitely better than before 7 a.m. even if both seem like nearly afternoon to her.

Feeling blessed by people who are willing to read what I write and say I hear you.

Thankful for Wally Keeler and his uploads of videos of people hearing poetry on the street of Cobourg.

Glad for fresh safe water to drink.

Glad to anticipate chapbooks coming in the mail.

Glad for chapbooks received and such a richness of creativity.

Glad that rob mclennan can make so many ephemeral events and chapbooks and connect people.

Glad to see Versefest coming in 5 weeks.

Glad to have people who love me even when I seem to be bottomlessly futile,

  • such as carrying the bag for photo walk, bring the lens but not camera body,
  • such as sending the address to pick me up at but dyslexically flipping the numbers,
  • such as finally nailing the pre-recorded segment of 2 Things I’m Reading This Week, but the mic was not switched on,
  • such as setting out the clothes for the morning but it rarely matching the number of appendages I have (2 pants, no shirt, or 1 pants, 1 shirt but 3 pairs of socks or half a pair, etc ad nauseum)
  • such as stammering and umming and mumbling and pretending that silence or omission can speak on my behalf
  • etc

Glad I can still have time to learn, improve and accept.

Glad my self-talk is better and that I can recognize that there’s a noisy head roar of criticism that doesn’t make sense to oppose point by point. Let it wash.

Glad to get to a place where there are feelings and there is body and there is intellect and they aren’t at war or all shut out. There is a working peace in the kingdom most of the time.

Glad to get the bathtub cleaned. If the shoulds are monkeys on the back, a bathtub’s one heavy monkey.

Glad to get an excuse to use the paper cutter.

Glad the cat thinks I’m much more interesting when I cut paper into small squares than when I stare and move ideas around. Maybe she’s right.

Glad to get to share people and ideas that I think should be shared on the radio show.

Glad to find a bit of information that someone mentioned looking for and passing it on. Being an information clearing house always feels more useful.

Glad to have used up most of the food so I could clean out the fridge. Glad to get more food to restock because frozen mixed veggies is pretty dire.

Glad to be moving outdoors in the snow where there are no people and no gender count of what is said or not said by who.

Sorry to be in such an apocalyptic urban space with so few species visible and people hating what is here. But glad I can get away to wilder areas to breathe and restore.

Glad for the support of hubby and glad to work in symbiosis with him to make a small world where compassion, harmony and making each self better matter.

Glad to have access to computers and ability to use them for words, for images, for ideas, for people.

Glad for free flowing times that makes blocked times worth waiting out.

Glad for heavy sleep and sweet dreams, and visitations by grandmother and all past groups of people and places in life integrated.

Glad for being able to expect good in tomorrow.

Double Quote: “Give what you have to somebody, it may be better than you think.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and

“Is life too short to be taking shit, or is lie too short to be minding it?” ~ Violet Weingarten

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