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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Word Games

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Tonight the back cover of the novel on our kitchen table reads, ‘One story written by twenty-six top authors’.  What a novel idea. Oh, isn’t English impossible, the same word with two completely different meanings? How would they do that; a chapter each or do they finish each other’s sentences or maybe there is actually twenty-six characters, all writing with their own voice? Don’t ask me, I haven’t even turned the book over to reveal the title; you will have to live in suspense.

Bill Bissett, a Canadian poet writes words as they sound.  New Canadians find his writing a good resource to the learning of a new language because of this.  My first introduction to his work was Nobody owns th earth, published in 1971 by Coach House Press.  Now if spelling words by their sound is called phonetically shoot me.

The Studio Tour weekend went swimmingly although the lake is yet to cold for that.

Here are a few messages left on my magnetic poetry board.

magnetic poetry

What words people left behind

What words people left behind

What words people left behind

It is always interesting hearing authors read their work, the cadence helps explain the texture of the writing. But Bill Bissett is a revelation. It isn’t so much a reading as a performance piece, concrete poetry, and as lyricist and vocalist for the band the Luddites he really was poetry in motion. The running narrative of his very monotone work was infused with a rhythm that had me dancing. His physical presence, the way his body moved in the reciting of his poems was integral to the appreciation of the whole performance.

I was a young fifteen when I first encountered his poetry. A bunch of us went to Toronto to stay with a friend’s Uncle and his friend. We were so young and they were so kind and the learning curve of alternative life styles steep. A weekend I remember with great fondness. Special oh so special, did I just re-write a song?

So, how did I land up with a book of his poetry? We skated at the Civic Centre Square, it was December after all, and the train so crowded we sat on our suitcases in the isle. But where did I buy that book? I think we actually went to the Coach House Press, which was then a small publishing company that was an old coaching house. So, not quite straw strewn floors but the building was timber, the lighting primitive, the ambiance inspiring.

Silence makes Shadows

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My Grandmother’s lap was as big as the world when I was an infant, and the centre of the universe. The memory is a darkened room as both I and my brother had measles, so the light was simply from the Christmas tree, a false memory perhaps.  In a later memory she was an Amazon, a giant mountain to be scaled.

When the local bus quit their daily run down our bit of highway I got a driver’s licence so that we could continue to visit, she was in her 80’s by then.

Loss is one of the things we never get used to.

The floor here has changed. It is way far away. All of a sudden, no longer having dogs, the middle ground has gone missing. I miss-step all the time. The frame of reference vanished.

The idea that we get over loss, that there is a process to closure, to use the current word, is for me untrue.

You don’t get over, find closure or recuperate from the loss of those you love. Simply, you move on and try to take those memories with you.

earth bound

earth bound

The 30 x 30 Challenge

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Apparently we are so out of door deprived the David Suzuki Foundation has challenged us to spend 30 minutes for 30 days in nature in the out of doors. Who knew that most of us spend 9.5 hours a day sitting down or that our children spend 6 minutes a day entertaining themselves in outdoor play and 6 hours a day being entertained indoors by some type or other of an electronic device? 1)

Families and mothers, found object constructions with the setting sun.

Families and mothers, found object constructions with the setting sun.

In our house when I was growing up Sunday was family day. We all went for a walk in the woods to see how the world had changed since the last visit. It was a day where grandparents taught us the names of the season, Spring which heralded new growth was May Apple, Dog Tooth Violet, Jack-in-the-pulpit, wild asparagus, Summer which was abundance;  puff balls, morels, wild garlic, beech, raspberry, elderberry, Fall where the colour red was paramount;  sumac, poison ivy, Virginia creeper, bladder wort, bittersweet.

The names are as lovely as any poem and made memories lasting.

I didn’t really forget winter, but it was mostly white. Snow ; snowball kind of snow, or snow hut snow, or face stinging snow, icy snow, wet snow, lots of snow, and ice, good for skating on the flooded fields, which I learnt how to do by pushing a kitchen chair in front of me for balance.

1) I didn’t really think I had heard that  right, so I went on the CBC website to listen to the interview again, and was surprised that I did get it right. whether the statistics are is any body’s guess. David Suzuki is an environmentalist, with a huge international reputation, so …

Life Is

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sculpture garden in Iceland before the sculpture was installed.

sculpture garden in Iceland before the sculptures were installed, rain soaked made the idea of additions superfluous.

 ‘ Since we live where everything is music, everything is dancing. Watch the dust grains moving in the light near the window. Their dance is our dance. We rarely hear the inward music, but we’re all dancing to it nevertheless. ‘ 
– Rumi

I guess that should be enough said, and beautifully. It certainly takes my mind off thinking that dust motes are an actual blight on the house keepers skills. I talked to friends tonight, they are doing major renovations in their new abode, and they said we tell our friends to keep their shoes on, as they are in the process of replacing the floors. I laughed and said we always tell our friends to keep their shoes on because I don’t actually do floors. Isn’t it fun to be able to change the world by shifting your perspective of it?