Wednesday, February 21, 2018

a river runs through it....

I stand and watch the water sweep by through the melting landscape of ice and snow. Joyous, fierce and determined, the once placid creek, swollen with rain which weeps from a grey sky and snow melt from double digit temperatures leaps and bounds and fiercely climbs the banks of its erstwhile prison, triumphant in its heady freedom.

I sit,sipping coffee (nectar of life) and contemplate the realities of aging.  On the floor above, my mother lies sleeping, dazed and exhausted with the after-effects of pneumonia and industrial strength antibiotics.  

I have always said, from a young age,that old age will not capture me nor bind me with its cloying breath, that the inevitability of the body's slow but insidious decline into sore limbs, faltering steps, eyes blurred and hearing dimmed will not be my lot. Old of course being a relative concept, one you deem clear and hard and delineated when your limbs are young, your heart strong; a concept that change and mutates and resolves itself into a confusing array of ill-met goals as you travel the wavering thread of life granted you by the Moirae... as they sit weaving in their far away eyries,watching with immutable gaze the fate of the frantic creatures we call humankind.'

It takes great courage, I think, to keep walking, to keep to the path, putting one foot in front of the other.  Knowing in the dark recess of restless nights that perhaps the dreams of youth and belief in self are simple static in a sleeping mind and that the soft tendrils of dreams soon disappear when the cold light of day creeps in and dissipates the last clinging tendrils of belief in achievement.

Harshest to contemplate is the possibility that what you have lived is the sum of what you will ever live, that the achievements you've had to this sad point in your life is the total of what you will have wrung from this desperate existence.  I think of myself in my early 20s, strong limbs, ambitious and fierce, with vistas to conquer and mountains to climb and wonder.....

Friday, February 9, 2018

Cold beauty....

I love autumn.. most people would concur the rich tapestry of green, gold, vivid red and every shade of cream from palest taupe to deepest brown against the cerulean sky of the third season provides an eminently gluttonous feast to the eye and soul.

Yet winter brings with it, its own cornucopia of great  if more subtle flavour.

The ribbon of highway winds away in the distance and the whoosh of tires on roads slick with slush and salt provide a hypnotic rhythm to my thoughts.  Snow clings to the bare limbs of trees, yawning yearningly to a steel grey sky. Evergreens, muted in the early morning gleam, flow palely in the soft light, while ice spills in a frozen stream over the reddish hue of the exposed Canadian shield rock. 

The Inuit have, I am told, more than 50 words for snow.... the hardiest of our nation's people, the first of our nation's people knew the infinite flavour of its touch and appearance.   In the hollows of the forest which line the highway are steel blue shadows, whispering, sliding into the palest of blues then into cream and palest white, the surfaces smooth and untouched yet by foot or paw or wind.

The only absolute I have found in this life is that there are no guarantees.  It is, when all is said and done, a crap shoot.  That is neither good nor is it bad... it is a simple reality that if internalized gives you a certain freedom.  It doesn't undercut desire or plans for the future but rather, if accepted, allows your imagination scope and possibility - more crucial, it gives you the flexibility to pick yourself up when your world goes to hell, when the plan goes awry... when the promise is unmet and the yes, even when the ultimate destination turns out not to be what your anticipation had conceived.

I think it saddest when I read of a dream met, a deepest wish fulfilled, a yearning made flesh and find the individual lamenting shortly thereafter that it wasn't the absolute most fantabulous, bestest, dreamiest thing after all... because on reaching that they realize that nothing can be maintained at "perfect" for every moment.  That in the dream there is a little flaw, that in the hoped for desire, they found a part they hadn't conceived of, that perpetuating that high is an impossibility.

Which is why I think I liked the old fairy tales best.

They had blood and disappointment, guts and broken dreams, they had harsh realities of possibilities and often frankly awful endings.   The sanitized versions that are continually being revised and prettified and made "palatable" for overprotective parents and puritan minds are in themselves the biggest lies, lulling their precious children into a false sense of security.   But the children know... deep inside the mind and souls lies the kernel of awareness we each carry from our moment of birth, the knowledge that there are no promises that can't be broken, vows that can't be foresworn.

The very essence of life is unpredictability.

Live with it, internalize it and accept it- then you can move through this uncertain path and find, as I do in the highway stretching before me, hidden beauty.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


I pull the bulky flow of thoughts around my shoulders, skin flickering at the shards of belief which scrape across the sensitive expanse of angst.  Time shivers in the cool embrace of past experiences and the multi-coloured patchwork of broken promises and shattered dreams.

Time is much in my thoughts these days... the inevitable passage of its reality.  I watch from the narrow end of a telescope and see behind me the expanse of was going to do and one day's that litter the fractured path of my life.  Excuses, justifications and lost possibilities brighten the patchwork of fabric, and I feel a poignant sadness as my fingers feel for the closed reality of their former promise.  I lie back, pulling the quilt around my body, a slice of blade caught in the weaving cuts and bright blood trickles from the soft expanse of flesh.

I am surrounded, the me, the soul, id, the existential core of self that lies enveloped in smothering blankets of excess flesh and wonders how I was caught yet again.  I look out from the pads of smothering revulsion and feel trapped, caught in a body I don't recognize nor wish to claim.  That little mark..... the small blackness trapped in the blue-veined breast pulses and sends a soothing promise of nullity and cessation of pain.  

Like a callus, I rub my shoulder against the shard of promise and revel in the clear, bright reality of pain it brings, illuminating for a moment the greyness of an existence lost in idle speculation and lack of will.