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Sunday, November 18, 2012


it's quiet here, in my corner of the world.

only the sweep of the wind and the cry of the birds.

(a distant hum from the highway sometimes.)

my mind opens up in the stillness-

stretches itself and breathes deep

and unfurls like a flower in morning sun.

my brain reaches out into the open space where there is no noise

and comes alive

with thoughts that think themselves,


my body nestles into curled comfort of deep cushion

and every nerve ending uncoils itself

in peaceful rest. things growing...birds and cats and sleeping dogs...


Thursday, November 15, 2012

anniversaries of the heart...

my mother died 21 years ago on november 14th, 1991.

21 years ago yesterday.

not a day has gone by that i have not thought of her, wished she were here, regretted the years we spent apart with only snail mail letters every few months to catch up on each other's lives.

i've written much about my mother- all of it tender and charitable. i have no negative memories of her. she was a firecracker of a mom- she wasn't perfect but she didn't pretend to be. this i loved about her.

there was a deep understanding between us. i was her confidante from a young age and i knew her better than anyone. she told me things she never told anyone else. she treated me like an adult, but she did not cling. she released me to fly away from the nest so very young. she trusted me.

i, of course, betrayed that trust by simply being human. on the other hand, she had pretty high standards.

what would i say to her today, if there was snail mail - or something- between heaven and here?

i don't know.

i would probably just run to her and bury my head on her shoulder and feel her patting my back and stroking my hair. i would cry. she would cry.

then we'd wipe our eyes, put the kettle on, and sit down all comfortable for a lovely afternoon of catching up.

i miss you, mom. i wish you hadn't died. i wish you'd seen all my beautiful children. i wish you could spar with dennis about "Scritchure" as you used to do. i wish the years here weren't so long.

and i really really wish i had some nice pictures of you.

but we have this to look forward to- you from your eternal side of things and me here in the crawling of the days...together again one day. forever. i can't wait.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


i was born 7 years after my father came home from the war.

except that a part of him never really came home.

he enlisted in the air force at 21- the ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE or RCAF. he was a genius at math, even though he'd quit school after 9th grade to work on the farm, like most of the boys did back then. the air force brought him up to speed in a few months, and then assigned him to be a navigator, although he wanted to be a pilot.

he learned to fly by the give directions to the crew by the points of light in the night sky. it was blackout, you know, during the the stars were bright. cloudy nights were non-flying nights.

my father never really came down out of the clouds. ever.

the war changed him, twisted him, scarred him. not physically- he was as beautiful when he came home as when he left. but inside, where it matters, he was wounded. he was broken.

his whole crew went down one night in the north sea. he was sick in bed with a high fever that night and could not go out on the mission. when they told him, he took all the blame on himself. all the black 'if only's' in the world descended upon his shoulders, and the ultimate survivor's guilt set the course for the rest of his life.

we, his children, became military cadets...sat in front of blackboards in the kitchen along with neighbor children rounded up to join the crew. hour after hour, we did star charts, mathematical calculus, navigator's drills. our instructor barked, coughed, shouted, sputtered.

my cousin andrew wrote a haunting song called 'three candles', in which he pays tribute to the warrior who did not fall into the sea, but rather into the confusion of a life lived as the sole survivor. my father would indeed climb up on the roof of every house we ever lived in and sing 'farther along...we'll know all about it...farther along we'll understand why...."

i imagine he still doesn't understand. at 89, the memories are all he has. he lives in those past moments. he's in uniform, he's sharp and ready and terrified and proud...flying the dark skies with his eyes on the heavens and star charts in his hands...the north star always just at the edge of his vision...europe at war beneath the lancaster bombers that roar into the cloudless night. he quotes 'high flight' and becomes one with the wind.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

snapshots of my week, randomly...

i almost put a color rinse in my hair this morning...but i got an attack of vertigo when i bent over to shower it and so i didn't. church was awesome, my son jonathan is the 2nd best preacher in the world.

if you put a bit of crushed anise in with rosemary and garlic, nobody can guess what the secret ingredient is in your roasted chicken. we drew christmas names today for immediate family. my husband was clocked going 60 MPH on his bike. i was clocked going 120 KM in my van. i was talking at the time.

penelope is getting better. the vet said she's now 3 on the 1-10 scale. she may live a few years yet, she said, but probably will always be frail. i am very happy that her ear is improving- the growth is smaller, it might be just an abcess.

i am not happy that my bathroom which is also penelope's bathroom, smells rather...pungent.

we had family pictures taken today, courtesy of tracey. i hope they are nice. i think they are. emma was an angel and posed and posed.

i went grocery shopping at 4 pm so as to not have to do it on a monday morning. you'd think the store would be packed. it wasn't. i was thankful. we had icecream after shopping. i bought a stuffed bear wearing winter clothes. the bear, that is.

last week i taught for 2 days. i love art. the kids are awesome. i love the art classroom. i could just stay in there forever. this week i will teach 4 days. the creativity of little people never fails to amaze me!

it's hot. the cold front needs to extend south where we are. the days are getting shorter...the sun is rising and setting farther south. the sky is different. i'll set up my telescope soon...want to make sure the rain is really finished.

my knee hurts. too much tree-climbing, perhaps?

thus ends my sunday night randomness. i shall now watch downton abbey with my husband. good night.