Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Friday, June 25, 2021
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
I've been so busy working, I haven't really written a proper tribute to share publicly, but don't panic! When we were in lockdown last month here in Nova Scotia, I had the time to put together a large book of photos and her writing. It turned out beautifully and the best of her writing is together in one book; there's a copy for her grandchildren, as well.
So that's where my effort went, into her gift. Believe me, while typing up her stories, I kept starting to shout down the hallway about something I was reading but remembered I couldn't let on I was doing something special for her birthday!
It's clear I get my writing talent from my mother. And she was good. First a poet then a writer of letters to her family once she'd moved out of Toronto. The famous "Epistles". She was funny and clever and creative. I'm sorry she didn't pursue more of her writing, or more of her music because she's equally talented in both. It makes me grateful I get to share my writing career with her.
Here's one of her early poems:
BESIDE THE SHORE
Interesting that I got Mother's writing talent, and my sister got her musical talent. An even split between her two daughters. That's just the way she is. And we all love to cook, and go on road trips, which is what we're doing today to celebrate this big birthday - heading out to Peggy's Cove for lunch (after visiting a bookstore, of course).
If there is one word to describe my mother, her life and our life together, that word is
I have a good mother.
I have a mother in great health - eighty and greaty!
We are celebrating her today.
|Her graduation photo from teachers' college|
Saturday, June 19, 2021
There were at least half a dozen "potato pollinators" in these lupins when I took this picture last night. So that's good news because we love bumblebees.
The gardens are planted which means we're into evening watering now, and the black flies are vicious this year. I'm afraid to see how big the mosquitoes are! But we're really windy this year so I'm not sure how my raised beds are going to fare; they get lots of sun but it turns out, I forgot to account for the wind tunnel that is our backyard. Fourteen years and I still don't have the hang of this gardening thing. Oh, well, as long as the salsa garden produces the ingredients to make salsa, I can live without the lettuce.
It's been awhile since I've posted here because since June 2, I've been working full-time providing literacy support to students in Grades Primary through Three. What a great job, although when one of your three part-time job suddenly goes to part-time hours, there's a lot of juggling that happens. My brain has to operate in three different ways.
Added onto that is editing essays for the book coming out next April, keeping up with my Thanatology course, and planting gardens -- it's been a really busy spring.
What bothered me most about the past three weeks was that my creative juices dried up. I've been writing poetry this year and I wrote only one poem in all that time, and it was a way of dealing with a friend's family tragedy -- I couldn't have not written that poem if I'd tried.
So that teaching job has wrapped up and my church work is down to two Sundays -- and now I'm anticipating my summer off. I know the two months of summer will fly by and I won't feel like I'm getting anything done but the plan is for writing, weeding, and reading. I don't want to touch any of my non-fiction books; I just want to enjoy fiction, fiction, fiction for two months.
Fiction and flowers.
Bee balm and bumblebees.
My chair in the gazebo.
Strawberry jam and salsa.
The perfect plan for summer in Nova Scotia.
Tuesday, June 01, 2021
I couldn't sleep last night. I tossed and turned. I don't feel guilty for being the descendent of white immigrants (my family arrived after the settlers took over the land) but I'm tired of being shocked and horrified and frustrated by what we put the Indigenous peoples through, and continue to put them through. Hundreds of years and through generations of abuse and suffering, denigration and dehumanization. I don't get it - how anyone could treat other human beings, let alone children, the way we've treated the Indigenous people. And to call them savages? Their spirituality is beautiful and enviable. Those of us who feel spirit in nature can absolutely relate to Native spirituality.
It's hard to be a member of a church, to be a Christian, and know these atrocities were committed by members of the Catholic, Anglican, United and Presbyterian churches. Here's what radio personality Charles Adler of Vancouver said, "The church's mission was to 'take the Indian' out of the children. It seems they took the Christ out of Christian."
I don't write about this but on Saturday, the following poem shouted to be written so I did what I do now: I opened a blank document, placed my fingers on the keyboard, and let it flow out of me. When I posted it to my Facebook page, fresh and rough, I encouraged those with more understanding of the issue to correct or suggest changes, but no one did. It was shared 27 times.