The Ol’ Ball and Chain

Leon

Winter, which drags on like a ball and chain in Ottawa despite the good cheer of robins and red wing blackbirds, has been a pain in my hips. Prolonged sitting – or even brief sitting – brings sharp hot jabs to my derriere. Concentration is difficult so writing has been sporadic and targeted. Blogging, in case you hadn’t noticed my absence, has been difficult.

Look. I’m not complaining. I still have my teeth, all my limbs, and most of my faculties. Those I’m missing are bolstered by my long suffering spouse. Together we are one. Occasionally gas erupts unexpectedly but I have a dog at home and at work my chair has a squeaky wheel to blame. Plus, a well-timed loud toe-tap can sound remarkably like a fart.

Evenings, which formerly were devoted to you, your concerns and interests, I spend on a yoga mat attending to the lengthy physio exercises and stretching routine that will render me as limber and pain free as a puppy. I must persist. But overall, really, I’m fine. Just fine.

I’m telling you this not for your pity (though I’m not above that), but because I miss you, think of you often, and wish I could be with you more. Time, they say, heals all wounds. The pain in my ass will pass and I’ll be back.

In the meantime, meet Crystal Anderson. She’s new to blogosphere and is an enormously talented storyteller. Please drop into Crystal’s blog and say hello.

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The dirty dog in dirty snow demands his due, despite my dragging derriere. 

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Trim

I chose clothes over painting
the living room. When contemplating
renovating the bathroom
the thought of removing the toilet
from its moorings unmoored me
and I bought a leather coat instead. Continue reading

Morning Prayer

5:50 a.m. In dark just lighter than pitch, the dog and I venture out for his morning relief. The spilled streak of stars we call the Milky Way fades as I glance up, as though my eyes mop heavens’ mess. The dog lifts his leg and anoints the road sign pole and I hear the splash of contact. He kicks his hind legs, rubs his paws on the grass making sure every bit of his scent graces his small patch of turf. Continue reading

Forgiving pink

Fifteen year old me said something like this: “Pink stinks.” I got extra marks in university for brevity from an exhausted professor probably worn down reading 300 term papers replete with rosy language hiding empty thoughts. Pink as a colour struck me this way. Pointless, pathetic fluff. Continue reading

Zee end

Image result for Becca Courtice Modern brush calligraphy

The brush should be at a 45 degree angle as though bent into a strong wind. You want headway. Your pen takes orders from you, your hand its aegis. Never forget that.

Start at the left and trace your pen along an imaginary line. Keep your brush down and pull it steadily due right. Look straight ahead and don’t stop. Continue reading

Reality check

On the drive to work Thursday darling husband said “I’m going to get a hold of a grade 9 calculus text book.”

“Why?”

“I think I can master it at last.” This he based on his Tuesday experience supply teaching a math class at his old high school. Note: His subject area before retirement was English.

“Wow. Good for you. I’ll stick to trying to master life.”

“I think calculus is probably easier.”

“Smart calculation,” I thought.

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Spring run-off – Rideau River, Ottawa, ON

 

Metamorphosis

Image result for the great wave off kanagawa meaning

Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa”

I felt no different when I woke at 2:00 a.m. than when I had fallen into bed four hours earlier but, as is my habit when I wake in the wee hours, I checked my phone for the daily horoscope – to be prepared. The usual exhortations about my love life and relationships glowed in front of my eyes. Then I read the “If today is your birthday…” bit which said:

 There will be numerous occasions over the coming year when it seems as if you are at the mercy of events, and to a large extent you will be. But that does not mean you cannot bend those events to your will. You’re smart enough to make it happen.

I stumbled out of bed in the dark to the bathroom, flicked on the light and looked in the mirror to inspect the damage of a 4th consecutive night of crappy sleep. A strange woman with grey hair looked back at me. Continue reading

For Cynthia*

Cynthia Jobin, a blogging friend, passed away last month. I knew her voice through her poetry and generous, insightful comments on my blog and many others. Her comments bit sometimes too, and made me mad but those comments got me to look at my writing from a different viewpoint. She was honest – unreservedly so. I miss her presence.

At 7:00 this morning, as black turned to grey the colour of old long johns, a trio of Continue reading

Virgule

Before today I thought it was
a comma in a French dictée
a second to catch my breath
and divine/understand the next
word. Had I known it signaled
options/alternatives and a blank/void
could be avoided how much breath/
life could I have saved/salvaged?

Instead I chewed/stewed
a diseased/gnawed leaf edge
sawed/eaten by bugs/worry fearing
failure/death/irrelevance importuning my
poor/weak/unresponsive memory
to give me a break/respite.

I spelled it out – V/I/R/G/U/L/E –
thought it was a word in the dictée.
After I knew/learned the truth/definition
I wished/cried for relief/release from my head.
But today I know it is a comma/slash
and it makes me laugh.

comma