This Holiday Season was Brutal!

Some years I manage all sorts of crafty things for decorations and gifts. This year I had hoped to finish one little dress for one little granddaughter but illness, loss and general malaise knocked the stuffing out of me.

Nothing lasts forever, not even illness so thanks to the wonderful anti-biotics that addressed a bronchial infection and the joy of spending time with children and poetry lovers and artists I have rallied and finished the wee dress.  The good news is she is getting longer, not wider so this will fit her for a while!

mjdress

The fabric is linen and the pattern was Burda 9772

 

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Dream a Little Dream of Me

Next week I am going to meet a lawyer and get my will done and stamped or whatever. I gave up trying to do it on the cheap. I almost choked on a cough drop when I was sick and thought “geez I need to get my will in order”. That would be about the dumbest way to die I can think of. Everybody still goes on about Momma Cass choking on a ham sandwich, I mean, SHE WAS BRILLIANT and yet that’s what they remember.

I am not brilliant but seriously, I need to get my ducks in a row.

I still miss my friend Sandy but I am no longer in total pain. I am slowly working on building up my strength and trying to set goals (that don’t cost money). There will be plenty of expenses this year and it looks like the bastard they elected for Premier here has nixed the company that gave me work.

I shovelled a bit of the driveway and built a fort with my grandson. (It has been COLD here in the North!) These are fun and good exercise, okay the shovelling the driveway maybe not so much but a good work out nonetheless. Today I will try climbing over snow piles to get to the bus stop! What fun!

I love Mama Cass’s voice and this song really is hers. I have also decided I want it played if anyone cobbles together a funeral or wake when I go. Just the link. I don’t know if it will work. Give it a try or just go to Youtube and search Mama Cass.
https://youtu.be/1-AxpbrFrZo

I saw the Mama’s and Papa’s at a roadhouse sort of club between Toronto and Stratford Ontario, in maybe the year 1987. Mama Cass was gone and they had Spanky (Elaine McFarlane) singing her parts and Mackenzie Phillips singing her mother’s parts. My friend was a bartender there and she got me in for free. I got to go backstage and meet them. Underwhelming and if I were into gossip maybe interesting but the music was lovely.  (The sweetness of the music hid the serious drug addictions going on).

Poem

Possibilities

by Wislawa Szymborska

I prefer movies.
I prefer cats.
I prefer the oaks along the river.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.
I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.
I prefer the colour green.
I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.
I prefer exceptions.
I prefer to leave early.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
I prefer, where love’s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.
I prefer moralists
who promise me nothing.
I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.
I prefer the earth in civvies.
I prefer conquered to conquering countries.
I prefer having some reservations.
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
I prefer Grimms’ fairy tales to the newspapers’ front pages.
I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.
I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.
I prefer desk drawers.
I prefer many things that I haven’t mentioned here
to many things I’ve also left unsaid.
I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cypher.
I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.
I prefer to knock on wood.
I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.
I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility
that existence has its own reason for being.

From “Nothing Twice“, 1997
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

 

Sandy

  • My friend Sandy died on December 29, 2018.
  • My grandson turned three on the 27th.
  • Sandy and I had in common a grandson and a granddaughter.
  • The grandson’s birthday party was yesterday on the 30th.
  • Sandy’s funeral will be on January 12th.
  • We are all of us, living and dead on the third planet from the sun in a galaxy on the outer edge of the Milky Way; Though we hardly ever think about it.

Our grandson’s birthday party was at one of those community spaces you can rent. It was wild and crazy, kids running around shrieking. It put me in mind of how human beings at a certain age can be dropped into a group and create culture and language and despite differing vocabularies and maybe appearances “fit in” by just joining the fray. As they went screeching about I thought of them rushing through the tall grass to flush out foul or careening to an undiscovered country while chasing something, or fleeing something.

So, I find myself, in all my sadness and in all my joy, thinking:

What blame is there in this life when we are all tumbling through space and time only trying to find a hand to hold?

But also:

What praise is there when all our consequences are rendered into nothingness except for this:

We have loved and been loved.

nick's 32 b'day 022

In a Twinkling

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

From Maya Angelou’s A Brave and Startling Truth

Wishing you all peace in the New Year.

 

Xmas Panda-monium?

I went to my son-in-law’s family Xmas. It was pandemonium with a medium sized panda.

All the kids got an anonymous gift of a stuff toy animal in support of the W.W.F. What a great gift. Not my idea and no one came forward, so it makes you wonder… well he loves reindeer so perhaps he cares about all the animals too.

 

birniexmas

and these are only the ones that fit in the frame!

smilywilf

anonymous panda with a donation to a charity!