Thursday, December 30, 2010

Resolutions for Other People

The new year is almost here. I used to make resolutions but I don't do that any more. It's too daunting. And the older I get the more things there are that could be done, or should be done by me. But, I think it would be more fun to make a list of things other people should do.

Politicians - should emit only one lie per day. More than one lie should be punished with a pie in the face. Two lies, two pies - one for each side. More than two lies during any one speech and the audio will cut out and you'll be standing there with pie on you and no way to reply

Celebrities with addictions - should stop talking about their short stints in rehab. More than one "I'm cured now" comment should result in the celebrity being barred from all talk shows. If you have not used your addictive substance for many many years, I might want to hear how you coped without it. If you are not in that category, then make a large anonymous donation to A.A. or N.A. or what-have-you Anonymous and for heaven's sake, shut up.

Advertising copywriter - To the composer of the ad for the "Michael Jackson Tour - Greatest in the History of the World;" you should turn off the computer and turn in your writing badge now. You have gone past the hyperbole limit and your licence is hereby revoked.

I could go on and on, but I have to make a list of goals for myself. I prefer to choose modest goals that can be broken down into small steps rather than making huge and probably unattainable resolutions. Perhaps I should aim to keep any bitchiness to only two paragraphs or less, per blog entry,

To my readers - I wish you the very best for 2011! May you be blessed with health and happiness and every good thing you wish for,

And if you want to add a resolution for someone else, please do.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Another Mary's Child

The young woman struggled to get her baby stroller onto the number 8 bus because the driver had stopped too far away from the curb and there was a snow ridge she had to navigate. An older man who was standing near the front door came forward and helped her. She parked the stroller in the wheelchair space and sat down across from me. That's when I started to take in the details.

The baby was well protected from the cold in a snowsuit topped by a blanket. He slept soundly, his wee brown face barely visible under his blue wool hat. His mother leaned forward to check on him and tuck the blanket in more securely and when she did, her jacket which was too short rode up her back and revealed her knobbly spine. She wasn't dressed for the weather, but perhaps she was wearing the only coat she had, I don't know. I do know her running shoes were soaked and her hands were blue with cold. After she finished tending her baby, she turned toward me and smiled. At first I was taken aback by the six piercings on her wan face and the faint bruise over her eye and then I returned her smile. We didn't speak. I had to leave at the next stop but the questions that entered my mind are still there.

I wonder if she was going to Mary's Place, the shelter for women and children that's on the number 8 bus route. I wonder if the shelter was full, because it's usually full to bursting. I wonder why she had so little to wear. I wonder where the father of the baby was and whether he cared. And, I remember the story of the babe born in a stable on a winter's night because there was no room in the inn.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Where Are You?

First, a big thank you to all the people who commented on my personal essay about books which is posted on in the Culture Watch section, I hope that in this multi-media world there will always be a place for the traditional printed book. And now, on to today's subject.

When I telephone my old friend, The Bear, who lives in an assisted care facility, he always asks. "Where are you?"

"I'm at home," I reply.

Then there is a pause as I wait to see if he can remember the city. These days, most of the time he can't and so I remind him that I'm in Kitchener, and he is too. That is the factual answer but it doesn't address where I might be in my imagination.

Sometimes, I'm in two or three places over the space of a day. For instance, this morning I was in Britain during the time of King Arthur, while reading Gwenhwyfar, The White Spirit, by Mercedes Lackey. For a while this afternoon, I was in the Toronto beaches area while revising one of my short stories. This evening, if I return to the other book I'm reading, I'll be in North Carolina. I sure do get around. Just yesterday, I spent a brief time in purgatory when I received a Notice of Reassessment from the Revenue Canada Agency, but I was able to escape.

I also spend time in the land of daydreams where anything can happen. I like being there.

Where would you like to be?