Saturday, 24 March 2012

Kissing the Blarney Stone

Okay I suppose I should be back on my way to Ireland to kiss that Blarney Stone again, because I need a refresher course.  I did that back when I was in Europe last time but I think the blarney thing wore off already.  The good memories remain however.  In case some of you do not know how you kiss the Blarney stone, I will show you.  You hang over a 300 foot drop,  you hang upside down,with a death grip on to a couple of iron bars while a handsome young Irishman  holds onto you so you don't drop over the precipice.  Then you kiss the silly rock from below.  If you don't hang on tight enough to those iron bars above you, you may fall down to the rocky ground 300 feet below.  But here is the consolation.  If you do fall, you are coming down with those Irishman's arms around you.  Even if it isn't a soft landing, it is sure to be a happy one!  As you can see in the picture, I held on tight. ( See you in Ireland!)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


This poem was written during a time when things were dark and dismal. There a dismal times in all our lives and sometimes we just need to vent.  It's cathartic. 


In the shadows of despair
Anguish is my intimate friend,
My persistant companion.
T'is the silent shadow at my heels.
My cheer - t'is but a lie - repeated..
The false facade for my secret pain
The negative force for my positive stride.

Like a fog, the uncertainty is thick, relentless
A tide of pessimism I can not control
Gripping, crippling,
Suffocating my ailing confidence.

In vain I grope for truth and justice
I search for solace, fruitlessly
Some crumb of faith to stave my yearning.
A soothing balm for my aching soul.

Like a drowning waif in a pool of quicksand
I trash against assaulting fear
I fight despair, I shun depression,
Repress anxiety with no success.
I sense defeat, strong, - and forceful
(There's little hope of a mistake)
No calm awareness of peace evolving
To stem the tide of sheer regret.  

Monday, 12 March 2012

Wasted Treasures

Wasted Treasures

Last week I was asked to speak at a Library luncheon to a group of ladies that were primarily readers of books.  I knew a number of those women personally and at different ocassions had spent some very interesting times conversing with them. 
Several of these women often related very fascinating stories of their past.  Many of them were of European descent and some were survivers of the war.  They had sometimes horrendous, sometimes  fantastic, sometimes unbelievably miraculous stories to relate about dealing with fear, hardship, survival, and eventual escape from those conditions.  Most of us born and raised here in Canada could not imagine, much less empathize, with the conditions they described.  Yet these women  related their stories without bitterness or malice, simply stating their facts as they had happened, just happy that that life was over and they were now free and safe.  Those days  were merely their past! - done - but not forgotten. 
Those of us listening, were thoroughly engrossed. In fact many of us were mesmerized by their fortitude, their  courage, their perseverence and their determination to find a better life for themselves and for their families.  They had left a land that had failed them, a race that had forsaken them and a dream that  had turned dark and empty. 
These women (and I realize there were men in these same circumstances too),  came to a new country where they knew and understood no one, where they had no knowledge of the customs, the traditions, the expections, or even the mores of the different ethnic peoples they were forced to live among.  They faced near starvation and frigid temperatures in a primitive land  that often offered limited shelter, no conveniences and no assistance except that of thoughtful and kind strangers, who neither spoke nor understood their language yet displayed a humane heart.   Yet they persevered and made a good life for themselves and their families in spite of all the adversities, contributing unobtrusively to the success of their new country and ultimately their own families.
Yet there is a sad anticlimax here.  Their stories, irregardless how fascinating, end with them.  When I suggested they write them down, for future generations, they dismissed the idea because "no one would be interested".  Several others and I protested that the stories were not only interesting but intrigueing, but still the women said that they could write them down.   They said the were not computer literate, did not type, and and could not possibly write it all down in longhand.  Therfore, those stories would die with them.  Such a pity.  Such a waste. 
I have another suggestion to those who have stories to tell.  Buy a voice activated tape recorder.  They can be purchaced for under $50.00.  Record your stories and someday someone will transcribe them.  Such treasures are far too prescious to bury!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

A Different Perspective

Another Husband????
We sometimes don't realize how easy it is to turn life's sometimes common everyday inconveniences into light-hearted situations if we but look at them from a different perspective.  This following scenario played itself out a number of  years ago but it still makes me smile because it illustrates that finding  humor under any circumstance is easy if we just angle our view.
My husband and I were in Polo Park Mall in Winnipeg for some shopping. John, being a typical man, was not interested in following me around on my search for the perfect purchase. I, well I was not dumb either. What woman wants an impatient man at her elbow passing bad judgement on all her fantasies and choices? I was only too happy when he suggested he would wander off on his own and just meet me “right here at the foot of this escalator in three hours”. Great! I could do a lot of browsing in three hours. We set off in opposite directions, both happy with this mutually beneficial agreement. 
After three hours of relaxed browsing and shopping, I made my way to the predetermined spot at the foot of that escalator. I looked around for John, but he was not in sight. I waited for a few minutes and decided he must probably be waiting on another floor. I rode up to the second floor but he was not there either so I went to the third floor. Still no husband. I decided to go down, thinking he was probably there by now. No such luck. He was probably delayed, or lost. I checked the three floors again with no success. Convinced that he would show up at the foot of one of the escalators, I made my way up again. On my third trip to the top floor, a floor walker noted my searching eyes and asked me if I was looking for something.
“Yes,” I replied. “I’m looking for my husband.”
The man looked at me quizzically, then, glancing around, with complete simplicity and sincerity, he quipped, “Aw, pick another one. There are lots of them around.”   
What a novel idea!  ( Luckily or maybe not), John appeared shortly after that and "saved" me from the "tedious" task of choosing another candidate.  

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Caverns of My Mind

Caverns of My Mind

Within the caverns of my mind
Stark black chasms, grotesque and grey
Stretch like tunnels to infinity
In gaping grottos, crowded with emotions
Haunting, dispirited memories
Hover like phantoms of an illusion
Glowing, in the darkness of deep thought.

Gloomy impressions of life’s upheavals
Fleeting morbid images of the past
Ebony drips of shorn reflections
Like iridescent dewdrops
That never, ever catch the light

Frosty icicles with jagged edges
The spikes of anguish, sorrow, grief
Like cold stalactites that weep forever
Unto opaque and murky stalagmites
Protruding from a floor of agony
Sad regrets, unearned reprisals
Stifling, choking my every gasp.