They say a change is as good as a rest. Generally, this has been my experience, and August has been a month that has put this adage to the test. We have been very busy this summer, August in particular, with the wedding. Our family has gained a new valued member, and a whole new branch. These are wonderful changes to experience.
Over the years, Attila and I have adjusted to isolation. It is not what we prefer, or desire; it is just what life has offered us. We must make the most of what we are offered.
Having been born into a large family, and growing up surrounded by a large extended family, isolation has caught me by surprise. I can only remember having been “alone” at home once during my childhood, and that was with my sister, and it was almost traumatic. It was never my intention to live in almost total isolation. I had always imagined my life surrounded by family and loving friends. Attila and I have family and loving friends, lucky us, but they are almost-mythical characters, seldom appearing on the stage of our lives, seldom able to accomodate our presence on their own stages.
Not enjoying the jockeying for position and small p politics that seem endemic in groups, we seldom venture into the world of the social. Normal for me consists of weeks of silence, but for rustling leaves, bird song and the activities of neighbours who work from home. On the seventh day of each week Attila does not have to go to work. On his day off Attila slumbers in the morning as I putter about for a few hours on my own, after my natural waking, waiting for sleep to partially rejuvenate him. Where would we be without the seventh day!
Although we do not enjoy most groups (hierarchical tribes), we are quite fond of people as individuals. We regard visitors as treasures shared, visiting as a pleasure. However, we do not appreciate hoops, hoops of expectations and unshared assumptions. We take people as they are, and require reciprocated respect for (not agreement with) our unique qualities and values.
The new normal is slowly emerging as quiet settles once again across our little world. Routines are beginning to emerge, altered but still familiar.
I clunk during periods of reorientation. My internal process is not smooth, never has been. Tectonic movement creates and releases the tensions of change; sometimes grating, but primarily building tensions are released in sudden, shocking quakes. This is perfectly in line with my astrological chart; although enlightening, this knowledge does not alter the process of change or eliminate the discomfort. I have been clunking towards comfort for the last few months.
Attila and I have been making forays into the bush for blackberries. We have several quarts safely stored in the freezer for the winter. The fall is harvest season, and local produce is beginning to show up in the stores. Last night we found a basket of field tomatoes, snapped it up and came home to enjoy a meal of bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.
We have had a few days of rain, and it was more than welcome. During the long dry summer we lost only two plants in the garden, and the lawn has begun to replenish itself. One of our sugar maple trees succumbed to the stress of the drought-like conditions and is shutting down for the winter. The leaves on this tree turned bright red last week and are falling this week. We will watch it in the spring to see if it returns to us in good health.
I had not thought about it before, but pottery making comes naturally to me. My GG Grandfather Henry was a China Gilder in the potteries in Staffordshire, England. There is a web site describing the industry, the place and the times of his experience at "thepotteries.org". It is interesting to get a small glimpse into the world of my ancestors. In my small way, I am following in their footsteps, minus the commercial gain, and the industrial specialization required by “profit”. No child labour here, no concentration of smoke, no un-vented working spaces, no attempt to survive intense competition… and no “profit”.
|RECIPES :: Cast
Falling into open arms
“The smoke, emerging sixty feet up, would eddy and curl down onto the buildings and street, even entering workshops and houses through ill-fitting windows and half open doors, so that the air became terribly polluted. In Longton the town with the greatest number of bottle ovens, it used to be said, "It's a fine day if you can see the other side of the road", and when the bottle ovens were firing it was almost impossible to see your hand held in front of your face.”
On the topic of health issues at the potteries:
" The most constant, however, is that of partial paralysis of the extensors of the hands in men, and of epilepsy in children, accompanied at all times with obstinate constipation of the bowels and derangement of the alimentary canal."
Pressure 102.1 kPa
Visibility 15 km
Humidity 49 %
Wind SSE 13 km/h
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