December 6, 2000

Point of View



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:
[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

Snow clings to the south and windward side of the trees as the wind blows against it and around it. The black trunks contrast with their snowy outlines in the foreground and the blue and fluffy gray dance of clouds and sky in the background. My window on the world is very high. It captures the scene from an elevation beginning thirty feet above the ground. The treetops are invisible, having risen beyond the field of vision. Only the antics of squirrels and birds are available for observation. Just as well really, bipeds are quite often disappointing to watch.

Life is presenting its usual vicissitudes.

The down-side is a rather short list. Report cards one wishes one had not seen, bills one wishes one had not generated, and the occasional social kerfuffel in which one wishes not to participate. The third item on the list refers to a rash of arsons in "The Neighborhood" that have unsettled our peace of mind and interrupted our sleep. Someone is throwing lighted gas cans into the yards as we sleep, burning down sheds and other personal property. So far, there has been no loss of home or life. The police have not apprehended the arson(s) yet but the investigation continues.

The up-side is a longer list, perhaps less newsworthy than the down-side, but much more nourishing to the soul. I can read again! After spending the last year squinting and then finally sporting a decorative magnifying glass, I can simply don my eyeglasses and cast my gaze at will upon the world. Shapes and designs yield their complex beauty without coaxing. Good health is a freedom that usually remains unappreciated until it is lost. Perhaps it was my good fortune to have suffered mildly from loss of vision. My eyeglasses are not rose colored but they might as well be for all the pleasant sensations they provide.

These eyeglasses have an added feature that the optometrist did not mention. They amuse the whole family. The lenses are not only bifocal; they are progressive bifocal lenses. This means that there is a gradual gradation of lens strength from the top to the bottom. It sounded like quite a wonderful thing in the store. In reality, what the lenses in my glasses provide are small pinholes of focus for most distances. To see anything clearly, one must find the exact small location of the lens where vision is enhanced. To his great amusement, Attila found me sitting in the easy chair with my head nodding up and down rhythmically. I look like one of those little plastic dogs whose heads bob up and down in the back dashes of cars.

I was attempting to transcribe data from the Census copies on the table beside me to the laptop database. Finding a focus point for both was proving to be a challenge. The first few days my eyes burned and watered so severely that I could not continue to work. Not deterred, I took a break for a few days to rest my eyes then started anew. Limiting myself to fifteen-minute sessions and taking thirty-minute breaks between sessions has facilitated a slow learning process. I imagine it is a skill and that, like many other skills, it will require a great deal of time and effort to develop.

It remains to be seen whether choosing progressive bifocal lenses was a mistake. It if was a mistake, it is one I will have to live with for a few years. However, whatever the challenges, new eyeglasses are definitely on my up-side list.

In the meantime, I will not be stealing serendipitous glances or giving anything a sideways look.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

View from the window, sideways.
The Sidways Glance

By the Easy Chair
Life in a Medieval Village
by Frances and Joseph Gies

Merry Christmas
by Bing Crosby

On the Screen
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens


Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."

Copyright 1999 - Today Maggie Turner
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