June 19, 2001

The River and the Man



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]

Today I am shaking my head in wonder. Human nature has once again surprised and disappointed me, as I am sure it does everyone from time to time.

It is the duality of the smile that has me in a quandary today.

I find the smile the most precious of human expressions. When the face lights from within the glory of the universe shines. Those smiles can capture you instantly; they can lower barriers unassailable by any other means.

There are less spectacular smiles that play a role in amiable social interactions, signaling friendly intentions and goodwill.

It seems to me a shame then, when this expression is mimicked in the aid of deception, masking hidden agendas and sometimes an attempt to lower the defenses of others so that an advantage might be gained.

A sad element of the calculated smile is that the person behind the face is often unaware of his or her own contrivance; they wield this weapon in conscious ignorance. Sadder still are those who believe that this mode of interaction is "human nature" and inevitable; they wield it without remorse. And, of course, there are always "those who smirk" to contend with. I find these the least offensive, since their sense of inferiority and disappointment is "written all over their face".

Once an individual's smile has served to play me the fool, their ability to engage and delight me vanishes. I do not forget the betrayal of innocence offered. Forgiveness is not a relevant concept; I proscribe to a pragmatic acceptance of character weakness in myself and in others.

What has me in such turmoil? It is Beldar season here. False smiles fly the blue skies. It is best to avoid looking up.

Attila and I spent two quiet and lovely days in the wilds of the Pinery Provincial Park. On Saturday we sat contentedly on the banks of the Ausable River, enjoying the breezes and the scent of pine. Sunday found us stretched out on our chairs in the lee of a sand dune, surrounded by stunted oaks and sandy grasses.

This spring I purchased a ridiculously inexpensive Hibachi. Attila assembled it on a picnic table beside the river on Saturday and prepared a meal fit for royalty. We ate heartily of grilled chicken, grilled ratatouille, and rice. The meal was such a treat that we repeated it on a table in a sand dune on Sunday.

Each day, after we packed up our things, we enjoyed a leisurely walk on the beach. On Saturday evening the five-mile expanse was ours alone to wander. The Sunday evening beach was crowded with a kaleidoscope of merry makers. Sunday was Father's Day, which may account for the increased population, as many families spent time with their own special Dad.

As we parked our car outside a Tim Horton's donut shop early on Sunday morning, Attila made an interesting observation. There were great many lone men with children heading in to the shop. "Custody day," said Attila. It seemed sad to me, but my perceptions may be biased. None of them looked unhappy, but neither did they look happy.

Attila had a wonderful Father's Day. He spent the day relaxing in the sun, eating his favorite food, snoozing, and finally watching the waves. He received cards and calls from our girls, wishing him well and glad that he had enjoyed his day. He was glad that they had enjoyed their day.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Ausable River
The River

On the Airwaves
Secret O' Life
James Taylor

Man asleep in the woods.
The Man

11:22 AM DST
Temp: 26` C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: S 20 mph
Barometric:101.7 kPa

Sunrise 5:44 AM DST
Sunset 9:06 PM DST

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 Peterme.com 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."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_blogging

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