September 24, 2001

The Right Kind of Nothing



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]

5:55 A. M., I sat, pre-dawn, with my morning coffee. I could hear the wind in the trees, but I could not see the leaves, the branches. Later, minutes later, I began to make out rough shapes against a lightening sky. The approach of day is slow and welcome.

Attila rises at 5:30 A.M. each and every day of the week. He sets about his preparations for a long day, relying more on routine than thought to take him where he wants to go. I watch him with affection. I occasionally insert myself into his trajectory with an anecdote or question, keeping his attention for only a few precious minutes. To hold him longer would be to disrupt his momentum.

As the light approaches, Attila recedes into his day of obligations. These days pass quickly for him, as they are filled with people and hectic activity. He enjoys his work.

I remember a time when I faced that daily climb into the outside world, and welcomed it. I too loved my work.

I wish I had had me to come home to in those days. My working years included the sole responsibility of two precocious children, who never seemed to receive quite enough of my attention, although they had all there was to give. I wonder how I did it, then think, "I would rather not remember those costs."

My mantra, during those years balanced on the high wire, was, "Do not look down!"

But my children called to me from the heart of their little lives, I looked down, and I fell. And here I am, years later.

At times the hand of fate is invisibly kind.

I have been keeping an eye on the scraps of basil left over from Pesto making. All the flowers and wilted leaves, unsuitable for the Pesto, were saved and laid out in pans to dry. Each day I toss them about, redistributing them to aid the drying process. Today they seem adequately dried and I shall subject them to the blades of the food processor and store them as a finely ground herb to season the winter's dishes.

Yesterday was a busy day in the kitchen, as is often the case during harvest season. The last of the pears have been peeled, sliced, and frozen for future baking projects. The last of the peaches have been transformed into a Peach Upside Down Cake, the dessert Attila likes so much for his lunches. I am eyeing the basket of plums in the refrigerator. Perhaps it is time to search for a new and interesting plum recipe, in order to use these while they are still fresh and sweet; a project for today.

Attila brings home much of the produce we put down for the winter. Generous, friendly farmers frequently give him "seconds" and "wind falls". This fruit would otherwise be discarded. It is imperfectly shaped, visually marred. It provides us with a wealth of healthy, delicious food for the price of our labor.

At this time of year I sometimes remember a conversation I had with a professional woman at the university, many years ago. It was a dialogue that seemed completely trivial at the time, but over time has come to symbolize several issues I have struggled with. She was making a stand for women's rights by refusing to bake the pie her male partner desired. Interested, I pursued the statement.

I asked her, "You do not like pie?"

"Oh yes," she said, "I love pie, but why should I bake one just because I am a woman?"

"Will your partner bake the pie?" I asked.

"No, he claims he does not know how!" she answered.

"Do you know how to bake a pie?" I asked.

"Yes, and I told him to buy a pie if he wants one so badly" she answered.

I felt gratitude that I was not encumbered with a relationship where food was defined as a power issue. It was impossible to determine, from my vantage point; just who in their relationship had defined the issue of "pie" as one of power. I did observe that both partners in that relationship accepted the issue of "pie" as one of power.

I remember feeling thankful that I bake pies for myself because I like pies, and I like my own baking best.

Years later I would think of this conversation again when my friend Auntie Mame said of relationships, "Better the right kind of nothing, than the wrong kind of something."

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Dogwood leaves, next springs buds.
September Dogwood

By the Easy Chair
The Road Taken
by Rona Jaffe

Motors, the neighbors are draining their swimming pool today.

On the Screen
Plum Recipes and more Plum Recipes

8:18 AM DST
Temp: 14` C
Humidity: 94%
Wind: W 13 km/h
Barometric:101.0 kPa

Sunrise 7:14 AM DST
Sunset 7:18 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 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."

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