December 28, 2001

A "Wee Bit o' Tim"



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]

Christmas was a lovely, quiet interlude. Attila and I drew our chairs up to the ottoman and contentedly sipped hot chocolate, nibbled on treats, and read. Everyone who entered our home did so with goodwill in their hearts, all departed with our good wishes. Truly a Christmas to remember.

Of course, nothing is perfect. Christmas seems to bring out the best and the worst in people. Proclaimed on Christmas morning was a surprise communication of my own failings, delivered under the guise of concern. Had the description been based on anything resembling reality, it might have been a cloud with a silver lining. Sadly, it was based on assumptions, ignorance, judgements, and small mindedness; and so was rendered useless and hurtful. I can not help but think that there may have been a better time than Christmas morning to deliver such a missive.

Attila and I were both stunned by the advisement.

"I was only going to say," said Scrooge's nephew, "that the consequence of his taking a dislike to us, and not making merry with us, is, as I think, that he loses some pleasant moments, which could do him no harm. I am sure he loses pleasanter companions than he can find in his own thoughts..."
From A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, 1843

All of these things have me pondering the New Year, which is just around the corner, and reviewing the past year, which is nearly at an end. How time alters the world!

What a year 2001 has been. The biggest personal change has been two daughters grown and gone. As well, there has been the discovery and treatment of Ariel's cancer. All this has taken place in the context of political conflicts, in particular the war on terrorism.

We contemplated little of what transpired in 2001 during last year's New Year's Eve celebrations. The year before, 2000, we feared monumental shifts in the world, with Y2K computer failures. We did not imagine then, that loss of life and peace of mind would embrace the entire world in the years to come.

Today a light snow is drifting down from the sky. The world is a grayscale rendition of winter. Visually colorless, the gently descending snow has a calming effect. Muted by movement are the harsh contrasts of black and white. Small frozen bits of water descend from heaven to earth, bringing life to rigidity.

In the neighborhood people are out with their shovels; they are wrapped in warm coats, cozy hats and mitts, and seem quite jolly as they bank the snow around their drives and sidewalks. Standing by the window watching I remember how it felt to tackle thoughtlessly such tasks as shoveling snow. How blithely unaware I was of the fragility of such capabilities. I would have enjoyed them more than I did, had I known. It is good, however, to humbly watch these small evidences of "peace on earth".

It is the holiday season and we continue to feast upon leftovers. We have not tired of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, peas, and corn. There are still tempting bits of apple and mincemeat pie, laid out on the Christmas table. Chocolate treats still wait underneath the Christmas tree to be rediscovered and enjoyed.

Christmas lights and the scent of pine create an atmosphere of festivity as we move through the days towards the New Year.

Attila leaves each morning in darkness, to spend his days outdoors in the snowy countryside. He arrives home tired from honest work, satisfied with a job well done.

I spend these holidays working on various projects and attempting to sort through the administrative nightmares that seem to glue our society together.

Lately I have been daydreaming. I dream of social projects that create benefits for all. My definition of "all" expands beyond the painstakingly selected visible and measured "all" that populates statistical studies and popular journalism. My definition of benefits relates to the basic things people need, as opposed to things people come to need through social circumstance. My list of benefits would start with food for all, clothing for all, shelter for all...

Of course, those who already have these things, thankfully this includes Attila and I, would not receive additional wealth. Therein lies the problem, "success" being so much admired and related to the extra-essential.

I do not think I am alone in my dreams. I think there is a little bit of that naive Tiny Tim in most of us.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

New Slippers, New View

By the Easy Chair
Life in a Medieval Village
by Frances and Joseph Gies
(reading this book is an ongoing project, lots to digest here)

Best of Scottish Pipes and Drums
by The Dan Air Scottish Pipe Band

16:57 EST
Temp: -5` C
Humidity: 63%
Wind: W 22 km/h
Barometric:100.1 kPa

Sunrise 7:55 AM EST
Sunset 4:57 PM EST

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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