March 23, 2002

The Pastoral



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]

Spring has arrived dressed in spectacular winter finery. The temperatures are cold, the snow glitters in the warm sunshine. Although the Vernal Equinox is an observable phenomenon, its designation as the first day of Spring is arbitrary in a uniquely human sense. Children are often confused here in Canada, by the lack of correlation between the first day of Spring and the Spring images of daffodils and greening grass so prolific in the media and retail world.

A weather person on "The Weather Network" this morning said that, "March is the cruel month". I could not agree more. It is in March that the last storms of winter batter our weary psyches here in Canada. We long for warmth and color. Brief periods of warm weather lure our hopes into the open where Arctic winds can easily catch them. March is a month of hope and almost certain disappointment.

However, today is the twenty-third of March and in just nine days April will arrive. Although wintry storms occasionally invade the month of April, it is not common. One may begin to hope with enthusiasm once March is behind us.

There are times in my life when physicality becomes almost meaningless. Taken with my thoughts, I leave behind all sense of the corporeal world. Eating is easily forgotten and hunger becomes a recurring annoyance.

At times like these, I appreciate Attila more than I can say. Attila is firmly rooted in the physical world, where I am not. Attila religiously honors his appetite for nourishment, where I can be entirely without redemption. As an occasional and unrepentant lost soul, it behooves me to follow reason blindly. When Attila prepares a meal, I eat. When Attila snacks, I emulate. Good health is ensured.

What is occupying my mind? Technical stuff, to be sure, takes up a lot of my focus. However, the most interesting subject of reverie these days is people, women to be more but not particularly specific. The class I am taking is chock full of interesting female characters that provide an incredible feast for thought. I feel different and the same all at once. Odd, sometimes disturbing, but not in the least bit dull.

Another area of my interest is the palpable past. Like many others, genealogy has caught my fancy. This interest has provided pleasant exchanges with cousins, second cousins, and distant relatives of all descriptions. My interest has spread beyond my own genetic gene pool to the geographic area where my ancestors pioneered. These are the people and the places that have shaped my values.

Mythogenesis during my childhood was geographically rooted and spun by those who would feel the direct consequences of their creations. Progress has changed this age-old pattern of social behavior. When the mobility of people, goods, and information was limited, many of the consequences of profit and competition were painfully evident. A limited but effective local accountability existed, a precarious balance was maintained for centuries at a time.

My own children have been profoundly influenced by remote reality brokers such as teachers, television, and peer-groups. My grandchildren will be influenced by the even more remote Internet and other forms of mass communication that have yet to be developed. It seems that as we experience "progress", the quality of our unity, our connections, and our communities' declines.

It seems ironic that I find personal solace in a cathode ray tube.

Patrick Logier like to quote the mass media as "chewing gum for the mind". Although I doubt that we are all chewing in unison, I do not doubt that we are all chewing.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Bare Tree Branches and Blue Sky
Skyline in March

By the Easy Chair
Families: Ontario Genealogical Society
vol 41 - no. 1
February 2002

On the Screen
Hearts in Atlantis
starrring Anthony Hopkins
based on a novel by Stephen King

17:57 EST
Temp: 3`C
Humidity: 52%
Wind: NW 28 km/h
Barometric:101.1 kPa

Sunrise 6:22 AM EST
Sunset 6:40 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."

Copyright 1999 - Today Maggie Turner
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