December 2, 2003

Letting Go



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]

The wind awoke me this morning. It moaned quietly through the trees just outside the window. When curiosity finally overcame me, I opened my eyes; I expected to see the backlit tree branches blurred by a white haze. In the city, there is always a backlight to provide silhouette. Sharp contrast revealed swaying black lines across the sky; no snow. I closed my eyes and dozed. Ten minutes later the wind rattled the window. Again, I gazed from my pillow up into the stripped canopy. The wavering branches were blurred; the snow had arrived.

Hours later, it was still early morning when Attila waved goodbye from the driver's seat of his van. It was a pretty as a picture. The streetlights swayed slightly as snow danced around them in a whirling halo. Two tracks in the fresh snow followed Attila’s departure into the day. I waved from the warm haven of the front window. He waved from the warm machine as it carried him away from home.

Another hour has passed and here I sit, staring into the thickening light. The wind still teases the morning, but the snow has stopped, for the moment at least. I can see that this will be a day of sudden reversals.

The telephone rang just now. It was Attila.

"You’d best stay home unless it’s really important." his cell-phoned voice scratched, "The roads are treacherous. Save your errands for tomorrow if you can."

I thanked him for the heads-up. Already I am re-planning my day to suit the weather. How lucky I am to have that alternative in the face of inclement weather.

On Sunday last, I asked Attila if he would mind committing a couple of hours to help me rearrange my office space. The intention was simply to move the furniture about, so that the desk faced the window. Gazing out the window is a necessary part of every day.

One thing led to another and the project turned into a "grand purge". My office has been accumulating "stuff", unchecked since 1998. Everywhere there are piles of "tech" notes, outdated documentation, and like detritus of modern life. After sorting through papers for hours on Sunday, I was exhausted. Focus is required to ensure that documents and notes containing sensitive material be sorted from the rest.

There were four categories of papers to deal with; documents still needed, documents to be discarded (printed both sides), documents for scrap paper (printed one side), and sensitive documents to be destroyed.

After sorting all day yesterday, it seems this project will be completed today. The documents-to-be-discarded pile of paper is over a foot deep, as is the stack of documents-for-scrap-paper. Shockingly, the sensitive-document stack is even deeper. These documents will be burned.

The "domino effect" has come into effect. While sorting out my working space, I unearthed many personal letters, cards, and memorabilia saved over the last five years. All of these discoveries must be relocated. This lead to a rearrangement of all such treasures collected over the years.

I am getting old. The collective volume of treasures increases with each passing year. The "grand purge" project has leapfrogged into a complete reassessment of the treasure trove. This is very time consuming. The temptation to reread those wonderful letters, from friends now seldom seen, from friends gone and buried, from small children who once sat on my knee and kept me perpetually exhausted; that temptation is too great to resist. I visit my past, my ghosts, and my spent youth.

I am reminded of a phrase used in a letter I wrote at the age of thirteen. Forced to attend a family holiday, the boy friend was left behind for several weeks. I wrote to him daily. I wrote to him of the "bittersweet melancholy" of separation. It was entirely heartfelt. Here I am, experiencing a "bittersweet melancholy" decades later, the same sentiment in a very different context.

Just as a point of interest, I married that boy friend, years later, and lived to regret it bitterly. I should have known better. When I returned from that family holiday as a young teenager, he ridiculed me mercilessly for using such flowery language to say I had missed him. We were temperamentally unsuited. That marriage was just one of those monumental errors that haunts an entire life span. I understand why I chose to marry such a being; I forgive myself. However, I have not forgotten just how "human" I can be.

As I sit at the keyboard, I can see the snow drifting down through the trees. My line of vision includes a storage cupboard, partially emptied and surrounded by stacks of memories just waiting for my company. So will go the day.

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Temp: -3`C
Humidity: 74%
Wind: W 13 km/h
Barometric: 103.1 kPa

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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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