Well! We are having a white Christmas this year!
It was storming when Attila left for work, predawn, on this first day of winter. Here is it noon, and a thick veil of snow continues to fall from the sky. The cold will keep this snow close for the season holiday.
I ventured out briefly this morning. The newspaper had been delivered as usual, thrown onto the driveway from a moving vehicle. It was fast disappearing as the snow accumulated. So I bundled up, and out I went, shovel in hand. Clearing a path before me to the end of the drive, where the newspaper was snatched up and shaken vigorously to remove the snow. The snow plow will go by later today, but before Attila arrives home. It will leave a huge snow bank across the end of the driveway, blocking Attila’s access. Between the arrival of the snow plow, and the arrival of Attila, I will be out there again with my shovel!
On these snowy days I don’t need to work out on my elliptical machine.
Writing on Facebook is ephemeral. Every so often I delete everything in my timeline, a big job. In contrast, this online journal is on my own server, and will exist archived on CDs and hard drives, which may or may not survive. If they do survive, and if I have any descendants, what I write might be read at some distant time in the future. If not, what does it matter. The universe hears me, my words, my small, almost invisible contributions, become a part of the collective consciousness, in one way or another. There is so much of the way of things that are not seen, not perceived, not understood. Human ignorance does not dictate reality, it exists without us, and our short lives swirl in the chaos and patterns that are formed.
This morning I have written a few things on Facebook that I might like to revisit, so I am recording them here for myself. My relationship with the written word is intense. In my reality the words I write create a bond with the universe, what I write matters. It matters not to a particular person, or cause. It matters to the universe, just as every grain of sand on the beach is a part of the beach, its movement involved in some greater process beyond its understanding. In writing I hitch my wagon to chaos, time, and the value of existence.
So dear diary, here are a few of the things I’ve been writing about this morning. Some additional sentences are included.
An article by David Grossman fascinated me this morning, as it articulated some of the reasons I write an online journal.
This was my comment on the article:
“An inspiring lecture. My favourite passages are:
library: “…a place whose essence is the story of the individual, unique human being, and “the world” as a brutal, belligerent, identity-erasing reality.”
“When Donald Trump speaks—or Tweets—I feel subjected to the harmful radiation of an uninhibited cynic who is fully aware of his mission: to turn human beings not only into a mass, but into a mob.”
“Anyone who has spent their life writing stories knows: underneath each human tale, another one lies hidden. Sometimes it contradicts the visible layer, while at other times it completes and enriches it. This is true of individual stories, and national stories. We all know people who, over the years, have become trapped inside their own private narrative—their “official” story.”
And here is the core of my interest in this article:
“You could say that I “massage” it back into a story about human beings.”
“every time a whole, multi-layered character enters our lives, we rediscover how every one of us contains so many possibilities of existence, most of which we cannot even describe, yet they exist inside us as silent longings, and sometimes burdens, soul-shadows, until we encounter a book that animates them and gives them a name.”
I think that the larger picture has become so manipulated and corrupted that the human level ceases to predominate.
The despair I see around me lives there, in the larger picture.
This is why I write a personal journal, and deal only with the personal, which exists in the context of the heartless, hopeless “larger picture”. As my bio says,
“That is what others thought of me. Here you will find what I think of myself.”
A different approach than David Grossman’s, touching few lives by comparison, but the lives that do connect with mine in this way are so very valuable.”
1968: “Winter made a comeback in Toronto yesterday with a 12-inch snowfall, and motorists and pedestrians slogged their way homeward along slush-clogged Bay St., arriving late, cold and damp at homes darkened by a power failure.” Photo by Bob Olsen. – Courtesy of Toronto Public Library & the Toronto Star Archives.
This was taken the year before I arrived in downtown Toronto to attend Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. Having lived on a tender fruit farm my whole life, Toronto was overwhelming. With little money, I rented a couch to sleep on in someone’s living room, in an apartment in St. James Town. The accommodation was found by calling a telephone number torn from the bottom of an ad on a bulletin board at Ryerson. Marsha, who rented me her couch, was a model, whose husband was studying architecture in Portland, Oregon, I only met him once when he was home for a few days.
I bought a 10 lb. bag of dry rice, a bottle of olive oil, stole ketchup and mustard from the cafeteria at Ryerson, for flavouring, drank only water, and survived. I knew no one.
Toronto was magic to me from the very first day.
Date: 8:00 AM EST Friday 22 December 2017
Condition: Light Snow – not true it is snowing heavily.
Pressure: 102.4 kPa
Dew point: -13.0°C
Wind: NE 25 gust 35 km/h
Wind Chill: -20
Visibility: 1 km
“Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.”
1809 – 1865
To save anyone else the trouble, I describe how I see myself, myself, here. Works for me. I love reading diaries, journals, blogs or whatever people call what they write about their own lives.