In order to fix a problem you must first identify it.
In order to fix a problem you must first identify it.
I wish that I could see
A signpost up ahead
“Well done girl you’re winning!”
If only it had said.
Instead I fear the opposite
The signs are very clear
“Caution, Speed Bumps Ahead”
I’m in a new frontier.
“Stop, Proceed Slowly”
My love life does it mean?
I’m really not that kind of girl
It’s not where I have been.
“Wrong Way” “No Exit”
My future perhaps?
“Dead Zone” ahead
There appears to be gaps!
“Wide Turn” ahead
Are you talking about me?
“No Turn Around”
I’m confused now you see!
“Do Not Turn Left”
“Do Not Turn Right”
“Road Work Ahead”
It’s one hell of a fight!
Confusion sets in
As I’m ordered about
Signs are everywhere
Upon my chosen route.
A statement on life
These signs seem to be
We can choose to listen
Or we can choose to be free.
A caveat I must declare
If freedom you embrace
“Caution” up ahead
A hefty fine you’ll face!
My Father was a Wireless Operator/Rear Gunner in a Lancaster Bomber in the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) in World War II. My Grandfather was an Infantryman with the Winnipeg Grenadiers in WWI. I wear the Poppy with pride. And I hate war.
I hate the need for war. And I question if there actually is a need. But I’m not the one living in a war-torn country. I’m not the one living in fear of my own countrymen. I simply don’t understand. But others do.
Both my father and my grandfather understood. They willingly put themselves in harms way for the belief that everyone deserves the right to live freely. That is something I believe it.
I didn’t know my grandfather. He came home after the war but he was filled with a need to see more. He traveled across Canada and took some of the most beautiful photographs. As an electrician by trade he was one of the people that installed the main chandelier in the lobby of the Banff Springs Hotel, one of Canada’s most iconic landmarks. I was there many years later. And I was touched when I looked up and saw it. My grandfather did that!
He eventually settled down and married and had two children. He was there in Winnipeg, Manitoba during The General Strike of 1919. “Our Cause is Just” was their battle cry. That strike helped to change the way workers were treated. He stood proudly again.
My father too survived his war. He came home and settled down. He met my mother just after he came back. Actually, she tells a story about how she was working in a high-rise office building and several Lancasters flew by quite low. They were in formation and evidently it was quite a sight to see. Years later my mother found out that she was actually looking at my father’s plane! The world moves in mysterious ways.
So today I am thinking of my father and of my grandfather. I weep a tear that they are gone. I am also thinking of all the other men and women fighting wars that I don’t understand. But I do understand loyalty and I understand compassion and duty.
The freedoms that we enjoy today are because of soldiers. They are on the front line to protect our democracy and our right to choose. I wish we didn’t have the need. I wish people from disparate backgrounds could learn to appreciate each other. We have so much we could learn from each other. We could learn not to hate. We could learn not to fight.
Today I stand proud as my father once did, as my grandfather did. We will pick up the torch from failing hands. It is our turn to hold it high and not break faith with those who sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.
When I was four I wanted to be a ballerina. My parents had a beautiful mirror that depicted two ballet dancers in mid pose. The male was supporting the female who was standing ‘en point’ with one leg out of sight behind her. They were in relief in the middle of this large ornate, silver mirror. I was memorized by the hidden leg.
When I was nine I wanted to be a veterinarian. I loved animals and I wanted to help them, care for them. But there is another side to the job that is necessary and it involves pain and death. Nope.
Airline Pilot: nice uniform, nasty passengers Professional Dancer: two left feet
Then I walked the boards of a school Christmas play. I had one line: “Pearls of great price to him we adorn, is the worship of each lowly one.” I wore my Mother’s terry cloth bathrobe and a towel over my head. I was hooked. I was also 11 years old.
Scoot forward several years. In High School I was in several plays that won awards. I got to perform on a professional stage, with the High School, several times. I enrolled in a University with a well-respected theatre department. And I continued to shine. Learning lines was easy, blocking (movements on stage) was almost instinctive. This was my element. This was also within a controlled environment. Graduation is one hell of a wake up call.
I went on auditions and got several jobs. Walk on and bit parts. I was there to react to the ‘real’ actors. I did meet a very few: Martin Short, John Candy. Most of the time was spent far away from the principles and waiting and waiting and waiting and . . . You get the picture.
I was never good at selling myself – problem one. I did not meet the criteria for the current fashionable young female actor: blond, pert, skinny and um, not bright. I was a real red-head, not skinny and intelligent (although I learn to play dumb quite well).
But a girl’s got to eat and I craved independence. I got a real job. And then I discovered I had Multiple Sclerosis. Perspectives change.
There was an adjustment period to my new reality but also new beginnings. My Mother told me I was in charge and the choice was mine: give in and spend a life wallowing in my self-pity or live. Find a life or make one. And I did!
I am not where I thought I wanted to be. I’m somewhere better.
Can we truly shed our past?
Time is something to embrace, so you can savour the moment.
I was looking through the new television programs for this fall and a thought struck me: where are the original programs? I am sure there are programs slated to be on the air that are unique but the majority are not.
They are redoing programs that were very popular in the 80s and 90s. The original actors are still alive and I wonder, what do they think of all of this. Some shows are actually bringing back the original actors after 20+ years. I’m curious to see how that translates. Successful shows have always gotten sequels and some of them have done amazingly well. Some have died an ignoble death within a few months. The television audience is a fickle one. Sometimes a really bad show can have a good actor in it and it will survive. Sometimes a really well written and well acted series can’t get a following and is cut. It is a mystery.
And that’s another thing, a successful show of one genre will spawn several competing shows with the same premise. For example: the Male/ Female Buddy System. Man and woman working together, fight, save each other, argue, sexual tension, problem solved. It is a formula that has been used to death.
I guess people are just more comfortable with what they know. The show MacGyver was an original when it came out. His name is even used today to explain quick, creative thinking to get out of a jam. I enjoyed it in the 80s and I’ve enjoyed the remake. Call me fickle!
Let’s face it, with all the issues going on in the world, television entertainment is not high on the list of importance, or it shouldn’t be. But this industry pulls in trillions of dollars and it can shape society. People are easily manipulated with the right propaganda. I am including myself in this. We become comfortable with people we trust and a lot of them are simply actors, hopefully good actors with integrity, but what are they selling? We invite them into our homes through our television and we believe them. Does Hollywood truly reflect society? And what does that say about us?
Oh, and just out of curiosity, which old television program would you like to see reimagined?
It has been a very busy week and I don’t have a post ready for Sunday so I hope you don’t mind this Blast From My Past . . .
I originally posted this in September 2013. I hope you enjoy it.
When you look up at the stars at night do you feel homesick? Okay, okay, bad joke. Do you know once upon a time I laughed uproariously at that joke. I ran around and told all my preteen friends. Yes, it’s that old. And so am I.
As we age our funny bone seems to migrate. For some people it ends up around the nether regions. For others humour becomes more cerebral. I don’t know the equation to what’s funny. I don’t even know what makes me laugh until I am actually laughing. When was the last time you laughed so hard there were tears running down your face? Do you remember the knee slapping, rib tickling, gut wrenching guffaws you used to hear when a group of people got together to watch a comedy film? I don’t, at least not recently. The last time I had one of those all-encompassing, falling on the floor cackles was watching an old movie.
The movie was ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. I don’t remember the movie. I don’t even know if it was actually a comedy. What I do remember is my boyfriend and I beating on the furniture. We were laughing so hard we were crying. I remember him falling on the floor and not able to catch his breath. But I don’t remember the movie. I remember that there was a series but it appeared to be about teenage angst (and vampire slaying) I wasn’t interested. I had enough of that when I was a teenager! (The angst not the slaying!) Don’t get me wrong I enjoy comedy. I’ve been known to crack a smile and even show teeth. I just haven’t had a really good belly laugh in a very long time.
Laughter is a universal language. It crosses borders and brings people together. It can also alienate people and cause others to commit various forms of harm. Of course that in itself can be funny! But I digress. I don’t know of any culture that doesn’t have some form of laughter. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could laugh more and shoot less? We spend so much of our time behaving according to the narrow dictates of societal decorum that when we let loose it can be epic! Find the time to laugh. A really good guffaw exercises the whole body!
I sometimes fear that we do not have the wisdom to learn from the past.
Sorry everyone, it has been a busy week and the post I had planned is not quite ready. I hope this little story will amuse you in the mean time.
Lea looked around her and smiled. Life was good. She felt as if she was on top of the world. Which in fact, was not too far from the truth. She was high enough to look down on the teeming masses and feel superior.
A gentle breeze moved around her and she shivered in delight. With the sun on her face and the faintest wafts of air to keep the bugs at bay there was no other place Lea would have preferred to be. Here she could while away the days in thought and feeling. The whole experience was a hedonistic surplus of sensation.
It is dangerous to spend all of one’s time in the near sighted pursuit of just one ideal. With the passage of time comes change.
Lea woke one morning to a strange feeling of fear. She really didn’t understand the sensation but she was sure she didn’t like it. Carefully she glanced around her. Everything seemed unchanged. The people she could see were scurrying about their daily lives. The sun was in the sky, the wind was quiet but still there. It had rained over the last few days but that was not unusual and it even made the world seem a little crisper, more alive. But something was different.
Lea didn’t live in her little aerie alone, she had neighbours. When she finally deigned to actually acknowledge them, she discovered that they had changed. Perhaps they had spent too much time in the sun because they were definitely a different colour. Not an unpleasant shade of red but it did depend on your tastes. Once again Lea felt superior. She wasn’t going to change, not her.
There are few inevitabilities in life, death and taxes not withstanding. The passage of time can never be halted no matter how much we may want it and with that passage also comes change. We can rail against it all we want but change happens.
It had been a few weeks since Lea had first noticed the changes in her neighbours and she was horrified to see that they seemed to have accepted it. It must be because they were old, past their prime. Not like her. Although, in the last few weeks she had been feeling a little tired, not her usual perky self. It must be the weather. The wind was blowing a little harder and the sun wasn’t nearly as warm as it had been. Lea was sure that it would all pass and that one day soon everything would be back to normal. It had to, she wouldn’t accept anything else.
The next day Lea woke feeling cold and sore. She looked to her neighbours and saw that they were gone. She made the effort to look around her and noticed that all of her neighbours had gone. She was alone. The people below were fewer and those she could see were not enjoying the day like they used to, they seemed to be in a hurry. It is hard to feel sanctimonious when you are alone.
A few days later Lea did not wake up. The wind was blowing hard and crisp. The sun seemed lower in the sky, almost as if it too was finding it difficult to rise in the morning. The warm days of summer had come to an end and the cool winds of change had brought the autumn. With her many neighbours Lea now formed a blanket of leaves beneath her cherished trees. The seasons changed once more.
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