Thursday, 14 July 2016

It isn't even June, it's July

Though that isn't necessarily evident here in Labrador. It is rainy and cool - let me check the temperature - yep it's about 18 here - which is about 65 or so for you Amuricans. Not bad. I didn't have to wear my sweater but it is close. I'm at work, on my break and wanted to update this blog.
I'll say it right out - I'm having a tough time doing anything that isn't work or the dishes. I am plumb outa poop as they say (where? where do they say that? In my head, that's where.) I'm deeply sadly homesick and I can't seem to recover from it. I look at the beauty here and all I can see most days is prison bars. I've been immobilized with chronic pain in my hip and although I'm fighting it with lots of good food and exercise, I feel it is a losing battle. Work is good - by which I mean it is meaningful and plentiful - but difficult. Like most of the world, it seems like a struggle to find the basic goodness here right now. Oh, I know it is here, otherwise I couldn't be - but every step forward seems fraught.

I read the other day that Aboriginal communities were tired of believing that their youth were suiciding because of mental illness - they were suicidal because of the disease of colonization. I agree. And I'd like to add to the list of symptoms of that disease - sexual abuse, physical violence, murder, addiction, depression, anxiety, and a general malaise I'd call No Hope. We miss the point when we blame the weak and dis-empowered  for their own problems. It has been a long battle in my heart - this taking on the guilt of the oppressor but I cannot hide from it anymore. It doesn't matter that I tell myself (and others) that my ancestors were more oppressed than oppressors - Scottish people hauled from their land so the English could graze their sheep - I know that the mantle of oppression shifts from shoulders to shoulders but the whites have worn it since they arrived in the new world. Period. We don't want to know about it - who wants to know that their privilege comes at the expense of others - but it is true. The most miserably downtrodden white street person has more power than the most lauded and moneyed Aboriginal.

I will have learned much on this sojourn to another part of Canada and I will forget much of it. But I won't forget the kids here. Ever.

Thursday, 28 January 2016


So cold.
So very very cold.
But my mind is ticking away - ideas heating it up

The fella and I have started university.
We are attending The College of Long Nights. We are the only two students and we are also the only two instructors. I'm taking one course now (just until I get going). It is Moby Dick. The course consists of me reading the book and then discussing it with the fella who has read it several times.  The fella is taking Dante's Inferno which he will then discuss with me. He's going to start Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (a self-directed course using the book of the same name), and I'm soon to start Important Elements in Understanding WWII offered by the fella. It's all terribly exciting. I don't think there will be any papers or exams but we will have to respond to that old exam question: Discuss.

I'm enjoying Moby Dick. It is a lot more humorous than I thought it would be. I'm not sure why I thought it would be rather dry and boring - it certainly isn't. I read Captain Ahab's Wife (Or The Star Gazer) by Sena Jeter Naslund last year so it is fun seeing how closely the author followed her inspiration. Not sure how the fella is doing with Dante's Inferno. I might just ask him to read certain Cantos aloud to me. I love his reading voice. When he is taking the drawing course (which I've already done) I can draw along with him so that'll be fun. As to the WWII class - he has to instruct me on what to read. I don't need to have his grasp of the subject - just a better one than I have.

Other antidotes to the desire to simply go to bed at 7:30 are becoming involved with a group looking into representational voting in Canada - a wonderfully confusing topic that will eat up hours with debate; reading Bill Bryson's The Road to Little Dribbling and positively losing it with laughter; trying to teach the dog to beg - which lasted about 45 seconds. Not everything works. We're rather tired of Netflix for instance. I can't bear all the mean cold thrillers out there. I'm full up with Scottish, Danish, Norwegian and British detectives who are submerged in mental states to dire to contemplate. Please refrain from suggesting ones I'm sure to like - I won't. I only want to watch Rake over and over again. So there.

And of course - cooking nice food, cuddling, talking to friends back home, and maybe going back to teaching myself the piano.

Winter is long.