Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Day of the Year

Here we go, another year gone by, here comes 2008.

It's been a crazy week. I fell in a snowbank out back, encased in snow up to my hip and couldn't get out. Luckily a neighbor saw me and I eventually got rescued. But for the briefest moment, I felt what it must be like to be in quicksand, or what it might be like, if no one ever came, to just stay there STUCK, and die in the snow. At first it was humorous, then a bit panicky, and finally ... just embarassing. So much for shoveling where shovels are never meant to go, ha ha.

I've just been reading The New York Times's take on the year we've just had, in an article titled Looking at America
: "There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country... " It speaks of a "horrible sense of estrangement." Strong words, but they echo my sentiments exactly. Just when you think things might be starting to get better -- yet another thread in the fabric of Everything manages to come untangled.

But that's no reason not to keep trying. Here's to a new year of Hope and Possibility.
For all the ex-pats out there, for all those who feel alienated in their birth country, or are in exile and miss home--or, like me, don't feel that home is a physical place--for all the beings in the universe, I wish Peace and Happiness and that we all arrive at where we're meant to be.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Paix ... pas encore

What a week. Andre has been moved to Intensive Care, Benazir Bhutto is dead, they still haven't found Cedrika, Boxing Day has come and gone, chaos reigns; meanwhile there's snow to be shoveled, laundry to be folded, soup to be made, that neglected story to be rewritten ....

This morning when I went out to walk the neighbor's little dog, the air smelled srongly of pine, the sky was an intense blue, and with the fresh coat of snow from last night, everything felt all new and wonderful and possible again. Until I turn on the news and get reminded that my little patch of reality is just that--a mere drop in the vast sea of Everything. Well, I don't know what to think of the eventual repercussions of these latest events in Pakistan and how this will all play out vis-a-vis the prevailing nuclear phobia (e.g., who's minding the nukes over there?). Meanwhile, the pressing little daily chores intervene. Good news: Yvon will reconvene our French conversation group the first week of January, woo hoo!

Trois-Rivieres, over and out. Gotta go shovel snow.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Early Morning Thoughts on Christmas Day

.... please?

Just about every house in the neighborhood--in fact, the entire sector here--"lights up" at Christmas time. Snow everywhere, and those beautiful, magnificent sparkling lights at night... it's almost magical.

Am looking out my window this morning and everything is gray. Due to the heavy winds yesterday the cedar trees out back mightily shook their branches, sending bits of twigs and cones that now litter the once-pristine snow-blanket. The inflatable Santa on the porch across the street, beaming robustly last night beneath the twinkling lights, now hangs limp and airless. They'll pump him up again tonight when darkness descends and the holiday lights get turned on for the evening display--another picture-book Christmas. But this morning, it's the grayness that permeates: gray sky, gray snow, gray air, waiting for the sun to show its face.

The New Year's supposed to be about hope, at least most people hope that things will be better than the preceding year(s). A much-loved family uncle is spending the holidays in the hospital, his wife and son and daughter and brother all taking turns to sit with him, in hourly shifts, as he battles cancer from his bedside. My 80-year old neighbor is celebrating Christmas alone, with her little dog. The city is still asleep.


Back again, later, at the computer. The aroma of fresh coffee, the cats happily snoozing, it's so quiet (except for the furnace chugging away in the basement), and patches of blue are beginning to appear in the sky, yay.

Speaking of hope, I read an article this morning that suggests that current events may not ALL be speeding us toward "despair, fascism and madness":

Maybe we can take some guidance from this tiny nation at the center of the earth. -- Greg Palast

THIS sort of story to me is the hope for the future of our world.
-- Roger Anderson

It was shared with me; I'd like to share it with you:
Good and Evil at the Center of the Earth: A Quechua Christmas Carol

A Merry Christmas and enjoyable holiday to all!

(I MISS YOU, my little family bubs so many miles away!!)

Saturday, December 8, 2007


L'Hebdo reports this week that Frederick Durand, Châteauneuf Michel and Pierre Labrie, three Trifluvians, have written a book of poetry titled Locoleitmotive.

"They wanted to do something different and unique, bringing together a single text written by three poets. 'Locoleitmotive is another way of looking at poetry,
and a great way to learn about this kind of literature', says Pierre Labrie, one of the authors of the book. 'I believe we have created a new genre.'[Photo, L'Hebdo Journal]

"But Locoleitmotive is not really a book of poetry, since it reads like a novel, from beginning to end. 'The work is pushing for a main character that we follow through various epics , genocide, environmental disaster, through personal tragedies and wars of religion.
While a book of poetry is formed from a series of the collection in one piece, rather we present a product that does not yet exist in Quebec: a poetic thriller,' he says, convinced that the work will appeal equally to fans of poetry and the black or thriller novel." [1]

A poetic thriller, eh? I must confess I have never read any of the works of these three local writers but it's interesting when poets or authors attempt to expand their literary horizon and try presenting their work in a new genre.

Their project caught my attention because a few weeks ago I wrote a short poem, which somehow evolved into a long, single prose poem several pages long, to be read as a story. It could hardly be considered a novel (too short) and it wasn't the product of a collaboration, nor was it especially "dark". I haven't yet read Locoleitmotive, and therefore am unfamiliar with its actual content, but it may be that we're talking about two very different things here. However, it's always interesting to experiment with new ways to present a thing, testing the boundaries, and going beyond the prevailing standardized format--or, as in the case of Locoleitmotive--create an entirely new genre. I'm noting the launch of this new publication in my blog first, because the authors are local poets/writers (and we writers should support one another), and second because if they have, in fact, created a new genre that does not yet exist in Quebec, well, that fact should be shared.

In any case, I plan to find a copy of Locoleitmotive and check it out!
The book's due out around January 16. (I wish I still didn't need a dictionary at hand when I read a French book, though!)