Other (not always) wordless friends:
Once upon a time there was a girl who grew up believing in bravery, truth, equality and heart. She thought everyone was the same.
She grew up.
She saw there was a difference.
And then one day so many voices sang a song she longed to hear… “same, different, what does it matter? !” What matters is brains and heart and truth sang the voices and the girl was happy to hear this happy song and packed up her brains and her bravery and her truth and arranged them on her new desk and on her shelves and she opened books that said this is allowed and this is allowed and this and this and she memorized it all and took it to heart and she was very good at keeping things true and there were pots of tea, and fresh cupcakes everywhere and they were marvellous and all was well.
Tra la, tra la, things went (or so it seemed) until out of the blue (or so it seemed) the people who said same different doesn’t matter said what are you doing? And the girl said keeping things true. And the same different people said why? And the girl looked up from her books, looked up into their faces, and she was confused, didn’t understand the word why.
There is no same they said (or maybe they implied it), everything is different. We thought you knew that. We thought you knew this was just a desk and those were just shelves (who cares that you line them with truth?) and you are just a girl and stop eating the good cupcakes… the stale ones are for you. We thought you knew that.
Once upon a time there was a girl.
A woman with wet hair comes out into the cold morning without a coat and starts her car then goes back into the house leaving the car idling and I’m sorry I don’t have a note handy, something I can put under the windshield that says you’re fine to come outside with wet hair and NO COAT but you have to warm up your car?? (I’m often sorry I don’t have a pocket full of notes with various sentiments.)
The plastic salad container that obviously fell out of a recycling bin but makes me wonder a) why didn’t the garbage person just pick it up when it fell out, and b) even more curious—why didn’t the homeowner pick it up when they brought in their blue bin? (Again pre-printed notes would be so handy.)
A guy walking a dog and every so often bouncing a tennis ball for the dog to leap up and catch.
Cardinal singing figaro! figaro! figaro! from a treetop.
People eating in passing cars, breakfast presumably, and before I get all judgey, may I remind myself that I used to be the banana queen of the Don Valley Parkway.
The horrifying and surely destined collision of a school bus barrelling along a narrow street and a car backing out of a driveway, and the miracle of timing that has the driver of the car look up at the crucial last second when the bus is but a millimetre from slamming into it.
The guy working in a construction pit with a drill and a toque over which he wears a headset/ear protector thingy and as I pass I say good morning and of course, even though the drill isn’t running at that moment, I realize he can’t hear me… but he nods anyway, as if he can.
It’s Wednesday, which means I ought to be posting a mysterious photo or story prompt… more or less a self-imposed rule, which makes it easy to break.
Instead, I want to talk about bookshelves, other people’s, and how a recent snoop is connected to last Wednesday’s mysterious photo.
Snoop is a harsh word. I was more ‘browsing’ at the cottage where we stayed recently, a remote place in 300 acres of forest, on a lake, surrounded by trails and perfect snowshoeing conditions. We go to this place every year for the seclusion and disconnection from everything other than books, food, wine and fireplace (tea and starlight and thick blankets on the deck also allowed).
As always, my travel bag is mainly filled with books, even for just a few days. But if there’s a bookshelf where I’m staying, chances are I’ll be seduced. (There is something so satisfying in perusing other people’s bookshelves.)
It should be noted that my interest is not to see what they’re reading, as in current titles… bore bore bore… but rather what they’ve collected, the quirky books that might have been culled over time but were kept instead. Those are the ones I’m drawn to. Cloth covers and dust, that kind of thing. Also how the books are filed is interesting… alphabetically, by subject, theme, mood…
This place does it ‘by subject’, which subjects include theology, Shakespeare, political memoir, climate, history, nature, art, Ireland, novels about Ireland, and classic novels, the Brontes, etc., as well as obscure (to me) volumes of poetry such as ‘I Take it Back’, by Margaret Fishback, who strikes me as a sort of poetic Dorothy Parker for all of her delicious rhyming sarcasm as she comments on the state of society. (The rhyming, of course, is essential to the sarcasm.)
To a Baby One Day Old
It seems a sweet absurdity
to call so small a morsel ‘he’.
I mean, to think she was writing about gender identity in the 1930’s…
And this, a little tongue in cheek for, well, you know who you are.
On My Toes
I’m the pronunciation snob who knows
how to cope with the Ballet Joose…
nor does the Monte Carlo Ballet Russe
stagger me as it may do youse.
I also read about Lewis and Clarke and how Lewis was a bit of a jackass who thought very highly of his white self and neglected to give credit to the Shoshone wife of a member of the their crew. Her name was Sacagawea and without her they’d have been sunk as she was the only one who knew the terrain, the language and how to navigate the territory, including interactions with indigenous ‘residents’. Fortunately the transcribing of Lewis and Clarke’s journals fell to Clarke after Lewis’s death and he, being a much more decent bloke, gave her the credit she deserved (and which Lewis had conveniently left out of his own notes).
And I read about Emily Carr, who I’ve read, and read about, many times. But this was different in that the book I found was a rather obscure volume, written by one of her art students and life long friend, Carol Pearson. And not only was Pearson a friend of Carr, she grew up to be Aunt Carol to the people who own the cottage we were staying in. And not only that but Aunt Carol had a small cabin of her own in these very woods, which is now ramshackle (but the dish rack remains) and every time we’ve been up here I’ve passed it and wondered who it belonged to. And now I know.
This is what happens when you snoop in people’s bookshelves.
I mean browse.
Other (not always) wordless friends: