The world has stopped. I have, too. My priorities these days are rest and sleep. I do the must do(s). Then I add on a thing or two if I comfortably can. I haven’t been a very restful person, always striving for improvement. I’ve never strived for more stuff, money, status but I work hard at being a better person, being more productive, etc. I haven’t been a very quiet person either. It’s a funny thing to say, when as a child my adults complain that I don’t talk enough. But being a nurse and working with the public, I picked up the gift of gab. Retirement hasn’t changed that. Talking is exhausting sometimes.

It’s good to stop, dropping all that stuff on my shoulders. Good enough is good enough. Rest and sleep are musts for my immune system. I can’t afford to fall into anxiety and/or depression. I’ve given up my  one Wonder Woman act and golden lasso. I get help wherever and whenever offered.

It’s Good Friday. I wish I could say I feel the holiness of it, but I can only sense the eeriness. God feels absent. We have to work through this ourselves, together. I see Jesus on the cross. I see him hanging on the wall. Did God sent his only begotten son down on earth to guide us? Does He love us that much? Can we be saved? Do I have enough faith?

I have learned not to ask the why of things. I try not to take anything personally. It is hard though. The whys of what is happening to me and to the world. They play their tunes in my head. It is exhausting, adding to the stress and anxiety of the everyday life. Locked down, in quarantine, social distancing, whatever mode we are in – life still has to be lived. Yesterday was hard. Another checkup for my mother at the Eye Center in the hospital. 3 months of shingles and its complications.

I am more stressed and anxious over my mother’s illness than the Coronavirus. I’ve lived and worked through the HIV and SARS crises. Though stressful and scary, I did have some control by wearing protective equipment and being cautious. With my mother’s illness, I have no control. I take her for medical attention and being with her. I wonder often if I’ve done a good job though I did the best I could. The rest was all on her. I cannot take over any of her pain and suffering. I cannot take over anyone else’s pain and suffering. We must each carry our own.

If there are any answeres to the many whys floating in my head, it is to teach me resilence and boundaries. It is to teach me I am not all powerful. I cannot fix everything. In these days, I am learning to survive. I am my own life raft. I need to throw off everything except what I need to stay afloat. Faith is my oar. I will light my candles again tonight.



IMG_1905November can be such a cruel month with its steely skies and chilly winds.  It is almost 9 am.  I am fed and medicated.  It is very grey.  Raindrops are on the window panes.  There is nothing cheerful and inviting about today.  If I am not careful, I could fall into its doldrums.

I’m on the tail end of my cold, just suffering its passage.  I’m giving myself a vigorous shake.  I know the thing not to do is tell someone to snap out of it. But that is precisely what I have to do.  I have to grab the tiger by the tail and give it a good yank.

Snap out of it! Drop it!  Get on with it!  Whatever it takes!  I’m sick of it.  I’m sick of being sick.  Boy, I make a lousy patient! The thing is I have lost my momentum and I’m pissed.

I still had high hopes and tons of energy when I came back from France.  I had such plans of finally getting life in order, write a book or two, make peace with every Tom, Dick and Jane.  I had all my bags unpacked, clothes laundered and put away.  I was ready to tackle the real stuff next.  You know what can happen to the best laid plans.  Kapow!  My cough got nastier.  And the rest was history.

IMG_1907So here I sit, tapping out my anguish.  Joyce Carol Oates’ Sourland is giving me ideas but no immediate relief.  If anything, it is adding to my distress with life.  Sourland is a collection of 16 short stories.  Six stories in, I am finding them gripping and mesmerizing.  They are poignant portraits of flawed human beings with flawed lives.  Ugh!  I want life the beautiful, princesses and fairy tales right now.  It is my cold, my illness speaking.  Don’t listen to it.

IMG_1904It’s sapping my energy.  I feel like I need to have a rest,  then take the beast out for her walk.  She is also feeling desolate this morning, needing her toys to cuddle with. A little fresh air and exercise would do us both good.  I will just have to bundle up a little.


The grey is more palatable being in it than watching it from indoors.  It is a relief to be in the great outdoors. The grey is not so oppressive.  It is drizzling just enough to get Sheba’s coat damp.  It is not too cold nor windy. We are alone on the streets on this Sunday morning.

The little exercise is refreshing.  I’m back here again.  I will put away my sick persona, pack up my cold symptoms and cast them out.  They are hampering me.  I don’t have it in me to write a 1600 words or even 1000 words a day. But I can still work on it. Perhaps I have enough in me to write my own poignant short story in November.   It’s not all or nothing. It’s one word at a time.  You don’t give up.  You don’t go back.  You don’t start from scratch.  You start from here.  I should listen to myself sometimes.


IMG_1895This morning I am sipping dandelion tea made from roots dug this summer.  Steel cut porridge is simmering on the stove.  The aroma and steam from the cooking is soothing for my dry passages.  No, my tryst with the cold is not over.  I am fooled once again.

It is difficult to be patient.  I am angry with my body, not healing fast enough.  But I must get over my anger and allow my body the ease to heal itself.  The two of us fighting each other will only prolong the process.

IMG_1892My anxiety last evening sent me into a panic of breathlessness.  I got a dose of how my patients used to feel.  One never knows how it feels until the shoe is on the other foot or should I say, on my foot.  It is good to taste one’s own medicine.  A cup of peppermint tea and other tending from the man around the house helped a lot.  An old beauty aid comes in handy, too.  Never throw anything out.  You just never know when something will come in handy.

I should stop saying, I think I’m feeling better today. Optimism hasn’t helped.  I should just ride out the storm.  My colds are usually long affairs.  I’m among the 10% of the population with undeveloped sinuses. The only ones I have are tiny ones above my eyebrows.

I didn’t know I was an anomaly till I was in my 30s when I had an acute attack of facial pain (sinusitis).  It was after visits to several specialists that I was diagnosed. What it meant for me was I can’t breathe dirty air.  I had to give up smoking.  At my worst, everything bothered me – dust, perfume, cigarette smoke.  I could taste the ink on newspapers in the same room.  Colds took a long time to get over.

Life generally sucks when I have a  cold.  I can be handle it only for a week.  Then I go berserk which is right around now.  I feel totally devoid of sanity and good will.  Thank goodness Christmas is not till December for I am also short on joy.

However, life marches on.  I still have the same old, same old problems, perplexities or whatever it is that life is made of.  It is not made of sugar canes, that is for sure.  That reminds me, I have bills to pay.  Call me cranky, call me bitchy.  They both fit. And as Scarlet Ohara I would breathlessly say, Tomorrow is another day.


Our household is up early this morning having gone to bed at 8:30 last night.  That is what you do when you are sick, hoping to get better.  It’s no wonder we’re wide awake before 5 am.  You can only sleep so much, whatever state of health you are in, unless….

I’m sitting here with my hot Chai.  I have on a sweater and a vest.  A scarf is wrapped around my neck to keep out drafts.  Still – I feel the shivers go through me now and again. My head still echoes but somehow feels lighter.  My voice is hoarse in a different timbre.  I am getting better.  No visit to the doctor necessary.

I admit that I was down in the dumps a bit yesterday.  Not feeling super duper can colour everything.  Remember that!  I was sick of everything – in my immediate world and beyond.  I felt nauseated by the news, by people and relationships.  To sum it neatly, I was nauseated by life.

I suppose you could say I have a bad attitude.  I call it surrendering.  It is good to give up sometimes.  I hate those songs and cliches that say: smile the while you’re crying, smile even though your heart is breaking, blah, blah, blah.  Enough of that horse shit!  See, I tell you I’m giving up – fighting.  I’m going with the Tao, the Way of my ancestors.

IMG_0209I’m been on the highway of resistance through most of my life.  Let me change and try another way for awhile.  I am weary of hurtling over obstacles.  My being is drained by dark shadows.  I put my trust in the spirits of my ancestors to lead me out to the light.

I feel their presence around me as I sit here tap, tapping my way out of the shadows and into the light.  I have no need after all, of magic wands nor Wonder Woman’s golden tiara or bracelets.  I have the magic of my words to wield the changes I desire.


IMG_1158I’m in trouble.  I have my Chai.  Feeling better, head clearing.  I can feel things draining downward.  But when I speak, I can hear my hoarse voice echo in my head.  My ears pop and my eyes tear.  When I cough, I can hear the rattle in my chest. Too soon for complete recovery yet.  BIG HEAVY SIGH.

I need to be patient and let the cold run its course.  But I am getting cranky and feeling distraught with discomfort at times.  These are not the restful symptoms of being totally sick, of doing/not doing of yesterday. I’m going to take these as signs of healing.  I better keep pushing the fluids and take an analgesic to relieve my distress and crankiness.  This morning, my tapping fingers are not enough.

I don’t know how other Canadians are feeling, but I am sick of the Jian Ghomeshi story. Only a day out, it seems to be in our lives over everything else.  So much speculations.  So many different opinions.  So much #*^!!!!  Reminds me a little of the O.J. Simpson story. Let me not add to the hash and rehashing of these stories.

Let me move onto my second week in France.  I was interrupted by a slow Internet there.


October 22, 2014

It is now Wednesday in France. We are down to our last two days before heading home.

I am happy for this time away from my familiar surroundings. It helps to take me out of myself, out of my small mind and gives me a larger scope of the world. I hope I can be more open-minded. At this same time, being away from home brings me closer to understanding who I am. I see my small concerns for what they are. I see my selfishness and my mean ways. I wish to do better.

IMG_1249I am missing my fur baby, Sheba. I can imagine her excited barks upon our return. I remembered the first time we were away from her. She was so happy to see us upon our return that she ran circles in the street.  She brought tears to my eyes. I’m thinking that we could learn from our pets. They know how to greet us. We should let the people in our lives know they are appreciated.

This is what I’m thinking as I sit here tapping my words. It should be that simple. But it is not. We have to make things complicated. We put in conditions. We insist that people see things our way. We demand that they hear us before we will listen to them. I believe we call this tit for tat.

IMG_1692I am quite weary of this way of living. I am exhausted by it. I am at many crossroads at this time in life. What a better place and time to find this out than in a place of neutral ground. Perhaps I will have a clearer sense of direction as I fly home.

I am hoping when we get to the airport on Saturday morning, we will not be told there is something wrong with my ticket. It is strange all the things that had gone wrong with our bookings when they were done by professionals. Now I’m totally sold on that there are no such things as accidents. Everything is meant to happen.

IMG_1712On these last mornings here, we walk the streets of the village. They are still quite empty. We see the same cat and dog. Some cars drive by. We wave. Now we are able to discern a nod from the drivers. We see a woman here and there clearing the flower boxes in the windows. We say bonjour, the only French word we know besides Je ne parle pas Francais.

Well, I like to say I’m trying. I am. Every day. Always. Sometimes it wouldn’t hurt to give it a rest.