Thursday, October 25, 2007

I believe in Angels.

I believe in beauty.

I believe in the spirit and energy of my fellow man.

I believe that we have angels who walk amongst us.

And if we are lucky, truly lucky, we see them, and appreciate our moments with them.

I believe angels come in all shapes and sizes, in all ages, in all colours, in all creeds. There is beauty all around us. And sometimes we just need a wee reminder of that fact when we can be caught up in moments which truly do not matter, and petty problems that can cause us to lose heart. Negative moments, actions, or inactions, which can seem to matterso greatly at the time, and which can cause momentary angst, but really does not weigh in, with the catachism of the soul.

I believe that angels can make your heart soar to the heavens, and remind and comfort your soul to know that there is greatness in everyone. And sometimes these Angels can lead you gently back to yourself and remind you of the beauty in your world in which you live.

You do not need to go on vacation to an exotic destination to experience the heavens, a great deal of the time it can be found through your own back door.

I believe miracles and beauty truly happen without fan fare. And sometimes, we are just too busy to see...

And then there are times when we can just stand in awe.

And be grateful...

A few weeks ago,my daughter, Scooter was going to a track meet. She, now ten, was preparing to run with a bunch of girls, she was going to have the sun on her face, and the wind to her back, on a beautiful fall day. It truly can not get better than that. A track meet with a great deal of the grade fives from my city... But as she was preparing, it brought out the notalgia in me.
It brought me back to my younger Scooter.

It brought me back to when Scooter was all of six years of age, and was going to her first track meet ever in the park. It was a perfect day for a run in the park. It was a perfect day to be six and to be running with your friends through the autumn leaves.

And when my wee gal lined up with all the girls and the starter pistol blared, my heart skipped with pride, as she darted through the pack. But then, Scooter saw a leaf fall from a heavens, a magnificent, beautiful, red, leaf, with a touch of green and yellow, and the way the sun hit the leaf, it caused my wee gal to stop in her tracks and watch the magnitude of it all, and when it landed she had to pick it up as such a gift from the heavens had to be shared. And off she ran to pick up the leaf, and as she did this, an old friend, or as old of a friend as you can have, when you are six years old, saw Scooter, and called her name from the side lines.

Scooter, who if anything, is a social butterfly ran over to her friend, embraced her,and gave her friend, the gift of the magical leaf. My husband could not believe his eyes, here all the children, were running around our daughter, as she caught up with her old friend.

"Scooter!' He cried,'Run!'

And Scooter heard her father's command, and explained to her friend that she 'had to go' and off she ran to catch the pack of running six/seven year olds.

And Scooter ran and ran... She caught up with the pack.

And when it came to the finish line a few friends called her back, and Scooter thought it would be only polite to let them in...

And to our utter astonishment, our daughter finished in the top twenty five, thereby sending our leaf collector, dreamer, social, polite, running, butterfly off to the finals.

We were, astonished to our daughter's placing in the race and were certainly delighted that she was going on to the next level.

And of course, we were there for the next race.

But this race was different, as the children were coached as to the importance of the day. How they were representing their school, how it was about how they finished, and what place they finished and if the motivational speech from the gym teacher was not enough, Chariots of Fire was blaring in the background.

And then they were off...

And to our surprise our daughter was at the front of the pack... Heading out along the beach on a glorious, blustery fall day with the sun shining brightly overhead.Our daughter was running and enjoying her moment.

And so BoyWonder and I ran to the finish line.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

No Scooter.

Every other child had crossed but no Scooter.

And then we saw her. A good ten minutes behind the last of the group.

Her arm around an old friend, her friend was crying, and Scooter was walking with her.

Helping her along the path.

It ends up that Scooter's friend, from a competing school, had fallen, trying to catch up to our Scooter.

And in the fall she called Scooter's name.

Scooter heard her, and ran back.

Scooter helped her friend up as the pack blast past them.

Scooter dusted her friend off.

And Scooter walked with her friend around the course, amd reassured her. Scooter and her friend walked through the sand, up the hill, as Chariots of Fire blared in the background and parents cheered on their runners.

Scooter's friend burst into tears at the finish line, and sobbed into her mother's arms.

'Mamma,' Scooter's friend cried 'I, I , I wahhh, waaaahhh, wasssss deeeeead laaaahhhhst.'

And Scooter went up to her friend and tried to give solace, and said 'No, you weren't Grace, I was.'

Such moments are gifts, such moments are so wonderful, such moments are just a bit of heaven found on a primary race course on a beautiful, blustery, fall day.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Portrait of Friendship

Dave was a man of routine. Dave was a man who did not like change. He would diligently go to work 5:45 a.m. everday. He had his reasons for not departing from his home at 5:55 a.m. and if you were willing to listen he could list off all the reasons for the acceptablilty of 5:45 a.m. He could give you hours of explanation with great attention to detail as to why he would leave at such a time. But most of us would gloss over the information and know that Dave goes to work at 5:45 a.m. and he has his reasons and not open the book of time with him again.

Dave's job was that of a transit attendant, this job had him housed alone in a the dark caverns of a subway station, with the unfriendly flourescent lights above and no promise of the lights and shadows of the true outdoors to permiate his work space. Dave worked at the busiest intersection of my city for eight hours a day. He saw at least 10,000 people a day, as they crossed his turnstile.The patrons would duly place their tickets, or change into the toll booth and would they would push forward through to their true destinations. Dave was the gatekeeper. Dave would always greet his patrons with a smile, a wee joke or antidote about where they were going. But for the most part, their interaction would be limited and Dave, for the most part, was a faceless man in a booth. A person you greeted everyday with a smile but rarely would you know his name let alone believe he had an identity outside the walls of the tube.

But for all those people, for the 10,000 people plus, and all those anecdotes hovering in the air, it was a pretty lonely existence. Each person would have a place to go, a place to be, and Dave was the facillitator.They, the ten thousand people had about 3.5 seconds to exchange their news of the day. They had places to go. 3.5 seconds, was enough time to say his name and give him a nod or a wink as the pushed on to their destination of choice. None would give him more than a 3.5 second thought.

Dave's existence, with the fabric of thousands walking through his toll was pretty lonely. Dave never complained. It was a living.

Dave had the company of his three daily newspapers. He would go through all the papers and would diligently note any quirky newsworthy items, and he would painstakingly clip out all comics in which he thought caused a smile. He was connected to the outside world through his papers, they were a lifeline of sorts. A lifeline of clippings to friends, friends and their families. A birthday card would often be riddled with at least twelve cartoons directly related to the recipient, no one could ever say a birthday card had no thought given when it came from Dave.

Dave would come to my bar every Thursday night at 7:45p.m. after his shift as a subway attendant. He would swagger into the bar, with his duffel bag loaded down with his news of the day. The bag never carried a work out outfit or change of shoes, just his papers and the remnants of his lunch and maybe the odd pack of cigarettes, deodorant and his endless assortment of keys.

When Dave would come into my bar, he would wear his uniform. I think his uniform gave him a voice. A voice of authority, with the emblems of the station, our city and of our country stitched into the fabric. Dave was patriotic, Dave believed that his job had purpose. Dave believed he contributed to the fabric of our city.

Dave wore a hairdo which was reminiscent of the 50's. His once golden locks, now silver, were slicked back in a perfect duck tail. He wore a black onyx ring which commemorated his twenty years of service to the city. He wore it on his wedding finger though he had never been married. For if anything, the ring he showed his commitment to the subway and all her patrons.

Dave through his trustworthy newspapers, and incredible memory could ramble off endless facts, he could tell you the life span of a mosquito, just as he could with great authority tell you the temperature inside a volcano. He could recall the stats of what the average rainfall would be in London in June, just as he knew the mating rituals of the white rhino, he could tell you about the theory of relativity, just as he could tell you about the election practices of various tribes, his scope was endless. He was a walking trivial pursuit game. He knew facts, he knew solid numbers, the gray of emotions never muted through his conversations. He was always quick with a smile and a fact to accompany it. Dave knew everything.

I had introduced Dave to Stripes, aka Peter. I knew these two men would get along famously as to their natures which to some would seem entirely opposite but to me seemed like a true marriage of friendship.

And for seventeen years it was just that. Peter would laugh endlessly at Dave's stories. He truly appreciated every birthday card ladened down with endless cartoon clippings which would be sent to him. He would drive Dave to every event and they would leave together. They would hold court together and Peter always could laugh at Dave's corny jokes no matter how many times Dave told the joke. Peter never gave away the punchline.They were truly old souls.

When Peter got sick it rocked Dave to his core. He wanted to be supportive, he wanted to give back to his ole friend but there was nothing he could do. He was at a loss. He mustered the strength for one visit to his friend's bedside. No bullet proof case could have protected his heart. And there certainly were no news articles in coping with a friend who was terminally ill. And there certainly were no Hallmark cards addressing it, For if there was, I certain Dave would have at least been able to purchase it. For by buying the card, maybe Dave would not have felt so alone.

And when Peter left our planet, Dave called me.

Stripes died, Bright Eyes.

Oh, Dave....

Now, Peter gave Dave a nick name. A nickname I nearly fully understood. He called him the Captain. Captain Dave, and yet Dave never seemed to commandeer any vehicle I knew of...

But it was a name Dave embraced. A name which gave him the notion of taking charge. And he used it often when talking of his last visit with Peter.
And in ending our conversation it was arranged that the Captain would come to my home and take me to Stripes' funeral.

It did not occur to me that I had never seen Dave drive a car until he came to pick me up, it seemed so out of character to see him out of his uniform, without his duffel bag and in a car. But it did not seem real that we would be going to bury Peter so soon.

But a great deal of things that he did that day seemed strangely in character.

Like the fact that Dave never had purchased a map to go to our friend's new city. He was going to rely on a placemat that he acquired from the local Denny's.

I knew that that placemat had to have been from the last dinner he had with Peter. I knew that it was a fact that he held fast.

But being reasonable, I asked if we could stop at the gas station where I claimed I needed a water when in fact I had to purchase a map.... I would not take the place matt away from Dave, but firmly give direction through another medium. As I understand he had his issues but I had mine as well....And not getting lost on the way to the funeral home was mine.

When we arrived at the funeral without incident I breathed a sigh of relief. And I tried to help Dave along the way. I guided him into the room where we were both embraced by Peter's daughters and by Peter's lovely Joanne.

We then walked through Peter's life together.

And at the end of it all lay our dear, sweet, Peter.

And there we stood for quite a longtime and Joanne came up and asked Dave if he would do the honour of being one of Peter's pall bearers...

Now, dear Blogger please do not take this the wrong way. Please realize that with Dave, he is a logical man, and all that he was experiencing was beyond logic. His heart ached, as his best friend in the whole world was gone.
10,000 people would not know of his pain. But I do. I know how much his heart was broken.

So when Joanne asked for Dave to be a pall bearer.
Dave balked.

He said'I dunno Joanne. That casket, that casket looks like the 3000 titanium series, and I think it weighs a ton, WITHOUT Peter in it...'

I just looked at Dave and just nudged him' Dave? What's that?' And how the heck do you know the weight of the bloody casket???

Well, Pendullum, I know, I've read upon them... Why the titianium series???My back... and the weight... and Peter...

And Joanne assured him that he would not have to lift a thing it was all on a pulley system, and he but merely had to guide it down the ramp to the hearse where hydraulic lifts would do all the work... And Peter chose to be cremated so it would be not problem as it was all ramps to the crematorium.

And with all these facts firmly in place, Dave agreed to be the pall bearer...

Now, Peter always loved a good story and he would have loved how Dave knew all those facts about the casket, he would have loved that Joanne was not dissuaded by Dave's initial abrupt refusal. Peter also would have loved the fact that I forgot to turn off my cellphone it rang right at the time the minister guided us to one of Peter's favourite passages. He would also love the various shades of red I turned when I tried to find my phone, in my overloaded purse. I could hear his laughter through everyone else's scorned looks.

But I think the thing that Peter would have loved the most...

And Peter being a good man got his one last laugh.

When we got to the crematorium, when these less than athletic pallbearers were gently guiding his casket up the ramp, these men who were taking their jobs with pride, as they guided their late friend along, these friends were jolted to an abrupt stop when the hydraulic lift broke. And the casket kinda did a plunge and they all had to take quick action to hoist their friend. And all had to carry the titanium casket to its resting place.

I know that it is terrible of me.

But when they all started swearing, arguing and heaving it was too much for me...

They all cursed the Titanium 3000 series.

I looked up to the heavens and laughed...

As Peter so did not want to leave....

But at least he left with a good story...

Monday, July 23, 2007

I buried a friend in June.

I buried him on the anniversary of his first date with his true love, the one he had been searching for his entire life. And where I would love to say they had years together, they did not.

They had 363 days together. 363 days to love each other, 363 days to bask in each other.

Around the 200th day, Peter was told he had terminal cancer. he has told he had but weeks to live. He did not believe he would die. His entire being felt too much joy and love for him to be leaving so soon. He could not leave her just after he found her and in turn found the missing part of himself.

Peter in his true zeal for life, did not accept the death sentence. He would never utter aloud the possibility that he could be dying, but he knew he was. His body was betraying his heart.

Peter loved Joanne. He loved her forever and always. He wanted to announce it to God. He wanted to marry his one true love. He wanted to marry Joanne, with his children, his grandchildren and his friends to bare witness . He wanted to sing her voice to the heavens as he certainly had a grasp of what heaven could be.

There was a complication.

A complication of thirty years.

Peter was married. Married to someone else.

Peter was married. He had been married for 30 years.

He had been legally separated from his wife for 24 years, But on paper he was still married.

For twenty four years he had his own residence. For twenty four years he had his own independent life.

Peter did not leave his wife for another woman. He did not leave because of finances or because of drink.

He left because he did not love his wife and She never loved him. No spark ever flew their way to cause the 'friendship' to catch fire in his marriage, and he knew deep in his heart that it never would. He was told thirty years ago that he would fall in love with her through time. And in the six years of marriage, two children later, there was no love, laughter or song; just misery. He could not see the marriage getting better through time, even though he was told it would.

But Peter was a romantic. Peter dared to think and believe in loves' true desire. Peter believed that everyone had a love contrary to the doctrine of his parents. Peter bore witness to many people finding their true loves.He even witnessed and celebrated as his children found their true loves. Peter celebrated each wedding of souls, And Peter, in his heart, believed that there was someone out there for him and someday he would find her.

Belief and love are wonderful things to believe in, as in honour and being true to yourself and others. In such beliefs, I think I can safely sum the core of Peter's existence on our planet. And in the twenty years I knew him I can safely say the earth was a better place because he roamed it and spread his gallantry everywhere he went.

I will now fast forward to Peter's last year of roaming earth. The year in which he found happiness.

Peter went to a picnic held by friends. He was talking with his old friends when he heard a woman laugh. He heard the melody of her voice, and he looked to find the owner of the beautiful maker of merriment.
And there she was.
His sixty year old heart fluttered. His legs felt weak.
He just stared.
His friend 'Moose' asked him if he was okay as it looked as if Peter had seen a ghost.
And Peter truly could not talk for a moment.
His mouth was dry and words escaped him, he stammered, or so he told me.
He just stood and stared. He felt like a schoolboy, this hulking six foot five man, felt uncertain of his footing, he was trying to manuever his hulking body over to this wee, powerful woman with the most magnificient smile he had ever seen. He, in his sixty years of life had never felt so alive, so nervous,so scared or so uncertain of himself.

He awkwardly approached her, he had to talk with her...

And he did.

He swirled, he swooned,his universe was complete.

He met her. He tingled all over. He was giddy. He was absorbed. He was alive.

He met her and it all made sense. His choices and the road he travelled on finally lead to her door.

All embedded in laughter and the melody of a voice. The voice of his dreams.

And they talked.

And they laughed.

And then without a moment to lose he asked her on a 'date'.

And she accepted and they saw each other the following week.

And that date.; that date sealed fate. That date with a true loves first kiss, where Peter realized all in which he had been missing. He was not filled with dread or regret, just youthful anticipation, as this, this, is what he had been waiting for all his life.It was worth the wait. All in the kiss, his world became full.

The kiss must have caused the earth to shudder and tremble in anticipation and it alerted the heavens, and the universe must have felt the collision of these two souls.

They both knew in that kiss. She at the very young age of fifty seven had met her soulmate who was sixty.

They had waited and searched long enough to know.

And they began to have a list of firsts, little did they know it would also be filled with their lasts as well....

They bought their first home together, they had their first Christmas, first new Years,first Valentine's,their first, their first...

Joanne knew how much Peter loved cars, and she bought him a car for his first birthday with her..His first new car in twenty years. And he loved it. He loved that car. He boasted about his car,he felt he could just go about anywhere ion earth. And when he would call he would talk about it. He would talk about his new life and you could hear happiness dripping through the phoneline.

Peter had found true happiness, Peter had found his true love.

I was so very very happy for him, for them.

Peter called me, six months into his new life...

'Bright Eyes, (Did I mention Peter had nicknames for everyone? He was Stripes, to me)Life is so good...But I kinda have a hiccup in my path...'


Yeah... Ahh...

'What sort of hiccup? ' I hate to say it, but I know the pause now , I know the pregnant pause,the gasp of air and of courage.I know when someone pauses, pauses while calling out of the blue, causes them to call to let you know they love you, and tries to make the word, the nasty horrible word,'okay' for you to hear. I know the dance of skirting around the word, the word which can causes hearts to break and bodies to crumble. I know the word which causes souls to bare up and take arms and grasp on to what they have.

Bright Eyes,I have cancer.


Ahh,now that's the question... I have it in my lungs and in my brain... A double whammy...

Stripes, Oh Stripes...

Oh,its treatable... I need to going for radiation and chemo... Day by day...It's going to be okay...

Now, it was not okay. I know this, Peter knows this.

Peter was sick and he was dying. He would never utter those words to say he may leave this planet. He would never give cancer that pleasure or that power over his fate. He would never utter those words that the cancer truly had a hold on him. Peter was strong, Peter was stubborn, Peter was an optomist and if anything Peter was a true and noble fighter.

But he felt the cancer was a time to put his affairs in order.

He loved his Joanne. He loved her with all his heart and he wanted to celebrate her. He wanted to celebrate and bask in his soulmate and share with all of us, his true happiness.Canccer could not take this away from him. He had indeed found heaven on earth.

He wanted to marry his Joanne.

He wanted his friends to bare witness.He wanted God to see, he wanted to sing her voice in a church,through vows of devotion,and the promising of souls, he wanted a wedding. A wedding and a true marriage which had alluded him until now.

All he needed to do was to divorce his first wife. He approached his first wife with the prospect of a divorce.

She could not believe her ears. He had found love? How foolish could Peter be?

And she with the doubt and scorn in her heart, she, refused to divorce Peter.

Twenty four years is a great deal of water and time under the bridge of regret. Apparently even though she agreed wholeheartedly with separation from Peter, as she too felt no love. She was not willing to believe that someone else could love him.

He was in disbelief.He was hurt.He was dumbfounded. He did not think this would be a fight.He did not think this fight was part of the plan. Cancer certainly was not part of the plan but this defiance, seemed much more hurtful and deliberate than his disease which was robbing him of time.

His wife had told him to lawyer up and that she was going to give him a fight.

Lawyer up? A fight?

Peter found it to be overwhelming. It broke his heart.He had no time to 'Lawyer up'. And in his heart he would never have the energy to 'Lawyer up'.He had no time to fight this futile battle. He knew he did not have years. He did not know if he even had months, and he knew he did not have the energy to go into fighting for the sake of fighting. And what would be what she was fighting for?

Everyone stood along Peter's side on this one. His children, his priest and even the Bishop was called in to try and reason with a woman who had a desire to try out the family judicial system.

She would not budge and she hired a lawyer as she fully intended to lawyer up.

Peter was never a wealthy man. Peter made do. There was no hidden monies in all of this. In the separation agreement Peter gave his wife the house, the car, paid support for the children while they were living in the house, paid for the children's university educations and he paid for the weddings.

His first wife was not bitter in the separation. She was fine with him living his life of solitude.

But now twenty four years later, with the prospect of Peter moving on she hung on to spite.

Peter was dumbfounded of what to do.

He had never experienced such hatred in his life. And to lack the compassion, for his plight was truly near an end left him heartbroken.

Peter's health began to falter. He was in inpallative care at home. And everyday, he would insist on leaving his bed, and going directly outside to the driveway where his magnificent car from Joanne was parked.
He would go to his car, sit in the driveway and look at his house, and there he would sit alone with maybe the radio for company. I imagine he wanted the image of his happy, fulfilled life to be truly embedded in his brain. I imagine he wanted to make up for all the moments he wished he had. I imagine he was making up for lost time, for time, he wished he could pull up to his home after a long day at the office and appreciate the moment of arriving home where his love would be in wait of him. He wanted to make up for the years of not finding the home filled with love in which he deeply desired.

When the cancer depleted him of his ability to walk he would insist to be carried out to continue his ritual. And when he had soaked in his happiness of his home and of his 'love car' and of his life, He would honk the horn, when he was done and would be carried back into his lovenest. He would be carried back to his home and into his true love's arms.

Peter was nearing the end. Peter was troubled. He could not leave her. He could not leave before doing what was right. He needed to do what was right. He needed to follow his heart. He needed to marry Joanne. But where could he turn, as certainly earth was letting him down.

He turned to the church. He would need help with his passage. And with this,the church listened and bore witness to what they saw before them. They saw true love.

And with this, Peter and his spiritual leaders, formed a plan, the church took compassion on Peter and his fair Joanne. They, the members of the church, felt that Peter and Joanne were true soulmates. The church took a stand, they felt it would be a sin not to marry them. They felt it would be a terrible injustice on earth. An injustice in which they, the members of the clergy could and would find a remedy.

The Priest and the Bishop came up with a solution to dodge the 'lawyering up', as law had nothing to do with the soul.

The Bishop married Peter and Joanne spiritually while his daughters, their husbands and Joanne's family of children and grandchildren were in attendence. They were not in a church, but in the house in which Peter and Joanne lived together. A house which bore witness to great love.The church married this young, old soul, couple. The church married the souls together. And a more beautiful couple you would be hard pressed to find.

They were married six weeks before Peter passed away from their home.

I know that it may sound strange, but I am happy for my friend. I am happy that he truly felt love's first kiss. I am truly happy that Peter found love. I guarantee he will hover over the house and stay in the driveway and look into his home for a while, and then his heart will carry him through the door. As he certainly, Peter did find his heaven on earth.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


BoyWonder was working on challenging, interesting and creative work in 2005. This work was involved and had him either working late into the night, or leaving our fair country on a plane, across the ocean, through a few time zones, to London England. London, England, became a remote place. A place that had a firm hold on BoyWonder. A place where he would go, with a team of people, a place where he would have to stay for days, a place which promised hours and hours of planning before he left and when he returned, it promised more work, and more hours away from his home. London,England was a place where he could take a brief moment to visit his sister, a place where he seemed to have time to have dinner... A place which seemed far from reach of a daughter of seven. A place where the Queen lived and where there would be castles and even princes, but this city with all her charms, held no romance for Scooter.

Scooter, was a patient child waiting for her father to be free of the endless deadlines and travels to LondonEngland. But there were times when her brave front could bare no more. When all her friends had times and moments spent with their fathers and she was in want of hers.

I remember Father's Day in 2005, Scooter had painstakenly made her father a gift and a card. She was full of anticipation of sharing the day with her dad. So when BoyWonder had to work on a deadline on Father's Day she was not happy.
And he, so wanting to please, came home for a harried dinner with us before his imminent departure.

Scooter ate her dinner and was brave. She gave her father his glorious gift, a gift which took her weeks of making, a gift which to her was a gift from the heavens, or at least of her adventures to school. Scooter had made a paper mache bird. Not just any bird, a maginificent bird. A bird who seemed to seranade her on her way to school. A bird who always caused her to pause, on her travels to school, she never failed to appreciate its wondrous melody. It always made her smile. It always seemed to bring a peace to her. A moment she always shared with me, and now, Scooter had made her father a part of that 'moment'. She had brought him the heavens. She wanted to bring him into that special part of her world, the Purple Finch, a world of melody and song, found in her city. A great deal of paradise was in that wee parcel in which he held fast.

He opened her great gift, read her wonderful card of love and daughterly devotion, and truly appreciated the wonder she had made for him, and as he filled with tears of appreciation for what his daughter bestowed upon him , his limosine arrived to take him away. He had to go. He had to leave our wee unit and go across an ocean where no Purple Finches lay in wait for him. No glorious melodies in which he could take pause. And it broke his heart. But she could not see this. She was all of seven.

Her face dropped. She could only see what lay ahead, He was leaving.

And when the limo pulled away, with her dad waving and looking back, my daughter melted . She sobbed in my stomach as he disappeared into a speck in the distance. I held her tight.

She pulled away and cried, 'He's my dad and it's OUR day, It is my daddy's and my day...Father's DAY. Not LONDONENGLAND's DAY! !!!He's MY DAD, and LondonEngland is taking him's not fair!!! I hate LONDONENGLAND'

There are times, when reason and logic can help pass the time, and then there are times when we need to be illogical and wanting... It all evens out, and hopefully we strike a balance. But in that time, no amount of logic, or persuasion of the promise of time in the future could help mend my daughter's disappointed, hurt,heart. Time could and would heal this wound but the promise did not lay there on our front porch.

Now, my birthday is a big cause for celebration in our home. It is a time of grand celebration, as it also marked by BoyWonder's and my LOVE anniversary.The event is normally marked with a few traditions...

One of the traditions is for BoyWonder and Scooter to adventure into the shopping arena on a quest for the perfect gift fo me. It becomes a father daughter week as they painstakenly pour into various shops trying to find the perfect gift. This tradition has been in place since Scooter could point at and nodd, or shake her head in disagreement. And the two relished the moment in finding the perfect gift, along with making the perfect card, to symbolize all of their love.

London had taken Scooter's beloved Daddy away to London and he would not arrive back home until the day before my birthday. Again with LondonEngland, again with the sacrafice of a tradition, or a moment spent.

She was hurt. She would not want to talk of LondonEngland, when he called, she did not want to hear of all the sites he had seen. She did not want to know that he had the chance to see his sister. She would just sneer and would state 'I hate LondonEngland, Daddy. '
And by never referring to London as London, but as LondonEngland there was a greater divide. She would never be on familiar terms with LondonEngland... She would never regress to calling it London while it, that mysterious city, had a hold of her Daddy.

And so, when BoyWonder called on July 6th, she would barely talk to him. She was occupied with her life at home. He was away. Away from her and our home and our traditions. My birthday was a few short days away. And her daddy was away in LondonEngland. He tried to appease her by saying he would be home tomake a cake and we could have my birthday celebration on the LOVE celebration day...

Reason had left this seven year old who is still left waiting with unfulfilled promises of time spent with her father. And so my wee, Scooter, was a bit short and a tad jaded with her daddy when he called.

And I know he was a bit hurt. And as she thrust the phone to me,refusing to hear of his news.She did not want to hear of the long hours or of the stifling heat, and how he had been spending way too much time on the tube. She cared not for how hot the tubes were in London , contrary to our home subways stations. She did not care that we had some cool relief as we decend into the earths bowels, compared to her father whot had only a stifling wall of heat when he went on the subway.

BoyWonder has never done well in heat in London, or in our country. And in London, accompanied with his misery of being separated from his family, was a city of heat with no relief, no air conditioners and no cross winds. And no communication of misery was going to bring him closer in the great divide of an ocean and telephone wires.

He signed off, letting me know that it was to be long day with a great deal of travel through the city proper of London. July 7th was a filled day of travel. And a great deal of time will be spent on the tube. He hung up with the promise to call me around his suppertime.

On July the 7th I awoke with a start. I have no idea why I would wake up at 5:30 in the morning, and my heart was racing. Logically there was no reason for me to rise as such an hour. There is no logical reason for my my shortness of breath and for my heart to be beating so strongly. I had to dullen the sensation, so I decided to turn on my clock radio.

I turned on the radio and my heart began to race further... My heart was indeed racing for a reason... My heart was in London.

And the radio, the radio informed me of terror. The radio let me know of a terror which hit London. Terrorist's bombs had hit the London Tubes and there was no news on how many had died and how many stations were truly affected.

My heart dropped, but it felt reason, my heart felt panic but it did permit my brain to listen to reason to the radio, I listened further... King's Cross station? That! That, was Boy Wonder's station... And a bus? on Tavistock? Was that not, my sister in law's route???

No, no...

I rushed downstairs. I found my address book. I flicked on the television. I needed to see. My mind was too occupied with the words swirling about, I could not find reason. But somehow I was not filled with dispair, but disbelief of what the journalists were reporting.

I called my sister in law's work line.

It took so much time to get through to London. Her lines were blocked. The world was anxious.I was anxious, I knew it would take time to forge through the lines, I was one of hundreds of thousands who needed to hear from their loved ones. But I knew from September 11th, from the past terror attack, that this was the 'norm'. I just kept trying. I knew the drill, and no news is good news. Just keep calling. It gives you something to do. The mechanics of pressing redial can give you a chance to feel as though you could control the uncontrollable fate.

And while I had no news, my heart reasoned that BoyWonder and his collegues, and his sister were alive.

I finally reached my SIL's office.

A very, kind voice, calm and with no alarm in its intonation said 'Ahh, she's just returned. She has been in the courtyard smoking all morning. I have never seen her smoke before.and now she is at it all day. Here she is!'


Oh,Pendullum she cried"I didn't want to wake you with such news. What are you doing up?'

'I dunno know I have been up for hours.'

And with this, Ann cries... allows herself to cry..'I just got word. He's safe.They are all safe. I have not spoken with him... But one of his collegues has just spoken with him... I've been smoking and crying, all morning. Why the hell am I smoking??? I don't smoke!'

'Pendullum,' she sobbed, 'Pendullum... I walked him to King's Cross Station at 8:40... I thought he went in.. I, I saw him go in...'

I knew at this point the bomb at King's Cross went off at 8:50... My poor sister in law had thought he went in...

For certainly she did see him go in... She watched him enter King's Cross Station and then she went on her way...She ran, as she was running late for work.

Ann did not see BoyWonder turn around. She had no idea that he had to turn around as he reached the turnstile. For as he reached the turnstile he had realized he had forgotten his tube pass back at the hotel... BoyWonder had to retrace his steps.He had left the station by 8:42 am.

For two, horrendous chain smoking hours, Ann had thought her brother was caught in the tube. Logic had told her he was. Logic had seen him decend. But how could we logically believe that someone could plant a bomb and take so much away from so many innocent people. So many people who were going about their day. So many people who kissed their loved ones goodbye and went about their business. Logic made no sense.

Now, BoyWonder did not know that there was a bomb on the tubes... When he returned to the tube station, it was closed. It was closed due to a 'mechanical problem'. He was told to set on foot. And since BoyWonder knows the city, through his endless models, he made his way on foot. He walked and walked, in the stifling heat, with hundreds of other Londonners. Everyone was going to work as like any other day.

There was calm. All was ruly.

And finally, he thought to stop a Bobbie...

The Bobbie informed him of a mechanical, electrical problem on the tubes...

BoyWonder assessed that this was perfectly reasonable explanation and continued to walk... Continued on, with the mass of commuters, inconvenienced, due to the electrical problem.

And about a mile from his first encounter with a Bobbie, he saw another,and asked of the progress with the mechanical problem...'Sir, there has been a terrorist attack... We fear hundreds dead This is not a mechanical problem.'

'Hundreds dead? Terrorist attack?' This made no sense with all the orderly behaviour all around. This defied the logic BoyWonder knew.
And 'It' hit BoyWonder. It hit my husband. It hit for all that was lost or could be lost...

It hit him to think of how many mothers, children and husbands could, would be on the tube...He had been on that tube for the past few days. He knew some of the faces. He knew some of the people's faces on the daily ride on the tube, those who kissed their loved ones goodbye would not have the chance to see them alive again. Not to have another moment together... Not to have time...

He had to pause, as how could he keep walking with such knowledge in his heart, and the immence sorrow on his shoulders... Terror was beyond what he felt... He felt loss...a profound loss for all those who could be in the tube...

How could he not have a moment to cry???

And then he realized, he realized others may be thinking of him. He tried to find a vacant phone booth. The lineups for the limited phones were endless, as all the cell phones were no longer working, as London was on high alert lock down... Cell phones could be used to detonate bombs. All signals were blocked. A city of millions which is entirely reliant on the cell phone was left looking for old style phone booths.

BoyWonder realized he would just have to get to his meeting,and call people from the office...

When I spoke with my husband, I was relieved and resassured. I informed him, that I would call his family and that I would tell our Scooter.

He did not think this would be a logically wise move. He did not want her to know. He felt it was too much for our daughter.

But with so much on his plate, he did not argue his point any further and left me to make the decision of what to do.

Now, dear reader after such a scare, you bask in the normality which follows. You are grateful for the routine in your chosen life. But only after you have a moment to embrace what truly could have been lost. And you cry. and then when you finish with your tears of gratitude, you then become overwhelmed : overwelmed for those who did not have the call saying their loved one was safe.., And you cry for your fellow man. You cry for all who died. and for those left behind. I cried for London.

And when my daughter arose, I cherished my 'normal' morning. I cherished every second. I savoured the moments. I drank in my daughter, I savoured her smell, I savoured the lilt of her laughter. I savoured her complaints of how it was too early to go to camp. I enjoyed reminding her that she indeed needed to brush her teeth. And I took in the moment of brushing her long hair, I looked at its length, its unique colour, its smell of lavendar and they way it fell on her shoulders. I lost myself in her.

And when it was time to embark on our adventure to camp,I certainly did drink in the purple finches melody as he serranaded us this particular morning.

I know I held her fast.I know I was grateful.I know I held onto the moment.

Maybe I stood a bit longer than usual as I watched her being embraced by her friends? And maybe I had a bit of a cry as she disappeared with all of her friends. I can not remember my blur of emotion which filled my soul in which I had to leave my daughter to her normal day.

And when I picked Scooter up from camp, we seized the day. We had a grand adventure in our city. And with the grand adventure beneath our belts I took my daughter to her favourite restaurant for dinner where I did tell her of the events of London in the morning.

And she looked at me and said'Momma, I know... Scores of injured and twenty dead!'

How did you know that? Scores? How do you know 'scores'???

Momma, it was on the radio this morning. I know. I heard it on your radio.

Honey, I am so sorry, I should have talked to you about it sooner...

Momma, if it was something I was supposed to know you would have told me...

I know, I just maybe should have told you earlier...

Oh,Momma... Why did it happen???

Now, there's a loaded question, and really logic escapes me on the answer.

And as I wrestled with the answer, I marvelled at how she asked questions, waited for answers and then asked more. She knew there was no solid answer, but she in all her 7 year old wisdom, who still believed in fairydust and unicorns, could wrap her mind around such issues. I was content to have that moment... I was disturbed with the topic, I was heartbroken with the events which lead us to talking at the sandwich stand, but I was so grateful to be talking about the events, as an event of the past and that effected our family and so many others. We had empathy for LondonEngland. We felt great sorrow for London and of her citizens.

We went home a bit more sombrily.

And when Scooter's dad called , she ran for the phone, she did let him know that she loved him and missed him. She asked him to stay safe. And that she is sorry for LondonEngland.

And just as everything seemed to be settling down for the night. A girlfriend of mine called to see how I was coping.To see how my heart was settling,and as I seemed to finally be at peace, as I talked about how the events unfolded, something happened.

I looked over over at my window and where my daughter's budgie resides. Her crazy bird, did some kinda bizarre yank of the beak, as I was on the phone and as I watched, in horror. He had ripped his beak off... There was blood on the window, I was mortified.Oh, my gawd... What the hell is that???

I told my girlfriend I had to goooooooo...

And just as I went to examine the bird.. Scooter screamed and came down the stairs with blood dripping down her face. I quickly put a cover over the bird's cage, I could not deal with the bird,my daughters blood, and my daughter's reaction to her pet's Harry Carrey moment.

Somehow Scooter had knocked her front tooth out and she was bleeding a great deal. She looked like a miniature Dracula after a kill. It was the last of her front baby teeth, and she was not too concerned with the blood and the suddeness of the loss. Scooter was more excited about the prospect of the tooth fairy's arrival. The blood would stop and there was indeed the promise of magic this evening.

I could not get caught up in her moment. It was all too surreal with the budgie in the cage and my mini Dracula excited about the visit from the glittering collector of teeth. I needed to buy sometime to try and figure out what to do with Scooter's pet who looked like Popeye with a mouth filled with spinach.

I cleaned my daughter up, I put on a movie for her and then I went to call my girlfriend who is a vetranarian assistant...

She can not believe the events of the day and gives her condolences as logically Crystal,the budgie, with a ripped beak, will not make it til morning. Crystal had just a brief moment of time to live. I was to make her comfortable, and keep the cage dark as budgies go into caves to die. She does not believe the bird is suffering as it is calm. It will just pass.

I know this is not the news I can give my daughter. I can not give this information to her, not with her dad away, with bombs that have gone off in subways,not with my birthday looming and certainly not when there is the promise of fairy dust and magic in the air.

I can not begin to digest all. I just need to make it through the night without my wee daughter seeing Popeye the Horrific Budgie downstairs. I chose to call it a night and deal with everything on a new day, as the 7th needed to end.

I went upstairs, read stories with Scooter and to my surprise I fell into deep slumbers with her.

I awoke and my first thought was Popeye the Bird. I went downstairs and prepared for the worst. I lifted the cover and there he wa,s still alive, and taking a drink of water... and looking a bit crazy as he obviously has tried to groom himself with his/her faulty beak, he chose to live.

And then as I stared at the crazy Budgie, I could hear the thumpthaumpthaump of my daughter's graceful decent...

I put the blanket back on the cage and smiled wildly at my daughter...

She is very upset...

She didn't come!

Who didn't come???And as the words flowed off my lips,I remembered... I remembered that the world was still filled with miracles and I had let one down...

The tooth fairy didn't come...

No dust, No magic... and she took the tooth but didn't leave anything behind...

'Oh, Honey, there has to be some explanation... But we are running late for camp...
Lemme make breakfast and you can eat it quickly upstairs in the TV room.

Really?in the TV room?? Breakfast? she squealed.

Anything to keep you away from the next disappointment, thought I...

And my daughter dutifully ate her breakfast and got changed. And I , was only too grateful that Popeye the crazed bird, did not make a sound. I was fearful of it squawking and drawing attention to its new fangelled look.

But I still had to figure out a solution,and think of a miracle for my wee daughter...

The tooth fairy had let her down...

And as we walked to camp, it dawned on me... We have two cages at home...I could go to a pet store get a 'replacement' for Crystal, our ill fated Pirate Popeye budgie a budgie of the same colouring and I would purchase a 'mate' from the tooth fairy...
I was able to breath a bit easier...Just drop Scooter off and then head to the local pet store.

Easy as pie...

I picked up the two budgies, I whisked home, found the new cage.

I quickly wrote a letter from the deliquent tooth fairy, poured water over it, as it would look like I retrieved the note from her aquarium beside her bed and went off with confidence of fairy dust on my hands, to pick up by daughter from camp.

Ahh, Scooter, Look what I found in your aquarium...

And with that, a face sprang to delight... Fairy dust...

A face where miracles and the truly unexplained can come to light...

And certainly more explainable than the happenings of July 7, 2005.

And when BoyWonder came home, he was held. He was kissed and savoured. He did make a cake with his darling Scooter,and she forgave him, as they went shopping for the perfect gift of LOVE for her Momma.

And just as a footnote, Popeye Crystal, the Crazed Budgie, lived for a year in our basement. A room which was never used. And he was happy there. He never had to hear orders of children squealing their names for him never to repeat. He died ironically enough July 6th the following year, and left with a song. He had found his voice and then died before it could be discovered by Scooter. A deep dark secret along with the true markings of July 7,2005.

The miserable two Budgies, who were markers for July 7th, the replacements, squawked continually, with each other and died shortly after Popeye finding no voice at all.

We, now only appreciate the melody of the Purple Finch, as they are free and remind us of special moments, moments which can not be captured. They always command us to stop, to look up, to appreciate their splendor in their song. It always takes a few seconds of carefully listening before we can locate the maker of the beautiful melody. Sometimes they are hidden in trees, or maybe on top of a house, and sometimes they are out in the open on a wire, or maybe sometimes we can not find them at all, but the glorious melody causes our hearts to fill with delight. It sings for the sake of singing. BoyWonder, Scooter and I have had many Purple Finch melodies since July 7th, 2005, and I am grateful for taking the time to appreciate the moments when logic escapes us, when hearts break, and mend, when fairy dust makes more sense than the logic which faces the world, and sometimes they can all be wrapped up in the pausing for the song of a Purple Finch.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

BoyWonder loves music, or maybe he just loves to torment me? Seventeen years later I have still not been able to figure it out. If there is a good song playing BoyWonder can not restrain himself from drumming at the dinner table, on the stearing wheel, on the door, on a book, to the point where he can drive me into a tailspin with the tapping of Keith Moon, John Bonham and Ringo Starr. But the tapping is nothing compared to his singing. I try for peace when I am with him and I deal with one symptom at a time..

We from the very beginning of our relationship have had a 'no tapping' clause'. A quiet understanding between a couple. The tapping torment has evolved into a 'No tapping face', an expression of bugged out eyes and pierced lips and furrowed brows held by me, and over the years it has become more pronounced, with a sigh and a chin jutting out for good measure. And normally when the no tapping face is shown, the tapping subsides and I am given a few minutes to collect my thoughts.

But tapping seems to be part of my husband's life. I try not to play 'tapping music' over dinner, sometimes the tapping just starts because there is a song in his head, which leads his fingers to start and then full fledged tapping commences, along with fake cymbals and bass drum. My no tapping 'expression' will cause him to stop in 'midtap' or mid cymbal smash. But the energy that has not been expelled through his fingertips, needs to be unleashed elsewhere, so the creative juices then flow to his lips where he will whistle. But some of the notes he can reach can cause a dog to stand at attention and moan for mercy. The whistling will be halted with me sighing and barking a command of 'Pleeeaaaase!?'

This causes him to bounce his leg under the table which causes the ground all around to shake, the crystal the cabinet to vibrate and , the pictures on the mantle come dangerously close to the edge . I have to grab his knee from under the table to restrain it from escalating any further. And sometimes it stops the 'creative flow', and sometimes I have my much wanted and desired peace.

But then, there are other times...

There are times when he will try to refrain, but he will let out a sigh, and begin to eat. But as he eats, if the song is still raging in his head, he may begin to hum, he will hum a tune in which we all know. And then the humming turns into singing... And well, the singing... Ahh, the singing... This is a special wee nuttshell, which I have not cracked open for you.

The thing about BoyWonder's singing is... That he....., Well he, how do I put this?

He 'interprets' music and re writes lyrics to songs...

No song is sacred.

They can be innocent songs which can make Mr. Rogers, Sharon, Lois and Bram and even Raffi smile, but most songs, can go strangely a rye with his twisted, wicked, sense of humour. He can change a song through an accent, or by insinuation, or he can change it by lyrics.

With the accent and intonation of Mike Ditka, (the former coach of the Chicago Bears) he has changed the classic 'Winnie the Pooh' song into a song about 'Winnie da bear, all stuffed with fluff and caaahhhcahh.' He changed the song 'I love you a bushel and a peck' into a song about' Pee and Poo and how 'bout you???' sung in a stiff uppercrust British accent that bares an aweful resemblence to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. His repetoire is endless.

My daughter loves musicals. Or maybe the love was forced onto her by me. She has seen them all. She at the tender age of three had seen Singing in the Rain about half a dozen times, she has watched every Danny Kaye film, Damn Yankees, Oliver, Gigi, My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, American in Paris, West Side Story, Seussical the Musical, she has seen them all.

She can be seen immitating Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain. She will do the footsteps, the hops, the twirls. She can do Danny Kaye's the Vessel in the Pestle, with the exagerated eyebrows and kookie facial expressions.

In Grade Two, her movie of choice, was Fiddler on the Roof. She would walk around my neighbourhood, hunched over like an eighty year old woman with extreme rhuematism walking with a cane/umbrella and using hand gestures she would sing 'Annetevka,'using a thick Yiddish accent.

My daughter when she 'performmes', she does it for herself; not for show; not for an audience, just as her father with his musical prowess is the same... They do it for themselves.They do it for their own amusement. They can not help themselves...

And I am destined to go insane...

But Fiddler on the Roof was my daughter's absolute favourite musical at the time and not beyond Boy Wonder's scope of 'interpretation'. And there were many songs reworked by BoyWonder. But none as much as the 'classic' that is now a legend.

We have a wonderful dog. He is a constant in our lives. He refuses to be away from our family dynamic. Whatever room we are in, our dog is in, a faithful companion to the end.
Our dog is not bashful. Our dog knows no restraint. Our dog has a 'hobby' or so my husband has pointed out; our dog's 'hobby 'is licking his privates at any given time.

So on one particulary, enchanting, evening, full of taps and cymbals Boy Wonder has rewrote the lyrics to 'If I were a Rich Man' , he did this in honour of our dog and his 'hobby of choice'. The melody remains to 'If I Were a Rich Man' but the lyrics have been changed to 'I am Going to Lick my Privates Licky Licky Licky Lick.'

The song was....'catchy'. The song was constant. The song was sung daily; if not hourly.

Our faithful dog licking himself, gave my husband permission to sing his wee diddy. With whistles, with snaps, with tapping, this song has become a classic in our home.

'IIIIII'm going to lick my privates, licky licky licky lick. All day long, I licky licky lick, even though I am not deeeeeeeead!' would belt my husband.

Now, you can see where this is leading can't you?

One day, I am picking up Scooter from school. She is taking a long time to appear in the yard, so I am forced to rush up to her class to see what is keeping her. There are about twelve staggling kids including Scooter's teacher and a student teacher.

The children are putting their coats on and the teacher is reminding them of a last minute spelling test and it is a lucky day as they will have music class in the morning.

Scooter belts out 'Goodie,I love muuuuusic!!!! Mrs. Kirkpatrick?'

'Yes Scooter?'

And from across the room...

'My Dad loves music too. Do ya wanna hear my DAD's favourite song?'

'Oh, I'd love to' says the poor unsuspecting Mrs. Kirkpatrick as she helps a kid with a rough zipper and the student teacher stops tidying up to listen to my daughter.

May I preface, my daughter did NOT say ' it was a song, her Dad sang ABOUT her dog.'

May I add, I was not close enough to stop her.

And really, I did not have any idea of what was going to come out of her mouth...All of these 'things', BoyWonder thought I could have changed or changed the course as they unfolded.

This was her DAD's favourite song...and all her friends, and teachers were going to hear it.

And with a voice that would make Ethel Merman proud, she belts out her DAD's favourite song. ' 'IIIII 'mmmm going to Lick my privates, licky licky licky liiiiick....'

It was like a train wreck.

These poor women with their mouths wide open.

These poor women.

Heck, poor me...Me, with a husband who licks his privates.

I can feel my faceburn ... I just stood there. I could not move. I certainly could not bolt across the room and gag my daughter A totally captive audience, you could hear a pin drop. A catchy tune, a tune sung with the confidence of someone hearing it daily, if not hourly.

And after my dear Barbra Streisand finished the song, her audience of a few girls but mostly boys were numb. They looked at each other. The teacher cleared her throat and said 'Well then, that was a nice ditty.'

But the boys; the boys realized this was a gift from the gods, or at least from Scooter's dad. And almost in unison, began to sing the tune as they left the classroom, spreading the love of music, and of Scooter's Dad, for the entire school and entire neighbourhood to hear. Music class could be brought to new levels the following day.

Two years later, the song is looked upon as a 'classic'. It has been passed on to younger siblings. It is a song which will always be remembered for my daughter's grade two year.

And a song in which it solidified the legend, the true musical genius of my husband, to the boys in my neighbourhood. And sometimes there just is no living with a genius such as Boy Wonder.

And all I can hope for, is, that Boy Wonder, is a one hit wonder.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

During Robert's performance, some of my friends started on with a dialogue.

Who does he think he is? Dylan?

That has to be the worst Dylan impersonator I have ever heard.

I know Dylan and that is NOT Dylan....

Pendullum, you can not be serious? You think? THAT? THAT guy, up there, is Dylan?

As my friends talked and argued about how the man before them, could not be his Holy Folkness, and each revelling in the better insult, I ignored them. Bullying through dialogue does not make a moment any less so...

Robert played on,I sat mesmerized drinking in this truly unique moment. A moment of hearing a person who was at first Robert to me, a nice guy at a bar, who approached me at a bar, who happened to read some of the same books as me, and had some of the same thoughts and interesting antedotes, and as he sang, in this intimate bar, he strangely became distant. He became a rock and roll icon. He was playing for such a select group of people and yet he started to soar, he transformed, as he played the harmonica to where he became unapproachable in my mind's eye. But maybe he became unapproachable as to where he brought me.

I drank in the moment.

And I had seized the moment and just listened to him instead of them.... I heard the voice in my heart and in my head. And I was at peace in my thoughts, his voice brought me on adventures to New York, to peace ralleys, his voice brought me to Paris and and his voice brought me to Larry Durrell and thoughts of enlightenment and faith in a moment.

Dear Blogger reader, and great friends out in cyberspace, I have told you about my dearest Ingrid, a few months ago, and how she came to me with her diagnosis of Stage Four Cancer.

I have told you how scared she was.

I told you, how sad I was. I have told you of my tears. I have told you of my broken heart.

And all of you were so very very kind to me. You poured out heartfelt condolences, you poured out support and you poured out faith, to me, and in me, to be of help to my ailing friend. You tried to support and lift me up, so I could help my friend. You all were being such angels out there in the world. Faceless angels, with gentle whispers, of encouragement and prayers sent through the air.

And I would be wrong to say that I had faith in my heart. On particulary tough days with myself, I would go back to your comments from months ago. And through my tears, they, those kind comments, of love and support, would strangely, help me along the way, bring me comfort and give me glimmers of hope, for the future. But it could be a future that may be without Ingrid.

I would be wrong to say that I was like the woman who first met Dylan, who had faith in the course.

I would be wrong to say that I did not question, everything, and the universe, when I heard of what the diagnosis was.

I could only hear 'Stage Four.' I could only hear how it was in her bones and travelling up her spine. I would look at my girlfriend, travel back in time through ole pictures and letters, moments shared, looking for strength and faith in the outcome The past was definite, the past was concrete. But I could not give my heart hope for a future to be shared with her. And I could not really live through another cancer moment.

I have been jaded.

I have been scarred.

And the past was comforting to me, as the future seemed so bleak.

And I have lost so many good friends to cancer. I have lost so much that I did not think my heart could take another. I hardened my heart of the possibility of losing her. Losing her before the loss, before she, my dear Ingrid, really took to the stage.

I had lost faith in the battle.

I had lost a faith in the unbelievable. And this is a truly horrible thing to lose.

But today; today, could be the day, when faith could be restored.

I went with my dearest Ingrid, for her last radiation treatment. Her cancer is in remission. I have been told of the STAT of the cancer having a 40 percent chance of returning, but for the time, I will relish in that 60 per cent that says it will not. I will take the 60 per cent. It has been a real leap of faith.

My heart has been given a moment.

My soul has been given the unimaginable.

My girlfriend is now on the stage. I had just been too blind with my own pain to see her shining up there.

And I am truly drinking the moment in.

I have been given the gift of Ingrid. I have been given the gift of having my friend for more memories together, more secrets of the soul, more giggles, more hugs and more love of the past, while embracing the future.

We have time.

And I have a restored faith and validation for her being with me for a little while longer.

And maybe, this course, this time, has restored a bit of my faith. Maybe it has been given to me as a gift through the universe. As really how else can I look at it? It is such a gift that has been granted, to me, to her family, to her friends, to her children and to all who are blessed to know her. But most importantly, it is a gift to my dearest Ingrid, a gift, so utterly deserved. And she is, and has seized the day, the moment and her life back. Does not matter what the stage looks like and how big the crowd.

And may I add? The day after Robert played, on the front page of every newspaper in my city the headlines read 'Bob Dylan Plays for 50 people... Once in a Lifetime Concert...' And even though I had already 'known' it was Dylan, the validation was certainly great to read.

But it does have me thinking of back then to now...

And as I listen to my new Dylan CD while writing this,maybe I should pull out my ole copy of the Razor's Edge. And revisit, my adventure with Larry Durrell. It would be interesting to see him again after twenty years.

Maybe sometimes we need to go back before we can move forward.

Maybe sometimes we need blind faith in times when answers are not forthcoming.

Maybe sometimes we need validation for all the ne'er sayers .

Maybe sometimes we must take the leap into the abyss of uncertainty when there is truly no drop net to catch us when we fall.

But I know in my heart, what I will always need; maybe what we all need; is a bit of love, to see us through.

And through love, it gives us the validation of our hopes and fears, through its fierce, passionate, faithful, embrace, so that we may continue to see true stars, in ourselves and of each other .

Thursday, May 03, 2007

So, A Guy Walks into a bar...........

BoyWonder received a new cd in the mail today and it brought me back twenty years.

I was twenty years of age and was to meet up with some friends at a local bar after my shift.The bar was connveniently located in the centre of the city , near the subway and streetcar lines, allowing for all to arrive with the least amount of effort. This bar was the type of place which hosted live entertainment. It was a run down joint which always smelled of stale beer and cigarettes. The live entertainment could be found not only on the stage but with the true objectional type of crowd the 'entertainment' could draw in. Part of the 'fun', could also be found in the notion of dodging the next thrown chair or missing the weave of a drunkard as he passes with a tray full of beers. But the majority of my pals wanted to meet there out of convenience, as it was indeed the devil we knew and if anything we would be 'entertained'.

Most patrons opt for the bench along the wall, as the seats left in the aisles are precarious at best. Sitting in the aisles, you face the possibility of ashes being dropped on your head, from people standing above you or just the inconvenience of being jostled by the crowds racing to the dance floor in case a particularly good song is being played by the band. And as the night wears, it becomes a case of Russian Roulette as someone in the aisle seat is bound to wear a tray of beer as copious amounts of beers are consumed with gusto as the music blares. For certainty you are not going to this bar to talk, you are there to listen to music or you are there to dance, or you are there to drink. In hindsight, I think the bar staff should have handed out rain ponchos for all the poor souls who found themselves on the aisle seats. Rain ponchos and combat helmets would probably be welcomed by first time aisle patrons.

I had arrived early to meet my friends, and the lights were on bright, showing all its warts and blemishes of the establishment. There were scuff marks on the walls, from fights, from hours, days or years past. The black stage was dimly lit, the wobbly tables,with match books underneath trying to set balance to tables which were long past their balancing prime. The tables with endless cigarette burns on the black veneer, along with carved initials, and various choice announcements enscribed with carving knives or cigarette butt burns from patrons past to present day patrons . All of the tables are caked in a film of beer and ash which can never be removed from a waitresses well-soiled rag. The floor was well worn industrial'grey' carpet covering, which ended abruptly at the front, as people preferred to dance on slippery, cracked, painted, marblesk floors.

The stage was raised from the 'dance floor'. It was carpeted as well. It was small and black with a black curtain. There were lights set up in front with various blue and red filters pointing towards the two mics which were set up. There were drums which were set back which were lit from the sides and dim light was coming from the drum itself. It was evident that a small band was playing tonight.

Upon sussing up the pit, and realizing that there would be no problem acquiring a bench seat, as there was a 'No Name' band coming in to play, I opted to sit at the bar and wait for my friends to join me. I found a 'stable' stool and lugged it to the corner of the bar.

The bartender, who was a friend of mine from school, was rushing around, trying to get everything prepped for the night. He called out my name as I sat down. He was harried, and let me know he was just off to change two kegs. He would be back 'in a flash'.

It was a Thursday night, as by most bar standards,the busiest night of the week and the bartender from the night before had left my friend out on the lurch by not completing the closing tasks from the previous night. I knew from the list of things to be completed, that I would not be entertained by my bartender friend.

Equipped with the knowledge of how long it takes to change a keg, from working in a bar myself, I pulled out my book from my knapsack. This was a book which held me so close for the past few days. A book which drew me into a whole new world of characters, I had felt become good friends with, or at least I had fallen in love with one of them. I was head over heels in love with an imaginary character in a book. What had my life become?

I was a bit sad, as I was just a few short chapters away from the end of my book. I was sad, as I would be leaving Larry Darrell.

As each page was read, each word dissolved into memory, and as I drew to the end of the book, it was also bringing me to the end of my voyage.

'Ahh, The Razor's Edge' came a voice.

I look up. "Yeah'

There at the other side of the bar was the lone patron. He had a mop of dark, brown hair, in a black button down shirt and was still wearing his jean jacket. He smiled.

'It's a good read.' he added.

And I nodded. And I told him that I was sad it was ending. My book that is...

Now, dear Blogger, do not get the wrong idea. This man was not trying to pick me up.I know the difference between 'bar talk' and 'let's get into your pants type of talk.' He was just shooting the breeze. And since I did not really want to end my 'relationship' with Larry just yet, and the fact that this person seemed to have read my coveted book, I decided to chat.

And this man was willing to listen, to a young woman go on, at nauseum, about her love of Larry. We talked and we even laughed. We philosophised about philosophy. And then he walked over and joined me.

The bartender, arrived back a minute later and took our drink order. We introduced ourselves to each other and just chatted. It was a fun spur of the moment, grasp a conversation from the air type of moment.

We just talked about what we both had read. And what we had planned to read. It was a fun conversation. We knew there would be an end, as the promise of our friends joining us, certainly would have the great divide of raucous activity between us.

My friends arrived first and scolded me for not grabbing a good seat. They came en mass and proceeded to scope out the best tables and draw them together for our large group. I shrugged my shoulders and said goodbye to Robert as his friends joined him soon after mine. And as bar life happens, groups arrive en mass and a once quiet atmosphere, that seemed so stagnant becomes littered with sound and bodies. The smoke fills a room and the lights are dimmed so that you can not truly see across the room gives a sense intimacy with a group of seventy people. And somehow, through the people, through the sound of clinking of glasses, and the conversation of friends, a building gives off a feeling of a soul and life.

And like what happens in movies, in corny B films, where you say aloud 'As, If! 'Robert took to the stage.

My friends turned to me and said 'Isn't that the guy you just were talking to?

Well, what's his band called?
Well, we didn't talk about that... I, I didn't know he was playing.

Robert started to sing. He started to look, very familiar. He started to sound very familiar. He did not look like the book nerd at the bar. He was so truly comfortable on the stage,filled with a smokey haze, in this wee room with a soul. And with each song it sent tingles down my spine. He was someone I have known forever and yet had not known him at the bar. He was a faceless voice behind a radio. I had not truly heard his voice until now. I heard it over the clinking of the glasses, I heard it over the sound of people ordering their drinks. And right there, is where he was at home. In this wreck of a bar, commanding all to listen, to listen to his ballads, to hear his message through the most commonest of voices.

I sat riveted in the darkened bar with the blue light on the No Name band.
And my heart truly skipped a beat, as how could it not?

How could my heart remain so calm? How could my heart remain calm, when Bob Dylan had just bought me a drink and helped me truly understand the enlightenment of Larry Darrell.

Monday, April 23, 2007

It Will Come Back to Bite You!

Sixteen years ago I attended the wedding reception of Jim Cambell to his beautiful bride Emma. We were not invited to the service as they chose to elope to the cheesiest place on earth. They wanted it to be as campy as possible and I imagine that they did not want witnesses who truly knew them in attendance, as maybe we would forever judge them on the powder blue ruffled tux,the Elvis minister or the corny promises made in some Temple of Love. But this is want Emma desperately wanted,so Jim aimed to please.

Jim, wanted to marry. Emma could have done with out it. She knew she loved Jim and she knew they were building a wonderful life together. Emma never envisioned the bridal party dream of silks and satin, she knew her heart was true and her love; her quirky love for Jim would last forever. But Emma also knew that her Jim desperately wanted to have a reception a few weeks after their elopement, after the honeymoon, and so she relented to a lavish 'Jim themed' reception to please her true love. The elopement was her gift to her shy self and the reception would be her gift to Jim to share with their friends.

But Jim, also happens to be the cheapest man on earth. He is not frugal but cheap.I would say he finds the word frugal to be too dear of a word for what he is and how he lives. He had notions of how money should be spent and how it can be saved. His notion of a wedding was having everyone together; ambiance, atmosphere and food were really inconsequential.

So with his frugality or with his firm insight as to what he wanted from his wedding reception, he chose to have his reception in a downtown food court, in a mall, on a Sunday, when all stores would be closed.

I had a second guess at the invitation and the location. I can honestly say I have never been to a food court wedding before...and I probably will go through my entire life without attending another. But there was not a mistake and a memory of a food court with orange trays will be molded in with the couple for their entire lives together. I doubt any of us will remember the food, the drink or what the couple wore. I know I will not remember any of the speeches but I think I can safely say,no one will ever forget attending the food court wedding of Jim and Emma.

Jim was so proud with the money saved on the venue and the food. He boasted at how affordable his wedding was.He even had extra money for a karaoke machine. He did not want dancing. He wanted singing.

Now, Jim did not really size up who would be attending his wedding.He did not think of all the comic book artists, and animators and their solitary lives. He could not envision that his friends would not be smitten with the notion of having of karaoke machine. He did not factor in that most of his friends were shy and reserved. He did not think of the uptight, high fashion house colleagues of Emma would not unwind on weekends with a few tunes. He could not fathom anyone not having a secret desire to belt out a few Barbra Streisand or Elvis Presley tunes.

He did not have a back up in case his plans fell a rye. His entire reception was based on the machine and he truly did not take into account of his strictly conservative, self conscious, crowd who were in attendance. No one had a secret longing to be a Broadway singer or a rock star.

But Jim did not see this at first. Jim was giggling in anticipation of all the songs his friends might sing. He had a few up his sleeve as well. He could not wait to sing a few of his songs. He was like a kid. He truly believed everyone had a song. And he was so keen on his ultimate party favour.

After the speeches he could not contain himself. He leapt up and sang a few of his songs he obviously had practiced before the fateful day. He thought his machine would have line ups. He thought there would be people clamouring to sing duets. And to his surprise everyone went out of their way to avoid the the foreboding machine. And with certainty everyone avoided eye contact with the groom as he belted out 'That's Amore' to his beautiful bride.

Everyone kept to their food court tables. No one had any desire to give their best shower song for the echoing sound of the mall and her crowds.

And since there was no entertainment, my husband and I had our table balancing spoons on our noses. And taking up challenges, from our fellow table companions of who could keep their spoon balanced on the edge of their nose the longest.

Jim tried to make eye contact with us but we firmly avoided his looks by concentrating on our spoons.

We watched as Jim began scrambling.
Jim went to a few tables where people were looking like they needed entertainment of a song but none took the bait. They were really into basking into the ambiance of the food court.

He finally made it to our table where we were all giggling at how clever we were to have spoons balanced on our noses. He grabbed my husband who dropped his spoon from his nose.
He pleaded with BoyWonder. 'Come on ya gatta have a tune you have always wanted ta saaaaang?'
A BoyWonder just answered 'Weeeellll? No!'and began to lick his spoon again.

'Comme onnn...I am begging ya here...'

Jim fell down on his knees for dramatic effect clasping his hands in prayer with the microphone and looked pathetically up at my spoon clad husband.
My husband relented. 'All right then, and you owe me BIG time!'

BoyWonder grabbed the mike from Jim who sighed a big sigh of relief and walked over to the machine to cue up the first song. My husband remained seated at our table and began to sing. Boy Wonder started off meekly, he started to sing slightly off key. But he slowly started to get a groove happening as no one seemed to be in want of the machine. And our spoon table was cheering him on.

And through just a bit of encouragement, my husband started to get a groove happening. He was living some deep, dark, dream of becoming a lead singer... He started to get a groove, he sang his best Frank Sinatra.
And then, ohhh, and then; he started to experiment with his voice, he started to impersonations, he tried a Scottish accent to 'Whole Lotta Love' by Led Zeppelin, followed by an East Indian accent to The Beatles 'Drive My Car'...and then topped with a Maritimer accent to 'She shook me all night long'...

I was horrified... There was no getting him off the machine. People were coming over to our table with requests.. Each enjoying the next song more that the last... I could not decide if my husband was a Ethel Merman,Tony Bennett, Don Knotts or Paul Lynde.

They, this wedding group who I hoped I would never see again became his adoring public. Swooning with laughter and in song as my husband sang through out the night. And saving Jim and Emma's food court wedding.

I was looking at him and telling him this was going to come back and bite him.

These are typical stories of living with BoyWonder. He is quick to laugh and has no problem mocking himself and all around him.

Recently I was with my daughter at a dental appointment. We had waited months and months to have an appointment with this particular dentist.He is looked upon as the best dentist in the city for children and his affiliation as the lead dentist for a world re known children;'s hospital has put me at ease as I have a fear of dentistry. I had been told that he had excellent bedside manner and this is definitely what I was looking for in my kid's dentist.

We entered the office and were greeted by our dentist. And he put the two of us at ease. He had a a great sense of humour and had my daughter in a fit of giggles through out the examination. He examined her mouth and shared her love of Ringo and suggested maybe 'branching out' and watching a few Elvis films.

And then he did it.

He started to sing. He started to sing songs that were vaguely familiar... He started to sing and it jostled somehing in my very core. it gave me shivers. I had heard these songs 16 years ago.He started to sing, and of all things, seemed to impersonate my husband while cleaning my daughter's teeth.

He couldn't have been there... How would he know Jim and Emma?

But he kept on singing sounding more and more like my husband sixteen years ago.

I looked at him. And certainly could not believe my ears.

I decided to gulp down my pride and take the strange plunge of six degrees of separation.

'Do you know Jim Cambell? ' I ask.

And with that the singing stopped. My dentist turned to look at me.

'Do I know Jim Cambell? Do I know Jim Cambell? Well, Heck! Yeah!!!' and then he laughs. 'Great guy! Cheap. But great guy...'

'Were you? Were you, at Jim and Emma's wedding?'

'Yeah.. You know Jim and Emma? They are a great, great couple... Gawd that was along time ago!'

'Yeah they are great. Haven't seen them in a while...' I retort.

Haaaa! Do you remember that CRAZY guy at the wedding? he laughs.

'What crazy guy are we talking here?' I ask hoping 'it' will just go away.

And then he got up from his chair and pulled off his mask and began to impersonate my husband, hand movements, body gestures, eyebrow moves and all. My daughter held captive in the dental chair and me sitting next to her watching and gasping in disbelief.

As the dentist was giggling and singing 'Drive My Car'.

I could feel my face turn various shades of red.

'You remember that guy? Gawd... I have been impersonating him for years!' he snorts.

'Really! Well, that guy, that guy, is my husband...'

'He's your husband? Really? You're joking! He's your dad?' Pointing to Scooter in the chair. 'That guy is 'a classic.' I have been singing his versions of songs for years!'

And with that, the dentist turned to my daughter and said 'Your dad is a genius...Sheer genius'

So sixteen years later, it has come home to bite ME. As there is no living with him.

The dentist is dying to have us over. He, no doubt has a karaoke machine and we are in for an evening of sheer entertainment as BoyWonder is in the house.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My daughter collected the mail from our mailbox today.

She went through the pile of bills and triumphantly called out that I had received a letter.

I received a letter today. I received a letter on a cold and dreary day.

As with any letter, I receive, it causes my heart to jump a beat in anticipation on seeing my name scrawled on an envelope. A handwritten letter brings pangs of excitement, or glorious anticipation, of what ideas and sentiments are stored inside.

I always take a moment before opening a letter, as it is such an event.

I always glance at the entire envelope, taking all in, before I open my letter. Sometimes, if I am lucky, the scent of the author remains. And with this, I drink in the letter.

I glance at my letter.

It had my name addressed on it in a penmanship I was not familiar with.

It had come a long way. I can see by the stamps.

It was from South Africa.

Beautiful stamps.

I opened it.

And inside was a letter from a person I have never met. A wife of a friend of mine. A friend whom I have not seen in over twenty years. A friend who would write the most beautiful letters, on the most exquisite stationary, when the mood struck him and who I would write back with great zealousness.

For years and years, we have written each other, almost forgetting what the other person looked like or the sound of our voices. But we knew each other's penmenship. We never likened to e-mails as it would just dullen and cheapen a wonderful experience of true mail. It was a gift we gave to each other.

We both loved the ritual of mail.

But as the years passed, our letters, our gifts of words and insight into each others lives began to dwindle from every few weeks, to every few months, to Christmas letters summing up our lives in a long annual letter, answering questions from the previous Chrismas card. We would give a antidote which only the two of us would understand and love to each other's families. But our Christmas letters were certainly still cherished and most definitely anticipated, And we truly understood how busy life can be and there was always the promise of next year's letter.

She wrote to tell me how much I had meant to her husband over the past twenty years She wrote to tell me he kept all my letters in a shoe box. She wrote to tell me that he spoke of me often. She wrote to tell me that he lived a good life. And she wrote to tell me he had passed away from a massive heart attack. It took him right away. He did not suffer. She wrote to tell me how she was suffering, but consoling herself to the fact he received his wish. 'A good healthy life, lived to the max. He lived every moment'. He was loved by many and he loved all in return. And now he was gone. And she misses him terribly.

My daughter eagerly was by my side asking about my letter. Asking me all about my mail. My exotic letter. And I was short with my daughter, as I wanted a moment to just think of this letter and to think of him. To think of the last time I saw him at the airport bound for South Africa. I wanted to picture him, heed to his velvety voice and to hear his great gregarious laugh, and to be enveloped in the great bear hug he would give, before I buried him to her. I needed a few minutes.
I gave myself the time. I breathed in my memories but just as importantly, I exhaled.

And then I called my daughter back to me and re-addressed the letter. I told her of my letter and of my friend. It gave me comfort to have a wee arm around my shoulder, for her to ask me about him and truly listen to the answers. And then, when she was finished asking and she thought she 'knew' my late friend she added that she was sorry.

And for this, I am comforted.

I am sad. Sad to have lost a friend. Sad for his six children he leaves behind and so heartbroken for his widow.

And tomorrow I will go out, and purhase some exquisite stationary and I will write my late friend's wife a letter filled with memories I had shared with her husband, but most importantly to share the great loss and to keep his memory alive in my heart for a few more paragraphs and send them with a kiss on the long voyage back to South Africa.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Man of All Ages

There is an old man, he could be 76 or 96 but I prefer to think of him as a Man of Ages, living in my neighbourhood.This Man of Ages, walks through my neighbourhood and I have observed him for years. His face is old. He has deep, deep, wrinkles, a fine, weathered face, a face which is riddled with character and stories. He is bald with a bit of stubble where side burns should be, he wears horned rimmed glasses from the fifties. He is five feet tall but he seems to loom as he walks up our main strip with purpose. He wears a knapsack on his back and he always dresses in khakis either long kahakis in the winter or army shorts in the summer. He dons a desert hat, over his shaved head and his legs do not have a hair on them. He is always wears hiking boots, with wool socks when he walks. And when he walks, he bounces. His gait is long and his arms firmly to his sides. He walks with determination staring ahead with his head level and his shoulders pulled back and his chest out. He commands the space around him and beckons space ahead of him, all in a walk.

I have been in the park on occasion and have observed him cycling on a ten speed. He wears the unitard and the proper cycling cleats, he is out of his khakis and in a cycling uniform with a cycling cap and no helmet. I have seen him cycle with young whippersnappers in their twenties. I have heard him yell at them in Polish as they whoosh by training together.
I have heard him belt out 'Faster!Faster!' in English as they trail him.
I have heard him use his age as a taunt. I have heard him say' I am an old man, you can not let an old man beat you! Have pride!' He is challenging the young men to keep the pace. To keep his fast pace, and not for one lap, but for twenty uphill. And I stand holding my breath in amazement.

I have never had the opportunity to talk with this man, this Man of Ages, who is so part of the walking scenery in which I live. I have often asked my other friends and neighbours if they had ever noticed 'my' man in hopes of getting an introduction to him. But when I describe him, they draw a blank. They have never seen my man or at least taken note.

I find it odd, as I think he takes up the street, he is a defining person of the neighbourhood in which I live, he commands the world when he bounces by and I find it peculiar that he has gone unnoticed by my group. I think he is king of the world, but apparantly only in my world. A world in which I wished to know part of his story, for there had to be a few good stories in the leathery markings on his face.

The opportunity arose innocently enough this past week. I had the opportunity to talk with 'my' man. I walked into a dollar store to pick up a bottled water,and to my surprise I saw my man at the counter talking with the store owner. I must have looked shocked, maybe, I even blushed, at seeing him, so anchored to the counter, so at ease, and me so unprepared to see him upclose and not at my comfortable distance to observe. He drew me into in the store with a joust.

'Come in ! Come in! Don't be shy, Come in!' he blurts.

And with his comment suspended in the air, I am jostled to my reason for entering the store.

I hear, My Man, call for me at the back of the tiny five and dime store.

'Miiiissis, Miiiissis... This man here, dis store owner is such a lovely man, he is...' he belts out.

And as I approached the counter with my water I agreed with a smile toward the owner.

'Miiiissis, do you know where he is from?'

And I was flabberghasted as it seems like an innocent question enough, but I had not thought of the shopkeeper as anything other than a shopkeeper... A one dimensional, stationary, being... And I have embarassed myself with my lack of knowledge and prejudice in my wee village of a street.

I look at him, my shopkeeper,and have never thought of his accent, never thought of his travels, never thought of him anywhere besides behind the counter.

I then try and save face by stammering out a reply of 'India?'

Miiiissis, he is a long way from where he started...He is from from Kenya.

And with that the shop owner smiled modestly.

Miiissis, Kenya is one of the most beautiful places on earth... And her people? Ohhh her people, are some of the loveliest to walk the planet...

And the shop owner smiled in accordance.

And with that I ask him, my Man of Ages, how he knows this information.

Well, Miiisusssss, I was a mapmaker for the UN. I miss Africa so much, so very much. Such a beautiful beautiful, country. I lived there for a very longtime, a very longtime. And the language? 30 different dialects of Swahili. Oh it is so beautiful to listen to. I come here to talk with my friend, here, and just listen....I owe dis man, dis man, so much, as he brings de winds of Kenya to me. He is a very good man, a very good man.

And with that he, my Man of Ages, and the Shopkeeper took me, dear blogger on a marvellous taste, of an adventure through Africa,but most importantly though Kenya.

And as I finished my bottled water, my ole man, my traveller, mapmaker extrodinaire who speaks many languages, and has no name and no age laughed and said 'You must be going I see.'

And I reluctantly said I did have a few errands ...

And he says with a wink' Do not tell your husband about me, I wouldn't want to make him jealous... And for him to beat me up. I am an old man, afterall.'

And somehow, that comment made me smile all day...As I finally had the chance to meet 'My' man, My Ageless Man, the man with many, many stories to tell...

I can not wait until I have the chance to talk with him again! And maybe it will be with my husband, but hopefully I am alone, as I truly want to listen and hear Kenya and her winds calling.