Funny old day

One  of those old chock-full days. Crammed a lot in. Medical appointment then a lunch out treat. I paid the price in the middle of the afternoon when I became seriously fatigued. I would not give in  instead I bulldozed through and found myself needing to lie down in the early evening. This kind of sudden fatigue is really part and parcel of the dialysis experience.

Part of today was helping a friend who is technologically challenged to try out the dictation function for entering text into his laptop computer. Test worked well and he was quite intrigued and I believe he will have some success using this method.


In fact I have used this dictation verbal dictation method to enter most of the text in this post.

2000 Art Show at Cyberplex Toronto Offices, poetry hallway

in 2000 I helped set up an art show at the offices of Cyberplex in toronto,  I worked there. we had the staff offer up works in various media for display, people from all the departments participated and the show was a terrifically rich aesthetic expedition.  This is the poetry  hallway with poems from 6 poets on the staff.  Camera: Sony Mavica FD-7, taken by me.


About Friendship

(a tiny essay from quite a few years ago)

I was thinking recently about friendship. Which is to say I was thinking about my friends. Not just the current day’s crop, but all of my friends from the line of years. There are times in our lives when we have a few friends, times when we have many. The occasions when we lose them, when they move away, or one or the other behaves in a way that the friendship sinks. There are many points in the building of this picture. There are also the moments when we feel that we have no friends at all.

Friendship – tasting the word: buddy, pal, amigo, compadre, comrade, mate, chum. There is the whole question of close friends, friends, and the sub class, acquaintances, who might be defined as strangers that we know because they keep bumping into us. Strangers being those people who are polite enough to only bump into us once.

How many people will one person meet in their life. Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands? Living in a city we see many, many people. Behind the wheels of cars, a busload passing, in malls, in the waiting rooms of Doctors. But those aren’t really meetings, are they?

How many people will I learn their names, shake their hands. Work with them, work around them. People we know in business, people out of business, people out of their minds.

Another class is the best friend. There is man’s best friend, the dog. Then there is the matter of the exiled prince or princess who deigns to allow you the great privilege of living to serve them. I am referring to the cat. Of course, as Norman Bates put it so clearly, “ A boy’s best friend is his mother.”
What are the responsibilities of friendship? There are times when it is necessary to lie. Mostly friendship requires the sacrifice of time. Time spent exchanging words, laughter, common views. I have one friend who talks. My job is to listen. During moments when he is mouth and nose to the oxygen tank before plunging back into monologue, I offer my scraps of life reporting.

What price do we pay for friendship. If you attempt to loan money to a friend you are walking out on ice. The cracking sound is not your knuckles. Does everyone’s mother say don’t crack your knuckles?

Can we avoid friendship? On a desert island.

The worst friendship you can ever make, is the mistake of making your lover your best friend. When you break up, you won’t have your best friend to talk to about it. That is difficult country to cross.

Friendship is about conversation. Someone to talk to, someone to listen to. Sharing the notions that get born in your cranium. They will laugh at your less than perfect jokes. They will tell you the truth about your haircut. They will listen to you adjust the truth of your romantic life. They will think a little better of you than they should.

What is friendship not? It is not a disease. It is not a cure. It is definitely not a boat.


beating Auden – a writing game

English: Photo of W. H. Auden, 1970, taken by me.
English: Photo of W. H. Auden, 1970. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have this small writing game I play in my head.  Some days I keep score and other days I let W. H. off the hook.   Apparently, W.H. Auden would work at his writing for five hours a day, several cups of tea, an ashtray or three of cigarette butts, and some benzedrine.  At least some kind of pill, my memory may be playing tricks with the exact concoction he used.  Other writers would write 1500 words exactly, Hemingway pencil to paper and stop in the middle of an idea so he could begin again the next morning without hesitation.  Many writers have many rules and rituals, magical potions and incantations,  sharpening ten pencils was one I liked. Shelby Foote wrote seven days a week and every day of the year in a writing room where he slept.  He would not stop, for fear of the energy needed to regain his momentum.  He wrote his three volume history of the American Civil War with a dip pen and a bottle of ink.  You will likely recall him with his insights and syrupy drawl speaking as a talking head on Ken Burns‘ Civil War documentary on PBS. Check out his history of the Civil War, a masterpiece.

I am writing less these days and that is despite having more sophisticated electronic devices on which to scribble. A writer tries to find a way to make the effort of writing seem less difficult than it is. I went back in time and tried pencil, pen, typewriter.  I am considering a digital voice recorder or voice recognition software so I can just talk to write.  More accurately, mutter. I can confess confidently that I am evolving into a true muttery, ill, curmudgeon with all the trims and accessories.  Acidic manners and hair trigger rigged rants available 24 hours per day.  The odd bad joke.  A few million regrets and a surprising amount of wonderment as I read both history and new fiction.  I even bemuse myself with thoughts of more positive political results both nationally and locally.  Still an opti-cynic as someone labelled me thirty years ago, an optimistic cynic.

I get to the end of the day and consider the writing score: yesterday was Auden 5 me 1.  One hour spent writing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t equate my puny efforts with Auden,  He is just my way of keeping score.

hacking away at my novel

It is called The Look, but that may not last. It is a spy story of sorts, a retired spy is killed and another old spy comes to check up on the death.

I have over the years started several novels and never got very far with them. This one is not very far either, but I am going to keep hacking away at it.

I may have painted myself into a corner with the plot. I am back at this puzzle and I will see if I can push the peanut forward one day at a time.