Saturday, August 16, 2014


Another academic term is over at Emily Carr U. Brekka, the restaurant across the street that is open 24 hours a day, provided the celebratory 2-pound donut for my celebration. You can see it now on my full-body silhouette.

People said I would have a version of "post partum" when my play closed. Not true. I had not one second of anything sad, and when every term is over at Emily Carr, I not only do not feel sad, I feel euphoric—much happier than I ever felt as a student at the end of term.

An old adage comes to mind when I think about my current relationship to teaching: "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach." I think this late-in-life leap into creative writing (and away from technical scribing) has me less tolerant of the demands of teaching (3-hour lectures and marking). Thank God for small-sized sections. My impression is that enrolment is down from when I started teaching by 60% so there is, at least, less of everything except the length of the lectures.
I keep telling friends my age that we are all increasingly ……(fill in the blank). It seems to me, whatever we "were," we are more of now. I, for example, an more intolerant of human beings and increasingly sensitive to many non-human things.* I am also feeling more creative and far, far less inclined to migraines and eczema. I ascribe the changes to two things: not working (well, a big change in the nature and amount of my work) and aging. I am 66. I quit working forever, for others, at age 57 and "retired" into creative self-employment.

One interesting aspect of my "retirement," is having flashbacks. While I am ironing or washing something or cleaning my fish tank, suddenly out of nowhere and for no seeming reason, a memory of times past (and always a wonderful memory, often of days in foreign lands) floods my mind. They are true flash-backs inasmuch as they last a micro-second. But the emotional effects linger; I find them to be highly evocative.

Since picking up pencil crayons and writing creatively—in short, rekindling my imagination, I have been feeling more and more like a kid again. Consequently, my flashbacks have been of memories such as drawing at "Painting in the Park" classes when I was very young. I can vividly remember the joy of a clean sheet of paper or a new set of crayons. I loved being creative passionately and I barely fed that flame when I was working.

Now, financially secure, I am having the time of my life being a kid again.
* In the past few weeks I have become intolerant of (allergic to?) a belt buckle I have, my new Seiko watch buckle, the elastic in my underwear (or the thread) and many labels and threads in clothes—all likely due to my HIV drugs.

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