Monday, February 28, 2022


As I’ve said here often, I’d extemporize in text, the story of a person in a picture. It was a writing exercise that I loved doing. I learned it in a course at college, and I’ve been doing it ever since for fun. I’ve never posted one. I’m criticism phobic. But that fear seems to have been overcome by desire to shake up this blog a little. It’s been blah for a long time.

It used to be for my trips. But I haven’t done that for a long, long time and I don’t see it in my immediate future. So, I thought I might do some writing exercises and post them. I’ll see how this goes. 

So, meet Marie…

She looked around the classroom and counted the girls. There were eighteen. Then she counted how many of them were named Marie. She hates her name. It was worse at home. She had four sisters and two brothers, and all the girls were name Marie, but her sisters were called by their second names: Béatrice, Josée and Claire. Her parents never once called her Thérèse. She was Marie.

Her history teacher’s lecture was monotone and lacked any feeling at all. She thought: He’s as bored as I am and sounding like a buzzing bee.  Every eyelid in the room was slowly closing.

She wondered: what kind of woman does a girl with a plain name, average marks, no ambition and plain, become? Could she be more invisible? The uniforms made things worse. Why uniforms? Every girl in blue. Every girl the same. She thought: Only the pattern of my pimples, makes me unique.

She asked her favourite teacher why the school wants uniforms and she said it was because conformity supports social order and equality. And she knew that that was right because she’d dressed up as a lobster for a Halloween party and had more fun being someone else than she’d ever been in her life. She’d felt brave, and she’d felt loud. A party lobster!

She’d gone alone and expected nothing, but people liked her as a lobster. The lobster was quick and funny. Everyone was warm and welcoming. She was having a ball, but soon she was tired, and when she realized that there was no seating in the hall, she sat on the floor, crushing two of her legs and ripping one off. But then….

A man, looking like a groom at a posh wedding, approached her. And when he stood before her, he bowed and extended his hand. Then he asked her to dance. So, she took his hand and he gently pulled her up and into his arms. They danced, as close as a lobster can, and neither of them said anything. They danced one dance and she learned why there was so much dancing in the historical romances she liked to read. 

Then he walked her back to her place on the floor, helped her with her legs as she slowly slumped to the floor, bowed, turned and walked away.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Down for the Day

Saturday was cool but not cold, and dull. Still, I loved going out for our morning walk together, just us. The brisk clean air was invigorating; it was a wonderful way to get the day started. And as I walked, I thought about signing, not about speech. It’s a huge and wonderful shift in my way of living.

I think it would be fair to say that I’m ‘over’ having FND. I’ll likely frequently mention it here in the future because it dominates my life, but I feel fully reconciled to my situation now. It only took six years.

Once home from my walk, I started feeling poorly and it got worse and worse, so I spent the day on the couch. I stayed there until 6:00 when the pain finally stopped. I felt so good in the evening. Pain sucks.

Today has dawned warm (for Winter) and wet. I’ll do some studying, but it’s Sunday and so I retire discipline and give in to sloth on this day of rest. I’ll enjoy some time by the fire with Louise Penny and I’ll also go into the village for groceries. 

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Ears Don't Lie

Friday was another gloriously sunny day. After the dog walk, I came home to read but first, on a hunch, I opened my front door to see if my iPad had been left there as it had not arrived in the mail. And there it was! 

I spent the better part of the day trying to get the pad properly linked and operating, and then I had my first signing lesson with Gus. He’s wonderful. I am going to see him weekly, just as I see Michelle. I’m excited to have another source of clarification on things that confound me in my course.

I try to ignore politics. All so much of the news does is to increase my cynicism and despair. But on the CDC news on Radio 2, they played audio clips of both Biden and Trudeau, and I was struck dumb by what I heard.

It wasn’t the content of their message; it was the phoniness of their way of speaking. I have no opinion about Ontario’s Rob Ford, but he’s a bad reputation in the voices I hear. However, he speaks like a normal person. Everything I hear from him, I believe, comes from his own mind and mouth. He’s authentic.

When Biden speaks, I hear the incompetent mouthpiece of a cabal of advisors. When Trudeau speaks, I hear an actor. I don’t believe that a word of what he says is his own.

I used to look through magazines when I was young, and on-line later, to find an image of a person. I sought photograph’s that I felt could fire my imagination. People in odd situations or positions, in dramatic settings, or in provocative posture with other, or others, in the shot. Then I cut out or download and print the image, paste it into a scrapbook and then write a story about the person in the picture. I loved doing that; creating characters without plot.

It was a writing exercise for my imagination and writing, from a visual stimulus. Hearing Trudeau and Biden shocked my imagination in much the same way. But with auditory stimulus. I could say that I hear well, but not in reference to content, but to tone, pace, pitch, structure, volume, transitions, patterns, imperfections, accent (linguistic) and accent (emphasis). Perhaps my fascination with speech is why I love writing dialogue so much. And how odd to have this long-nurtured passion and speech impairment.

Kanopy is my favourite streaming service by far, and it’s free. Because it’s free. Last night I watched On Broadway on it, and what a wonderful experience it was. I love theatre and I love musicals. It’s a history of Broadway that I didn’t know, illustrated with great, but very short scenes of actors and producers and directors reminiscing, past monster hit shows and performances. Plus, in a big way, the producers/theatre owners. I loved it.

I wrote about my ‘Chris and Frani’ incident. It hurt me and confounded me. I felt bullied. And then I thought about another thing: something I’d read about FND. Reading about the history I read in one article by an eminent neurologist, the author believed that many witches in history would, today, be diagnosed as having FND.

That left me more emotionally understanding how maladies without tangible sources have long been misunderstood. And my C&F experience was just another one telling me that many still do. A doctor in the hospital last Summer when I was in due to a heart attack was another. It’s judgement and prejudice. No wonder I was hurt.

I’d been experiencing fear of acceptance a lot since I developed my symptoms. That belief also has helped me put the experience with C&F to rest: I want to accept if I want to be accepted. 

Friday, February 25, 2022

A Fabulous Dinner

Shizah. I had a post ready to go and erased it by mistake this morning, so here is a re-write which accounts for the delay in my posting.

On the walk, this morning, with my fellow dog walkers, everyone was buzzing, afire with opinions on what to do about Suzanne Bizon, the lawyer who so unfairly reported Sheba and I to the authorities and who now wants unleashed dogs banned from all public lands in the island. We talked as we walked and Regina was insistent that we do nothing unless the Regional District makes a move to disallow off-leash dog walking. If they do that, we will all by mobilized to object.

Yesterday was busy, what with going to Nanaimo, unloading all the supplies I bought, and then going to the clinic for medication for a mighty nasty infection that is making one leg look like a disaster zone. And then, there was dinner with Eoin, François and Jay.

My dinner was fabulous! It was really, really fun! The Surf is huge, it’s an old log lodge, right on the water, and so we ate with no one nearby, and the dinners were very generous. The servings were bountiful, and the company was stimulating. I had a great, great time—so great, in fact, that I proposed going again next week to Judith and Anthony on our walk this morning. They are delightful people who also love going to The Surf.

I have a headache for the second day. Perhaps my infection is to blame. So, I do not plan to study today. Instead, I will read by the fire and drink lots of water. But I do have a tutoring session with a new, second tutor named Gus, who is affiliated with the course I am taking.

A fabulous Rainbow Lobster