15 October, 2022

Promise to myself

So looking forward
To six weeks of travelling
I will move slowly.

Photo by Sergio Sala on Unsplash

09 October, 2022

The end of a short, but lovely vacation

One more night to sleep...
Before I go back to work.
Sunset in blue skies.

02 October, 2022

Trying to talk about my privilege (4/4)

 How would I describe myself?

"well-tattered resilient kindred spirit"

Taking count...

The only grace I ever felt was dancing on my pointe shoes a pas de deux with Phillipe Tallard over half a century ago in Cannes, France. That was magic. Now there are some infinitely small breaths of stretching during my yoga that sing. The rest of my day-to-day movements tatter and tear at my body in many new ways.

What counts though is what is inside, right? There, there are occasional moments of grandness.

It is the kindredness of friends, the bond with my siblings, the kindness of my Giui, the generousness of Sara's heart, the patience of Julien's being, that make this life precious.

26 September, 2022

Trying to talk about my privilege (3/4)

How would I describe myself?

"gentle gracious elder"

To myself...

To all those years of prickliness... 
Deep cuts in my heart caused by
Caustic words spoken unmeaningly
By distant family and quasi-friends...
Or, in tabloid newspapers headlines,
Read by colleagues in our break room,
Such nastiness washing down the
Last of their breakfast sandwiches...
Or, the slaps of profanity of strangers, 
Yelling and minding my business
When it was not theirs to comment upon...

I was often hurt, certainly angry,
Sometimes I still even rant, but
Mostly, because of you, my dear
Family and friends, I survived and 
Still feel endless gratitude for the
Coming of every dawn. 

25 September, 2022

Trying to talk about my privilege (2/4)

How would I describe myself?

"old foreign woman"

OLD: Old comes with wisdom, of sorts.

For some my being old is irritating

They tend to condescend and become rude

My voice is reedy, transparent, and 

Passes through their minds unnoticed.

FOREIGN: Foreign can pique interest, open

Doors for conversations and confessions

Allowing unusual perspectives to explore

The mundane day-to-day going-on of their lives.

Yet, always, always, there are those moments

Of the acute hurtful realisation that I do not belong.   

WOMAN: So deeply what I am and yet, 

Days go by without my thinking at all about this

This is paradoxical because so much of what

I do, think, how I speak, who I love, finds its

Being through my womanhood. Also, so much

Of social dis-ease, psychological disorder, even

Many personal interactions are burdened by this.

18 September, 2022

Trying to talk about my privilege (1/4)

How would I describe myself?

"curious open-minded geek"

The words I use can be seen through the lens of privilege. Starting with "curious open-minded geek"; I became so through the privilege of education. I attended good primarly and secondary schools. 

I was able to go to a co-op university, where I could earn enough during work terms to pay for tuition, room and board during our study semesters. I did not have to take out student loans. 

Generally, during this time in the 1970s, the tuitions in Canadian universities were not exorbitant. I recently came across a document from that time where it stated the tuition for one semester was around 700 dollars. Still, because of my middle-class upbringing, I could go to university without financial worry.  

My family environment also played a big role. My father and grandfather were very hands-on engineers and they instilled in me a love of technology. My mother, though a technophobe, was a veracious reader and she feed my love of books and helped me always to explore other worlds.

Lastly, I have spent all my adult life having access to various technology from the moment they were invented. I could not always afford the technology, but I found ways to use open-source technology and buy more generic devices that were not high-brand devices.

Is there any way to describe oneself that does not leave some aspect of privilege aside?    

10 September, 2022

Same place, different worlds (trip to the beach outside of Copenhagen)

Nude bodies sunbathing
Fleece jacket and windbreaker
Are my loyal friends. 

29 August, 2022

I am off on a trip again!

Garbage truck roars by
Brumming noises in my brain
I pack for my trip.

25 August, 2022

In the middle of a drought

Prayer: rain please come
The leaves hang and are shrivelled
Grey skies this morning.

14 August, 2022

Mussolini Moment

L: How was the visit to your parents-in-law?
D: Tiring... Discouraging... Sad.
L: Was it seeing the state of their home? Is it still so messy?
D: Still messy, but that isn't it. They used to be so optimistic and it was always a comfort to talk to them. No matter how dire, they would always say, "It could be worse." or "This will pass." Now they are blaming the Turks and the refugees for everything. 
L: That must be hard to hear.
D: How could the two of them become so bitter with age? It scares me. My father-in-law now says, "If only Mussolini was in power" whenever he listens to the news!
(L. breaks out in laughter.)
L: Let's make a pact. If either of us catches the other saying such comments in the future, we have to promise to say, "Hey, dear friend, I think you are having a Mussolini Moment."
D: Done!

(This post is part of my "Growing Up & Growing Old" project.)

10 August, 2022

Happy 65th!

Street cleaning machine rolls
Passing my bedroom window
Silent prayer escapes.

Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

24 July, 2022

First time on a plane

(off to visit Nerida in Munich)

First time on a plane
In the last years of covid
Joyful excitement.

23 July, 2022

Exit coaching

(first draft of my exit coaching strategy)

I am retiring next year. I still have a year to explore what this means. A year to transition from my 40-year work career into ... what-might-come... or, ideally, into another career as... an artist, writer, blogger, explorer... the horizon is magnificent.  

(This post is part of my "Growing Up & Growing Old" project.) 

17 July, 2022

A joyous Sunday

Our daughter comes home
A pit stop to reconnect
My heart goes thump thump.

13 July, 2022

What covid taught me

No smells and no taste
Makes it easy to diet
But robs me of joy.

20 June, 2022

The last week of school

School children running
Though summer is here, they wait
Dreaming of time off.

06 June, 2022

A rant (again)

To my nieces and news back in Canada, I am their German aunt. Even my dear friend, Ann, who I went to high school with, once introduced me as her "German friend" when we bumped into her neighbour. In some weird way, this almost makes sense... this is where I have lived my whole adult life.

My family, friends, and colleagues in Germany always staple on the prefix "Canadian" when explaining who I am, as in my "Canadian friend" or my "Canadian colleague". When I call them out on this, they respond defensively. "I don't mean anything by this. It's just who you are. It's sort of a badge of merit." They try to coax me into thinking it is something positive.

I persist. "Can't I just be your friend? Or just your colleague? Don't you see it might be irritating, wrong, not nice to have to carry this label?" For f*cks sake, I have been living in Germany for 40 years now!

18 May, 2022

Thank you note to me L&D team

My favourite team
Laughs and cries throughout the day
Brilliant women. 

01 May, 2022

Business trip

My first business trip
Since pre-pandemic, hurrah
I'm so excited.

24 April, 2022

A visit from Limo and Wian

Night time comes slowly
Afternoon at the playground
My dear family.