there are blogs, and there are blogs. not that i'm an expert, by any stretch, being a very new-comer. some seem lonely outposts with few visitors, others resemble families, or communities, with regular, and often, familiar visitors. some are carefully laid out, replete with gorgeous inserts and photos, some more haphazard, others landscapes of text. some are updated daily, or even more often - others once a week - still others seemingly at random. some inspire great thoughts, intelligent debate, and introspection; some rant; some share day-to-day life in places i'm thrilled to get a peek into. some are dedicated to a great cause, or a lifestyle. it seems to be mostly about communication... am i wrong? blogging lets us find like-minded people, and connect witht them. learn from them. learning is one of my favorite things. and for some of us, there aren't a great many like-minded people in our immediate vicinity, so i guess that's a healthy thing... of sorts. but in a world where no one seems to have time for their families and friends anymore, why are we reaching out to befriend distant people in such an abstract way? why do we go to the internet for companionship, advice, entertainment, intelligent 'conversation'?
lunch time, and the view out my office window is bleak. steel grey skies threatening to snow. a monochromatic study in un-colors. it's been unseasonally mild here in Waynorth. we had the requisite cold snap as winter settled, but the snow has long since melted with the unexpected chinooks. it's so dark for so long here, we need the snow in winter. what little light we get can bounce around a bit then. driving in the black hole of a snowless, moonless, starless winter's night is like falling off the face of the earth. nothing but darkness in every direction... no clue there's a whole world out there somewhere. it's a very lonely thing. i hate the cold, but the snow is welcome. it chases back the darkness that, by the 21st of December will come in mid afternoon and stay till late morning. queen winter is a very elegant lady, all clad in white furs, diamonds and pearls. they set off her dark hair and eyes the color of northern midnight skies. she dresses to impress, and she accomplishes her purpose. at times her beauty takes our breath away. but her heart is as cold as her touch, and she's ruthless. merciless. her caress can maim and kill. she never leaves when she's worn out her welcome, which is brief. she leaves when SHE is ready to, with no consideration to the convenience or wellbeing of her hosts. today, she's in a mild mood; she's settling her long, white lace skirts gently on the land, brushing it softly with her silken, deadly touch. making herself comfortable, because she's only just arrived, really, and she won't be leaving soon. she'll deceive us into beleiving she's a benevolent monarch, tempting us out onto the fields and hills and frozen ponds to sport with her. and perhaps she will be benevolent... this time. but i don't trust her.
the terrifying job interview over, i'm in recovery. i might need to make more soap. of course, i didn't get the job. when i think about it, i've NEVER got a job that way - by applying for something posted in the paper. it's always something i went to talk to someone about because someone who knew someone heard that they might want someone.... or.... one of the best jobs i ever had, i got because i just marched into a place i was sure i'd like working, handed the boss my resume and a portfolio, and said, "i'd really like to work for you; here's my resume and a little bit about what i can do" it was a sewing/design job making window coverings for an interior decorator. she spent the next few months figuring out how she could afford to hire me, and when i'd given up hope of hearing from her, she called me. another great job.... a friend was head of the culture dept for the small city where i lived. she had this idea for an inflatable dinosaur tent for the annual children's festival. she asked if i thought i could sew something like that... COULD I? could i ever! the result was Stella Stegasaurus, a 30 foot long beauty of a tent with enormous, heavy-lashed eyes and big, pink, kissy lips. a big zipper opened up her side, the kids all rushed in before she deflated, somebody quickly zipped her up, and story-telling happened every hour in the most magical place imaginable. the sunlight came through her like stained glass. i don't think those kids will ever forget being in the belly of a freindly dinosaur. then there was the job of 'creative carpenter' for the Dawson City museum, back in the days before they had any money to hire 'experts'. i got to design dislplays, build them and furnish them. this meant poking around in the mountains of dusty old boxes in the attic full of artifacts. (back in the days before everything was catalogued and stored properly) one of my most thrilling finds was several boxes of Victorian clothing... all painstakingly made by hand - every stitch! there was a magnificent baby's christening gown, all embroidery and open work and hand-made lace (there was no other kind of lace back then) and a lady's jacket in the softest salmon colored silk velvet, high collared and small waisted with leg-o-mutton sleeves and at least a dozen tiny pearl buttons. i dreamed of being the lady who wore that. the building itself was thrilling. it had been constructed to house the government offices back in Dawson City's heyday. a magnificent, sprawling 3 story edifice replete with rich wooden floors, wainscotting, paneling, coffered, high ceilings, wide stairs and carven banisters. Even the attic, which had never been used for more than storing dusty boxes, was all beautiful woods, and had rows of dormer windows all along both sides of the roof. it was my favorite place of all. i often took my lunch there. the building was an icebox, though. there was no money for heating fuel. on cold days we ran little electric heaters in odd corners, where the tour guides would gather in little blue clusters to thaw their aching fingers and toes. it was never open during winter, only during the summer, tourist season, but if it was only as warm as a spring day outside, you didn't go in THERE to warm up. you could count on it being at least 20 degrees colder inside. this was lovely on those very hot summer days. built in air conditioning. when they finally got some interest from Parks Canda, (read "financing" because tourism was catching on, and it was now a money-making proposition) the first job was to put in something resembling a heating system. the old furnace in the basement was wood fired - probably the boiler out of a sternwheeler. and in checking this out, it was discovered that the old girl rested in a hollow... possibly the lowest point on the street... and the basement filled with water... which froze each winter and never really thawed out. she was squatting on a beheamouth! an iceberg! no wonder she never really warmed up! it took all of one summer of pumping out the water, and blasting hot air under her bloomers to melt that! i feel better about not getting the job now. disappointment is a good teacher. it seemed tailored for me; something i'd do well and enjoy. i'd have been Assistant to the Dean of Fine Arts at a small city college. having a background in art and design, years of experience teaching and performing violin, and business and finance training and experience, it would have been a good mix. not to mention the very substantial increase in pay.... And, of course there's the family... pretty much all in the city now, and just me here. that still bites. but we'll have to work with what we're given, i guess. what's that scripture that tells us not to mourn over our losses? ....that perhaps we are being spared something worse? because, if i lived any closer to the kids' dad (who lives in that very city and is an extremely difficult person) i might have to kill him.
Money isn't everything, but it IS SOMETHING. Self-sufficient livng in the bush yielded marginal success. Tried to make it on creative brilliance, but not much lit up. Learned some skills-house painter, rough (read "uses chainsaw")carpenter, etc.
Took a 2 year business course at the local college-finance and accounting.
And found myself.
Numbers are reliable. They always give the same answer-never change their minds, wear out, break, leave or go out of style. If something doesn't add up there's an answer if you patiently look. There is order in the universe!
No longer an itinerant fiddler/artist, I'm an accountant with a creative side.
Started in a city, moved to a bush cabin, the Yukon, apartment in the city, farm, and back to the city. Through it all yearning for a big yard with trees for the kids to climb, garden, and studio.
Bought a run-down, old frame church in a small town, complete with maple trees and raised the last 2 of 4 kids there. The realtor who sold it to me felt guilty selling it to a single mom;he helped renovate. Still one of my best friends. Of course,never finished it while the kids were here - it's nearly complete.