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Once upon a time, we all made little valentines. Our school teachers provided coloured paper and lace doilies that we could cut up and stick together.
I distantly remember having crushes on various girls. I always hoped they’d feel the love oozing out of the card I made for them. And vice versa, I suppose. But it’s hard to sense true love when everyone gets a card.
Valentine’s Day seems somewhat fruitless for one who now lives alone. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not whining. I’m much more comfortable with being on my own these days. When I think about it, I live a privileged life. I have a warm house. I have adequate income. I enjoy an active life. I have friends.
But it does give me an outsider’s perspective on the urge to couple up.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: Valentine, holon, couple
At the start of winter, I filled my bird feeder with sunflower seeds. For several days, not one bird came to dinner. Then a single junco arrived, pecked, and flew away. The day after that, a handful of scrappy little finches showed up.
The third day, a single quail appeared.
Now, quail are ground birds. They’d rather run than fly, little legs blurring beneath them like the cartoon Roadrunner’s. And they are not loners. They travel in flocks, so many that sometimes the earth itself seems to be moving.
But for some reason, this one flew up to check. Alone.
And the next day, dozens of quail swarmed over the feeder, climbing over each other, double-deckering on each other’s backs, to get at the treasure trove of sunflower seeds.
They had to have had a way of passing the good news around.
Their own social media?
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: God, Language, birds, experience, prairie dogs
It’s hard to realize that the first COVID-19 case showed up in Canada barely more than a year ago. A patient came to Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital after returning from Wuhan, China, where the disease apparently originated.
COVID-19 was a brand new disease. We didn’t know how it started, how it was transmitted, or how to treat it.
We learned as we went.
Initially, too, we saw ICU patients propped up in beds. Now I sometimes see then lying face down. It looks awkward, but apparently it helps to drain the fluid building up in their lungs.
At that point, I wondered if anyone in the COVID-19 camp had contacted the cystic fibrosis community about postural drainage.
Because nobody, but nobody, knows more about getting fluid out of lungs than the people who treat cystic fibrosis.
Tags: Cystic Fibrosis, COVID-19, postural drainage, lungs
I’ve been taking my time putting Christmas decorations away.
Long ago, everything came down on Twelfth Night, January 6 -- when, tradition says, the Magi from the east visited Jesus and brought gifts of gold, and myrrh, and incense.
We put them all away. Somewhere. That wasn’t part of my job.
My job was to take the tree and any evergreen wreathes outside. To burn them in the yard. A single match usually sufficed to demonstrate the combustibility of coniferous forests.
This year has been different.
Some of my Christmas decorations have come down, and been tucked away in boxes in the basement storage room. But some are still out.
Because I think, I don’t want Christmas to end.
Tags: Christmas, decorations, W.R.Rodgers, pretence
Ever since 22-year-old Amanda Gorman delivered her poem, The Hill We Climb, at President Joe Biden’s Inauguration, people have asked me how I reacted to it.
To respond, I have to distinguish between me as a sentient human being, and me as a technician with words.
As a human being, I endorse her message 100%. I’m inspired by WHAT she said, and the context in which she said it.
As a technician with words, though, I have to deal with HOW she said it. So I approach her poem, any poem, differently.
Tags: Poetry, Amanda Gorman