Monday, January 18, 2021

Something there is that doesn't like a mask.......

 .....personally, I love masks, masques, disguise, pretence, theatre, Commedia Dell'arte. There is a certain intrigue about hiding, being secretive, pretending to be something you are not. Actors do this on a daily bases and call it entertainment. For them, it's a job - a very well paying job.

OK, this pandemic has brought the concept of a mask to an entirely different level. Wear a mask and live, maybe. Don't wear a mask and die, probably.

I think of all the people, who escaped from situations that were intolerable, by donning a disguise, pretending to be someone else, in order to survive. 

I think of people, who for years professed to be what they really weren't - gays, who married heterosexual partners. Men, who were really women and women who were really men. These disguises must have taken their toll on the personalities, closeted within.

Disguises are a means of escape, a means of protection, a means of subterfuge. One may hide behind the cover of a respectable identity, as a way of covering up an aberrant character trait. 

Unfortunately, too many examples come to mind of teachers, clergy, community workers, the list goes on, who have used their professional disguises to create opportunities to exercise these aberrant personality traits.

We are indeed a motley crew, hiding ourselves to gain the respect of others, who are also hiding themselves. Unfortunately, we have seen what giving vent to unmasked feelings can create - mayhem, anarchy, insurrection.

Hmmm, hand me my mask, my visor; give me my coat of many colours; do I have my makeup on? where's my script? do I enter stage left? Let's get this show on the road!!

The pictures? Masked identities?

Have an entertaining day!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Holy Ground

 I copied this from FaceBook and had to share. It speaks to my soul.

Hiking - "I don't like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains - not hike! Do you know the origin of that word 'saunter?' It's a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, 'A la sainte terre,' 'To the Holy Land.' And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not 'hike' through them."
- John Muir

I have to agree with John Muir, Nature is a sacred place. It's where we go to repair our collective souls, get back to our roots (no pun intended) and put everything into perspective. I do, however, like the word "hike." It makes me feel, as though I've, at least, got some exercise. 

Just as an aside, "The Holy Ground" title of the post is a nod to another area that has been elevated in song, sea shanties mainly. It refers to the red light districts in port cities that house prostitutes. I don't saunter through these though, just sayin'.

The pictures? Places to saunter. They're not mountains, but they are closer to home. And in the Fall they are red leaf districts. :)

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Of Chickadees and suet balls, I sing.

Finally a bird came to my feeder - a Chickadee. I was overjoyed. This was the feeder closest to the house, with the smallest number of suet balls - three. The other feeder, I had hung in a nearby Apple tree. It held six suet balls and a lot of hope. Well, within a day or two, the squirrels discovered this larger feeder and decimated it. Never underestimate the power of a rodent. They'll rat you out every time.

The further feeder (Can I say that?) now lies helplessly on the ground - gone are its suet balls, dignity and what ever else a bird feeder may need - oh yes, birds. Well, it never had any to begin with, so with its purpose in life negated, it lies hopelessly in the snow, disembowelled of suet, seed and soul.

Back to the drawing board for winter garden entertainment. I've thought of shooting squirrels, but then I would have to buy a BB gun, buy BBs for it and yes, find a place to store it. I would have to hide it from my husband, who would use it to shoot the tires of cars that park in "our" parking spot on the street. God forbid he use it on the guy who comes up our mutual drive (a Toronto "thing") and empties our recycling bin for bottles and cans (a foraging "thing.") I should introduce him to my squirrels.

Well, that's all for today, folks. I have a dozen cellar stairs to scrub and a basement floor to clean, because a can of Dr Pepper (who buys Dr. Pepper these days?) rolled off a shelf and punctured a hole in its side. I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Oh, yes, and then there is the book, I'm writing - may as well get it out of the bag, now. I'm at 25,000 words. Just another 50,000 to go. It's a page turner, I'm dying to see how it ends :)

Have a squirrel-less day!

Suet for the suetless...

There are times when a word or phrase hits me with nothing less than "stark reality." It might be the punch of an opening line from a good book or a squirm from the awkwardness of a phrase, that makes me wonder why anyone would string those particular words together and call it a sentence.

Well, it happened again the other day. I was online looking for bird feeders - I had a bathroom to clean and was in avoidance mode. My daughter had given me a wire globe for Christmas that could either be a feeder or a place to put out nesting materials - no string, just fluffy fibre. I decided that nesting season was about two months away and since I needed some lockdown entertainment, I would fill the gift with suet balls.

Off, now, to find a source of suet balls. Fortunately there are many and some come with inexpensive holders as well. It was in this search that I may have met my writing soulmate (or not) as the case may be. Some copywriter, stretched to the limits, writing about the advantages of this bird seed over that and vice versa, made one of those stark statements. Here it is:

If you are looking for a well-sized tub of suet, look no further.

I wondered about the possibility of using it as the opening line of a novel. Would it be set in farm country, sometime in the dirty thirties, where anything resembling food looked good? I can hear the snake oil salesman now extolling the virtues of suet balls, "I say, put the fat back into the land and thrive." Or perhaps the setting would be some urban tangle of alleys and refuse, sheltering souls desperate for a hit of anything. "Psst, wanna buy a suet ball?"

But I digress. I did buy some suet balls and another holder for them - I have two now - and set out to feed the birds, as follows:

Day 1 - no birds

Day 2 - no birds

Day 3 - still no birds

Day 4 - I went online to see where all the birds had gone. Well, I was told that a) there may be better feeding stations elsewhere in the neighbourhood, (hrmph) b) there may be better natural sources of food  (humph, hrmph) or c) there may be a predator in the area - eureka! I did see a hawk a day or so ago.

Day 5 - Sometime about mid-day close to two dozen Juncos invaded our Rudbeckia patch. Juncos are ground feeders, though, and not one of them looked up at the suet balls. 

A week has passed and I have not seen a house sparrow, a chick-a-dee, or any other suet loving bird - sigh! I did see a male and female cardinal briefly, but they are not known for liking suet and didn't even sniff at the feeders.

Well, with no other time wasters to divert me from the tasks at hand, I guess I should either clean the bathroom or write a book with a riveting opening sentence. Wish me luck!