Sunday, January 29, 2017

Visiting Alan

 I went to his spot today.  I had been missing  him for a long time.  Had wished he had lived longer so I could talk to him about our sons.  I missed his grunts of reassurance, which surprising worked to heal the unknown.

He was such an enigma as a person.  So black and white.  Much like myself.  We had a love, hate relationship.  We fought a lot, and we also had some great moments that I wouldn't trade for anything.  There are no perfect days, just perfect moments.  These are the moments that haunt me.  These moments haunt people who lose someone they truly loved.  That look, or that flash of smile, that laughter in the rain or even while in pain.

He was so distant emotionally sometimes and yet who do things for you to show you he loved you in his work and through his at home projects.  He was a good father in one way and a 'bad' one in others.  Again, this is something he would show the boys through things he would do for them and be the strength and take on their pain.  Is that really a bad father though?  If he was unable to sit down and talk to you man to man, or tell you words you needed to hear or look you straight in the eye and say comforting praises like I am proud of you.  Sometimes fathers are a result of their fathers before them.  There is a song by Mike and the Mechanics, In the Living Years  that illustrate the very same thing.

When Al left us, I realized how much he did for us.  I guess that's really what I wanted to say to him.  It was cold and the wind blew hard again my face while I tried to find the words looking at this wall with his name on a plague.  I couldn't feel a connection at all.  In fact I felt silly instead, so the words just wouldn't come so I took pictures instead when words failed me.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Did you catch a glimpse?

In all of those years, in almost half of our lives
did you ever catch a glimpse?
I think we did once.
It was across the kitchen table
with bills to the left and baby bottles to the right
We must have been tired, it happened late one night.

It was like we saw into each other's soul
without words, but with undeniable truth
it almost happened
but we turned away instead
I think there were tears, I don't remember
But it was after Christmas, maybe late December.

In all of the battles we fought against each other
instead of living in peace
Did you ever catch a glimpse?
Did you know who you were hurting and who would
hurt in the end?
Did you know we could have been friends?

What about the little boy who lives inside you
did you know you hurt him most of all?
the one who you neglected, who was abused
the one you hated most of all for being afraid
did you pick him up and say everything's okay?

I would have helped you know, I tried to, God knows
but it was me who was punished
for all the things you didn't say, for all that you
couldn't control,
You know, I would have stayed,
if you only caught a glimpse.

Bomb Laden Hills

Ever since I was a little girl,
I saw the world through wondrous eyes
Of crystal-lit waters under moonlit skies
Of Green fields under colored rainbows
And early morning cries-

Of red-breasted robins
And herring fishes that jumped out
Of water onto porcelain dishes.

Of pale sheers that fluttered
Through stained-glass windows
Between oak ladened shutters

Ever since I was a little girl
I saw the world with wondrous eyes
Undistorted with flaws or long
Sharp claws of greed and hunger and lies

Undisturbed by human pain
Of gunshot wounds, financial ruins
And the bite of acid rain.

Of filthy waters under bomb-laden hills
Of crack cocaine, needles, alcohol and pills.

Untouched by the harm brought
To a child
Unscathed by the extinction of the
Call of the wild.

Ever since I was a little girl
I looked at the world through wondrous eyes
So what ever happened to paradise?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Ruined Business

A long time ago when I was about 12, I recall my parents had made a decision to start their own business. Looking back now, I realize of course just how young they actually were. My father was a skilled carpet layer who was taught the trade by his father before him, who had made a fortune on it in the 40's. But that's another tale.

The business started off well-enough I suppose. I hardly saw them anymore... especially my father who was constantly working. Eventually the business grew from a room in an apartment to a 'CostCo-sized' warehouse where bales and bales of carpeting arrived daily. Soon my dad hired men to help him, but these so called 'helpers' just took advantage of their hourly wages by sitting around wasting time instead of being paid by the job. This was their first mistake.

Others included hiring family to 'do the books' which proved catastrophic when they were audited. So while my poor father was working to the bone, coming in late and tired with crippled knees and calloused hands, there was trouble brewing in the front office. Then it happened, a call came late one night from the police, who had said the warehouse was broken into and most of the carpeting for the next week's jobs were gone. They never did figure out who it was.

Then there came a knock on the door and a large, burly man asked me for the keys for my mother's car. He didn't take no for an answer, and despite my best efforts within 5 minutes my mom's car was gone. Eventually they lost their business.

I never actually saw my father cry, but I heard him one night. It was the worst sound I ever heard...

Since then, I was haunted by the sadness of closing businesses...

It was almost nightfall, on a cold, rainy night.  Up ahead just off Taunton Rd was a sign which read, "Maple Lane Nurseries".  Normally I would have kept going, but I was compelled to stop and take a closer look.

The picture I took of the cable fence, which I call, 'lockout' is symbolic (this would come to be my favorite of all the shots taken here).  I slowly moved my way in setting up my tripod, and my bracketing settings on the camera.  This I knew would be crucial for the HDR settings I had already decided to use on this collection of shots.   One by one, I saw the gloom, and the ruins of broken dreams.  From the broken windows and empty cash registers to the doorways swung open letting out the ghosts of dreams gone by.

Such beautiful things here, even in the chaotic ruins, I could imagine seeing the sun shining down on kept lawns, adorned with potted plants and immaculate greenhouses filled with flora of every imaginable color.

As I made my way around the back of one of the sheds, I saw a broken shed-like dwelling.  The wild flowers over-powered the front lawn and the bike that lay on its side brought memories back of when I was a child.  You know when businesses fail, it isn't just about the money.  It affects everyone in the family.  It can leave an impact on the kids too.  Everyone loses.

It took me a while before I decided to do something with these pictures, but I've decided to devote a blog in honor of my dad who worked his whole life for us, and even though he may think that he never quite made it there, in my mind and heart he taught me so much more than money can buy.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Ghost Among Us

Halloween isn’t just for the kids..right? So last night Drac and I went out to meet the crowd on Church Street in Toronto for a block party which lasted till 2 a.m.  Dracula loves this time of year, but personally I have dare we say.. grown out of it, so I just donned my eyes with some exaggerated makeup, kept my blond hair long, wore a long skin hugging black dress opened at the collar with bare shoulders and a high neckline and my favorite accessory of Camera.

Over 3 blocks closed, with local pubs opened and club all participating and the streets were jammed in happy displays.  Some noisy radio host, was blaring his voice into the mike announcing the next one in line ...wish he would shut up, my ears are killing me...

As I walked around eagerly searching for a zombie or one of the walking dead I noticed most people were here just like me, minimalistic and without overdone costumes.  Just casual enjoying all the efforts of the Halloween- cladded dwellers among us.  Then I thought for a moment maybe we are the ghosts? Maybe we are just here lurking on this night?   

My left foot was throbbing as I climbed up onto the stool of the bar we went to.  I had broken it last week miss the last two steps down a very steep staircase.  It was my fault, I was texting on my phone (everyone knows not to text while going downstairs..) The hospital took xrays that afternoon and confirmed my fears that my foot was broken.  But stubborn as I can be, I still went out and left my air boot at home ..the shoes were good support though...remember 'hush puppies'? soft and sensible shoes..that's what my grandmother would say.  I miss her, she's not with us anymore, but I still talk to her.  Funny I saw her a couple of weeks ago that's strange?

I ordered a rum a coke (highball) with ice *my favorite drink* and drac ordered a 'bloody ceaser' of course ...tee hee.  He did though and as I looked around at all the faces in the crowd I was asking him if he was having a good time...I thought not as he looked sad and didn't respond.  I thought the bartender was very rude as he brought drac's drink, and still I was waiting for my highball..with ice.  After 10 minutes I stood up and yelled out over the crowd, 'excuse me sir I believe you have forgotten to bring me my drink!' what is the matter with these people?  'I say sir!, I continued I shall report the Churchmouse and Firgin to the Head office of the FIRKIN PUBS!!

As I clumsily knocked over a stool to which I sat upon, I noticed that now everyone glared in shock and horror..what? why is everyone staring at me?  As drac picked the stool off the floor next to him, I was still sitting on the floor...and one else could see me..!


Friday, January 18, 2013

R.I.P. Alan Laine (1958 - 2013)

With a heavy heart and a painful shock to hear of the passing of my ex husband Alan Laine on Friday January 11th in 2013.   The greatest part of you is still alive in our sons Al. He had the most amazing work ethic. The saddest thing of all is that he never lived to reach his retirement. 
 Although we had the best and worst of times, we were young, and each of us made mistakes he was always there to provide for me and my sons no matter what, and I always told him that if I was stuck in the middle of the ocean without any oars, I would never be afraid because I would know he would get us home, and in a sense he always did. He wasn't perfect, but neither am I and none of us are. 

I'll always remember that time you woke me up at 4 am because you had painted the front of that old house we moved into on Pape Avenue because I was so embarrassed by the peeling of the paint and the broken down porch. Although I couldn't quite make it out and he seemed so excited by his handiwork, I could see in plain view the next bright sunny morning, that I was now the proud owner of the only pitch, black shiny house on the street :) I told him I loved it...and never did have the heart to tell him otherwise... 

In the end we resolved to the fact that although we loved each other, our lives drifted apart but one thing that held us together and will eternally is the result of our love and that is our sons.  He was a great dad, and will be missed.


When our lives are over, sometimes all we have left is that someone cares that we are gone.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Curious Stranger

 As the night fell, the fog rose...up to greet the moon..and yes, as expected it was full.  Full of what-not, I do not know.  But still a daunting, haunting task it was for me to walk along the park lane.  Up ahead on the otherwise empty street, under the lonely lamp light was a curious character.

He was tall, with dark hair, a tall black hat and cane that he methodically dropped and dragged at different intervals.  I thought it strange that he would carry a cane because he was too young and an agile walker at that, so considered then that it must have been a fashion accessory.  Though not in this era.  It's so rare to find anyone using a cane unless it was for a functional purpose.

My mind wandered to a friend in school who had used a cane for almost 2 years after a car accident he was involved in during high school.  Some kids teased him unmercifically for this, which I thought was mean...because it wasn't his fault.

We became close friends and I often brought him lunch on a tray in the school cafeteria.  I cheered him up by telling him that there might have been some good that came from this because he was a better person.  Kyle was his name, and he never spoke to me before the accident, not even once...

Some kids thought he was lucky because he was excused from most sporting events and that often meant no long distance running meets at 6:00 am that I dreaded!  But soon his interest turned to the macabre and he would often write or draw about zany, often creepy things.  He was the only one who called me Mishy, (tho I hated it!)  We shared a lot things in common and many thought we were inseparable, but that was until he disappeared without a trace...

Where was that curious stranger with the top hat?  Did he just slow down or was it my imagination?  I looked up at the darkening sky.  The wind blew the clouds past the moon at a rapid pace and looking straight ahead again, I could see deadened leaves swirling around him.  He stopped for a moment, then turned his head slightly to the right as if listening for something.   I of course continued to walk but slowed my pace down a bit.  Walking a long the park lane was a bad decision - I knew this now, but it was too late because I was now too far the main road.  I felt intoxicated, like in a dream as I watched him clang his cane along the wrought iron fence, making it go clack clack reminded me of my brother on his bicycle when he used to attached a cardboard hockey card to his bike spokes with a clothes pin. clack clack clack

Finally passing that beautiful haunting house at the corner of the street, it looked so awesome under the moon tonight I thought.  I always wanted to live here, but my parents could barely afford to feed us, let alone buy an expensive house like that.  There were so many stories I had heard about this place growing up about the family that once lived there.  There was a mother and father and little boy who went missing one night when he was 6. I remember the whole neighbourhood was involved in a grid search for him.  I was too young to go, but I do remember my father going as he knew Mr. Perry, the boy's father.  Although they claimed to have found the boy, I never saw him come back to school, he never even said to goodbye. It was as if he disappeared without a trace...

Where did that stranger go now?  Passing by the 'Necropolis Cemetery' now, and I am trying to see inside it.  They keep it locked up after dark to keep the vagrants and vandals away.  But what is that in there? I see something or someone moving?  I tried to squint to focus in the dark.  Wait, I see the headstones, some of them just barely.  It's just so cold outside and from the rain, its worse. Just a dampening chill.  Much like the night that the little boy was found.  They say it was on a cold, damp October eve's just like this one....  I am still trying to see what that is in between the rungs of the wrought iron fence.  It's so quiet on the street, just the sounds of dry leaves rushing along the pavement..when suddenly I feel a tap on my shoulder, I turn around and the stranger says, "Hello Mishy!"