Vertigo

I am not afraid of heights, except for that unsettled feeling I have on a bridge when I look down and wonder what it would be like to jump.

I am not that person who gets lost or turned around and can’t find their way out, although there are times I wonder why I am here.

I feel painful pressure in my ear, the kind associated with air flight, except I am firmly attached to the ground.

I stand up too fast and fall down, stand up, fall down again; I stay down, just for a while, so I can marvel at the spinning lights.

I remember when I knew the cause of this sensation; too many rides on the carousel, too many drinks at the party.

I refuse to succumb to the fear that every headache is caused by an undiagnosed brain tumour, but the germ of the idea, like a tumour still grows.

I feel old, and suffer the vertigo of age, unbalanced just a little by the journey to the tipping point between life and death.

Jeans

For those of you who don’t know; I attend a free fall writing group on Friday mornings at the Alexandra Writing Center here in Calgary, and sometimes the work produced there makes it onto the FreeFallFriday’s blog. These are my offerings from March 21; reposted here for your reading enjoyment.

Free Fall Friday Fragments

Jeans, jeans, jeans, what do I know about Jeans? I know that my parents could never afford to buy them for me when I was young, and even though I was the oldest child in my family, and the only girl, I somehow always ended up with a lot of hand-me-down pants of the ‘awkward immigrant kind.’

You know the ones —  pants that were made of wool, or polyester, or double-knit polyester, with elastic waistbands and a seam sewn down the front. Usually these were passed down to me by older girls in my parents social circle that consisted mainly of other Dutch Canadians. Landed immigrants all of us, and not a single fashion maven in the bunch.

When I was finally able to earn my own money, babysitting for friends and neighbours at rock-bottom rates, I did not make enough to afford designer jeans, not even close, so I bought the…

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Depravity

For those of you who don’t know; I attend a free fall writing group on Friday mornings at the Alexandra Writing Center here in Calgary, and sometimes the work produced there makes it onto the FreeFallFriday’s blog. These are my offerings from March 21; reposted here for your reading enjoyment.

Free Fall Friday Fragments

It was all relative, yesterday’s depravity was today’s norm.

For Emma’s mother — she of solid immigrant stock who had survived the war — girls wearing pants, especially blue jeans, was some kind depravity; although not as depraved as wasting bacon fat.

Emma hated bacon fat. Her mother mixed bacon fat with golden syrup to use as a spread on toast. Emma’s friends had peanut butter and jelly on white bread, a nice Canadian option for breakfast or lunch. As she choked down bacon fat on whole wheat, Emma dreamed of having enough money to buy something as ‘depraved’ as blue jeans, (the fashionable kind, not the workman kind.) Of course, if she ate enough bacon fat mixed with syrup, it was unlikely she would ever fit into ‘fashionable’ jeans.

As an adult, Emma promised herself that she would never be as closed-minded as her parents were, until the day her own daughter came home with a…

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Cruel Mistress Spring

I greet the warmth of spring with mixed blessings. Lengthening days speak of promise as winter melts away and temperatures rise to give me hope of birds and blooms. Can summer be far behind? But spring warmth is an illusion. Too quickly this fickle season rears its ugly head with a new kind of chill – one far crueler than winter’s cold – because it feels like betrayal.

At sunset the temperature dips. The melt water flowing in gutters and ditches and across sidewalks by day becomes an ice rink. An old woman slips, a broken hip, and we are visiting Grandma in the hospital.

The cruel mistress of spring holds as much promise of death as it does re-birth because new life cannot rise unless something has died to give it space. I take the inventory of winter kill, not in winter, but in spring. Despite the hope of spring’s renewal, I cannot help but mourn the things that did not – that could not – survive.

It is a function of age no doubt, that I mark each spring as one season closer to my own demise. I tread carefully across icy spring, like the old woman I never imagined I would become and assure myself that the cruel mistress will not take me this year.

Free Verse: Honestly, it’s free, no charge, enjoy.

Chasing Sunset

I catch the sunrise unaware,

to weave the daylight without care,

and chase the sunset if I dare.

 

The Weeded Path

Tall grass collapsed under its own weight, twisted by wind and rain into giant whorls like cowlicks. Only weedsthistle,dandelion, purple vetchstand tall. I crush them with a careful boot placed against their sturdy stems to bend and break.

Behind me tiny orange butterflies flutter and recover, they alight scant moments after my passing. A path forged, until grass and weeds rise again to fill the gaps and obscure the footprints of my journey into sunset. I leave white sap bleeding in my wake.

Life Music

Our lives are the instruments we play,

on strings drawn taut between sunrise and sunset.