Thursday Tidbits

Posted on June 24, 2021 under Thursday Tidbits with 4 comments


Beach finds



It’s a fancy word but in my world, it means “a whole lot of nothing”.

When I don’t have a topic or theme for my twice weekly piece, I resort to writing about anything and nothing to fill up the page. So, here goes.

Life is a series of beginnings and endings. One chapter ends and another begins. When I decided to leave the north, I realized that this latest phase of my life was over. It hit home hard in the past few days when I received my final pay from my school board along with the arrival of my personal belongings. It didn’t really hit me until I started to unpack my boxes from the north.  I turned on YouTube and had a playlist going, while I unpacked kitchen items, clothing, and memories.


I’m not sure whether it was nostalgia, the music or the can of beer I was nursing that made me a bit misty eyed. It just seems that time passes so quickly at this stage in my life. The last two years are a blur. Yes, the experience was intense and there were many long days and sleepless nights at the outset but when you are unpacking boxes that had been previously packed just 24 months earlier, it seems like a mirage. Throw in Covid and it all feels surreal.

One of the songs on the playlist was “Shallow”. Music was a big part of my salvation in Kangiqsujuaq. In the early days when I was flailing, one of my new colleagues, invited me to sing some tunes with her. With a 45-year age gap, finding common ground wasn’t easy. She suggested a few songs from the latest iteration of “A Star is Born”. I had seen the movie and was vaguely familiar with the songs. As a duo, we did a credible version of “Shallow”. She was an excellent Lady Gaga and I was a pathetic excuse for Bradley Cooper… in looks and musical ability. As the song was playing in the background, I realized that we might never get to sing together again. That was a gut punch. The good news is that Annie is from British Columbia and at least there’s a chance that I might see her again. Such is not the case for my Inuit friends.

I can’t say that I received an overwhelming response to my invitation to join a writer’s circle. It could be lack of interest or Covid… or maybe hanging out with me for an hour and swapping stories has as much appeal as a trip to the landfill. I don’t expect any ‘in person’ sessions will happen before the fall, but I would certainly entertain the idea of meeting via Zoom. That way, anyone on the planet can join in. Let me know if you are interested and if not, we’ll jump in a car and drive to the dump!

Sometimes, the older generation wonders how the next generation will manage in a very complicated, messed up world. I have evidence that we will be in good hands. On my trip back home from the north, I had to spend a night at one of the airport hotels in Montreal. The next morning, I had a socially distanced visit with my daughter, granddaughter and my daughter’s boyfriend. Ivory Fleming is 13 and attends F.A.C.E. F.A.C.E (Fine Arts Core Education) is situated in the heart of Montreal near McGill University. Besides offering a standard curriculum, it also incorporates the arts into the program including music, theatre and visual arts. It is regrettable that every school in Canada doesn’t offer this type of programming. Without culture, our communities lack a soul.

When we met at the airport hotel, Ivory was telling me about an initiative that she and a number of her friends were working on to change the dress code at the school. Dress codes have always been contentious especially when it comes to enforcement. What one teacher or administrator might find offensive, often barely raises an eyebrow with others in similar positions. Ivory and her friends petitioned the school’s administration to look at the dress code. They did their homework and looked at other schools’ dress codes. To make a long story short, they were able to convince the school that changes needed to be made. Recently, Ivory was interviewed by radio station CJAD in Montreal. Here is the interview: (Please note that some browsers have a default to block ads. The interview starts after an ad at the beginning. If you can’t listen to the interview, blame it on your browser!)

The future is in good hands. Congrats to Ivory and her colleagues for their activism.

I sure wish I could get my arse in gear. I have been trying to get the motivation to continue writing my 7th book. I realized that when I got home, there would be a lot of baggage to unpack, especially the emotional kind. I vowed not to write anything until after my quarantine. A few days ago, I thought Indigenous Peoples Day, would be the perfect time to start writing. Not so. “The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak”.

Have a great weekend.

P.S. Book update. Yesterday morning was so crappy that I decided to get back to book #7. I’m presently working on the chapter where Covid has just become a big story (February, 2020).

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