Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (and Whimsy)

Posted on March 2, 2022 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with no comments yet


The Emcee and distinguished birthday boy, John Graham-Pole


Sometimes, it’s just too much.

One of the hazards of being retired and gainfully unemployed, is that I have too much time on my hands. And you know what they say, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”. Now, I am not suggesting that all of this down time has led me to mischief, as the proverb might suggest.  But I must admit that lately I have succumbed to ennui and occasionally, despair. I don’t do either of these well. Luckily these feelings are fleeting.

A person hates to bury their heads in the sand or throw in the towel but lately, I have felt like taking my television to the recycling depot and getting rid of all social media. With all this time on my (idle) hands, I have consumed far too much information in the last few months and most of it has been negative. The Habs five game winning streak (as of this writing) has been a cause for mild joy in an otherwise joyless hockey season for Montreal but that is hardly enough to overcome the pervasive doom that seems to be enveloping us.

Speaking of throwing in the towel, it appears that most provinces in Canada have done just that when it comes to Covid. “Living with Covid” now seems to be the buzz phrase. Tell that to health care workers, epidemiologists, or the immunocompromised. Of course, we all want things to be normal again and yes, we will have to live with the virus but this wholesale removal of restrictions seems premature. But, hey, what in the hell do I know. We have all become armchair quarterbacks, weighing in on issues about which we know little or nothing.

I got sucked into the “freedom convoy” vortex. All that did was make me angry and angrier. I hate it when the public is held to ransom, affecting people’s lives, livelihoods and mental health. Of all the things that raised my ire, it was and still is to some extent, the abuse suffered by health care workers. What in the name of god are people thinking, spewing invective at the very people trying to save lives of people suffering with Covid, the majority of them, unvaccinated. It simply defies logic. It must be soul destroying for front line health care professionals.

And now, we have another war. Using a sports analogy, this is akin to “piling on” in football. If you don’t know what this means, look it up. Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, they did. I won’t offer my insights on the conflict but sadly, it always seems to come down to a handful of powerful people (invariably men), whose struggle for power, affects the lives of so many innocent people. Breaking news. This is NOT new. The history of the world is littered with bloodshed let at the hands of the powerful.

Against all of this doom and gloom, there are bright spots.

Last week, I had the honor of being the Emcee at an outdoor birthday celebration for my friend John Graham- Pole. It was held at Chisholm Park on a decidedly chilly day. John turned 80 last week and among many other of his interests, John is an active member of a climate change collective here in Antigonish. The birthday bash, brilliantly produced by his wife Dorothy Lander, was filled with mirth. He received special gifts including handmade climate change posters from some small children. There was music, a few speeches, birthday greetings in several languages, lots of humour, and even dancing. I had a front row seat (literally) and enjoyed all of it… especially the cake and ice cream (and hot cider) provided by Angela Bowles and her staff from Fresh Food Matters. But one presentation stood out. Members of L’Arche’s Creative Dance Group and Hearts and Hands performed a “dance of resilience”. When the world seems to be going crazy and all is lost, leave it to a group of intellectually challenged people to bring us back to reality. Their movements were beautiful and joyous and uplifting. They invited members of the audience to join in. I didn’t want to spoil the grace of the moment and opted to remain on the stage! It was so heartwarming. For a moment, despair was in the rear-view mirror and hope was all around.

Do you have 21 minutes to fritter away? Check out the latest Week45 podcast – episode 7.

Last Sunday, I resurrected Pillow Talk. If you are new to my website, don’t be deceived. If you are expecting some steamy conversations, you have come to the wrong place. Throughout Covid, I have been doing live music shows on Facebook. But truthfully, the music is almost secondary. Over the past two years, so many people have been cooped up in their homes. Pillow Talk is a way for people to connect with others. I have been doing the shows because I like music, but I became aware that the show was an important lifeline for many people who were feeling the stress of isolation. I can honestly say that I wasn’t in the mood to do the show on Sunday evening, but I did it as much for myself as for anyone else. Music always lifts my spirits even if my singing causes budgies to chatter in their cages! I was delighted to see people tuning in from Portugal, Jamaica, the Yukon, the Arctic, New Zealand and just two floors up in my apartment building!

I need your help. I’m not a big fan of public shaming. Actually, I detest it. I have been having trouble getting off my arse to finish my 7th book. I am making a public vow to finish the manuscript by March 31st. (of this year!) and I want you to remind me of this. Check in with me at the end of the month and if I haven’t finished, go ahead and give me a blast.

DryFeb is over.

28 days of sobriety. Check.

More than $1,000 raised for Cancer research. Check.

300Km walked in honour of my late brother Tom. Check.

This is not meant as a boast. Sometimes it is important to challenge ourselves.

Last Wednesday was a milestone. I published my 1300th piece on my Week45 website. I must be nuts. I can see you nodding your heads in agreement. What this proves is that I’ve hoodwinked many of you for 10 years! It is a testament to my stubborn Irish roots. I recently did a DNA test and I’m 69% Irish. Honestly, I have been doing this because it is fun. What I have discovered is that most people like vanilla. They like the mundane, the ordinary stuff of life and they like it with sprinkles of humour. My stories are your stories.

Have a great weekend.

P.S. I’m off to a good start. Yesterday, I picked up the quill and wrote 1000 words for my new book.

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Tri Mac Toyota!

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