This ought to have been a triumphant post a week ago, showing off my newly completed closet. Sadly I was only halfway done when I ran into a little glitch on Sunday the 17th: I broke my foot. The frustration of not getting the closet done was almost worse than the pain that first day. That was when I thought I’d just bruised it, because Richard said if I’d broken it, I’d have passed out. Not so! I was home alone at the time, quite proud of myself that I kept my cool after the initial enraged swearing, got myself to the phone, the freezer for an ice pack, and the couch. (I didn’t cry until Richard insisted on actually looking at my foot when he got home, and I saw the bloody spot where the corner of the shelf went into my foot.) Now I’m in a cast (the removable foam, plastic and air pouch variety rather than plaster, thankfully), and even more impatient than before, now that I’m pretty much confined to bed and couch. I don’t know why, guess it was the painkillers, but I was surprised when I got my crutches, to find I can’t hop and carry things in my hands at the same time. It’s made lunchtime a bit messy, but Richard has been waiting on me hand and foot the rest of the time. He’s even more impatient for me to heal up than I am! Anyway, just thought I’d post the news in case people were wondering what happened to me and my closet. Can’t sit here long, too agonizing especially after catching up on work for an hour and a half, so I won’t do this again until I can walk – not hop – down the stairs to my office. Oh, and here comes Richard, he won’t be happy to see me in here, I nearly broke my neck navigating the stairs on the weekend. Must run! Ha hah.

Hawthorn Magic

My mom, avid blogger that she is, sent me a link last night to one of her favourite reads, Dave Bonta, because she thought I would enjoy his piece about hawthorns. I loved Dave’s piece about his secret hawthorn place, which brought back powerful memories for me of all the hidden places I knew so well in the many wild, wooded areas near my childhood home. (Most of those trees, brooks and gullies are lost to housing developments now.) I immediately replied to my mom, who insisted I post this as a response to Dave and for the rest of you to enjoy. Dave, thank you, I hope my readers find as much magic in your post and the adolescent dreaming it revives as I did. I was immediately hooked by Dave’s stunning first photo, stark yet ethereal, and his use of the word “thicket”. My favourite patch of hawthorns is in a thicket down on Stoney Flats about a half hour walk from here, which no other word could better describe, but it’s a fairy-tale kind of word, not used much any more by our urban society. Perhaps only a writer (and reader of fairytales) could understand the pleasure I got from just being able to use the word thicket, the first time I saw one after moving here. I really envy his childhood exploration of such wild and secret places, more rare every day it seems. Makes me want to get out the snowshoes and hike down to the thicket, find a way through the fence and into the midst of its two-inch-long thorns and ancient interlocking boughs. Only it’s melting here, not snow-shoeing weather at all, slushy/icy with two feet of snow with nothing to absorb it, overcast and damp, neither winter nor spring. And to get in there, you’d have to be a bird – no charcoal makers here. But Dave’s piece has inspired memory, which is often more mysterious than the real thing. These days I’m seeking my muse, hoping to get back into “writing mode”, as I call it, starting with dusting off my antennae. First opening the eyes and ears, to things like hawthorn thickets and rumours of spring, and then giving my thoughts voice, rusty and awkward or not. I find it harder and harder, especially when this stressed. Treating myself to books and a new camera (and planning for gardening season) should help. Letting my mind wander after reading Dave’s post, I had an urge to read the Grimm’s version of Sleeping Beauty (and listen to Tchaikovsky). When she and the castle fall asleep, the thicket that grows around the castle is a briar hedge of roses and thorns, which attack any who try to cut their way through it, until her prince arrives. And then there’s Rapunzel, the variant I know had a thicket too, where the newly rescued Rapunzel then gets trapped until her hair regrows down to the ground like a cloak, while her blinded lover wanders a … Continue Reading →