Saturday, September 30, 2006

Saturday Lunch with Olivia

I've been thinking a lot about words, and the meaning behind them, and the ability to express them. In University, I read a lot, and wrote a lot, and writing analyses on other things came very easy to me. Writing about myself....not so easy. I measure my words, and carefully construct what I want to say. Both the effect and affect are carefully controlled. To be able to write freely is a gift, and to be able to share it with others is very special.

I read something once that what is important are not the Big Things in life. That life is truly lived in the small moments. The little pieces of ordinary, where, on the surface may be inconsequential, but belie the true meaning of living well.

Not too far from where we live, is the little town of Snohomish.It's one of those picture-perfect representations of small-town America. American flags hang from the antique lightposts. First Street, which is the main street of the town, is lined with antique shops, boutiques, and restaurants. It's the kind of place where you look up and down the street, and you smile, and something silly, like the theme song from Dawson's Creek pops into your head. Olivia loves tea parties, and I've always told her that I would take her to one of the tea rooms there, and we would have our own tea party. After browsing a bit through some of the shops, we made our way to Mrs. Pennycooke's Tea Room. It's an interesting place. The decor is very British, with its antique silver place settings and fine china, but the music playing softly was decidedly North African-sounding. A pair of little old ladies, with their perfectly-set hair, and meticulously groomed outfits sipped tea at a table next to a pair of high school-aged girls, with their dyed black hair, and safety-pin-adorned black ensembles.

Olivia is a study in contrasts too. She carefully dabs the crumbs from the sides of her mouth with her napkin, which otherwise lies neatly on her lap, as she describes to me the 'very scary' plastic triceratops that she chose to bring with her. At that moment, it really struck home the idea that real life occurs in the little moments....usually when you're not paying attention.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday again.

It seems like the week goes by very quickly, and once again, it is the weekend. I've been up since 5:30 this morning, and didn't fall asleep very early last night, so tonight will probably be an early one. Olivia has two new pets, and she was also up early to check on them. It took a lot of convincing that they should not sleep in her bed. She is the proud new owner of two snails: Gary and Larry. Yes, we watch Spongebob Squarepants.

In between books recommended by my therapist, I'm reading something just for myself. It's something that I haven't done for a long time, and have sorely missed. Currently, I'm reading "The Hungry Tide", by Amitav Ghosh. It's beautifully written, evoking a narrative between the past and the present. It reminds me of one of my favourite books, "Running in the Family", by Michael Ondaatje, although "Running in the Family" is more impressionistic.

I've missed my books a lot. They have sat in the garage for almost a year, still in their shipping boxes. My Mordechai Richler books that I've read and re-read..."Belling the Cat" and "Barney's Version". Tom Wolfe. Margaret Atwood. Michael Ondaatje. My collection of art history and European history books. My Nick Bantock books....the Griffin and Sabine series, which is a treasure to read: each page is a postcard, or an actual letter that you remove from its envelope. It is absolutely beautiful, and one of my absolute favourites.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My friend Michelle...

I've mentioned my friend Michelle before, but I haven't really said too much about her. She has been a really great support system during this time. She knows just what to say and do to make me feel better.

Monday afternoon, I was painting a dresser that I picked up at a garage sale in the neighbourhood. Olivia was painting on the driveway with her sidewalk paint. Wearing white pants. Not a drop of paint on her. I, on the other hand, was covered in black paint. I looked up, and saw Michelle walking up the driveway, smiling.

"Hey Michelle...what's up?"

"Oh...nothing....I just have to give you a big hug."

I looked at her quizzically, as she proceeded to hug me.

"You just looked like you needed that", she said.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Just checking in...

I had a mixed bag of a weekend...had a great time, taking it easy, but I also had a dark cloud over my very good friend Michelle was awaiting biopsy results to see if her cancer had returned, and she just found out that it was benign. Very good news. She called, and right after I said, "Hello?", she answered with, "You can't get rid of me just yet!" I think I might have shrieked into the phone. :D Hope her ear's ok now....

Right now I'm sort of in limbo. I can't find a place to live, or find a job because I am 1200 miles away from where I'm going to be living. It's a really small town, and when a job is available, they want the person immediately. Also, my mom is hesitant to find a place for me. She says that she wants it to be my decision. Fortunately, I'll be able to stay with my parents until I get settled.

I'm reading an interesting book that my therapist gave me. I've had a lot of little jolts while reading it: cold chills have run down my spine, because I saw a lot of myself in its pages. I found one quote that I really like...

All changes, even those the most longed for, have their own melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another.
~ Anatole France

Friday, September 15, 2006

A little humour... there are some things that I have missed about Canada. Like the's a little on the offbeat side. My friend Michelle sent me this link, and I remember laughing hysterically at this commercial when I was visiting over the summer...

Plus, I love commercials. When I was doing my Commerce degree in Marketing, we'd go to Place Riel theatre on campus, and watch the winners of the world's best commercials. Yup. We'd go to the movies to watch commercials. Makes sense....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I'm still here...

...just not really writing so much. Just kind of dealing with life, moment by moment. Now just dealing with the colossal amount of paperwork generated by all this.

Olivia and I were alone this weekend. It was nice. We didn't really do a whole lot. Went on a lot of outings, just the two of us...and I got to see how I'm going to handle things when it is just the two of us. Things like Olivia had a little accident in her car seat, so I got to see if I could rip that thing apart and put it back together. My friend Michelle wandered over with her little boy AJ as Olivia and I were putting it back in the SUV. I guess the sight of me kneeling in a toddler car seat muttering at the latch was just too funny to not come over and comment on. When I started putting the thing back in, I contemplated calling her up and asking, "Soooooo....what do you know about assembling a car seat?", but then, I thought, no. I have to do things on my own. Because I'll have to. Because I can do it.

In less than two months, Olivia and I will be moving. Because of my residency status, it is impossible for me to stay in the country; in seventy-odd days, I become an illegal alien. We will be moving to a very small town in the Canadian prairies...the town in which I grew up. The town I couldn't wait to escape when I was a teenager.

It's funny how life comes around full circle, sometimes.

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