July 29, 2010
We are entering the dog days of summer. The days when it is too damn hot. Dogs lay under trees. Panting. Asphalt is sticky. Popsicles wrappers are scattered everywhere. Car interiors are like pizza ovens. It is the days when people lose their sense of purpose. It is too hot to be ambitious. Parishioners wear shorts to church. Old women sit in the shade with their bare feet in pails of cold water. Squirrels pass out from dehydration. Hydro wires buzz. And young boys lay in ditches. Philosophizing. School is still weeks away. This must be heaven.
July 26, 2010
Most people lead their lives in fear. It stifles their impulses. It keeps them safe. It makes them more law abiding. But the myth we live with is to abandon our fears. Romantic figures are carved out of lives that seem open to all possibilities. The great personalities of this time seem beyond fear. They are impulsive. Court danger. Fall madly in love. Fall out of airplanes or at the end of bungy cords. They are free. And the rest of us. We live our dangers through them. We want to be safe. Think we are safe. But we are like passengers aboard the Titanic watching a magician’s card tricks. Something awful may be happening out there. Maybe something wonderful.
July 23, 2010
I just returned from a few days at a cottage north of Toronto. It was very beautiful and very peaceful. There are a lot of cottages on this lake and though not palaces they are comfortable and very expensive to purchase or rent. We had a wonderful meal, drank some wine and began to talk about the end of the world. Consensus was that human kind had really screwed up the environment. There was not agreement on whether we could solve our problems. Humans had been in great difficulties before but had managed to pull through. Perhaps this time we would not. I looked out the window of the cottage at the lake and noticed, in the waning light, a loon landing on the water. There were no doubt many people having the same discussion as us. And I wondered if there wasn’t a kind of malais amongst people, a depressing feeling that we were too late to save ourselves.
July 19, 2010
I had a dream about Prince Charles. (Withhold your laughter). He had come to Canada as a young man. Part of his education. And as a young man he fell in love. With a native girl. An aboriginal. He didn’t want to leave her. But being a royal, and being unimaginative, he obeyed the rules that had been set out for him. And went back to England. And married Diana. And married Camilla. And saw his misery become the fodder of the small minds of gossip. And I woke from the dream thinking that it was all true. My mind feels like a tabloid that has been left out in the rain. The ink has run. The pages are sealed together. And it drips.
July 15, 2010
This is dedicated to one of my oldest friends. We have known each other since elementary school. He is loyal, smart, horny, always wants to do the right thing, self-centred, horny, sincere (except when he’s around women who he tries to woo and charm), faithful, funny, flirtatious, a noble forehead, although he’s Italian he tells everyone he is Dutch, and he is modest. He has only one draw back. His growth was stunted as a child so he’s only 4 feet 8 inches tall.
July 11, 2010
Decades ago I worked for the Ministry of Correctional Services. As a file clerk. My job was tedious. To kill time I used to read the psychological assessments of inmates. (I’m not sure why these files were so easily accessble but it was a different time.) You’d be surprised how many inmates started their criminal careers by being charged for loitering. They were homeless. One inmate in particular caught my imagination. He described himself as an artist. When asked by the interviewer where his art was, he pointed to his head. In many ways that is where most artists’s greatest work is stored. Their intentions are always greater than than their realization.
July 8, 2010
The beaches at Torremolinos have all the traditional aspects of other European beaches. There are the beaches themselves that are beautiful and go on for miles. You can rent small bed(?) to lie on. They are draped with sheer curtains. There are small cafes/restaurants where you can drink, dine, watch television, be entertained.
There are almost no lifeguards. And why is that? Because apparently no one swims. I did not see anyone in the water. And the weather was beautiful. It is a tourist area so many people are from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the northern parts of Spain. The men walk around the beaches and the walkways with their shirts off, proudly displaying their huge guts. Like they were some beast they had slain in a hunt. The women are either busily chatting with each other or seem lost in some philosophic argument about hedonism.
The young Spanish men who work most of the restaurants are very handsome. Actually they are prettier than the Spanish girls who work beside them. (e.g. the footballer David Villa)
I have never been a sun worshipper. My skin does not allow it. My disposition would not permit it. So I am perplexed by this ritual that people have of lieing in the sun for hours. They look so pleased when the day is at an end as if they have accomplished or witnessed something important. I suppose I have just missed the point of it all.
July 6, 2010
My in-laws have moved to a small town in Belgium called Temse. For reasons I don’t understand I keep thinking of the town and calling it Time. Like most European towns it is a mix of architecture from varias ages. It is very charming. When the sun is shining it might be the perfect place to live. But the sun does not always shine. And my experience living in a small town similar to Temse is that it can be boring. People pretty well do what they have always done. One day is the copy of the day before. People seem to be the prisoners of comfort.
(To someone who lives in a country where living conditions are harsh/dangerous that must sound like… bourgeois trite.)