October is here
Pumpkin season in full swing
October is here
Pumpkin season in full swing
Writers Write prompt: Write a haiku about coffee for International Coffee Day:
Elixir of gods
Bask in the dark hot liquid
Reflect in the steam….
I challenge you—write a haiku about coffee…….
This week’s newspaper column:
I am going to do a rare thing this week and that is to write totally off the cuff. I am going to depend on my memory, which is a risky thing to do—but I have just finished watching a tribute to Charles Osgood, and I am inspired. It was his last broadcast on Sunday Morning, the iconic CBS television show, which he has hosted for the last 22 years. He is 83 and not really retiring—he will still be on the radio and as he promised the new host, Jane Pauley, he will be back on occasion. I hope he holds to that.
At one time 83 sounded old to me. At one time the age I am currently enjoying was old to me. Old beyond old. But neither 83 nor 63 seem old to me anymore. I will admit to having a few more aches and pains, and sometimes a word I am looking for does not come as readily to mind as before but I am inspired by this man who is twenty years my senior.
He was an economics major but the broadcast world called to him and he answered the call. First the radio, then television, but he never left his first love, and has not abandoned those airwaves yet, where he lives in the mind’s eye of imagination. He married at 40, had five children, and is still married to his wife of 42 years, who he seems still very much in love with if the tribute show is to be believed. He is a musician, a poet, and a man with a golden voice. Much was made of his voice—the timbre of which I find comforting, reassuring, and kind. One can never overestimate kindness, and I am left with the impression that he is a very kind man—thoughtful, generous, and compassionate.
The tribute also gave me hope. Hope that life is not over at my tender age. Which is a good thing as there are many things I have left to do. Many things unfinished. And at 83, I think Charles feels the same way, even with his many accomplishments.
Osgood received accolades from all kinds of people and not just from those he shared a company affiliation. Though certainly his CBS colleagues were at the forefront of this tribute show, so were many other well-known news people from other stations—even those in direct competition with him. “Ratings,” he said “are important” but he liked to think of the people who made up those ratings—the people he connected with. I considered him part of my “family” in a way—I looked forward to the hour and a half I would spend with him on Sunday morning.
In their heartfelt goodbyes to Charles, many used his now famous line “See you on the radio”—a line he said many found incongruous, but one he felt accurately described the medium to him. He will continue on the radio with the “Osgoode Files”, and I will be there to join him.
My favourite season arrived last week. And though on its day of arrival, the weather was anything but fall-like—I still welcomed autumn with open arms. So many see the season as the harbinger of what is to come—cold, snow, and ice, but I think we should stop and bask in what it has to offer, not in what is to come.
I must rummage around and find my ceramic pumpkins and other fall paraphernalia to festoon my house and that I will reluctantly put away sometime in mid- November (okay, let’s be truthful here—I will get around to it sometime in November—most likely after American Thanksgiving).
This is the time of year I live for—and we have had a few crisp nights and cool mornings that give those of us who love the fall some hope that the eternal summer is over. I am ready for the leaves to turn colour, to walk through them with a bit of a shuffle in my step in order to hear the rustle. I am ready to wear sweaters again and dream of toasty fires with a hot apple cider at my side.
For those of you who do not make the transition as easily as I do, here are some words from Albert Camus that may comfort you and trick your mind into embracing the season: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
It is my circus
They are my manic monkeys
Must take care of them….
Fall seems shy this year
Rounding the corner with care
Late but still welcome…
Saturday mind state
Pervasive but surmountable
Respite put on hold….
(Can you find the extra syllable?)
this is the inspiration behind my newspaper column this week….
Sixty-hour weeks were normal, hovering closer to eighty during the holidays. Since my job involved visiting parishioners in hospitals and nursing homes on top of a heavy administrative load, the to-do list was never done. More often, I simply abandoned it when I felt my mind begin to coast like a car out of gas. Walking outside of whatever building I had been in, I was often surprised by how warm the night was, or how cold.
I was so immersed in indoor human dramas that I regularly lost track of the seasons. When a fresh breeze lifted the hairs on my neck, I had to stop and think, Does that wind signal the end of spring or the beginning of autumn? What month is this? What year, for that matter? In the ICU, nurses wrote details like these on blackboards to help their dazed patients hang on to reality…
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My weekly newspaper column is dedicated to Live and Learn’s David Kanigan. One of his blogs was the inspiration behind this. If you do not already follow him, you are missing something big. I will reblog what inspired me so you can find him.
Are we so busy that we sometimes forget to notice the things that are offered to us every day? Do we ignore the change of seasons? Do we sleepwalk through our lives? So many times when you ask how someone is doing, their response is that they are “busy”. Busy can mean active, hard-working, diligent, industrious; but busy can also mean that you are unavailable and harried and lead a hectic and demanding life. It is good to be busy—many of us were brought up with the saying that “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” But have we taken the business of busy-ness too far?
In a book by Barbara Brown Taylor called “Leaving Church, A Memoir of Faith” she tells the story of her search to “find an authentic way of being Christian—even when it meant giving up (the) pulpit”. I imagine it was not easy for this Episcopalian preacher, author and professor to give up her pulpit—in 2014 she was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world (Wikipedia). But in her book she gives us some insight as to why. In just a few paragraphs she tells how she became separated from the world at large in order to take care of the things she felt were her responsibility. In a word, she was “busy”.
Here is what she says:
“Sixty-hour weeks were normal, hovering closer to eighty during the holidays. Since my job involved visiting parishioners in hospitals and nursing homes on top of a heavy administrative load, the to-do list was never done. More often, I simply abandoned it when I felt my mind begin to coast like a car out of gas. Walking outside of whatever building I had been in, I was often surprised by how warm the night was, or how cold.
I was so immersed in indoor human dramas that I regularly lost track of the seasons. When a fresh breeze lifted the hairs on my neck, I had to stop and think, does that wind signal the end of spring or the beginning of autumn? What month is this? What year, for that matter? In the ICU, nurses wrote details like these on blackboards to help their dazed patients hang on to reality. Most days I could name the president of the United States, but my daily contact with creation had shrunk to the distance between my front door and the driveway. The rest of my life took place inside: inside the car, inside the church, inside my own head.
On the nights when Ed and I walked, I sometimes talked with my eyes fixed on the moving pavement for more than a mile before an owl’s cry or a chorus of cicadas brought me, literally, to my senses. Only then did I smell the honeysuckle that had been there all along or notice the ghostly blossoms on the magnolia trees that deepened the shadows on more than one front lawn. The effect was immediate, like a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart. All these earthly goods were medicine for what ailed me, evidence that the same God who had breathed the world into being was still breathing. There was so much life springing up all around me that the runoff alone was enough to revive me. When it did, I could not imagine why I had stayed away so long. Why did I seal myself off from all this freshness? On what grounds did I fast from the daily bread of birdsong and starlight?”
The “daily bread of birdsong and starlight” was missing in her life. She had been too busy to notice. Too busy to notice the weather, the change in seasons, and the world around her outside of the “indoor human dramas” and the “inside” of a car, building, or her own mind. Once she smelled the honeysuckle, heard the cry of an owl, and the chorus of cicadas, she came back to her senses. Senses that had been dulled by the urgent, by the constant call of caring for the world, by just coasting along and fulfilling her duties. Her gas tank was empty but she was still “busy”.
The seemingly never ending activity of the pink rabbit with the long life battery is not one I seek to emulate—yet we are encouraged in this life to be “busy”, to be in control, and to set our dreams aside for another time, another place. Memories are not made of “busy”. They, as Barbra Streisand so eloquently sang (and I am changing ever so slightly to make sense in this sentence) light the corners of our mind. I want to make more memories—vivid ones that are coloured by awareness and not shadowed by busy-ness.