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Long live all maidens

easy and beautiful !

Long live mature women also,

Tender and loveable and full of good labor. 

Gaudeamus Igitur

« Through the Looking Glass | Main | The Lovely Man »


Great class! Francine is a hoot!

I like a little weird ... Yahh, I do, really. It's hard not to fixate on the coarse chin hairs (I could lend her my tweezers). The countless times she reaches back to tie that mane of unruly hair, but then ... eccentricity can be tolerated when you're that smart. A fashion statement she is not, with that long cashmere sweater on again, off again. Typical menopausal attire … layers. Would you say she's fifty - something? God … she's read every book, every periodical, seen every movie going. And then all those sayings: "to hold a pen is to be at war" or, "writing a book is like riding a car…”. Definitely food for thought. I am motivated already. 

I was mesmerized by Markie's account of his wild adventures on the Asian seas, all that bravado with him battling those waves as high as apartment buildings and then how he was delirious arriving at the Balinese shores sighting the beautiful island women. And you wondered what he'd have to write about! No doubt he’s done a stint teaching English as a second language. Well, here's your chance to get into Markie ... next Monday at Kamasutra (Francine picked a good one if you like Indian food). Did you think it was going to be this much fun? 

Read the article in today's Star on 'salami slicing' and depression studies. Quite revealing. It verifies what has been a known fact about the pharmaceutical industry all along. Data from clinical trials is carved up into smaller slices, which are then used to write papers for competing academic journals (published) that push Cymbalta for depression in place of other available drugs. Such distortion and what about the confused consumer? I’ve resolved to get “educated” at CAMH’s next info. session. Time to make up my mind and pick a course: The Brain and the Body, Common Mood Disorders or Mindfulness in Everyday Life. Lots of personality quirks in our family ... how can one escape from genetics? I recall my grandfather’s obsession with clean nails, a few fanatic house cleaners (see attached piece), and plastic bag hoarders. Vague stories circulate: my mother’s cousin’s son runs into the street naked … on more than one occasion; a cousin traps hundreds of exotic birds in cages housed in her tiny garden; an inebriated uncle falls off his bike in the gutter and is found dead. Did you know that there’s a link between parental alcoholism and childhood mood disorders? So many afflictions of the soul and spirit. I’m wondering what Francine’s affliction is. I thought she might appreciate the piece (slightly hot) I’m attaching for you (in the body of my email), the one I’m considering bringing to class. You said you didn’t mind to read it, right?

Carlo is enamoured with Anne Michaels and is reading her poetry, Skin Divers. It's been a bit of a mid-winter evening ritual here ... me reading aloud from her Winter Vault by candlelight (yes, there is romance). Annabel Lyon's The Golden Mean, in contrast, is entertaining and reminds one of how primitive the culture actually was that existed in Aristotle's time: crude medical practices, long trips via horse and cart, lovemaking free-for-alls (take your pick, male or female) and, of great interest to us both because of our noble professions, the teaching methods of the day. Even though it is set around 360 BCE the book somehow feels more medieval to me.

And now there's the Novexcel (fast novel) and 'post modern' is gone, replaced with 'alter modern', yet another 'industry trend'. Give me my books with their catchy covers and give me newspapers that blacken my fingers and land in my porridge. Where's the ritualistic experience of the tactile in twitter and blogs?

Have I gone soft? Maybe for now!                          


A Bad Habit

He was watching her again as he changed the filters and poured water into the top of the coffee maker. He stifled comment. Every morning she’d be on all fours, this semi-naked woman, in the strangest positions, going at it with a vengeance. There was a rhythm to it and the sagging neckline of her powder blue nightshirt revealed two lily-white protrusions swaying in time to the circular scrubbing motions. He seemed amazed at her ability to snake around the elbow plumbing. 

She hadn’t even had her morning coffee. Crawling alongside table legs and pushing away chairs obstructing her path, she busied herself scouring the perimeters of the apartment. On the prowl for dead skin, petrified nail clippings, silvery pubic hairs ensconced in floating dust balls. “Always have the right tool for the job”, she would preach and definitely knew that the wad of lightly moistened toilet paper could work wonders. 

He marvelled at her multi tasking ability, the way she clenched her toothbrush between tightly pursed lips, made reminders about the day’s agenda on sticky notes, ran the bath.  All the while, meticulously getting rid of the debris that mysteriously somehow collected over the last twenty-four hours. At periodic intervals she’d glance at the clock on the kitchen wall, controlling her progress accordingly. A wonderful aroma of percolating coffee began to permeate the steam- filled bathroom--her daily cleaning ritual was coming to an end. She shucked her nightly trappings and traded them for a luxurious yellow towel. 

     “ Shall I put your coffee in the bathroom, dear?” he offered.

     “ Oh, yes please. Thanks.” she mumbled. 

Balancing the cup in his right hand he faltered in his steps.       

Swooping and swivelling she whirred by him. She emanated the intensity of a delicate hummingbird, focused on its task. 

Suddenly it was finished. A calm came over her. Her towel fell to the floor. Bending down she folded it into a perfect thick triangle, laying it down alongside the tub ready for her wet feet. A sigh of satisfaction rose up from the hot foamy regions where she rested her crab red legs, spread eagle on either side of the tub. 

She took her first sip of coffee.         

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