Friday, June 24, 2011

Thunder Storm

We’re currently without power. During a brief but bucketing early evening thunder storm, there was an inconceivable crack of lightning (like a giant light bulb explosively extinguishing) and in an instant the power in the entire Town went out. Wouldn’t you know we had just positioned the scallops and bacon for the oven? It appears that our cocktail munchies will have to wait for another time. Thankfully this new diet we’re on calls for vast amounts of salad. We have lots of that, plus some cold cooked chicken and meatloaf, so we’ll still be able to nourish ourselves. The Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire and Martini vermouth are at the ready. Our laptop computers (although without internet connection) are still available for writing and solitaire, so all is not lost!

Luck of the Draw

If one believes in luck then one must believe not only in good luck but also in bad luck, or at the very least in lack of luck. I won’t even touch upon the debate whether there is luck in this world. From my experience there is, both good and bad.

Knowing that there is luck in the recipe of our daily lives helps remind one of both the good and bad times. This is especially useful when one’s luck seems to be running out or waning. For example, casting one’s mind back upon more advantageous days recalls not only that the possibility of success exists but also - and perhaps more importantly - that the reason for that success was then no more compelling than it is now. That is, it is more probable than not that any fortune one once enjoyed was as much a product of luck as one’s current misfortune. Barring catastrophic events in one’s life, it is safe to say that one’s abilities are constant and it is therefore only the work of external forces which have any influence upon us in one direction or another.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The MacLean Asylum

Last weekend as we motored through sightly Prince Edward County on a warm and sunny Saturday morning we noticed that one of the summer homes alongside Lake Ontario had planted on its tidy front lawn a small rectangular sign on which appeared the words “MacLean Asylum”. Initially we just thought it funny. Now however upon further digestion I perceive it was more than a mere joke, though I confess my first reaction upon seeing the small standard was to think of it as announcing a booby hatch or a crazy house. Increasingly I am understanding that it helps to be a bit mad to get through the day . There are so many daily misadventures that it would otherwise be impossible to remain cool.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What Makes the Clock Tick?

I have landed in another of those troughs of inactivity which make me wonder what I am without swirling occupation and how I shall survive the exposing tranquillity which unmasks all the hidden paranoia. One mustn’t confuse lack of occupation with preoccupation. Preoccupation is a malaise from which I have always suffered, what less charitably is called a complex, a fixation or obsession, or just plain and unglamourous worry. But what I am talking about here isn’t a trance, rather a tolerable state of desuetude, a pause so to speak. When the commotion of life subsides it is akin to being thrown upon the beach from the vortex, an instant relief from the ruckus. But the change is so peremptory as to promote a sense of being orphaned and vulnerable.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Great-Uncle’s Pocket Watch

Apparently my great-uncle (my father’s uncle on his father’s side) worked for the railway (I am presuming Canadian Pacific because there is a history of investment in that company by my paternal family). I believe my great-uncle drove the trains. I know this because I recall having been told that he crashed one of them.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Directions

The Steinway is gone. Not just sold (I got the bank draft over a week ago) but gone. The professional movers hired by the buyer arrived at eight o’clock yesterday morning as we were told they would. With clockwork precision the three men dismantled, bundled and strapped the impressive instrument. Within minutes it was out the door and loaded onto a truck, on its way. Having witnessed such a display of acrobatic precision when the piano arrived twenty-seven years ago, the reprise didn’t astonish me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lottery Winners!

Not everybody loves a winner. Hearing about people you know who have won the jackpot is not guaranteed to engender the finest of sentiments. As an illustration and by way of example, consider the first thought that enters your mind when hearing about people whom you don’t know who have won big money; viz., “How long will it take before they fritter it all away?” Our instinct is that we might as well watch a drunk playing with a lighted torch as keep an eye on a commoner who has won the lottery; in either case it’s assumed that it is only a matter of time before he burns himself. The malevolent fascination with strangers is certainly more macabre than one would expect to be the reaction upon learning of a friend’s similar good fortune; however, the truth is probably not a great deal less magnanimous.