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A Hole in the Clouds
Monday was Prosery Monday on dVerse, hosted by the lovely Merril D. Smith. We were given the following line:
“In space in time I sit thousands of feet above the sea”
—From May Sarton, “Meditation in Sunlight”
We have 144 words to play with and it must not be in any poetic form. We must use the line, word for word, though we may change the punctuation.
Today, I was watching a talk show with and the singer Michel Rivard was the guest. He just so happened to sing the song “Un trou dans les nuages” (A Hole in the Clouds) that inspired me to participate. I translated the song and added my two cents’ worth.
They came through a hole in the clouds, landing a few paces away. I know I was chosen because they trust in me. They gave me an imaginary stone, like a crystal carved out of the blue of the night. I hid it in under the ferns in the woods and will have it in hand when they return for me.
I have suffered ridicule by all the townsfolk who point at the sky, mocking me, and calling me the village idiot for believing in them. Yet I have faith and I wait.
And now the day is come; I read it in the clouds. They alight on the clearing near the woods and shine a beam on my face. There are no witnesses, as they requested.
In space and time, I sit thousands of feet above the sea. I’ve no memory of before.
The lyrics (in French) can be found here. Deepl is a wonderful translation tool, should you be interested.
Monday Meandering Mind
“They” say it takes twenty-one days to create a habit… Right? Oh hell, naw. I just looked it up (coz I really don’t like to spread fallacies) and NOPE! The book you wrote in 1960, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, you lied! Apparently it can take anywhere from two months to eight months to build a new behaviour in your life. Well, shit. Doesn’t that just blow my whole post to smithereens. Maybe ya shoulda looked it up before, dumb-dumb.
Neither here nor there. I am officially proclaiming that I have been in the process of creating a habit since my first run of the year on March 5th. Why didn’t I start sooner? Coz I didn’t. And I live in a place that has too much snow (still) and ice and crappy conditions (until now) and besides I’m not a even close to being a die-hard runner like those I see run past my house, no matter the conditions: sleet, snow, wind, using crampons on their shoes… no, not for me, thank you, very much.
Now that the bicycle paths are mostly clear and the temps have been hanging on either side of the freezing mark, I have made it a mission to go every other day. So far, I’m five runs in and have increased my time. Woot!
What Am I Bingeing?
I’ve had a few shows on the go. I like to watch one, then another, and another rather than binge just the one show from start to finish. I have noticed that when I do binge 2-3-4 episodes of the same show, I barely remember them later. It’s like mindlessly eating popcorn until you finish the bowl and are surprised to find it empty. I’d rather savour.
I have been challenging myself. I am watching “The Empress” in German, with English subtitles. I am surprised at how many words I pick up (I took German for two semesters in college, waaaaay back when. My goodness, is it possible it was almost thirty years ago?) It’s been interesting to learn about Elisabeth, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary.
I am also watching “Women at War” in French (don’t need the subtitles, though I keep them on just in case, that French from France accent occasionally gets me). This one is darker and is the story of four women during WWI. I’m only one episode in.
I am also watching “The Offer” – this is so enjoyable. It’s about the making of “The Godfather” through the eyes and experience of Al Ruddy, producer. Tell me, in the umpteen times you have seen this movie, did you ever pay attention to who the producer was? I can tell you I did not. Had zero clue. Halfway through the series, and trying to stretch it out, the urge to watch The Godfather NOW, instead of at the end of the series, hit. So, why not? And, to make it perfect, make it dinner and a movie by having spaghetti and meatballs and wine – I mean, how can you not? It’s so cool to see the vision, the troubles they had (No Al Pacino! He’s too short and he’s a nobody theatre actor!), the negotiations… And recognizing bits from the movie in the series and vice-versa. If you are a fan of The Godfather, this show is like candy. I want to gobble it up at the same time as I want to stretch it out.
What Am I Reading?
I am not a re-reader. I can count on one hand how many books I have read more than once (and not more than twice). For me, I figure there are so many books out there, why would I read one I already have? I am impressed by those who have their favourites and have read them countless times. This is the case for all the other members of the informal group from Sammi’s Scribbles. They are huge Tolkien fans and have read the books over and over, and in the case of Sammi, have multiple versions of the books. I decided to join in for the fun of it. We are now reading the second book from The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers. Last year we read The Fellowship of the Ring. It’s pretty cool. We read half a chapter per week and exchange thoughts on Sammi’s blog. It takes us most of the year to read just one of the books. Sammi must have been busy last week because Tolkien Tuesday did not happen. I’m wondering if I should just read the second half for tomorrow or what… And since half a chapter per week is not much reading…
I am also reading Das Parfum, by Patrick Süskind – the French translation, since my friend Linda leant it to me, but also because I like to keep my French skills up by reading a French book every 3-4 books. I prefer to read in the original language but in this case, the original is in German and so reading it in English or in French didn’t matter. I saw the movie many moons ago and remember the gist of it. I prefer to read the book after seeing the movie anyway, because I am never disappointed. I am not with this one, either. The writing is so rich. I read this one in bed…. and,
I am also beta reading a book for Rochelle. Since my Kindle is being a biyatch and won’t let me download it (I think the cable is the issue), I have to read it off my laptop – only so much book I like to read on a computer.
Do you ever read more than one book at a time? I never thought I would. I have gone so far as to tell those who do that they are nuts and how can they possibly follow all the plot lines? Turns out, it is more than possible.
Oh! And before I forget. With all those peeps sharing their flowers, and me still buried in snow, I was beyond excited to see this:
Right next to a foot of snow. In my front yard. Go figure. For a little perspective:
How do you like them apples? No wonder I had a spring in my step and the energy to start running!
Thanks for hanging with me and I wish for you a lovely week.
Weekend Writing Prompt #302 – Breathtaking
It’s Weekend Writing Prompt time. Sammi does specify that we can do variations on the word and, while I feel I am totally cheating in doing so, I’m still doing so!
There was a sense of déjà vu for this one since last Monday, the dVerse Quadrille challenge was “gasp” which one can do when something is breathtaking, no? Of course, this time, I have 30 less words to play with and have gone a whole ‘nother route 🙂
leave a trail of fire
takes my breath away
Third Time’s a Charm – Friday Fictioneers
‘Tis Wednesday and, she who loves all things purple, and keeps all us all afloat, has chosen a picture from Jennifer Pendergast for this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Once I saw it, I could not help but want to close up my date trilogy started last year. Should you desire a refresher, just click on the links in that follow, to see why I went here after going there and there. No need, of course, but do click on my fancy-dining frogs below to be brought to the linky-thingy to add your very own 100-word story inspired by this lovely image. Now sure how? Rochelle’s post will do the ‘splaining of the hows and whys of playing along.
Wow, this is pretty snazzy!
Anything is better than the last two joints we went to.
You’ve got that right. Though, I thought my choice was funky. And now I can see why you said to kick my duds up a notch. Like my suit?
It wasn’t funky it was filthy. And you look very handsome. I should request it more often!
Thanks, and don’t push it. Your choice was the shits.
Can’t argue that one. Once you see it you can’t unsee it. Like my dress?
Let’s forget the past. You look very sexy.
Shall we go in?
It’s Quadrille Monday on dVerse today and De Jackson (aka WhimsyGizmo) is hosting. The word (or variation thereof) today is “Gasp”. It’s all Merril’s fault that I went where I did and not where I thought I would.
Friends, south of the 49th
leave me gasping
their purple crocus and
blooming since February!
Sun shines, sometimes;
just above freezing, occasionally
bicycle path partially clear, for now
first run of the year
Gasping, I push on
Spring is coming, right?
Weekend Writing Prompt #310 – Treetop
A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments on Sammi’s blog.
I haven’t played in a while so, why not, I say… Why not! (Wishing I was there, rather than here, watching the snow fall. Again.
Now this was real ziplining! None of that sissy, man-made tiny park, barely higher than twenty feet stuff.
THIS. Costa Rica was where it was at!
We were in Guanacaste and ready to see the treetops by zipping from tree to tree with our toes tickling the canopy.
It amazed me that the further we went, the higher up it became.
Let Me Show You the Waze
I was watching Chicago Med the other day (what can I say? I enjoy the three Chicagos, Med, PD and especially Fire). Anyway, Dr. Crockett Marcel uses this AI O.R. 2.0. It is a very advanced way of doing surgery. The 2.0 is programmed to let you know when you can or cannot do something, give you best options, or even let you know if you are too tired to operate. They had this very weird scenario where, to save a hand until it can be reconnected (due to infection), they do what is called ectopic banking, which is basically to plant an amputated member onto another part of the body (in this case, the hand to the leg) to keep it properly perfused and prevent the member from dying until it can be reattached. The 2.0 has no record of how to do this but it can keep tabs on the perfusion.
After they successfully do this operation (of course), Crockett then chooses to use a regular OR for some other procedure. When asked why? He responds: “Do you ever go anywhere without using your GPS?” The person responds, “No, why should I? It’s there, might as well use it.” His answer to that is: “Well, I have the need to make sure I can still find my way without this type of technology.”
This brought me to a discussion with B about the very same thing. How once upon a time, I would have just looked up the road to take (or asked directions) and taken it. I could possibly hit construction detours, but hey, I would have figured it out in the end. Now? I use the damn thing to go to places I know off by heart! Why? Simply to see if there is traffic to avoid. It’s a good justification, right? Maybe…
Besides the traffic pitfalls to avoid (or the least painful ones), Waze (I choose over Google Maps) gives me some interesting routes. It rarely screws up, either.
I have used it almost every day since Monday, visiting my daughter at the clinic where she is recuperating from elective surgery. What you might not be able to see on the image at left is that where she is, is at the very top part of the island of Montreal. You see I have to cross one bridge, drive across and through to the other side. So far to the “top” that it is right beside one of the many bridges to cross over into the Island of Laval. There are a few options to cross but all depend on which way the traffic stalls. Ugh.
What does not help is visiting hours at the centre are from 2 pm to 8 pm. I figure most of her friends would only be able to visit after work so I leave the evenings for them (we can only visit one at a time, anyway).
Wednesday, I took pity on her and brought her a good pillow. I figured I’d get there for 2 and leave by 3:30, latest, getting just the beginning of traffic. HAH! Jokes on me.
Well now, while the drive took me almost an hour, it was a surprising and rather enjoyable one. Instead of sending me over to the Champlain bridge, or to the tunnel (which I avoid like the plague since they are redoing the damn thing), it took me to the Jacques-Cartier bridge. Hmmm. This meant going through boroughs and along streets I was not expecting (nor familiar with, at least not this far north).
It took everything in my power NOT to pull over and take a bunch of pictures. Though I will admit to taking quick pics at stop signs and stop lights… ahem.
I am determined, now, to take a day (I would have today but with yesterday’s snowfall? The street, and especially parking, will be hell.
See that slushy mess? And the ploughs pass when they do and you get snowed in. It’s gross and unpleasant. I shall see what the deal is shortly!
Now I just have to remember where I saw the following mural – taken through my dirty window while at a red light (I’m not that foolish!)
Maybe GPS is not so bad after all, eh?
An Evening of Culture
Way back in October, I purchased one ticket to go see “Riopelle Symphonique” at the Théâtre Wilfrid-Laurier (the largest of the five halls) within Place des Arts and the day finally arrived for me to go a week ago, today. I had just seen “Sans Paroles Harmonium Symphonique”, with my buddy Julie, which was a symphonic interpretation of the the music of Harmonium, a Québécois group I was very into in high school. It was an enjoyable experience, so I figured why not see what the same co-creators, Serge Fiori (formerly of the said group) and Nicolas Lemieux and new guy Blair Thompson did with this one. My father had admired Jean-Paul Riopelle’s work as an artist so I knew the name, and I figured, hell, if nothing else, I’ll learn a bit about this artist and, if I don’t care for it, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is always a treat. This year is the centennial of Riopelle’s birth, ergo, the celebration.
I skipped dining downtown and went directly to the show, which started at 8:00. Some putz blocked the street I needed to go up to to park in the underground parking lot so I drove around and was lucky enough to find one on the street. Bonus! $15 saved (providing I didn’t get a parking ticket!)
I live on the South Shore of Montreal so I don’t always know what’s going on in town. I might hear of something but outta sight, outta mind, and all that. What a pleasant surprise to see a bunch of bright lights! I determine immediately that I would meander after the show and take in the sites.
Got to my nosebleeder seat…. Oy! With no zoom on my phone, this is how far I was to the stage…. hellllloooooooo down there….
The curtains opened and we had the whole MSO and two choirs (Petits Chanteurs de Laval and Choeur Temps Fort) on either side of it! I couldn’t quite understand the conductor, Adam Johnson’s outfit… It was not a classic tux and tails, It was a white tux with… um… feathers? Apparently, Riopelle was a huge fan of geese and.. yeah, I don’t get that part.
The music started and it was quite lovely, two of the three screens descended and… ah hell. All of us up in the balcony start murmuring our displeasure. It bugged me to no end that, in creating this piece, they did not take the time to come up to the balcony and see what we would see. I promise you it is the only “illegal” photo I took during the show because I was thinking of you, dear readers, and wanted to show you what I saw. Oh, and thankfully, that fat head to the left sat a little lower later on…
Those damn spotlights.
I know, I know, get over it. But still.
How much more enjoyable it would have been to see the above, eh? It took us a while to resign ourselves to not seeing the art properly and just enjoy the music. I did. Mostly. This was like a play in five acts, with the disembodied voice of the artist, through various interviews joining two sections. You could hear him drawing on his ever-present smoke as he spoke.
He was a “stream of conscious” painter. He worked on one piece from beginning to end in one session. No touching up, no coming back to do anything whatsoever the next day. And he could not stand to be watched while painting either.
“Dans l’exécution, je n’ai pas de temps à perdre à chercher. Il faut que ça marche tout de suite. Je n’aime pas faire le spectacle. S’il y a un spectateur, il y a une distraction. Je ne pourrais pas le supporter.”
My translation: In the execution, I don’t have time to waste searching. It has to work right away. I don’t like to perform. If there is a spectator, there is a distraction. I could never stand it.
I had to laugh at one point when we heard him explain that he was an EXpressionist and not an IMpressionist (having a complete disdain for the genre) “..as they are liars. Unlike them, I paint what I see…” Nkay…
He was an interesting artist and extremely successful in his lifetime – way back in the 60’s paintings could go for anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 and more.
He also got into sculpture. I’m not a fan but hey, art and subjectivity and all that 🙂
I am happy I went to see this, though in all honesty, I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate the joining of the music with the art. The music changed for each of the five sections to purportedly match the different eras of his art, but, to me, it didn’t feel quite so. I read a few reviews after the day after, and it appears I was not alone. One said, and I paraphrase : “The music could have been for anything, including a biopic of Maurice Richard (hockey player) or some historical saga. The music, while competent enough, does not detract from the lovely visual, but that it would not be the reason to see the show, nor buy the soundrack.” Maybe I am not as unsophisticated as I thought?
I made my way down the crowded staircase and finally out the door for some welcome fresh air. There was much gaiety all around. I discovered that it was “Montréal en lumières” or Montreal in Lights. Quite the fête, let me tell you. It was still going strong at 9:30 p.m. on a Thursday night. And since I’ve already taken up way too much of your time, I shall just leave you with a few pics 🙂
And a short video. There was dancing and skating, too (I didn’t go up to the rink…)
On my way home, I passed in front of this sculpture. The traffic light serendipitously turned red, so I opened my passenger window, leaned over and… click! (I had never seen it lit up, couldn’t pass up the chance, eh?)