Sunday, January 25, 2009


Blogging is like virtually any other activity that takes practice and time – fall out of the habit and you fall out of the rhythm, the swing and even the need to blog.
The last time I wrote was February of last year and come to think of it (as if I didn’t know) that’s when so much else changed as well.
I lost my little life companion, the ridiculous Lily. At the age of 15 and suffering an untold number of conditions, ailments, illnesses and just plain old age, I was with her when she died in the midst of a snowstorm on a terrible day that even now I steel myself from thinking about. She was just so tiny, so elderly, and even with me there beside her, so very alone when she died. Barely six pounds at the end, and moments before in deep distress, when she died her eyes remained open and the tip of her little pink tongue was left hanging down on her greying bib of her now scant hair. I had her cremated, and the ashes and dust and detritus that remain of her now remain with a friend. I can’t bear the finality of that tiny urn. I’m just not ready.
I started work on a long-term project that turned my life upside down as I changed from a stay-at-home freelancer, to a fulltime, riding the streetcar, going to the office career-type gal. Quelle change. I haven’t worked all in a row, every day, in an office (with the exception of much shorter contracts: a month here or there) since 1990. Seventeen years.
But I surprised myself by loving it. I loved the interaction with the others I worked with, the purposefulness of working on an intriguing project every day, the routine it created even as the routine of the job itself changed virtually daily.
I who love being alone so much was absolutely smitten with the idea of working as a team. I became closer with the people I already knew and welcomed whole-heartedly (open arm-edly!) the new friendships with others.
The project is a TV series – 25 short documentaries about people who are changing the world by the way they lead their lives. Big-time philanthropists cheek-by-jowl with little-time, nearly invisible regular folks who are changing their own personal routines to make the world a better place. To say it was inspiring is as clichéd as it was true. It consumed my life for months. Long months. Good months. A couple of them great.
The series also supports a dedicated website designed to turn the inspiration of the stories into action, linking people up to a social network-cum-clearinghouse of life-changing ideas as well as action-oriented volunteer opportunities. I was involved with creating that too – and I enjoyed turning my mind to a different sort of creative vision, the sort that required big picture planning and a specific sort of imagining. I find I like “imagining” as an actual work-related activity. I find I’m good at it too.
And the project created friendships and purpose with it. I’m now volunteering with an organization headed up by one of our profilees. I’m mentoring a just-turned 9 year old boy, helping him choose a ‘goal of contribution’ and helping him follow through on it too. I have so many young girls in my life I thought it was time I tried a relationship with a boy and I found, to my delight, a little guy just as quirky, as complex and as lovable as any little girl I’ve ever known.
I found a new life-companion too. The equally ridiculous, (as Lily) Charlotte. A rescue Pekingese (see photo above) with a host of medical and physical issues that only serve to make me adore her and want to comfort her more. (My friend Tom found her on a rescue dog site on the internet – “She's such a loser,” he said. “She’s got you written all over her.”) I was sure when I entered into the arrangement on my birthday back in June that I was essentially signing on for a load of problems, but her history made me want to help. Imagine my surprise when it turned out that far from being an angry, nippy, put-upon victim of years (8) of abuse and neglect, Charlotte was (is) an absolute joy to hold and behold. She’s kind and shy and just wants her belly rubbed and to be given treats once in a while and to lie beside me anyplace I choose to lie down. With the exception of the belly rub part (I prefer a back massage) we’re very much alike.
And I traveled too. To Miami, Nassau and Vancouver Island. Trips with friends, holidays with family, a little time out of mind that deepened my affections and lightened my stress.
But now that stress is back with a vengeance. The brutal economic conditions that have dealt the world such a resounding blow have dealt me a blow as well. Funds for my project have dried up as well and as of now (this minute, this second) there are only vague whispers of possible, potential work. I’m scared. Really scared – as I haven’t been for a long time. Along with everyone else my resources have dwindled – some have out-right disappeared – and as of now (this minute, this second) I don’t know how I’m going to survive.
But at least now I have time to blog.
So I've got that going for me.

1 comment:

sooey said...

It's so good to have you back, even virtually. You'll notice you're still listed in the lobby of sooey's.