We have questions – query

margotreiki

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            We are old, well educated, female, homosexual and feeling out of the mainstream of North American Society, even though we’ve lived here all our lives, gone to school, worked, played and retired. There must be thousands of us, but all we hear about are the young and beautiful, those under fifty years of age and still working in their homophobic work places.

            Many people, some of them gay, say that things have improved a lot since we were young and I agree with them, but how can we have fun, play and enjoy our “golden years”? We are buoyed up by famous people like Ellen Degeneres, but without the money and notoriety we can’t really live the way she does. She’s a great influence, but it doesn’t help the ordinary lesbians very much, especially the old.

In a few places there are enough of us to form…

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Taking a writing break at home.

I’m taking some time to write more, things which are current and meaningful now. I may even have a go at the novel I want to write. If I create short things worth publishing I will get back on the Word press horse.Image Thanks for following. Margot

We have questions – query

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            We are old, well educated, female, homosexual and feeling out of the mainstream of North American Society, even though we’ve lived here all our lives, gone to school, worked, played and retired. There must be thousands of us, but all we hear about are the young and beautiful, those under fifty years of age and still working in their homophobic work places.

            Many people, some of them gay, say that things have improved a lot since we were young and I agree with them, but how can we have fun, play and enjoy our “golden years”? We are buoyed up by famous people like Ellen Degeneres, but without the money and notoriety we can’t really live the way she does. She’s a great influence, but it doesn’t help the ordinary lesbians very much, especially the old.

In a few places there are enough of us to form a loose society of our own, but what to read? Where are the movies for us? Where can we go dancing? Just because we are over sixty doesn’t mean that we are too old for activities. Most of us cycle, kayak, golf and walk with age peers who are straight. For these kinds of activities is doesn’t matter what gender or orientation you are, but for dancing, holding hands, talking of intimate matters and reading good literature for gays and lesbians, especially old ones, it matters.

Once in a while there is a character in a book over sixty, but it’s never the lover or the protagonist. It’s most often the support character for the young, slim and charismatic. That’s my rant for today.

Living in Ontario is pretty good as most people are accepting of our life style and there are enough of us to have some social activities of our own, but most towns and cities are a wasteland especially for something good to read. My partner and I are big readers, but there are very few novels about lesbians which deal with the issues of old age and retirement. Maybe that’s true of old straight people as well, but I think not to this extent.

I read lesbian romance and mysteries along with many straight mystery novels and other genres. I’m always looking for a character or two whom I can really relate with. I read what’s available anyway, because I’m old not dead and a good love scene still appeals to me, but as I get older is gets harder and harder to relate with the main characters. Most of them are in their thirties or forties.

This started out as a query letter. It really isn’t one, but I would love to write a novel for the thousands of us old women, who would like to really relate with the main characters in a book. I believe there is a market for this which is not tapped at all. There must be many good old love stories out there. Let me know what you think.

 

 

Aside

Early morning walk to the beach

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Early misty morning calls to me. The air is cold, the water, still warm enough to create fog across the lake and into the river valley. It rises up and swirls with the current like steam from a boiling pot.

Autumn leaves of gold, red and pale green flank the road as I walk in the half light.

I tread softly, mimicking the hush around me. Even the birds are quiet on this dewy morning. The only sounds are my feet on the gritty pavement and water slowly dripping from leaves onto the forest floor.

I arrive at the edge of the lake just as the sun peaks over the horizon behind me, and whole forests are reflected in the still water. Black rocks stand out near the shore, their silhouettes contrasting with the brilliant background. Mist makes the duplicate scene before me deep and eerie.

The odours of fresh water, weedy lowlands, and wet fallen leaves, mix with the chilly air. Smells flash memories of early cottage mornings, when I was very young.

The mirror holds my attention, and suddenly breaks as a pair of merganzers lands with a splash in the shallows nearby. Colour ripples across the surface, and stretches south, settling slowly back into one long double line of golden trees.  

Daylight is complete; the mist lifts; the ducks paddle on.

As I walk home, I am grateful for the beauty of Haliburton, for the wildlife, and especially for the peacefulness of my morning walks.

I Want

ImageI’m confused by living

I try to destroy my thoughts, get rid of them.

They are angry, brutal, defiant, frustrated.

How can I have compassion for humans, when the earth,

And its creatures are hurting, fearful, bleeding?

The polite nauseate me.

They see nothing of earth’s wounds, the devastation.

They cover up the disgusting, the painful,

Hide the worries and fear.

Who are the leaders to hold such power, such useless good manners?

I want to break down the walls, throw aside politically correct,

Dig out the rot and scream the voice of change.

peatmoss, bugs, deer and geraniums

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Exactly a year ago a very nice couple came to stay at our house for two weeks to look after the mail, the cat and the geraniums, which I had planted just before we left. They were in hanging pots and made a dash of bright red against the grey house.

         We went to Vancouver, rented a car, visited family and old friends, drove through the mountains to Calgary and stayed with my daughter along the way. Six days into the trip, we called home to see how things were going and they said, ‘’fine except for the bugs.” I had no idea what they meant, but the woman went on to say that the geraniums had been infested with crawling bugs, which also flew and she’d saved the geraniums with dish soap and water she sprayed on them. Later in the summer they turned out to be the best geraniums we had ever had.

         This year I bought red geraniums again and planted some of them in hanging pots and some in ones on the stumps from trees which had been cut down over the winter. All was well. The first night they spent outdoors all the red blooms on the stump pots disappeared. Deer, I thought. I got out the soap and some cayenne pepper and covered the buds that were coming up. The hangers were fine. I remembered that things stayed watered better if you add some peat moss to the pots so I got out the old bin left from last year and used most of the moss on the hangers near the ground and the stump pots. I ran out of energy and didn’t put peat moss on the hanging ones on the deck.

Two days later the pots with peat moss were infested with little crawlies and half the geranium leaves eaten. The pots hanging from the deck had no bugs. I got out soap as Barb had done and sprayed some bug spray as well. It helped, but more bugs arrived and I finally realized that they were in the soil – the Peat Moss! That Peat Moss had been used last year as well. I looked in the bin, which I wasn’t here to do last year, and the whole bin was crawling with bugs.

I’m a detective who has finally solved the puzzle. I have dug most of the moss out of the pots and will dump the bin in the woods so the bugs can eat something besides my geraniums. The strange thing is that the deer and the bugs only like the geraniums. They have completely left alone the verbena, white small flowers, I don’t know the name of and the greenery I planted to make the pots look pretty.

I have figured out the deer and the bugs, but I still wonder how the bugs got into the peat moss bin.

Stuff

 

I was adopted into a family of pack rats. Thankfully, most of them had good taste, but nevertheless things multiply and take up room, emotional and physical room.  It also takes time and energy looking after them and making sure they’re visible when significant people show up. Stuff gets passed down from one generation to the next and moved from one house to another.

Stuff also becomes connected in my brain with certain people. For example, the clock on the mantle belonged to mom. I don’t even like it, but feel obliged to keep in there and running properly. Some of the paintings were Aunt Audrey’s contribution to all our homes and most of them ended up at the cottage. I inherited, not only the cottage, but also all the stuff our extended family left there over the years.

Like Audrey’s paintings, there are quilts made by my other Aunt and Nana and odd pieces of china, which were my great grandmother’s. The plate rails in my house were built purposely to display the ornaments and bits and pieces, which were valued by various members of our family. There they were safe from the dogs and grandchildren and most people couldn’t tell if they were dusty or not way up there.

Some stuff is still in trunks from years ago, never unpacked for lack of energy and space and will end up being given away.

Keep sakes are great until you have dozens of them. I have too much of every kind of stuff and because I’m moving in two weeks to a smaller house with no plate rails, I have been forced to get rid of many things. The good thing about this purging is that I will be able to focus on people, the beauty of water and scenery and the love of friends and family, instead of putting so much energy into looking after things.

It’s my opinion that we make our lives what they are. We ask for what we want and allow many things and people to intrude on what really makes us happy. In the case of belongings, we get caught up in storing, repairing, cleaning, displaying and fretting over them. They take up space of all kinds and thus our houses, hearts and minds become cluttered.

My main goal, as I move, is to clear out what I don’t really value and get rid of anything I don’t need. The need can be emotional or practical, but it must be real need.

I find as I pack, one box is kept for every two I get rid of. It’s amazing to me how much one can collect in a lifetime. Much of it was not my doing, but I have made it my job to look after it. As I move forward in my life, I need to let go of the past, the emotional obligations and much of the stuff.

 

 

Resonance Writers’ Circle

Are we talented and published? Does one thing necessarily follow the other? Are we difficult and wordy? Do we think as much as we talk?

          Our Circle is a collection of writers, mostly retired, although we have a few young and active contributors to society. The fact that there is youth among us is a bonus for those of us who’re curmudgeons and who lack some of the energy we used to have. In all we’re an eclectic collection of both sexes, all ages except children and completely different personalities. We salute each other’s lives and writings and help each other with what we do. We’re creative in different ways and it’s interesting to listen to each other as we read our own pieces. The listening is a creative exercise in itself. Reading aloud is also an exercise and serves to make the writings come alive, showing our feelings and ideas more clearly.

The poets are very interesting and each of them has a different style. The memoire people have various styles and amazing stories to tell. Many of us tell short stories. Others write essays. A very few are attempting novels and they are in a group of their own, reverting back to short stories, essays and the odd poem as time goes on.   

This group has been going for many years and has grown to include folks from Toronto, Haliburton, West Guilford, Minden, Peterborough, Bobcageon, Bracebridge and lots of other places. Our anchor is a woman from Algonquin Highlands who is both a poet and philosopher among other things. She has kept us on task, kept us going, insisted on keeping the forum an open one with no discrimination as to what is suitable to write and read. The circle keeps things to themselves so that we all feel comfortable reading anything; personal, profane, silly, controversial or difficult. Laughter, tears, sighs and expressions of surprise are common as we read our work to each other.

          We meet every two weeks and experience a dose of creative energy each time we get together. It’s a wonderful and educational experience each time.

Faces of the River

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This river is high with roiling water, like a pot close to the boil.  Its surface is mostly smooth, swirling, with eddies near the shores, and swift current in the middle.  In the sunshine it reflects the colours of the seasons, white in winter with icy edges, green in summer with swaying weeds, gold and red in fall when the maples and poplars reflect their autumn dresses and show their beauty in contrast to the dark cedars and pines.  Each day’s mood is there in the river, in her currents, her light and dark, like a constantly changing motion picture.     

Early afternoon is loud, colourful and silly. The women move into the current and allow the river to pull them, grab them, even frighten them a little, but in the end it releases them onto its stony toes near the bank. Some of the women feel a personal competition as they swim across, trying to go upstream; the river pushing them down. They love winning!

The river is full of appealing contrasts; hot summer weather and cold water, smooth surfaces and rough stones, placid water with a strong current.  Noisy laughter and splashing, give way to the bubbling sound of the current and the soughing of soft wind in the pines.

 Later, these women are singing as the river flows by in the background. They feel its presence like a gentle arm around their shoulders. Their songs are of world peace, help for the environment and justice for all. The sound of the water magnifies the harmonies of their songs and smoothes out the rough edges of their voices. They sing, knowing the river is part of the harmony and part of their souls.

          The harmony of nature, agrees with the harmony of the women singing. A young merganzer paddles hard to go up-stream, just as they have and she too succeeds. The trees are strong by the water and so are the singing women. The sounds of the singing merge with the sounds of the river, a harmony of human spirit and nature.

Just sitting, watching the water flow is good for thinking and for letting go; for concentrating and for releasing.

The river is a powerful frame for life. It holds the energy, the pictures, the feelings. It is the constant, in a changing scene, in a changing world. The women come and go, the seasons march on, the birds migrate, but the river continues to flow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections

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Reflections are memories, thoughts on a subject, ideas and photographic or double images.

As I reflect on my life in Haliburton, the photos of the lake and reflections of many things are paramount in my thinking and in my reminiscences.

Photo reflections usually have water in them, or glass. I’ve used car windows, lakes, mirrors or even small ponds and puddles for catching reflections of already appealing images. My favourite sunset pictures are those over the lake, where reflections double the scene and colour.

Last December I took a picture of my friend in Vancouver, with her grandson. They were in the bedroom at my computer and it wasn’t until after I had loaded the picture into the laptop, that I realized the depth of it. I include it here as a example of a reflection, which not only took me by surprise, but also enhanced the photograph and gave it a whole other meaning and dimension. It serves as a memory of that special reunion and a visual reflection of two happy people. In the mirror they look as if they’re looking out over something which keenly interests them, with their backs to the camera.