Tag Archiv: Newfoundland

Searching for There

A picture from Newfoundland for free . . . although I'm guessing it's a lot whiter right now.

A picture from Newfoundland for free . . . although I’m guessing it’s a lot whiter right now.

I want to move to Buffalo. All that snow appeals to me. But Buffalo is a passing fancy. As is Newfoundland (I think). Newfoundland, small foreign villages in pick-a-country (Ireland, Spain, the Philippines, anywhere in South America or Africa without the overgrown insects). Sometimes I dream of going north north. They’re always looking for teachers and nurses up there.

Sometimes I dream of cities, preferably somewhere cold. Cities with soup kitchens and streets and friends that you don’t have to drive to. Cities with vibrant churches, schools, museums, and concerts. Cities with artists, musicians, and other writers.  Cities, or maybe towns, with neighbour kids and lots of people who live next door.

When I visit my grandparents, my fancies turn to the Finger Lakes. And what of Michigan, I said last year when a writer’s retreat took me that way. For a woman who likes where she lives, the near yearning for new lands is a puzzle.

Unless it’s not. Unless the restless searching is part of being here and not quite home. I’ve been thinking about that for myself, but also how it might relate to dementia. What if it’s we, the memory rich, who forget we don’t belong here. That there’s a reason we can’t quite settle in. What if somewhere deep down under what we see, people with dementia begin to glimpse in stages that their belonging is somewhere else?

My loneliness, emptiness, the hollows of my soul. Maybe we all forget that they’re not mine or yours, they’re ours. That we walk a planet full of lonely people together. It is either insanity that we don’t connect enough to fill each other’s emptiness – or it is reality that we never really can. I’m guessing it’s a little of both. That we’re put here to hold hands and help each other, but we can’t quite make it all better.

Why that makes me want to go to Newfoundland is anybody’s guess. But maybe it’s ok sometimes to feel a little disconnected where we are. To wander a bit down here in search of there.

God bless the midwives

062My husband and I are in love with the BBC series, “Call the Midwife.” We just finished season one and a friend just loaned us a copy of season two today. Season three starts at the end of March. I may be taking vows soon never to watch anything not produced by BBC or CBC . . . and really the CBC is just to keep it in the family, and because I can’t get enough of Newfoundland. Even the commercials during, “Republic of Doyle,” soothe me. (If I ever disappear, this is where to find me.)

Back to the Midwives . . . I have a soft spot in my heart four babies wide for midwives. The midwives I knew managed a pregnant me with remarkable amounts of grace and humour. The kids came out ok too.

So watching midwives at work in London’s east end in the 1950’s is nostalgia, fascination, inspiration and creative regeneration all rolled into one. The writing, the acting, the nuns (I LOVE the nuns – that’s the other place you’ll find me if I ever disappear), even the theme song pleases me.

The weather people say it’s going to be a cold March up here. I hope it’s warmer by the 29th. That’s when Anabelle is due with her first calf.  (Not that we can guarantee she’s pregnant. All we can say for sure if that if she gets any bigger, we can probably just use her as a barn to put the sheep into at night.) I look at her and think about getting the baby’s room ready. I know we can’t go with wallpaper, but really something needs to done to cheer up that winter weary barn and let everybody know that good things are on the way.  Come May, the weather will hopefully give the sheep an easier time of it.

I’m hugely glad for upcoming birthing. My chances of becoming a midwife in 1950’s England are quite a bit smaller than becoming a figure skater. Out here in 2014, I’ll have to make do with a cow, some sheep, and a little imagination.