Bits and Pieces

A dining room with patio doors at the end and a lot of plants.

My bedroom window faces east. Through the long days of summer, I would wake up and watch the sunrise while lying in bed, which is a gentle way to start the day. I thought as the days grew shorter that I would sleep later, but that’s not happening yet. I still wake up at 4:00 or 5:00. I wait until I hear Alan stirring or 6:00, whichever comes first.  And then we pad through the apartment to make our morning tea (me) and coffee (him). Slide back into bed, ready to greet the sun when it decides to join us.

It’s getting colder round here. We can only eat on the balcony at midday most days. Soon we’ll bring the table in and acknowledge that summer is over. I’ll miss sitting out there, visiting with the neighbours in our building. There’s a lovely big terrace down below. People bring out books and sit there, reading and chatting. The couple downstairs from us get their exercise walking the length of it. And then they join the people reading, and everyone has a chat, sending comments up to us. “Don’t let me interrupt your dinner, but…”

People walk their dogs past the apartment, too. So many that, when I see someone unaccompanied, I want to shout, “Where’s your dog???” I also like to whisper, “You’re very good…” quietly enough that only the dogs can hear. And they do. Their ears perk up, and they look up at me. And then I slink down and pretend I’m not flirting with some stranger’s dog.

One woman with especially keen hearing looked up and smiled at me. Busted!

I had some tests done. I have candida, so my doctor prescribed an anti-fungal medication. It makes me tired and woozy. But one morning, I took a sip of tea and said, “Oh, my goodness! It tastes like tea again!!!” And another morning, I realized that I can concentrate long enough to read an entire book without needing to nap between chapters. That day I read two.

I’m thinking about my use of social media, the harms built right into the system, and how the platforms are devolving. I haven’t canceled my accounts yet. But I’m reordering my days. I’ve gone back to doing my morning pages as soon as I get up (once I’ve made that first cup of tea, obviously). Then I’ll flip through some library books, and only then if there’s something I want to know or a post I want to write, will I open my laptop. It’s working for me. I’m a little less triggered by the news cycle—a little more hopeful about the state of the world.

Books I’ve Enjoyed Recently

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

         All white people should read this book. Ijeoma breaks down the things we do and say that we often don’t even realize are racist and suggests ways we can do better, with humour and grace.

Sitting Pretty – The View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig

         I recommend this one for anyone who ever goes out in public. You’ll learn so much about disability and accessibility.

We Are The Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer

          A lyrical and devastating take on climate change. He is, after all, a novelist. I read it all in one go and then vowed to step up my plant-based diet game.

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosch

         Goofy illustrations and hilarious stories interspersed with explanations of what it is to live with a mental illness and one of the best descriptions of grief I’ve come across.

I hope all is well in your world. And if it’s not, I hope you have a hand to hold and a quiet place to rest until it is.

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1 Response to Bits and Pieces

  1. Kim says:

    I can hear you saying “you’re very good…” and see you smiling at your neighbours when I read this post. Enjoy these last few days of summer-fall xo Thank you for the reading suggestions, one was already on my list and now the others are as well!

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