Sage Baby: Bad Titles follow-up

A couple of posts ago, I ruminated about titles that get outdated by time, including George Orwell’s 1984 and my blog 115journals. I imagined that the three journals I have written since are seriously put out and I rashly promised journal 118 that I would mollify it by posting its highlights. Today I reached page 215, the last page. Journal 118 started on July 8th is now retired from active duty.

Let’s see what’s there.

Oh. My. Goodness. Anais Nin would have relegated its first part to her diary of pain. When she was mortally ill in Big Sur, as I remember, she divided her journal in two and kept the unpleasant stuff separate. I haste to add that my “pain” was more mundane and much alleviated by simple means such as a new regimen of supplements to replace the minerals I was short of.

Then I come to a dream I had in which I was a young doctor just beginning my residency when I learned that I was pregnant. The dream was suffused with love, warm, nourishing love for and from my husband, and a quickening sexual desire. I went out for a walk by myself on a rainy Sunday evening to relish this feeling. Oddly, I came upon my actual/ non-dream-life son in the course of this walk. He was working as a blacksmith -not of course in real life -outside his forge and raised his head only briefly to ask if I had written another book.

I seemed to be living an alternative past and seeing an alternative future.

When I looked at what the dream meant, I saw that I was dreaming of healing myself. The Sunday night walk could be seen as a sign I was now complete enough in myself to do so. Someone I told the dream to said I was dreaming about my “sage baby”, that gestation is a symbol of spiritual cultivation.

So I looked on the internet for “sage baby’ and found it was the name of a company that produces baby blankets, a name given to both boy and girl babies and the name of a musician. Not helpful. I imagined people sitting in a shamanic circle fashioning tiny doll babies out of sage leaves. Then I finally realized she meant “wise” baby.

Ah, a familiar idea. One of western civilizations most important festivals centres on the wise or sage baby, born in a manger. But it has seemed to me for some time that this is better understood as the birth of the Christ in the cave of the heart, in other words, our own soul discovering itself and knowing it is one with the divine creative spirit.

A book is another kind of sage baby and my real son was/is fashioning his own sage baby, in iron with fire.

So there you go, Journal 118. That is surely your highlight, an actual insight.

Isn’t it curious that in our dreams, we can be any age, possibly because we are not actually age-specific.

How’s your sage baby coming on?

Bad Titles: journal 118 protests

Like George Orwell, I have chosen a title that has overtaken itself. He thought 1984 was sufficiently removed from 1948 that it represented a future where Big Brother watching your every move seemed believable. But, oh George, try teaching that book in 1984 or 1993 or 2012. It is about the past now, in more ways than one. (Thank you closed circuit TV, Google, Facebook and internet surveillance.)

I knew that lesson and yet I went ahead and called my blog, Journal 118 wants to act as spokesperson for itself and 116 and 117. Journal 118 is a mature and confident speaker, about to retire from active duty and hand the daily grind over to 119.

Still a bit of a whiner: “Look at all I did for you, getting you through a July of heath issues and an August of intense family vacation. And who gets the glory, 115? What did she ever do for you?

It’s just a matter of chance, I counter. Orwell reversed the digits of the year he wrote the book. I was writing in journal 115 when I started the blog.

But 118 is seriously miffed, although partly mollified by the fact I reread its whole heartfelt tale. True I found there the essence of the summer, we are fast losing here in our northern city. It caught the swallows hunting at dusk, the crickets at dark and the glory of the Farmer’s Market at Wychwood Barns.

Please accept my appreciation, 118. I hope you will be mollified by my promise to issue a “Best of 118” in the near future.

Where’d Y’ Go?

I know Journal # 118 wonders too. Far from the nearest WiFi connection is the short answer. The library in that little rail town had one, but its hours were so weird I never caught up to it.
As for #118, I’ll get back to you. Living with an ever changing family of up to 17 left no time for reflection.
Coming soon: Septuagenarians in the Wilderness.

Is it okay to be mean?

In my post “OK, Now I’m Mad”, I was mean to my Toronto Star courier, implying that she could be brighter and that got me asking whether it was okay to be mean while blogging.

I know bloggers don’t take an oath as doctors do to do the harm, but isn’t it a general rule of civility? If so, what’s going to happen to humor?

How for example can Clotida Jamcracker be so funny if she gives up dissing her high school acquaintances and her mother-in-law Dottie?

On a more serious side, how can we understand why Slapppshot kidnapped his daughter to Sweden if we don’t know her Australian mother had become a drug addict?  Right now he’s in the middle of a series titled, “Confessions of an Alcoholic”.  These, I am glad to note, are other people’s stories and he has permission to recount them. So no harm.

Clotilda has built a firewall around her true identity and used  pseudonyms, so the chances of her targets finding out how she really feels -or feels when she’s being funny – are slim. Slapppshot on the other hand would be easier to uncover. Indeed much to his dismay someone actually did and emailed him ominously that they knew where he lived.

Is it okay to be mean if we do it anonymously then?

Oh, this question is way too politically correct, isn’t it?

OK Now I’m Mad: newspaper subscriber bites back

You’re to blame. So am I. We read blogs. My laptop is sitting on top of my morning paper, which is largely unread. Newspapers, they say are dying, although this rumour like the one about Mark Twain’s death, seems to be greatly exaggerated. Not dead in my town anyway where I get to choose between 4 papers, 2 of them national. But – BUT- they have grown leaner. The National Post doesn’t publish a print edition on summer Mondays and the Toronto Star charges extra for its puzzle section and its TV guide. Now this complicates the delivery process because someone, dare I say with a brain,  needs to put these special sections into the relevant papers and about once a month, they fail to do so. Thereby hangs the tale.

Last Saturday, I went through the 10 or 12 sections of the Star 3 times, looking in vain for my TV guide. Not there. And I was paying $1 extra for it. I wanted it. Sure I could use the digital guide if I wanted to spend the time scrolling through it. I didn’t. I wanted to look at a printed schedule on -gasp – paper and plan what to TIVO or as we say up here PVR.

I phoned the relevant number. Then I had to start punching in other numbers, my phone number, my postal code, my house number, the number for a section missing, the number for the Star Week, birthdate, weight in kilos, etc. Half an hour later, the phone rang. A company name I didn’t recognize came up on the call display, but it was 8 a.m. and I was about to give this telemarketer an earful. It was the company that handles delivery complaints for the Star. Could I possibly wait until Sunday for my TV guide? The delivery woman had left the area. Well, of course, I could. A TV guide was not essential to survival after all. Would I be happy to do so? Not really. He would try, he said, to find a carrier still in my vicinity. Apparently, he failed. Saturday evening’s TV schedule was digital and there was nothing on anyway.

Sunday morning was blissfully quiet. The people upstairs and downstairs in my duplex were away on vacation. I was sound asleep. It was 6:30 a.m. Suddenly, a great two-noted bell-like blare intruded into my consciousness. I opened my eyes. Doorbell. Good grief! Some terrible catastrophe necessitated police at the front door. I was about to launch myself out of bed to meet this terrible doom when I remembered: late delivery of a paper is always announced by the doorbell. Not that they ever stick around to receive commendation. But at 6:30 a.m.!!!!!

Now I was well and truly awake and so ruffled that there was no hope of going back to sleep. I fired up my computer, got email up and started a new message.

I entitled it, “Customer Punished Twice”.

Blogging Makes Me Smart (and gets me a new Mac)

WordPress made me do it.  Well, strictly speaking it was Gravatar that gave me the final push. My WordPress dashboard urged me to upgrade Safari. I couldn’t. I had gone as far as I could go with the Snow Leopard, 10.5.8, operating system. Then Gravatar went into a loop when I tried to upload an image. I went off and sulked for a few days.

Blogging was way too hard for this old girl.

Anyway, I had actually published an ebook (my memoir, Never Tell, recovered memories…) on Kindle and Smashwords, so why complain about a few hitches? The Mac iBook G4 was just fine. All it needed was a better operating system. Hang on. Didn’t I buy a better operating system last year? Didn’t I buy a new battery last fall? Isn’t it time to stop sinking money into a 6 year-old computer?

You’re wondering why it took me so long. I could say thrift, but probably it would be more truthful to say fear. What was there to be afraid of, after all? These may be lean times but my bank is still unafraid. It longs to lend me money. And if I prorate what I spent buying the old computer, it works out to about $20 a month.

The Apple sales woman’s first response when I carried in the iBook, was, “Oh, that’s really old, but I’ve seen one before.”

Using her fine deductive skills, she spoke in terms of the Mac Book Air lasting me 5 years. I sought to establish a little more street cred by producing my iPhone and mentioning my iPod. What was less impressive was the fact that I couldn’t remember my Apple password.  I almost had it, but almost doesn’t make the grade.

So I came home with the beautiful slim laptop still in virgin condition and managed with my great nephew’s help to “migrate” all the stuff on the old computer. (Who knew “migrate” could be a transitive verb? Come to that, who knew what transitive is?)

The next day, I lost the dock, the Safari bar, every single page I tried to read and WordPress menu that runs down the left of this page on which I am writing this post. I could not scroll up or down by using 2 fingers on the trackpad or using the keyboard. (What happened to the up and down arrows on the right? What happened to the bar you could pull on?) Around dinner time, I lost it.

I raved on the phone to two sympathetic friends. Well, initially sympathetic. One kept saying, “why did they change it?” (She needs a new Mac Book.) The other one kept laughing at Apple and its overpriced products.

Before I opened the chardonnay, I phoned the store. Yes, I could still buy the 1 to 1 tutoring service and yes, they could probably squeeze in a few unbooked minutes of emergency help in just so I could finish this post.

What did I learn? Keep your fingers far away from the trackpad! Scroll by separating 2 fingers, holding the others aloft and pushing up or down and  put the cursor way up to the top to find the Safari bar-without clicking, good grief. And other good stuff that all you other Mac users already knew and all you young users were born knowing.

They say the brain forms new neural pathways when we challenge it. So I’ve worked it out, blogging makes me smart!