Monday, July 29, 2019

What I've been doing - summer 2019 edition

The summer is flying by, and I've been neglecting this blog shamefully.

No, wait: scratch that. No shame, and no shoulds. It's been a busy summer so far, and I just haven't had much opportunity to compose posts. That's life. In this post I'll share a little bit of what I've been up to, under the categories FAMILY, WATCHING, READING, and WRITING.


my Uncle Charlie and Aunt Sigga

On July 10 my uncle (my dad's brother) Charlie MacEachern died in PEI after a long illness. His death leaves a huge void in many lives. He was so funny and upbeat, the kind of person who made your day better just by showing up. And he always did "show up" for the people he loved. He was a great support to my dad, calling or dropping by almost daily, and will be very much missed by all of us. 

Uncle Charlie and Jonathan, 2018:
"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good"

I was able to go to PEI for Uncle Charlie's celebration of life service; my sister-in-law Caroline suggested we go together in her van, and she visited her sister in Truro, NS while I was on the Island for four days. It was good to be there with my extended family and share memories and stories about my uncle. My brother Lincoln and I sang "You Raise Me Up" at the service; my Aunt Sigga chose this song specifically, and the words are certainly fitting for the kind of person my uncle was to everyone who had the good fortune of knowing him.

You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be.

In news from the other side of the family: my mother-in-law broke her ankle in May, so it's been a long process of recovery for her. After surgery in mid-May, she's been recuperating in the convalescent wing of a retirement home here in town, and hopes to get home to her own house this weekend. We've all pitched in to help support her during this time, but her own determination and upbeat spirits have done a lot to help the recovery process along. 



I saw two movies this summer that have already become absolute favourites: 

Brooklyn: based on the novel by Colm Toibin, about a young Irish girl in the 1950's who moves to Brooklyn, New York to work.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato-Peel Pie Society: based on the novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, about a young writer in post-WWII London whose life is changed when she receives a letter from a man from the Guernsey Islands, asking about books and telling her about the Islanders' experience under Nazi occupation during the war. 

I need more movies like this in my life: touching and delightful but with some substance to them. And if they have a large proportion of former Downton Abbey stars (as Guernsey does), so much the better.



After watching Brooklyn, I read the novel by Colm Toibin that it's based on; I really enjoyed Toibin's simple storytelling and how the novel captures its place and time so vividly.

I also read Hannah Pasch's Millenneagram: The Enneagram Guide to Discovering Your Truest, Baddest Self. I'm definitely not the target audience for this book, and I don't think I or anyone else has ever applied the word "baddest" to me -- but I liked Pasch's irreverent yet encouraging approach to the enneagram system of personality types.

If you're interested in seeing what other books I've read in the last while, you can check out my June "Quick Lit" post HERE



My poem "Departures" was published this summer in Juniper Poetry, an online journal; you can read the poem HERE. This poem is a special one to me because it's about the death of my mom, so I'm happy that Juniper liked it enough to publish it.

My prose poem "Along King Street" was June's featured poem on our local library's Poetry Blackboard, a site curated by Kingston's Poet Laureate Jason Heroux. You can read the poem HERE

"Along King Street" is also going to be featured in an outdoor poetry installation during Kingston's "Vibrant Spaces" event next month. It will be one of five poems displayed along a poetry path -- and in keeping with its subject matter, Jason told me they'll be sure to set it up within view of the windmills. 


Thanks for stopping by to read this update. I hope your summer has offered you lots of opportunity for rest, recreation, and rejuvenation in just the right proportions. And if you've been reading, watching, writing, or doing anything interesting this summer, let us know in the comments!