Ottawa, you’re lovely in the autumn.
Ottawa, you’re lovely in the autumn.
I slept so well that when the alarm when off for the laundry I was confused as to why it was going off. Then I forgot a few things for the laundry. This pleases me…to have such a deep sleep. The laundry is in the wash and so far we’ve had elevators 3, 3 and 2. We are on the way to a descending trifecta if we get 1 on our downward trip. We had to stop off at the main floor to load up our Coinamatic card. Why isn’t it in the laundry room you ask? Good question. No idea why. It used to be in the laundry room and then they moved it for some reason. This is the kind of scintillating prose you get at 7 am on a Sunday, friends.
I am way behind on reading all the newsletters that come in during the week. I’ve been busy working on a poetry manuscript and my brain has been focused on that pretty much solely since August. I met some milestones so now my brain has a bit of room again.
The Babel Tower Notice Board’s chock full of musings and writing exercise in the form of a newsletter is the first in my to read subdirectory of my newsletter folder of my e-mail, arriving on August 25. Sadly, this is the last newsletter of this nature, but Richard Capener, the editor makes sense – at the time of BTNB’s first anniversary (yay, Babel!), its newsletter is reaching a very large audience and the editor doesn’t want to seem like a mouthpiece. I will miss the recommendations, writing exercises and musings. I didn’t agree with all of the positions taken by the editor, but they always gave me food for thought, and I don’t need to agree with everything to enjoy it. I like shit that gets my brain working and their shit did. The work in BTNB’s issues also do that for me, so fair played, Capener, fair played. You can read the work and the year’s worth of newsletters here.
As I have mentioned here, I adore ink maker Jason Logan’s (Toronto Ink Company) newsletter, the Colour. To read it is a true treat. I have just finished the chicory newsletter from August 27 and it is a delight. And oh the rabbit holes! He’s been fairly constrained this time, but he’s led my mind to wandering and that is what it likes to do best. I’m such a fan of Jason’s that I have a character in my ongoing poetry manuscript who is called the Ink Maker and I have remixed, along with many many other sources, some of the words of the newsletter into the poems. Credited of course!
We had elevator 2 for the downward, so no descending trifecta. Upward we did get 1, but only after we didn’t get into elevator 3 with a fellow early morning laundry doer, who kindly held it for us, but we said no—there’s a two-person limit during the pandemic and I’m good with that. Apparently, says Charles we could not get a general trifecta because we had two of the same elevators in a row, the 2. This resets it. If we get a 3 now, we will have a general trifecta. We have two more chances at an ascending trifecta but that would mean we needed the 2, followed by the 3. I’m not sure 3 has woken up yet. I know how it feels.
Another newsletter that takes me down the rabbit hole is Matter written by local artist and writer Cindy Deachman. Volume 1, Issue 12 is entitled “And We Breathe” in which we learn how about oxygen and how wind is created, going back to Ptolemy and Cosmographia, “the earliest German language description of the world, first published in 1540 by cartographer Sebastian Munster.” She references an ancient story about how humans found their way to the moon and it’s a beauty. It involves three-headed vultures. One step for mankind, one giant beak for …uh… moving on… I love all the art and photos in Cindy’s newsletter as well. If you want to subscribe, give Cindy a shout at cdeachman at gmail dot com.
I continue to write usually until it is close to time to picking up the laundry from the dryer, but today I’m going to stop here. I shall leave you in suspense. Did they manage to get a general trifecta? You’ll never know…dah dah dah!
Thanks for reading. If you are. If you aren’t, I expect you are doing more interesting things or even catching up on some sleep, and that’s ok!
The wash is in the laundry cycle. I woke up at 2:30 and didn’t fall back to sleep until after 5, friends. I have coffee. It is almost 7. We have the makings of a general elevator trifecta, having taken #3 down, followed by 1. The 2 was occupied by a man with two pups, Siberian huskies maybe? They barked at us. They hadn’t had their coffee either.
This week I have been thinking about my privilege, privileges in the plural. I’m a white settler, I have food and shelter and enough financial support to be fairly secure in my life. All of these privileges make a difference to the way I see the world and the way I approach my life and my presence here. It is important that I am mindful of these privileges in my dealings with others. Things that are easy for me to do are not necessarily easy for those without those privileges.
This month Cindy Deachman’s newsletter Matter contemplates attachment to things and places. She shows great photos of books, objects, music, while talking about those who have lost their homes due to flooding, and the homeless locally. Her newsletter combines mindful and thoughtful meandering with beautiful photos, many of them by photographer spouse Tony Fouhse. You can subscribe by contacting Cindy directly at cdeachman at gmail dot com.
I am playing the soundtrack to the HBO film Oslo, which I haven’t even heard of, but Cellist Zoe Keating sends news of it in her newsletter this week. I love her music. The score has been nominated for an Emmy. Nice to hear that Keating is working on a new album again. Her tour schedule is set up for 2022 and she’s going to be in Toronto in January. I know it is hard for musicians and other performers who want to be able to perform in front of live audiences again.
We have now had elevator 2 for the ride back down to change the laundry over, with a brief stop to do our recycling and a climb down the stairs to the 2nd basement where the laundry room is, then the 2 again for the upward ride from the laundry room to our apartment. So we have a general trifecta, not ascending or descending.
Nadia Bolz-Weber’s weekly newsletter, the Corners this week is entitled “If you can't take in anymore, there's a reason - an essay on circuit breakers, empty buckets, and the shame-show of social media” NBW is an interesting person) she says obviously, otherwise why subscribe to the newsletter). She’s a Lutheran minister and a straight-on foul-mouthed tell it like it is speaker and author. Her books are on my to read list, especially, Pastrix, the cranky, beautiful faith of a sinner and saint.
In this issue she likens the times we are living in to an overloaded fusebox. For those of you who are feeling guilty about not doing enough in these times to help with social injustice, climate change, etc, this week’s newsletter is a comfort. “It’s ok to focus on one fire.” I needed to hear that. Maybe you did too.
I admit that there are newsletters that I sometimes skip completely. The Paris Review newsletter is something I sign up for and then unsub from because I often just skip it. There’s only so much I can read and take in. This week I’m drawn to the interview with Kaveh Akbar entitled “Poetry is doing great.” I’m intrigued by this because I loved Calling A Wolf A Wolf, his first poetry book and I’ve heard through social media he has a second one out, Pilgrim Bell, and also because the idea of poetry doing great makes me think of it as a person, with needs for nurturing and care.
No laundry today. A deluge of awful – Haitian earthquake, Covid 19 case rates, Conservative attack ads sends me to my weekly newsletters. I find the need for poetry increasingly during these heartbreaking times, and I often learn about poems and poets new to me, along with other great stuff through newsletters.
"I wish for a season
that does not begin with quick tides
— Meg Day, from 'Last Psalm at Sea Level'
Another Sunday, another laundry day. I woke up with my mind full of ideas for my work as always. Four loads of laundry, including one for masks. Summer means less laundry, fewer and lighter clothes. So far we have taken elevators 2, 1, 2, 2 and we have two more rides to go to pick up the drying and bring it home.
No laundry today. The benefits of living in an apartment building with a large laundry room that is open twenty-four hours means being able to do a bunch of laundry early and all at once—which is my preference. I have had my own washer/dryer and never liked having to keep doing laundry constantly or dealing with whatever repairs were needed when it broke down.