Broken glass

Of course I miss my grandmother. It’s been years since she passed away, but I miss her still. I’m sure we all do, when we stop and realize it. Though it’s not often I stop to realize too many things. Not stopping is a bit of a coping mechanism, you might say. Or maybe you’d say defense mechanism. I guess I’ll just call it ‘my mechanism.’

Anyhow, so, it wasn’t long after we finally moved to Canada for keeps that Lulu passed. She was staying at my aunt’s cottage, and I had the good fortune to spend many days with her and my aunt. Zsolt and I would go up to keep them company, because it can become lonely in the middle of the forest. Then one day, she was in pain, and there was an ambulance, and then suddenly she was gone.

But that was then.

As I said, we had finally moved to Canada, and Zsolt and I were setting up our home. So, much of Lulu’s things came to us. We had her two sofas that were straight from the 90s, we got the stack of lovely plates with the sunflower pattern, we received her old record player and some lovely music, and, among other things, we received some lovely glasses with a light etching of a flower.

Back when I was a kid, we’d visit Lulu at her apartment in Montreal where all these things once lived. And while visiting, she’d offer us a Pepsi. Since our household in Ottawa never had such an abundance of pop – of course it was nice to have a Pepsi at Lulu’s apartment. But she didn’t serve the Pepsi in its can. Instead, she’d pour it into a glass.

And that’s what I think about when I look at those glasses. Or maybe, rather, that’s what I feel. I feel her and her Pepsi, and how it was to visit. I was a kid, keep in mind, so the visits were mostly totally boring – at least until I grew up. But still, it was a good feeling to be there in those moments.

Anyhow, the thing about glass is that – you know – it breaks.

Fact: my cupboard is filled with MUGS because I don’t buy glasses. They drop and shatter and it’s a catastrophe. But when there was a chance to take Lulu’s glasses, I went for it. We’ve been enjoying them for the past few years. And somehow, they keep her in my mind.

Unfortunately, as I said, glass breaks. One by one Lulu’s glasses broke. There were only a few, and then there were fewer. After tonight there are now officially none.

The last glass broke this evening.

I had no idea, apparently, how much they mattered to me. As soon as I realized the last glass was gone, I just blubbered like you wouldn’t believe. Like, ridiculous. Zsolt thought I had gone crazy. But you know, somehow she was suddenly more gone than she had been only moments before. Or maybe it just reminded me that we had lost her. Or maybe . . . I don’t know, maybe too many things have been held inside and pushed away through my mechanisms.

So I cried for the glass, and I cried for my grandmother – and I cried because sometimes it’s just better to let everything out. It’s not that the world is terrible, or life is crazy, or I’m uncomfortable. None of those apply. It’s just that the tears started and would not stop.

I think we’ve had many reasons to cry lately. From internal struggles, body issues, to real world horrors. There have been reasons to cry. And yet the tears have been held back…… but emotions don’t dissipate simply because I prefer to ignore them. They apparently wait. They wait, and then, when the last glass shatters, they finally unleash.

There’s no moral here, this is just a story. Just one story. And I have other cups – I have mugs made by family, and champagne flutes given by friends, and tea cups from my mother-in-law, and cups from England, and many wonderful things all around. It’s nice to look upon an object and remember that love lays behind it. If nothing else, I was reminded of that tonight, and reminded of my grandmother. Even if I cried, I cried for her – and it was very much a needed physical relief.


Lulu, wherever and whatever you are, I hope it’s good. I hope it’s very, very, very good.




Wanted: Bloggers

Imagine you wrote a blog post one day, then the next day you were dragged from your home and taken away. No fair trial, just gone. Maybe worse. Probably worse. That happens; it happens way too often. I figure, bloggers should look out for other bloggers. And so, I’m looking for folks interested in helping share a post about Amnesty’s Write-a-thon. You can pick a case you care about from this website, and I’ll send you some material to help showcase why writing letters matters so much.

Amnesty International is hosting a world wide letter writing event on December 10th. This is a day where thousands upon thousands upon thousand of people write letters on behalf of others who have sufferings that make my little stories look easy. I’m talking about being imprisoned for blogging, for tweeting an opinion, for daring to defend another’s right to express, and so much more.

’cause seriously, imagine if you could be jailed and flogged fro writing your thoughts in a blog post? Imagine that. Except that it’s almost impossible to truly imagine because it’s simply horrible, and thankfully many reading this post won’t live in that kind of world. If you’d like to help create change for those who do, let em know and I’ll give you the 411 on a post. Leave a comment, and I’ll message you to follow up.

Don’t have a blog? You can still sign up and write some letters. You can still tweet out about the event. You can still draw pictures for Zunar the cartoonist for Instagram. You can still do quite a bit  – and as a group, we can help create change.


That’s it from me. Thanks for reading my post. Have a lovely day :)


Saying “No” is Boring

So let’s cut back to regular normal life. Because that all still happens, even when I do crack and write my little crisis moments here on the blog. In my normal life, I have come to realize I’m really doing far too much. It’s coming to the point where I need to wrap up obligations and say no to taking-on any more.

Boo! That’s so boring. However, for the time being, I believe it is becoming more and more necessary. I love, love, love collaboration and new ideas and trying new things – but I’m genuinely becoming tired. My husband can attest. There are very good days, but there are just as many days where it’s hard to do anything but strap an ice pack to my head. Of course, we all face this kind of up and down, and I know this situation is not unique. However, I do feel like I should take my opportunities to slow down.

Slowly things are wrapping up. Very slowly.

Towards the end of the summer, I finished the literary blog review that I’d been writing for Apartment 613. Dusted and done. I decided to stop trying to finish up that It’s Cancerous game and just leave it be as it was. Now, as we move into November, I am finishing up the production and promotion of a special radio episode that I’ve been able to produce. It’s really freaking beautiful, and I’m quite proud. Storytelling is a power medium – even, for me, somehow more powerful when you couple good writing with good audio.

Can I share it with you? This is a project I did for the World Wildlife Fund and Hub Ottawa. I think it was done very well. :) There are several things I’ve been proud of lately – my contribution to Foment Magazine and the literary festival episodes, my husband or everything he does, and this project now completed with the help of a small grant.

So give it a listen. Various Ottawa-based writers submitted their writing, and I picked a handful, organized readings and hosted the episode. This stuff is wonderful. No matter what happens, this episode will have been produced. It’s a time capsule of creativity. Just like my Claires.

I do get tired. Oh – so – tired. For days on end, I get home from work and my head is knackered. I push too hard, and don’t stop when my body suggests it might be time. Instead I say, ‘one more thing.’ – and while this really truly cannot go on – at least not at this weird transition phase in my life, I do so love the results of a project well done.

Anyhow, as I slowly ease myself out of saying “yes” so often, I will leave you with this. It’s a wonderful 45 minutes of storytelling. I really freaking love it, and think everyone did wonderfully.

Listen here: