Thanks @theopenbookshelf for including me in your #speakupoctober initiative. What restricts me because of my gender? I would have to write a book to answer that one. But here's part of my answer. "Saddest of all are the women who were brought up to believe that self-sacrifice is the highest female virtue. They made the sacrifice, often willingly, and they are still waiting for the blessing." - Jeanette Winterson, Art & Lies .
How many times growing up was I told that the best writers, scientists, doctors, engineers are all men? How many times did the speaker continue on to say that even the best cooks and tailors are men? .
I always listened in silence, steaming internally. Of course, men have earned more professional distinctions, they were the ones who were allowed professions, while the women in their lives were bogged down with housekeeping and childrearing.
People speak of how not enough women get published. This is true. Even if they do get published, they don't always get the publicity they deserve. But worse than that happens even now. Too many women don't even get to write. All too often, the males of the family are given the advantages; both educational and financial advantages, withheld from their female family members.
Or the woman enters into a relationship with the prince of her dreams, who holds her back by not bothering to "lean in." His career progresses, while hers takes a backseat. All the laurels are his. The game is fixed. And the audience complicit in cheering on the "stronger" player. The action is more exciting to watch.
I, meanwhile, continue to mourn the stories never told. What purpose does this serve? None at all. Except that even the caged bird needs to sing.
. . "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou
Running makes me happy, even when I am sad. And so this is what I do each time my heart hurts, I put on my running shoes, and the pounding of the pavement beneath my feet, the wind in my face, and the rhythm of my own body moving, helps me shed whatever sorrow I may have been nursing.
But I also believe that to live fully, one must allow oneself to feel fully all emotions, even negative ones, for at least a while, before making a grab for those running shoes.
When I fling a glass, it shatters
The sound is loud
The glass announcing it's destruction
When I hurl a stone into the river
The sound is there
A plop as it submerges
When I wail in the shower
The sound is in my ears
An animal in anguish
When I cry silent tears
Create a stream
When my heart breaks
It is soundless.
Twenty more pages to go before Frankenstein ends and I pick this up.
The deep philosophical question for today is whether I should go for run on my own - minus the man and his dog - or not? A day of cozying on the couch with a book sounds pretty good right now.
They are calling for snow tomorrow. Yikes! How many of you would like me to blow some snow flakes in your direction? .
@nadirasworld going to use your hashtag. 😘
P.S: This picture is a lie; I don't wear glasses or drink coffee.
"Do you know that there's a halfway world between each ending and each new beginning? It's called the hurting time, Jean Perdu. It's a big; it's where your dreams and worries and forgotten plans gather. Your steps are heavier during that time. Don't underestimate the transition, Jeano, between farewell and new departure. Give yourself the time you need. Some thresholds are too wide to be taken in one stride." - Nina George, A Little Paris Bookshop .
I'm still listening to this one. This past month, I spent more time listening to music than to the book. But also because I like the book so much, I frequently rewind portions for a second listen and hence my slow progress with it. For the romantic amongst you, this is a brilliant book. For the cynic, stay clear.
Husband of mine keeps dragging me out for longer and longer runs. Think he might be trying to kill me as a way out of having to read my manuscript. Someone please send some help - his way!
"No matter how much we think we know about how to cope with the death of those we love - through the experience of others, our reading and our faith or lack of it - nothing quite prepares us for it. It is impossibly shocking and we feel it's the first time death has ever occurred. But sooner and later we begin painfully to engage with it, and eventually move past it, and onward. And without our realizing it, imperceptibly, the one who has passed on fuses with us, and we become a different person altogether. It is a condition of life that our beloved dead will never be forgotten."
- David Davidar, The Solitude of Emperors
This book took me from my spot in Toronto to Mumbai, onto a small town in the Nilgiri Hills, and then back to Toronto. I loved the journey and the sparse writing.
It delves into fundamentalist beliefs and the dangers that result from such thinking.
This selfie is from four in the morning yesterday. Yes, red lipstick at that early an hour, and while completely alone. .
This is not a complaint. Just a statement of fact. Writing is lonely work. Waking up in the early hours of the morning day after day is exhausting. I needed that kiss of red.
So many of the poems that @irfann.aslam features on his feed speak to me. If I have my way, lines 4 to 8 from this poem will serve as the epigraph to my next book.
The poem is called "Half an Hour" by a Greek poet, C.P. Cavafy, translated by Edmund Keely/Philip Sherrard.
I never had you, nor I suppose
will I have you. A few words, an approach,
as in the bar the other day-nothing more.
It's sad, I admit. But we who serve Art,
sometimes with the mind's intensity,
can create-but of course only for a short time-
pleasure that seems almost physical.
That's how in the bar the other day-
mercifully helped by alcohol-
I had half an hour that was totally erotic
And I think you understood this
and stayed slightly longer on purpose.
That was very necessary. Because
with all the imagination, with all the magic alcohol,
I needed to see your lips as well,
needed your body near me.
Just 20 pages left in Davidar's The Solitude of Emperors, and then I can finally start Frankenstein, which I am buddy reading with a group organized by @inbookishfashion .
Everyone else is way ahead of me and way more informed, which is good because it means I get to be quiet and listen and learn from such a lovely group of people. .
My daughter is off to NYC for the weekend, and strangely enough, our son doesn't seem too enthusiastic about being the focus of his father and my undivided attention! 🤔
These babies have to go back home to the library, even though, I think they look awfully neat in my living room. .
Some days, I wish I could turn one of our public libraries into my living space. All I would need is a sleeping bag, my toothbrush, and a few changes of clothes. I would promise to be as unobstructive a houseguest as possible. .
Which library do I have in mind? Toronto Reference Library I am looking at you. One of those neat study pods would do quite nicely!
The pictures of the library are not mine. The one of the exterior is from easternconstruction.com and the image of the interior is from blogto.com.
This morning seemed like a good time for a quote about our planet and what we are doing to it, and so I began searching our home for The Orenda by Joseph Boyden, and lo and behold, there it is on my son's shelf. And I keep wondering why I can't find so many of my books! . . . "I say that humans are the only ones in this world that need everything within it but there is nothing in this world that needs us for it's survival. We aren't the masters of the earth. We're the servants." -Joseph Boyden, The Orenda.