Terry Fox – A reluctant hero – “Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

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July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981

Terry Fox was just a normal Canadian kid who had misfortune thrust upon him. It’s what he did in reaction to his fate that make him a Hero. As you’ll discover through the information and videos below, he had an inner strength far beyond his years. I had no recourse but to bring his story to those who may not have heard of Terry Fox. I must admit I was extremely moved as I watched, even though I knew his story. Fortunately his story lives on through those who carry on with his dream. -J.E.Goldie

At the age of only eighteen, Fox, a good athlete, was diagnosed with cancer and as a result his right leg had to be amputated. Instead of getting bogged down, he became mentally stronger and retained his positivity even with an artificial leg.

Soon, Fox formulated an ambitious plan of epic proportions wherein he wanted to traverse the entire length of Canada on foot to accomplish the dual purpose of raising funds for cancer research, and inspiring people with disabilities. Running over 43 kilometres each day, he travelled through Canada, spreading his message everywhere. In a short time, he acquired celebrity status and succeeded in securing sizeable donations. At the height of his popularity, his recurring cancer put an abrupt end to his marathon, subsequently leading to his untimely death. However, Fox had accomplished far more than what he had hoped for, not only collecting enough funds, but also making a statement that epitomized the strength of human spirit.-FamousPeople-

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  • In 1980, he was bestowed with the honour of ‘Companion of the Order of Canada’ and became the youngest person to receive this honour.

  • He won the ‘Lou Marsh Award’ in 1980 as Canada’s top sportsman for that year.

  • He was chosen ‘Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year’ for 1980, and again for the next year. 

  • He breathed his last on June 28, 1981 after falling into a coma. Wikipedia

 

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The remarkably humble Canadian Leonard Cohen…

 

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Sep 21, 1934 – Nov 7, 2016 (age 82)

As I watched the video interviews I gathered of Leonard Cohen, I began to realize that the Man seemed detached from his seemingly solemn writing. When asked where these feelings/ideas/emotions came from he was somewhat evasive. His attachment to his work was fleeting. It was written and left behind. A polite Canadian boy, it seems, not willing to share the origins of the dark thoughts he sometimes wrote about. He said he found writing to be a slow process and he  lacked the ability to readily express his thoughts. When you’re Cohen this isn’t a bad thing. When asked why he became a Monk, he said he needed guidance/direction at the time and his friend/teacher was a Monk. He then laughingly said, that if his friend had been anything, he’d have followed. His interviews are charming, polite and somewhat apologetic. The warm smiles and frequent silences between his answers make him Leonard Cohen. These are only my thoughts. Perhaps you’ll disagree. -J.E.Goldie-

“Leonard Cohen was a Canadian singer, songwriter, and novelist remembered for his literary works and his musical creations alike. Beginning his career as a poet and novelist, he eventually ventured into music when he was in his thirties. Interested in poetry from his school days, he started composing poems as a young boy. He also learnt guitar and had an affinity for folk music. His interest in music and guitar was further enhanced when he met a flamenco guitarist. Simultaneously, he pursued his literary works and penned many poems and even got them published in magazines. Soon he published a collection of poems entitled ‘The Spice-Box of Earth’ which got him recognized in the literary world. He then explored his creativity in writing fictional stories and eventually wrote novels which received appreciation from critics and readers alike. This writer then embarked on a new journey and dabbled with his musical creativity and emerged as a singer and songwriter. He worked on various themes like relationships, sexuality, politics and religion and composed songs which turned out brilliantly and also established Cohen’s place in the musical world. However, this versatile individual did not forgo his literary work and concurrently worked on literature and music, earning fame in all the fields he embarked on.”

-TheFamousPeople-

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Leonard Norman Cohen CC GOQ was a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality and romantic relationships. Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honour. In 2011, Cohen received one of the Prince of Asturias Awards for literature and the ninth Glenn Gould Prize. -Wikipedia-

Some quotes 

“We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear.”

“We are not mad. We are human. We want to love, and someone must forgive us for the paths we take to love, for the paths are many and dark, and we are ardent and cruel in our journey.”

“I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair, with a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere.”

“I don’t think there’s any difference between a crush and profound love. I think the experience is that you dissolve your sentries and your battalions for a moment and you really do see that there is this unfixed free-flowing energy of emotion and thought between people, that it really is there.”

“May you be surrounded by friends and family, and if this is not your lot, may the blessings find you in your solitude.”

 

 

 

I loved you for a long, long time
I know this love is real
It don’t matter how it all went wrong
That don’t change the way I feel
And I can’t believe that time’s
Gonna heal this wound I’m speaking of
There ain’t no cure for love

-Leonard Cohen-

 

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The Sable Island Horses of Nova Scotia

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The Sable Island Horses of Nova Scotia, Canada

“The Sable Island horse, sometimes referred to as the Sable Island pony, is a type of small feral horse found on Sable Island, an island off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is a small type, often pony sized, but with a horse phenotype and horse ancestors, and usually dark in colour. The first horses were released on the island in the late eighteenth century, and soon became feral. Additional horses were later transported to improve the herd’s breeding stock. They were rounded up for private use and sale for slaughter, which by the 1950s had placed them in danger of extinction.” -Wikipedia-

Sable Island derived its name from the French word for “sand”. It lacks natural trees, being covered instead with marram grass and other low-growing vegetation. In 1901, the federal government planted over 80,000 trees in an attempt to stabilize the soil; all died. Subsequent plantings resulted in the survival of a single Scots Pine. Although planted in the 1960s, it is only a few feet tall.

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The island is home to over 550 free-roaming horses, protected by law from human interference. This feral horse population is likely descended from horses confiscated from Acadians during the Great Expulsion and left on the island by Thomas Hancock, Boston merchant and uncle of John Hancock. In 1879, 500 horses and cattle were estimated to live on the island, and the island vegetation was described as covered with grass and wild peas. In the past, excess horses were rounded up, shipped off the island, and sold, many used in coal mines on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. In 1960, the Canadian Government, under the Canada Shipping Act, gave the horse population full protection from human interference. -Wikipedia-

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Shipwreck survivors published early survival narratives about their experiences at Sable Island, beginning with the sinking of the Delight in 1583. The first formal history of the island, Sable Island: its History and Phenomena, was written in 1894 by George Patterson. Many other histories of the island and its shipwrecks have been published since, such as Lyall Campbell’s two books – Sable Island, Fatal and Fertile Crescent in 1974 and Sable Island Shipwrecks: Disaster and Survival at the North Atlantic Graveyard in 1994 –Wikipedia-

Sable Island is a narrow, crescent-shaped sandbar with a surface area of about 34 km2 (13 sq mi). Despite being nearly 42 km (26 mi) long, it is only 1.5 km (0.93 mi) across at its widest point. It emerges from vast shoals and shallows on the continental shelf, which, in tandem with the area’s frequent fog and sudden strong storms including hurricanes and nor easters, have caused over 350 recorded shipwrecks.

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Lucy Maud Montgomery – One of Canada’s most cherished authors

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Born  November 30, 1874 Clifton, Prince Edward Island

Died  April 24, 1942 (aged 67) Toronto, Ontario

Lucy Maud Montgomery is best known for her ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series. I have put together a little timeline. Although she was best known for her ANNE series of books, she wrote numerous short stories and poetry as well. Once again my intention is not to analyze her work nor will I give you a complete history. As happens sometimes with very passionate writers, it was fabled that she took her own life. That fact, I will leave with you to discover. Below you will find some examples of her poetry and ANNE OF GREEN GABLE clips. -J.E.Goldie

 

“Shortly after giving birth Maud’s mother was stricken with tuberculosis. As her condition worsened Hugh John moved the family back to Cavendish, to the home of his in-laws where his mother-in-law could help tend his wife and child. The Macneill’s ran the local post office out of their house and helped care for their sick daughter and infant child. Clara succumbed to the illness on September 14, 1876 at the age of twenty-three, Maud was not yet two years old. Year’s later Maud would speak of remembering her mother’s wake and how she reached down and felt the coldness of her mother’s cheek.” 

“After his wife died, Hugh John sold his business and spent most of his time traveling. In 1884 he moved to Saskatchewan, leaving ten-year old Maud in the care of her grandparents, Lucy and Alexander Macneill. Hugh John married Mary Anne McCrae in 1887 when Maud was thirteen. Growing up under an atmosphere of strict rules and discipline by her elderly grandparents, Maud became an avid reader and began to write.”

“In 1889, at the age of fifteen Maud went to live with her father, stepmother and their two small children. It was a hard time for Maude, a new home, unable to get along with her new stepmother and giving up her schooling in order to care for her new siblings. It was during this time in Saskatchewan that she sent a poem to the Daily Patriot, a local newspaper. Her first published piece was On Cape Le Force . After a year with her father, homesickness caused Maud to return to Prince Edward Island and her grandparents.” 

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“Two years later, after the death of her grandmother in March, Maud was married to Reverend Ewen MacDonald on June 11, 1911, they had three children: Chester (1912), Hugh (stillborn in 1914), and Stuart (1915). Even though she was now successful with her writing, this did not mean an easy life for Maud. She was devastated over the death of her stillborn son, battles with her publishing company due to their withholding of royalties and reprint rights. Her husband suffered from mental relapse and had bouts of melancholia, which forced him to leave the ministry in 1935. During the late 1930’s Maud suffered a mental breakdown and remained despondent until her death.”

“Lucy Maud Montgomery MacDonald died in Toronto, Ontario, on April 24, 1942, at the age of sixty-eight. In death, she was able to return to her beloved Prince Edward Island, buried in the Cavendish cemetery.” 

“In addition to the well-known Anne of Green Gables and its six sequels, she produced more than twenty novels and short stories. Montgomery published only one volume of collected poems, The Watchman and Other Poems , in 1916. She also produced three of the miniature biographies in a volume called Courageous Women (1934). At her death she was working on another Anne book, which was much altered and published by her son as a collection of short stories called The Road to Yesterday (1974). She produced some one million words in her private journals, between 1889 and 1942, and requested in her will that these journals be preserved and published. Publication began on these in 1985.”Famous Poets and Poems- 

“No character inhabits the first half of 20th-century Canadian literature more inexorably than Anne Shirley, she of the carroty hair and the exorbitant imagination. Anne occupies what can only be called the sweet spot in Canadian literature, haloed and honoured, our very own benign monster.

Her creator, Lucy Maud Montgomery, demands almost as much literary attention. Montgomery is that hybrid Canadian writer: orphan and schoolteacher, minister’s wife and prolific scribbler. Herself a fascinating character, she is peculiarly associated, in my mind, anyway, with unhappy Mrs. Bentley of Sinclair Ross’s As for Me and My House. Her sudden death caused speculation about suicide, and she certainly didn’t have much fun with her often-depressed husband, Ewan Macdonald. But she wrote her fingers to the bone. The author of more than 500 short stories, 20 novels and innumerable articles and poems, she is also the inventor of a community zeitgeist that has turned the house that inspired Green Gables into a historic site and made Anne the global subject of musicals and plays, films and postage stamps and pigtailed wigs.”

-The Globe and Mail-

 

 

 

Come, Rest Awhile 

by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Come, rest awhile, and let us idly stray 
In glimmering valleys, cool and far away. 

Come from the greedy mart, the troubled street, 
And listen to the music, faint and sweet, 

That echoes ever to a listening ear, 
Unheard by those who will not pause to hear­ 

The wayward chimes of memory’s pensive bells, 
Wind-blown o’er misty hills and curtained dells. 

One step aside and dewy buds unclose 
The sweetness of the violet and the rose; 

Song and romance still linger in the green, 
Emblossomed ways by you so seldom seen, 

And near at hand, would you but see them, lie 
All lovely things beloved in days gone by. 

You have forgotten what it is to smile 
In your too busy life­come, rest awhile.

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Emily Carr – Canadian Icon

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“Emily Carr was a Canadian artist and writer inspired by the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. As one of the first painters in Canada to adopt a Modernist and Post-Impressionist painting style, Carr did not receive widespread recognition for her work until late in her life. As she matured, the subject matter of her painting shifted from aboriginal themes to landscapes—forest scenes in particular. As a writer, Carr was one of the earliest chroniclers of life in British Columbia. The Canadian Encyclopedia describes her as a “Canadian icon”. -Wikipedia-

Dec 13, 1871 – Mar 2, 1945 (age 73)

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Timeline

1899:

Carr also visited the Nootka Indian mission at Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island in 1899.

1912:

In 1912, Carr took a sketching trip to Indian villages in Haida Gwaii, the Upper Skeena River, and Alert Bay.

1927:

It was at the exhibition on West Coast aboriginal art at the National Gallery in 1927 that Carr first met members of the Group of Seven, at that time Canada’s most recognized modern painters.

1941:

The editorial assistance of Carr’s friend Ira Dilworth, a professor of English, enabled Carr to see her own first book, Klee Wyck, published in 1941.

1941:

Emily Carr was awarded Governor General’s Award for English-language non-fiction in 1941.

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1945:

Emily Carr suffered her last heart attack and died on March 2, 1945, at the James Bay Inn in her hometown of Victoria, British Columbia, shortly before she was to have been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of British Columbia. Klee Wyck is a memoir by Canadian artist Emily Carr. Through short sketches, the artist tells of her experiences among First Nations people and cultures on British Columbia’s west coast. The book won the 1941 Governor General’s Award and occupies an important place in Canadian literature.

Quotes:

Twenty can’t be expected to tolerate sixty in all things, and sixty gets bored stiff with twenty’s eternal love affairs.

 Oh, Spring! I want to go out and feel you and get inspiration. My old things seem dead. I want fresh contacts, more vital searching.

 Trees love to toss and sway; they make such happy noises.

 You must be absolutely honest and true in the depicting of a totem for meaning is attached to every line. You must be most particular about detail and proportion.

 I think that one’s art is a growth inside one. I do not think one can explain growth. It is silent and subtle. One does not keep digging up a plant to see how it grows.

 You always feel when you look it straight in the eye that you could have put more into it, could have let yourself go and dug harder.

The artist himself may not think he is religious, but if he is sincere his sincerity in itself is religion.

 There is something bigger than fact: the underlying spirit, all it stands for, the mood, the vastness, the wildness.

 

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The Remarkable – Allan Sherman!

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Nov 30, 1924 – Nov 20, 1973 (age 48)

I decided to introduce you to Allan Sherman. My first introduction was listening to “Hello Mudda, Hello Faddah” which has us in hysterics as teens in the 60’s. I myself had a copy of the record above. To this day I think he was a genious. He put the funniest lyrics to classical music. I hope that after you hear a couple of his songs on this page, you’ll seek out more of his repertoire. You won’t regret it. By all accounts he went out laughing as he entertained some house guests 😊

A little about the man from Wiki

“Allan Sherman was an American comedy writer, television producer, singer and actor who became famous as a song parodist in the early 1960s. His first album, My Son, the Folk Singer, became the fastest-selling record album up to that time. His biggest hit single was “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh”, a comic novelty in which a boy describes his summer camp experiences to the tune of Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours.” – Wikipedia

Sherman was born in Chicago, to Percy Copelon and Rose Sherman. Percy was an auto mechanic and race car driver who, like his son, suffered from obesity, and died while attempting a 100-day diet. Sherman’s parents divorced when he was in grade school, and the son adopted his mother’s maiden name. Due to his parents constantly moving to new residences, he attended over a dozen public schools in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. He attended the University of Illinois. -Wikipedia-

 

 In his final years, Sherman’s alcoholism and weight gain caused severe deterioration of his health; he later developed diabetes and struggled with lung disease. In 1966, his wife Dee filed for divorce and received full custody of their son and daughter. -Wikipedia-

Sherman lived on unemployment benefits for a time and moved into the Motion Picture and Television Hospital for a short time to lose weight. He died of emphysema at his home in West Hollywood at age 48. -Wikipedia-

 

Well that’s just a taste of many. I hope you enjoyed them.

 

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Emily Dickinson – Judge Tenderly of Me

Artwork by Peter Wilkin “If I can stop one heart from breaking” Emily Dickinson

 

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

Emily Dickinson

My aim here is not to give you a synopsis of Emily Dickinson’s life. It is not meant to analize her poetry or determine it’s meaning. In 1970 I was given a Hallmark edition of “Judge Tenderly of Me”, the poems of Emily Dickinson, selected by Winfield Towley Scott.

As long as I can remember I found solice in the fact that I could use words on paper to express my sense of desire, disappointment, joy, sadness and all of the greys in between. I cannot admit to being an avid reader of novels or poetry. I frequented the library because I had to, not because it was a special place, although the librarian introduced me to archeology, which I found fascinating. But no, I wasn’t an avid reader. It wasn’t until the 70’s that I discovered small edition books like “Judge Tenderly of Me”, “Caught in the Quiet” – Rod McKuen and “Tears of Silence” by Jean Vanier. These small “BIG” books have found their way back into my life and I keep finding these little treasures on my book shelves. 

Winfield Townley Scott was an American poet, critic and diarist. Born on April 30, 1910 and died April 28, 1968. 

“Emily Dickinson wrote “greater poems than any other woman in all literature,” says Winfield Townley Scott, the editor of “Judge Tenderly of Me”.

“She was America’s first and perhaps only female poetic genious.” Born in 1830 and died in 1886. “Her poems were charged with emotional intensity.  The truth is that Emily Dickinson – beautiful and sensitive, a woman in every respect- was living on top of a spiritual volcanoe. The poems tell us about the tumult inside this magnificent woman who loved but never married. They also tell us about the vast dimension of seemingly plain and familiar things in an obscure New England community.”

“Her writing is simple. It’s not simple minded.”  She “Told us secrets about the way things really are. And the way things really are is often poignant as well as beautiful.” -WILFRED TOWNLEY SCOTT-

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My life closed twice before its close-

It yet remains to see

If immortality unveil

A third event to me

So huge, so hopeless to conceive

As these that twice befell.

Parting is all we know of heaven,

And all we need of hell.

-Emily Dickinson-

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Naturally, the first poem in this edition reflects the title of the book.

 

This is my letter to the world,

That never wrote to Me—–

The simple News that Nature told—-

With tender Majesty

Her message is committed

To Hands I cannot see–

For love of Her — Sweet– countrymen–

Judge tenderly — of Me

Emily Dickinson

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