Benjamin’s Watch

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He rubbed his dirty and tear-streaked face and marched home to a certain doom. A doom, which to him meant staying in the cluttered and dusty front yard and listening to the screams of the other children in the fairy-demon land of the woods across the field. No more running-tag in the meadow with undiscovered friends, and sweet treats from the candy-store at the crossroads. No more talking with jolly old Mr. Tumbleton, who had a real neet basement where he could explore and discover “stuff” from way back in the days of Marco Polo, and Eric the Red and all those guys.

How do you tell your Mom that you lost the brand-new wrist watch that your Uncle gave you that very morning, while we were all waving good-bye and good-luck. No! There’s no possible way. He laid himself down in a clump of dandelions and got to thinking.

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“I’ll just have to walk up to her and say”, “Mom, I….” Nope! I just can’t break it to her. I’ll say, “Mom! A mean old hermit jumped me in the woods and took off with it…” or maybe “Mom I had to trade it for my life! when a bald man with a gun told to me to “Hand it over! or he’d shoot me!”

Mom’d probably rather have the wrist-watch anyhow; than a “dirty urchin.” That’s what she calls me, “A dirty urchant!”. Boy, she really knows how to hurt a guy. No! No! I just won’t go home tonight. Ya! and she’ll be so happy to see me again, she’ll forget about the crumby-old watch anyhow!

Na! it’s too cold outside in the night-time. I’ll just have to wait out here ’til it’s late and sneak in. I’ll get up real early and jump on the 6 o’clock train. I guess I’ll just ride on and on, forever! Yup! That’s what I’ll do ’cause that way nobody will get hurt.  Not Mom. Not Dad. ‘Specially not me. Maybe I can get Jerry to go with me. He’ll come! I know he will ’cause we’re blood-brothers ’til the end!

He wandered across the meadow and backed-trailed through the woods, but his friend was no-where to be found. Still calling for Jerry, he made his way across the meadow until he was in sight of his home. Suddenly there was his mother, calling to him from down the road. “Are you ready for dinner son? Your Dad will be home soon.” “Uh,..No! I’d kinda like to stay out a little longer. O.K. Mom?.” “O.K. son, but don’t wander off. I’ll be watching you from the kitchen window. You know what your Dad would say if you held up his dinner.” “O.K. Mom.” 

His mother left him standing there confused and worried. What was he ever going to say to her? What was he going to say to his dad? He sat down again trying to remember the wonderful feeling he had had when the watch was given to him. He had never had anything really grown-up. It seemed to have been there one minute and gone the next. At that moment he heard the honk of a horn which announced the arrival of his father everyday at five o’clock.

“Coming in for dinner son? or are you going to stay out here all night? Hey! Wake up boy! How was your day?” He didn’t know what to say to his dad and was almost in tears at the thought of having to tell him he’d lost the precious gift that had been trustingly given to him. “Guess dinner’s on the table son. Let’s go in.” Father and son approached the tiny, country cottage. What was he going to say? Every step he took got him closer and closer to an unhappy conclusion, to what started out to be a wonderful day. “You’d better go up and wash son, and show your Mom that she doesn’t have to tell you to do things all the time. That’s my young man.”

The boy slowly mounted the stairs, thinking about the disillusionment that his mom and dad would feel. He was ashamed. He’s just have to tell them right out and if they asked him to pack, he’d pack. He guessed Jerry would put him up for the night and after that it would be one job after another. Maybe it would be better just to sneak out now and spare his parents.

As he entered the washroom, with chin on chest, many thoughts flew through and behind him. Turning the tap on and raising his head to look for the soap, he saw something through the corner of his eye. His Watch! He’d put it on and taken it off when he went to wash-up for lunch!  “Mom! Dad!”, he yelled running down the stairs to the kitchen. “My watch! My watch!”

©J.E.Goldie 1968

This is a story I wrote many years ago while I was in High School. Grade 12. I recall being very proud of the Huge A+ sign on the top of the page.

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The Bard – aka William Shakespeare

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The word “bard” means poet. Bards were traveling poets in medieval times, who made a living performing and telling stories. Shakespeare’s plays can be grouped into three categories:

  • Comedies – Well known comedies include: A Midsummer Nights Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, and As You Like It.

  • Tragedies – Some popular tragedies are: Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Macbeth, and Hamlet.

  • Histories – Some of his best histories would be Richard III, Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI.

One thing that set him apart from other playwrights was the way he would combine parts of all three categories, so his tragedies would have comic relief and comedies would have some serious parts. This was something that had not been done before that time.

Part of the genius that is Shakespeare was the fact that his work appealed to everyone, from kings to peasants. More than 400 years have passed since his birth, and his plays are still being read and performed all over the world.

 Shakespeare had influence in shaping the English language more than anyone has ever done. Over 2000 new words and phrases were created by him, including: football, schoolboy, mimic, upstairs, downstairs, shooting star, and partner.

There are many famous quotes of Shakespeare that have lasted through time that most educated people know. These show how he is still influencing our lives today:

  • “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” (Romeo and Juliet)

  • “To be, or not to be, that is the question.” (Hamlet)

  • “Out, damn’d spot! out, I say!” (Macbeth)

  • “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

  • “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” (Sonnet 18)

  • “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.” (As You Like It)

Most of Shakespeare’s sonnets are constructed of three quatrains, or four-line stanzas, and end with a couplet (two lines). This makes up the 14-line sonnet.

The rhythm of each line is iambic pentamiter In English, to have a certain rhythm in a poem, you use a combination of stressed and unstressed syllables. Iambic is two syllables; the first is not stressed, but the second is accented. Each set of two syllables is called a foot, and five feet make up a pentameter. So each line of a Shakespearean sonnet has ten syllables.  Courtesy of YourDictionary.com

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Between 1593 and 1594, theatres in London were closed because of the plague. During this period Shakespeare wrote two famous narrative poems. …Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets in total. We don’t know who they are addressed to, or even if they were all written about the same person.

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There is much written about The Bard and the meaning between his lines. As any writer knows it is usually up to the reader to make it there own.

One of my favourite Sonnets is Sonnet 29.

When, in disgrace with fortune

and men’s eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast

state,

And trouble deaf heaven with

my bootless cries,

And look upon myself and curse

my fate,

Wishing me like to one more

rich in hope,

Featured like him, like him

with friends possessed,

Desiring this man’s art and

that man’s fate,

With what I most enjoy

contented least;

Yet in these thoughts myself

almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and

then my state,

Like to the lark at break of

day arising

From sullen earth sings hymns

at heaven’s gate

For thy sweet love

remembered such wealth brings

That then I scorn to

change my state with kings.

William Shakespeare

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Peggy’s Good-bye

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Zinnia for remembrance

1998

Peggy was a beautiful woman in many ways. Not merely in the physical sense. She was strong & stood by her beliefs but never to the detriment of others. In fact, she took up the fight on behalf of others to try to make things better for all those around her. She was one of the bravest women I’ve ever met. Unafraid of new ventures…unafraid of the unknown. In fact, she grasped new challenges with a zest for life. She even grasped the challenge of her final defeat. But physically she could not fight her challenger and we have all lost a wonderful spirit. We can but hold on to the fact that she lived a life that taught us all about the Miracle of the Human Spirit and what it means to grab on to life & make the most of its challenges…

You will remain forever in my Heart & Mind Peggy. We taught each other so many things…I will miss the sharing we had that ran so freely when we talked until the wee hours of the morning…And the Joy I saw in your Heart that flowed through you into those around you. You’re raspy laugh still rings in my ears and your sarcasm could kill.

Peggy its been awhile…its now May & I think of how much you loved to plant the most beautiful flowers & all kinds of Herbs on your balcony which was your Summer haven…We’re planting early this year Peggy…maybe you know that already…I’ve planted Herbs in your honour *smile*…I miss you…

1999

That was 1998…gee time flies…As I write this its April of 1999! Spring & the new flowers are just around the corner…I still think of you Peg…you will always be with me in Spirit…

2004

Peggy its now March 17,2004 so much has changed but I know you would have challenged everything and been very active with your opinions. You’re are still missed, and I know I’d have had you doing these Web Pages had you stayed around ~grin~.

You gave so much of yourself to others…

January 6, 2019

The last time I addressed this letter was 15? years ago, not sure, why I’m returning to it now. Perhaps I’m recognizing my own mortality or maybe because I’ve addressed some of the other exceptional women that I’ve had the privilege to get to know or simply meet. These women touch your spirit. They have a radiance that draws people to them.

There are many exceptional women in this world who touch more lives simply with their presence. They may not be powerful in the common sense of the word, but their power exists. These women may be too busy with life around them to even realize their strength or the kind of positive influence they have on others.

I’ll end this now before it get’s sappy.

But if you’ll allow me, I’ll say another goodbye.

-Til the next time Peg.-

 

In the Setting Sun,

so warm,

so soft,

so bright…

I saw the Sleeping Daylight,

Slip softly into night,

And learned while I was watching

A lesson I well knew….

You never lose someone you’ve loved,

For they are a part of you.

©J.E.Goldie

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The Rainbow Bridge…

 

rainbow in the clouds.

The Rainbow Bridge is a meadow where animals wait for their humans to join them, and the bridge that takes them all to Heaven, together.

The Rainbow Bridge is the theme of several works of poetry written in the 1980s and 1990s that speak of an other-worldly place where pets go upon death, eventually to be reunited with their owners.

-Wikipedia-

This poem, and like versions, has helped to sooth those of us who have lost our beloved friends. Anyone who has experienced the kind of devotion and unconditional love that only our four-legged friends can offer will surely understand. – J.E.Goldie

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The Little Prince

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“I did not know what to say to him. I felt awkward and blundering. I did not know how I could reach him, where I could overtake him and go on hand in hand with him once more. It is such a secret place, the land of tears.”

A quote from THE LITTLE PRINCE by Antoine de Saint Exupery…one of my favourite books and one every man, woman & child should read…

 

So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near –

“Ah,” said the fox, “I shall cry.”

“Its your own fault,” said the little prince. “I never wished you any harm; but you wanted me to tame you…”

“Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

“But now you are going to cry!” said the little prince.

“Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

“Then it has done you no good at all!”

“It has done me good,” said the fox, “because of the colour of the wheat fields.” And then he added: “Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret.”

Redrose

The little prince went away, to look again at the roses…..And when he went back to meet the fox. “Goodbye,” he said.

“Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”….

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”….

“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible forever, for what you have tamed.

You are responsible for your rose….”

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Jonathan Livingston Seagull

 

Seagull gliding across the sands
Photo by Peter Wilkin

JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL

was written by Richard Bach. But then, you may have already known that small detail. If you’ve never read this tiny, powerful chronicle you should. 

This is my endeavour to introduce you. 

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Fletcher turned to his instructor, and there was a moment of fright in his eye. “Me leading? What do you mean, me leading? You’re the instructor here. You couldn’t leave!”

“Couldn’t I? Don’t you think that there might be other flocks, other Fletchers, that need an instructor more than this one, that’s on its way toward the light?”

“Me? Jon, I’m just a plain seagull, and you’re….”

“…the only Son of the Great Gull, I suppose?” Jonathan sighed and looked out to sea. “You don’t need me any longer. You need to keep finding yourself, a little more each day, that real, unlimited Fletcher Seagull. He’s your instructor. You need to understand him and to practice him.”

A moment later Jonathan’s body wavered in the air, shimmering, and began to go transparent. “Don’t let them spread silly rumors about me, or make me a God. O.K., Fletch? I’m a seagull. I like to fly, maybe…”

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“JONATHAN!”

“Poor Fletch. Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly.”

The shimmering stopped. Jonathan Seagull had vanished into empty air.

After a time, Fletcher Gull dragged himself into the sky and faced a brand-new group of students, eager for their first lesson.

“To begin with,” he said heavily, “you’ve got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself.”

The young gulls looked at him quizzically. Hey, man, they thought, this doesn’t sound like a rule for a loop.

Fletcher sighed and started over. “Hm. Ah…very well,” he said, and eyed the critically. “Let’s begin with Level Flight.” And saying that, he understood all at once that his friend had quite honestly been no more devine than Fletcher himself.

No limits, Jonathan? he thought. Well, then, the time’s not distant when I’m going to appear out of thin air on your beach, and show you a thing or two about flying!

And though he tried to look properly severe for his students, Fletcher Seagull suddenly saw them as they really were, just for a moment, and he more than liked, he loved what he saw. No limits, Jonathan? he thought, and he smiled. His race to learn had begun.

 

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.” 
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

“You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way”.” 
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

“We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill.” 
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

 

 

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✨Happy New Year 2019!✨

It’s been just over a month since I started this Blog. I had no preconceived ideas about what to expect.

          My message is a positive one. I have come to love the responses I am privileged to receive. Indeed, I am delighted when so many of you who follow, do respond. I have read some wonderfully written prose, poems and stories. I have read some brilliant and honest insights. I have laughed and cried.

          My initial exposure to social media was a long time ago and my, how things have changed. Sometimes I wonder if its better. There were no ADS, no hidden agendas, no public postings and no messenger, telling you your messages were being ignored or not responded to. It was simply sharing ideas, knowledge and a kind of communal friendship. Peace and harmony generally prevailed.

Bottom line is:

I’d like to thank all my followers for their support. As writers, designers or whatever your medium or philosophy is, we need to know at least one person is reading our posts.

May the coming year bring you all your hopes and dreams, your good health and friendships!

Love Jen 💜

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Karen! It’s Christmas!

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Oh, I know you know 😊     

It’s just been awhile since we talked.

I miss your words of wisdom. You always had a way of helping people through.

Didn’t matter who.

I remember having arguments with you about friends. You insisted that everyone was your friend. I, on the other hand disagreed with you. BUT! as you always did, you understood. My back is feeling a little damaged right now, but I know what you’d say. Friends come and go but they’re never far away. 

How long has it been? Two or three? I don’t remember because you’ll always be with me.

I don’t regret coming to see you. I’m sorry for that but I wanted to remember you just as you always were. I knew you’d get that too.

Christmas Time was your favourite time I know. No one went without, even when things weren’t right for you, you gave your time and everything you had to others. Those without families were welcome to your “Orphan’s Christmas” and though I wasn’t an orphan I was always welcome. Here’s a lovely tree from me.

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A little crazy I know,

but I wanted to bring you light! and love. 

Enough of that your saying 🙄

I knew you’d have a laugh. 

A little gauche! you’d say.😏

anyways

Give my love to Mackie and a great big hug. Many stories there, you’d say and comment with a shrug.

You always had a way with words. A way to comfort too. 

This is my Christmas Letter

Too you. 💌💝

Love Jen xo

KarenandMackie

Keele St. Lady

 

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

I mean, I just could not believe this woman. I was standing on the outdoor platform at the Keele Subway, waiting for the Weston Rd. bus and in walks this woman completely ignoring the NO ENTRY sign. It was understandable, because, well, you should have seen her. I’ve seen bag ladies before, you know, on Yonge St. and in and around it, but wow… Maybe it was the heat.

          Anyways, I stopped to look on the bright side.  It’s great! I have my own Bag Lady. She was beautiful! From the moment I saw her I could not take my eyes off her. She was incredible and even pathetic! Not all of them can be called pathetic. But mine’s pathetic, oh yes, for sure!

She had sores, red and painful looking, on her face, uncovered arms and back. Her faded floral print dress was torn at the back and bottom front, revealing a white lace slip. That slip, something about that slip gave her a prosperous past. The same thing crossed my mind about her hair. It was obviously quite long. She wore it up in a kind of messy Katharine Hepburn way.  And you know what? She had what amounted to a beard. I kid you not! Strands or clumps of hair about six inches long were coming out of her chin here and there. She had sandals on and I could see that she had callouses on her callouses. A natural shoe, I supposed. I wondered it her feet hurt. Mine did.

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So, she walks right in with the NO ENTRY sign staring her in the face while ignoring the TTC guy in the ticket booth who was banging on the window. “Hey! Lady!”. At first, I was annoyed at him, then I thought it was kind of neat, him calling her lady, somehow.

          She walked another few steps with her bags, then turned around and saying nothing retreated to the street. She then stopped, bent over her bags and removed a wallet, or change purse, opened it and looked inside.  She then returned it to her bag and proceeded to walk north on Keele St. and out of my sight.

My Lady doesn’t seem to give a damn. I think I like that. My Lady is proud. I admire her somehow. Her only problem is that we have a problem with her. She’s doing some of us a service. She reminds of that familiar phrase, “There but for you go I.” We all face the same kind of reality every day. She doesn’t give a shit what she looks like, or maybe that’s only our perception. She probably looks just fine in her eyes. Her only problem is how we look at her and that may only bother her, from time to time………..

©J.E.Goldie

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An Autumn’s Eve

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I first saw her on a clear, windy Autumn’s Eve. You know, when the wind causes maelstroms of crisp golden leaves to swirl at your feet and catch in your hair. When there’s a real chill in the air. It’s not cold, just cold enough to wish you’d worn a heavier coat. She was walking at a quick pace. She had to. She was being walked by a pretty large dog which I was sure would have stood taller than her on its hind legs.  She looked weary and windswept yet happy to be alive. There seemed to be a definite air of joy about her.

I’m not quite sure why she caught my eyes. She had an eminent air about her. Life looked to be happening for her. Reality and urgency were in her every breath. That excites me. People like her are not part of the crowd but rather, stand out in a crowd. They are never alone unless they want to be.

Highly motivated people fascinate me. What drives them and why so hard?  I’m drawn to them instinctively. My instinct is to play sous chef. To carefully set the rigging. To secure the net for he high wire walker.

As she walked by I couldn’t help but turn around and watch as she walked away. I’m glad I did. Just ahead of her was an interesting sight. Approaching her and her beast were two other rather large animals, unleashed and beginning to take an interest of the not-so-nice kind. Her charge was also gathering up a lather about the impending situation.  Been there before I thought. Just in case I began to meander towards her to possibly be of assistance. 

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The situation began to intensify and suddenly the air became heavy with impending doom. Two against two I thought, but one of the two was considerably smaller yet just as tough. I stepped into view. Not wanting to interfere I was cautious and simply said, “Gonna need some help here?”. The response came quickly. “What do you think! ?”  She started to dig her heals in trying to control her charge and cursing like a trooper!. Meanwhile the two top guns that seemed to be of free will and abandon came charging towards us. They suddenly halted with the sound of a distant whistle, turned tail and with equal abandon flew off in the opposite direction.

We then looked at each other, shared passing amenities, and off she went.  I’ll never forget her. Nice crisp night I thought. Maybe I’ll get a dog. Another gust of wind-swept a cluster of leaves through my hair. Funny what the wind brings. I slowly removed one last clinging golden leaf and drifted home with a memory.

©J.E.Goldie 2018