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Wednesday, 22 August 2007

The Scoop on the New House

Alright, now that we've been moved in for a week and a half, I feel that I am qualified to give an opinion on the house. Not to mention feeling like I have the time to give an opinion...

The Good

The deck. It is HUGE. It is loverly. It's just a nice peaceful spot to sit out and eat supper, or to hold deck party barbecues. (I hope)

The skylight. I like to just sit under it and look out. Or I would, if I had time to do that.

The dishwasher. Not washing dishes=always a good thing.

The floors and the paint colours. Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous.

Air conditioning. :)

All the little things that are normal to other people but seem like a treat after living in a 150-year-old house my whole life: lots of closets, lots of plugs, no mildew, no squirells in the walls, a basement that doesn't flood every time it rains...

The Bad

All the work that had to be put into it to get to this point.

All the work that still needs to be done.

The basement... dark and dingy and ugly. And where I live.

Overall

The good definitely outweighs the bad. Eventually, everything will get done, and mom and dad will be glad to have it the way they wanted it. So, all good.



In other news, the 'rents are in Newfoundland to visit my brother. I've got the house to myself from this morning til Monday. S. is staying over for the whole weekend, and I'm trying to organize a deck party for Saturday.

My laptop arrived on Monday. Ish good, ish very good. :) Pretty! And shiny. XD

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Poetry

These days, the Words bubble through me, not stopping long in my mind. They disturb the waters of my thoughts without breaking the surface of Poetry. No matter how hard I try, I cannot catch them and bend them to my will, instead they run, swiftly gone, never to be reclaimed.

Of late the Gift has been gone from me, the ability to let these flittering words flow onto paper. My mind can no longer articulate them into proper sentences and structures. So long I have been without that now the Words have returned, I no longer remember how.

Too many days, the Words have been bludgeoned into a guarded corner of my mind. Too long I have felt such pressure, the suppresion of emotion, the oppresion of my heart and the depression of my Writer's soul. One such as I is not meant to live like this, to hold back the Words, to not let them free. For now I have let the Words back into my Heart, my mind cannot deal with them.

For what is Poetry? Is it form, is it theme? But what is form? How shall I use it? A rhyme, a rhythm or a verse free of chains? And theme, theme, theme, you confound me no end! What content could I possibly put into a Poem profound enough to be worthy of the Words? Is it lament or praise, joy or sorrow, the garden of glory or the pit of despair?

In my mind it is all confused, I no longer feel the confidence of a Poet. How can I write that which I know not? But who can claim to "know" Poetry; to have met that divine being which leads us to joy? Who has reached that sweet Nirvana? Not I, not I, not I.

The Words still bubble, my Heart aches to let them loose, the blood quakes in my veins from the force of that longing. And yet my Mind stands in the way, refusing to quell the confusion and bring order to the thoughts. Art is gone until I free it from myself.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Exodus

I've just finished reading Exodus by Leon Uris. I must say, it is one of the most amazing books I have ever read.

I respect anyone who writes serious historical fiction. The perseverance and effort that goes into doing the research, plus the talent and imagination to create characters and fit them into the context properly - that is a lot of skill. And a lot of work. I can't even begin to imagine how many hours upon hours must have gone into this novel. Leon Uris, I applaud you.

The story starts with the British detention camps on Cyprus. These camps were set up to hold Jews who attempted to immigrate illegaly to Palestine immediately after the close of World War Two. The camps were little better than the concentration camps. No, there were not gas chambers or brutality or any of the most horrible things. But there was insufficient food and water, no medical surprise, thousands of people crammed into a small space...

It ends after the creation of Israel and the Jewish 'victory' in the War of Liberation.

Throughout the novel, Uris takes us back in time to tell the stories of various characters, giving a background to where they are in the present. In one case he goes back to the character's grandfather and tells that story all the way up to the character's youth just to give us the proper context for his personality and background.

The novel brought to light many things I had never realized about the Jewish struggle. The Russian Pale and the pogroms there in the late 18oos. I mean, I knew there has been anti-Semitism in the world pretty much as long as there have been Jews, but I didn't know all the nitty-gritty details. The ghettos of Poland - a half million Jews living in a space of six city blocks by twelve city blocks, cut off from the rest of the world. The Polish persecution of Jews which continued even after the Germans had withdrawn. I didn't realize how bad the British detention camps were. And of course, the struggle for Israel.

Oh, I knew what they went through to get into Palestine. I knew what they want through to get the partition sanctified by the UN. I knew about the War of Liberation and the incredible odds the Jews were fighting against, the crushing forces of the Arab armies. But I didn't know how much work they had to do once they were in. What they went throught just to buy land - and then to reclaim it, defend it, and try to build from it? It's amazing.

I would highly reccomend this book to anyone. Not only is the story of the Jews amazing, but Uris weaves a spellbinding tale of love and betrayal, happiness and sorrow, and incredible strength through his very real characters.

I maintain the highest respect for both the Jewish race as a whole and for Mr. Leon Uris.