Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mind the Gap!

As is my wont, my mind has been a great whirlwind of thoughts, ideas, and emotions.  Let me give you an example of how the thought process of my mind works:

I'm almost finished another painting. Thank god!  Only three more left to do.... Three more paintings before Christmas?! Yikes! Am I NUTS taking on so much work? No, no, I love it - it makes me feel alive!  I also need to order more cards and calendars and jigsaw puzzles and giclees.  Then I have to take pictures of everything and put them all up on my website and the Etsy website, and advertise on Facebook and Twitter......

It's Christmas in two weeks.  How can that be?  I love Christmas.  I hate Christmas.  I love Christmas.  I hate Christmas. I love Christmas. Parties, getting together with close friends. Eating, drinking, laughing. I hate Christmas.  I love Christmas.  I hate Christmas.  Memories of being in debt, fear of sliding down that steep slope again. Living in poverty has made me cynical.  "Simpler Times" - were they ever real or just an illusion? I love Christmas.  I hate Christmas.   I love Christmas.  I hate Christmas.  Childhood memories make me smile and feel nostalgic.  Memories of Rob at Christmas make me smile and feel nostalgic.  They also make me weep and want to rip my heart out to escape the pain of missing him.

Yesterday, after dinner, I was thinking about everything I've said here and more.  And as I ran my tongue over the sensitive gap in my mouth where, until last Thursday, my decaying tooth had been, I thought to myself, This is it!  This will be what I'm going to write about in my next blog entry.  Not about my missing tooth exactly, although that was an experience in itself!  (Forty-five minutes of the dentist yanking and yanking at it, only to have him end up drilling into the bone and cutting my gum.  Like the rest of me, that tooth was one tough and resolute little bugger!)  I want to talk about change (sometimes difficult, sometimes not), and the slow, resigned way it is often accepted in our daily lives.

Apart from taking pain killers and penicillin, and reminding my employees to "mind the gap" when they help me brush my teeth, I've gotten used to the new way my mouth feels.

Loblaws has taken over Maple Leaf Gardens.  They had their grand opening on December 1st.  I've been there twice now, and both times I started crying because I knew Rob would have been so psyched to go inside and explore.  (The change over from abandoned sports arena to glorified grocery store has been in
the making for at least 8 years!  Both Rob and I would groan and exclaim, "When will it ever be finished?!") 

And finished it finally is; all bright, shiny,  and new.  And yet, for all the changes inside, I can still see and hear the crowds rushing past Rob and me in order to buy tickets and WWF (later WWE) merchandise, or to get to their seats.  Maple Leaf Gardens wasn't like SkyDome (the Rogers Centre now):  a person in a wheelchair could sit close to ringside and not be labeled a "fire hazard".  Sometimes Rob's cousin Shauna or nephew Corey would come with us, and we'd try to meet the WWF wrestlers before they went in to wrestle.  We met Hillbilly Jim, and I was amazed at how enormous he was.  I had drawn a picture of Hulk Hogan and Rob tried his damnedest to have me me meet that famous wrestler and give him the picture, but security was too tight and it  was just impossible to do.  It was the early days of our relationship, and Rob said, "I'd do anything for you, Sweety! You're the love of my life."

That's what Maple Leaf Gardens means to me. And now it's a fucking grocery store!

Such is life, though.  Nothing stays the same forever.  I'll get used to my tooth being gone and I'll soon stop crying when I shop at Maple Leaf Gardens.  I'll never get used to missing Rob, though.

We, as human beings, adapt to change and, for the most part, that's good.  However, there are things that we shouldn't just shrug our shoulders and accept.  Oil spills, global warming, nuclear power plant disasters to name only a few.

My friend Amy told me about an article she recently read about China and its Emperors.  Every time the country got a new ruler, its people were forced to abandon the old currency from the previous Dynasty and accept the new one.  As you can imagine, this system was troublesome, to say the least, especially if Emperors died or were killed off during a short space of time.  Its people rebelled in a creative way.  They refused to use the country's currency; instead, they traded with silver. The rulers knew they couldn't stop the people from doing this, so they made silver the official currency.

In this time of rebellion and upheaval, this aforementioned story gives pause for consideration.  People frustrated with the economy and finding a peaceful, creative way to make things happen.

Solidarity with all Occupiers and activists who seek to make positive changes to the world.


Barry said...

Annie, I hope that you spend this Christmas surrounded by friends and family and that you get those paintings done! :)

benivulka said...

i love you!!!! keep writing!