Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Ghost of Druadian Forest

Another one of my written pieces I wrote as of late. Enjoy!

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The Ghost of Druadian Forest

I have walked in the wake of you for all these centuries
When you thought it was only your shadow.
Here, the moonlight sees to it that you would be safely home
As you walk among the night beasts.
Hear them stir and beat their ivory drums,
Watch the stars dance to its own refrain
Feel the brush of white butterflies against your arms
As you move silently in the maze of sleeping oak trees.

Can you feel the strands of my raven hair brush against your divine face?
You can thank the wind; it only wants to trigger long-forgotten dreams.
I am half-sick of listening to swan songs and caressing cold faces
Only the black owls are my true companions.
They whisper caution when I’m in the company of the living
But temptation always shrouds me with her fiery glow.

Deep into the forest I go,
Midnight strikes against the gleaming white walls
Where my huntsman lies forevermore.
It was he who found the roses for me, buried beneath the forest floor
Hidden among the cracked shells and smooth black stones.
For hours I lay still
Pressing my cheek against his stony face
As I call out his name.

Here dwell the masters of Triumph and Tragedy
Can't you hear their silent screams?
The beating of their heavy wings
Brush against my still worn heart.
Come morning, their battle cries are like ice melting into water
Which seep into my very bones
Releasing harder truths than I can bear.

For a spectre like me,
I'll never have a home to call my own
For this forest, like all good mothers
Hold lost souls (like me) together
Delivering me from evil.

Looking up, I see the moon appearing in the night sky.
I begin to feel my pace quickening.
Run.

Off I go again
In search of lost time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ode to Sherlock...and my Admittance to the Sherlockian School of Deduction



 There are those of you who may know me well enough to understand the delicate situation of the incredible maddening passion I undergo when it comes to my love of Sherlock Holmes. I thank my nine year old self for that.
 It all began when I was bored one day (as many of us nine year old selves would often find ourselves in) so I decided to hop over to the library near my house to see what sort of new releases they had in store in the children's section. Rather than take my pick on one of the Beatrix Potter stories,  my overwhelming curiosity let me to the adult fiction section. The shelves were much taller and the books seem so grand, so thick, and so different compared to the stuff they had for us kids. I wanted to touch all of their spines, to open each one of them and just...read. 
As I was absent-mindedly walking along the rows of shelves, one title stood out and I paused,
 The spine read: "The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Conan Doyle. 
Right there and then, I had the overwhelming urge to take a few deep breaths ( I got easily excitable at the prospect of a great read. Times haven't changed.),  pull the book out of its cozy place, bring it with me to the nearest armchair, open it, and be amazed by what was in store. Which is exactly what I did. 
Since then, Sherlock Holmes has been my hero in every sense of the word. I'd like to think that this sort of admiration has blend into my lifestyle in some way or another. I have listened and loved all the scores made for Sherlock Holmes, not to mention watched everything that was adapted to television and film, read every story and read other books regarding Sherlock and/or the author. In short: have anything Sherlock? Will read/listen/watch/research.  One might say that I am a Sherlockian in its truest extent.

Furthermore, I knew that one way or another, us Sherlockians would be in for quite a big surprise. And a big surprise it was, when on a trip to the mailbox early this morning, I was greeted by a mysterious black envelope sealed with a gold crest which I then immediately tore it open on the spot, read it, ran back home going:  "Oh my god, oh my god, it's really happening, I KNEW it!!"- booked a ticket to London, and began to pack.

Once you've read this, you would understand my irrepressible urge to skip down the sidewalk, whopping with excitement, and hugging random strangers throughout the entire time:


SHERLOCKIAN SCHOOL OF DEDUCTION. 
Headmaster: 
Sherlock M. Holmes
(Consulting Detective, self-declared High Functioning Sociopath, Genius.)


Dear Sherlockian,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Sherlockian School of Deduction. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on November 1. We await your owl by no later than October 31.

Yours sincerely,

John H. Watson,
Deputy Headmaster. 
________________________________
SHERLOCKIAN SCHOOL OF DEDUCTION 

Uniform
First-year students will require:
  1. Seven sets of woolly jumpers (preferably cable-knit)
  2. One plain scarf (navy blue) for day wear.
  3. One Milford coat (black)
  4. One umbrella (black, wooden handle; family sized)
  5. Two Westwood suits (black)
  6. One lab coat (white)
  7. One forensics sterilized suit (blue)
  8. One “bobby” uniform (reflectant vest, checkered hat)
Please note that all pupil’s clothes should carry name tags.

Set Books
All students should have a copy of each of the following
  • The Stories of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Science of Deduction by Sherlock Holmes
  • Notions in Army Medicine by John Watson
  • The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout (Also known as DI Lestrade’s writing alias)
  • How to Run a Country While on a Diet by Mycroft Holmes
  • Dealing with the Jerk you Love by Sally Donovan and Molly Hooper
  • Psycopaths: The rules to spot and/or become one by Jim Moriarty and F. Anderson
Other Equipment
  • British Army Browning L9A1
  • 1 Pocket spyglass
  • 1 lab kit (vials of various sizes, chemicals capable of causing explosions combined)
  • Jam and Milk supplies for the rest of the Year
Students may also bring a cat OR a fox OR a hegehog OR a bee OR a dinosaur OR a hammerhead shark.

Of course, when it comes the wardrobe part, I will be tweaking it a bit according to my suitability. I look forward to owning a British Army Browning L9A1. Don't look surprised- us Sherlockians secretly want to own one.
I was thinking of bringing my hammerhead shark- his name is Gladstone- but I don't think he could fit into my suitcase, the poor chap. My second choice would be a fox. I imagine I would name it Watson.




So if I unexpectedly vanish from my usual haunts in Toronto- you know where I am.




Joanne






(Note: This wonderful letter was inspired by disequilibrium- I took out the "Badassery" part because the Sherlockian School of Deduction is itself, already badass. It needs no further emphasis.)


Sunday, October 16, 2011

In This Way Only


Painter: Janet Hill



The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only.


- Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Second's Thought


(Photo: Oxford's Bodleian Library)

Lovely minds, think alike:

Virginia Woolf  described walking past a library at Oxford in contemplation: “I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse perhaps to be locked in.”



(Photo: Inside the Bodleian Library)

I have always dreamt of opening a book store that would reminisce an atmosphere Sherlock Holmes would enjoy walking through, in a lovely neighbourhood somewhere within the city. If that can't be done, I will continue to improve and collect unique editions and rare books as I have done thus far, and create the most stunning home library the world has ever seen.
 A girl can dream...and possibly succeed.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Prelude

Prelude
Tomas Tranströmer


Awakening is a parachute jump from the dream.
Freed from the choking vortex, the diver
sinks towards the green map of morning.
Things magnify. He sees, from the fluttering lark's
position, huge tree-root systems
like branchings of subterranean chandeliers. Above ground,
in tropical flood, earth's greenery
stands with lifted arms, as if listening
to the beat of invisible pistons. And he
sinks towards summer, is lowered
into its dazzling crater, lowered
between fissures of moist green eons
trembling under the sun's turbine. Then halts
the downward dive through time's eyeblink, the wingspread
becomes an osprey's glide over streaming water.
Bronze Age trumpets:
their outlaw tune
hangs motionless over the void.


In the day's first hours consciousness can own the world
like a hand enclosing a sun-warm stone.
The skydiver stands under the tree.
With the plunge through death's vortex
will light's great chute spread over his head?


To my great delight and much cheers, a hearty congratulations to Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, who has won the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature.
The reason for his win? "...through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality".
Tranströmer's words are so mesmerizing, capturing our world and the human understanding with such depth, it is fair to say that he is one of a kind- not to mention he's also a favourite poet of mine! He is truly one of the greatest Scandinavian poets.
Although you may not have known of his existence previously, you sure do now. Look into some of his works at your local bookstores today.

Monday, September 19, 2011

September Love

"Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower."



This morning as I looked outside my window, I was glad to acknowledge that soon, there would be a change on nature's landscape. September has finally arrived at our doorstep. I for one, love Fall and the many events and things to do during this season is what makes it so lovely as well as nature putting on a spectacular display of colour found on the leaves of trees, an orchestrated suite of its departure before Winter settles in.

Why I love Fall:

Sipping on apple cider and pumpkin spice latte.
Decorating my place for Fall.
Making leaf lanterns and Fall garlands- with the leaf lanterns, it's so incredibly beautiful when you light it up at night.
Painting out in my grandmother's backyard, or somewhere in the city like the on the Toronto Islands, High Park, or the Beaches.
Picking apples at an apple orchard.
Biking around Toronto Islands at this time.
Planting bulbs for Spring.
Hosting indoor picnics.
Taking road trips.
Horseback riding.
Making apple pie.
Helping out for great causes as Peace by Peace, and running for the Princess Margaret Hospital's 5K Run for Cancer.
The scent of cinnamon in the air and fallen leaves.
Stepping on crunchy leaves- yes, I love it!
Parlour game nights.
Amazing reads and films to absorb.
And most of all....


Downton Abbey is back on Sunday evenings! It's a special Sunday kind of love.
Series Two is under way and certainly the atmosphere of World War One really adds meaningful moments-no matter who you are, rich or poor, all are affected by war one way or another.

The train scene during the first episode of Series Two was heartbreaking. I swear, this is the only show that gets me a bit teary-eyed in almost every scene.


Out of all the girls though, I especially like Lady Sybil (pictured in the middle). However I like all of the characters in Downton- each have such a unique personality and story behind them- there are no minor characters in this show, which is fantastic.



As well, I was super touched to have been contacted by Laura Godfrey, Assistant Director of Book Club In a Box, to be interviewed about my book club for their September's Book Club Spotlight!
Here is their blurb found in their newsletter:
For this month's spotlight, we spoke to Joanne from Toronto, who founded the Matchbook Book Club three months ago with the hope of sparking "discussions in meetings that would have the charm and feel of a literary salon."

According to Joanne, "during certain months, I add an interesting twist and make it themed. In July, it was mystery-themed and so our pick was a classic: Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. For the month of September, the theme will be 'the Nostalgic Romantic,' and for October, in light of Halloween, the theme will be 'Wonderstruck Noir.' During our last meeting (for Murder on the Orient Express), we incorporated a murder mystery game called 'Poirot Investigates.'"
In terms of what I am reading at the moment I am actually juggling two at the moment- one is for my book club and one for leisure:
The book club selection:



England, 31st of August, 1939.

The world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, and enigmatic childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn in their unravelling relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes- and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair, with unforeseen consequences.
A story of longing, loss and complicated loyalties, combining a sweeping narrative with subtle pyschological observation, The Very Thought of You is not just a love story, but a story about love.


And the other:



Have heard about this book, but never really got around to it, until my friend was talking about it and then lend the book to me. He said the book is an eye-opener, so I took a chance. I am halfway through it and every time a chapter ends, I find myself looking up and staring off into the distance, taking in everything I've just read as it's so unbearably inspiring. I love this one quote Morrie says that "sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel... even when you're in the dark. Even when you're falling."


Joie de vivre,


Joanne

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Where Dreams May Come

The Armadillo
Elizabeth Bishop



This is the time of year
when almost every night
the frail, illegal fire balloons appear.
Climbing the mountain height,

rising toward a saint
still honored in these parts,
the paper chambers flush and fill with light
that comes and goes, like hearts.

Once up against the sky it's hard
to tell them from the stars --
planets, that is -- the tinted ones:
Venus going down, or Mars,

or the pale green one. With a wind,
they flare and falter, wobble and toss;
but if it's still they steer between
the kite sticks of the Southern Cross,

receding, dwindling, solemnly
and steadily forsaking us,
or, in the downdraft from a peak,
suddenly turning dangerous.

Last night another big one fell.
It splattered like an egg of fire
against the cliff behind the house.
The flame ran down. We saw the pair

of owls who nest there flying up
and up, their whirling black-and-white
stained bright pink underneath, until
they shrieked up out of sight.

The ancient owls' nest must have burned.
Hastily, all alone,
a glistening armadillo left the scene,
rose-flecked, head down, tail down,

and then a baby rabbit jumped out,
short-eared, to our surprise.
So soft! -- a handful of intangible ash
with fixed, ignited eyes.

Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry!
O falling fire and piercing cry
and panic, and a weak mailed fist
clenched ignorant against the sky!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Before I Go To Sleep

Hello everyone,

Came across this beautiful animated short film called "The Invention of Love" and would love to share with all of you. It truly is a love story from the world of gears and bolts. Enjoy!







Joie de vivre,

Joanne

Monday, August 1, 2011

A lifetime of Summer

In August, most of Europe goes on holiday. -Tony Visconti

Hello everyone!

(Beautiful lanterns I took a shot of while sailing on the Kajama)

So far, looking back at the things I have done in July- I must say I did all that I could.
One of the things I am most fond of in particular as a summertime activity, is going down the Harbourfront and sail out to the lake!

I never take a leisurely day for granted- I find such a heightened sense of pleasure doing simple things as strolling around in the early morning, catching up on a read that can't be put down even when it's late at night, exploring different paths and places in the city and of course, writing!
In my mind, each season carries activities that are so inviting. Take Summer- sailing, going on picnics, painting, and outdoor events. In the Fall, comes archery and horseback riding (which I look forward to).


Just this past week, I went on board the Kajama, where it took us out on the lake and went behind all of the islands.


It was such a gorgeous day out- a tad bit on the warmer side- but as we moved along, a cool wind made its presence known and was so inviting.



The Toronto Islands is such a  beautiful sight from up above. I shot this while up on the CN Tower- a perfect view to see all of the city and beyond.



More pictures while on the Kajama. It's so peaceful and relaxing while you're drifting away- it was very nice as we went beyond the Toronto Islands where on the brink stood a red lighthouse and a view on one side of an island which seemed inhibited except for these huge masses of birds perching on the barren trees and near the shore.



While on board, my friend and I grabbed some lunch- of course I had to order Fish and Chips- what else?




Joie de vivre,

Joanne

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