When Does A Quest End?
When one has found the Holy Grail?
When one has slayed the dragon?
When one has rescued the princess?
When one has found the Unicorn?
When one has reached the goal?
I started this blog at the end of September 2008 with this thesis in mind:
Why? Why am I doing this? Why write a blog? Why delve into the essence of who I am? I’m intrigued by memoir and confession and living vicariously. My real life is quiet. My fantasy life is legion. My inner life, like everyone else’s, is gigantic.
My one goal when I started was to blog weekly. I’ve done that.
I’ve published 425 posts and I have 150 draft ideas sitting around waiting to be used. This will be post number 426. Its been eight years since my first post.
But most of this year’s posts have been photo challenges and small (somewhat) fun posts.
I think I may be done.
More often than not, I put off writing a blog post until the last moment.
I think I may be finishing this quest.
This may be my last blog post. It may not.
If I post again, my next post will probably be a Halloween post.
How do you know when your quest is ending?
I’ve moved a lot since I graduated from Grade Twelve. At least twenty times. I downsized every time! I gave away things. I gave up things. I sold things. I lost things. I don’t miss most of those things.
I gained as much as I lost!
There are two things I miss.
Words. I miss words.
Words that I wrote.
The first is a short story I wrote when I was sixteen; there was an unicorn and a black rose in it. For years after, I searched out information on black roses. (This was before the internet). Were they possible? Could you grow pure black roses? This was a topic I researched from 1975 until the 1990s and I still don’t know the answer. I know you can create black roses by dying them. I know that there are red and deep purple roses that will look black in certain types of light. But to grow a genetically perfect black rose; still impossible I fear.
But back to the story. I sent it into Seventeen magazine. I got back a form rejection slip with a very encouraging note written on it in someone’s handwriting. I’ve lost the note as well. I remember thinking “Now, I am a writer!”
The second of my words that I lost was a romance novel.
I wrote it as an experiment. I wanted to see if I could write 50,000 to 70,00 words. This was the length of a Harlequin romance novel back then.
My first draft. My only draft. I write shorter now: blog posts, essays, memoirs. I’ve not attempted anything longer. Maybe I will. Maybe this November. It was a typical 1980s romance. It was probably staid and priggish. My friend Twyla liked. She was the only one who read it. I did nothing with it.
Though, it might be in my hope chest. So might the short story.
I’ve moved the hope chest here, there and everywhere but I seldom explore deep in its depths. There are bombs in there – my wedding pictures, my parent’s after-divorce letters and other such emotional flotsam and jetsam!
I try to stay away from bombs even though there might be treasures also strewn within the minefield!
Thus, these things I’ve left behind may never be found!
I was born in 1949, and by the time I was 10, I figured out that my hope chest was not aimed in the same direction as everybody else’s was. And that life was going to be very, very complicated. And that I could either be provocative and declamatory, or shy, retiring and scared. ~Dorothy Allison
I’ve written before about the reality and consequences of buying my own toys.
How once I had bought myself the Thumbelina doll I had so desperately yearned for at seven and what happened to her.
I’ve written about the reality of being poor during the holiday season.
I don’t remember making Christmas lists or visiting Santa to ask for what I wanted. We were poor. I knew we were poor and I understood I was to be grateful for what I got no matter what it was. I remember wanting a Thumbelina doll so bad and never getting one.
I’ve always been poor. I’ve never made more than $3,000 a month (not poor for a year or two) and I’ve lived on less than $7,000 a year (poorish). I say poorish because I’ve always had adequate food & shelter. What I’ve wanted for is the extras like raspberries in January or the latest fad toy.
So, when I can I indulge myself in silly things as inexpensively as possible.
Like this troll. Growing up, in the 1960s, I yearned for a troll doll or a million like my friend Laura had. I loved their long, wild, vividly coloured hair and cute little physique! Laura also had a troll castle or at least I remember it as being a castle but according to the ubiquitous internet there is no such thing! My memory is not wrong ever (LOL)!
We spent many an afternoon upstairs in the cop shop (her dad was our small town police officer) playing with her naked troll dolls. I don’t remember her troll dolls having clothes or belly jewels. Anyway, everyone knows naked dolls are best!
I just remember how badly I wanted one. And now I have one. She lives in the kitchen keeping watch with her two frog friends beside her. I got her and the frogs for free. They were some of the lost and unclaimed tchotchkes that somehow ended up in the high school library when I worked there. Teenagers carry around the strangest things! At the end of the year anything unclaimed was repurposed. Thus, I acquired a troll doll with not too weird blonde hair and a trio of frogs, one legless – poor thing. Adults collect the strangest things!
I also have some Wonder Woman stuff. She’s my favourite Super Hero! She’s strong and independent just like me! She belongs to a community of like-minded women. She’s been around for a very long time. She’s a hero after my own heart.
The doll was acquired in 2004 when I was old. Way too old for Barbie dolls. I paid around $25.00 for her. She was part of a trio that also included Batgirl and Supergirl. Looking back, I should have bought all three.
I’m not the only women who yearns for Super Heroine figurines as the new 2016 collection implies.
Wonder Woman is guarded by Mama elephant and I’ve never used the Wonder Woman pen and pencil set.
I’ve bought toys for myself for over thirty years now. The crystal unicorn was a gift to myself when I was still married. The MASH jeep invokes feeling of nostalgia for a 1970s TV show that was fun and provocative. Cawper, the poppet, is recent and makes me smile.
The Lego warrior I spent way too much money on. She was one of the mini figures in the series that included the librarian. I wanted the librarian so badly that I spent over $100.00 on buying the series mini figures. I never got the librarian but discovered I liked the warrior woman almost as much. She is guarding the baby elephant in the photo above!
Ah, nostalgia. It is the reason for most of my toy purchases. Like this Gumby and Pokey that brings back warm memories of sitting in front of the TV watching cartoons and having fun. Everything old is new again. My parents told me this once or twice. I didn’t believe them then. I didn’t believe that history repeats itself. The older I get the more I see the truth in this statement.
Here is the latest toy I bought myself. Rey, from the new Star Wars movie. She cost under $20.00 and I bought her partly because I never owned a Leia doll. I was a teenager when the first Star Wars movie was released and was not buying toys for myself then.
I leave you with a chocolate death star (Lindt really missed the mark here; this could have been a marketing bonanza).
Not matter how poor I get I will keep buying myself toys that make me smile.
I was gone 7 days; 7 days people!! Over those seven days, I took almost 700 pictures. After daily and preliminary deletions, I still have over 650 pictures to label and name, which, contrary to good intentions, I have not started to do.
This week, I’ve decided to give you a picture from each day. Not the picture that best sums up the day but the picture I enjoy most from that day.
Saturday, May 15: Glasgow… in the late afternoon light and taken through the bus window.
Monday, May 17: West Coast, Loch Ness and Inverness… this is my bear Garbo. She came to Scotland with me. Yes, she is named after Greta Garbo. She was not the only secret guest on this trip – also traveling with us was a three inch gnome named Sally. If I get a picture of him from his family, I will post it.
Tuesday, May 18: Isle of Skye … in this picture the Isle looks very desert-like.
Wednesday, May 19: Culloden, Speyside and Perthshire… Culloden is a major battlefield. I knew very little Scottish history before I read the Outlander series of books. I picked up a basic history book in this museum’s bookstore and look forward to reading it. This afternoon we toured a whisky distillery. Yes, there were samples.
Thursday, May 20: Perthshire, St Andrews and Edinburgh… This view to the North Sea was taken at St Andrews from the St Andrews Cathedral ruins. I was trying to be artistic. You’ll see a lot more of the graveyard, eventually, as this is where I took the majority of my pictures on Thursday.
Friday, May 21: Hopelessly lost in Edinburgh… for two hours on a hot afternoon; I got sunburned and crabby. I’ll tell you the complete story before the summer is over. 🙂
Saturday, May 22: Heading home… no actual pictures from that very long, 18 hr day – what with losing 6 – 7 hours overall. This Sheep (Shawn) kept me smiling.
This is my major complaint about digital cameras – it is too easy and inexpensive too overload the senses with images.
I need more words and fewer pictures.
Thus, I am only going to print out my favorite 20 – 30 pictures to show off when people ask how my trip was!