Saturday, August 19, 2006

Here and gone again (again)

I never imagined that unemployment could be this close to perfect. Too bad I couldn't get paid for it. Oh wait. I AM. Life really is perfect (money ends in November...panic will set in shortly).

This post has the potential of being somewhat longish, covering a whole range of interesting topics. I suggest you grab a coffee or beverage of your choosing, pull up and enjoy. Heather art in fair moode.

Eric and the boys have just left for their long trek to Montreal to stay with his clan. I have a whole 36 hours TO MYSELF. Why only 36? Keep reading. I can't remember the last time I spent 36 hours mostly alone. It was most likely last June when Eric took the kids to Montreal. Although I have the day pretty much planned with unfun stuff such as chores and employment letter writing, I'll savor it just the same. At the same time, a small uneasy feeling settles in my stomache, with the kids gone, the mother panic hormones kick in and I worry. What ifs abound. With an 8 hr highway drive ahead of them, you can surely put your imagination to work. A diversion is what I need...

First thing is first, MC Etcher has been patiently awaiting the news of my recent interview. Well, my intuition was completely correct on this did not materialize. What irks me, is that while job seekers need to become penultimate brown nosers and ass kissers, writing everything from inflated praise about potential employers to crafting pseudo-sincere thank-you notes from unrequited interviews, the employers get off pretty easy in this very one sided relationship. I heard NOTHING, which I am to conclude means "REJECTED" in bold red ink. A least an impersonal form letter would be appreciated. It would be painful to read, but it may take the sting out of the eschewal. I'll read the silence as a pure act of cowardace. Stop this Heather, you have now set fire to your bridge. And on I apply. Remember I mentioned that unemployement is close to perfection.

Last Friday, we loaded up the van for a camping trip to Fundy National Park. It was a grand excursion. We stayed two nights, and it rained both days. It was one of those late-afternoon cloud bursts, lasting only an hour or so, to be followed by a radiant sunset over alpine forests, soon followed by an infinity of glittery stars. Owen even saw his first shooting star. I located ursa Major and Minor, Casseopia and Orion. The following day we explored the park and did a few hiking trails. Dickson Falls is worth mentioning, yet I fear that my words will fail me miserably. It is a small winding wooded trail, leading to, you guessed it, a waterfall. The old growth forest, populated by elderly pine, spruce, oak and maple towers over a rich carpet of stone, moss and fern. As you steadily, and gently descend down the path, the rocks grow emense, until you are in a veritable hallway of boulder and moss, and in the distance you can hear it...the steady sound of water and rock. This is not a waterfall that will beat worldly records in its size, scope or volume. A river feeding into the bay of fundy cascades down countless moss carpeted tiers, and rushes in a swift rivulet into the darkened wood. There were definately fairies here. You can just tell. In another dimension I inhabit a roughly hewn chalet on its banks. It rained quite steadily late in the day and we spent time near a wood stove in a camping shelter. Eric and I cooked some Fundy scallops and the kids played cards. The weather did not dampen our spirits.

Then it was back home for a coupld of days, for laundry and kitty tending. Then it was back in the van and off to Prince Edward Island. Eric found a hotel that offered a small vacation package - kids eat free, continental breakfast included and passes to Green Gables and Cavendish provincial park. We spent our first afternoon there exploring Charlottetown, indulging in the infamous Cows ice cream. I even bumped into a student of mine. The next day, we visited Green Gables, (very quaint, and completely lost on the kids.) The rest of the day was spent on Cavendish beach. Oh my. This was an orgasm of sand, ocean and surf. The kids jumpted into the pounding waves, and took great delight in being bowled over, and later warming up in the velvety sand. Ah.
The only slightly odd thing about the trip, if you even want to call it that, was our dining arrangement. Eric and I discussed finding a nice restaurant to indulge in some lobster. However, both of us knew that lobster dining and with our kids would probably lead to disaster. Our kids dine out well at McDonalds. Anything involving sitting for more than 10 minutes gets a bit dodgy. So Eric proposed that I dine out the first night (alone) and he the second. All those pop-therapists who tout the importance of couple time be damned. It worked.
We arrived home yesterday, and Eric, decided to head out this morning.

I had made plans early this summer to take a two week retreat at my beloved Buddhist meditation centre, Dorje Denma Ling in Tatamagouche Nova Scotia. I never solidifies my plans mostly on the faint hope that I would end up with a new job. On the way home, Eric was plotting out his leave for Montreal, and I decided that a week alone might do me very well. I was slightly put off by the thought of a 4 hr bus trip and 25$ cab ride to the center, and thought I would find a nice fall weekend retreat. When I arrived home I had two phone messages from the centre.
The first, requested that I communicate my travel plans and the second informed me that a dear aquaintance would be able to offer me a ride. This set my plans in motion. I confirmed the ride, and then my stay at Dorje Denma Ling. I compromised my trip to one week, which will be a mostly silent meditation retreat, accompanied by Oryioki and oh my god meals. I did this retreat last year - and I consider this to be a good brainscrubbing....which is what I need from the fall out of the past year of tribulation from work. Tomorrow at noon I leave. I'll keep a journal and blog it when I return.

Are you still with me? I know I know, too much excitement for one post.

A couple more things left to mention. First a reading recommendation. If you have not yet discovered Terry Pratchett's Discworld series...pick up The Colour of Magic and get on with it! I chawed through it on my PEI trip, and heartily look forward to the rest of the series (which is an amazing number of sequels). And if you have heard hide nor hair of this authour...he is positively delish!! A brillaint combination of fantasy, imagination, wicked satire and brilliant writing. If you like Douglas Adams, then you'll love Terry Pratchett. My laugh out loud reaction has even convinced Eric to read it upon his return.

Last, there are some momentous things happening in my former department. Because my core circle of very good friends (bosom friends as Anne would put it) are still part of this department, I am still very well informed of its comings and goings. Two of the four full time members, one being the former chair who wrought such torment last year, has taken sick leave until January. Don't worry or pity them. Its pathetic. Trust me on this one. This is all very sudden, and there is some desperate scrambling to deal with the catastrophe that continues to unfold. Unfortunately, this does not open up possibilites for me. Who played the fiddle while Rome burned? Or who was part of the quartet that played as the titanic sank? I sort of feel like those people, although I expect the sinking musicians had much more at stake than I. I have a tasty website of the former chair. If you are interested, e-mail me and I shall link. I'm still trying to keep things someone obscure and unnamed. But this website really gives the briefest of hints about what sort of people I am dealing with.

So, until next week, adieu adieu.

Oh, and some picks.... Go thither!


hotboy said...

Terry Pratchett is the most shop lifted writer in Britain. Looking forward to hearing about your retreat. Hope your back holds out! Hotboy

Arwen said...

Wonderful pix, I want to go to Fundy now. Maybe next summer, Hubby said he never wants to see ninety degrees again so I bet I could talk him into it. I have to cold is the water up there?

TrudyJ said...

Another recommendation for Terry Pratchett ... Ok I really have to get his books.

Enjoy your retreat (is "enjoy" the appropriate word for a retreat I wonder?) Have an enlightening time, anyway...

MC Etcher said...

Sorry to hear about the job! It's their loss.

Very cool pics! Beautiful, and very professional-looking.