As I posted the blog title, I wondered why I was capitalizing the l in letter still, I had already changed the c to lowercase putting it in its proper place because I refuse to give the c-word priority in my life.
“Action expresses priorities.” ―
Once this is all said and done I’m changing my title to the Letter-P. Aren’t the words beginning with P much more practical skills set to have.
“Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.”
My day began with black coffee followed by me writing a limerick responding to Elaine Chilton’s prompt screech. Facebook shared a picture as I was pondering of a turtle I snapped a picture of creeping away from the noise created by screeching child on the beach at Barnegat Bay. Timing is everything, the perfect picture for the limerick. Serendipity at its best. 🙂
Two mornings in a row my first writing attempts have been poems. I’m very pleased with both of them. I’m going to share the limerick in my writing group but the cancer poem I’m not because I don’t want the dynamics of our group discussion changed.
On Sunday nights, my writing group, although it sounds and feels awkward to refer to them as my. We’re all so different, we write different genres, like different music basically march to different drums except for our love of the writing craft.
Sunday nights on zoom, we discuss a different short story each week. This week was Chance by Alice Munro. I enjoyed the way the story meandered from present to past and back, fantasy to reality with the occasional wave breaking as Jane Alison would say. The initial indication that the story wasn’t going to be a sweep me off my feet romance was the protagonist’s name Juliet and in the second paragraph out on movie date with her friend that shares intimate details of her own relationship and she confesses a similar issue.. That detail was also reinforced with the mention of Shakespeare later on.
Once our protagonist is on the train heading unannounced to her paramour’s location she is approached by a total stranger while reading who is seeking a chum. It immediately raised the feminine cry in me, why do men always assume because you’re alone you must have company. Added to the presumption was placed an expected need of her, to be his chum. People make the assumption women will be nicer than men when interrupted. She quickly departed to another location to avoid any further engagement. Unfortunately later on she learns the man who wanted a chum committed suicide using the train they were riding on. So now she has a self-imposed guilt burden all because of her desire to be left alone. The author’s demonstrated for every action is a reaction vice versa. Was it fate or karma? If that’s not enough stress she has the awkwardness of her period when the train isn’t moving and she can’t clear the toilet water of her blood but also a recall of the man’s blood sprayed on the train. In her mind it would be no more foul or frightful than her own menstrual blood. Keeping in mind the story’s time frame was in 1965 when discussion of women’s cycles was taboo.
Juliet discussed what happened with Eric Porteous about the man’s death and he tells her initially that she may want to be careful in the future but when she calls him out on his dismissal of her guilt. He tells her that things will happen in her life that will actually make this moment minor in the grand scheme.
We later learn this is memory of her first meeting with her paramour who she decides she will go to see at his home. So we have meandered a bit before we arrive at the final destination where she discovers not only has his ill wife passed but he’s intimate with another woman or at least that’s what the woman who cleans for Eric discloses. Instead of fleeing she stays and instead of him sending her on her way they settle into an arrangement that meets their needs or does it.
This was my first time reading Alice Munro’s work. I enjoyed the story immensely and will definitely be reading more of her work because I enjoyed how she inspired me to think about a woman’s life in general. I remembered the fear I had initially getting my period and then being told women were cursed that’s why we had periods. The embarrassment of the huge pads showing at the time and having to sneak to buy tampons. Then I recalled my first job and discovering I was hired at the same time as a man but he was receiving higher wages than me even though we both had identical jobs and identical dates of hire. The damn system at the time wasn’t fair. Unfortunately, there are still many examples still happening. Our conversation in the group wandered off topic a bit with each of sharing similar incidences.
If you haven’t read Alice Munro, I recommend you do.
Dinner at the Crains tonight:
I’ve been sharing culinary tools for you about fighting cancer. Tonight’s dinner is from the Cancer Fighting Cookbook, with the recipe Stir-fried Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms. I know when I was younger I was intimidated making Asian fare because I was clueless on how to prepare it since it wasn’t a typical dish in my family. The recipe is very precise on the preparation for those still inexperienced. I’m going to serve it with poached salmon. Asian vegetables are loaded with healthy phytochemicals. This particular recipe the author, Rebecca Katz assures has two power houses of phytochemicals bok choy and the shiitake mushrooms. Bok choy and mushrooms are anti-inflammatory. Bok choy is also anti-bacterial. Both are good things.
Continuing on our helpful list is:
Barley is anti-flammatory. Lignan one of barley’s phytochemicals binds with estrogen receptors and is said to help women with estrgoen related breast cancer. The high fiber content of barley aids in our digestion and bowel function which we all need.
Basil is a digestive aid, anti-flammatory, anti-microbial. It has two flavonoids that protect human cells from radiation and free radical damage. I’ve used basil to flavor salads, prepared dishes for years but I also found it very helpful when I’ve had a sore throat or irritated mouth. I chew on the raw leaves. If you would rather not chew it simply add the basil leaves to boiling water and let it steep before straining and drinking.
Song of the Day:
Black by Pearl Jam feels appropriate for the clouds hanging over us. I know there’s a light in the tunnel, we just haven’t found the right switch yet but I know we will because together Vic and I have the greatest gift ever, love. We may need some help but we will get there. We’ll find the path back to what’s beautiful even though right it now seems impossible.
“Life is messy. Grit and grace come at us fast, side by side. Sometimes the grit becomes overwhelming and diminishes our spirit. What’s good seems lost and gone forever. ” ~ Sharon E. Rainey
“I take a walk outside, I’m surrounded by some kids at play
I can feel their laughter, so why do I sear
Oh and twisted thoughts that spin ’round my head
I’m spinning, oh I’m spinning, how quick the sun can drop away
And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass
Of what was everything
All the pictures have all…” Pearl Jam