A change in the weather

It’s raining here in TO. It’s also raining at Camden Yards, a reality that caused the cancellation of my plans for the evening. As much as I loved the last double-header my Jays played (suck it, Yankees)- and will enjoy watching two in a row tomorrow, I was looking forward, after a day that saw me quite comprehensively flattened by a migraine, to watching the wonder continue tonight.

This team. My favourite player changes daily- I’m not usually fickle- so I’m saving all the love for the squad in its entirety. Although the one-on-one with Joey Bautista they showed before the Royals’ game started had me leaning toward right field. I love how he has embraced Toronto as his hometown- and stuck it out through the lean years (oh-so-many lean years) to finally receive his just desserts for the loyalty- and the always-solid performance he, at least, has given us. The thought of his free-agency, still a year away, is more than a little concerning.

Anyway, since the weather- at least partially complicit for the on-going pain in my head- has further conspired to keep me from watching some ever-increasingly-engaging baseball, my thoughts have turned to the transfer of seasons that this particular front is bringing in its wake. Temperatures are set to fall- after warmer/more humid-than-usual days over the past little while.

For the first time in years, my annual September camp-buds cottage weekend did not require layer-upon-layer of winter-type clothing to prevent perishing from hypothermia- so that was nice.

The warmer temps served to extend a summer that was a mixed-bag of positive and negative. There’s the stellar entertainment and together-bringing energy that my next-door neighbours are providing- this is nothing but good.

But I had to make a hard decision a couple of weeks ago and say goodbye to one of my beloved cats. I miss him- and still wonder if I made the right call. He’d been through a lot- we’d been through a lot, together- and prognoses did not support recovery.

He was a good boy, my little Dude.

His name was Enki- after the Mesopotamian god of, among other things, wisdom- a vain attempt to counter-act some of the attributes of the self-fulfilling name I’d given his sister, Tiamat. If she was chaos embodied in the body of a princess (and she is), then he was supposed to balance the crazy, somewhat. But, instead, he was just silly. And loving. And with such a good nature tempered by just the smallest soupçon of wildness, that I adjusted his name somewhat. To Enkidu. The Wild Man. The beloved of Gilgamesh- that imperfect-yet-searching king-above-all-other-kings.

But even that adjustment didn’t seem quite right. So, in time, he became, simply, The Dude. Not necessarily in homage to that Lebowski guy, but not completely dissimilar in character, either. Laid back, goofy, and always in search of new friends.

Small things, perhaps – in the overall, larger chaos which the world, as a whole, seems determined to continue to suborn while permitting credulous, superstition- and fear-based insanity to flourish – but markers, like the rain outside my window, of change.

And change can be hard. Even when it’s reallyreally necessary.

Following the footsteps of a funeral pyre
You were paid not to listen now your house is on fire

Our house IS on fire- and a little September rain isn’t going to help significantly. Whether or not we want to be awake to that little fact. As mentioned, I’ve been, admittedly, distracted. So I haven’t weighed-in much – around here, at least – about the federal election race that has been going on now for what? Six months? Feels as if. It has been the longest in modern Canadian history. Thanks to our current-but-soon-to-be-former (if people are paying attention) PM, the mud-slinging has been going on for weeks upon weeks now.

No surprise we feel sleepy and disengaged after listening to the same ideological soundbites for the entire summer.

Harper’s latest tactic, now that the polls (useless, all things considered, as they may be) seem to indicate that he won’t be running away with anything, is to delve further into his dirty-tricks bag to expand upon the politics of division and hyperbolic rhetoric that have been the hallmarks of his too-long tenure as leader of this country.

He is sticking to ‘issues’ that emphasize our need to ‘protect’ ourselves from the Other– as he, and his speechwriters and lackeys, define that term. He is extremely concerned, for example, about the clothing that Canadian (or soon-to-be-Canadian) women choose to wear. CHOOSE to wear.

I won’t even attempt to illustrate the hypocritical and alarmist elements of his immigration policies and the complete and contemptuous disregard of the human tragedies playing out as refugees struggle for survival and escape in Europe. (Okay, so he’s not as bad as Trump – but I still can’t bring myself to believe that THAT guy is anything like a serious contender for political leadership).

The systematic deconstruction of those elements that have brought us, as a nation, global respect, continues unabated through the attack ads and inflammatory language he has employed over the course of the leaders’ debates and interviews with various news outlets. The damage he has done over the last decade or so has tarnished our image – and we are letting him get away with it.

For the price of some savings come tax time and an illusion of ‘national security’.

‘Paid not to listen’, indeed.

We are a little over two weeks away from a day of vital importance to all who call themselves ‘Canadian’.

I’ve seen an encouraging ramp-up of pleas pitched to those that are too-frequently under-represented in the voting booths. There are movements afoot pushing for voter presence from among our indigenous peoples (and what group, as a whole, have been treated as dismissively by this government?) and our young people (despite the fact that residency regulations make it difficult for those university students, away from their regular places of residence, to vote while at school).

A Canadian expat, unable (like Donald Sutherland– one of my favourite Canadians) to vote since he lives outside of Canada, has registered to run against Harper in his Calgary riding. While the ridiculous rule has been in place since 1993, Harper is the first to require that Elections Canada actually enforce it. Seems like even some from among his traditional power base aren’t completely happy about that particular policy…

Wake me up when things get started
When everything starts to happen

It’s happening. And we’re running out of time.

My features form with a change in the weather
Weekend, we can work it out
My features form with a change in the weather
Weekend, we can work it out

When the wind blows, when the mothers talk
When the wind blows
When the wind blows, when the mothers talk
When the wind blows, we can work it out

It’s not that you’re not good enough
It’s just that we can make you better
Given that you pay the price
We can keep you young and tender

Following the footsteps of a funeral pyre
You were paid not to listen now your house is on fire

Wake me up when things get started
When everything starts to happen

My features form with a change in the weather
Weekend, we can work it out
My features form with a change in the weather
Weekend, we can work it out

Some of us are horrified
Others never talk about it
But when the weather starts to burn
Then you’ll know that you’re in trouble

Following the footsteps of a soldier girl
It is time to put your clothes on and to face the world

Don’t you feel your luck is changing
When everything starts to happen
Put your head right next to my heart
The beat of the drum is the fear of the dark

My features form with a change in the weather
Weekend, we can work it out
My features form with a change in the weather
But in the weekend never, there’s a change in the weather
We can work it out

When the wind blows, when the mothers talk
When the wind blows
When the wind blows, when the mothers talk
When the wind blows, we can, only we can work it out 

Roland Orzabal said this about his lyric: “The song stems from two ideas. One is something that mothers say to their children about pulling faces. They say the child will stay like that when the wind changes. The other idea is inspired by the anti-nuclear cartoon book When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs.”

Mothers’ advice and a cautionary tale about the destruction that comes with war and war-mongering. Timeless themes, really. The song retains its status as a clarion call.

It’s October. Historically, not one of my favourite months. I’m looking for that, among other things, to change. We are post-season-bound for the first time in over two decades. We have a federal election in a few weeks that I have to believe will mark a shift in the direction that this country has been dragged.

Please. If there was ever a time to listen to the wind blowing, now, for Canadians, is that time. We have a decision to make- and a new direction to establish. In 18 days.

I saw a silly meme earlier today:

Some of us ARE horrified. So we’d best be putting on our grown-up clothes and make the effort to acknowledge the realities of the world- and those in whom we put our trust to lead us as a national and global community.

Unlike too many other places on our shared planet, we have choices. Please take the time to make sure you’re making one that best represents our shared vision of Canada.

Editorial note: the migraine I referenced waaaay up there ^^^ returned full force- rendering me unable to complete the post a couple of nights ago, and I spent last night well-engaged in the double-header that saw my Jays clinch the AL East (for the first time in over two decades) and then celebrate that reality (after a joke of a second game- Baltimore felt the need for some redemption, I’d guess, and the Boys in Blue were just eager to get to the party), so I wasn’t able to complete this little piece o’ something until tonight (after another Baltimore win- not that it really matters, now).

The evening has leant itself to writing- especially since I’m avoiding all media at the moment, not feeling capable of coping with the latest horror to stem from an American gun culture that is a nonsensical and it is repugnant.Especially since the last thing I saw about it seemed to indicate that the shooter was interested in the religious beliefs of those who were slaughtered. Politics of division+accessible weaponry? As that admirable POTUS said, ‘prayers’ ain’t gonna cut it (I’m paraphrasing).

The change in the weather has happened- I could have done with mittens this morning on my walk to work. Let’s hope it marks those political changes we NEED to see made manifest hereabouts over the next few weeks.

We can

Only we can work it out 

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20 comments on “A change in the weather

  1. I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your feline friend. Been there, and will be again.

    • colemining says:

      Thank you, Audrey. It never gets easier. Especially since Enki was a relatively young Dude. Can’t imagine life without them, though. Love the pictures of your lovelies! That’s a whole lot of puppy!

  2. quiall says:

    I am so very sorry about Enki. It is never easy to lose a companion. I am looking forward to how this election will change the political landscape in Canada. I am also a little scared. We’ll see . . . Love your post.

    • colemining says:

      Thank you, Sweetie. Still getting used to his absence- and his sister isn’t adjusting all that well, either, so that’s a bit concerning. Giving her lots of cuddles and trying to remember him with love rather than sadness.

      I hopehopehope that the landscape changes- but I, too, am a little afraid that people will persist in focusing on the diversionary tactics and the promise of a few more dollars in their pockets- at the expense of everything that contributes to all that is good and Canadian.

      Appreciate your visit, and comment, as always. xo

      • quiall says:

        When I lost my male cat Quinn his sister Ally was bereft. She wouldn’t use anything she saw as ‘his’. I replaced bowls, a tray he used to sit in and my dining room table they both would sit on. She would stare at his picture every night for almost a year. In time it became her home. At least for another five years. I am now catless. oh and about your migraines . . ask about Zolmig. I swear by it.

      • colemining says:

        I will check into Zolmig- headed back to see the doc in a few weeks. Will bring it up.

        When I brought home the Dude’s ashes, I put them up on a shelf, with his favourite ribbon (which I had laundered, due to the infection that caused us to have to make the hard decision) wrapped around the urn. Tia spent most of the night trying to get at the urn and meowing. So odd. And she’s over-grooming, which means she’s super-stressed. Keeping a close eye on her. She’s been through this before, but I think she’s picking up on my emotional state a great deal. Poor babies. xo

      • quiall says:

        I had to remember never to use Quinn’s name where Ally could hear it. Even years later. Good luck.

  3. bethbyrnes says:

    Cole, I am sorry about your migraines. I get auras from time to time, usually caffeine related but they are migraine precursors, so I fear developing headaches in time. I have no natural remedies for migraines, unfortunately.

    As for the politics down here, like yours but worse and more ridiculous, I am afraid we will be enduring liars and jokers for the rest of my life. I really don’t understand what has happened. I spent some time recently with Heidi, my husband’s sister, who told me such a string of absurd and infuriating lies about Hillary Clinton, that it literally took my breath away. I won’t repeat them. It says a lot about my SIL that she believes them and takes pleasure in spreading this hateful slander. She is a microcosm of that wing of the Republican party here. They are really stupid people, I am sorry to say.

    As for the passing of your dear little friend, I had to do that with our Westie years back. To this day I wonder if it was the right thing. I tear up whenever I see his picture, still. We try and we are good ‘parents’. Hugs, Cole.

    Finally, it is October here and just now dipping down into the 80s after a summer around 100F relentlessly. I relish the autumn as relief from perpetual summer and long for my northeast weather. I am not sure it’s even temperate there any more. Sigh!

    Hugs again, Cole. Take good care and thank you for the informative, intelligent, calm, sane read.

    • colemining says:

      Hi Beth- the migraines have been plaguing me for as long as I can remember- usually as a result of weather and/or stress (no food triggers that I’ve been able to identify), and between the change in temps and the many points of stress (in addition to pet woes, work is a nightmare and we are hoping to move house in sooner rather than later) over the past weeks, I’m surprised they haven’t popped up more often. I generally get the auras happening and can medicate and stave them off, but this one hit me while I was on the subway (ironically on the way home from a doctor’s appointment) and I didn’t manage to nip it in the bud.

      I can’t imagine life without furry companions, but the decisions we have to make, sometimes, make it so very hard. If only they could talk… My poor little guy.

      I’ve given up trying to follow what’s happening south of the border- it seems like such a storm of nonsense that I don’t even know how to sort it all out. Although I have been watching Trevor Noah this week- I think he is a worthy heir to Jon Stewart. His bit last night- about how Trump would make the perfect African President- was wonderful!

      I have a few people in my life who are comparable to your SIL, unfortunately. Another reason (not that one is needed) to stay far away from social media at the moment. ‘Stupid’- certainly not a word I use indiscriminately- is sometimes the only accurate descriptor.

      Generally, I like the fall. But, as I was saying to the SO this morning on the walk to work, a little bit of transition would be nice. To go from steamy, humid summer to needing gloves and scarves overnight is a bit hard to take.

      Thank you, per usual, for the visit and for your thoughts. Enjoy the weekend! xo

      • bethbyrnes says:

        If only they could talk. How many times have I said that, too. Luckily our parrot talks and reasons and has learned to ask for things, simple things like “water” and “treats” (food of various types) and “come out” to leave her cage. But she can’t tell us how she feels. We have to figure it out, and it is even harder with dogs and cats. Sigh! Some day perhaps science will give us a system for understanding the signs they give us. I know they understand our words, all animals who spend time with humans learn our language enough to understand us, but other than parrots, great apes and dolphins, they cannot communicate back. So frustrating.

  4. It’s disheartening, Cole, isn’t it, to think of the generations of voices over the years who have called, through their music and on the world stage, for action that addresses global issues? Politics everywhere just now (maybe it always has been?) seems to be all about the soundbites with little regard to a universal approach.
    I tend to think that so many of the problems created within our own nations have been brought on by a corporate greed and selfishness. The effects then of austerity measures everywhere, to try to fix the economies, have people running scared for their own protectionism. Politicians are playing on that. How quickly we forget the sources of so many of the problems and listen to divisionist tactics. Trump is an arse.
    You know that voting was open to sixteen year olds during the referendum here. The level of engagement among that age group was phenomenal and hasn’t shrunk as far as I’m aware.
    My hope is that youth sees through the hype and division and questions, as only innocence can, the sense of what is just and fair. Kids get that.
    With an engaged and vocal youth arising there may be hope to change the status quo, although I don’t envisage the incumbents releasing their power base willingly. You really have to question what they’re in it for at all. So depressing.
    Time feels as if it’s running out for a change in the weather but we can’t give up on hope and youth.

    So sorry to read of your loss too.x

    • colemining says:

      It’s all motivated by greed- this state we’re in. Greed and the desperate grasping at power by those who see the realities of the world changing and are having to acknowledge that mores and opinions are changing.

      I makes me physically ill (I mean that literally- between the migraines and the stomach issues…) to hear our purported leaders seeking to further divide us with their every utterance. This PM (may he soon be no more than a terrible memory) is back to making issues of non-issues and making comments and proposing policies that can only be seen as xenophobic at best- outright racist, at worst. And there are a whole lot of people who are applauding him- since they see their existence ‘threatened’- as supported by Harper’s misinformation.

      I read an article on the CBC this morning about engaging younger voters. Here’s hoping that some of these movements translate into real numbers in the voting booths.

      I got my voter registration card yesterday- so I’m good to go. Looking forward to casting my vote for change- and hoping that it is only one among many. Many many.

      Thanks for your thoughts, as always, and for your sympathy about my little guy. September wasn’t my favourite month, this year (last September was SO much better!), but the weather has changed (it’s Nuit Blanche tonight, so it is, of course, going to be freezing), and the Jays are playing great ball (after a couple of days letting the B-team take the field) and Tulo is back, so all is right with that little piece of my world.

      Enjoy what’s left of the weekend. Thanks for all your visits- and comments. Woke up to some great reading this morning- how lovely is that? xo

      • It’s just as well there are still so many of life’s little pleasures on offer to keep the aggravated ulcers at bay. Good luck in the booth. May all your politicians have brains and hearts! : x

  5. joey says:

    I always enjoy your posts.
    I feel for you on the loss of your kitty boy and the unbearable struggle with migraines. Been there, done those. I rarely have a migraine anymore, but I still have three cats.
    The Dude was wise in his simplicity. I strive to be like The Dude.
    I hope this weekend finds you well-rested and pleased.

    • colemining says:

      Hi Joey! Thanks for your thoughts- and kind words. The migraine is gone (an immediate benefit to the change in the weather) and I have two kitty girls remaining that seem to be increasingly co-dependent and attention-seeking now that their brother has left us. We could all stand to be a little more like the Dude. He seriously liked everyone– yet became the great defender if he perceived that his sister or I were under threat (as he saw things). Tia (the drama queen) didn’t want to be put in her carry bag to go to the vet, a few years back, and the Dude took her very loud protests as indications that she was being attacked. It was both hilarious and heart-warming to see his reaction (once I cleaned the blood off my leg, that is). We all miss him, but we’re keeping on as best we can.

      Enjoy your weekend- October is upon us in earnest. Definitely feels like fall out there today. xo

  6. ChgoJohn says:

    Sorry to read of your Enki’s passing, Cole. It is the day we pet owners dread most. My wish for Canada in this election is the same for my home: that people get out and vote! No matter the outcome, it is so much more palatable when it’s decided by a large percentage of the citizenry. Our voting numbers in the US are a disgrace.

    • colemining says:

      Thank you, John. It is the hardest part of our relationships with our furry companions.

      I was hoping that I had said everything I had to say about this election, but I think that I need to have one more rant before I let it go and hope that my fellow Canadians can see what is right- in spite of the lies of the Right. I just can’t stand what is happening here.

      So pleased to have you visit- I’ve missed you! Many thanks, as always for your comments and kind words.

  7. Wonderful post! I am so sorry about Dude. It is very hard to lose one of our feline family. Just know that his spirit is still with you.

  8. […] talked a bit about our federal election last week – and emphasized the importance of everyone getting out there to cast a vote. Preferably a […]

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