Waste not, want more

No variations on a theme.

Meandering through life keeping fed and watered

I have been lacking focus something fierce. Not just for a day, a week, or even a semester. Rather I feel like I’m experiencing some long slow grind towards absolute focuslessness (deal with it). I’d like to blame it on drugs, malnutrition, the internet, life circumstances, our constantly beeping world, or severe winds, but I don’t think I can.

I’m even struggling to read fiction – something I don’t recall being a problem before.  My eyes move over words like I’m reading for punishment. After a few concerted tries I absorb enough to follow – and enjoy – my beloved Bissoondath. But it’s a tense battle.

Now I’m distracted by Calgary – of all places. I spent five years of my life here and returned only once since. Calgary was my first foray into city life, understanding the province of Alberta, higher education, and parentlessness (I won’t apologize). The story is not new or particularly interesting in itself, but for the person whose life was changed, those moments hold their power, significance and nostalgia. In an attempt to woo me, the weather here is strangely Victoria-like. The humidity is in the 70% range, the window before me is alive with dancing, yellowing leaves, goading me into thinking I like the climate. My friend’s tidy but lived in condo, seamlessly combining simplicity and flair, is like an offering. Her lonely deck cherry tomato, fighting to ripen in peaceful rebellion. Stoic. I remember learning what that word meant.

I remember walking out of the classroom on a crisp fall day with my heart singing because a window of understanding had been thrown open before me (by a man named Fabio no less). Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, I was sure, was written for me. The power of words, ideas, awareness and education was like, I’m convinced, what others feel when they find religion in their hearts. It was all consuming, the pinnacle of my optimism. It’s been some time since I thought of those  moments. I more frequently recall the loneliness, my weirdness, and a battle of wits with a cold March of persistent -30 degree weather tempting my sanity.

Like I said, I can’t focus. But I’m hoping that getting this down helps.


October 9, 2011 - Posted by | Books, Self-reflection, Travel and intrigue | ,


  1. Oh, but, Rose, this post is beautifully descriptive of an emotional landscape I know so well. This piece is lovely. Try writing more about this–lots of us can relate. And though I’m sorry you’re lacking focus, please know we’ve all been there. Thanks for writing so eloquently about it.

    Comment by Kathryn McCullough | October 10, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks so much, Kathy. Your encouragement is lovely! When you say “more about this” do you mean lack of focus, the excitement of learning, or something else? I love “emotional landscape”; it conjures complexity. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

      Comment by Rose | October 10, 2011 | Reply

  2. I can’t imagine not loving a place where I took I took my liberal arts degree. Admittedly, it’s Calgary as well. I do love Calgary autumns. It’s when they end mid-September that I spiral into the hatred. The Bowness has appeared utopian in my last couple of visits. It might be a great friend with a lovely garden there, but it seems to house almost every part of urban and small town living that I love. Having said that, I haven’t been in Calgary during the “false” spring. You know, between March and June.

    Comment by CheyenneVyvyan | October 10, 2011 | Reply

    • I hadn’t really thought about it before, but you are right about the liberal arts degree. I guess I’m surprised because I’ve spent the last 7 years being glad I wasn’t in Calgary. Even without the garden friend, I agree that it really does find a way to offer the elements of urban and small town living. Happy Thanksgiving!

      Comment by Rose | October 10, 2011 | Reply

  3. Calgary is so beautiful right now! This post really resonated with me. I did my undergrad in Saskatoon and still remember the experience so vividly. Fall always brings me back to that place – a time of new beginnings. Great post!

    Comment by faultlessfinish | October 11, 2011 | Reply

    • It’s very true – I suppose I’d forgotten that I always get a little weepy-eyed in the fall. I have been keen on new educational beginnigs, since I was five after all. I’m glad you could relate!

      Comment by Rose | October 11, 2011 | Reply

  4. Oh, Calgary! I was surprised to see how much I kind of *liked* it there during our last visit. (At least *parts* of it, anyway. NOT THE TRAFFIC.) Am I not supposed to spurn and loathe the land of my youth forever more? 🙂

    It sounds to me like you are being prepped by ye olde universe for An Education of holistic proportions. If you were too focused right now, you’d probably miss whatever lesson you’re going to learn in the broadest and most subtle of ways…

    PS: “Focuslessness”? LOVED.

    Comment by Dana | October 30, 2011 | Reply

    • I needed this! You’re always bringing me and the universe together – I’ve been thinking an awful lot about that moment with your medium. I’m definitely feeling much like I did then. Keeping my eyes open to An Education…

      Comment by Rose | October 30, 2011 | Reply

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