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Pickle Me This

September 3, 2006

Remember September

And so September, happy new year. A time for reflection of course, to remember those who enjoy doubting others’ impossible plans, and then to laugh at their lack of imagination, because we’re okay here, after a long time in limbo. The last year has proven that two people can live on nearly nothing, that there is a light at the end of the immigration tunnel (as long as one is patient), and that things do work out somehow, as long as it is happiness you’re aiming for. Which leads me back a few Septembers further, because it was four years ago this week that I ran away to England to seek my fortune (ie sanity). The most impossible plan of all, because I’d just endured a bit of a trauma, was completely depressed/deranged, I had no job prospects, nowhere to live and very little money. For three months I inhabited a gungy sx-infested backpackers hostel in the East Midlands, ran out of money and lived off Tesco value tuna, got into the data entry industry, and it sounds horribly sordid, but it was thrilling, and even more thrilling, I built a life there. It was in December of that year that I moved out of the hostel into a two-up-two-down terrace with a good friend, got promoted to a job that, I believe, is the foundation of any talent I possess as a writer, and then best of all, I met a wonderful British boy who saved my life, and who I married. I realize how incredibly lucky I have always been, but not all of this is luck. I will always love best the bits of life I made myself, on the backs of impossible plans.

~How could one stumble dully through its streets, or waste time sitting in a heap, staring at the wall? When there it lay, its old intensity restored, shining with invitation, all its shabby grime lost in perspective, imperceptible from this dizzy height, its connections clear, its pathways revealed. The city, the Kingdom. The aerial view~ Margaret Drabble, The Middle Ground

I am lucky that when bad things happen, I forget them after. I was reading journals recently that make that altogether evident, and I wondered exactly who had ever penned them? I get nostalgic, you know. I miss England often, as much as Stuart does. In order to supplant my homesickness, I’ve become obsessed with the blog transatlanticism, by a wonderful writer who also ran away to change her life and proved that it works, it really does. If all plans were possible, we’d stop ever being pleased.

I love India Knight. On what novels can teach us. Oooh! Controversy in Punctuation Land. The CanLit Atlas reviewed. On recurring characters. Must highlight a NYTimes wedding profile which features the line “The survival of the fish was a metaphor for the whole relationship.” Please note, said fish is now dead.

I just finished Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel. It was weird but really excellent, and I think I appreciated it a bit more having read Giving Up the Ghost. Now beginningWhen I Was Young and In My Prime, which I bought because it was pretty.

3 thoughts on “Remember September”

  1. PatrickMH says:

    So you ran away, became stronger, and returned–Have you found that whatever worked against your sanity, whatever had prompted you to flee, has become tinier, feebler?

    And though I truly do not doubt your heroism: Would you be willing to join those of us who saw Snakes on Plane on a snake hunting expedition? You see, in the film they kept on coming at us!, and all we could do was sit there and let our proxies try and handle them. Since they did so less than adequately, we’ve decided that for recooperative/therapeutic purposes, we should set off to various parts of the world (the film offers something of a list) to annihilate various sorts of (not literally) jesus-mother-fucking snakes. (Note: Rebecca, may not join us: she [smartly and gloatingly] closed her eyes throughout.)

    Afterwards I also plan to hunt down the director of the film. I will first thank him for making a very effective and entertaining film. Then I will slaughter him. He will understand.

  2. Jennica says:

    What a small world… “Transatlanticism” is written by the sister of a good friend of mine out here in Vancouver– a writer, Charlotte Gill.

  3. Kerry says:

    Ladykiller! How cool. I don’t actually know Ms. Transatlanticism, but I know people who know her, and found her blog accordingly. Small world indeed.

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