I’m still waiting for the wisdom that’s supposed to come with age.
Tag Archives: questions
I am in awe of Kate Morton for writing yet another novel that held my undivided interest from beginning to end. If you haven’t read
- The House at Riverton
- The Forgotten Garden
- The Distant Hours
- The Secret Keeper
just pick one and get started. They’re all great stories.
This is the book description from Amazon:
From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Distant Hours, The Forgotten Garden, and The House at Riverton, a spellbinding new novel filled with mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love.
During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother.
Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past.
The history and the family secrets are fun, the characters are strong, her writing is a treat to read. Over four hundred pages flew by, layer upon layer of the story revealed, past to present and places in between until the final mystery was solved.
If you’re not hooked yet, read the excerpt on Amazon. And I’ll see you later – 450 pages later I expect.
Happy Victoria Day Weekend! I’ve worked the Saturday and the Sunday of it, so it’s hard to get overly excited about a Monday off, although any day off work is worth celebrating.
For the past week or so I’ve been watching the tv show “Heroes” on Netflix. At first my intention was to view only season four, which I never watched the first time around. Then I thought it might be a good idea to watch it all from the beginning, so that season four would make sense. THEN I got completely hooked on watching every single episode, and ‘just one more’ before doing whatever else needed doing and should have been a priority. Like going to sleep, for example.
Today at last I’m going to get into the fourth season. Even though my brain is now completely overloaded with villians and heroes and time travel. And people who die a violent death in one episode and then come back for a do-over in the next. And change the future and save the world so many times that you begin to wonder why they persist.
I think I’ve discovered the reason why I’m still kind of hopelessly drawn to the whole thing and need to see it out to the bitter end. It’s because of Mohinder Suresh and his wonderful voice-overs. The fact that he’s easy to look at doesn’t hurt either. I tried to keep the list short, but decided that’s impossible. So here they are.
Where does it come from? This quest, this need to solve life’s mysteries when the simplest of questions can never be answered. Why are we here? What is the soul? Why do we dream? Perhaps we’d be better off not looking at all. Not delving, not yearning. That’s not human nature. Not the human heart. That is not why we are here. Yet still we struggle to make a difference. To change the world. To dream of hope. Never knowing for certain who we’ll meet along the way. Who, among the world of strangers, will hold our hand. Touch our hearts. And share the pain of trying.
We all imagine ourselves the agents of our destiny, capable of determining our own fate. But have we truly any choice in when we rise? Or when we fall? Or does a force larger than ourselves bid us our direction? Is it evolution that takes us by the hand? Does science point our way? Or is it God who intervenes, keeping us safe?
For all his bluster, it is the sad province of man that he cannot choose his triumph. He can only choose how he will stand when the call of destiny comes, hoping he will have the courage to answer.
When a change comes, some species feel the urge to migrate, they call it zugunruhe. “A pull of the soul to a far off place,” following a scent in the wind, a star in the sky. The ancient message comes calling the kindred to take flight and gather together. Only then can they hope to survive the cruel season to come.
Evolution is imperfect and often a violent process. A battle between what exists and what is yet to be born. Amidst these birth pains, morality loses its meaning, the question of good and evil reduced to one simple choice: survive or perish.
You do not choose your destiny, it chooses you. And those that knew you before Fate took you by the hand cannot understand the depth of the changes inside. They cannot fathom how much you stand to lose in failure…that you are the instrument of flawless Design. And all of life may hang in the balance. The hero learns quickly who can comprehend and who merely stands in your way.
The Earth is large. Large enough that you think you can hide from anything. From Fate. From God. If only you found a place far enough away. So you run. To the edge of the Earth. Where all is safe again. Quiet, and warm. The solace of salt air. The peace of danger left behind. The luxury of grief. And maybe, for a moment, you believe you have escaped.
You can run far, you can take your small precautions. But have you really gotten away? Can you ever escape? Or is it the truth that you did not have the strength or cunning to hide from destiny? That the world is not small. you are. And, fate can find you anywhere.
In the beginning there was discovery. A confusion of elements. The first snowfall of impossible change. Old lives undone, left behind. Strange faces, made familiar. New nightmares, to challenge sleep. New friends, to feel safe with. Only then comes control. The need to impose order unto chaos, through determination, through study, through struggle. All in defiance of a thundering truth. They’re here, and the earth shudders underfoot.
When we embrace what lies within, our potential knows no limit. The future is filled with promise. The present, rife with expectation. But when we deny our instinct, and struggle against our deepest urges… Uncertainty begins. Where does this path lead? When will the changes end? Is this transformation a gift… or a curse? And for those that fear what lies ahead… The most important question of all… Can we really change what we are?
To survive in this world, we hold close to us those on whom we depend. We trust in them our hopes, our fears… But what happens when trust is lost? Where do we run, when things we believe in vanish before our eyes? When all seems lost, the future unknowable, our very existence in peril… All we can do is run.
The sun rises on a new dawn. Yet few of us realize the debt we owe to those responsible for this. To those who dwell among us. Anonymous, seemingly ordinary, whom destiny brought together to heal, to save us, from ourselves.
It is man’s ability to remember that sets us apart. We are the only species that is concerned with the past. How memories give us voice. And to bear witness to history so that others might learn. So that they might celebrate our triumphs and be warned by our failures.
There is a moment in every war where everything changes. A moment when the road bends. Alliances and battle lines shift. And the rules of engagement are rewritten. Moments like these can change the nature of the battle, and turn the tide for either side. So we do what we can to understand them. To be ready for change, we steady our hearts, curb our fears, muster our forces, and look for signs in the stars. But these moments, these game changers, remain a mystery. Destiny’s invisible hand, moving pieces on a chessboard. No matter how much we prepare for them – how much we resist the change, anticipate the moment, fight the inevitable outcome – in the end, we are never truly ready when it strikes.
There is good, and there is evil. Right, and wrong. Heroes and villains. And if we are blessed with wisdom, then there are glimpses between the cracks of each where light streams through. We wait in silence for these times, when sense can be made. When meaningless existence comes into focus, and our purpose presents itself. And if we have the strength to be honest, what we find there, staring back at us, is our own reflection. Bearing witness to the duality of life. And each one of us is capable of both the dark, and the light.. the good and evil, of either, of all. And destiny, while marching ever in our direction can be rerouted by the choices we make. By the love we hold on to, and the promises we keep.
Generations unfold — father to son, mother to daughter. Where one leaves off, the other follows, destined to repeat each other’s mistakes, each other’s triumphs. For how do we see the world if not through their lens? The same fears, the same desires? Do we see them as an example to follow, or as a warning of what to avoid? Choosing to live as they have, simply because it’s what we know, or driven to create one’s own identity? And what happens when we find them to be a disappointment? Can we replace them? Our mothers, our fathers? Or will destiny find a way to drive us back? Back to the familiar comforts of home?
It is our nature to protect our children. For each generation to pass on their cautionary tales to the next. So it is with the myth of Icarus, the legend of a boy who fashioned wings from feathers and wax, daring to fly into the heavens. His father was fearful and warned Icarus to be careful, begging him not to tempt fate by flying too close to the sun. But in the end, the boy couldn’t resist. His waxen wings melted from the sun’s rays. And he plunged to his death.
For every being cursed with self awareness, there remains the unanswerable question, “Who am I?” We struggle to find meaningful connections to one another. We are the caring friend, the loving father, the doting mother, the protected child. We fight and we love in the hope that somehow, together, we can understand our significance in the universe. But in the end, no one can share our burden. Each of us alone, must ask the question, “Who am I? What does it mean to be alive? And in the vast infinity of time, how do I matter?”
There are nearly seven billion people on this planet. Each one unique. Different. What are the chances of that? And why? Is it simply biology, physiology that determines this diversity? A collection of thoughts, memories, experiences that carves out our own special place? Or is it something more than this? Perhaps there’s a master plan that drives the randomness of creation. Something unknowable that dwells in the soul, and presents each one of us with a unique set of challenges that will help us discover who we really are.
We are all connected. Joined together by an invisible thread, infinite in its potential and fragile in its design. Yet while connected, we are also merely individuals. Empty vessels to be filled with infinite possibilities. An assortment of thoughts, beliefs. A collection of disjointed memories and experiences. Can I be me without this? Can you be you? And if this invisible thread that holds us together were to sever, to cease, what then? What would become of billions of lone, disconnected souls? Therein lies the great quest of our lives. To find. To connect. To hold on. For when our hearts are pure, and our thoughts in line, we are all truly one. Capable of repairing our fragile world, and creating a universe of infinite possibilities.
There are many ways to define our fragile existence, many ways to give it meaning. But it is our memories that shapes its purpose and give it context. The private collection of images, fears, loves, regrets… we choose the importance of each. Building our own unique histories, one memory at a time. Hoping the ones we chose to remember don’t betray us or trap us. For it is the cruel irony of life that we are destined to hold the dark with the light, the good with the evil. This is what separates us, what makes us human. And at the end, we must fight to hold on.
If you read all of that, wow – good for you. You must have almost as much time on your hands today as I do! But all this philosophical meandering is what sets this series apart and makes it worth watching, despite all the blood and violence. It’s not so much about heroes and villians and black and white, but about the myriad of traits mixed up inside every one of us and the things we ultimately do for whatever misguided reasons. Who is right and who is wrong? Who really knows.
Kenzie (age 10 and a half) (in the middle wearing shades) says writing a blog is probably easy if all you have to do is just answer lots of questions. So I asked her lots of questions to see what she had to say. All of these questions are taken from Kid Chat Too (Bret Nicholaus and Paul Laurie)
If you had to paint a message on the roof of your house that could be seen by anyone driving or walking by, what message would you paint there?
Kenzie Lives Here! Chico Lives Here! Sal and Johnny Live here! And My Mom Too! (It’s a pretty big roof.)
Suppose that for one week, instead of saying ‘”hi” to someone you had to greet them with the sound of a farm animal. What farm animal’s sound would you choose for your greeting?
MOOOOO! And I’d wear my cow slippers.
For each of the four seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter) what is your favourite sound?
In the spring I like the sound of the rain falling, and the sound of the birds chirping. In summer I like the sounds of big thunderstorms. In the fall, the best sound is kids yelling Trick or Treat! And in the winter – HO HO HO!
If you had to do a job someday that required you to wear a uniform, what job would you want more than any other?
I would like to be an ambulance person, the one who goes in the back of the ambulance with the people who are hurt and takes care of them on the way to the hospital. Or I could be a person who takes people on a tour, like a guide at a museum, and tells all about the history of something and explains everything, like telling people everything about the titanic and everything that happened.
What do you think will be the most difficult part of being an adult someday?
You have to drive everywhere, and go to a job, and pay all the bills.
If the door to your bedroom could be in any shape you wanted other than the standard rectangle, what shape would you choose for your door?
A circle, or a heart, or a very small square, or a diamond would be cool too.
If you could change your last name to something completely different from what it is now, what would you choose as your new last name?
I like my whole entire name just the way it is. I’m going to be known as Kenzie my whole entire life. I really like my name. Your name kind of tells people who you are.
If a toothpaste company asked you to come up with an all-new flavor of toothpaste for kids, what flavor would you tell them to produce?
Something yummy like chocolate cake and ice cream. But not exactly. It would still have to taste like toothpaste or kids would just eat it.
If you could wake up tomorrow morning and be able to speak perfectly any language in the world, what language would you choose?
Chinese, because it sounds kinda cool. Or maybe Irish or French. That’s all I can think of right now.
Would you rather have school start earlier in the day and end earlier in the day, or start later in the day and end later in the day? (In other words, would you rather sleep later in the mornings or come home earlier in the afternoons?)
I’d like to start school at seven o’clock and come home at one thirty! Actually, I’d like to never go to school again and just stay home. Because I hate math. I’d rather have history all day long and learn everything about the titanic and there would be no such thing as math.
Which of the five senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste, touch) do you think would be the hardest to live without? Which do you think would be the easiest to live without?
It would be easiest to live without smells. Because think of farting and burping. Ewwww. The hardest would be if you couldn’t see. That would be really really hard. If you’re blind you need to be good at hearing. And if you’re deaf, you need to be good at seeing.
If you could permanently rid the world of any one type of insect or other creepy-crawly thing, which one would it be?
I have three. Flies (I HATE flies, especially horse flies), wasps and hornets, and mosquitoes. Oh wait, there’s four. Also great big spiders. Small and medium ones are okay.
If you could have in your backyard a statue of anything or anyone at all, what or whom would the statue represent?
I would have a big statue of the Titanic! Or if that’s too big, it could be somebody from the titanic like Molly Brown, or Captain Smith, or Jack, or Bruce Ismay.
If your full name actually appeared in a dictionary, and the editors of that dictionary asked you to write a definition of who you are, what definition would you give yourself?
Kenzie is a very awesome polite girl who is interested in millions of things. She has a wonderful family (refer to picture of cousins above). She is happy that she is very thoughtful. And she likes to eat the icing off the cupcake first.
(Sounds like a future blogger to me.)
What foods will I never develop an acquired taste for?
“Never” sounds so final. I don’t think I will ever eat bugs, but if they’re all that stands between me and starvation, it’s possible that I could suddenly acquire a taste for them. One NEVER knows. Never say never.
What about drinks? Well what about ‘what about’ questions that don’t really ask you anything specific and therefore get answers that are tentative and vague? I don’t like egg nog. I’ve never tasted axel grease but what about you please don’t put any in my coffee.
What’s the most recent purchase that I regret making? That would be jar of mayonnaise number three. Seriously. Mayo does not have eternal shelf life. I need to start paying closer attention. There’s only so much potato salad you can ingest before you want to quietly lie down and die.
Have I started making any summer travel plans? No I have not. I’m not going anywhere. I’m just going to sit at home and watch my grass grow. In between stretches of filling in for co-workers who put themselves down for holidays in July and August without consulting me first. Morons.
What’s worth paying top dollar for? Horticultural Services. I did not know this until a couple of weeks ago when the lawn care dream team came to my house and power raked and aerated and edge trimmed and zipped around the property front and back with about six lawn mowers at once. It was a beautiful thing to witness. I would have paid double for it. There is of course no need to tell them that and risk having them get all cocky about what a great job they did. I’m thinking about consulting their fully qualified horticulturist to see if there are any organisms in the vegetable kingdom that don’t require water and will grow in the shade. Neither of my thumbs have even the tiniest hint of green anywhere on them. My mere presence appears to cause plants to wither and die. Perhaps he will tell me plastic plants are the answer. There, look at all the money I just saved myself.
Name a movie that you still haven’t gotten around to seeing……too late! I just watched it a couple of days ago. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1. The most cinematically rewarding chapter yet. That’s what the box says. Horcruxes, lethal snakes, perilous missions, the tragic death of a house elf – this movie has it all.
What social media faux pas bother me the most?
Social Media = Facebook
Faux Pas = embarrassing social blunder or indiscretion
Bother = annoy, worry, confuse
All of the above being set in stone, I would have to say retarded status updates.
Retarded = birdbrained, dim-witted, totally gorked
Okay, are we there yet? I think that gets me all caught up on the latest gorky prompts.
I’ve decided to answer the Plinky prompts I’ve missed this month. Once you’ve read the questions (and my inane answers) it will be less of a mystery as to why they were passed up in the first place. That is, besides the fact that I was spending time with family and the internet connection was less than ideal. Mostly it’s because the questions just confused the hell out of me.
What’s the most important thing I’m putting off? Well, if it was actually IMPORTANT, I wouldn’t be putting it off. So although I put many things off in a day, something important would not be included on that list.
Ever considered becoming a vegetarian? Not really. I like meat. I don’t think true vegetarians get enough fat and protein. Life without fat and protein would be dull.
lol cats – sick of ‘em, or can’t get enough? The last lol cat pic that made me laugh was the one where a kitten is looking at a rubiks cube and saying WTF? Haven’t seen any lately. Never think to search for them.
Three things that I want to accomplish before 2011. Well seriously, if I haven’t accomplished them by now, they better be pretty short-term goals. I’ve ordered a new kindle so that my daughter and I can share our reading material. I’ve started drinking protein shakes every morning. Who knows if that will last. I get lazy. And I’ve gone to M&M meats and purchased two lobster tails. Because OMFG they are so good. There. That’s three things. Done.
What’s my favourite holiday movie? I don’t have a favourite. I like to watch new ones. Although Clark Griswald never gets old.
If there were no consequences, what is the most evil thing you’d do? Another question from hell. Every act has consequences. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Describe what your laugh sounds like. I don’t have any idea, because for some strange reason when I’m laughing I never think to analyze that. If I did, I’d probably stop laughing to listen, and have to start over. If you really want to know the answer to this question, please feel free to tell me something hilarious.
Is it better to know the truth, even when it hurts? Well, better than what – believing a lie? Of course it’s good to know the truth. Even if you don’t believe it. The question is vague, it deserves an obscurely abstruse response. Abstruse is my new favourite word, by the way.
What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday? Having it as the first of two days off in a row makes it pretty perfect. Any day on which I can curl up in a comfy chair with a great book is a perfect day. Candles burning. Dinner in the oven. Warmth. Quiet. Nodding off. Bliss.
Taking any trips this holiday season? Yes, actually. Already accomplished. A 45 minute plane trip to Grande Prairie. A three week holiday at “Chalet 2000″. I don’t even know why it’s been dubbed that, but it’s also known as the ranch and our favourite Christmas destination. Family is a beautiful thing.
Write a letter to someone you knew in highschool. Dear Fred: I’m terribly sorry for treating you badly in grades 9 through 13. Well, not that I did anything so terrible except to ignore you and not take your crush on me seriously. And throw up out of your car on the way home from our grad party. I do hope that drunken episode helped you to put your ill-placed infatuation behind you and move on to better things. Thanks for the ride. I wish now that I’d gotten to know you better and had been less of a conceited little snot. You were sweet. Probably you still are. Remember when I said you were too good for me? At the time I think I didn’t really meant it, but it was completely true! I hope you had a great life. I’ll never forget you. Sincerely, Mademoiselle McArthur
Name three countries you’d like to visit. I don’t want to go anywhere. I don’t like to travel. I want to stay at home. Leave me alone.
Name someone who deserves more credit. That would be that guy who wants to buy something incredibly expensive for his significant other, doesn’t have the cash, and needs his credit limit raised. He deserves it because he’s doing it for somebody else. If it was just for himself, that wouldn’t be so deserving.
What are your favourite holiday beverages? Coffee with hazelnut cream or baileys. Spiced rum and diet Pepsi on ice with a dash of lemon or lime. Champagne.
Share a photo of something that makes you smile. Kenzie with her “Bella” face. And Kale looking cuter than Justin Beiber.
How do you stay entertained when you’re snowed in? See the perfect Sunday above.
Who are the top three funniest people in the world? Since I don’t know everyone in the world, it’s impossible for me to say. Justin and Kristen and W. are all pretty funny. In a funny kind of way.
Well, that takes care of all those days I missed blathering about stupid stuff. Making it a perfect morning. And it’s not even Sunday.