Down and Dirty

Sorry, not that. I’m talking blacksmithing. You know that hammer and metal thing you thought no one did anymore?

Some people are still doing it. In fact, the craft is enjoying a resurgence in Saskatchewan, as people look for something that doesn’t come from Walmart. Something not digital, something they can hold in their hands. Something they can make themselves.

Dustin Small and the Saskatchewan Blacksmith Guild host a hammer-in every month. Artisans, farriers, and crafters come together to share their knowledge, pound the iron, and pass the skill down to the younger generation.

Fourteen-year-old Jesse Porter prefers to do more with his hands than hold an iPad. Jesse, who has ADHD, attends hammer-ins and finds that working with metal helps him to concentrate.

For M. Craig Campbell, a blacksmith and sculptor, metal is just fun. “With the heat and fire, it’s a phenomenal material, a bit of a chameleon. At 2500 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s buttery soft, almost a liquid.”

What are you doing next Saturday?

Aimer at Amazon

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A Lifetime

Is it the same?

After all this time, are we the same?

I don’t know. How would I know? How can I compare who we are now with who we were then…?

The years rolled on, shit happened. Evasions. Lies. Large and small hurts delivered in anger and in silence.

Shared memories and secret smiles. Mornings rushing around or sleeping in. Frenzied days and wild nights. Laughter … I don’t have to try to remember the laughter because we laugh still you and I.

I wasn’t looking to get married all those years ago, not that we could back then. I was looking to get laid and so were you…

And here we are, forty years on. Thinning hair, and rounding shoulders, and still looking to each other—to get laid.

Blackbird

As a species we’ve done our best to wipe each other out, wrecked whole continents of people because they weren’t like us. Didn’t look the same, didn’t think the same, didn’t speak our language.

And yet, despite our millennia of ignorance and arrogance and greed, we haven’t managed to destroy everything…not quite everything. Not yet.

Thanks to people like Katani Julian, a Mi’kmaq language teacher from Nova Scotia, indigenous languages live on.

In celebration of the UN’s International Year of Indigenous Languages, Julian took on the task of translating Paul McCartney’s Blackbird into Mi’kmaq feeling that lyrics like Take these broken wings, and learn to fly resonate with the indigenous experience in Canada. “It’s the type of gentle advice we get from our elders when we feel defeated, when we feel down.”

In the hope that we can learn to not break any more wings, here is Emma Stevens of Eskasoni, Nova Scotia singing Blackbird…

Fool Me Twice

We all know the proverb:

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Fool me twice in a matter of minutes? Embarrassing.

Every weekday morning, I wake up to a tidy little curated collection of news articles courtesy of the CBC. Last Monday, there was an interesting piece that stated the PM would be addressing the U.N. with the suggestion that they move the headquarters from N.Y. to Toronto.
I didn’t see why the U.N. would want to leave N.Y., but hey, more jobs for Toronto.

That was astonishing enough, but two articles down, I found an announcement that Disney would be building a $6.5 billion theme park in the Toronto Islands. Incredible.

Yep, you guessed it, hog-wash. I was hoodwinked, bamboozled, and duped. Twice!!

I’m thinking of contacting the Canadian Oxford Dictionary people to have my picture printed under Gullible.

Next year, April Fool’s Day will have to survive without me. I won’t be reading the news 🙂

Aimer at Amzon

Forever Young

I wish.

But inking the words on your arm, doesn’t make it so.

When the grey creeps in and reading glasses become a part of your face. When the drugstore clerk gives you the senior’s discount without asking. When parts of you sag and other parts ache, it’s hard to convince yourself that age is just a number…

Because it damn well isn’t.

Age is a natural, physical progression. Fight it if you will, deny it if you must, but there’s no getting around the clock—it’s ticking.

The question is, how do you deal with this unwelcome truth? How do you enjoy life now that you are closer to the end than the beginning?

I can do without the adult education classes on subjects like How to Get the Most out of Your iPhone Photography. What I need is a course on How to Get the Most out of What’s Left of Your Life? Now that, I’d register for.

In the meantime, I’ve found myself a guide, an instructor on aging well. Someone who leads by example, a personal testament to the little known truth that fun doesn’t end when wrinkles begin.

Meet Molly…

Eighty-nine years old and wearing a wet suit for the first time to get up close and personal with a dolphin.

You won’t find Molly in a rocking chair on a porch, but try the casino. Better than even odds, the second slot machine on the left? She’ll be there.

“Do you want to go to…?”

Molly’s answer is always yes, because she doesn’t sit at home when she can be out and about, preferably out an about in another country. She keeps her passport in her purse, knows her way around an airport, and can figure out the Euro to Canadian dollar exchange faster than Google.

Molly dances with her great-grandchildren, takes her latte with whipped cream, and plays cards. Any and every card game, as long as there’s a bet on the table.

She’s always busy, always doing, and always looking ahead—to the next trip, the next wedding, the next stranger she can turn into a friend.

Molly’s my guru, my touchstone for living, one day at a time 🙂

Aimer at Amazon