Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Spirituality of Wine

I like wine.  Don't go thinking I drink a lot of it though.  Like many people, I enjoy raising a glass with family and friends while dining or sharing in a celebration.  It aids with the digestion and helps one relax after a long, hard day. 

"Wine is a magician, for it loosens the tongue and liberates good stories." Homer

I am enjoying Tom Harpur's book "The Spirituality of Wine".  It's a nice, light read for the public transit commute along the Ottawa River Parkway.  It's also educational and contains colourful pictures :0)  The only problem is its size and that I have to scrunch up with it in my arms so as to not crowd my seat companions.  It was likely meant to be more of a coffee table book...

Harpur also provides quotes throughout the book.  My favourite so far is attributed to Julia Child:  "Wine is a living liquid containing no preservatives.  Its life cycle comprises youth, maturity, old age, and death.  When not treated with reasonable respect it will sicken and die."

In my hopeful novel, Year of the Rabbit, wine appears often throughout the story.  It represents craftsmanship, celebration and patience.  Giovanni's family comes from a long line of vintners.  Although estranged from them for many years, he did not forget the significance of their craft.  You can read an excerpt from Chapter 12 at this page

The Spirituality of Wine
2004, Northstone Publishing

I have also read and blogged about Tom Harpur's THE PAGAN CHRIST: Rediscovering the Lost Light.  Very interesting...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

On Bullying and invasion of privacy

Thank you to one of my favourite TV blonds, Ellen DeGeneres.  Thank you for speaking out about bullying and the impact it can have on teens.

I was sad and angry to hear the news about Tyler Clementi's suicidal death.  I am sad to hear about how and why he took his life.  I am angry at the low-life who took pleasure in spying on him, invading his privacy then posting a video online.  What scum bags.

This situation could apply to any individual who is member of any age group or sexual orientation.  It is one thing to willingly post your own photographs, videos (and deep thoughts) online.  It is a horrible thing to invade someone's privacy, to expose and mock them in a public forum.  

I will light a candle for Tyler.  I hope the two f*ck-ups who did this will pay for their crime - big time.

October is my second-favourite month

I think that after May, October is one of my favourite months.  The weather is more bearable now that I seem to encounter more hot flashes, beginning my adventures with the big "M".  The trees are beautiful with their colourful displays.  Thanksgiving approaches with celebration of the harvest and time to share a feast with family and friends. 

Then there's Halloween.  It's not the same as it was when I was a kid.  We used to walk all over town in a quest to fill our pillow cases with all kinds of salty and sugary snacks.  We made a decent effort to fashion a costume before daring to knock on someone's door and demanding treats.  

Once we arrived home, there was the fun task of taking inventory, sorting by category or trade value. Yes, our parents and older siblings made sure to check for any questionable looking contents.  Those well-meaning people who prepared popcorn balls and other homemade treats didn't have a chance compared to the hermetically sealed, store-bought ones.  Sad, really...

To eleven year-old Sera (a character in my hopeful novel) Halloween was one of her favourite occasions.  Although Halloween served as an unwelcome bridge between carefree outdoor summer play and chilly days of the approaching winter, this year was exceptionally exciting because Aunt Georgette was still staying with them.  To make things more exciting, she and Marie were sewing a witch's costume for Sera.  Sadly, it was to be the same night that her best friend is spirited away. 

Read an excerpt from the novel here: