What Can You Do?

My favorite show on TV is The Voice. I was watching it recently and a contestant, talking about how his dreams were on the verge of coming true, said, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” This is an oft repeated phrase in North American culture, meant to motivate people to great heights, but it’s only partially true. Can we do anything hula-162558_1920 (1)we put our minds to? Strictly speaking, no. I can’t touch my nose with my tongue. I can’t wiggle my ears. I purse my lips and blow and no whistle comes forth. EVER. I can’t keep a hula hoop swiveling about my hips and I try every time I come across one, much to the amusement of those around me. I can’t find my missing socks. I can’t command the weather and this is a sore spot for me. I can’t change another person and I’ve learned it’s not advisable to try, because it ends badly. I can’t stop myself from getting old, shriveling up like a pea with freezer burn, and dying. I can’t see with my eyes closed. Now I’m just being ridiculous, but maybe not. Words have power. Why don’t we say what we mean? Why would we want to set people up for failure? Continue reading “What Can You Do?”

A White Christmas?

I’m dreaming of a dry Christmas

Just like the ones I’ve rarely known

Where the trees are bare

And children stare

And cry because there isn’t any snow

I’m dreaming of a dry Christmas

With every trip I take outside

May your days feel more like July

And may all your Christmases be dry

Snow. I’m not a fan. Sure, it’s very pretty at times, even dreamy, when it’s wafting down slowly in flakes the size of feathers, forming a crystalline blanket of softness on surfaces. It shushes things. Traffic lessens, as a slippery sheen is laid down. People stay inside. They cocoon, wrapping themselves in wooly sweaters and self-administering hot liquids. They’re content to look at the snow like one looks at snowfall-16319_1920fish in a fish tank. It’s rather mesmerizing to watch the world fade to white and familiar forms, like vehicles, obscure to fluffy mounds. Unfortunately, snow’s beauty is fleeting. Try travelling in the open country in a blizzard where you can’t see 2 feet in front of your vehicle and, I guarantee, you won’t be so enamored with it. For a day, fresh and pure, it’s enchanting, but, as the winter drags on, driven snow clumped with salt, sand, and gravel is ugly, especially when the sticky stuff sticks around for months. Soon enough, most people can hardly stand the sight of it. Continue reading “A White Christmas?”