Tag Archives: Joy

Into the Instagram Wild

22

In Paris
our days were our own.

We walked the city.

My new walking shoes
made me feel
like a superhero.

Neighbourhood
by neighbourhood,
we made the city ours.
The 6th and the Latin Quarter.
The Tuileries Garden.
A walk from Rue Cler in the 7th
all the way to Notre Dame.

We stopped often
to eat,
drink
and
take photos
and came home
with our iPhones
filled with
memories.

We released the photos,
perfect little worlds,
six
or seven
at a time,
released them
into the Instragram wild.

Apparently that’s not how it’s done
I’m told by people
half my age.
I need to be more strategic.
Release them
one at a time.
You know,
in order to get
the most
likes.

But the loveliest thing
about not being cool
is
not
being cool.

Fewer rules
and
more {Instagram} joy.

 

Keeping it for good

17

Seventh generation Canadian,
I am descended from Scottish and Irish folks.
Hearty, thrifty people
saving up for a rainy day

We grew up with a set of dishes
we used every day,
some chipped
some yellowed with age
and a set of good china that sat
like some secret
in the china cabinet.
We were “keeping it for good”,
for company,
for special occasions,
the holy trinity of McDiarmid family dinners:
Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving.

My upbringing failed me
or perhaps I failed it.
Choosing not to marry
meant no shower gifts,
no registries.
I am the kind of woman
who buys what she needs.

And I don’t believe in keeping
one damned thing
for good.
Ring the bell. Go ahead.
Use the good dishes for dinner every night.
Buy flowers for yourself.
Wear that dress.
Take your family to Disneyland.

What are you waiting for?

What the neighbours think
is truly
none of your business.

And also
about writing,
do not save it up.
Don’t hoard those sparkling phrases
in moleskins
stashed in boxes
hidden beneath your bed.

Spend those words.
Throw them down like rice at a wedding.

Revel. Rebel. Spend your joy.

 

Japanese word for celebration

celebrationcelebration

Laughter rolls
down the street
ahead of them
like marbles.

People step out
of the way,
pleased
to make room
for such joy.

We two
quietly yearn
to join the celebration,
this particular way
of being happy
in the company
of others.

Extravagant
and careless.

Red balloon days.

{The Japanese word for celebration is shukugakai.}

Following happiness home

what is it about friday afternoon
that makes us giddy?
i love my work
(even when it’s exhausting…
all good things are, sometimes)
but friday afternoons
leave me effervescent,
light and fizzy
like a pink drink with an umbrella
sipped on a beach.

perhaps
it’s the promise
of all that freedom.
48 hours
of exactly what i choose
and nothing else.

yes.

yesterday
these two school girls
in their navy uniforms
and i walked home
from school.
(our students don’t wear uniforms.
i wonder what it’s like.)
they walked very close
to each other
merging their selves
like girls do when we love.
as we neared the park,
the girls began to run.
my heart jumped
and wanted to follow.

in the park
a tiny two-year old in a purple dress
with white polka dots
stared at a small bush
as if it were
a work of art.
(it is.)
she leaned towards it
and whispered.
{oh, how i wish
i understood japanese.}

two teachers
and ten small students
skipped rope on the grass
outside the escalator.
they sang while they skipped.
skip. skip. skip.

outside the daycare,
two women pushed six toddlers
in a trolley
(the kind normally used
for delivering mail
in offices too big
to know everyone’s name.)
the wee ones,
dressed in pastels
like easter eggs,
were standing up in the trolley,
looking about and laughing.
their giggles made me laugh
and also
the girl just ahead of me.
as we rode down in the escalator,
she kept turning around
to look at the babies.
the girl wore small, round glasses
and she seemed especially smart.
at the ground floor
she tore off to catch her train
to the neon city.

at the exit
onto motomachi shopping street
a boy and a girl held up their hands
to the sky.
it was raining
confident, plump drops
and the pair seemed delighted
at this sudden change
in the weather.

crossing the street
i fell into step
behind a tall teenage boy
in a red baseball cap.
he was nodding his head
to the music from his ipod.
by the time we reached
the red light
head nodding
had turned to dancing.
(this kid had swag.)
the japanese people
moved back slightly,
surprised at this sudden outburst
of joy
at street level.

he crossed the street
dancing.
i followed him
dancing in my own way.
happy.
happy in my own way
on a friday afternoon.