Staying Sane over a bad few weeks

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 12:10 p.m.
Staying Sane
The past week has been a strange time of hellos and goodbyes for me, all of them negative. I suppose that it is true that the older you get, the less comfortable you are with change and that it is also true that the more things change the more they stay the same.
The shooting at Dawson College was a wake up call that yes, these things do happen here. I remember the shock that I felt when fourteen women were gunned down at the Ecole Polytechnique in 1989 and then three years later at the shootings at Concordia where four members of the Engineering faculty were killed.
What is so shocking is how hatred can poison a life to such an extent that the human mind is cut off from the evil of ending life. For Valery Fabrikant of Concordia, professional grievances outweighed the rights of his colleagues to live. Marc Lepine’s hatred of women drove him to kill Engineering students because they were “all feminists”.
Now, we have Kimveer Gill from Laval whose love of guns and hatred of his own life drove him to fulfill his wish to go out in a blaze of glory. He may have gotten his wish but as someone recently said to me – and I will be forced to censor the colourful language – it’s tragic that an eighteen year old girl had to die and that so many people had to be maimed because one young man couldn’t keep his life together.
Then in the midst of all this madness, there was my own little tragedy; I almost feel ridiculous writing about it on the same page as this massacre. My cat, Willa, who has been a constant companion for the last ten years, disappeared. We checked with the SPA and dropped her photo off. We walked through the woods near our home calling her name and one week later, she’s still gone.
I don’t know if she was hit by a car or if she ate poison or if someone simply liked the look of her and took her home far away. We took her home from the SPA about ten years ago and she was a faithful friend to me whether she was jumping in my lap when I watched TV or lying by my head all night purring too loudly.
Yet while I have castigated myself for mourning the loss of my cat while there are parents out there mourning the loss of a child, I feel that that this is the nature of our struggle to make our lives liveable. To me, insanity may be either a chemical or learned inability to see reality as it is. We need to be able to perceive the positive and the negative aspects of our environment clearly.
Through the years, it has become plain to me that there are small things in our lives that make our short time on this Earth beautiful, even if it’s only for a few moments every day. It may be a cat or a dog or a friend or even the person from whom you buy your morning coffee every day. They are all entities that touch us in great and small ways that make it a joy to be alive. They are what keep us sane.
I will miss Willa very much because her quiet way of showing affection to me was a comfort when the bigger issues of this world upset me and when the trials and tribulations of daily life wore me down. None of us like to say goodbye and no one likes to see a good thing end.
I would love to convince myself that she just may come back in another week. Even more, I would like to believe that tragedy happens elsewhere to other people but that would be insane. It happens everywhere and all we can hope for is that we can be that reason for living for someone else at some point in time and have friends beside us when tragedy strikes

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Billy Bragg

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 12:10 p.m.
I went to see Billy Bragg this week and he was just wonderful. He also did several amusing acts of crowd control. I suppose that after years of being heckled, he knows how to deal with drunks and idiots.

I was disappointed that he didn't sing Levi Stubbs Tears as it was the song that introduced me to him. I love the first line:

"With the money from her accident, she bought herself a mobile home"

It just sucks you right in. It's one of the best songs about domestic violence around. I think he's playing in Toronto tonight. Enjoy, Torontonians.

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