August 31 — D-day, or M(oving)-day. I spent the night at the Visitors’ Inn in Hamilton, after camping out on sleeping bags in my (almost) empty house for 3 night — the couch went to a refugee family on Monday, the bed and pullout couch are long gone to other people. I had a massage yesterday, and that helped my back — couldn’t go back to the floor and sleeping bags, and also a transitional night in a hotel — clean sheets, real bed, food cooked for me — was a good step in leaving 51 Chatham.. Have to go back this morning to finish cleaning the fridge, get some plants and odds and ends. Then to see the lawyer. A sense of panic — leaving the known — but the new worlds and seas beckon, and I know I won’t fall off the edge — and I am also going to another, partly-known world that needs to be further explored and enjoyed and lived. No monsters, even if there are surprises.
Thinking back to 18 years ago when I moved to Hamilton — and back before that to the early and mid 90s, when I began getting to know people here. Also remembering my mother’s death on Aug. 31, 2009. I wish I could tell her about this move — but maybe, in a way, she knows.
Also breakfast at the Visitors Inn reminded me of breakfast here with Sharon and Peter, at the Jewish Literary Festival in 2009. Good memories. Life is full of these. As Roger mentioned yesterday, he was listening to the top 100 hits of 1969, so many songs laced with memories. Reminiscing with my friend yesterday about how we met through a casual conversation at Ladies Swiim at the Y, in 2000. And with another friend about her parents’ stories about coming to Canada as survivors after World War II. So on to new experiences, making more memories and more stories.
Listen to Ellen reciting poetry.
“The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today.” White Queen to Alice, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll.
peach and gooseberry
sweet-tart on the tongue
spread on toast, muffins,
bagel with raisins
and cinnamon –
spice of the sabbath
now her body is jamming
itself, cells stuck and clogged
blocking the vital
flowers jam in the garden,
jazz musicians gone wild,
cacophony of tulips
trill of daffodil
violin tones of violets
and weeping redbud,
one gooseberry bush
bursting into flower
to be picked.
Ellen S. Jaffe, 2016
for Sharon H. Nelson (2 January 1948 – 12 June 2016)
published in Persimmon Tree, Summer 2017
- Written on the Body #30, Feb. 17, 2021: Hope and Uncertainty
- Written on the Body, #30: January 18, 2021, The Winter of Discontent
- Written on the Body, #29: December 24, 2020: Light Returns
- Written On the Body, #28, November 24, 2020: November Highs and Lows
- Written On the Body #27, October 28, 2020 — The Uncertainty Principle