We do not always remember the things that do no credit to us. We justify them, cover them in bright lies or with the thick dust of forgetfulness.Neil Gaiman, American Gods
And now we have come, at last, to my final post about our tour of the Normandy Beaches. The fifth in the series. It has been a long road! Not only was this trip all the way back in 2015 (6 years?!) but I wrote my first post about the DDay beaches back in March of this year.
After spending so much time combing through these memories, and getting lost in the subsequent waves of heavy emotions, it’s kind of strange to be leaving this place yet again.
However, there is more death and destruction to come since my Dad and I ended our trip with a stay in The Somme…thanks for sticking around, dear reader, as I attempt to make sense of these experiences. As they happened so long ago, I figured I was far enough removed to write about them without emotional consequence. Boy was I wrong.
I do hope these posts on the Dday landings and their aftermath have not been as hard to read as they were to write. And if they were, while I apologize, I hope they helped reinforce how pointless war is. The cause may be just (depending on who you ask), but is the method ever so? I’m not so sure.
So, without further ado, let’s see this series to the end. Shall we?
Continue reading “The Beaches: Finale”
Stephen felt, as he had done before at moments of extreme tension, a dislocation in his sense of time. It seemed to stutter, then freeze.Sebastian Faulks, Birdsong
The mind truly is a fascinating bit of machinery – I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before.
When the mind is at peace, bathing in a sense of calm, moments somehow fly by and before we know it, the peace is gone and we have encountered a new problem to solve or responsibility to take care of.
I know this from the little meditation I have done in my life. When I am truly able to calm my mind and focus on my breath, 5-10-15 minutes go by in a snap and suddenly the meditation is over and it’s time to get going on my To-Do list again.
And yet, in moments of stress or tension, time seems to slow down or even freeze completely. It’s almost as if our mind wants us to savour every single second of intense anguish so as to ensure that we keep ourselves as far away as possible from similar situations in the future.
Wouldn’t it make more sense for the opposite to be true? For happiness and peace to drag on forever while sadness and strife are over in the blink of an eye?
If you know a trick to make the mind’s mechanics flip like this, please let me know. Because in today’s blog, I’m going to talk about a painful experience which seemed to last for ages. An experience which cemented my firm belief that all life is immensely precious – a belief I hold sacred especially in today’s day and age with the Covid-19 pandemic still ravaging the world and mass graves of Indigenous children being found throughout the country.
But, I digress….
Continue reading “The Beaches: Part Four”
I felt pleasantly detached from reality, as though I were walking a foot or so off the ground.”Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn
And here we are again, a month or so after the last post returning to the beaches of Normandy. Now that I am re-reading my travel diary from this trip, I think this might be a four-part as opposed to three-part post. I want to devote all of Part Three to Juno beach, being Canadian.
But, for now, Part Two!
Continue reading “The Beaches: Part Two”
“Not a day passes on over this earth but men and women of no great note do great deeds, speak great words, and suffer noble sorrows.” – Charles Reade, The Cloister and the Hearth
Last week I took a very necessary break from blogging for the sake of my mental health. Though my husband, daughter and I, along with our entire family, are thankfully healthy, this COVID-19 business has been more than a little trying on my emotions. I think it would be a different story if I wasn’t a new mom (although I know it is difficult for nearly everyone for wildly different reasons) but being separated from our extended family while still adjusting to parenthood, well, let me tell you it has not been easy. They are our support system, our replacement rockers, our “take a breather and some time for just the two of you” superheroes. We are making sure to take turns soothing our little daughter but sometimes having a third party come in and take a shift can be the most rejuvenating gift. Our strategy while self-isolation is the name of the game is just to take it one day at a time and to allow ourselves to choose how we spend each day based on what we need most each moment – no to-do lists or goals set in stone. Last week, I needed to just relax and read as much as possible, so that is what I did. I hope, dear reader, that you’ll forgive me.
So. Back to France.
Continue reading “Great Deeds and Noble Sorrows”