Around the Bend

Well hellooooo world! What's new in your corner of the earth? We are chilled today, both metaphorically and for real. Many of us east coast maritimers are reeling with shock and loss upon hearing the tragic news of Loretta Saunders' passing. Her body was found today after two weeks of frantic searching and praying. There are no words, just heartbreak. Quite the comedown after celebrating the fantastic win of Summerside's own Olympian Heather Moyse in two-man Bobsleigh competition. Today the papers are covered with Heather's joyous PEI reunion pics, while the radio is sadly disclosing the news of Loretta's loss. I feel like I'm on some weird yo-yo. My emotions are all over the place. Such polarized events have reduced the anxiety I was feeling over my play debut (well, my 'bigger' play debut). I mean, how can one worry over performing in a little local one-act play when the universe is saturated with events of such grand scale? Syria, anyone? Ukraine?

 Loretta Saunders

Loretta Saunders

 Heather Moyse

Heather Moyse

I suppose our own little worlds contain their own grand scales. For instance, my sister is quite wrapped up in her girls' lives and activities, and sometimes that comes with drama. I've been through that with my son so on some level it feels like I've come out the other side of it all, the days when your child's world feels like the only world, and so most of your energy goes to protecting your kid. My other sister is apparently plotting a move back to Canada after trying life in England for less than a year - I expect in some ways she's feeling a certain disappointment that things didn't work out the way she planned. My cousin just had her first baby - I cannot tell you how joyous her world must be right now, despite newborn fatigue. For her, a world of joy and promise awaits!

Last week a Facebook friend of mine announced that his wife is now expecting their second baby. His post was so filled with love and simple hope that I was moved to tears. I have not stopped thinking about it. His heartfelt statement concluded with something along these lines: "I had no idea that my life would take such a joyous turn in my forties. I had reconciled my life as a single parent of one. Now I am a married father of about-to-be two." He gave the rest of us hope and stated this truth: "None of us knows what is around the next corner. It could be great, unexpected joy." I find myself thinking about that every day. Last week I said to my guy, Steve, that I suppose I am about done. I will be turning forty-eight in early April. My knees hurt, I am down to pretty much one eye, my shoulder doesn't have the mobility it used to. Now to put this in perspective, Steve is eleven years older than myself. Needless to say, my comment engendered a strange look from my man.

The thing is, age is weird. With aging comes a certain wisdom, or confidence, I suppose. But if y'all are like me, there are also certain regrets inherent in aging. Personally I hope reincarnation exists because there are things I would like to do in my next life that I did not get the chance to do in this one.

Here's my list:

 I'm gonna snap a photo of me sitting on a ring...

I'm gonna snap a photo of me sitting on a ring...

1. Become an Olympic Gold Medalist figure skater (Is there a more beautiful sport? Is there? Thank you Heather Moyse for showing me that this is indeed possible. Too bad it'll have to wait til my next pass through this cosmic haze called life).

 Gee this feller would look nice being carried in my pocket everywhere; uh, I mean on a back shelf in my office...

Gee this feller would look nice being carried in my pocket everywhere; uh, I mean on a back shelf in my office...

2. Become an Oscar Award Winning Actor (I haven't given up hope in this life that I can become an Oscar Award Winning Filmmaker, btw. Just sayin'. But actor will have to wait til my next life because after our play rehearsal last night I wasn't feelin' terribly confident in my abilities. But it sure has been fun writing about Jessie Wheeler's world in the Drifters books! Living vicariously through a character one creates? Friggin' awesome).

3. Become a Grammy Award Winning Singer / Songwriter (see # 2). (Oh come on, lemme be, a girl can dream).

 Purty...

Purty...

4. Become the next Mother Teresa (Thought I should include this for good measure. Although when I stop to think about it, it should be number one. And I would gladly take this role if God gave it to me before becoming an Olympian-Oscar-Grammy winning athlete-actor-singer).

5. Have a large family with lots of kids and a doting husband. And maybe one dog and two cats.

Well, this list could go on and on. Does yours? 

In all seriousness, my FB friend's comment about us not knowing what is around our own next corner was a humble reminder for me. Maybe that filmmaking Oscar will never come in this lifetime, but there is a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to. Will I have more children (not likely unless I adopt! Let's be real here), will I actually get married (uh, also not likely, let's face it), will I earn a living as a filmmaker (on PEI? Who am I kidding? But I'm willing to try)? Will my books start to snowball (um, I will continue to market smartly. Okay Universe? Y'all listening? I am trying…)? Will I stay healthy, will my family stay healthy? Of course I don't have the answers to those questions. I don't know what's around the corner, whether it's great joy or perhaps a modicum of sadness. What I do know is that I am heartbroken at today's discovery of a young girl's body, and at the same time I am rejoicing with the rest of my small island over the gold medal worn around a tired Olympian's neck. And somewhere in the middle I am rather terrified about hitting the stage Saturday night, but also joyous that I get to share that stage with two talented and fun gals whose company I have sincerely come to enjoy over the last many weeks of rehearsal.

What is around my next corner? Only one thing I know for certain - dreams, dreams and more dreams. Hope. The luxury of polishing my next few books, finishing the edit on my doc film, and then a whole-hearted pursuit to make my first feature drama happen. And hopefully along the way many starry nights in front of this summer's campfires, good company, and lots of great music.

Oh, and also perhaps around the next corner there will also be some dryland figure-skating practice so I can really nail those triple-toes and axels. One never knows what the next life might bring...

'Til next time -

Susan :)