Tag Archives: John Lennon

Only Child on flooding and other extreme weather

Only Child  contemplates the weather and its ramifications

Only Child contemplates the weather and its ramifications

You know what the late great John Lennon wrote and sang about the rains coming and people running and hiding. It sure applies to all the rain and flooding we have been getting this year and it doesn’t matter where you live in the world- rain and flooding are the new norm. Even parts of southern California got flooded out this past weekend. In southern Ontario, Canada, the city of Burlington got flooded badly. The city’s mayor was interviewed this morning on The Weather Network and flooding and he said his house got about five feet of rain and some of it got into his main floor. For videos on this flooding mess and interview with the mayor go to

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/flash-flooding-sweeps-burlington-more-storm-chance-tuesday/33328

 

There is nowhere to run and hide

 

Why is this happening now? There are many theories and I’ve mentioned this briefly before. I am convinced that whichever religious group predicted the big flood to end the world in October 2012 have something right – they just got the date wrong. But it is coming…soon.

I was discussing this recently with a friend who is a born again Christian/Catholic, so you can guess how she went on about it.

Actually, we are in agreement about a lot of things with this flood business. We agree the end of the world is coming soon, just not all the details. She talked about The Rapture and how the good people will be swept up in it and into heaven.

I don’t think there will be any Rapture. Why? Because the floods, hurricanes, etc. are too widespread and hurting (sometimes killing) good as well as bad people. At this rate, there may not be many or any “good” people left.

And just what constitutes a “good person” these days (from God’s point of view)?

Whats behind all this? It is my opinion (and this is just me) that either all these extreme weather conditions are caused by God or at least he has a hand in them (and global warning has something to do with it) OR as a few of my church-going friends say when I blame God for something – “God is too busy with other things to be bothered with our concerns.”

They may be right. I mean if we are praying to be spared from so many of these extreme weather conditions and that doesn’t happen, then God is busy with other things. Maybe these “other things” are his agenda. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – God gave us all free will. What if he doesn’t like what we are doing with that free will and he is acting accordingly?

I’m just saying. And as posted before, there is no such person as Mother Nature. Every time I hear that euphemism I cringe.

That’s my opinion, anyway.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

 

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Filed under Burlington flooding, End of world, Extreme Weather, Floods, God, Rain, The Rapture

Blending the past and the present in your memoir

The Beatles back in 1965. This photo is supposed to in the public domain.

The Beatles back in 1964. This photo is supposed to be in the public domain.

I grew through my teenage years as a Beatle fan – complete with screaming at their concerts in Toronto to agonizing over what they said, did (and didn’t say and didn’t do) according to newspaper and magazine stories.

So, seeing the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show (Sunday, Feb. 9, 1964) on this past Sunday (Feb. 9, 2014) triggered a lot of nostalgia. Where was I when the fab four appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show? At a youth club dance at the church where the club organizers had a black and white TV brought in so we could see the Beatles on Ed Sullivan Show. The TV was appropriately put on the hall’s stage.

On this past Sunday, as I sat and watched others perform the Beatles’ hits and saw the reaction of the two remaining Beatles Paul and Ringo and their wives, and the late John Lennon’s wife and son Sean and the late George Harrison’s wife and son Danny (Danny performed with some of the others on stage including Ringo and Paul’s reunion performance), I was caught up in nostalgia, in going back. And I truly felt that in those days the world was in a better place and the world was not so bad – considering today’s weather to the rush-rush, terrorists, over-technological focus, meanness, etc. etc.

My own little world may have been difficult – I mean as a teenager and experiencing all the usual teen emotions intensely with a few added ingredients. My dad was dying of cancer and I had been bullied in grade school, which left any self-confidence buried deeper than the proverbial hole.

And this is the perfect time where my past and present connected. And you can put this type of connection in your memoir. I already have some of the Beatles stuff in one chapter. Here’s a brief excerpt:

 

One day Susan and I are standing on the sidewalk outside East York Collegiate. Some of the popular crowd in our class – Dana, Lou, Marnie –stand right next to us in an open circle, but talking amongst themselves. I pretend to listen in and not listen, and try to think of something relevant to say. Something that will show I am worthy of them. But my lips and voice do the opposite to my behavior at last year’s Beatles concert.

“Sharon and I are going to see the Beatles,” Susan says. “Maple Leaf Gardens mailed her tickets.”

The eyes of the popular crowd turn to me.

“Lucky you,” Marnie says.

“Fab,” says Lou.

Even Dana is smiling at me – she who seems so formidable, probably because she is tall and heavyset. I just murmur a weak “yes,” and smile back. Why can’t I say more? I know Marnie and Lou, the twins, from Miss Garlick’s piano lessons.

Then John Lennon makes his famous “The Beatles are more popular than Jesus Christ” statement and Susan’s mom pulls her permission. Susan returns her ticket to me but it’s too close to the performance to get someone else to go and I’m too shy to ask anyone. It never occurs to me to ask one of the popular crowd. The second ticket gets sent back to Maple Leaf Gardens and Mom let me go alone.The new ticket holder is a 13-year-old girl, who after intermission moves to sit with her brother and his friends in another section. I’m left alone to see, listen, and fantasize. This time I sit on the same side in the bleachers, but way way down from the stage. The mopheads appear small and far away but I can hear them singing. I don’t scream. I felt inhibited because my friends aren’t around to join me in letting out my emotions.

But John Lennon’s statement stuck and I found myself trying to defend it, mostly in my mind. Looking back, the seeds of discontent with religion may have already been planted inside me, although Lennon’s statement wasn’t what would make me question the righteousness of religion, in particular the beliefs of the Catholic faith. My own home situation with Dad dying from cancer coupled with the change in society norms coming right up against the religion-by-rote from grade school would take care of that. This time Mom wouldn’t stand on my side and when I would turn around, no one would be there at 139 to confide in. (Excerpted from You Can Go Home: Deconstructing the Demons, copyright 2014 Sharon A. Crawford)

 

There is some hint of what will come in the near future. But this is a good place to add a couple of paragraphs to connect it to the present – how I felt when I saw the 50th anniversary of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan Show Feb. 9, 2014. The religious angle could also lead in to how and why I feel the world is not a better place now and why it was at least simpler then. How I feel now is important because memoirs are also about your personal feelings.

 

That is the way I would do the past and present connection. As long as the present doesn’t go off on a tangent and you can find your way writing back into the past, adding the parallel in the present can work.

Perhaps the quote I use at the beginning of my memoir says it all

 

The past is our definition.  We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it. 

~Wendell Berry

If you are in the Toronto, Ontario Canada area and want to learn more, I am teaching a memoir writing workshop, Saturday, February 22, 2014.  Here are some details:

Getting your Memoir off the Ground:

Presented by the East End Writers’ Group

Always wanted to write your family’s story or your story but need some motivation and guidance? Sharon A. Crawford, who conducts Memoir Writing workshops for the Toronto Public Library, will teach this one-day expanded workshop on Memoir Writing. After a brief review of kick-starting your memoir using the senses, this hands-on workshop takes the writer into the nitty-gritty of writing the memoir. You will learn how to organize your memoir’s content, do research and work it into your memoir, deal with family flak, and not only start writing your memoir, but write an actual chapter and have it critiqued.  Handouts provided. Bring photos and other memorabilia, pen and paper or the electronic equivalent.

Check out the full details on my website at www.samcraw.com (click on Speaker’s Bureau).

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

 

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Filed under 1950s, 1960s, Beatles, Family and Friends, Mom and Dad, Nostalgia, Only child memoir, Sharon A. Crawford