Saturday, November 2, 2013

I'm Back

Hi there everyone! I'm back after quite a hiatus. A lot has happened in the past couple of years including a move to Northern Alberta for work reasons. I am still relatively healthy and am embarking (or rather, I have embarked) on a new adventure. I have a laptop, my microscope, my bike, and fleece sheets. What more does a gal need? Oh, have that, too. The decision to pick and leave Nova Scotia was done very quickly. An opportunity presented itself, so I jumped at it. I was in shock the first two days but then on the third started to get excited about the move. And now, after being here less than a week, I believe it was the right thing to do. So I am back in radio and did my first on air shift this morning. I'll be doing more writing and reporting than anything else, but do have the Weekend News Anchor position. It felt really good to put the headphones back on, that's for sure. And I'm thinking about altering the title of this blog, but only a little bit. The municipality I am living in is Wood Buffalo. So what do you think about "Bugs, Bikes, Brains, and Buffalo"? S.


Mary Gerdt said...

4 B's...Welcome back and congratulations on new job, place. Best wishes! Mary

Sean J Mahoney said...

Hello Shauna –

My name is Sean and what follows is a little something I just posted on the boards at one of the MS sites I belong to:

*I had an interesting experience last night. Wife had a coupon for 1 week free at the local 24-Hour Fitness center. She wanted to swim. She wanted me to go with her. I didn’t feel like getting in the water but agreed to go. I would read while she swam. 

We got there and went in. She had to fill out some paperwork and the fella signing her up asked me if I was going to use the weights or swim. “Neither – I’m just here to read.” He smiled oddly but continued with the ‘pitch’ about the facility. He brought up the basketball courts – perhaps because I’m tall. “Got intra-league play tonight. Some kids of NBA players and a couple of former NFL guys. They run full-court games.”

Great. I played basketball frequently and with great gusto for most of my life. I can’t anymore. I can’t run like that anymore. Or even very well anymore. I could play H-O-R-S-E. Or MSSUCKSBALLS. Or participate in free throw contests. But no running.

But that wasn’t the moment I truly felt out of place. That happened later when I was waiting for wife to reemerge from the lockers and I was sitting in the main thruway between reception and the lockers (really nice and modern facility btw). People coming and going. Lots of chit chat and banter: You workin out? You swimming? You lifting? And so on. There I am reading work by poets with disabilities talking about how the world at large defines them via the visual representation of defects or breakdowns that the physically impaired have absolutely no control over. And there I am in my work clothes: shorts, shirt, hiking boots. Looking disheveled and totally normal on….the…..outside. 

I am struck every few weeks by this peculiar situation that I find myself in. The MS hasn’t ravaged me yet. It’s like I am stuck inside the membrane that separates unimpaired and impaired. I’m a ‘tweener. And I’m reading poetry and taking notes inside a state of the art fitness center where I am not participating in the ritualistic honing of my body.

I didn’t feel strange so much as I was struck by the juxtaposition of me and them. And by this sort of limbo state. Anyone have similar experiences….the feeling that you are stuck in a Jacques Tati moment? I am curious.*

Curious about our extraordinarily curious disease indeed. I was Dx 4.4.2012 with PPMS. Still work. Still function relatively close to normal. Write quite a bit. Primarily poetry for the last year or so. Moving back to fiction soon for a little while I think.

There is a support group I belong to at the MS Connection site: the We Write for the Fight group. We released Volume 1 of Something On Our Minds back in June of 2013. A bit behind schedule but not bad for an editorial/production staff of two. We are now gathering material and tooling up for Volume 2, which we hope to release in March of 2014. We need strong voices. We need reason. We need vulgarity. We need passion in nouns and verbs.

Yes of course I have an angle. I would like to ask you to consider submitting a little something something. A slice of poetry. A bowl of prose. A re-purposed blog entry.
A story of some kind. From the couple of pieces of your blog that I read you read like a field scientist….and I mean that in the best of ways. You sound as if you are channeling Ann Beattie at Tinker Creek. I cannot emphasize how well you resonate. How perfectly….normal? Does that almost make sense?

Please consider it and let me know. If you opt to play with us I can get you a copy of the submission guidelines. The technical deadline is 11.20. What do they say about exceptions?


Sean J Mahoney

Shauna said...

Thanks, Mary!

Sean, I often feel like I am in a movie that no one else knows is being filmed. I am the subject of the movie but no one else is aware of what I'm thinking or feeling, almost like there's no soundtrack to indicate when to feel tension or sadness or joy. Kind of a reverse Truman Show.

Sean J Mahoney said...

Oooooh - I hate it when there are no captions!