Friday, August 14, 2015

The Lansdowne Letters: The A to Z Challenge That Wasn't Revisited

Home again finally!
I'm closing out my revisited posts
with this A, B, C post
first published on May 7, 2014:

I’ve been writing in one form or another much of my life.
Now that I’m retired, I’m finally going to write for me.

I’ve been carrying a book in my heart for decades,
and I’ve struggled off and on 
with it throughout this time.
How do I get what is in my heart and my head onto paper?

I also grapple with time management and computers.
That’s why I knew better than to sign up 
for the A-Z challenge in April.
Instead I wrote a short Alphabet Book for one of my books.
How elementary teacher is that?!

Its purpose was to identify personal images
that speak to me as I flounder 
through the muskeg of my mind.

I’m searching for my father 
in the pages of his letters written in The North.
I’m trying to honor and balance his voice with mine.
I’m searching for the truth and wondering what I can reveal.

Dad, Louise, Roberta, Roy, Donalda, Barbara
Sioux Lookout, 1963

Attawapiskat Lake, Lansdowne House, 
Lac Seul, and Sioux Lookout
form the landscape of my early heart.

Lake Attawapiskat, Peninsula, and the Father's Island, 1961

I cannot let John, Fritz, Kokum, 
Maurice, Simon, Bobby 
and the unforgettable others 
who moved in and out of my life, vanish.  
I want to give voice to what has been lost in death.

Ray, Don, John, Sara, and Fritz
Hudson, Ontario 1976

A is for alcohol, a slow suicide
B is for bush plane, bringing everyone running

Bush Plane ~ Norseman
Nakina, 1960

C is for canoe, carrier of The North
D is for demons, tormenting generations
E is for education, that some seek no matter the cost
F is for fish, quicksilver flashing through mercurial waters
G is for government, and its tragic games

Parliament, Ottawa, Canada, 2012

H is for heart, hungry and broken 
I is for isolation, the essence of the wilderness
J is for John

John, Lac Seul, 1961

K is for kerosene, lighting the dark
L is for letters, unlocking the past 

My Father's Letters ~ Donald MacBeath

M is for marooned, in the black bush
N is for northern lights, coloring the night
O is for Oblates of Mary Immaculate, healing the world 

 Father Ouimet, Donald MacBeath, 
Brother Bernier, Mr. Barker
Lansdowne House, 1960

P is for Parliament, and its politically expedient 
is for quietude, the singular voice of the North
R is for radio, the link to The Outside
S is for ski-doo, the very first one
T is for train, and its Sandwich Man

Train ~ Nakina, 1960

U is for unlucky, because sometimes you just can’t win
V is for voyagers, who answer the call of the wild

Voyagers at Heart, My Brother Roy and I
Lake Attawapiskat, 1961

W is for water, running through everything
X is for xenophobia, and its cost
Y is for yearning, for even the dreamless dream
Z is for zero, above and below

Thanks for your patience with my reposts
during my traveling summer.

Next time I go chasing Bucket Item dreams,
I hope to be ahead of the game!

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue


  1. Your alphabet is so personal and I can see the thought that went behind every letter. You are a good writer and through your blog I have seen part of your story. I know there is a book in you and can't wait to read it.

    1. Thank you, Peggy! You are always uplifting! I hope sweet Sadie is doing well. I'll be catching up. I've just added a new operating to my computer, and I'm having to rebuild my photo libraries. It took much of yesterday, and I still have more libraries to do. Plus my backing up isn't happening right. Arrgghh! Computers! Have a wonderful day!

  2. A great a to z that shows off thee. Now you can relax and get back to your book, after traveling from nook to nook to nook lol

    1. Haha, the joke's on me, Pat. Terry found a great deal on a hotel in Victoria, so we're going straight from my niece's wedding in Washington, D.C. to Victoria. Do Not Pass Go! But I'll be writing during the month I'm in Victoria! Have a great weekend!

  3. Yes, you should write for yourself. Loved the A to Z of life :)

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words, Rachna! I am working on a memoir, but my traveling this summer has slowed it down. Monday is the morning I start writing on schedule again. Hope all is going well with you!

  4. You are a frequent traveller lately, but that book is still there, and the A-Z is wonderful, each letter depicting so much in those words.

    1. Thanks, Jean! That A-Z is was deeper to me than it looks! Have a great weekend. Hope Hugh is continuing to recuperate well! Hugs!

  5. I really love the A to Z, Louise! Your photos always touch my heart, as do your posts. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. You are s sweetheart, Linda! The A-Z has a lot of meaning to me ~ some major ideas in my memoir. Have a lovely weekend! Hugs!

  6. A-Z and beyond!

    One year later than the 1st photo and 'et voila' Louise and I meet!!

    So great to laugh / talk / laugh / eat / laugh / be with you and your family this summer!


    1. Hey Ron!
      It was awesome to spend time with you and Jim! And it's always a joy to see sweet Sophie Doodle! I can't wait for next summer!

      Sorry I'm just responding now. On the spur of the moment, I decided to download a new operating system for my computer. Well that took hours and hours. It also wiped out iPhoto and Aperture, so I couldn't access my photos! (Apple is no longer supporting/using those programs). As a photographer, you can understand the panic that precipitated.

      But I was able to rebuild my libraries ~ It took another day and night as my computer "processed." Then it took the better part of two days and nights to back up all the changes on my external drive and photo archive drive. But I did it!!! So now I'm back in business!

      From what I've seen on Facebook, it looks like you and Jim are making the best of the last weeks of summer. I'm happy to see SD swimming and taking easy jaunts. Hugs to you all!

  7. I love to read a post from someone who tells me so very much in just a few words. You are just so dang talented. I think you are a great writer and just someone I am happy to know, even just as a fellow blogger!
    Lucky Ron above who knows you well!

    1. Hi Kay! Thank you for the lovely comment! I am happy to know you too! I think you are an amazing lady! I've been traveling and away from internet access for the past couple of months, so I'm catching up. Can't wait to see what you've been posting. I do hope that you are feeling better!

  8. What a wonderful post. Your writing is so enjoyable and the photos are mesmerizing. I feel like I've entered a secret passage into your family's history. By invitation, of course. Such an honour!

  9. How moving and passionate your alphabet book is! I feel your emotions. You have a way with words, Louise. Keep on truckin'!

    1. Thanks, Susan! You always lift my spirits! Can't wait to see you Friday!!!

  10. I think you will perfectly blend your voice with your father's.
    Some great photos you've save over the years.

    1. Thanks, Alex! A lot of the family photos have come to me. I love them, and a major project I'm involved with is sorting, identifying, and sharing them. It's monumental, but I take it one photo at a time. I hope you are enjoying a lovely Sunday. I know it is such a meaningful day for you. This agnostic is praying for faith. Take care!

  11. I've loved your voice so far! You have such love that you will do your family's story justice!x

    1. Thank you, dear Kezzie! So sorry that I have been erratic this summer. So much traveling. Hoping all is well with you!

  12. Happy Travels, Louise!!! I enjoyed reading your ABC format. I can't wait to one day read the story of your family and your father's adventures.

    1. Thank you, Audrey! It's lovely to see you! Hope all is well with you, Alain, and the girls. I miss you voice in the blogging world! XO

  13. "As I flounder through he muskeg of my mind....." Are you sure this wasn't already done by Gordon Lightfoot or someone else at that time? lol Love it!

    Just want to let it be said what a privilege it is to get to know you, Louise, and all the insights you share here about your 'journey' of discovery. I really enjoy your 'take' on things. This post was brilliant.
    My dear, you do not have to keep up with anybody. You are setting a pace that suits you. Allow it to unfold easily.

    1. Thanks for the kind and wise words, Jim! The muskeg is definitely my messy subconscious! LOL ~ But wow, to be compared with GL!!! That made me feel like a helium balloon shooting up in the sky! I'm so glad that you're my friend!!!


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