Friday, January 10, 2020

Confronting Lac Seul

All things come to an end,
a fact that I'm understanding more and more, the older I get. 

I wrote that sentence in the last post of my Lansdowne Letters series.
I can't believe that was published in late October 2018.

My plan for my blog was to immediately launch a new series of posts
which I had tentatively labeled as Lac Seul Sojourn.
I actually wrote several posts, but then I stopped.
I wasn't ready to confront Lac Seul.

Somewhere out of Sioux Lookout by Plane
Lac Seul, Northwestern Ontario, Canada
Summer 1976
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

I have tried to write about Lac Seul in the past, but I've always skittered away.

My previous attempt was in June 2013.
I published a blog post called Don't Be A Gingerbread Man;
but when it came to Part 2, I backed off on the draft
and skittered away for over five years.
I do not like dark nights of the soul.

Running Gingerbread Man

R. J. Clements quote:
I also do not like
dark nights of the soul
wherein I examine
"the flashbacks" that 
"bring into meaningful confrontation 
present and past, near and far"  


First, I side-stepped.
My next post was about an early childhood trauma
when a fire at the Charlottetown racetrack
killed some horses and I could hear their screams.

One of My Great Uncle Chester's Race Horses
This horse didn't burn to death
St. Peter's Bay, Prince Edward Island, Canada
About a century ago
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Next I danced around.
In my post six days later,
I alluded to one of the consequences of Lac Seul
that had unexpectedly just blown up in my life
after being tamped down for over forty years.
When you find yourself crying over a pile of red peppers
in the grocery store, you know you're in trouble.

Then I went into full retreat,
off and running on my gingerbread legs as fast as I could.
For the next four months I posted about anything but the North.
I couldn't even attempt a Lansdowne Letters post.
I'd come Undun.

It took me many months to work through the blowup in my life,
and all I will say is forgiveness is an amazing thing, especially when it is received.

You hear a lot about resolutions this time of year,
and I know myself better than to make one.
I had been thinking vaguely in terms of increasing the time I spend writing.

Then yesterday, while I was making my IWSG visits,
I came across a post and some comments discussing the value of writing
for exorcising trauma and disturbing events in one's life.
I decided my running on gingerbread legs had to come to an end.

I think failing to confront Lac Seul and its impact on my life
is blocking me from completing my memoir.

I'm tired of being a gingerbread man.
I want to be the fox.
I want to gobble up that gingerbread man starting with his feet and legs.

So next Friday, I'll start again with Lac Seul Sojourn.
I won't republish the few posts that I published before,
but I will tackle their information in a different way.

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

On the Bay of Fundy
Nova Scotia, Canada
July 31, 2014  
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

For Map Lovers Like Me:

Map of Canada
Highlighting Ontario

Location of Lansdowne House, Nakina, and Sioux Lookout
Northern Ontario, Canada

Lac Seul, Northwest of Sioux Lookout, Ontario 


  1. So you are going to eat the poor gingerbread man? Okay, just don't let kids see you or you may cause them life long trauma lol

    It is good to write and let it out. You just have to find the way that is best for you and then hit the old publish button. Such things can make for good additions to novels too, I've used a few, not that anyone wants things that create trauma to happen in the first place though.

    1. Hi, Pat! Sorry about my published glitch yesterday. I was surprised to see a comment when I thought it was unpublished. I'm forging ahead. We'll see how it goes. Have a great weekend!

  2. Be the fox! Confront those issues.
    I think I know the post you visited for IWSG as well.

  3. All things come to an end.
    But when we try to look back and pin point the exact time the ending came .... we really don't know. We just know it did. :(

    1. I'm hoping to find that ending! All the best, N3!

  4. I am good at avoiding unpleasant memories. Most of the time. I think there is value in not going there. BUT, if you feel the need to go back, there must be a good reason. Of course, there are issues I should face, but first I need to squarely account for just how special "right now" is. Keep me posted, Louise. Your travels help me to understand myself in more ways than I can count. BTW, you have some 'strange' comments today.

    1. Thanks, Joylene! Yes, now is very special, and I am fortunate to be experiencing it. I've made a lot of peace with my past in the last five or six years. Now I want to make peace with the rest of it. I zapped all those comments as soon as I saw them. That's the second time I been hit by them. It's so great to see you back! Have a great weekend!

  5. A lovely post Louise, and the pics are great. I've been to Toronto in Canada and Niagara Falls which was brilliant.
    Thanks for sharing.


    1. Thanks, Yvonne! I've been to those places too. Niagara Falls is thunderous! Have a great weekend!

  6. Hi Ho Happy New Years to both of you. 3 spammers have invaded your blog space. Dating back to 2012 to recent times. Just beware. I noticed them because I had click the NOTIFY ME box years ago. Since I didn't unclick them these 'viagra' spams are pouring in. Thought you should be aware. On that note have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks, Ron! You are always the best! Happy New Year to you and Jim and Ms SD!

  7. I hope writing about that period in your life does indeed help to exorcise your trauma, Louise. Be brave and strong and remember we all love you and support you.

    And put on your comment moderation (if you haven't already) to foil that misogynistic troll. Deprive him of publication oxygen.

    1. Thanks, Debra! Will do! You're an awesome friend!

  8. I'm sorry you've had such trauma in your life. We all seem to have some kind of trauma to deal with and it's all relative.


    1. Hi, Janie! I don't think anyone gets through this life without trauma. All the best to you, my friend!

  9. Thank you for the maps. This helps me understand where exactly we are. Be brave, my dear. It is scarier in our minds than on paper sometimes. My prayers are with you. All best in 2020!

    1. Thanks, Victoria! I'm glad that you liked the maps. I always like to know where places are in the world. Have a great weekend!

  10. Trauma is hard to deal with. No trauma is so easy to handle as someone else's. Take your handling it a bit at a time. Events may leave scars. Yet, you do not have to be your scars. They are signposts to the road which has led you where you are ... perhaps to be a source of compassion to someone else who has been hurt. My heart and prayers are with you. May 2020 bring you happier memories!

    1. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comment, Roland! A bit at a time is how I'm going to write through it/ All the best to you in 2020!

  11. I often use writing as a kind of therapy. But even then, sometimes it takes time to get to the stage where I can even think about whatever it is I need to work through.

    1. I hear you, Lynda! Thanks for the encouragement! All the best to you!

  12. I always thought it was neat that red peppers and green peppers are the same, just red ones spent more time on the vine.

    1. That is cool, Adam. I like the taste of the red ones better. You and Daisy have a great weekend. I hope you are safe from the storms hitting the east.

  13. Trauma is tough and each finds their own way to deal with it. Many of the bloggers I know have written about very serious issues. I shall try to follow you along your path. I have faced many so I am curious how the editing will go. Wishing you a good outcome.i am from Ontario and familiar with your maps.

    1. Happy New Year, Heidrun! It's lovely to see you again! Thanks for the good wishes. Have a good one.

  14. Trauma can just rip us can't it? I do think writing is cathartic and I trust that turns out to be the case for you.
    Wishing you all the best. May your muse dance on your shoulder.

    1. Thanks, Sandra! Writing has certainly helped me with other things. All the best to you in 2020!

  15. Some things in our lives need a lot of time to marinate before we're ready to take them on in our writing. I've started to write about my father's early life three times, and each attempt is about a decade apart. I reach a certain place in his story, and I stop. I'm still trying to figure out what's stopping me.

    Here's to your next series. I'm looking forward to reading it.

    1. Thanks for your wise and encouraging words, Lee. I thought my memoir would be long done. Dealing with the past is definitely challenging. All the best to you!

  16. You can do it.

    You can be free...

  17. Hi Louise, I think that writing is very cathartic. When I was struggling after the burnout, I wrote and wrote and wrote...journals, anonymous blogs and revenge stories that I knew I would never show anyone! It helped, but it does take time. Squashing something down and/or avoiding it never does any good!!! xx

  18. Just stopped by to see if you've started writing Lac Seul Sojourn.
    All the best:)

  19. I hope you can find the exorcism you need from writing about Lac Seul. I do agree that writing can be cathartic. I started a story about a major trauma in my life, but realized I didn't know where I wanted to take it (it wasn't memoir, but a fictional account of what happened.) Beyond that, I think the trouble figuring out where to take it came from not wanting to examine it too closely.

  20. thank God that your INSW blog visits dropped you clue dear Louise

    i just read the recent post and it was CAPTIVATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i think writing blockage is broken and your flow seems more mighty this time :)


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the time and energy you put into making them very much.