Blogging, Feminism, Memoir and Reflections, SoCS

Like the Deserts Miss the Rain, #SoCS

I really enjoyed the variety of the stream of consciousness prompts these past few weeks, but Linda’s back for Stream of Consciousness Saturday once more:

Welcome home Linda.


Let me speak for everyone when I say we missed you. Canada missed you too.


Speaking of missing…missing something or someone…

I immediately thought of a favourite song of mine because I am always thinking of songs.

I first heard Everything But The Girl’s Missing when I was fourteen.

Missing – Everything But The Girl

It came on a music compilation CD I bought with my Christmas money from that year. We went to the mall and I discovered Women & Songs, a spin off of Lilith Fair, an all female tour put on by a Canadian music legend: Sarah McLachlan.

This was when CD’s were still the big thing, back when I was still a kid. I miss that, both those things.

I did not yet know the feeling of missing in all the ways I soon would.

I knew what it felt like to be missing a grandparent. It had happened to me four years earlier, quite unexpectedly. Growing up would mean only more of that feeling of missing people I loved, would love, and would lose in one way or another.

CD’s and songs like Women & Songs and Missing would be what I would cling to, when the feeling of missing became too painful that I didn’t know how I would cope.

The song Missing is a bit of a sad tale really. Missing someone to the point of being stuck in the past. I didn’t want that to happen to me, but how could I stop it? How could I get past the missing, put one foot in front of the other and move past it?

You never really do. I don’t think I ever will. I must still try.

Missing, in this case, is a song about longing. It’s actually about the act of stocking, if you get right down to it, but not in a psychotic way I think. Whoever is in this song is a pitiful shell of who they once were. That is no way to be, to live.

The scars I have from the missing I do are always with me, but their mark fades a little with time.

I miss the sight I used to have and the colours I can no longer see. I miss the colour red, so much so sometimes that I want to cry. I miss the face of a loved one, so much so sometimes that it makes me want to scream.

I miss the feeling I got the first time I read Harry Potter or what it felt like to fall in love for the first time.

I miss a friend who isn’t meant to still be in my life or I begin to miss another friend, even though she isn’t even gone yet.

I miss a grandparent who couldn’t possibly stay, disappearing from this world. And me, helpless to stop it. I miss a parent or other family member who I haven’t even lost yet.

A relationship, love gone wrong and ended, and again I lost out.

I missed my chance, for a life with someone or more time with a loved one. I missed an opportunity for another path in life. Blink and you’ve missed it, you’ve missed it all.

Could you be dead?

The song asks this. Some of the people I miss are and others aren’t, but how come it always feels this way? I don’t see someone any longer and my mind automatically goes there, even when I don’t want it to.

Maybe, in a way, it’s easier for my mind to think of all those I miss as gone undeniably and for good. Maybe it’s just easier to cope, in an odd way. Maybe it’s how I’m preparing myself for a future of missing, but wait…

I spend so much of my life missing people that I miss out on other things. The rest of it starts to pass me by. I often feel sorry for myself, just missing the mark somehow.

I missed my train. I miss certain people like the desert does miss the rain. That song uses this to create a vivid image of what it feels like to miss. I can’t get over how strong that image is and I feel it, every time I hear Missing.

What do you miss? Could be a person, place, or a thing.

Special Occasions, This Day In Literature

Hemingway’s Havana

Born – July 21, 1899
died – July 2, 1961

On the trip I took to Cuba several years back I found myself in the famous city of Havana. A van was rented and a driver brought my parents, my brother, and myself to tour around for the day.

A huge part of this tour revolved around infamous American novelist Ernest Hemingway and the spots he frequented while he made his home there in the thirties and beyond.

I must admit I have never been a huge fan of his novels. I started to read The Sun Also Rises a long time ago and I didn’t make it very far. I found his writing a little too cold, distant, and lacking emotion. Perhaps I am too stereotypically a female reader, liking what women apparently look for in a well-written narrative, or else I just didn’t give it enough of a chance, but I was a teenager and I couldn’t escape or deny the boredom. Did Hemingway write more for men? That, supposedly, is a question for another post and time. (Clears throat) Anyway…where was I?

Oh yes…

Anyway, our tour featured some of the places he made famous, for tourists and locals alike. Being a lover of literature as a whole I was curious.

We stopped, at one of the bars he drank at, to have a sample of the drink he made famous: the mojito. I can’t say that this was my sort of drink either, but my mom was excited. I was excited to see our next stop on the tour.

We rode up in the open-air elevator with its screen, to check out the place where he lived and wrote. The Ambos Mundos hotel is visited by travellers from all over the world, every single day. I pictured him sitting there and writing.

“It is said that if a visitor stays in this hotel he or she will surely dream of the characters in Hemingway’s novels.”

I couldn’t deny that I felt brought back in time, in history to his life in that marvelous Cuban city, so full of inspiration.

The small room where he used to stay is obviously a museum now (Number 511) and it is there where it is said he was inspired to write For Whom the Bell Tolls. I haven’t got to that one yet.

Recently I tried once more; second time is a charm? I started reading The Old Man and the Sea and I got out on the open water with the old man and then put the book down, not to pick it up again. I hope to return to this story to complete it at some point.

I thought today, in remembrance of Hemingway and the fact that it would be his birthday if still alive, that I could share my one-and-only Ernest Hemingway related travel experience. Tomorrow is Tuesday and I often post about travel. Cuba was a special place and I hope to write more about the rest of my week on the island on a later Travel Tuesday. I will have to return to Havana one of these days to be able to not waste the opportunity to write about such a famous location and maybe even to visit his home there (Finca La Vigia), which is currently being restored. Now that I have this blog there are so many literary travel spots I need to visit and revisit so I can write about them and give them the appropriate attention they deserve.

Happy Birthday to a legend of a literary mind.

Note: I took a few of the details I was unaware of from this interesting post from a new travel writing site I just discovered.

Traveling Tales online travel magazine

Also: it appears that even if I could be headed for Crazy Cat Lady status, Hemingway was quite the cat lover himself. I can’t tell you what a huge comfort this is.

“Hemingway named all his cats after famous people so we follow that same tradition today. Cats are capable of learning and responding to their names, particularly if they have an affectionate relationship with the person who calls them.)

Hemingway and Kijewski

It’s amazing the sorts of things you find out when you bother doing just a little bit of research.