Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-turn back time January 7, 2015

In Outlander,

Jamie, the good husband, is always giving his wife, Claire,  good advice.

He gives advice to keep her safe.

Stay here in this clearing, away from the soldiers.

Sage advice.

Stay here in the hold, away from the pirates.

Good counsel.

Claire, a modern woman with a mind of her own, makes her own decisions.

Her decisions often run counter to Jamie’s.

Invariably, Jamie has to bail her out of the trouble she’s landed in,

because she didn’t listen to him.

Today,

my good husband came home for lunch and said,

“Don’t go out there.  It’s treacherous!  I had to put down salt,

to melt the ice on the driveway!”

When he returned to work,

I saw the mail lady come.

I’m expecting a parcel.

There’s salt down.

What’s the worst that could happen?

I stepped on islands made by salt pellets

down our steep drive,

crossed the slippery road, and was within a meter of the mailbox

when I was splayed out on the edge of the road like a frog.

Ah!  So that’s the worse that could happen.

Stay here in the house, away from the ice, he’d said

And after, my good husband didn’t even say,

“I told you so.”

Oh, if I could turn back time!

.

DSCN1452  5 hours in Emergency because I have a spiral fracture in my ankle, and apparently orthopaedic surgeon will screw in a plate tomorrow, but at least I don’t have to pay anything for this adventure thanks to Canadian MediCare!

🙂

Outlander is written by Diana Gabaldon.  It’s an amazing historical, time-travel, adventure, romance, amazing novel that you should read.  My husband adores it, and tried to get everyone he knows to read it, as do I.

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poem- tingle (an #Outlander poem) October 4, 2014

Filed under: OUTLANDERishness,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:34 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Your fingers

touch tentatively

on the back of my neck

pulling the ribbon with

slow deliberation;

your breath tangling

in the tendrils of my hair

sends tingles

tumbling to my

toes.

.

.

.

Another Outlander poem from ep 107 “The Wedding.”

 

poem- looking (an #Outlander poem) September 29, 2014

“I want to look,”

she says.

Finger outlining

the focus of

her attention,

she walks

a slow, studious circle

of analysis

and inevitable

appreciation.

.

“Fair’s fair,”

he says,

stepping back

with a glint in his eye,

joyfully

thankful for circumstance

that made her

his.

.

.

.

Another poem based on Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander;  this one based on Ron Moore’s TV series, specifically episode 107, “The Wedding.”

 

picket knit #Outlander infinity scarves! September 16, 2014

DSCN1259I have been knitting on the picket line, and have listed five scarves for sale on eBay.  They’re various lengths, widths, and colours, all based on the scarf Claire wears outdoors in episode 103 “The Gathering” of the Outlander TV series.  They each start at an auction price of $29.99, or a Buy-It-Now at $40.

As an added bonus, you can see me modelling the scarves in my belly dancing wig! 🙂  You know you want to see what I look like without white, fuchsia and blue hair, right? <g>

Here is the link to the scarves on my eBay seller’s page

So that ^ link has expired, but I still have some scarves for sale, so if you’re interested in one, drop me a line via either the ABOUT or CONTACT pages and I’ll get back to you.  Eventually I’ll try to upload photos to this page.

For you crafty types who end up on this page because you want to make one, most of mine were knit in garter stitch over 15-25 stitches (depending on whether you want a cowl that doesn’t wrap, or a scarf that does) using 25 mm needles.  To get Claire’s look above pick a chunky yarn of your choice, plus a coordinating worsted weight, use both together to cast on 15-18 (as you like), knit away until you run out of yarn (a meter to 1.5 meters), then whipstitch the ends together.  You can add a twist if you like for a mobius strip, which does lie nicely on the shoulders, I must say.

Very easy! The costuming department was in a real hurry when they commissioned all these scarves, and I’m not sure I’ve seen one on the show that couldn’t have been knit in a day. I chose fancy chunky yarns- nice German boucles or variegated types to go with a solid worsted.  You might prefer all solids like Claire has on.

 

please never die! August 30, 2012

This is purely selfish, I know.

Since October 2011, I’ve been obsessed with author Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series (though I read anything by her I can find: the Lord John series, blog posts, articles, tweets, Facebook postings).  Like millions of rabid fans around the world, I am waiting desperately for the next installment in in the adventures of Claire and Jamie Fraser, et al.  Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (aka MOBY) isn’t due until SEPTEMBER 2013!

>>Insert anguished groan here<<

Recently, Diana went to Scotland to celebrate the wedding of her daughter.  I found myself praying passionately that there would be no plane, train, bus, ferry, or auto accidents.  What if Diana was to expire in some sort of dramatic, Fraser worthy way?  She puts her characters through enough, fate might just mock her with an ironic  twist, and she could be caught in such a scenario up close and personally!  Worse, some ignominious event could fell her, some blip of biology could shut down that brilliant brain and still that witty pen.

😦  NOOOOOOOOO!  The very idea makes my heart pound in dread.

Yesterday, in my audio book of Gabaldon’s Drums of Autumn, Jamie fought off a bear with a dirk, bare hands, and sheer determination.  (Claire contributed to his defence by whacking at the combatants with a dead fish).  After this attack, Claire shakily observes,

Anytime. It could happen anytime, and just this fast. I wasn’t sure which seemed most unreal; the bear’s attack, or this, the soft summer night, alive with promise.

I rested mv head on my knees, letting the sickness, the residue of shock, drain away. It didn’t matter, I told myself Not only anytime, but anywhere. Disease, car wreck, random bullet. There was no true refuge for anyone, but like most people, I managed not to think of that most of the time.

I am not a worry-wart.  I have a generally relaxed, laissez-faire attitude about most things.  I believe in doing what you can, and then letting go.  I wait without anxious fear for results of jobs, test results, admissions, reviews, and queries. Impatient curiosity may cause frustration, but not anxiety.  My kids and husband are on their own, provided only with my good wishes and sensible advice.  I never panic over their prospective demises, despite their penchants for death defying recreational activities that would indicate I really should.  Yet, Diana Gabaldon’s books can keep me up all night, fretting about how things are going to turn out for a character who’s stuck in another impossible situation.  Her fictional world stresses me out far more than the real world does.

I love her for it.

So I worry about Herself .*   This is slightly absurd, and definitely selfish.    I know it, and yet I can’t help it.

Please be immortal, Diana.  Or at least, get yourself into a time loop next time you’re in Scotland.  I recommend looking for wild flowers at the base of standing stones around Beltane.

*I also worry,  not infrequently, about Davina Porter, narrator of the Outlander audio books, for much the same reasons.  She HAS to keep narrating this series!  She can’t die or retire!

Imagine my head, cupped in my hands, shaking in embarrassment.  This is quite pathetic, but very real.  Am I alone in this absurdity?  Tell me someone else shares author anxiety?

July/2013 Especially now that MOBY won’t be released until March 2014 now!

 

There is no time between hearts June 6, 2012

Yesterday I was blessed to have a visit from dear friends of my teenage years.  It has been over 20 years since I last saw them, because they now live in Ottawa, some 4000 km away.  We keep in touch through letters (the paper kind!) and Facebook, so we have exchanged photos and life events, but we haven’t seen each other in lifetimes (those of 3 children between us, I think)

The door bell rang, they stepped inside, and it was as if our last visit was yesterday.  It gives a glimpse into the concept of eternity.  If our own experience is that time folds upon itself when old friends come together, a life time is measured in a blink.

I’m reminded of Joe Abernathy’s comments to Claire with respect to high school reunions in Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber.  He says, “you see all these people you haven’t seen for twenty years, and there’s this split second when you meet somebody you used to know, when you think, ‘My God, he’s changed!,’ and then all of a sudden, he hasn’t—it’s just like the twenty years weren’t there.  I mean”—he rubbed his head vigorously, struggling for meaning—“you see they’ve  got some gray, and some lines, and maybe they aren’t just the same as they were, and you have to make yourself stand back a ways to see that they aren’t eighteen anymore.”

I sure wish Ottawa was a whole lot closer.  The worst thing about seeing someone you haven’t seen in 20 years is how much you wish you could spend  more time with them.  Good-byes are extra sad.

Thank heaven for Facebook. 🙂

 

death and time January 3, 2012

I’ve been pondering time lately.  I once heard a theory that while time is linear to us, that it could also be a circle.  I envision this as a tight coil, circle upon circle, so that everything is really happening simultaneously, in different components of the coil.

This concept works well with my notion of Other Realms, such as exist in Grace Awakening.  This makes the past that Ben is obsessed with and that Grace is dreaming about is all really concurrent with their modern high school experience.  The memories of 3000 years are as close as the present.

This sort of fits with the experience of Jamie and Claire in the time travelling Outlander series.   It changes the concepts of death and love.

18th century Jamie expresses it well to Claire who has crossed through the standing stones in the 1960s to return to him in the past.  She is remembering his grave seen in her own time, and she is afraid for him.  He is not worried:

“But do you not see how verra small a thing is the notion of death, between us two, Claire?” he whispered.

“All the time after ye left me, after Culloden—I was dead then, was I not?…Two hundred years from now, I shall most certainly be dead, Sassenach…  Be it Indians, wild beasts, a plague, the hangman’s rope, or only the blessing of auld age—I will be dead. … And while you were there—in your own time—I was dead, no?… I was dead, my Sassenach—and yet all that time, I loved you. … So long as my body lives, and yours—we are one flesh,” he whispered.  His fingers touched me, hair and chin and neck and breast, and I breathed his breath and felt him solid under my hand.  Then I lay with my head on his shoulder, the strength of his supporting me, the words deep and soft in his chest.    “And when my body shall cease, my soul will still be your’s Claire—I swear by my hope of heaven, I will not be parted from you.  … Nothing is lost, Sassenach; only changed.”

“That’s the first law of thermodynamics,” I said, wiping my nose. 

“No,” he said. “That’s faith.” (Drums of Autumn p.321-22)

It makes my heart ache a bit to think of such faith in love.  That’s a good thing too.  I think Ben feels the same way about Grace, so long as she will choose him, and survive the attacks of those meant to destroy her.  There’s that finger of doubt chasing him, though.  Will she stay this time?

Death doesn’t stop the love.  The loss of a person physically doesn’t mean the warmth of feeling disappears.  Scents or memories can drop in and collapse the time between in an instant.   Dreams seem like a very logical way to cross the divide.  Visitations can be close in the territory of Morpheus.  I wonder if he’s worked out some arrangement with Chronos?  Hmmm.

 

 
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