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Sunday, February 24, 2019

Emotional Language

Our emotional language has become strident,

hysterical even,

under the relentless pounding

of modern life.

Let's dial it back.

Take a deep breath, everyone.

Sit for a moment and breathe.

I know I'm always telling you that,

but there's a reason:

it works.

It transforms the moment—

the neon flashes of anger and despair—

into something magically more manageable.


You don't have to want to do it,

this sitting and breathing.

Do it because I said so.

Just trust me.

Your emotional language will shift from strident to—

to who knows what?

To poetic, even.

To a new depth.

To something recognizably human.




Copyright © 2019 Ann Tudor
Food blog:

Sunday, February 17, 2019


They say we humans long to belong.

I can't say categorically

that that's wrong.


Only the hugely damaged accept the fact

of not belonging.

And theoretically that seems right.

The rest of us--

the moderately damaged

or the miraculously healed—

we live to belong.


And after all,

this business of being One with Everything—

stones and mountains and rivers

in addition to the sentient beings—

well, if that's true

(or if we just want to think it's true)

our only choice is to accept belonging as our right.


Or is it our duty?

Our duty to life or to the universe

(the multiverse, rather)

is to learn to belong on whatever level we can.

No matter how uncomfortable that might be,

let us keep searching until we find

the subset to which we actually belong.


It won't be long.



Copyright © 2019 Ann Tudor
Food blog:

Sunday, February 10, 2019


The poet achieves dominion over

the cruelties of life

by capturing emotions

as they flit by.


Like dreams,

emotional moments seek to escape unrecorded.

Only the diligent poet

can trap the essence of what all feel

but few remain conscious of.


Let's hear it for poets,

without whose fine tuning

we would forget our inner lives.

A toast to poets,

archivists of the soul,

recorders of the unconscious.

keepers of the collective memory.

Hail, poets!

Long life to you.

Long life to your words.


Copyright © 2019 Ann Tudor
Food blog:

Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Landline

I don't nap every day, but when I do, I set the timer we keep on our bedroom bureau. God forbid I should allow myself to sleep beyond a set time.


Yesterday as I drifted in that grey area of not-quite-sleeping, the timer went off with its shrill "br-i-i-ing." And here was my first thought upon hearing it: thank goodness it's the timer and not the phone!


For I have become phone-phobic. It isn't as if we get a lot of phone calls. But every ring of the phone signals the possibility of something wrong, some trouble to deal with, something to sort out. This is a stupid fear, really, because our life is pretty uneventful.


Part of the problem might be my hearing. These days most calls are from a cell phone and are often in speaker-phone mode, and the sound as it comes through the wires is echo-y, too loud, and distorted. It's just no fun trying to make sense of these squawky sounds.


We don't get many phone calls, as I believe I have said. (At this point I need to admit that we do not have Caller ID, unlike 95% of the known Universe.) Many of the phone calls we do get are from young men in India who want to clean our ducts (or is it our ducks?). We are on a no-call list, of course, but the efficacy rate of that list is pretty low, since calls coming from outside the country are not subject to no-call restrictions.


I generally deal with these rogue callers with their rudimentary command of English by saying sternly, "We are on a no-call list and you could be arrested for making this call." Not true, of course. And he probably doesn't even understand what I'm saying.


Someday, when I have the time and am feeling feisty, I will ask to speak to the supervisor of this sweat shop that is ripping off (most likely) its employees and invading my own privacy. But until now I've simply said, "no-call-list-police-thank you-goodbye." And the hapless young man is off to his next robo-dialed number.


The big mystery is this: does anyone ever respond positively to these calls? Would you arrange to have your ducts cleaned because an anonymous call center in India dialed your phone number? Why would you even want these self-invited workmen traipsing through your house with their oversized vacuum cleaners, disturbing the neighbourhood peace with their giant motors? How could it possibly be financially rewarding for a company to farm out those cold-calls in the hope of building a customer base?


In a recent flyer that arrived on our doorstep, one of the ads was for duct-cleaning, and at the bottom of the ad was the assurance that "We never advertise through random phone calls." That's enough right there to get my business.


I haven't yet mentioned the stealth calls. The answering machine blinks even though the phone has not rung all day. Sometimes there's no message on the machine at all (this is a ghost call). And sometimes there's a computer voice telling you that a Very Important Message follows. That's when I hit delete.


If Alexander Graham Bell had foreseen the multiple mis-uses of his invention, he might have applied his genius to something other than the telephone.


And you'll note that I'm not even mentioning the iniquities of cell phones and smart phones; I'm hoping I never have to learn how those things work. Annoying as it is, I'll enjoy and appreciate my land-line until they pry it from my cold, dead hand. Eventually.

Copyright © 2019 Ann Tudor
Food blog: