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Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Very Truth of You

Well, isn't THAT a search,

a quest, a journey,

a lifetime's task:

the very truth of you.

The intensity of the hunt


as you proceed through your life.

Some years it has so little importance

that you aren't even aware that

there's something to seek.

You simply go about your daily tasks

as if they alone constituted living.

Other years

(and am I wrong to say that

there are more of them the older you get?)

you chase that self—

the very truth of you—

as if your life depended on it.

As it may.

And then there are those few,

blessed from birth,

who know their very truth

from the beginning

and who can thus devote their lives

not to searching

but to simple gratitude.



Copyright © 2021 Ann Tudor
Musings blog:
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Sunday, November 21, 2021




We humans measure ourselves incessantly.

Am I good enough?

Productive enough?

Compassionate enough?

Do I have enough friends?

Enough shoes?

Do I measure up?

(Does anyone aspire to

measuring down?)


What a waste of energy,

this constant quest to see

where we stand in the pecking order

of life—

actually, of course, simply

the pecking order of the culture

in which we marinate.


Not all measurements are odious.

How tall are you

compared to your height at age 6?

Well, there's some measurable growth.

But those intangible measurements?

The ones that serve to demean us?


Drop them.

Stick to yardstick measurements

and let the rest take care of themselves.



Copyright © 2021 Ann Tudor
Musings blog:
Audible.Ca: go to and search for Ann Tudor
Audible.Com: go to and search for Ann Tudor


Sunday, November 14, 2021

Old Dogs, New Tricks

The accepted wisdom is that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Well, I used to think that I would put the lie to that! This old dog learned (or at least worked at learning) to play the cello. She learned to make CDs. She learned to write with her left hand (and more importantly, to EAT with her left hand) while the right was incapacitated. I was ready for anything. Show me a new trick and I'd learn it.


I spent the '60s and early '70s drowning in motherhood. I would read, usually after the fact—of rallies and walks and concerts-with-a-cause, and all of them passed me by. I lived through the '60s and I don't remember them, but not for the usual reasons. They passed me by. I might actually have felt like a part of that era if whoever it was hadn't said, "Don't trust anyone over 30!" I was 30 in 1966, and I took it personally (thus again living up to my mother's definition of me as someone who would cut off her nose to spite her face).


What all this means is that I never in my life attended a walk or a rally, even for causes that I supported. I was a rally neophyte.


But we all have a breaking point, and mine was the prorogued parliament several years ago. I heard about the rally (a friend who was to sing there emailed me). We were having dinner guests that night, but I made a time-table and decided I could fit in a trip downtown to Dundas Square in order to exercise my rights as a citizen. I planned to give it an hour, or maybe 90 minutes, before I had to get home to finish up the meal.


On the subway, I met a couple of neighbours who were headed toward the rally, so we traveled together. When we came up to ground level from the Dundas subway stop, I heard the shrill hectoring voice of a woman who was trying to start a chant. The audience (which nearly filled Dundas Square even at ten minutes before the scheduled start time) was half-hearted in supporting her. So all you could hear was that shrill, amplified voice screaming into the void. Not an auspicious beginning to me.


I told my friends that I'd make my way home when I was ready. And then I left them and crossed Yonge St. to join the throng.


It was like a dream as I drifted into the crowd, a sea of bundled-up protesters, an ocean I'd never visited before. Like Red Riding Hood (or maybe it was Hansel and Gretel), I slowly moved deeper and deeper into the forest of people. Would I be able to find my way back? I dropped no bread crumbs. I carried no basket of goodies.


The crowd seemed to be in constant motion, and yet many people were standing stock still. When I was halfway between the street and the stage, I stopped as well, and stood, moving from foot to foot to keep warm.


Finally the MC announced the opening of the rally. The PA system was loud but garbled. Either I was in a dead spot or my hat covered my ears too well or I should have worn my hearing aids. The fact was, I couldn't understand a word anyone said.


But surely that doesn't matter, I told myself. It's all about the energy. The friends I had come with, old hands at these things, talked excitedly about the energy. When we came up from the subway and I cringed at the loudspeakers, they were like seasoned war horses hearing the bugle sound "charge." But as I stood in the midst of the crowd, I found the energy dispiriting. At one point, I did hear the MC. He said, "I'll say "Democracy" and you say "NOW!" So he did and they did and I remained silent and unmoved.


I think I understand crowd energy a little, having grown up with Indiana basketball games. I remember screaming my throat out, standing up and screaming as a player tried for a free throw, screaming as the two teams galloped down the floor toward the net.


But I was sixteen then. And at that Saturday rally I felt no desire to contribute to the noise. After half an hour, as dreamily as I had entered the Square, I left the milling crowd and hoped no one would accost me and berate me for leaving the scene of the action at such an early hour. I went down to the subway and made my way home and finished the casserole of gigantes for our dinner.


Friends told me later of speakers and singers and of the march down Yonge to Queen, across to Bay and up Bay to—wherever. It was a great rally, they said, and they were thrilled to have been part of it.


I could only hope that whoever counted the crowd did it before I left, so that I added to the numbers. But for the rest of it, I just have to acknowledge there are certain times when it is true that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Put me down as rally-averse.



Copyright © 2021 Ann Tudor
Musings blog:
Audible.Ca: go to and search for Ann Tudor
Audible.Com: go to and search for Ann Tudor