Ray Rasmussen - Canada
“A man descending is
propelled by inertia; the only
initiative left him is whether or not he
decides to enjoy the passing scene.
” ~ Guy Vanderhaege
Outside, snowflakes swirl and drift, while
inside the fire sizzles and warms. Eliza
Gilkyson’s “The Party’s Over” is playing
in the background. I’m listening and my
friend is reading a novel she “can’t put
I say: “Eliza’s right. The party is over.
I’m just taking up space.”
She protests: “Taking up space? You’re
speaking of yourself as a parasite, but I
see you as a man of passion with many
Parasite? No, that’s not quite right.
Parasites don’t experience guilt.
“Don't most people my age think that their
life lacks meaning, engage in the mundane
routines of eating, bland TV and pulp
“But you’re active, you do photography,
you write, you make deep trips into
wilderness, you bring others along.”
Bring others along? Yes, for my own
pleasure. No giving there, just taking.
“I’m a dabbler. Dabbler ducks never dive
deep; they simply tip tail up and feed in
“Why isn’t it enough to just be." she
says, "... why not savour the fritatta and
tea, enjoy the snowfall by the warmth of
our fire, share reading and music.”
No, that’s not it either. I do enjoy
“When I pat myself on the back for being a
more active dabbler than others, I know
it’s a delusion.”
“Why do I feel so threatened, so devalued
by how you see yourself? Our relationship
must also mean nothing to you.”
How did we get to her and me?
I feel blessed that a talented, lovely
woman like you is willing to share so many
things with me in the fall of my life.”
“I guess any woman like me would do then
... you’re dabbling with me.”
No, that’s not it at all … Or, maybe
snow flurries –