Allegory of Madness – fiction



The longer he stared at the painting, the more his grip on reality began to fragment.  His work had begun so innocently but, now that he had become so captivated by this painting, he knew his collection was far from complete.

He finished his lunch and made his way out of the museum.  Every day he spent 45 minutes, vaguely noticing that he was eating because he was so moved by Botticelli’s depiction of these women.  He was hypnotized by the way they seemed to be suspended in time.  He wanted that for his masterpiece.  He wanted to capture the very essence of life standing still as the famous painter had been able to achieve on his canvas.

The day dragged on and his thoughts turned to his work in progress.  If he put his artwork into perspective, it was a little over half-finished.  He knew he had a great deal of work to do before he could compare himself to the master.

As the office day came to a close, he gathered his artist tools and ventured out into the waning daylight to get inspired.  His black van wound through the streets and he steered towards the park.  He saw her from a distance.  Her blonde hair danced in the breeze and he was mesmerized.  Her had found her.  He had found his Flora.

He pulled up under an overhang of tree branches and, after a great deal of effort on his part, coaxed her over to the van.  He could see she was nervous and he enjoyed the ruse more than the actual abduction.  He had told her how much he wanted to capture her vitality on his canvas and she was duly flattered.  She didn’t see the syringe until it had been plunged into her upper arm.

When he arrived home, he flung her over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry and took her to the basement to meet the others.  The three Graces huddled in the corner, chained together, while the man who would portray Zephyrus lay unmoving in the corner.  Flora had not yet regained consciousness and he placed her gently on the mattress in the far corner, making sure to bind her wrists and ankles and chain her to the wall.

He was so close.  He only needed Spring and Venus to complete the picture.  He, of course, would play Mercury and, when all of the pieces were found, he would recreate Botticelli’s masterpiece in a living, human tableau.  He was convinced he would be able to display his masterpiece beside the original painting in the museum.



Written for the Grammar Ghoul Challenge to use this visual prompt by Botticelli and the verb form of the word “fragment”.



Eternal optimism while staring at your balls


There is a local golf course that is always the first one to open every season.  They even have a count down sign on the highway so driver’s passing by can share their enthusiasm for the start of golf season. It is a nice reminder, a beacon of hope that lurking under the mounds of snow lie tiny blades of grass waiting to be kissed by the warm, Spring sun.


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I drove by that sign today and the magic number on the sign is 25 days to golf.  I almost drove off the road I was laughing so hard.  As I collected myself, I began to scan my surroundings.  Mounds of snow still shroud anything that may slightly resemble a golf course and the temperature on my car thermometer was -12C.

Maybe the optimism of the course owner is misguided.  Perhaps he knows something the rest of us do not.  But I’m willing to bet that the sign proudly stating golf season will start in 25 days will say the same thing 25 days from now!

Say yes to a dress, say no effing way to those shorts….


I was thinking I wanted to lose a few pounds, you know, shed the extra winter weight that inevitably comes from too many lethargic nights on the couch when it was -38C and the wind was whipping by my windows at 60 km/h.

It’s tough to get out of a comfortable routine, especially when you fully comprehend the new routine will require getting your arse off the couch and making it do some exercise.  I start each day with the best of intentions and then somehow the bad habits are happening before I even realize it.

Facebook has been a bit of a thorn in my side lately.  Were it not for posting my blog to it as frequently as possible, I would probably eradicate its evilness from my life.  But then I saw this in my Facebook news feed……


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….possibly the best motivational tool for weight loss I have seen yet.  While it is highly improbable, no, completely preposterous to imagine I would even attempt to dress like that, let alone go out in public, this glaring reminder of shrinking clothing versus expanding fat cells slapped me in the face.

Next time I feel the need to snack on that late night popcorn or make that relatively innocent cream sauce for my chicken this image will gallop to the front of my cerebral cortex and blind me with its perceptual awareness.  Salad anyone?

Dare to dream BIG


Dreams come in all forms.  The one I had last night was a prime example of all of the outside forces in my world coming together in a blend of incongruous ideas.  But dreams keep life exciting.  Dreams are the wishes we make for ourselves and hold close to our hearts.

I have several dreams – some seem absolutely attainable and others seem light years from my perception of reality but I hold those dreams as close as the wishes that dangle at the tips of my outstretched fingers.  Those delusions of grandeur make me strive, not only to succeed but, to make my life as close to my image of perfection as possible.

Dreams give us motivation.  Dreams make the mundane tasks of everyday life seem that much more bearable.  Dreams can transport us from reality into a glimpse of a microcosm so far from our daily routine that the mere idea seems absurd. But those dreams give us hope.  Even though those desires convey the impression of being impervious to our concept of life as we know it, we still need to maintain the assumption that dreams come true. The strength of our imagination makes dreams become more plausible and leaves a door open to a world beyond the essence of our day-to-day life.  Those dreams make us breathe.

My dreams have no restrictions.  I dream small and I dream big.  The image below is one of my big dreams and one that I cannot seem to let go.  I want to own a Morgan.  I have had an infatuation with this car since the late 1980’s.  I can visualize it in my driveway.  I can picture what I am wearing when I drive it.  It has gone from passion to craving.  Oddly enough, I was looking through some old family photo albums and came across a picture of my dad standing in front of a Morgan on one of his trips to Florida.  I had no idea this obsession was genetic!


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I will never give up this dream, or any of my dreams.  The intensity I feel when I think about this car only fuels my desire to make this dream a reality.  Many of my dreams may not come to fruition but that will never quench my desire to make those fantasies become real.  The day I live without a dream is the day I stop living.

Never give up on your dreams.  The day we stop thinking we can have something is the day we give up.  Dreams give us hope. Dreams give us a drive to succeed.  Dreams make us realize that all things are possible if we only choose to believe.

The map of a place maybe someday I’ll go


The caution beacon flashes.  It warns me that the lane ahead may close, yet I feel compelled to keep driving in the direction I’m headed. The pavement is smooth and somewhat welcoming but I shift gears to slow my trajectory.  The road winds in a multitude of twists and turns and, even with the subtle warnings,  I can’t turn back.  The excitement of what potentially lies ahead is enticing.


The spirits of ‘what could be’ sit on my shoulders and continue to whisper sweet somethings in my ear, urging me to go forward and see what lies beyond.  If only the road I am travelling were not so treacherous.  If only those hair-pin turns would straighten for just a moment so I could gauge what lays ahead but the exhilaration of the unknown is like a drug.  Perhaps it warps my sense of reality and, just perhaps, it wants me to be excited by the unknown.  It wants me to feel exhilarated by the element of danger.

I feel the pull to press down on the accelerator.  My engine revs and I shift gears to make the ride smoother.  My carriage rockets forward, almost on auto-pilot, seeking the true ride that it feels is its destiny.  I follow that road, taking the blind corners and skilfully maneuvering the obstacles that inevitably fall into my path.

This road may be fraught with uncertainty but I am obliged to see where this artery of excitement will take me.  The beat of its life echoes with mine and I am a casualty to the incessant drumming in my veins.  The caution signs no longer have meaning and I fall victim to the thrill of the ride.

I keep driving and as my trek continues the sun begins its journey to meet with the horizon and the cascade of hues is breathtaking.  The warm glow of the dying fire in the sky reaches my skin and I am awash in the embers of the end of the day.  The stars begin to mottle the night sky and the promise of another day lies in wait.  The vehicle I find myself in continues on its journey to see where this road will lead, hoping the beauty of the scenery is a portal of what is to come.

I will enjoy the journey I am following on the advice of my inner compass.  If the adventure ends, at least I can say I took the road that beckoned and truly enjoyed the scenery along the way.

You wear what you eat…


My friend Sandra passed away tragically in May of 2003.  It was such an extreme shock to get the phone call that she never made it home from her vacation in England.  She had been infected with the Streptococcus bacteria that rapidly turned into the Flesh Eating Disease.  In a few short hours after getting on the plane to return home, she was gone.

Her laugh still echoes in my head sometimes.  She had a wonderful sense of humor, a biting wit that matched well with mine and she was just fun to be around.  We both loved to cook and there were many food experiments done in our kitchen when we shared an apartment in Halifax.  We enjoyed cooking together so much that we eventually started a small catering business.

Recipes were followed or created, heavenly smells wafted under our door into the hallway and many bites were nibbled in order to perfect those recipes.  As we noshed on the fruits of our labor, scattered bits of food would inevitably fall onto Sandra’s chest.  She was a well-endowed woman and she always referred to her cleavage as the “continental divide” because everything would end up there eventually.

shirt stain

As I was making my coffee this morning, I casually looked down at the sweatshirt I am wearing and noticed the stain directly at the entrance of MY continental divide.  I heard Sandra’s laugh before my laugh passed my lips.

Some memories will always find their way back to the present and those are the ones you never want to forget.

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