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Sun chips……

June 17, 2010

Martha noticed a little box on George’s kitchen table…

“Do not open,” said the sign…

“I won’t,” said Martha…

“I’m not the nosy type…”

But Martha couldn’t take her eyes off the little box…

She read the sign again…

“Do not open,” said the sign…

Martha couldn’t stand it…

“One little peek won’t hurt,” she said,

and she untied the string…

Out jumped George’s entire collection of Mexican jumping beans…

“Oh my stars,” said Martha…

— in George and Martha Back in Town by James Marshall

Some things went down this week in my back yard…

And last night I had a dream about Nazi’s…

Just so happens that there is a whippersnapper of a man buying multiple dwelling rental properties in my neighbourhood…

A few years ago he bought the one across the street,

and this Winter he bought the one behind me…

The great thing is he rented all of the units to young families…

An influx of seven children under the age of six,

and more on the way…

For me,

being at home all day and very much missing my own children while they are at school,

and very much still missing my former students,

this situation is like an ongoing breath of fresh air…

I love the sounds of laughing, playing, fighting, and screaming…

Even when I’m reading theoretical books about the Samis,

because I have understanding that mediates,

what has been stolen,

and the energy of separation…

Sometimes these sounds bring me to tears,

of joy and happiness…

But we don’t all see, hear and feel with the same lens…

The neighbour in between my house and the next  is a loose cannon…

And after a long day of working in the film industry,

possibly getting slapped by Faye Dunaway over at catering,

and worrying about making her own ends meet,

she fired a heavy stone ball into the regular family life of the next door tenants,

because her peace and quiet and glass of wine had been disturbed by the voices of children…

And among the foul language that should not have seen the light of day,

she screamed the word GHETTO and some god damned Kootenay commune from her back porch onto theirs,

in front of the children…

This kind of thing makes me lose my mind…

So I wrote a letter with my anger,

and delivered it to the land lord,

who is,

at this very moment building another suite in the basement of this old heritage house,

and worried that he had done the wrong thing by renting to families…

And this is what I said:

June 17, 2010

Dear Mr. Dyer,

I am writing this letter to inform you that I am very pleased with your tenants on East Pender Street.

As a home-owner since 1996, I have seen tenants come and go in this neighbourhood. Particular residents set particular frequencies; some nice and others not so nice. I cannot tell you how much joy it gives me to hear the voices of children in their full range of expression spilling over the fence and across the neighbour’s yard into my back garden and the windows of my house. I am thrilled to know that the multiple units at this address contain growing families. As a parent and a public school educator I have a spider sense for what is good. A little information goes a long way in my book and I very happy with what I see, hear, and feel coming from this space.

It pleased me to know that as a property owner you offered your initial tenants the possibility of finding like-minded neighbours to fill remaining suites. I hope that you will do all that is in your power as a landlord to keep rents reasonable and buildings well maintained so as to ensure stability and security on this property for these families. In so doing you will be contributing to the provision of a fabric of support for young children who are at tender years, as well as for their parents who at this stage are often taxed with respect to resources.

As a teacher of young children I know how important stable housing is for families who are not in a place of privilege to own their own homes. This stability affects learning and development. I also know how important it is for children to be able to express the full range of their emotions, and how suppressing what is natural and reasonable creates stress, and worse. I have nothing but praise for the conduct of your tenants. When I have been reading outside I have called across the fence just to let the children know that I was there and I needed some quiet and found them all to be responsive and polite. I have also found all of the parents to be friendly, pleasant, and well aware that we all live in close quarters.

I hope that you will let your tenants know that I very much appreciate their presence and the people they have brought into the world. I also hope that you will continue to maintain and improve your property for the purposes of safety and security for these young families. We live in trying times and anything we can do to make each other more comfortable in the world will surely create collective benefit.

A five year old in my class left a book for me to find after school one day.

On the last two pages she wrote…

Helping people is good for you…

I know that things are true…

Yours sincerely,

Philosophydoll

And later this afternoon,

I’m going to get some acupuncture to relieve the pain in my neck,

the feeling of having been kicked in my back,

and dying of a broken heart…

Ah, but she can’t take you any way you don’t already know how to go…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. judith copithorne permalink
    June 21, 2010 12:19 pm

    hi
    great blog. glad i found out about it. i like the mention of body parts and the sense of the continuing interaction of many other parts of this world. haven’t read it right through yet. will comment more later.

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