Paulina Angela

writings and ramblings


Paulina Angela

Daily Prompt: Believe

via Daily Prompt: Believe


I believe in us

How naïve?  Is there any reason for my optimism? Are we not divided?

You often reminded that the negative out-weighs the positive.  You often accused me indulging in blind optimism. That faith in humanity is foolish and unwarranted.

Is it? Then how did I get here? Is it purely luck? A chance that this world would place me in a community of people who participate. Those who love and care those who try.

As I consider my species I’m unable to focus on the failures. Oh I am aware, but they are in the background, standing behind us and supporting the possibilities. This is my wide-eyed way to see the  accomplishments first, and defeats as stepping-stones leading to enlightenment. To my eye our capabilities are evident. Proficient  in intellect, adept with compassion, skilled in cooperation.  When I look I am able to see us all together…and seeing is believing.




The window is drafty. Cooling weather creeps through the aged pane like an intruder, although not unwelcomed. Cupping a favourite coffee mug between two hands Beth, still in her pyjamas, stands at the front window.  Behind her the wood stove  consumes fuel enthusiastically, the excessive heat inspires Beth to appreciate the chill .  It is friday morning and she is building a list in her head.  With already plenty to do her gaze falls to the cedar hedge outside. Add that to the list she thinks. The natural porch railing has been allowed to grow wild. Its cedar overgrowth obscures her view of the ribbon tree. Just a seedling more than a decade ago, the tree has grown up magnificent. Each holiday season the tree becomes a beacon, lit with twinkle lights, drawing family and friends up Milkweed lane.  She dug the lights out of storage last night and it is the first item on her “to do” list. When I’m finished my coffee she thinks, for now she’ll meditate on both  upcoming and past celebrations. Lifting the chipped cup to her lips Beth sips cold coffee in a warm room.

Young Aurora exits the school bus and bounds up Milkweed  Lane. With dogs at her side the girl skips up the  gravel drive ready for a weekend of food, family and fun. Aurora expects Mums to have the holiday tree strung with lights.  Although there are many ribbon balsams thriving on the property the one decorated with coloured twinkle lights has been strategically placed. At christmas-time the buds will bloom into streamers of red, a sensational sight which can be seen through any window. And one which Aurora has always known.

The story of the first ribbon tree has been told and retold many times. How Scarlett and her mother discovered the tree. How a path was marked from house to tree so no one should get lost again.  It became a route often traveled. Studying the odd evergreen, witnessing the buds unfold into petals resembling ribbon. Prompting the name “ribbon tree.” Years later, Mr. Weald in his own studies, will deduce the ribbon trees begin to bud during the second week of October, bloom throughout the holiday season, then disappear by the first week of January.

It was his grief which led Mr. Weald to study the ribbon tree.  A year had gone by since the discovery  of the ribbon tree when unfortunately Mrs. Weald became ill. For a time the family believed she might recover but by October they were fortunate enough to celebrate one last thanksgiving with their matriarch. Mr. Weald held it together long enough to put his wife to rest. Then it was his turn to become lost.

Overwhelmed with despair he became adrift. Daily wanderings without aim. Head down, unable to look ahead his feet carried him on staggered steps. Bleary eyed, he could not see where he was going and that was fine with him. One cold day his wandering feet finally tripped over an exposed root and he surrendered to the fall.

The heartbroken Man gave up. Resolving to blend into the wet forest floor without protest he closed his eyes.

How long he was there he did not know, but no matter how much he wanted to give in and go to his wife it was not to be. The world woke him and with great effort he endeavored to stand. Rubbing wet eyes with wet sleeves, he looked ahead for the first time since the loss of his beloved. Before him stood a familiar sight. Scanning the area he looked to sit on the fallen beech trunk. His inability to locate the natural bench confused him. He looked again upon the ribbon tree and then again for the beech.  The absence of the deceased elephant tree suggested to him that this might not be the same ribbon tree.

Mr. Weald studies this second coniferous anomaly. Here as well are crimson buds sprinkled along branches of short evergreen needles.  And just like the original ribbon tree, this fir also waves a red sash at half mast.

The twins.

A memory jumps to the front of his brain. Josh and Joey’s tree. So long ago, the children being so small,  had tied the half sash to the base never to found in time for Christmas. The memory stirs something within him and he is suddenly motivated to get back to life. Turning to leave he is struck by another impulse to collect pine cones. Beneath the tree the ground is littered with them. Long narrow cones with tips of gold, as if someone brushed them with paint. curious.  It is when his pockets are full and the moon is high above that he notices he and this ribbon tree are surrounded by thick dense cedar. How did he get in here?

It was her Mother’s passing which prompted Beth’s move into the homestead. She needlessly worried that her father might need her. Mr. Weald was fine, he found fulfillment cultivating the ribbon trees. With help from Billy who had since purchased a farm of his own, the two worked on propagating these extraordinary balsams. At the time there was talk of selling the trees. Growing a business of growing ribbon trees, but it was all talk. Mr. Weald found a second life in the trees and was often seen around town with one or more planters in the back of his pick-up ready to gift to anyone who might be interested. At christmas time he had Beth fashion wreaths of natural ribbon boughs and golden pine cones. These too he would gift to neighbors and friends. Mr. Weald became known as “old red ribbon Weald.”  Also, there was no longer any point to selling his wares as once discussed. By now all of Juniper Valley and several neighboring townships had exploding populations of this festive tree. Come christmas-time, when the trees are in full bloom, the woods became a festival of flags. It had even become a holiday tradition for some out-of -towners to take long drives along quiet county roads to marvel in the display.  And beneath the “Juniper Valley” sign posted along roads leading into town had been added “Home of the red ribbon woods.”

Beth opens the front door just in time to let Aurora and the dogs tumble through. Both kid and canine are covered with milkweed seeds. Plucking the fluff, she tells Aurora to make a wish and sets the seeds to the breeze. Soon Scarlett and her husband will be home from work and tomorrow they will go to the fair, meeting up with the rest of the family. Saturday evening will be a dinner out at corner cafe. And Sunday, as always, is the main event. All siblings and their offspring will assemble at the Homestead for dinner and stay the night. Aurora hugs her Mums. With Mrs. Weald gone Beth has become the  Chrysanthemum of the family. Even her brothers kids call her Mums. “Did you put up the twinkle lights Mums?” “I sure did, but I’ll need to prune the hedge so you can admire them from inside the house.”

Beth collects the clippers and her coat. Glancing out the window she is surprised to see the entire ribbon tree lit up and on display without obstruction. “You don’t have to chop the bushes Mums.” Aurora states. “I can see it fine.” Her granddaughter is enjoying the view from the couch, upside-down and sipping from a juice box.

Things change and they don’t. The family gathers as they always have. Partaking in a usual feast with some new additions. Same wild apple pie but also pasta and sauce for the vegetarians. Homestead is relaxed. Happily expanding to embrace everyone. Even the hedge has taken care of itself. The Weald family chats and reminisces and yes, sometimes disagrees, but they always come together.  The cousins have gathered by front the window and are teaching little Aurora a song. It is a song about moonlight and magic trees. A song which has always been in their lives. For the Weald offspring a forest of holiday trees waving red ribbon… is ordinary.



Daily Prompt: Sting

Stingvia Daily Prompt: Sting


if you’re allergic to the sting then you get a pass otherwise please, there is no need to panic at the sight of bees.

Divining Trouble



It seems he has a reputation – that of a maker of trouble – heard told he must create it  – for aside trouble he has been seen – doubtful he is its mother – finder only, not founder  – to be clear he denies willful and purposeful seeking – neither coincidental nor accidental stumbling upon  – trouble beckons and he is drawn  – an attractive force – as dowsing rod to water – his body a  divination tool – instigation is not his mind –  without thought to create, propagate nor recreate –  merely a vessel  – a host, with means of travel – killing the messenger will not give it end – only heart

only heart – killing the messenger will not give it end – a host, with means of travel – merely a vessel – without thought to create, propagate nor recreate –  instigation not his mind – his body a divination tool – as dowsing rod to water – an attractive force – trouble beckons and he is drawn – neither coincidental nor accidental stumbling upon – to be clear he denies any willful or purposeful seeking – finder only, not founder – doubtful he is its mother – for aside trouble he has been seen – heard told he must create it – that of a maker of trouble – it seems he has a reputation


Never say Never



Never is a bad word.

Oh, it wasn’t always. I used to use it all the time. I didn’t even have to think about it, the word just flew from of my mouth as free and easy as any other profanity. (I very rarely discriminate when it comes to words) The thing is this – after looking back onto several decades of declaring “I will never…” it becomes clear to me that either the word does not mean what I think it means or I am a liar.  Actually a third reason did occur to me but it seems so ridiculous that I am loath to admit it. Okay you twist my arm, here it is : the word “never” has power. You know like magic or something. I know, I know it doesn’t seem right does it? Let me tell you why I think this.

It  begins during my youth. If I look back I can recall my child self making loud, exasperated declarations at my smoking parents like  “I WILL NEVER SMOKE CIGARETTES!”  I also recall righteously pledging “when I am grown and a parent I will never say I don’t have time to play with my children.” Oh, and I will also never wear mascara.

Later as a cigarette smoking and mascara wearing teen I promise I will never live with a man (well, a boy really – sorry Stormin’ Cowboy) before I was married. I will never live in an apartment building or in a big city for that matter, and I will never get a divorce. At the time I looked down my nose at all of those things.

You see where I am going with this? So far I’ve done everything I said I would never do. These are but a few of the many many  stubborn and uncompromising never statements to fall recklessly from my lips but you get the picture.

Now here’s the catch and I know because I’ve tried it. If I announce that I will “never win the lotto” or “I will never have more children” in the hopes of the never power giving me exactly that… it doesn’t work. WTF? How is that fair? So that’s it, I am done. I will never  not say never, ever again.     ( Although, I can probably still write it… right?)

I wonder if Rick Astley ever did all the things he said he’d never do?


some of the things I said I would never do and did:

  • smoke
  • wear mascara
  • get divorced
  • gain weight – get fat
  • work in a factory
  • live with a man out-of-wedlock
  • live in a building where I had to ride an elevator ( I dislike elevators)
  • live in the city
  • own / drive an automatic car
  • let a man hurt me
  • tell my child I am too busy
  • keep secrets from a loved one / boyfriend / husband
  • leave
  • stop loving you
  • get old



RRW – chapter 11


Beth’s plan will work, eventually but for now they wait. Between whistle and shouts summoning the dogs mother and daughter listen in strained silence for the  sound of excited canine breaking a way through the bush.  Scarlet is cold and thirsty but keeps quiet. She can tell her mother is embarrassed by their predicament. It is apparent by Beth’s constant reassurance also by the quivering lack of conviction behind her words. The thing is, despite being uncomfortable, Scarlet has faith in her mother. This feeling of optimism is new to her, not at all usual for Scarlet, but something is telling her to just go with it. So she is, waiting quietly for the rescue she knows is on the way.

As the day darkens the low slung moon brightens. From her seat on the decaying beech  Scarlett’s gaze is captivated by the silver globe. How easy it would be to reach out and drag her fingertips along its surface. So close yet this pie in the eye moon goes unnoticed by her mother whose agitation is opposite to Scarlett’s calm. A strange turn-about because for the past year Scar had been the one in distress. So many worried nights listening to her parents argue and then trying not to hear them, existing in a constant state of anxiety. Until now. Lately something new has been hanging around in the back of her mind. Poking through the stress and negativity an inkling of something new has cropped up. She can’t say for sure but  it might be hope. Usually Scar does  not to believe in such promises, but now, beneath glow of this astronomical sphere, she  finds herself considering the possibilities.

Beth, on the other hand, can no longer sit neither can she stay silent. She has taken to pacing and muttering. Between shouts and whistle the woman pleads (to who knows who) to please show her the way. When that doesn’t work she hums distractedly. It is a tune Scar does not recognize and does not inquire, only listens. Her mom begins to sing:

If you are in the woods  –  when the moon is bright

and the day of thanks is late

On outstretched branches  –  in exaltation 

Aurora’s brilliance dances 

If you’re in the woods  – under frozen sky

to witness bow and streamer 

from roots of pine and pulp  – Scarlet blooms unfold

the prophesy retold

 far and wide –  but it’s here in Juniper Valley

where the original grace resides

What a pretty tune.  When Scarlet says so Beth answers with a dismissive wave. “Silly old song my Grandpops used to sing. I don’t know what made me think of it” and resumes her pacing and pleading

Observing her mother Scarlet wonders what’s the difference between a spell and a prayer? As far as she can tell both are nothing more than words weaved into poems or chants, sometimes a song. Is the power in the words or in the belief? No matter the name, no matter a persons notion, combined or alone, on bended knee or standing and pacing, there is power in the idea. Beliefs practiced in  groups and gatherings, coven and congregations whether casted or prayed  all are  heard… and sometimes answered.

It is huge relief when Buffy and Boots scamper towards them. Beth laughs and hugs the dogs already forgetting the deals she’d been making with the universe.  “Whose a good dog?”  Patting each furry head before commanding “Go Home.”

Tiny snow begins to fall, so light with wide gap between flakes it’s enough to excite the pups. Mother and daughter follow the animated animals as they scamper homeward. Between the fresh snow and full moon the dogs are frisky and in no hurry to get back. The path they blaze is an indirect one, full of loops and zig zag, Beth miust repeatedly remind them of their task. The ground has become frozen and crunchy.  Tree branches are dusted with snow and the silvery moon gives the woods the appearance of an old black and white film. Again Beth takes no notice of things beyond her begging Boots and Buffy to “GO HOME.”  Lifting her arm she points in a direction she hopes will get her point across. Boots bounds up to her playfully wagging his tail and nudging her leg. He then returns to Buffy and the two begin to sing .

Scarlet is stunned. “wow, dogs really do that?”

The hounds have brought them to the farthest end of the property, coming to a halt in front of a giant balsam tree, where they began to howl.

This particular evergreen has been allowed to grow in abundance. Both tall and wide without competition or crowding. Majestic green, its needles a vivid contrast to the black and white back drop. Basking beneath swirls of silver spotlight from a moon  so low it appears to rest upon the trees pinnacle. “Mom” Scarlett whispers “what kind of tree is this?” From the branch end Scar plucks a small red bud. Peering upward the two behold blooms. Not large but long and thin, much like ribbon, like red ribbon. Beth’s sight continues to travel up, nearer to the top but not all the way, she sees it. Faded and worn with letters of gold, half a sash which once read “2nd runner-up.”








Lusty Lustful Lust

Lust via Daily Prompt: Lust 

Oh man todays word is lust.


I woke up early this morning after a night of strangely disturbing and somewhat provocative dreaming. I was happy to leap out of bed at the first flicker of daylight.

Slippers, tea and my laptop already a beautiful morning. Flip open the monitor and straight to for todays word.


Oh lusty lustful lust!

I couldn’t be happier. Just thinking the word puts a queer and slightly unbalanced smile to my lips. Don’t get me wrong, I love love but lust that’s so much more fun, and so controversial.

There is lust for life. Most agree life is something worthy of desire. A lusty attitude which only means you have a healthy energy and robust demeanor. Wonderlust is a whimsical way to describe someones nomadic tendencies.

But lust, plain old physical, instinctual, carnal, wanton fornication, now that is a sin. In fact it is considered one of the seven deadly sins. To partake is to lead to more immoralities. Basically it’s a gateway sin.

Excuse me?

I take issue with that statement.

It has been my experience where lust has led me to one of two results:

  1. we have nice consensual sensual time ending with a happily sated separation.
  2. lust turns to love. If you’re not paying attention love can kill lust. (seriously, love will conk him on the noggin and knock lust out cold. mouth to mouth STAT revive him before you lose him) In a long-term relationship you gotta keep the lust alive.

I will also mention that a little lust can go a long way. Really and truly, a little is all you need. To feel inspired, to feel sexy and desirable, to remind you of the thrill of being alive. There is, however this thing called obsession. It is not sexy. So like most things in life, moderation.


Every guy thinks they want a nymph. Then they meet me (or some other totally fun and awesome chick like me) and find out it can be more work than its worth.

woodland nymph

This is a woodland nymph. I relate to  her because I am known to describe myself as being like a woodland creature. You know, soft, timid and harmless like a bunny or a fawn. Although Hotty Scotty likes to point out that wolves are also woodland creatures. Hahaha! yes they are.

Full Moon Fever

My heart breaks, Tom Petty has passed away.

His music an important part of my life

RIP you were much loved

I am re-blogging this post from July. written after I saw Tom Petty in concert in Toronto.

july 15 acc

Last night Hotty Scotty took me to this show. We both like Tom Petty but it is I who has  both loved and hated his music for various emotional reasons throughout my life.

You know how certain music becomes attached to what you are doing or how you are feeling at the time? My problem with Tom is he has always seemed to be in the background of everything I do, but never so much as in 1989. The year Tom Petty released “Full Moon Fever” and the year I tried to forget.

I was dumped on Valentines day that year. Which doesn’t seem like a big deal, and it wasn’t, or at least it shouldn’t have been but I was young and foolish, angry and resentful and most likely full of myself. (what a vain young girl I was – well, still kinda am, except for the young part) It was in this moment of rejection that I allowed myself to indulge in something, well someone, who I knew I should not have. First mistake, biggest mistake and the catalyst for what was to come.

1989 was the year I graduated from high school (pregnant), the year my beloved dog “Boots” died and the year I met Joe, the man I knew I was meant to marry. really? How can you know that at 17? All I can tell you is I knew I shouldn’t love him, so I said didn’t, but really did. I knew I had disrupted my family with my selfishness so I kept my agony to myself. I also knew all of this could just be hormones and emotions talking so I tried to be tough (I now know strong and tough are not the same but back then I thought tough was cool and no different).

So how does Tom Petty fit into all this? Well the album was released in April 1989 and it was the next month that I met Joe. The moment angels sang and my knees turned to jelly, stomach flopped and lightening struck…please insert every falling in love cliché  here. By summertime he was driving me home and singing along to “Free Falling” … “she’s a good girl loves her mama love Jesus and America too” he’d turn up the radio and then to me asking why couldn’t I be a good girl?  As the summer went on and my belly grew (I should point out the unborn infant not his -I was already knocked up when we met) he would look at me and sing along “Yer so bad, the best that I ever had…  Joe would smile but I could see he was falling in love with us (me and my belly) and that he didn’t want to, many times he said “you are not the kind of girl a guy marries.” It was this statement that made me turn against Tom Petty. For many years following, after Joe and I split, after I searched the woods for the body of my dog, (he was dying, and as dogs sometimes do he’d wandered away, though I tried to stop him). After I gave my newborn child up for adoption and I just about lost my mind . After all this, the year passed to 1990  and I shoved the memories of 1989 into a pit which I had dug deep down in my gut then stepped on them like an overflowing trash bin. I did not embrace that I was a bad girl or one which a man does not marry but I believed it.

During the decade of my twenties I could not hear Tom Petty music without being reminded of my heartaches and mistakes, the memories brought me embarrassment. I would literally cringe if “free-falling” came on the radio, my hand automatically clicking to a new station.

At age seventeen I presumed by the time I was thirty I would be mature enough to look back at myself in retrospect with what… love? understanding? I don’t know, but surely by then enough time would have passed that I could return to becoming who I was meant to be. But thirties came and went and while I was a little wiser and more mature I still wasn’t quite there yet. It wasn’t until I was 40 and divorced, realizing I would never have any more children but grateful for the one I share with my ex, and finally in a strong loving relationship, that I came to understand I was wrong. I had misunderstood Joe’s interpretation of the lyrics. I began to listen to Tom Petty again and was grateful for the memories he provided. Without his music I may have succeeded in obliterating 1989. All those years ago Joe probably did not mean I was not a good girl. It suddenly occurred to me that he had his own struggles, namely,  falling in love with pregnant girl. He might have felt like “I’m a bad boy for breaking her heart.”  Also he did not mean, as I took it, that no man would ever want to marry me. He was just talking himself out of loving me. I was a big bag of trouble and he was on his way to something great. It took me twenty-something years to understand that he was only looking out for himself and not trying to hurt me. We were all hurting.

We were so young, still learning to fly but we didn’t have wings. Coming down is the hardest thing.

Tom Petty may not be my most favourite musician (although he is up there) but his music has been the soundtrack to my life whether I liked it or not.


full moon fever


Janglevia Daily Prompt: Jangle


There is a commotion at grandmothers house

children are huddled together and squabbling in the kitchen

some hubbub about “what is this thing affixed to the wall?”

they shove and point and shout out guesses

When the rotary device rudely jangles

grandkids are startled and step back in alarm

the  tintinnabulation produced by the relic is jarring.

curiosity heightens as Nonna shuffles toward in slippers


phone 2

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