What is Time?

What is Time?

Sometimes I wonder whether time is even linear at all. It doesn’t seem like we experience it that way. There’s now and there’s before and there’s an expected tomorrow, but where in all that is reality? What is real time? I think reality is how one experiences it. The personal original thought.

I think a lot about the personal original thought. I mean in a way you could say that everything’s been done, right? In art, writing, music and especially in fashion, but if you can clear your mind enough of other people’s messages and ideas than your own original thoughts are allowed to come through, aren’t they? In my mind, this is transcendence. To be or not to be!

I’m actually coming to a point, believe it or not. Or a couple / few points.

Reality is a personal experience.

Time perception is a personal experience.

Time is our only currency in life.

I started writing and I thought was only telling my mom’s story and her struggle with mental health, to explain my opinions about it and the reasons why I have them. Now I realize that in order to tell her story, I have to tell mine ( hahaha….like in Ghost Whisperer – I love that show).

Now we come back to that whole divergence re time and reality.

It’s like this.

I don’t remember my childhood in a linear fashion. It’s like it happened all at once, the younger memories being foggier and as an older child, my memories become clearer. And certain points in time stand out more than others. I don’t know why this is. I used to think I only remembered the bad things, but now I realize this isn’t true. I now realize that all my memories are like this, not just my childhood ones and this is what makes up a life, doesn’t it? A kinda muddy fog of memories with some bright points of light thrown in for good measure, isn’t it so?

My mother gave me this life and for that I’m grateful and at this point, I’m crying. I guess because it has taken me a long time to say that.

This is how I think.

It’s also how I talk. Some people might call it crazy. Others would say it’s creative.

I just think it’s my reality and maybe others experience time and reality this way. I don’t know. I think, therefore, I am. And for a crazy person I’m pretty highly functioning and after all, that’s what matters, right?

This conversation (monologue?) has now come full circle and it ties up a few different points, doesn’t it?

First of all, I might have inherited my mom’s crazy after all, but because I’m so high functioning, no one much notices, including me.

Secondly, I did not experience my childhood in a linear fashion. Time was allowed to warp.

I think we can get back to the story now.

As I recall, we left off with me having to be rescued from babysitting job after having ingested Neo Citron in lieu of a candy and fallen in a comatose sleep.

You think after such goings on I wouldn’t be invited back to babysit, right?

Well, I don’t remember babysitting at Raquel’s house again, I do remember a trip we took to Nelson, BC together.

I believe this is a little later on in my 11th year as we moved from Lancaster Crescent when I was 12 (my parents lost their house, but we’ll get back to that later).

Anyhow I don’t remember my mom being around much then, but I do remember her being pretty fed up and unable to cope with me at the time. I have to say I took this pretty personally then, but later I realized she just wasn’t very good with older children. Of course this excuses nothing. If you have children, the best thing is to commit to raising them and if that can’t be the case, perhaps make other arrangements?

Just saying.

It was decided, that since I was quite literally driving my mother crazy, that it would be best if I went on a trip with Ryan, Raquel and Raquel’s three kids Blane, Tanya and Mitchell.

The plan was to travel from Vancouver to
Nelson BC where Raquel’s mom lived all six of us in Ryan’s pick up. Now I don’t remember if there were 2 seats (front and back) in the cab of the truck, but I don’t think so.

All I know is that Ryan, Raquel and the kids were in the front and I was required to lay down in the bed with all the stuff and then the closed me into the back and I traveled this way to Nelson and back.

 

To Be Continued…

100 Lancaster Crescent

For those of you in the know,  Burkville is located on Sea Island, directly adjacent to Vancouver’s airport. The houses there had been PMQs ( military housing) in the second world war and that was where I spent my first twelve years at 100 Lancaster Crescent which later became 1000 Lancaster Crescent.

I guess they figured they needed more numbers at some point.

Things went relatively well for the first few years.

Burkville was a pretty great place for kids to grow up, with one main road, no stop lights and a corner store within a bike’s ride away where all matter of penny candy and chocolate bars was available. We used to collect pop bottles from the neighbors and we would tell them it was for school or for some sports team, but of course they probably knew we would spend it on candy for ourselves. You didn’t have the competition they have today for that kind of thing. There wasn’t a bunch of mean old homeless guys who get up at four o’clock in the morning and steal all the local pop and beer bottles, and fiercely protect their individual territories, because they’re forced to supplement their income (whether that be social assistance or a crappy paying job).

Ok, I was talking about candy, not homelessness.

I should preface this next part in saying that my parents were probably more concerned about putting any kind of food on the table, let alone things that were necessarily healthy.  After all they were basically children themselves. I don’t think people were as concerned about eating healthy and fitness as they are today, (and it’s a good thing they are and fitness is very important to me, but we’ll get more into that later) but that might’ve just been them and as I’ve already mentioned they were very young.

Anyhow, I apologize for the divergence but I was trying say it was pretty much free reign on candy when we were growing up. At least that’s how I remember it.

One of my favorites were Wigwag candy which were a soft caramel covered in chocolate shaped like a long rectangular pretzel.

Another favorite was a Neilson bar that had 8 small squares and 4 different flavours and it was called appropriately enough ‘Four Flavors’.

Mmmmmm I wish that one was still around.

I also loved Lick m Dip (Lick m aid?) that had the gross chalky stick that you would lick and then dip in the sweet color powdered sugar type substance and then lick again and so on. Disgusting!

Ok, I just looked it up (isnt google wonderful?) According to oldtimecandy.com it’s Lik-M-Aid (Fun Dip) and I quote:

“Fun Dip is a candy manufactured by The Willy Wonka Candy Company which is a brand owned by Nestlé. The candy has been on the market since the 1940s and was originally called Lik-M-Aid which did not come with a dipping stick. It was originally manufactured by Sunline, Inc, through their Sunmark Brands division, which was purchased by Nestlé in 1989. The candy was then renamed Fun Dip and added to the Willy Wonka product line.”

I feel enlightened. You?

I should mention that almost anything powdered and sweet can be a Lick m Dip. One popular item was the fake Tang my parents used to buy. All you needed was an open pouch, a spare finger, a little privacy and you were good to go!

My most embarrassing and probably dangerous foray into illicit Lick m Dip was the night I was babysitting the neighbor’s three young children. I had eventually, after much drama, managed to put all three to bed and had decided to reward myself with a little private Lick m Dipping that involved lemon flavoured powder Neon Citron.

I drifted nicely off to sleep….

Look, I don’t know why Raquel didn’t have keys to her own door, and I had at least locked the door, before beginning my sweet orgy, and at least her boyfriend (and date) lived in the neighbouring duplex that shared an attic and he did have keys to his house. Ryan was able to climb through, wake me and saved the day. I don’t remember ever having lick m dip after that, but it probably wasn’t my last time.

I was only eleven, after all.

Did I deadbolt it? Is that why they were locked out?

The Eagle Has Landed!

 

I believe that some people can be helped by drugs and others just want to take a pill and be better. They’re not proactive about their health. Others yet, make a career out of being crazy.

That was my mother.

I was 13 the first time she attempted suicide.

She came home from the hospital with two messages:

She told me it was my fault as I was a difficult child and that her mental illness was genetic. That it would happen to me.

This was my legacy.

So began many years of diagnosis and manipulation. This is why I distrust the mental health industry. My mother was a genius at blaming others and not taking responsibility for herself. That’s why the idea of guilt has become to have little meaning to me.

My mother was incapable of auditing her behavior to what was appropriate to share with her children and what was not. This is difficult for a child to understand, particularly a girl navigating pubescence without a mother.

Later on I would come to understand that my grandmother (my mom’s mom) had just simply done everything for her children and not necessarily taught them chores or responsibilities.

My mother married my father at 19, he was 21, against the wishes of both families, I believe. They grew up in the same small town and then my mother followed my father to Vancouver and the University of British Columbia. He studied electrical engineering and she studied home making.

I’m not sure what kind of job a woman is supposed to get with a homemaking degree. I suppose it makes one qualified for running a home. ( It didn’t in my mom’s case, and that’s not just my opinion). I should point out that this homemaker’s degree was a pretty common thing back in the sixties when my Mom was at UBC. I guess a whole generation of women were meant to be trained to be good Stepford wifes and everything would work out just fine.

A bit delusional and also insulting to women if you think about it.

The legend is my father asked my mother to marry him in the rose garden at UBC and he apparently got down on one knee.

I have my own theory about this. I think, confronted by his determined high school sweetheart, he was forced to make an honest woman (hahahaha) of her and this was the 60’s after all and I’m not talking about the summer of love 60’s. No, that wasn’t my parents, as my dad would be the first to admit. He would say, ‘ We weren’t cool.’

Anyhow, the timing of things went like this.

1. Move from small town Kamloops to biggish smoke Vancouver to attend university.

2. Get married and move to the West End of Vancouver (they might have been living together already, but this is the officialish story).

3. Get pregnant with me.

As far as I can gather, this ended their schooling, though I’m not sure why. Perhaps they thought that was just how things were done or they didn’t have the imagination for other options or most likely, as is my opinion, my mom had intended that all along.

I know people were not as converse in birth control as the are now and there mostly wasn’t any available and after all there’s not much point in me unthinking my birth as I wouldn’t be here talking to you, would I?

As it turns out, by the time I was born my parents had quit school and were safely installed in the Burkville suburb of Vancouver, complete with bungalow, white picket fence and a border Collie named Hamish, all by the time they were 25.

That’s what everyone was supposed to want, right?

I should mention that this was all courtesy of my dad’s parents, who had given my mom and dad a substantial cash gift when they got married and it basically paid for the house.

This was fortunate as it was even more impossible to get a mortgage at that time than it is now and student loans were basically nonexistent.

So here they were all set up and ready to go.

Lickety split.

My father was working at the time for an engineering company and later set up his own business and my mother stayed at home and looked after me and my brother, who was born 18 months after me and all of this before either one of my parents was even a quarter of a century old.

I am one of those people who have early childhood memories and my first memory took place at my fraternal grandparents place on Paul Lake just outside of Kamloops in my first summer in 1967.

As I was born in June, I couldn’t have been much more than 3 months old. I remember lying in one of those old fashioned baby carriers that would surely be illegal now, and I could see the white plastic edge of the seat and my arms as I was sat at the side of the lake.

My dad was swimming and dived down as he had spotted something at the bottom of the lake. He came up swinging a blonde wig above his head and him and my mother were laughing.

The next thing I remember after that was Neil Armstrong walking on the moon in our little black and white TV we had in our ‘front room’ of our house in Burkville. My dad was very excited about this, so it must have made a big impact and created an indelible mark on my early memory.

 

The eagle has landed!

‘That’s one small step for man and on giant leap for mankind!’ – Neil Armstrong

That was the summer of 1969. I was two years old.

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