Words, images, and stories have always intrigued me and for a long time, I have wanted to write about people, events, places, and/or narratives – whether literally true or containing truths – that have nourished me or piqued my curiosity. What events in our lives do we remember and in what ways do we recollect them. What has made meaning in my life, continues to do so, and how do my meanings intersect with the life-arcs of others? Tumblehome is the title of a novel I have been working on for some years; right now, my novel-writing is quiescent, maybe dormant. In part then, I felt drawn to write shorter pieces, not as excerpts from that partially written novel but just to write, to create from my memories, my thoughts, and my experiences.
Many years ago, I heard Mary Oliver’s advice to poets ~ “Look for verbs of muscle, adjectives of exactitude” ~ very cogent literary guidance that I take figuratively and literally in what I write. In the same vein, Ursula Le Guin spoke eloquently about the impact of language, “Words are events, they do things, change things. They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed energy back and forth and amplify it. They feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it” [The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader and the Imagination]. “Word-work is sublime,” wrote Toni Morrison; my words and work in these musings are what’s true for me and I write from what is inside of me, primarily as a creative outlet. Again, I cite Toni Morrison from her 1993 Nobel prize award acceptance speech: “We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” My hope would be readers see something of meaning for themselves reflected in my writing. For blog purposes, I deliberately choose not to do any extensive, biographical information; for those who might wish to know more about my career, you can read my 2015 refections regarding my occupational adventures by clicking on the pdf document title or the download button below:
The name ‘tumblehome’ derives from water-craft terminology, for me, from canoeing in particular. Literally, tumblehome connotes the shape of a canoe at its centre and bottom where the distance between the gunwales is slightly less than than the overall width of the canoe. In single or solo canoe-paddling, sitting at the craft’s centre-point on one’s haunches in the hull or bottom, leaning more toward the chosen paddle side is to be seated in the tumblehome. This paddling position results in the canoe length being tilted horizontally out of the water on the opposite-to-paddle side. It is the perfect pivot point of the canoe, its greatest potential for ease of forward movement, steering, and maneuverability. The blog site logo image – in the right sidebar, below the subscribe invitation – depicts a canoe with paddler seated in the tumblehome.
More significant to me than the technical aspect and meaning of tumblehome is the sound of the word and its metaphorical implications. The word is soft, euphonic or pleasing to the ear with long vowels and gentle consonants. Sitting in the tumblehome paddling a canoe is an almost indescribable experience of fluidity, balance, and a body-facility such that paddler and canoe feel as one. Comparably, in life it seems to me we are always yearning to feel our pivot point, navigating our way, reading our choices, shifting perspectives, and always, in all ways, tumbling home to where meaning resides.
The river image for my blog site, – its reflective waters, the colours, the bridge, the shadows, and most of all the beckoning river – is intended to mirror and extend the canoe-craft position as the medium on and through which the traveler steers. In Maria Popova’s wondrous online newsletter, The Marginalian, she notes that reading is [and writing, I submit] “… the very water that sculpts the riverbed of our lives, bending it this direction or that, traversing great distances and tessellated territories of being, chiseling through even the hardest rock.” And, to paraphrase Norman MacLean’s idyllic novel title, a river always runs through life. My blog invitation is just that, a bidding to readers to listen to meanings, stories, life-moments, and to see images from a life, from memories, from my listenings, and my tumbles home – perhaps to reflect on your memories and what is meaningful to you. Truly, my intention is not to be egocentric; rather to write from what I know – a kind of auto-ethnography though not formally so.
The most Recent Blogs are posted by title and date in the right margin. To see older blog posts, go to the Older Blogs drop-down menu also in the right margin; click on the down arrow beside ‘Select Month‘ and choose the month/year for the older blogs listed from most recent month to oldest month. If you enjoy the tumblehome blogs and want to know when a new blog is posted, you can Subscribe to the blog in the orange area to the right of this page or on each blog post page; you will get an automatically generated email from a service called ‘follow.it’ asking you to confirm your desire to sign up. If you do sign up, please note that the email you will receive re new blogs will have the title in bold blue in the email content. Click on that title to see the full blog rather than just the jumbled text in the automatically generated email. Similarly, I welcome any Comments you might have, meanings, and/or memories tweaked for you. Thus, there is a place below the Tumblehome logo in the right margin for you to enter your name, email address, and your Comment. All comments go directly to me and are not posted on the site. Both the Subscribe and Contact Me links are secure.