Sunday, December 09, 2007


Having a ten year old son, a husband in the IT industry, and a blog of my own, I am often amazed at the wonders of technology. However, I also often think about the frustrations of the technology. I feel frustrated when I feel that people are hiding behind their email faciities. I feel frustrated when I see people having text conversations as opposed to being old fashioned and picking up the phone and speaking to each other. I feel frustrated when I see people zoned out on their ipods depriving themselves of opportunities of chance meetings with a stranger at the bus stop, for example. I sometimes ask my son to take the headphones off, switch the dvd off while in the car, and to talk to me.

I guess it has become an aspect of our lives now that like most other things, one has to simply find the balance. There are often little miracles waiting to happen through the technology, and here is one that I just experienced.

My friend Sandra shared a letter she had received with me and some of her other friends via an email to all of us. Sandra is a South African living in Canada. She makes beautiful pottery. I thought the letter she shared told such a lovely story that I wrote to the sender and asked her if I could please use it on my blog. We then exchanged some emails by the end of which I had permission to share the letter. It reads as follows:

I just washed and dried one of your small Vanilla dipping bowls and thought I'd check the internet to find you and tell you a little story about the bowl.

I bought it at the shop in the Gardiner Museum, in May this year. I was on my way to a memorial service at Victoria College for a dear friend who would have celebrated her 100th birthday next week.

Marguerite was her name and I met this generous, lovely woman ten years ago when I was doing research for a children's book about the teen poet of "High Flight" ("Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth..."). Marguerite had met young John Magee when she lived in Ottawa in 1941 and her husband was a minister there. John's dad was a minister in the U.S. and John took a message to Marguerite's home while he was stationed in Ottawa. Eight weeks later he left for England and was killed that December in a training accident. The poem lives on. And Marguerite had John's signature in the family guest book. And her story of him sleeping on her couch while waiting for her husband to finish writing a sermon....

Anyway...I was early for the memorial service and decided to spend some time in the Gardiner shop. I saw the little bowl and thought of Marguerite. That little bowl spoke to me. When I saw the "Dotti Potts" name on the bottom I knew that Marguerite would have 'got a kick' out of the name.

And so I bought the bowl, put it in my purse, and went over to the service in the beautiful Victoria College Chapel.

Since May, every time I take out the bowl to use, I smile. It's now the "Marguerite bowl" for the family. It's wonderful how something so physically small can be so huge. Marguerite is very much present and remembered.

Many thanks for 'listening' to this tale. I just thought you might like to know how I truly appreciate the human touch that went into this bowl and the utter wonderful humanity and friendship it now celebrates.

May you and yours have a wonderful holiday!

Linda Granfield, Toronto.

The internet certainly makes it possible for us to reach out to people whom without it, we might not have known even exist in the world. It opens doors that lead to wonderful connections – the likes of which I would find it very difficult to survive without.


pic by jen gray