Time to Reflect
This is my first time writing a letter to the Editor since graduating from Queen’s over 50 years ago. Not only did I read issue 4 from front to back, I re-visited several articles.
I credit the opportunity to re-read issue 4 to a greatly slowed 2020/21 Christmas and New Year’s period. In pre-COVID-19 times, I would be out at holiday brunches with friends and family and would be spending hours browsing the Boxing Day sales even though there was nothing I needed.
I thoroughly enjoyed a slower reading with time to reflect. Perhaps this is one of the pandemic benefits. I was struck by Wanda Praamsma’s feature story, “Bearing witness,” about Steven Heighton’s new book, Reaching Mithymna. Ms. Praamsma describes the author’s awareness that living the writer’s life can result in a disconnect between text and the reality of the lived experience.
Although his experiences were in 2015, four years before the pandemic, I reflected on the numbness I have experienced at times over the months of the pandemic and see a parallel with some of Steven Heighton’s feelings. Wanda Praamsma goes on to describe his courage to travel to Greece to experience what it was like to assist refugees arriving at the island of Lesbos. I ask myself how I can be more present in my life. How can I strengthen my ability to pay attention, and be more aware of actions I can take to improve my life and contribute to a better world? Wanda’s article has inspired me to read Steven’s book, and to re-read other articles in the magazine.
Susan Ruth Pratten, Arts’70
It was interesting to read about Rhonda Leeman, her passion for hockey, and her reference to Cookie Cartwright. I skated regularly on outdoor rinks and roller skated but didn’t play hockey until Cookie Cartwright organized girl’s hockey during my first year at Queen’s. It was fun, even in figure skates, and when I returned to Thunder Bay, I actually organized a hockey game for the girls in the badminton club. We played badminton from 7 to 11pm and then rented the main hockey arena for an hour of fun, but very unprofessional, hockey. While I never played hockey again, I am still playing competitive badminton, having gone to the last three Canadian Masters Tournaments with my husband, who is over 80.
Marian Childs, Arts’65