Monday, 22 December 2014


It is always a gift to spend time with one kid at a time.  Things get revealed. Things that are hard to see when I get distracted by the demands of keeping track of more than one person.  One on one, I can calibrate to that kid and plug into his voltage.  

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Mind Has Mountains

O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne'er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.
-Gerard Manley Hopkins
"No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief."

Inside out

Update: the library opened.  It is gorgeous as expected, but also hushing and so powerful it turned me inside out upon impact. Turns out all the words got used up reacting to it the first time I entered it. I walked through it the other day on my own and ended up feeling small and stranded a bit.  I felt like I have when I have visited other countries.  At first enchanted and then later, excited and now a bit daunted about all the parts of it I don't understand yet or know how to be in comfortably.  Looking forward to my next quiet visit when I can get turned inside out by it once again. It unzipped a big seam in the sky and the ground into which I stepped and have yet to emerge.

Light in the dark.

It is rather easy to feel like a failure at Christmas.  The crafts that go unrealized, the visiting that gets short circuited and the gifts that never get made or bought. Undiluted expectations get created and then begrudingly let go of. New expectations get found and half met. The light dims to almost nothing until today.  We hastily blaze up the candles and the lights and the tinsel to feel less alone in the dark. 

Then we wake up after the solstice and there is a smidgen more light than the day before.  We prepare to live the following days in the half light, trying our best to live freer from expectation and catch the light any way we can.

Monday, 15 December 2014


A whole bunch of blankets falling onto something is a blanketalanche, I've been told.

Chipping ice.

Freezing 7 stacked cups into a bag of water and then removing it to create a fountain.

Grating chestnuts.

Discovering that cutting wafers with scissors does indeed create a lot of crumbs.

This is the age of exploration.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

catch me off guard

I was clicking through photos this morning in preparation for Christmas and I came across a photo that stopped me in my tracks.  It was not a photo from the Christmas concert or a photo of them doing something delightful.

It was almost a mistake. It was taken by my son as we walked along the street somewhere this fall.
Mid-step, we walk in the sun somewhere together.

Someday,this photo, as unintended as it was, will be so precious to me.

A little boy (who is not so little anymore) walking by my side everywhere we go.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

The glue

The churches in our province are struggling to keep the doors open, the furnaces lit and to stay relevant.

They used to be the glue in many of our rural and urban communities. They provided a place, which, at least theoretically, was meant to provide shelter, comfort and a meaningful structure to life.

Our city is just about to open a outrageously gorgeous library which we are all eagerly awaiting entrance into.  We've been teased with the odd picture here and there of it's magnificence and I can only imagine that the real thing will be something to behold and be breathlessly proud of.  Finally, a public space right downtown in which we can seek shelter from the sideways rain of winter without having to buy anything in the process.

The first few photos are stunning. The library even made the impressive list of 10 eye-popping new buildings you'll see in 2014 on  It is going to be fabulous.

It is set to open on December 13th. I am itching to see it with my very own eyes..

As we anxiously await its big debut, I have been closely following the heartbreaking developments in Ferguson.  One of the important stories that I heard about this community has been the role the public library has played in creating a space for healing and safety.  Even when the schools had to close, the library stayed open.  In a recent interview, the only paid employee of the Ferguson library urged everyone to cherish their own libraries and the important work that they do  in our communities.

I am very excited to experience the shininess of the new library for myself and for my kids.  But I  am even more excited about the comfort it will bring and hopefully its transformative power it will acquire after the lights and the tables and chairs and walls lose a bit of shine.  A fancy building is going to be an incredible gift for our community, but the sense of community it will inspire, the glue it will squeeze  into our lives, helping us to stick better together well after the floors get a few scuffs on them is what is going to be really valuable.