Tuesday, March 18, 2014

waiting for Moody Road

Late last winter, with the comfortable prison of breastfeeding adding to the usual feeling confinement that comes with this time of year, I was incredibly grateful to stumble upon another world in Kelly McMasters' essays from her rural bookshop, published on the Paris Review blog.

They were monthly dispatches describing the local goings-on, the current season, and how business was. They were also far deeper and wider than all of that: the trauma of a car accident; the New York City left behind; pregnancy and death.

When the summer came, and the dispatches stopped coming, I was truly disappointed. I'd be pen-pals with this little bookshop in Pennsylvania for life.

I think these pieces read best in the season they were written for, so get on over and read about March, or Waiting for Redbird.

Then check out their amazing online shop

Friday, February 28, 2014

this was happened upon

The work of a writer is to create order out of chaos.  Always, the chaos keeps slipping back in.  Underneath the created order the fantastic diversity and madness of life goes on, expanding and changing and insisting upon itself.  Still, each piece contains the whole.  Tell one story truly and with clarity and you have done all anyone is required to do.
Ellen Gilchrist

Thursday, February 27, 2014

you can feel the sun

It must be light.

I feel energized and confident and am happily biting off just a bit more than I can chew. Or more accurately, trying to scrawl out a few more words than I really have time for.

Baby boy and I are alone this week while D. ventures far and wide across this country's west, and in spite of chaos and water-play and banana bread baking and the croup and subsequent quarantine, I am managing to meet my deadlines and reply to emails and generally feel like I'm contributing.

So I think it must be that brighter, longer, stronger sunlight coming through. It's working wonders.

Edited to add: okay, it's either the sun, or the Pixies. We are still young. THERE ARE NEW PIXIES SONGS TO LOVE.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

today's menu

lake of the woods, ontario

Reading: Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country by Louise Erdrich, on Shari's kobo

Drinking: Traditional Medicinal's Ginger Tea, my third cup of herbal tea today.

Thinking: I read this book in one sitting, yesterday afternoon, and it has quickly inserted itself onto the worn bookshelf of my mind, between some like-minded others: books like Teaching a Stone to Talk and A Field Guide to Getting Lost. It's a wonderful travel log deep into ancestral territory accompanied by a nursing eighteen month-old toddler. Given the ever-presence of my own nursling, it's been just the trip I needed to take.

It is a bright, cold day in February and as I drive along slushy streets to pick up and drop off and drive through and errand-run, I find myself for moments drifting through sun-lit bays in Northern Ontario. It is a warm and safe and healthy place to be.  

Thanks to R. MacArthur for the inspired format that got this post written.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

This winter's rabbit.

rabbit tracks in the snow

Last summer's rabbit (the one that ate all of my kale, my broccoli, my cauliflower, chewed luscious greens into tiny, hard stems; the one that I suspected was coming under the neighbour's fence and which I might have even thrown a pebble at to scare away — had one been handy), the very same rabbit, has been leaving tell-tale tracks in the overnight snow.

This morning, it appeared, coming through the drifts between the houses, and stopped at the bush with the red berries. I put down the dish I was washing and called my son and held him in my arms while we watched the bunny.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

simple days

Folksongs of Vermont are playing, and Jasper is playing with his farm animals and the light is dying and I'm over here opening some writing work up to discerning eyes. We're all participating in acts of great courage.

Simple moments, simple acts. These are the things that make a life.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

a squirrel & two acorns

lately I've gotten really into having a bit of stationery around. some cards, some envelopes. maybe it's our digitalized social landscape. maybe it's the appeal of colour & graphics. it's a big old lady-ish, I admit, but I think it's a step in my general constant life-goal of GETTING IT TOGETHER.

last night in the very early morning I was up with the babe, thinking of the cards I've been sending out most recently. they are flat cards, with "flora & fauna" designs: a bird on a branch, a winding rose, a collection of leaves: oak & fern & beyond, and a squirrel flanked by two acorns. for each occasion, i flip through them, try to determine the mythical & cultural meanings of each. does a squirrel with acorns convey the emotion I want to express?

I have sent cards of thanks, for hostess & housewarming gifts; cards to say hello; two cards, to two different families, to express grief at the loss of their child; a congratulatory card for a bridal shower. this little box of cards and envelopes has carried me through.