The Pleasures of Reading

I was pleased and surprised to find out the Vancouver Island Regional Library offers books for a six-week lending period for those who are “shut-ins.”

That’s a great service. I have read so much over these last four months. Four months of not walking but lots of reading! I’ve become a faster reader, galloping through so many books by Donna […]

The Road Will Take You Anywhere

Ideas are all around Philip C. Stead says in his children’s book of the same title. Philip doesn’t think he has anything to write about but of course as he takes a walk with his dog Wednesday, he makes lots of observations. He sees Frank the painted turtle and Barbara in the tall blue house who waves from up […]

Waking Up to the Dark

Sometimes in my dreams I catch myself walking. Of course I’m delighted having walked away from the walker and exclaim to others, hey look, I’m walking on my own! It’s wonderful to have that sense of freedom and joy in dreams rather than the kind where you lose things, the phone won’t work, there is no phone.

What’s also wonderful […]

Perseverance

My friend Tina compliments me on my patience especially when she observes me hopping, now walking, with a walker – which I’ve been doing for three months. I’ve never considered myself to be patient.

Sarah is the patient one. I’m a slow poke and she patiently waits for me to gather what I need for an outing and to do […]

The Country Bunny

I’ve carried a copy of The Country Bunny with me ever since Mum and Ted, my stepfather, picked me up from Grandma and Grandpa’s in Eganville in 1956 to move me to Toronto.

My Great Aunt Cec (pronounced “cease”), gave me several books during my childhood and this one is my favourite. The story reflects some of my own life […]

Rilke Polishes the Furniture

I did some dishes this week and emptied the dishwasher. That’s progress! While at the sink I had my trusty walker for balance. I tried to put more weight on my left foot. The ankle is still very stiff from non-use and the soleus muscle, moved from the back of my calf to the front, is still saying, where […]

The Still Point and a Broad Margin

I recently finished reading A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk, his latest novel translated by Ekin Oklap (Knopf, 2015). I miss reading about Mevlut Karatas and a host of other characters who settled in Istanbul.

Mevlut Karatas, from a poor village in Central Anatolia, sold boza, a mildly alcoholic drink, on the streets of Istanbul. It’s made from […]

What’s Not Wrong

Several years ago when I was facilitating a circle at a drop-in program for the mental health community, I asked “What’s not wrong?” It was a question on which participants could reflect as we passed the talking piece which was a smooth stone I still use in writing circles.

The phrase comes from Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh in […]

Writing Life

Belonging to a community of writers is as important as the solitude I need to devote myself to my writing practice.

That community often takes the form of a circle of writers at a retreat centre where we gather to learn from a master teacher and from one another. Time to devote to our practice is an important aspect of […]

Old Ladies with Sticks and Thinking Pink

Leaving our island on Thursday, a little girl on the ferry was making observations as she walked around with her family. When she passed me she said:  “Old ladies with sticks to help them walk.” I was in a wheelchair with crutches propped against it.

That’s me: an old lady with sticks. I don’t use them for great distances. Sarah […]