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 […]

This IS My Life

Margaret says there are daffodils under her lilac tree. And I saw snow drops a little over a week ago , also in Vancouver, when Sarah drove me to a follow-up appointment.

Snow drops are one of the symbols of the goddess Bridget (who became St. Brigid to Christians.) Her feast day was on February 2nd. The spring quarter of […]

Our Tears Improve the Earth

“Our tears improve the earth,” Rumi said in his poem “The Most Alive Moment.” And don’t those tears mark an “alive moment” of gratitude, laughter, pain especially when we “meet each other’s eyes.”

“Always your qualities increase the soul,” Coleman Barks wrote in his translation of Rumi’s poem.

“Crying out loud and weeping are great resources,” Rumi advised in “Cry Out.”

Do […]

Walking with the Ancestors

Usually I’d have “cabin fever” by now but I’ve enjoyed the quiet days at the end of the year and now, at the beginning of a new year. There is some anxiety as surgery approaches and as we felt some effects of an earthquake recently.

I haven’t seen many people as it was my intention to be quietly recuperating from […]