May 2, 2019

There are times when human encounters are really painful. I had one yesterday. I knew a girl who we shall call Cheryl. I’ve known her as Cher for almost two decades. I said ‘Hi Cheryl’ last night only to be told ‘I’m Cheryl’. I said ‘I’ve known you since the year 2000...

October 16, 2017

When did sleep become a priority over writing?  For at least three years I have given myself the gift of writing, every morning first thing.  For thirty minutes to one hour (if I was on a roll) I grab my little book and fill pages with words. Because I am a business wr...

May 3, 2017

This is not Spring.  It’s an extended late winter.  I have never seen so much rain.  Yet, though we are all apparently longing for the sun, the plants and trees are exploding with green.  They are drinking in all the water, and are lush and healthy.

Why i...

March 17, 2017

A one woman show is a lot like a roller coaster ride.  You are excited and nervous going in.  You scream and laugh internally while it is going.  At the end you say “what the HELL did I do that for”?

If you are the shy type like me, and only APPEAR to be an ex...

December 7, 2016

The light seeping in my windows is thin, watery.  Coastal air clings to my skin like a nervous child.  Even with a shawl its clamminess does not leave. 

     The garden is sopping, at least I do not have to water. 

     When it is grey and the cl...

June 19, 2016

          Father’s Day I read through posts on Facebook and view endearing photos of dads with their kids. I don’t think I have one photograph of me with my father.  There are group photographs, but nothing of the two of us.  I wouldn’t want one. I do have his painting...

June 14, 2016

If there was a fire at my place, I would grab my underwear first. The reason being that it is expensive, and also like most people, my important documents are filed there within.  What is it about underwear drawers?  The rich apparently have safes.  We have ‘the drawer...

June 9, 2016

I try to be courageous. The other night I had the honor of reading for an Indigenous Writer's Gathering at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. The Honorable Lt. Governor of British Columbia was in attendance. I had chosen a piece called 'Queen Elizabeth Goes to the...

April 27, 2016

     I saw a young Indigenous ‘sqeegie’ man today, at an intersection obviously fallen on hard times.  The rejection I watched him face in the rear view mirror broke my heart.  People put their hands up in the dismissive motion when he was six feet from their vehicles....

Loss. The word almost echoes in the emptiest chamber of the heart. The older one gets the more loss they have suffered. There is the strange reality that a large number of their loved ones are in the next world. Their contemporaries are passing, a few each year. It is an odd feeling. I once told my niece (at my Aunt’s memorial) that losses build on one another, that each consecutive loss is harder and harder to bear. My mother passed last August. When I lost my brother, father, and then sister, I deliberately forgot the dates. I have a logic. When the anniversary comes around, part of me feels sad with no apparent reason, until I recall the anniversary is looming. Mother died on my elder sister’s birthday. It won’t be a day I will forget. It was the day my life changed forever. When my father died, I felt as if someone had removed the ground under my feet. A friend described her feeling at the loss of her mother as an ‘untethered balloon’. I thought that was the closest description of the sense you have. It is as if there a storm on your inner sea. You feel emotions intensely. The least thing can and does throw you off. You see something and think ‘Mum would love that’, and then you remember. I seem to be constantly reminded of her. I saw a posting on facebook ‘the only thing my mother didn’t teach me was how to live without her’. That statement nailed it. You think you are a mature adult who has made their way in life, who is living ‘independently’. All it takes is your mother’s passing to realize how flimsy of a reality that was. You are left knowing and keenly feeling that you are not mature, dependant. The intimate connection we have to our mothers crosses time and space. We must learn to interact with her in memories, or if we are lucky, in dreams. People who have lost mothers speak like veteran parents. ‘Do you have children’? I have heard people ask of others. And when they say yes, they look at one another as if there is an understanding, like war veterans, of that experience, which they cannot share with those who are not parents. People who had lost their mothers and approached me after my loss were the same. They had deep empathy. They shared their stories, and I felt them as they told them. People offered almost the same advice. ‘Take it day by day. It will hit you in waves, just ride it out. Take very good care of yourself’. These were the words I told my friend when I heard the news of her mother. And I wished with all my being that I had more for her. I ache for her loss, because I know how that feels, without being able to articulate it. After my mother crossed, a wise ex told me ‘just think that when it comes your time, someone will mourn you the way you are mourning your mother’. That helped in some strange way, because the passing of one’s mother has you questioning everything about life, death. The ‘why are we here’s’. It caused me to reflect on my life, what I have done, what I want to do. There was something else my ex said. His pain was about ‘when an elder passes, we lost all that knowledge goes with them’. When I agreed, he said ‘no, you don’t understand’. I probably didn’t. My mother was a mother was an extraordinary free spirit who touched many, many lives. She loved even strangers unconditionally. She saw beauty everywhere. She taught me how to see it. Pointed out how light shone through leaves of a tree. She made me into an artist. She raised her children to be who they naturally were, and loved each of us for the plant we grew to be. She was an inspiration to be around. She could always lift my spirits, no matter how bad my state or mood. I would shift in her presence. Loss. An unavoidable aspect of being human, being alive. And undoubtedly, one of the very hardest. Mum, wherever you are, I have no doubt you are pointing beauty out to someone. And creating next world artists.

April 11, 2016

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