pig moments and the accidental collection


Well, it’s interesting that Sigmund Freud harkens the psychology of collecting with ties back to toilet training.  And in his way, he says that the loss of control and what went down the toilet was a loss we strive to get back by collecting things. Give or take a literal translation of his theory.  Continue reading


blue sky through the burn



We went for a drive on the weekend and ended up driving through acres and acres of forest that had burned two years ago.  It was so stark; almost a shock to drive through  beautiful evergreen forest and suddenly be in a landscaped transformed by wildfire.

This time of year can be stark here in any case as the grasses and bushes are still winter worn and dry, and the willows are just beginning to show little fuzzies of impending spring. It’s a time of frost coming out of the ground, mud, rushing creeks and sunshine warming  us up in a hurry.

As we drove through the burn, looking at the extent and almost painfulness of it, we marvelled at the unexplained randomness of a tall green tree in the middle of the burned patches, and I noticed the blazing blue sky above.

The blue of the sky brought the beauty and the deep-breath feeling that the clear Canadian sky still brings to me even after seeing it for years. The sky that in a strange way provides a grounding to me. I remember the first time I saw the bluest sky I could imagine and I marvelled at the absolute clarity of it – and I still do as I look out my window.

In the quiet time driving, my thoughts turned to a friend of mine who just last week held her Dad’s hand as he took his last breath and passed away. She had lost him before that though as he fell into the depths of dementia.  As she talked about this, and posted a picture of her with her Dad, I was reminded painfully of losing my Dad much the same way and of a picture I have of Dad and I mirroring hers.  Dementia and Alzheimer’s are insidious like a slow burn as we watch our loved one slip into that unstoppable inferno.

It was quite awhile before I could look through the pain and see the beauty and the memories and take a full deep breath knowing that there is blue sky after the burn but it did happen.  I wish this for you, Kim.





a Valentine for Grandma


I hope she knew how much I loved her.  I think she did. If we’re fortunate we grow up close to our grandparents and I was very fortunate that way.  As I look at picture albums and see her younger, it doesn’t make much sense.  She seemed to always be Grandma, an indeterminate age, just always the same to me for nearly fifty years.  Continue reading

where did my dream mouse go?


“Are you ok? Oh, I’m so sorry, are you ok?” the lady in the puffy green jacket gushes at me as we watch the sock on my ankle bloom with blood.  Not a big blossom like a  rose but more of a little branch of cherry blossoms across the white cotton. Continue reading

discovering Division and Powell


A few years ago while I was driving through Portland for a meeting, I missed my exit from the freeway and swung off at the next one to turn around and get back on track.  Pulling up to the stop sign before the turn back onto the freeway, I noticed the street signs.  I was at a moment of weirdness between Division and Powell.

As I sat there idling in my orange rented Kia Soul I was enveloped in a nuance,  a subtle puzzle wanting to be a discovery, so intriguing that I pulled over and parked to ponder it.  And then it came to me.

Nearly 50 years ago, once a week my Dad would drive me into Portland for my flute lessons at Sherman Clay & Co. and after my lessons we would stop by his work place  between Division and Powell for coffee on the way home. Just a cool little memory triggered by a missed freeway exit, a something buried beneath all the years of stuff I needed to remember and the thousand miles away I ended up.

Be open to noticing the crossroads you come across, the Division and Powells. Sometimes they direct you back to where you came from before you journey back onto the freeway.