Boxing Day 2020 It was a clear day. Warm for a city not too far south of the prairie taiga. The temperature had risen to just below freezing. This walk with Helen wound its way through Riverdale along the river. We stopped to investigate a perfectly round hole in a hollow tree, the work of… Continue reading Pandemic Journal 8/1/2021 – Simone de Bébé
Why did I want to rid myself of this beautiful piano? Newly retired, I wanted to make the house sparser, less a revelation about the material debris. amassed during 26 years in any house. The boxes of papers. The books in piles and shelves. Collected objects, story prompts, dear debris I've amassed in beloved junk stores where I’ve wandered. The things that make a life. I would call this blogpost a dilation. The lens is turned to admit more of a scene that leads us down linked but discontinuous subjects. All of them find a woman in the frame. A daughter. A writer. A political leader. Her mother. A chef. And a cook, me, writing up a storm. A delicious surprise ending.
A compendium of dreams, encounters, observations, poems, and questions.... I: Two Pandemic Dreams 21 April, 2020 I awoke early imagining the heads of ducks and geese close up in front of my eyes. Their blunt beaks gnawed gently at my lips and face. I was on the ground looking at the sky. Was I dead?… Continue reading Pandemic Journal 23/4/2020 – Lockdown
A meditation on a pandemic life of privilege. As a fairly recent retiree, I was an early adopter of staying at home having followed the sorrowful and ruthless pandemic's progress through China and Asia and then Italy and Spain and Europe and now the hapless USA and Canada and Mexico and on through India - and well all around the globe. Such a long and torturous road. In the hope that poetry is contagious (we know it is therapeutic) -- here is a poem by one of my very favourite poets Phyllis Webb, long-time resident of Salt Spring Island on the wavy west coast edge of Canada's Pacific Ocean. The poem in the video is voiced by yours truly. Behind the voice, you will sense the pandemic hum of the oven baking salmon for dinner, the whirr of the computer cooling down, the whirr of the furnace heating up as the temperature drops to -22C shortly after a snow storm. Such is a lucky life at latitude 53.
This pandemic, like a dark bird of history pierced the thin membrane of our personal world. Ripped open we feel the call of friends lost and and found. Their voices sound in our dreams. We bear witness to our loss. Our bounty. And reach across to others. ...In this new era, COVID-19 time, this impulse to connect, an essential element in our well-being, is enabled by our digital technology. Isolated in our homes or wherever we find ourselves, connections stretch out the minutes of our day into a zone of contemporaneous aliveness. We humans peer at each other through machines. Our bodies relax or contort into awkward postures scrunched down on a chair - or standing, our weight on one foot, at the sink.