Swan Woman, 2010 (Lacy Goose from Karel Teissig’s Illustration of Aesop’s Fables, 1971) Cats, Fruit, Mouse, and Cardinal, 2010 (Central Sleeping Cat from a 2009 Calendar Illustrated by Charles Wysocki) Barn Ruin, 2010 (Barn Image from Toronto Public Library Picture Collection)
Floral Bird and Bunny, 2010 Water, Trees, and Birds Patchwork, 2010 Bordered Forest Steps, 2010
Jenny’s Purple Meadow A few months ago Jenny asked me if the news of her cancer diagnosis had made me think about my own mortality. I said, “Sure it does. You’re a part of me.” She’ll always be a part of me, a precious patch of Jenny-ness that inspires and sustains me. When I visualize […]
On a recent weekend visit to remote Elliot Lake, Stewart and a friend who was living there indulged me in a visit to Elliot Lake Library when we could have gone directly to a lake. My friend took us inside the town’s quiet 1980’s mall, where we found a wonderful Bibliothèque/Library. It was much larger […]
A few weeks ago I attended my twentieth high school reunion at The Elm’s hotel in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. Out of a class of almost 350, only about 50 of us turned up. Our small numbers gave the atmosphere something of a Survivor flavor, as if we were all looking around to see who else […]
Now that is one beautiful island! Recently returned from PEI, it seems like our week there was a dream. Memories of leaning over the railings of wooden footbridges to admire the clear streams below continue to refresh me, even when I’m being jostled by September-grouchy commuters on the subway.
Sicko was a hard movie to watch in many places, but I found it thought-provoking. The suffering which so many Americans have endured at the hands of HMO’s is outrageous. I believe health care is a human right, not a business in which the most vulnerable are refused the care they need in order to […]
Attending Dusk Dances with friends a few nights ago was magical — with a man impersonating a fish, a grass dance, dancers leaping from a picnic bench and sashaying around trees. The cool weather with just the right amount of wind in the trees completed the experience. Of the five dances, I think my favorite […]
Yesterday a friend and I joined Nicole Stoffman‘s “I Want Rhythm” project, which features dancing on the street to storefront music. We met at Wellesley and Yonge and walked south to Dundas Square, stopping when we heard music that called to us. We did the twist in front of a Quiznos, were Scottish country backup […]
I smiled throughout the whole concert several nights ago. The power and reach of the choir’s voices, as well as the sheer joyous energy pouring forth into the audience really floored me. We heard songs in Zulu, Sotho, and English, and I felt a connection with my Baptist Vacation Bible School days when they sang […]
As I was riding up the escalator at York Mills Station last night, I noticed some unusual foot movements on the part of the passenger five steps above me. First he stood on the right and held the side of his shoe against the broom-like bristles that line the steps. Then he did the same […]
Last week I finished Alice Munro’s Runaway. My favourite story was “Chance.”
Last night I got to see the Toronto Raptors play the Boston Celtics at the Air Canada Centre. I don’t know why a Darwinian struggle over control of a big orange ball is so entertaining, but it really is. The Raptors won, earning the excited hoots of Torontonians. Then we descended lots of steps to […]
I was very taken with Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran by Azadeh Moaveni. Who could not be drawn to chapters with titles like “I’m Too Sexy for My Veil” and “Not Without My Mimosa”?
My friend Dan recommended The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon to me some time back. I hadn’t had a chance to get it from the Toronto library, which ended up working out. This was because I found myself in the bookstore on the Liberty, Missouri square over Thanksgiving, casting about for reading […]
Despite the book’s grim realism, I liked its insights, the flashes of recognition I experienced when I read the older characters’ dialogue. Like the Midwestern Enid Lambert, my grandmother says “it tickled me” as in “I got a kick out of it”. I’m not sure if Grandma would be tickled by Franzen’s depiction of a […]
This book really cast a spell on me, causing several nights of late-night reading. A story of dislocation, silence, and distance, it resonated with stories I hear from immigrants I work with and with my own experience of living outside of the US for so long.