Categories
Artwork General

Jazzy Pebbles Trampoline

Jazzy Pebbles Trampoline, Catherine Raine 2021
Detail from Jazzy Pebbles Trampoline, Catherine Raine 2021
Detail from Jazzy Pebbles Trampoline, Catherine Raine 2021
Categories
General Photography

Images of Summer 2021

Gatineau Trail, Scarborough
East Point Park, Scarborough
Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary, Missouri
Rosetta McClain Gardens, Scarborough
Rainy Day Walk in Scarborough
Scarborough Neighbourhood
Lake Ontario, Scarborough
Categories
General Photography

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit

Categories
General Photography

Missouri City and Holt, Missouri

Missouri City
Missouri City
Missouri City
Categories
General Photography

Sand, Sky, and Water Designs

East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
Guild Beach
Guild Beach
Categories
General Photography

Rusted Dock and Lake Ontario Interact

Categories
General Photography

Gull and Rock Sculptures at East Point Park

Categories
General Photography

44 Images

Fire-Polished Driftwood at East Point Park, 2019
Teasels of East Point Park, 2019
Plant Shadow in Forest by Guild Park, 2019
Nearly-Engulfed Picnic Table at Bluffer’s Beach, 2019
Guild Beach Sunrise, 2019
Heart Leaves Beside Crockford Boulevard, 2019
Highland Creekbed, 2020
East Don River at Play, 2020
Organic Ice Designs Beside Betty Sunderland Trail, 2020
Sinking Tire and Branch Reflections of Eglinton Ravine, 2020
Eglinton Avenue East in Sunrise Colours, 2020
Grasses Beside the Parking Lot of Centennial College’s Ashtonbee Campus, 2020
Muted Tree Reflections on West Highland Creek, 2020
The Light in the Culvert, Taylor Massey Creek, 2020
Earth Day at Taylor Creek Park, 2020
Cormorant Watches and Listens at Taylor Creek Park, 2020
Elegant Wetlands of Taylor Massey Park, 2020
Dignified Reeds at Taylor Massey Park, 2020
Morning Walk for Lockdown Blues, Port Union Beach, 2020
Blurred Stone Corona, Port Union Beach, 2020
Wavy Reflections at Thomson Memorial Park, 2020
Regal Visitor at Highland Creek Park, 2020
Rest in Calm at Highland Creek Park, 2020
Daisy in Front Yard, Southwest Scarborough, 2020
Morning Glory on Sunrise Avenue, 2020
Weed Shadow Decorates Southwest Scarborough Home, 2020
Molten Light at Silent Lake Provincial Park, 2020
Day Breaks at Bluffer’s Park, 2020
Hold Fast to What Illuminates at Farlinger Ravine, 2020
Sparkle Bath at Farlinger Ravine, 2020
Frozen Vista at Guild Beach, 2020
Dynamic Guild Beach, 2020
May Your Day Sparkle at Guild Beach, 2021
Golden Ice Torch at Guild Beach, 2021
Ice Chandelier at Guild Beach, 2021
Partly Frozen Turquoise Lake at Guild Beach, 2021
Natural Ice Etchings at East Point Park, 2021
Water Swirls Among Ice Shapes at East Point Park, 2021
Eye of Shark’s Prow at East Point Park, 2021
Illuminated Leaf, Southwest Scarborough Front Garden, 2021
Apartment Buildings Bathing at Taylor Creek Park, 2021
Water Portrait at Taylor Creek Park, 2021
Gracious Spring Presences at Taylor Creek Park, 2021
Gull Poised on a Rock, East Point Park, 2021
Categories
General Photography

Taylor Massey Park at Dawn

Categories
General Photography

Glimpses of Fall within Spring

Autumn Leaf Remnant in the Front Garden
Categories
General Photography Poems and Prose Poems

Guild Beach After the Storm

After the storm, spindles of ice turn a length of driftwood into a sparkly comb, and a forsaken branch nearby bears ice down to the stone.

Anchored in a resolute stance between jutting shards of rubble, repeated lashings of water and freezing spells have burdened the wooden frame. However, a thousand gale-driven waves have not been able to shake it from its moorings.

A sculpture carved in adversity at the edge of the lake, it resembles a silent harp resting on its side. With strings ever more shellacked as winter deepens, the harp seems both haunted and haunting, a formerly melodic rib cage benumbed by cycles of fear and grief. And as the storms intensify, layers of icy bulk cling more fiercely to the body: a freeze frame of memory rendered visible.

Come the melts of spring, the icy coat dissolves and bare driftwood testifies to the hardship it has endured — rough exterior sanded, an extremity sheared from its host.

Cracked and forgotten, the harp-shaped branch may be flotsam, but it is not an useless instrument. With her strings missing, she is all the more open to the beyond. She still stands and bathes in sparkles. She still sings.

Categories
General Photography Poems and Prose Poems

Eye of Shark’s Prow

East Point Park, 2021

At the freezing point,

wild west wind and lake spray

mantle the trunk, marzipan on a rich cake.

Thickened ice highlights the outer layer

then darkens to charcoal-purple,

legacy of the long drift from forest

to midnight bonfires on the beach.

As it salves driftwood burns,

ice defines the border of a helmet

whose irregular edges soften the dark wedge,

trace translucent deltas that flow,

river to ocean evolution

from eye of shark’s prow

to fearful mammal below.

Categories
General Photography Poems and Prose Poems

A Stone Among Boulders in Winter: East Point Park

As I nestle between lakeside boulders, drifted ice drapes me in a veil. Successive layers of frozen water etch a daguerreotype portrait of arrested lava, once-fluid anger trapped by a season so heavy and cold.

Behind my nape, the thickness of the ice is greater, and swirls of gray-blue shadows entwine in smoky tendrils with hints of ash. From my chin, crystal shards have grown into a beard that flows from the seam where my edges meet the lake’s beach below.

The ghostly poncho that almost completely glazes me has left only an egg-shaped tonsure melted by the sun. In a few weeks, spring’s solar ascent will fully dissolve my obscuring cloak, but for now I am content with the small oval that lies exposed to the elements.

One day soon, an exhausted bird will warm its feet on my crown. Resting after miles of migration, my guest will sit for a spell all hunkered down into its feathers. As it turns its beak towards the water, it will flex its wings to the humming thwack of high winds that scour my quiet skin into forgiving sand.

Categories
Artwork Collage Workshops General

New Year’s Vision Board and Valentine for the Self

Many Ways to Be, Catherine Raine 2021 (This piece emerged from a Journey Dance of Manifestation and Vision Board event that I co-facilitated with Sheilagh McGlynn in January).
Detail from Many Ways to Be, Catherine Raine 2021
Detail from Many Ways to Be, Catherine Raine 2021
Detail from Many Ways to Be, Catherine Raine 2021
May Love Be Yours, Catherine Raine 2021 (I made this giant Valentine as a sample for Valentine’s Day collage workshop for international students).
Detail from May Love Be Yours, Catherine Raine 2021
Detail from May Love Be Yours, Catherine Raine 2021
Categories
General Photography

Winterized Puddles of the Hydro Corridor

Categories
General Photography

Ice Meditations

East Point Park
Guild Beach
Guild Beach
Guild Beach
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
East Point Park
Near Goodwood, Ontario
Categories
General Photography

Ice Study: Guild Beach Scarborough

Categories
General Photography

Lake Ontario: Winter Muse

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General Photography

Christmas Tree Stories

My grandmother Mary Raine gave me this Christmas tree when she was 93 years old. She no longer felt like putting it up every year, especially after the deaths of my father Ron and his younger brother Bob, so she passed the tradition to me in 2004, the year my uncle died. At the end of a Christmas haunted by absence, I carefully wrapped the treasured tree in my suitcase for the rigours of its plane journey from Missouri to Ontario.

I hadn’t decorated a Christmas tree since I was a teenager, but Grandma Raine’s gift inspired me to start again. My mother also gave me some decorations that had been in the family since the 1960’s, including cookie dough ornaments I remember from my childhood.

Artifacts like the dignified Wise Man connect me to home, family, and Christmas traditions, for when I rest him against the tree in 2020, I return in memory to a much earlier era. Once upon a time, my father, mother, and brother used to decorate a full-sized tree together while Birthday the cat lay in wait to attack the glass balls on the lower branches. Christmas carols bathed the tree-trimming task in familiar melodies such as the “pa rum pum pum pum” of Dad’s favourite, The Little Drummer Boy.

I’m fond of the cracks in these circular faces that once inhabited the tree of my childhood home. The cracks testify to the survival of countless Christmas seasons, each with its own tales of cat-paw attacks, breakages, and transfers to new storage locales.

The small red wagon has a story, too. Mom bought it for me one December in the 1970’s when we visited Kansas City’s Wornall House Museum to see it decked out in nineteenth-century Christmas d├ęcor.

To blend new memories with the old, I supplemented the original ornaments from Kansas City with ones I bought from Ten Thousand Villages, a shop that specializes in handcrafted items ethically traded from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and many other countries.

Angels, elephants, lions, and moons mingle on the branches with a reindeer, a yak, and a yeti. Together, they honor Toronto’s multiculturalism and integrate the Christian traditions of my childhood with the religious and cultural pluralism that energize today.

In addition to a tree rooted in the present and the past, festive details like colourful textiles that Grandma Raine crafted — place mats and Christmas tree skirts — brighten the living room.

The other skirt can be seen in this post’s opening photograph.

Also, two books that I received as presents in the 1970’s surface with the arrival of Christmastide. The first one is Christmas Stories Round the World, kindly given by my cousin Denise.

The second book, The Night Before Christmas, evokes happy memories of my parents reading the poem on Christmas Eve, just as their parents read it to them as children. The rhymes and folksy illustrations contained in Grandma Raine’s 1974 gift are enjoyed to this day.

Finally, giant postcards that my mother purchased in the 1960’s serve as Christmassy accessories for staircase spindles. I love how they jazz up the stairs and suffuse the atmosphere with psychedelic cheer.

All in all, sharing stories of Grandma Raine’s tree and other yuletide trappings has heightened my gratitude for gifts that gather layers of meaning as time passes. Thank you, dear reader, for indulging this narrative sleigh-ride through topographies of memory and family history. May your celebrations be merry, healthy, and bright!

Categories
General Photography Poems and Prose Poems

Unhinged Condition

Unexplained on the wide sidewalk, the door stands upright with the aid of two wooden stands that grip its bottom rail a few scrapes above the absent threshold.

Though the door no longer opens or shuts, the stout pin of one hinge remains, partly encircled by a barrel of the same rusty vintage. Cracked layers of thick white paint on the panels accent the unhinged condition.

Without a hinge to hitch portal to solid frame, access to an interior is lost. For a hinge is the servant to movement. It facilitates welcomes and good-byes. It swings the dancers, defines transitions, provides an exit.

This displaced door reveals the crucial role of hinges, for entrance to beloved places relies on a connecting part so humble that its anatomy is rarely learned: leaf, knuckle, pin, sleeve. Visitors take the obedient swivel of doors for granted, assuming they can handle endless openings, hesitations, closings, and slams.

No longer a barrier between public street and private property, the door’s new context gives passersby the chance to pause and notice its value as an object divorced from human passage. Free from the press of admission and the drama of expulsion, it serves in a different way now.

With its superfluous locks and bolts on display, the unhinged door invites visions of access without traditional keys. For how might humanity evolve if restrictive concepts of ownership become unfastened from their jambs? How might we open ourselves without fear?