If I am not [true to myself], I miss the point of my life, I miss what being human is for me.
- Charles Taylor, The Malaise of Modernity

Please click on an image to view it more clearly.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

One-Year Diary

My first real journal was black, rimmed with a delicate gold pattern. It had a lock and two keys. I wrote in it everyday when I was thirteen.

Looking back, the journal is full of words, but more insightful are the silences. No where is it written how I truly felt. Any hints of truth have been blocked out or coded. Full pages have been removed.

Despite the privacy of my journal, I felt unable to voice my truths. My heart. Lest it be opened up, revealed, taken on by prying eyes and ridiculed and dismissed. Or worse, my written thoughts hurtful to those who stumbled upon them.

I want to cradle my young self and let those truths flow through her.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tarry Awhile Pointlessness

Sometimes, everything feels pointless. Nothing can relieve the heavy weight that sprawls across my ribs no matter how I try to rouse it.

Once, I read somewhere that perhaps I should invite this feeling in, welcome it, make a space for it.

Offer it tea. Sugar? Cream? No, milk of course, less heavy that way.

And after a nice visit, bid it good-bye.

Welcome it back again sometime.

Just not too soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


'Bach is like an astronomer who, with the help of ciphers, finds the most wonderful stars. Beethoven infuses the universe with the power of his spirit. I do not climb so high. A long time ago, I decided my universe would be the soul and heart of man.'  - Frederic Chopin

In the dark hours of April 14th, 13 people sworn to secrecy entered Holy Cross Church in Warsaw. With whispered reverence, they approached a pillar and removed a crystal jar filled with amber liquid. Within which, bobbed a white lump: Frederic Chopin's heart. 

It is rumoured that his closest friends believed Chopin died of a broken heart. Upon his deathbed, he desired that his heart be returned home. His sister answered his plea and smuggled his heart to Poland (I imagine within the folds of her skirts). While his body rests in France, his heart is submerged in a jar of cognac in Poland. Since then, this jar has been opened and examined a number of times.

It seems unfortunate that the symbolic preservation of one's soul is reduced to an alcoholic concoction stuffed into a jar where it can be exhumed and prodded whenever the pull of curiosity arises.

I wonder, upon each opening, does a little bit of his soul escape? Does a little tissue become dislodged?
Does his soul find the ceremony around each opening liberating or stifling?

Would those who open the jar be able to resist the temptation to nibble a bit from this legendary heart desiring to ensnare his genius for themselves?

Or perhaps it is us that eat a little of his soul each time his music plays and lingers on the air.

Friday, August 2, 2013

An Oasis at Knight and 33rd

A red light is almost always a frustration in traffic. Yet, when the light turns red at Knight and 33rd it is a blessing. It provides a little time for me to pause and appreciate the herons calmly presiding in their rookery. Jeannie Kamins' mural covers the entire side of Kona Stained Glass. It is an oasis between the trucks and horns of frantic traffic.

A few weeks ago, my car came to rest at this favoured intersection. Imagine my horror to see the herons no longer at rest, but smothered by huge blocks of angry black paint. A hideous mar on the mural and my journey.

And then, perhaps only two weeks later, my pleasure to see that, despite the defacement, the herons returning to their roost once again. Their wall habitat an oasis once more.

Thank-you Ms Kamins.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dancing Cheek to Cheek

Rearview mirrors are wonderful things. Side view mirrors too for that matter.  Rectangular disappearing horizons.

Last week, engulfed by an intense sunset, serenaded by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, the side view mirrors on my van, those perfect frames, beckoned me to hold onto the sky and release my heart.

Which I did.

Thank-you Louis and Ella.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Be the rainbow in someone's cloud

Maya Angelou
Unique Lives

Last October, my sister and I had the privilege of attending one of Vancouver's speakers presented by  Unique Lives.

As the curtain swept open, a deep and powerful voice filled the theatre. The voice of 84 year old Maya Angelou swept the room. She began with a poem. Her voice the song of our hearts. An hour later on that rainy October night she implored us to

Be the rainbow in someone's cloud.

I would like to pass on her desire to you: be the rainbow in someone's cloud.



SARK would agree that Maya Angelou is a succulent wild woman.

Friday, July 19, 2013

If B minor were a person, who would he be?

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog
Caspar David Friedrich

Driving home from a class last fall, I was struck by Paolo Pietropaulo's Signature Series on CBC Radio 2. He opens his series by stating that:

    The key signatures of music are kind of like the signs of the zodiac. If you take all the music in a
    given key, you'll discover certain characteristics - characteristics that can define your personality.

That car ride last fall, Pietropaulo described the personality of B minor as The Dark Romantic. He spoke with such panache that, upon arriving home, I immediately brought up as many pieces in B minor as I could handle for one afternoon. Snippets of his words, so aptly and gorgeously spoken, resonated with each piece.

I implore you to listen to him on CBC Radio 2 here:

The Dark Romantic (make sure you click B minor: The Dark Romantic a little down the page; not the current station.)

Figure out which musical key describes you.

I know you will love it!