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Saturday 17 April, 2021

Thirteen tabs open on my browser, two of which have been up for weeks now. Why, I wonder. Two beautifully designed and printed Emergence Magazines beside me on the table, an accompanying ‘practice book’ over there which inspires me to make my own. From where I’m sitting now I can see two bookshelves and imagine four more, three in the cabin and one upstairs in my morning room where I paint. One row of philosophy and poetry, another of fiction, a third much longer one about ecosystem, natural environments, ecologies. Mythology, storytelling, folk tales, art, maps and symbols – interpretations of the natural world. Four volumes of the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada.

Conversation Pieces pink sheet reconstruction; sugar and tray reference photos

The Norton Anthology of Western Music and other tomes like it are in a box, over there. They’re boxed because I needed to make room for books that explore Time. The books in the box are relics; we think differently now than when they were published. Many important things are missing from their pages, like music written and played by people who are not white men. This is an example of academic historic scaffolding that does not hold up – a one-legged stool.

Conversation Pieces silver sheet reconstruction photo: detail 4 panels, April 16

Notebooks with pens on every surface in my apartment – purple, green, royal blue, black, gold – all with drawings and writings, colourings and figurings, witnessings and energetic lines pointing and moving forward and up. Doesn’t matter where I sit, there’s a book and a pen there ready to catch a thought when it appears.

Out the kitchen window a female cardinal skips and chirps along the eavestrough, a little dance of worry. She and her partner are my alarm clock in the backyard tree every morning and I’m concerned now, too – that something has happened to him. Ah but there he is now, red and resplendent, supportive on the roof beside mine.

Conversation Pieces Silver Sheet reconstruction, corner view (silver appears dark)

We are in a third wave in Ontario now, and police have authority to stop me, ID me and fine me if they believe I’m in contravention of the new lockdown rules. I’ve spent my morning reading and listening to reports, and what appears to be true without any doubt is that Provincial Governments west of New Brunswick have failed to take the clear actions recommended to them by health experts, in favour of appearing to support the ‘economy’. Here’s a good rundown of that insight from a Justin Ling opinion piece published by MacLeans.

I am feeling real anger on behalf of all essential workers at grocery stores, Walmarts, meat processing plants, and Amazon warehouses who are getting Covid from their coworkers who cannot afford to stay home, because they do not receive paid sick leave. On behalf of all prison inmates, I am angry that even reasonable efforts to protect their health have not been made. On behalf of all physicians and healthcare workers who are facing the cost of all this in human lives, I am angry.

C.Pieces, Silversheet with late afternoon reflections, April 16

Once again my Friday list appears on a Saturday. They are now Saturday Lists.

2. Think about what these lists are for and why I write them. If I’m just buying in to the general pandemic-fueled anxiety-laced need to MAKE UP MORE THINGS TO DO, then stop it. Just stop.

5. Make a short video with my face in it, and whatever else comes to mind.

3. Read Emergence 1 and respond with drawings and one paragraph per article in the purple notebook.

1. Write to D. Ford and J. Trudeau to insist that they legislate paid sick leave immediately. Keep writing and insisting.

4. Find five reasons to smile, whenever you think of it and at least seven times every day.

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Friday List II

… a day late, apologies. For some reason I don’t completely understand but I do completely trust, my body needed to sleep and sleep and sleep yesterday, starting at 5pm and on steadily through the night. I awoke this morning feeling like a newborn in this marvellous adult body, ready to greet the rising sun.

My thoughts and my heart are with Northern Ireland: may your needs be met and your wounds healed.

So here we go – this week’s list:

  1. 1. Why have artists historically not been encouraged to build and run successful businesses? Take three active steps towards a permanent re-jigging of the arts industry. Enough is enough – I want to be captain of this ship of my life, economically and artistically, and I know I’m not the only one. We need a little anarchy here.The larger goal here is that the artists who make art in and for the world are able to earn a living wage or higher.
  1. 2. A two k walk (at least) in a different direction every other day.
  1. 3. Vacuum and clean all floors.
  1. 4. Do three ridiculous things on purpose. Publicly or privately, doesn’t matter.
  • 5. Write and send two letters or parcels to people I love or even just like.

6. A surprising new thing – tiny or enormous, doesn’t matter.

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Friday list, April 2, 2021

Each Friday, a list of things I want to try. Designed to stretch my curiosity, challenge my beliefs, and poke my ego.

I began this in 2010 when I started the blog, then stopped after a while. Time to brush them off again, since there’s a lot to navigate in these times.

[trigger warning for one item on this week’s list. I refer to Hitler’s cruelty during the Holocaust as an example of the real challenges inherent in true forgiveness and reconciliation. This is part of my work as a white settler as inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action from First Nations People in Canada, and the work of Resmaa Menakem.]

List for Friday April 2, 2021:

  1. 1. Walk in the grass in bare feet, make sure there’s mud on them
  2. 2. In the interest of learning more about true reconciliation, try forgiving Hitler. Really forgive him without for one moment condoning the pain he inflicted and the cruelty he empowered and supported. Imagine he is my son, and I love him. What would I ask him to do in atonement? What would I ask him, period? (if I can’t forgive him that’s okay, try again when I’m ready to come back to it)
  3. 3. draw a frog from memory

4. Change something that’s been the same for at least six months

  1. 5. Finish two things then make a loud crow sound

6. Dance in my kitchen