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mornings with answers

There were floating blue spheres in my dream, a room with a happy baby, Sam Orr playing with a string group on a balcony outside – she saw me and waved.

We’d met in the reading room first – he was looking for an artist to step into his project, to amplify it. Lovely soft man who looked a bit like Stanley Tucci. I liked him. What media, he asked. When I said visual art he suggested I apprentice with one of the great women painters. Showed me a mug with famous paintings on it that changed when you looked at them. The originals don’t do that, he said. This is just for fun.

From the dream I rise via coffee into a bluster of a winters day, sunlight beaming impossibly through snow clouds, wind whipping up the flakes into silver swirls. Astonishingly beautiful. Ah! now they are all tiny prisims, a dance of spectrums.

I’m enchanted, like a little kid.

There’s a particular blue colour in snow shadows – the downward angle from roof vents in this case, but I remember the tree trunks from childhood too – lines across the snow like a blue horizontal forest. When the sun is bright that blue glows a translucent cobalt, sharp against the gold of sun-touched snow around it.

What was my question?

Ah. Artist statement, CV, Bio. Right. For the website, for two granting institutions, and for this week’s two residency proposals. Archiving all the work I’ve done these last 30 years in a neat, clean database.

When the young guy from Montreal asked me I said ‘I’m an artist who explores natural systems and the way they interact with human systems. I could talk about that all day if you like…”

So there you have it; that’s the door I go through to get this done.

Pegasus arrived in yesterday’s dream and just stayed. He paws the ground with his right front foot, nods his head up and down.

A big white horse with wings, impatient to get moving.

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time folds

Somewhere after the second sip time folded in on itself. It was 7am only a moment ago when I put my second coffee down to cool. 


I’ve done many things but 6.5 hours has felt like a moment. It has only become clock time again because my feet are cold. As is my second coffee. I’m a bit disoriented – is this flow?

Dad’s ball of selenite, yellow roses, family lantern with tealight lit

Now it’s 5pm. The two hours since I wrote the above have been filled with practicalities – dishes, cat, misc attendings-to, another coffee. Children and dogs loud and active in the apartment below, sunlight and wind outside. All in a moment.

trees at a stoplight on Gage Ave, north of Barton

The studio calls and I’m eager to get there, via some soup & exercise. The plan is to put the final wash and finish on one portrait and get the base drawing for another onto its wood panel. Play around a little more with the triptych – (final decision re adding a wood panel or not). Build the certificates for all six pieces.

Quite possibly that will just feel like a moment and take six hours. 

After another moment it is 9:30pm and I wake into clock time again because I’m exhausted. I’ll take my copy of Beresford-Kroeger’s To Speak for the Trees to my horizontal place & surrender myself back into the time fold of sleep.

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In the days after Valentine’s

I feel something soft about the morning. I can see it in the pastel sky, hear it in the slow wash of tires on the wet street below. Sunday. Two crows barking.


A wave of consumer propulsion towards all things pink, red and heart-shaped began last week and crested on Thursday and Friday when even the grocery store designated one person to wrap the flowers held by a long line of men. Some of them still in reflector suits from road work, some in steel toe or galoshes, others bearded and toqued or in natty winter coats, all of them jovial, joking amongst themselves, glowing. They carried their bouquets gently in that line, respectfully.

It was a wonder, all that masculine flower action in East End Hamilton.


I bought a vase full of brilliant yellow roses and spikes of eucalyptus, in celebration of the line of smiling men, in celebration of all of us. Picket line teachers, impatient Ford 150 drivers, control freak Tim Horton’s managers and people who throw emotion around like bullets from an AK47: all of us. And me too, tucked away in my echo chamber studio, deliberately making mistake after mistake and learning from every one of them. Some of the mistakes I’m making are quite stunningly beautiful, which is a lesson in itself.

My world expands and not all is comfortable; I celebrate the gifts of that.


Has our idea of love shifted I wonder. From the hard angles of claiming and owning and obedience to something softer and simpler: you are beautiful and valuable, to me. You. In the midst of all this impossibility and stress and pressure, the mess and the fear and the rage, I can stop and hold a long moment for this deep deep truth. I can put it in these flowers I bought and stood in line with to have wrapped, for you.


I think of all the loves of my life so far – HA! in some ways much like my time in the studio now.  Some not at all comfortable, all insistent that I learn and stretch beyond what I can imagine. All gifts – to feel my my heart open wide, and also to feel it close again, calloused so I can heal. Through all of this it grows and beats and connects with living breathing beings; I am okay, I always have been, and will always be.


The yellow roses light up my living room. I’ll use the vase to put others in when I need to hold a long deep moment and remind myself of the long, enduring song of Love.

My Love for Us. All of us. Which is the same huge, eternal, glorious, simple thing as my Love from myself to me.