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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

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Creative balance.

I’ve been writing a grant application, due Oct 17, drawing sigils for prayer flags that will be cut out of lino, practising Faure & Brahms, blocking in drawings in paintings, printing Rotary Choices, concert tickets, posters, reading Suzuki pedagogy and

I’m stuffed full.

So now I can release myself into the great river of domesticity:

Taxes, Tom.
Laundry, lawn.
Kitchen, Cat,
and that

is that.


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Ceasar, and The Fringe #1.

Heavy frost, on the penultimate day of March. Hard, biting ice covers the new hyacinths, the swollen buds on rowan and cherry, the green green grass.  We’ve worried about this, and more, for thirty days.

This month came to us sweet and warm out of February, as though we had permission to leap over mucky spring and roll directly into dry summer.  It was lovely, but wrong – for the farmers, the trees, for the rhythm of things.  Wrong also because the hot sun carried events and circumstance rife with aggression, resentment, illness and psychological murk – I felt the soothsayer’s whisper on the 13th, and on the 15th when I found myself caught in an impossible, painful web of passive-aggressive abuse, I remembered:  Beware the ides of March.

Spectacled Owl, Toronto Zoo, February 8, 2012

And so it continued – The second half of March turned inevitably, inexorably, like two giant mill stones one against the other, grinding the seeds of good ideas to dust. And now, like Ceasar’s, my careful strategies & schedules, my carefully crafted vision became weak rudderless things, bereft of purpose (I am grateful my assassination was not required).

No, says the month of March, 2012.  Strategies, however good, are only sketches; visions and intentions must also respect their external environment. You must think again.


damn damn damn.  On top of the challenges of March 2012, I’ve been in a five week pitched battle with a bad flu, which has kept my imaginative capacity, my pro-active energies at their absolute lowest.  Try as I might to pretend that these events & circumstances are only a brief diversion from the track I’m on, it really is plain as day:  “Change for Dummies” sits right in front of me, on the table.

Canadian River otter, Toronto Zoo, February 8, 2012.

So I shall stop fighting.

I shall stop pushing through, digging in, resisting, forcing, strategizing, and battling the monsters in my imagination.

Instead, I will follow what comes naturally:

I will play.  (Ah: clarity)

The same river otter, Toronto Zoo, Feb 2012