The trembling flowers of spring

A chickadee nests under the inside eave of the porch, which of course gentles the way I open and close my front door.  I hope to make friends with this family so that the anxiousness at comings and goings subsides for all concerned.  In any case, a new series of daily negotiations has begun.  I consider the exclusive use of my back door.

Flowers bloom trembling, huddled close to the April ground in the yard, in the garden that is choked with goutweed.  The garden that is soon to be dug out with great effort, lined with old carpet, and replenished with new soil, sans goutweed root.  The roses, delphiniums, peonies, holly, coneflower, clematis and rose of sharon will all be temporarily potted – bewildered, no doubt, to be sitting in my driveway.  More gentle negotiations.

Mice in my kitchen – alarmingly unafraid of me – all of whom I will need to kill (not gentle).  A cupboard door has come off it’s old hinges, the de-humidifiers now need daily emptying, storm windows will trade places with front porch chairs.  All of this is comforting, in between the soul-searching and the interminable litigious trials that all leave me feeling quite fragile.  I have the day off from school.

I read, I putter, I sleep, wake, read, write…

the flags in february, laid out to be sewn

a 21-line prayer poem, 7 from a child, 7 a young woman, 7 an elder one.  each will be sewn onto an embroidered, hand-printed windhorse prayer flag.  Reds and oranges.  Yellows and greens.  Blues and purples.


I glue swarovsky crystals onto hand-made square nails, then bind those onto stretched batik fabric with coloured thread.  I sew my wedding ring there too – pulled by red threads from all directions.  I realize I want to sew it into almost-invisibility.  Add a piece of my old sloppy shirt, stone beads, glass beads to form the shape of a hand out of fairy tale.  Red, blue, yellow and green at the tip of each sparkling finger.

The under-narrative of women’s work runs deep.  I think of this as I find myself counting each stitch aloud.


It will all take longer

delays upon delays

upon denial upon fear

upon betrayals that mutter their toxic deep

deep deep in old wounds.

I do not think it’s about me any more.

Was it ever.

It’s about the planets turning

the seasons, the wheel, the fool, who,

blithely unaware of his purpose,

strolls smiling the ever-moment.

Likely a chronic pot-smoker, that fool.

August 18, 2016/April 19, 2017



#Water: July

The heat of this summer is thick like soup laced with sweat.  I’m grumpy about it.  I’m not grumpy about the work that’s happening here like a series of intense mini-explosions, each triggering the next.  I’d just rather not sweat while I’m working (fan is off when recording).  My fuse is short.


Happily I have this nearby…


I’m reading about, and listening to music written by Russian Composer Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915), who was doing his best to change the world with music and art until he died at age 43 (good introductory Guardian article here).  He did a great deal of thinking about colour, frequency, and energies, which I love.  Here’s a wiki quote,

In his autobiographical Recollections,Sergei Rachmaninoff recorded a conversation he had had with Scriabin and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakovabout Scriabin’s association of colour and music. Rachmaninoff was surprised to find that Rimsky-Korsakov agreed with Scriabin on associations of musical keys with colors; himself skeptical, Rachmaninoff made the obvious objection that the two composers did not always agree on the colours involved. Both maintained that the key of D major was golden-brown; but Scriabin linked E-flat major with red-purple, while Rimsky-Korsakov favored blue. However, Rimsky-Korsakov protested that a passage in Rachmaninoff’s opera The Miserly Knight accorded with their claim: the scene in which the Old Baron opens treasure chests to reveal gold and jewels glittering in torchlight is written in D major. Scriabin told Rachmaninoff that “your intuition has unconsciously followed the laws whose very existence you have tried to deny.”

How can I not be fascinated?  In art school, this was my era – the Symbolists, the Theosophists, the mystics.


If I can get the technology ironed out (please write if you know about high-quality motion-sensored sound systems, bluetooth), I’m aiming for November launch of the #Water tour.  I’ve got amazing musicians to work with, all with fascinating minds and beautiful voices.  Happy happy me.

Especially at 10:15pm, when it’s cool out.






Things to do with the Christmas Flu

There was an impossible amount of STUFF going on in my family when I was a kid.  It’s only been in the past few years that I’ve realized my then-body had figured out a strategy to remove myself from the obligation to participate in the stress:  I got sick.  There were lots of options, some slightly life-threatening – severe allergies to things like dust, wool, potatoes (though I’d have liked to add buckwheat to the list, I could not); chronic Bronchial-Athsma; severe strep throat; mumps…  Whatever was prevailing, I would assume – but these ailments together were enough to take me out of the mainstream and into a place, far from the madding crowd, where I could get serious about playing…

I've played solitaire since I was at least seven, so has my mom.  I had the choice of 2 NHL decks - Habs or Leafs.  Without much thinking I chose Habs because I wanted to improve my chances of winning... (sorry Dad)
I’ve played solitaire since I was at least seven, so has my mom. I had the choice of 2 NHL decks – Habs or Leafs. Without much thinking I chose Habs because I wanted to improve my chances of winning… (sorry Dad)

So now that the Christmas ‘flu has arrived (& I was due), I’m in my happy place despite the raw nose, stuffed head, aching joints and dodgy stomach.  The little things are calling me….

...what would happen if I layered three cello lines and a simple heartbeat percussion.  maybe voice, maybe...
…what would happen if I layered three cello lines and a simple heartbeat percussion. maybe voice, maybe…

And this ongoing game from Virginia Eichorn, our intrepid Chief Curator and Director at the Tom Thomson Gallery:

13 hours ago....
13 hours ago….
an hour ago, still spreading....
an hour ago, still spreading….

or a long, ambling poetry/image surf where the most resonant discoveries end up glued in an actual book…


The Poem shown on the bottom of the page is by Liz Zetlin, from “The Thing with Feathers”.


knit a few rows, write a few lines, doodle on the scrap paper.  Sort out the D-ring Snaffle Bit painting a bit; sew rocks and beads in not-so-random patterns onto the fabric pieces.  Eat Cherries and Broccoli.  Sleep.  Dream about listening.  improvise ways to install speaker/receivers into the backs of paintings.  Wake & drink coffee.  Read Theories of Modern Art some more.  Check in with The Art Game.  Eat carrots, drink tea and honey.  Play with cat, sleep…

I’m open like a clam with it’s biggest warmest smile.  Can’t think of a better way to bring in 2014.

Love to all,