Monday, April 30, 2012

Life Drawing

A few weeks back my sister-in-law Paula O'Brien took me to her life drawing class. I had not been to a life drawing class in easily 25 years, but away I went. Inspired by the outing I have signed myself up for some life drawing and also a figure-painting class. Taking art classes used to seem like a geriatric activity to me until I watched my daughter taking piano lessons. I would go on and on about practicing, meanwhile I was doing nothing to work on the skills I possessed and was letting languish. I'd often miss the point and think about taking up piano so I could practice it. It should be noted here, I don't own a piano. I do however have paint and paper and pencils and charcoal. So stay tuned for what comes of it all.

Friday, April 27, 2012


I am distracted. I know this. I do it to myself. I don't get to work as quickly as I should. I spend hours on Facebook and feel empty afterwards. I watch TV instead of reading. I stare into space and feel my heart beating too fast and I worry about strokes and heart failure and I feel crippled. I feel sort of alone but I avoid the distraction of people purposely unless I am certain the interaction will be short, positive and affirming. Yesterday I heard a scientist on the radio and I downloaded the first chapter of his book and read it straight away and he quoted my new favorite author Haruki Murakami and I felt a loud snap in my head and my eyes started watering and I suddenly realized what all those dreams about houses and rooms and climbing into small tight spaces and striding into open light spaces mean. This fear of death I have is resistance, the preoccupation with this part of the self is such folly, it is sucking the life out of me and I am letting it. I am inviting it in, offering it tea and banana bread, stroking its hair. This morning I woke up early, easily and wrote and I felt like the possibility of entering all those rooms could be the answer to everything.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Rite of Spring

A pair of Robins. One lays on the road, breast up, her fragile neck no match for the passing farm vehicles and minivans. Her live mate swoops and waits airborne, and the morning passes with cars and trucks too heavy for the road slowly grinding the little carcass into the blacktop, red breast no more.

My father is this bird waiting for his mate to rise again, her brain filled with blood. He flies to her side on the city bus twice a day and darts into her room in the neurosciences ward at VGH. He swoops behind her curtain and waits, places his large hand on her shrinking head. She smiles in her sleep but eats little. I say like a bird, and he reminds me birds eat many times their body weight each day. I adjust my analogy. She eats like a person who is not convinced she wants to keep on going with this particular charade.

Some days she smiles up at him when he comes in and they look at each other, what is there to say, they are both run over by sadness. She can't speak and so he holds her small hand or reads to her and tries to understand what her experience is. If she knows the difference between here and home, between black top and black hats, if she remembers about spring and Robins and how they hang together even when one is struck down.

The black top is not as solid as it seems. From her vantage point, the dead Robin can see it is many small rocks held together by tar that overtime shrinks away. And so it is possible to come apart and disappear in to the spaces in between, bones crushed upon impact, organs pulverized by tires, feathers damp with rain and demolished. The lucky ones taking flight on the spring breeze swooping and soaring across nearby blueberry fields in search of city buses.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Every year is the same. I am overwhelmed by the possibilities of spring and paralyzed by doing my taxes. I have left it super late this year. I want to blog, to expel all that is going on in my brain. Right now it's a huge snow pile getting higher every time the parking lot gets plowed and I need to melt it, but I can't, not just yet. So this is a short message in the mean time, next week it will all be over and I can begin to speak my mind again. For now it's a frozen pile.
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