October 21st, 2016
(April Wells 1943-2016)
I loved you for your name–
the bloom of youth, the standing daffodil.
I loved you for your voice, in full Canadian lilt
Its high and low note chord.
I loved you for your strength,
To clear the brush and split the wood,
and raise those kids alone
in the dark house across the road.
I loved you for the gifts you brought—grace and song and dance
And for the gifts you gave–confidence and joy
I loved you for your laugh.
September 9th, 2016
A holiday to celebrate
The end of holiday.
I sit cross legged in the closet
Trying to subdue thoughts
that tumble like laundry.
A work in progress
Thirty minutes, every morning,
Or is it only labor
Watching the clock?
I face the closed door
Of an antique washstand
That holds the ashes
Of two who made me.
Creation or endurance
Their lives and mine,
Headed for now
August 11th, 2016
At the entrance to her current show of drawings and sculptures at ArtSpring, Jeanne Lyons greets the visitor with a verbal introduction as dense and suggestive as the visuals lining the gallery’s labyrinthine walls:
… the pieces in this exhibit portray portals, doorways into other realms, of one kind or another. Compassionate curiosity and a willingness to suspend what we think we know can lead us into unknown lands where we discover a much vaster world. Anything that we experience in the moment, whether we consider it “positive” or “negative,” can be a portal when approached in this way.
Following her direction, at the bottom of the stairway leading downward my gaze was drawn by “portal #4,” an image I recognized from the tiny version I’d seen on the Gallery’s website.
Its flat bilateral and concentric symmetry focused on a blank pink central bullseye. But soon the cool geometry of curved and pointed shapes gave way to a thick surface texture of scratches and hand-applied pigment. Then, as another passage of the artist’s statement came to mind, the whole image popped into three dimensions:
I have been a midwife for over 30 years. Currently I am an instructor in the Midwifery Program at the University of British Columbia. Midwifery is an art and a science. In this field, an area of particular interest to me is incorporation of the arts into the teaching of health care.
Whether intended or not, this “doorway into other realms” struck me as the portal between prenatal and postnatal life, regarded from either side. Read the rest of this entry »
August 4th, 2016
It was only the reduced ferry service leaving two hours to kill before the departure from Earl’s Cove that finally convinced me to pull off the main road and take the driveway marked by the sign: “Iris Griffith Nature Centre.” I had passed it many times on our annual road trip from California to Lund, intrigued by what I imagined was a little old lady’s back yard with labels identifying plants. But that was never enough to get me to delay entering the final stretch of the three-day drive to our home away from home at the end of the road. This time, alone with our nine-year old grandson, Lucas, I decided to satisfy my curiosity.
The gravel track through the forest opened to a large clearing. Through an artfully designed gateway I saw a bunch of kids engaged in some kind of race on a groomed lawn, egged on by college age counselors. Read the rest of this entry »