Saturday, July 31, 2004

August Splendor

Today is August. Charming, warm, lustful July seeps into August's hospitality. A grandiose month, my month. The peak of summertime. Everything is more. There is also too much wonder about what's next. A challenge is to remain swathed in the summer's glorious bounty and not dwell on the future - just embrace the present loveliness. There is generosity in the flourishing thoughts that develop in August; adventure can be luxuriant, but pensiveness prevails.


Against trees, there is comfort
Wavy indent from the bark
Skin embedding skins between
tree and incliner.

Against people, there is opinion
Wavering divide from the brow
Mind infiltrating mind between
Cause and effect.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Thursday, July 29, 2004


It's a crafty scenario.

Daughter and mother chat. Mother speaks. Daughter listens. Polite interchange. Conversation ends.

What volumes were not said. Another year to wait for the next quasi-conversation? Are all imagined evils white and motorized? Are all failures someone's fault? I can't imagine that any occurrence of monetary interchange can be all good or all bad. I can't believe all giving is for naught. I can't believe all resistance is formidable.

Selective memory is an astoundingly powerful tool to rearrange the past for one's self-preservation, supposedly. Privately, I have ascertained that weakness can be the dismissal of all familial ties, rearrangement of the facts to prevent the possibility of remembering the love, feeling the love.

This operation is a puzzle cube that only the angels can solve. The 'run-away bunny' hops, but will not be caught. Just found. Silent night and day, again and stored in the book of best forgotten moments. Life is too short to forget. I cannot pat the bunny, but I can keep the phone connected.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Unbelievably, eventually, all problems have a solution.

However, while one waits for the good stuff to happen, life happens. It is a strain and a pain. Forbearance is a trial. Remaining calm, a quality required required to endure the waiting time makes one's self-confidence susceptible to question.

Is the wait realistic? Compared to what? It has been my experience that if needs are waiting to be addressed, every possible opportunity for adversity or provocation, opposition, confusion and delay will manifest to prevent expediency.

I shudder at the thought of waiting another month for remuneration expected 5 months ago. Explaining the delay, expecting others to honour commitments when your ability to meet agreements, when means are not forthcoming, again, is frustrating and exhausting. If the complaints begin, nothing will change. Steadfastness may seem ridiculous. Nothing changes if opposition prevails. Communication must contain promises, again.

Bearing the reality of waiting a month, 2 months, is an incredulous scenario. But its true. Dilemmas are not hastily resolved when changes are expected and not ensured. At least, not within a predetermined timeline.

Willingness to comply doesn't always work. I need money now!

An adjunct to Twinkle...

I need to remember. Every day, a living memory must remain. No telling when memory will fail. If I don't tell, my memories will vanish. They are mine to remember.

Memories are a wonder, zealous and a confounding phenomena. I like mine. I remember when others don't. Others remember, but my memories are mine. I cherish my memories.

There was a time, summer time, perhaps July, around 11, after the sun had reverted to a sky of miraculous colour cascading between magenta, orange and cerulean oscillations, the depth of the frog bleating subsided to allow the stars to divert my concentration. I snuggled up to the grass on the south facing lawn. Facing skyward, I could barely see sky for stars. I would always seek out the 'Big Dipper', "Little Dipper'. I began to stare at the throbbing dazzle. The enchantment of the heavens was overpowering. No streetlight in this country garden. Just vistas of the other worlds' diamonds twinkling in my eyes.

I remember the length of the grass, stark growth between my fingers, the blades stroking my toes, dewed and delicate. I needed the deep, weighted heat of the earth beneath my skirt, the scent of the nicotine from the sequestered flowerbed, white fragrance stirring the night's sensations to calm grounding, sensations preventing my heart from exploding with confusion. I knew nothing of astronomy. I don't understand completely why that wasn't important. I needed to look, to absorb the vision before me, not analyse it.

The evening star shone for me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


When he said the word, I remembered the nursery rhyme.

"Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky."
~ Jane Taylor

There are many more verses, which escape my memory, but not my imagination. I remember my recitation, verse after verse, not as memorable as this verse, tucked somewhere in the middle. Odd.

Today, someone said my eyes still twinkle (after 30+ years!).

Do I scintillate? Do I sparkle? Do I emit dancing fun with my glittering, bashful glance? Do I flutter sympathetic brilliance? Most people do not see me at all. Invisibility has been a dominant force in my social domain. This poetic description of my eyes has made me brighten.


I live in disparate worlds.

The working tangent entails thinking, functioning, operating in an organized, precise world, structuring other lives while attended to by physicians. I organize patients' and doctor's documents. I am the swinging door where private concerns get maximum follow-up through referrals and lab tests. I temporarily enter an office where I must adapt immediately to the office culture and function methodically, directly and efficiently. Stress makes mess. When the order exists, calm prevails. When the doctors' expectations are not explicit, disaster ensues. I seldom know where or when I work next. I like the opportunity to meet new challenges. I miss the continuity of my own organization. I don't need to stay in one place. I think I would be too bored, fast.

My creative world, currently on hiatus, is a gaping vortex of time waiting to be bridged. Still and quiet, my attention towards creation of sculpture, although not waning, is not waxing. As the space between action and inaction widens, I will eventually fall into the act of creating or be drowned by my own inattentiveness.

Creating demands content. Content demands new experiences. My work world brings me to the diversity of lives without emotional participation in their intricacies. I love the opportunity of being involved yet separate, solemnizing and respecting, while segregating my psyche from these other lives.

Am I able to completely divide myself? Can I disassociate myself from the immediacy of pain and suffering of these people? Can I create while I disunite myself from these healing rituals? Will propitious omens soon wake me into understanding how these world will draw me into art creation. I am still wondering where the sculpture is.

BIFURCATION; I am divided. I am being divided.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Backyard Hour

This evening, having no real place to hang out outside (living in a balcony-less apartment), I ventured into the next door neighbours' backyard where the rooming house landlord, also owner of my building, had cemented a patio recently, complete with wobbly plastic lawn chairs. Three were grouped invitingly around a chipped, circular white plastic table. A green and white striped umbrella, secured in place with a cinder block and braced against the grey-green of the wall shingles completed this inviting spot for a read. Book in hand, I wedged myself against the building, a forest green plastic chair for a seat, and the surface of the unpopulated table served to support my novel.

This is an odd little place. Facing morning sun and shaded in the late afternoon, created adjacent to a rare urban vegetable garden flanked by cobalt blue fencing, a collection of 10 patio chairs lean against the wooden boarder wait for occupants. Often the rooming house residents will eat outside at this enclave, usually after six. I was able to have an hour of relative solace in this communal patio before any intruders decided to join me.

The eastern rear of this house is a gravel driveway. The corner of the drive, between the garden and a walkway on the north side of the house is the nexus of this spare space. People do walk through, entering or exiting the residence, or just to conveniently access the alley beyond. A few such meanderers did pass by, nodding hello. I was grateful the usual week-end 'garage sale' was not taking place today. The drive serves as a stall space for neighbours to sell used wares most weekends. The lack of merchandise was strange, but welcome.

The alley is well travelled. Garbage and recycling containers inhabit the edge of a 10 meter laurel hedge on the south boarder of the yard, which allows easy access for the souls that make a few cents per bottle, when rummaging through the debris. No bottle seekers came today while I was reading. Quiet for an hour.

The cedar across the alley, rusty above its top third, was the loud harbinger of the sun's relentlessness of the past weeks. This observation was a slight diversion of thought as I momentarily looked up from my book. No wind blew. The inner city chatter on the streets was a peaceful din.

A treasured hour.

Saturday, July 24, 2004


People I know and like, and like me generally can be considered my family.

These people are not necessarily blood relatives, although some of my relations are very close to me. Friends, if they stick around, eventually become related. Few stick.

Acquaintances can be more annoying than strangers. Sometimes strangers will interact with me more honestly than acquaintances. Those people that think I am their friend because I think and do things they admire or wish they could do are deceiving themselves because if I acknowledge their persistent attention with cordiality; they mistake this for friendship.

I choose friends with great discretion. I will hold back a relationship for years, waiting for the hole from which the blood will flow. You have to be tough on yourself to be my friend. You have to have undivided concern and care, enough to share. You have to be willing to take risks, defy conventionality, and be interested in the unknown, a kind of explorer.

And you have to be able to laugh; cosmic laughter, belly laughs at themselves, their inanity, at the beauty of existence, at the misdirection of life's well planned impossibilities. They must love well. They must believe in dreams and live their own, integral to a creative, intelligent life and precious newness - this especially warms my heart .

Some people I like fit this criteria, but think that being with me is too much work. They don't know how happy I am that their perception is revealed. Their resistance is the beginning of the blood flow.

I see it spilling like spilt water from an overturned glass. And I am relieved. I am not that thirsty.

Friday, July 23, 2004


Stuck in my throat, the gastric juices force their way into my upper palate. Tepid tap water from a heavy crystal goblet seems to taste better than just tap water. The mediocre temperature will swish down the troublesome hydrochloric acid until I start thinking again. The surge is unpredictable.

How can one control the thought process? One recalcitrant consideration, a simple idea veering towards my emotional self, and the esophageal burn forces itself upward. The body betrays my privacy.

There is no lock that can contain my feelings. They erupt outward, protruding out of my skin, and now they drive digestion into a confused process. I digest food and ideas in the same organ. I simplify the break down of transcendental concepts into a metabolic regurgitation. How absurd.

Yet, my heart burns.

Thursday, July 22, 2004


Ringing. None.

No interruptions. No missed calls. No connection. Trundle to the payphone? With a broken leg, I cannot roll down the stairs. I would if I could.

It takes much thought, planning to make a call. And there are quarters, dimes and nickles to be had to proceed. And the sticky mouthpiece must be kept at bay. Answering machines eat money.

Messages cannot be returned; only more calls can be made. Mind cannot be changed as there are no means to rearrange schedules. Make an appointment. Keep it. Hope that the other party will honour the time.

'They' may not be near their phone, or their cell phones are turned off. Or they just don't want to talk.

Sometimes phones are excuses to create barriers. Sometimes phones are turned off. Often people screen calls. 'They' listen to the caller and decide if they want to talk to the call maker. Call waiting give the speaker the sense that their call is less important than the next one waiting to be heard when the recipient says, can you please hold a sec. Holding for any reason is estrangement.

Time to call is time spent waiting on hold when communication is pending.

Sometimes people won't call. Sometimes people wait for calls that will never be made. Sometimes calling is not appropriate. Sometimes people call too much. Sometimes some don't call enough, or at the appropriate times, the needed times. Some like to be called everyday. Some ask too much.

People don't understand 'no phone'. People think there is something wrong with your world. Many people world-wide are phoneless. 'They' use 'phone boxes. Or neighbour's phones. Few have cell phones. More are getting those technology gluttons. Other people use phones only when necessary. They meet, instead of calling. Or write. Sometimes, home phones can take years to obtain. Sometimes never. Sometimes people don't want phones. Any phone is an extravagance. Any phone is an imposition.

I had a cell phone. I was constantly answering. I couldn't walk or drive or do the dishes without the phone ringing. My tones. I discontinued the cell. Yet, emergency situations make me pine for my cell. And night sojourns. Sometimes, more now since payphones are being removed, a cell is handy.

These past 3 days without a phone ringing have been odd. Have I eschewed telephoning? Reconnection is imminent.

Tomorrow the phone will ring.

Some birds

Summer's a vengeful time, ravaging the landscape and its inhabitants with sun. The force of this brilliance is tolerable in the early morning.

Out of the assorted urban trees a meadowlark awakens me. Every day I remember the meadowlark that sang in a large oak at dawn during my youth. There are some songs that will endure. I love to respectfully listen to this morning glory.

There are some birds "(Ceryle alcyon syn. Megaceryle alcyon) that is slate blue above and white below with a slate blue breast band and an additional chestnut-colored band in the female - and the any of numerous small shorebirds (family Scolopacidae) distinguished from the related plovers chiefly by the longer and soft-tipped bill" (Merrium Webster) that I remember jostling for prey on the clay river bend of my shore of the Icelandic River. I would sit in the sun, mesmerized by the agile swoops of the belted kingfishers, cobalt triangulations, glistening feathers spread devastatingly sharp against the stark blueness of the mid-day sky. Sandpipers trotting in the muck, bills diving into the watery edges to plunge into water saturated, clay-borne bait foolish enough to harbour themselves within the depth of the bird's elongated reach. The flying birds dove for fish at the water's ebb, and were no competition to the sandpipers. Yet they seemed to reel, weave around the sky, fighting off their imagined competitors, squawking, antagonizing the silence of the sand driven travellers. They were probably fighting for fish amongst themselves, but the sandpipers did not seem to realize this. I would be mesmerized for hours in this contradiction of species.

Now, I can occasionally glimpse the stoic stance of a blue heron on my English Bay shore. Gulls meander the horizon, and fuss, I miss the intrinsic antics of my river birds.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

New Horizon

Dry is the river where secrets tread
Dark is the limb where fears are led
Bristle when the words are spared

Know well the impression...

Know what?
I don't know
How I know what I know

I know without telling
I know without sound

Sometimes the eyes crease and colour the news
Sometimes the skin will reveal the deed
Sometimes the message just lingers like scent
I know the message and dread the clues.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Crypticness has never been my strength.
I am not mysterious or secretive.
I have difficulty lying.
I appreciate private conversations, if I am privy to the information.

I like defined shadows, if I create the distinct forms that deliver the interception of light. I like to play with the visibility, the light on material... creation of sensations that arise from the juxtaposition of different light on surface and form.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Yank the sky forward... Oh how I miss the expanse of a prairie sky... Full, unobstructed vision. I am always looking around corners to see the light.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Minatures are not me...

Wearily, I put away the plastic clay.

Deliberating over the form I produced in a few minutes, I came to the conclusion, which is a conclusion that I have had previously, but was reconsidering, that I must work large. I need to define space, not model. I need to confront space, conflict with it, restructure the environment, redress the landscape. This will be the way I will work and can work without producing trite and formal nick-knacks. I must sustain my patience, believe that I will again utilize material to sculpt the ideas that are waiting to manifest.

Meanwhile, I blog.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Working world

The Addiction office was a week of sleepless nights, the images of 20 something girls, trying not to look stoned, waiting for their methadone 'scripts... Somehow, they chose drugs over living through their nemesis. Heart wrenching. One week of being especially cheerful and accommodating is over.

I must find another way to make a living.

New prospects next week. Friendlier and more diverse. I am still stunned, wondering how those near and dear will skirt that frightful, intoxication of the drug induced euphoria, remaining true to their enchanting selves.

Here are some drawings:

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Twist my arm

I saw an 'employment facilitator' today. Now, people are hired to ease one into an employable state, including resume review, interview technique critique, assessment of dress etc. According to Greg, my facilitator, my resume did not reveal my nature.

Somehow, I doubt that my employability in my chosen niche would be possible if I was truly honest about my strengths. I am attempting to be a chameleon. Obviously, my persona does not match my resume. The job counselor repeatedly asked me what I wanted. He urged me to ask for what I want, to divulge my wants; my successes must be revealed in my resume. This 'sales pitch' is supposed to reap an interview, cultivate a match between employer and me. I have doubts.

I am supposed to type. I can type, except when I have carpal tension. I type what others say; perhaps this is the reason for my growing resistance to this 'skill'. This is indeed a dilemma.

For some reason, I am becoming nostalgic.

I remember writing on top of my parents roof. I would climb the television tower erected to the east side of the house. The country village where I grew up was not within the appropriate range for a signal to allow multiple channels without this construction. I remember the excitement of climbing the metal ladder up the tower level to the middle of the roof peak. I held my notebook and pen in my mouth as I endured vertigo. I had to swing to the roof leaving one foot on the ladder, reach to the gritty shingles, and push off from the ascent with the tip of my toes of my left foot while reaching the edge of the precipice with my left, corduroyed knee. A forced roll into the hot ,sticky surface, scrunching my 'scribbler' completed this deft acrobatic technique. I loved writing from this perch, which gave me an expansive view of our acres.

I also have a vivid memory of writing on the river's edge I 'discovered' a short walk from our home.

Our street was a gravel road. Walking east to the far end near the bridge to Main Street, I veered to the dirt trail that took me to the railway crossing that transversed the Icelandic River. The village had dumped huge slabs of concrete, discarded sidewalk broken into chunks to fortify the river's edge. Beautifying the waterfront entailed ripping out all the willows that had secured the flow of the river. As a make-shift solution, these masses lined the area that held the trestles supporting the railway. I would sit in this secluded spot, dismayed at the corruption, the dissemination of the beauty that once enlivened the water's edge. Here, I wrote poetry.

Now I write using a word processor. Yet, poetry is best when writing by hand.

Monday, July 05, 2004


Delay. Do something else to intentionally hinder the action from taking place. Yes. I am finding a way to prevent the voluntary commitment to searching (and finding) a job.

The phone rings. The dreaded interview is booked. I am completely surprised by this response to my half-hearted fax the week before. Agencies do read resumes. Who would have believed it? I feel weakened by this event. Will my resolve to continue to defer my job search be thwarted? Money is a powerful enticement. Hope for monetary gain is a temptress to be acknowledged. Yet I fear the job; I am repulsed by my base lure to financial contentment through work.

I am not a lazy person. I wish fulfillment. I am guarded in my presumption to endeavor to become a filer of documents, responder of phone queries, the administrator of physicians' orders. What am I doing?! Procrastination seems much more eventful. I am worried.

Art seems so far away.

The spell of morning light

Somehow, I was remembering a bowl of oranges that were placed on a wholly wooden table, a table bought at the Salvation Army store, an expandable, rectangular, scarred, yellowing table. The oranges were large, and the morning light bathed those oranges, suffused them with a pale intensity, marking the beginning or an end or a transition.

Even now, 30 years later, I am not sure what to call that mark. The initiation into adulthood seems an appropriate designation of this distinguished realization. The window was never able to emit more than a glimpse of morning, and light never shone in except at early mid-day. The table was handsome in this caress of sunshine, made comforting by the roundness and purity of the hue of that copious pile of fruit.

I had walked into the frail apartment, alone. The scratched, phalo-green tiles surrounding the electric grill of the dormant fire-place to my left was a reminder of the attempt at remodelling that had taken place in this home.

We had conducted an alteration of our spirit, of sensation, of cognition - awareness and judgement of ourselves that had passed now to another phase in our lives. We had created independent pathways to our existence.

What was most startling in my new sensible awareness was the absence of presence; the gift of interaction was gone. The impelling forces we experienced, the moral poise, the emissions of fundamental physical forces between our bodies had affected us, made us part of each other's existent whole. There was seldom tranquility between us. I experience freedom from turmoil, of discomposure that morning.

The fruit had been a gift. Giving someone fruit, a product of growth, the maturing of a consequence of nature's productivity seems portentous now. Then, I just wondered, "Why oranges?". I remember asking myself the question as I stared at the present. I was confused by the beauty of the enchanted daylight.

My oranges compelled me to peel.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Sultry Vancouver

Here in Vancouver, any temperature above 20 degrees C seems to cause its residents a sweltering discomfort. We are perturbed by the elevated temperatures. We are disquieted, by the disorder the heat creates.

Drive, and you encounter profanity, rage, and speeding annoyances railing about their discomfiture; these course, brash, insolent people are peevish, affecting my hope for august tranquility. Perhaps I attempt this stability prematurely.

Brash as the public heat-sufferers become, this is no match for the intensity of turmoil that my actuating forces endure. Platitudes of misunderstandings dominate my intellect; emotions are vanquished, being consumed by the consequence of a choice where my best interests were not considered... by me.

Evening is lovely. Renewed vigor seems as close as the fan blowing at my calves.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Leave it to me...!?!

Somehow, I have been delegated 'the one' who can...

I seem to be 'the one' who oversees conundrums. I can find out information that eludes others. I can create 'win-win' scenarios where confusion once reined. What do you need? I can find ways to make positive events evolve effectively , rectify misunderstandings.

I have challenged financial institutions to remedy their greedy practices, influenced the change in laws to be inclusive... Somehow, I can. I have the fortitude to forge changes to alleviate pain and enable calm and productivity. However... There is a wide gulf between my active mentoring and financial recompense. Why?! This remains to be a mystery I need to solve... And change.

I never resent the recipients of my work. Yet, I do need to support myself, especially if I am going to continue to assist those that need my help. Charging doesn't work. Kind, cosmos... I need direction! What do I need to do to effect a financial positioning that generates enough money to meet my needs?! Yikes!