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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Writer’s retreat revisited

mixed media on paper title bird-man

mixed media on paper title bird-man

Telling Stories

I wrote that first sentence I feel scattered leaving myself behind when I was 20 travelling through Mexico, California, the Yukon don’t remember exactly where – but it was the year I first encountered Buckminister Fuller on a wet day in a library in Santa Barbra, the same day I picked up Burnt Toast at a used book stall.

I mentioned to Aunt Dorothy my habit which I continually live to regret of giving books away. She sought out Burnt Toast (man you can find anything on the internet) and after reading returned him to me. Peter Gould is the author.

Still I remain fence sitting. Will I or won’t I revisit my younger self?

The challenge was to bring a sentence to the workshop, have a discussion about stuff then go away and add to that sentence. This is what transpired.

Falling Leaves

I feel scattered leaving myself behind.

Some days are better than others.

Falling off the edge of the world is an option I guess.

The world does seem flat these days.

We are more empty space than muscle and bone.

Why can’t I walk through walls? Is it a lack of imagination or a lack of faith?

You can’t get there from here. Isn’t that the problem?

Don’t look back. Is that an answer? What was the question?

Is the world changed by thoughts?  Are we?

Is it really life’s purpose to anchor our words?

Isn’t it enough to let them out into the world

of sound and set them free from purpose.

Not as tools and trades but as expressions of

joy passion pain

letting go relinquishing the need to control

to soar.


The writer exhales and has something to say. The artist inhales and is consumed by a different vision.
I am not confident that is right except I do know we see different. Having tried writing as long as I’ve tried being an artist I understand a little of the dissimilarities. Mostly, it is having words to say or no words to say.
One of our great Canadian artists died last week, Alex Colville. We went to his retrospective in Montreal years ago and were pleased to hear him speak about his work in his home town, Wolfville, Nova Scotia before that.
But, even before that, we saw his drawings/sketches/watercolours as an artist documenting the 2nd World War. He was one of the first to enter the aftermath that was Belsen, what horrors he depicted.
Has no one taken into consideration how his work, like so many of his generation disintegrates with that experience? That his work was full of pathos, a feeling of termination, a lack of emotion? Would you expect different?
My partner lived most of that war in London, England as a young boy. He has terrible memories of those news reels from those atrocities. He watched the fires burn the docks, he watched the doodle bugs level blocks of housing, lived nights in the underground stations, collected shrapnel.
But never did the language devolve into the drivel of today.
I’ll never get over that term colleraterial damage – which is some type of military misdirect meaning we killed innocent people but not on purpose.

Found Sculpture as a Postcard

Found Sculpture as a Postcard


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I spent the morning cloud watching. I have found the best place to do that on a summers day is in the lake floating on your back.

If, like me, your legs sink after a bit – buy those fake Crocs, the rubbery things with the holes. For me, they keep my feet buoyant, without having to do a lot of kicking and splashing about.