Friday, February 28, 2003

thunder (and)

lightning strikes: random, infinite, impossible. the determined and the delicate stand side by side, their fate equally tempted. some things simply are, simply must be - and a detour is of no consequence, since it leads from the danger of the open expanses to the shelter of the very tree waving its perfect boughs at destiny.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

if of thy mortal goods...

my delightful friend pauline, who lives in henley near ipswich, loves flowers. so, when I wanted to show my appreciation for her unbounded hospitality, i snuck off during a visit to tesco’s, or sainsbury’s, or safeway, or wherever, and purchased a bunch of tulips – how fitting! – to grace her home. the selection was lamentable, and the bouquet i ended up buying was extremely meager and extremely makeshift, and cost more than five pounds. i was chagrined. we are spoiled in holland. for much less we can feed our souls with flowers like these:

minor works of art, creative, colourful, bound by twine and tender hands….

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

black, white, redeeming

light trickles through the window. on the table before him are piles of photographs: their life together captured in image upon image. he shuffles them, shifts them; he cannot resign himself to not remembering. he stacks the black and white, the sepia; the pinked edges dimple his determined fingers.
she had always been a presence, his wife; he a still savourer of the energy she created and the moments she made. as he arranges the snapshots – by year, by milestone, by son – her imagined narrative, almost audible, lifts the loneliness.
fifty years of recollected contentment, gathered lovingly on the tablecloth, nudge him forward on this reluctant and solitary path.
he is managing.
but he still wishes he had gone first.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

slipping the restraints

as andy warhol once acknowledged:
"art is what you get away with"...

Friday, February 21, 2003


we are scattered around the globe: one in southeast asia backpacking from harbour to hamlet, the oldest and i at home in wintery holland, and the youngest in canada, hugging lake ontario and taking beautiful pictures:

thank heavens for the internet and instant interaction. the world, shared, becomes intimate.

eggs & inspiration

last month, the yearly office breakfast: an early-morning banquet for a hundred sleepy souls. and, as welcome as the coffee was, and as delicious as the rolls, the cheeses, the bacon, the eggs and the waffles all were, it was the location..

...that captivated, satisfying souls as well as appetites.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

chill factor

if this icy cold were just a fraction less, we could all lose a few layers of bundling. and if the wind would just lie a little low, we could all appreciate the clear skies and the crispness.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

just deserts

after tossing and turning and dreaming of dreams, after shivering on the edge of an icy railway platform, after biting back all manner of expletives when the fast train adjusted its pace to the slow train that beat it to the junction, i was rewarded by a spectacular sunrise over the ij.

Monday, February 17, 2003

blue times two

even the tackiest of tourist-trappings take on a certain dubious charm under the blue skies of a glorious amsterdam day.

Sunday, February 16, 2003


we are patient souls. we plod, when necessary. the construction work has produced visible, and visitable, results. the words and images have been manoeuvred into place.
we are delighted muses.

recovered treasure

my friend isabel surprised me last week with a coincidental copy of "grass roots" (the 1974 edition), the annual creative publication of loyalist college in belleville, ontario, where i studied a long, long time ago. and lo, behold: my name, on pages 11 and 17.
i had forgotten that i used to write poetry. and i had certainly forgotten that any poetry of mine had ever been "published":

snow falls
to the silent ground
and softening
like loving hands
the world.
i call out to you
without a word
as quietly
and bright
as eyes
as flags unfurled.
(december 1970)


the stars
stretching out
into the night blackness are not really

they are merely
warps in my
and i lose

my belief in
as the lights
lose their magic
and might.
(october 1974)

i was delighted. and, funnily enough, i remembered precisely why, at those very moments, i scrambled for pen and paper.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

glass, slow

the other-muse and i spent a chilly tuesday afternoon not long ago in two photographic musea in amsterdam: the FOAM and huis marseille, both on the keizergracht. in the latter, our breath was taken away by an exhibition of naoya hatakeyama's work: his amazing images of sewer-gutters in tokyo, his dramatic perception of a rock-blasting, but especially his "slow glass" collection - milton keynes through raindrops on a car windshield - stopped us short in admiration...

*image courtesy of

Friday, February 14, 2003

of broken dreams..

it is remarkable how one can become possessed by an image, by a perception, by a dream..
a photograph much like this one used to flap, thumbtacked, above my stairwell in my student days. when i exited - to class, or to party - i would think to myself: "one day, when i head out the door, it will be to dubrovnik".
and i did get there eventually. i coaxed my friend joanne along the coast south of trieste, convinced that paradise was waiting. we were miserable from the moment we arrived. it was cold. it was grey. gangs of glowering men followed us everywhere we went, whistling and entreating. the rest of the population was inhospitable, if not downright rude. the food was inedible.
and, when we'd seen enough, we couldn't escape.
but that's another story...

*image courtesy of

upward and outward

it's been winter for a long time: a bit of blue sky would be much appreciated.

Monday, February 10, 2003

an afternoon off

there is nothing finer, on an unexpected afternoon off, than an unexpected cup of coffee with two of the sweetest men one could hope to know...

Thursday, February 6, 2003

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

angel in the snow

children fly. that's what they do. and this one, the youngest, has flown far, and descended into the chill, and the snow, and the warmth of her grandmother's welcome.

a positive outlook

with a view like this through the week:

and one like this on the weekend:

pleasure in one's working environment reaches beyond the four walls of the office.