Thursday, May 30, 2019

Peek-a-boo view

There hasn't been much time for doing any blog posts, as we've been travelling through the Maritime provinces, staying offline most of the time.

A lot of that driving has been along shorelines. No icebergs (as would be in Newfoundland this time of year), but plenty of beautifully red beaches and vistas of the mighty Atlantic. And while most of the views have been big vistas of the see-forever variety, the one above was a little more subtle.

Hiking the Skyline Trail along the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, we were among the lucky ones who spotted this female moose (cow? I suppose) chomping on some of the fresh springtime tips sprouting on the trees.

But now it's time to sign off again, on the quest for more views of seaside, scenic hillsides and farms or maybe more special critters.

Saturday, May 18, 2019


There's something about going offline, especially when it means a get-together with longtime friends one doesn't get to see all that often.

This particular group is one I've known for twenty years, a group known collectively as The Chicks.

We've been getting together when we can, usually every five years or so, and this year, our twentieth anniversary, seemed important -- especially where we're now all farther afield from each other. One lives in Windsor, a city that feels far from here on the west coast. She has a husband, a job at a university, and a child who's nearly two years old, all of which keep her close to home.

Another Chick is about to head back off to England for a stint at further education.

So this gathering felt extra-special. And as you can see, even nature cooperated, by granting this most beautiful rainbow out over the water, which felt like a kind of blessing on us.

Here's to the restorative power of friends getting together!

Tuesday, May 07, 2019


It's been a kind of crazy time, with so much going on I can hardly slow down long enough to put my fingers to the keyboard. Still, there's been so much cool arts-related stuff, I probably have to post at least a few details.

Sunday the 28th (yep, over a week ago) started with me getting on the bus (something I've been doing a lot of lately, especially with fuel at $1.70 or higher) and heading into Vancouver for an exhibit getting ready to close. It was part of the Capture festival, an annual series of exhibits that's sure to engage anyone interested in photography.

Bizarrely, I was the subject of one of the photos in the show I was invited to visit -- not the usual for me, as I'm not exactly the most photogenic person in the world. Still, I was certainly honoured to be included in a show about "Women in the Way"-- women who've made strong social comments or initiated important changes. The woman I was most thrilled to meet there was Vancouver City Councillor Jean Swanson. She's long been a voice for decent treatment for the homeless and for protection for renters, especially from the recent spate of 'renovictions'.

Later I visited the Vancouver Art Gallery, where I strolled through a few of the current exhibits. The one I enjoyed most featured the French Moderns. The pieces weren't the 'usual' images one associates with these artists, but because I'd had such a wonderful art teacher in high school -- where we were led to really know so many of those painters, it felt like I was visiting a bunch of old friends.

But the part of the day that will probably stay with me the longest was a workshop offered at the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library. It was up on the 9th floor, an open space that's the closest I'll likely get to being able to spend time in a penthouse. The topic? Haiku.

Who'd have thought that a two-hour workshop could be as enlightening as this -- certainly not me. But I'd gone with an open mind, and luckily so, as I learned more in that 120 minutes than I ever have in any other workshop I've ever taken. And amazingly, this one was free. Now, that's a library that offers valuable community programs!

Leader of the session was Michael Dylan Welch, an amazingly clear and engaging teacher who dispelled the many myths about haiku I'm sure most of us had been carting around for years. I do hope you'll click on the link to his website because if you're interested in writing almost anything (especially if you have poetic leanings), you're sure to find an immense amount of not only information, but also inspiration.

And if visiting there inspires you, there's still time to enter the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival's yearly Haiku Invitational. There's no cost to enter a maximum of two haiku. Give it a go.

fingers clacking keys
words fly from brain to fingertip
never quite perfect