Story 10: Lola
I had heard that cats bring dead, or half dead mice, to their human owners to teach them how to hunt. Given our lack of responsive learning, I have always been impressed by Lola’s patience, her unwillingness to give up on us. But recently I came across a different theory: animals might leave us presents to show their gratitude.
A story about our cat Lola, harvesting brussels sprouts and gratitude. (See Links 3)
Story 11: Warts
She sat down and told us that when she was a small girl, growing up in Eastern Europe, she too had warts on her feet. Her mother took her to see a wise woman in the village, who told her to take a bite out of an apple and bury it under the next full moon. According to our doctor, this cured her of her warts.
Searching for a cure for warts and other questions and quests. (See Links 4)
Story 12: Snakes and Ladders (Part 1 in the Doom Series)
I know that I am not telling you anything new. But, do you know the answer to this: is this it, is this all that life is, and will be? And should the question make you shudder? Or is it an invitation to wonder?
Snakes and Ladders, spins together dancing men, a canoe trip into the wilds, and the question: ‘Is this it?’ (See Links 5,6,7)
Story 13: Fossils (Part 2 in the Doom Series)
Conscious or not, the sorrows, secrets and the guilts we keep don’t rest peacefully. They are working on us, reminding us of our failings – usually more than fits the crime. I’ve watched guilt at work, have learned that it will not set you free, will not atone for your mistakes.
Fossils explores a deep lake, and the sorrows we keep. (See Links 8)
Story 14: Sundog (Part 3 in the Doom Series)
Sundogs, like all moments in time, are fleeting – we only notice them if we pay attention, (if we’re lucky enough to look up at the right moment), and our brief experiences of them sift through our hands – as does life.
This story is about a black dog, and speaks about the moments we live. (See Links 9, 10, 11, 12)
Story 15: Fractals
Through the lens’ furthest reach the scene loses its shape, colours merge and blur, as I zoom out and drift into space and slip through a narrow gap. I follow the sun, as does the earth, as does the moon. All of us, tiny electrons spinning and circling.
This story travels along a wild coastline, where the scene changes constantly, yet seemingly repeats itself again and again. (See Links 13, 14)
Story 16: The things we keep
Years ago I broke a pale yellow water pitcher that I’d received from a close childhood friend. We’d lost our connection but I kept the shards in a drawer, feeling pangs of regret and guilt for my carelessness. I asked my mom how I might fix the pitcher. She suggested I repair my friendship instead.
A story about regret, my great grandmother and her broken hip, and precious moments.
Story 17: 1979
1979 is the year my family emigrated from our small town in Switzerland. The story is about that time, Canadian lunch boxes, and crossing disorienting gaps.
Story 18: Egg
While travelling, eating hard-boiled eggs comes second only to apples, which, by the way, happens to be my only party trick – I eat them whole, apple seeds and all. My kids have grown up eating eggs on trains and planes, on mountain tops and on park benches. For years they hissed at us, embarrassed, but now they follow suit, peeling eggs around the world.
A story about fragile eggs and egos. (See Links 15)
Story 19: Apart
Sometimes we are given brief, unexpected moments in time – and their fleetingness doesn’t take away from their power to connect us with each other; maybe it only adds to their preciousness.
Story 20: On Balance
Yesterday, weeks after that first day of the deer hunt, on a snow covered path along a line of now bare trees, I saw a large Barred owl, perched high, still, waiting, watching for its small furry prey. And then, quite suddenly, it lifted and waved its powerful wings, and dove towards the frozen earth.
“On Balance” is about expectations, uncertainty and hope. (See Links 16, 17)
Story 21: Milkweed
One might think that the show is over once the flowers of the Milkweed have flashed their beauty, and the leaves have fed the hairy black and orange caterpillar; but no, the best is yet to come.
This story is about Milkweed and a silver tour bus.
Story 22: Sehnsucht
Happiness comes from the Icelandic word “happ”, meaning luck or chance. We do tend to tie the two together, as though happiness were a thing we might hopefully trip over one day, should we be so lucky. Sehnsucht is about our yearning for happiness, and the challenges we face in its search. (See Links 19)
Story 23: Patsy Cline
An old man once told me that not so long ago this city was a forest, then the Algonquin people called it their home, later Europeans came, took and cleared the land and farmed the rocky ground. Someone built a tram line from east to west, then came sidewalks and hydro lines. Who is to say when a neighbourhood should freeze in time? When is it at its prime?
This story is about my neighbour, 3 rusty cars and racoons.
Story 24: Migration
Transition sometimes patiently waits, and works, in the regeneration of a fallow field, a metaphor to describe the seemingly barren possible, the creative in-between of what was and what might become. And, writes William Bridges, “…it is the nothingness that we find there that gives it its power, not something we encounter in that in-between state.” (See Links 16)