Spring I

Story 34: Chocolate Rabbit

For years, I have been palming off a particularly adorable baby picture of my brother as my own. We mostly share the same features: blue eyes, nose, cheekbones. But that is where the similarity ends.

Chocolate Rabbit is about habits and chocolate. (See Links 29)

Story 35: Endings

Some endings are explicit: clearly we are told what  happens next: threads are gathered into tidy bundles, there is no room to question the explanation because the teller has decided on this version, as the truth.   Other endings are implicit, and have you wondering what it means  to live happily ever after, for example. (See Links 30, 31, 32 )

Story 36: Begin Again

My late MIL was a weaver. She wove beautiful blankets, scarves and shawls, but my favorites are the multicoloured patterned towels that I use to dry my hands, that glow with contrast and harmony, thread together colours that you or I might neverdare, unless you know their art, which she did. 

Story 37: Sleeping Beauty

Warning: not much happens in this story, unless  you count my description of a breathing lake; or count the unfortunate rent in my winter coat, torn by the thorns of tall blackberry canes.   In this story, no coyote will suddenly trot across a frozen lake; and your tolerance, your threshold for boredom, might not be as high as mine.

Story 38: Awe

For some, awe is proof of God; for others, science not only adds an explanation but increases their sense of awe, lifts them across the gap left by not knowing, sets them down on the others side, leaving them to wonder, wanting to know more. (See Links 30)

Story 39: Krill

Some meeting spots create the conditions to support a rich, diverse marine life, including Krill: tiny, shrimp-like sea creatures. To escape hungry predators Krill migrate daily, vertically, in huge swarms that can be seen from outer space;  but despite their brave efforts they end as fodder: far down in deep waters when the sun is high, and near the surface of the rivers in the night.

Krill is a story about meeting places and parallel worlds. (See Links 32)

Story 40: Headstand

I fell off a ladder yesterday. The whole thing collapsed and I found myself lying on the ground, testing body parts, wondering about what I might have broken.  It turns out I got away with a sprained ankle – it could have been so much worse, I tell myself. Sure, this will keep me not busy for a few days or more; perhaps it is a good time to practice my headstands, to see the world from a different angle.

Headstands is a story about speeding tickets, old paintings, perspective and framing experiences. (See Links 30 & Read Text)

Story 41: Compost

“We are all compost for worlds we cannot yet imagine.” (David Whyte)

Composting has always been a bit of a surprise, an experiment: I never quite know what will slowly, and sometimes suddenly grow out of the bins’ corners.

And I am a composition of all the good wishes and warnings, insightful and thoughtless, helpful and spiteful comments,  all the conversations I have ever had, and not just the ones I remember and took to heart, but all the ones I have forgotten, dismissed, ignored, rejected, ridiculed. 

(See Links 32 & Read Text here)

Story 42: Free wine and other plastic things

What is it about free wine, food, free anything,  that sends so many of us into a tizzy? 

Interestingly, we sometimes question the virtue of free items because we judge them to have no, or low, quality. In our minds we unfairly de-value the thing, decide that there must be something wrong, tell ourselves that it likely has bedbugs, then pass it by. 

Story 43: Bend in the road

My husband hitched rides all over the world when he was young. I’ve only dared it a few times, including a ride, on a heavy rainy day, on the sunshine coast, and once when we hitchhiked to our honeymoon.

Bend in the road is a story about a canoe trip down the Rideau river, hitchhiking and regrets.

Story 44: Forgetting Mrs Sprout

Two days after we moved in Mrs Sprout came through our always unlocked back door, strode up the 3 narrow steps into her old kitchen, searched the top of my new fridge for tickets  to a concert at the NAC. She asked if I’d taken them, and questioned what I’d done. 

Story 45: Corsets and lotus feet

The large ‘Reshaping’ cabinet holds, among other things, Burmese neck rings which, I learned, don’t actually lengthen the human neck, but rather push the clavicle and ribs down. The neck stretching is mostly illusory.  Also in the Reshaping cabinet are corsets, worn by many women not that long ago. Come to think of it, my grandmother kept one at the bottom of her closet, fleshy rubbery pink; one hundred hooks and eyes, sucker studded tentacles squeezed her, strapped her in, wrapped around her soft warm body. (See Links 34)

This story is about the Pitt River museum, corsets and other shrinking things.

Coming Soon: Stinging Nettles

At the far end of our own brick walled garden was a wooden gate that opened to a large churchyard. A network of narrow paths wound their way through rows of ancient graves, whose stones had, in some places fallen down and cracked, overgrown by ivy. Large Chestnut trees lent our street its name, and cast their deep shadows.

Stinging Nettles is a story about living in England, about the good women who circled the wagon, and about playing hide and seek in the graveyard.