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A Picture Worth A Thousand Words

I thought that this was important enough to share. Sometimes a picture IS worth a thousand words. In this case, it speaks more loudly than words ever could. The article can be read at Post Internazionale.


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"The truth can be  seen from different doorways."
“The truth can be seen from different doorways.”

You call it a lie, I call it protecting someone from a painful truth.

I call it a lie, you call it protecting someone from a painful truth.

From either perspective, the other is an inconsiderate pimple on the bum of life.

Perception is as unique as our fingerprints,  as  delicate and yet  impossibly strong as a spider web.

When you open your eyes to limitless perceptions of the most seemingly insignificant things, it can take you down an endless rabbit-hole of realities you never dreamed existed.

As I sat across from a woman whom I hadn’t seen since she was a girl, this concept of perception whispered underneath the chatter of the café.

I had always thought of her as meek, raised in a traditional Mennonite family. She, as it turns out always thought of me as bubbly, cheerful, having a wonderful life. After 22 years of living our lives and becoming the women that we are, we learned that none of that was true. Twenty years ago, she was thirsty for travel and adventure, and inside I was a trembling mess of insecurity trying to escape a life of abuse. Who knew?

What is important, is that today, we are both strong, capable, very amazing women who have both travelled, and come home to roost, comfortable in our own skin and knowledge of who we are. Yes darlings, we’re deliciously confident women. Perception.

The creative spirit is one that needs sustenance. If we deny it, it withers like tender shoots in the scorching mid-day sun.  I wish you all simple abundance, unfettered joy, and true love.
The creative spirit is one that needs sustenance. If we deny it, it withers like tender shoots in the scorching mid-day sun.
I wish you all simple abundance, unfettered joy, and true love.

Later that day, having tea with a friend at the AGO, I shared the news of my recent professional triumph, and we discussed the world we work in, both from very different perspectives.  The conversation left me with a richer sense of the industry within which we work, and a delicately beaded clutch of knowledge to bring to the boardroom table.

I chose my galleries with care, and wandered off to see Scott McFarland’s; Snow , Shacks, Streets, Shrubs exhibit.  The wide-format photos were magnificent, and just like the review said, it made time slow down as I stopped to consider each piece.

Two of the photos were taken just up the road from where I live, in Caledon. The photos had been edited, one side of the wide print including snow and barren trees, the other, carefully blended  the snow with green grass and trees in their full, early summer splendor.  Seasons of nature and an individual’s lifetime lend their own light, shadows and perspective.

seaworldBrian Jungen and Duane Linlater’s Modest Livelihood film installation was my final stop at the gallery this weekend. As someone intimately familiar with the clinical aspects of human anatomy, I found the film (presented from the perspective of two indigenous artists who are moose-hunting), fascinating with regard to our perceptions of mortality, our own bodies and how we relate to the natural world.

Having grown up in the country with hunters and farmers, my perception of what we put on the table is much different than most. When I balk at the idea of a ‘juicy steak’ from the grill this long weekend, very few people understand my perspective, and why I can’t think of anything worse.

Perception; stretched out with an old beaux on Friday night, toasting my success with a glass of  bubbly, we had the opportunity to share our thoughts and feelings about why things went side-ways all of those years ago. Like side-ways in a ‘what the hell just happened’ kind of way. After all, when two people care about and even admire one another, what could possibly go wrong? Perception, expectation; basically everything.

I’ve been around here for a while, and I’ve learned that my perception is mine alone. It takes some sincere caring, courage and ego-dropping not only ask for another’s perspective, but to chew it over when it has the potential to leave a stinging, bitter taste.

The truth can be seen from different doorways indeed. I hope I’m always brave enough to go linger a while with my neighbour on their doorstep, and consider their point of view. Sometimes the bitterness we expect turns out to be something very, very sweet.


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Rockin’ The Art Gallery of Ontario

Not having ever been a Patti Smith fan, I poo-pooed the ‘Camera Solo’ exhibit at the AGO before I even had a look. Just great, I thought, another exhibit of work that isn’t worth looking at but for the name attached.  Gimme a break.

I was blown away by the images and poetry on display at the AGO, and have a new respect for Patti Smith as an artist, not just some washed up rock queen.

If you haven’t gone, here’s the info you need to get there: . If you can’t make it, I suggest a copy of her book Land 250. So amazing and beautifully bound that I just had to indulge and buy a print copy.

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Thangsgiving View From The Point

 A rare glimpse of some ANDSHELAUGHS poetry inspired by the many hundreds of miles I have driven this Thanksgiving weekend. I  not only have been entertained by wonderful friends, but also by the beauty of the changing leaves; crimson, ruby, rust and gold.

The earth, despite cuts of concrete and swaths of asphalt, sings out its beauty for one last show of power before the snow falls and sends us into a darker season lit by the steady, clear winter constellations.

The beauty that I have just a few steps from my front door is what I am thankful for every day. Blossoms in the spring, cool shade in the summer, and beautiful colour in the autumn. There is indeed much to be thankful for.


Even this rock has life

Grass pricks up in the hollow scar

like the waking fuzz on a toddler’s head.

Reservoir of battered water,

tossed by speed or storm,

from the deep lake.

There was a moment when seed took root,
what was barren became fruitful;
Beauty from despair.


The whispered gurgle

of water kissing granite –

Is this our human hope-

That in the echo of sorrow

despair will wear like rock,

and in the smallest crevice

meaning will take root?

A cradle from the deepest cut.