Pens attract me like a white shirt attracts coffee. I love the click, that satisfying sound the pen emits when you press the button to make the tip of the ink cartridge drop out of the barrel. I cock my head, right ear tilted upward, eyes to heaven, finger poised on the clicker waiting Continue reading
“Mamaaa! Maaa-maaa! Maaaaa!” his thin, sharp cry carried through the screen door, sieved into mosquito sized pieces and scattered through twelve back yards. Deck doors clunked closed, but I was in my back garden listening to wind chimes, which I swear his sound waves agitated, and I wanted to be outside.
“Darius!” his mother yelled. “Stop whining! Do you hear anyone else behaving like you? Just stop!”
I went inside and closed the door. I could still hear the caterwauling. I wanted to invite them both over to listen to the chimes but I didn’t. Continue reading
Miraculously, the May-June-July monsoons did not prevent the cherries from ripening. Somehow they gleaned enough light and energy from the milky sun to turn into hundreds of juicy blisters ready to burst. They reddened within days and the annual race to pick and pit before the starlings and squirrels reaped the bounty was on. Continue reading
By Susanne Fletcher On the cusp of 60 years old, I ran away to Baja California Sur, Mexico to let my heart bloom. I needed to escape–at least briefly–37 years of marriage, 35 years of office work, and 22 years of motherhood, to reclaim an old dream, so I signed on to a writing retreat, […]
All day, I sat in a windowless meeting room in the basement of a hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia and listened to very important people talk about very important things. Immediately before the meeting my bowels had erupted, protesting as they often do to the change in input when I travel. I also forgot my acid reflux meds at home in Ottawa. And so the day began.
Reside as a word to describe where you live sounds forensic to me, like something you’d read in a police report. “The victim, a 59 year old female with two gold fillings, resides at 123 Dull Street, in Ottawa East. It rings of resignation and victim-hood.
Montréalers do not reside, baby, they live, Live, LIVE! Don’t bore me with that old joie de vivre bullshit. Montréalers are way past that borrowed colonial French cliché. They’re on a whole different planet of life. Continue reading
- Buy a coffin.
- Put the coffin in your living room.
- Fill the coffin with clothes that don’t fit, books you’ll never read, lists of people you don’t talk to anymore, every regret you’ve ever had, all your lost dreams. Add a picture of you at 28.
- Stop plucking the hairs on your chin. For fun, see how long they’ll grow.
- Stop gluing down the three hairs on your left eyebrow that poke out like past sins.
- Burn your 36 DD bras. Fly free.
- Stop buying self-help books. If you own any, add them to the coffin.
- Do 10 squats a day so you can get up and down off the toilet when you’re 70.
- Eat bread and pasta and potatoes and white sugar and milk chocolate if you want.
- Walk outside, not on a treadmill. The treadmill is a symbol. So is being outside.
- Give your better angels a voice and tell the bitter bitches who talk over everyone to fuck off. Better yet, throw the bitches in the coffin.
- Obsess about now.
- Practice listening to your dog, your cat, your budgie, your goldfish and then go listen to your best friend.
- Talk to people the way you talk to your pet. Chances are if you say “Who’s a good friend?” they’ll beam with pleasure.
- Look up at the sky and not your feet. The view is better.
- Practice what you preach.
Map of Canada – 1963
When the Canadian Oxford Desk Atlas of the World dated 1963 was published, I was six years old. The first map in the book shows the land mass of Canada and the scale is one inch to 300 miles. In this atlas the islands and inlets spattering the west coast of my childhood are, like my memories, unnamed. I know now those islands grew from cataclysms and it makes sense that the route through them – the way home – is dangerous. Continue reading
We moved to Vancouver Island when I was ten. One of the selling features for the new location offered by my dad was horses – I could learn how to ride. Lessons arranged, I showed up at the barn on Saturday morning. The group lessons had started the week before and so the trainer gave me the last horse available – a 16 hands tall beast named Jet. I needed a leg-up to get into the stirrups. Continue reading