There is the winter night when, while asleep, I sweat so much the sheets are drenched, as if they have been left out in the rain…Another night after dinner I doze off, the dog asleep on my feet….Most startling of all, today I discovered a new warning on a medication that I have been taking daily for years. Tiny print on a yellow sticker affixed to the prescription label warns Call your doctor immediately if you have mental mood changes like confusion, new/worsening feelings of sadness/fear, thoughts of suicide, or unusual behaviour. What has changed? Why has no one ever mentioned these side effects before? Or have I just failed to see them? Continue reading On the Evolution of My Condition
Winter is far from done. Still, we are waiting./ For what? Not for whispers or intimations; /not for inspiration, but for accident–/ Continue reading Late January blues
I think about how the night sky never looks quite the same from season to season or if you’ve shifted a few degrees of latitude or longitude. It’s as if, when you travel, someone has rearranged the furniture of the firmament. Continue reading Nightwatches
How can we attend to what we have not noticed? It took a week or ten days for the strangeness of the silence that surrounded us as we walked in the forest to become audible, to realize that it was not what we were hearing but what we were not hearing that was what was important. The realization didn’t come all at once. Continue reading The Silence of the Songbirds
These are the things I want to remember this Remembrance Day: everything that is alive that impresses itself on my senses, not the celebratory stories of European wars and muscular bravery, the pomp and pride that says “Look what we did; this land is our land; war is sacrifice is glory.” What terrible stewards and guests we colonials have been and go on being; even when we think we’re at peace we wage war on other beings, wrecking and murdering, fissuring the earth and all of its resources in the name of conquest, ownership, profit and, ironically, “survival”–a survival that is ever more clearly on its way to choking us all. Our noisy honking drowns out the very voices to which we need to listen. Truly I do not want to study war anymore, neither on this day nor any other; its racket, its glorious tales of the seizure of territories, is not where we most need to hone what Toni Morrison, in Beloved, called our “rememories,” or remembrance of memories right now. Continue reading “All land is sacred:” Another kind of remembrance
It has been twenty-five years since my friend Bill Readings died in an iced-up airplane that plummeted to earth in an Indiana soybean field. Twenty-five years since a phone call that Halloween night cancelled dinner plans, and turned our Montreal party into mourning. Twenty-five years since the world changed. Continue reading Running out into the rain: Remembering Bill Readings (1960-1994)
Faintly the peepers shimmer. Ice has just melted in the hollows and now fog shrouds us as if hiding the tenderness of shoots and leaves and newly laid eggs from the outside world. Continue reading Now fog shrouds us
As winter recedes we find bones along the beach. The dog gnaws some of them, but not the coyote skull with its long canines and nasal passages packed with a delicate fretwork of turbinates. Continue reading The quick and the dead
We have to climb to see the sunshine. At 40,000 feet, the clouds seem like a vast snow-blasted landscape–blue shadows of the distance like linking pools of half-frozen water. It is a landscape without trees, just the long arc of the atmosphere curving away in the distance. The sun is bright and hot–it seems as if it has been days since I’ve felt its heat and blare, the sting of so much light in my eyes. Continue reading Who will watch you while you sleep?
Winter blows in.
Geese gather in the yard in advance of the ice, eating what remains of the grass. Continue reading Winter blows in