Birth Days and Mother’s Days

I was born on Mother’s Day in 1955.  This May, I’ve thought often and hard about my mother who has struggled the past few years with Alzheimer’s disease.  I thought about Mom on my birthday.  And I thought about her again on Mother’s Day…and I’ve thought about her pretty much every day since I left her bedside last month.

Christmas St. SylvestreI want to thank those of you who brightened my days with your love, your wishes, your prayers and your cards.  It has been another year filled with blessings as numerous as challenges.  I am grateful for all of it.  I am grateful for you.



The Second Time I Cried: A Tim Horton’s Parking Lot

I didn’t take any photographs that first day of driving.  What was to archive?  I wasn’t a tourist. I didn’t feel the way I felt driving east.  Max needed to pee and I needed to sort out why I had taken the exit on Thickson Road instead of going south to the next one.  I figured quickly that it didn’t really matter.  Pulling off of the 401 and anticipating going north, somehow brought emotions up for me.  This cry was a weepy private shedding of a few tears…it was nothing dramatic, just enough that I had to remove my glasses because my eye lashes had mucked my lenses up.  The 401 and the Tim Horton’s parking lots of Canada hold no real intimacy.  I hoped that the secondary road would be kinder.

A rough-looking guy, once asked, pointed north and told me just to drive through Whitby, I’d get onto the right highway.  I felt his directions a tad sketchy, but followed them anyway.

Thickson to Hwy 7

The Journey Home: The First Time I Cried

Leaving home is never easy.  All of my readers know that.  This year, leaving Bridge Street… and my parents… was heart-breaking.  I tried the all-business approach to my packing up and sorting things (I still managed to leave one back pack behind), but beneath the surface I was again and again choking, choking in rooms by myself, while walking Max and Budster in the park across the street, on the elevator and in the parking lot.  By choking, I don’t mean crying tears.  I don’t know if you know what I mean.  It was a feeling so deep that it hurt my chest, but no sound came out and no tears were released.

When I last looked up at the balcony…Mom, cozy in her morning robe and Dad, tears in his eyes, I had to pull into my cave of a van and cry.  In my life I have been faulted for my emotions about things.  But this moment was one I will never forget, for its connection to my life…for the feeling of ‘leaving’ and the longing for connection.  I am home now and I will update my blog with a few significant happenings along the way.

I wish I could change some things.

I Looked Up At My Mom & Dad


I’m inspired by the ideas and photographs published here.  And…as I consider solitude, a whole number of thoughts come to mind.  For example,  I disappear into art.  I might be with others, but in an art gallery, I enter into relationship with paintings,  drawings and photographs, sculpture and pieces of art-glass.  Companions, other visitors and dealers circulate within the same spaces, but I am virtually alone.

Kootenay Lake: Remembering Pauline

I love to relax with an awesome piece of literature, but just as much, I enjoy the conversation that happens when I meet someone who has read the same book.  Time with a book is ‘magical’ solitude.  It most often happens by soft light, curled in bed late at night.  It is comfortable.  It is quiet.  It engages my spirit, my feelings and my mind.

I enjoy reading on public transit.  It seems that most everyone else is plugged into electronics, finding their own place of solitude.  I like that I can sometimes near my stop, without realizing it because a book has carried me to a different place.

Solitude is enjoyed while  sitting in the dark, watching a piece of beautiful dance or theater.  With dance, I process my own ‘stories’ and sometimes just enjoy the abstract sense of movement, light and music.  I like the sense of bodies in close proximity…other people engaged in the very same moment, but NOT really engaged with my very same moment.  I enjoy the intimacy of watching beautiful, strong and flexible bodies moving through space for my sake and my pleasure.  The dance speaks to me and again, I experience no judgment, pressure or sense of responsibility to the movement.  It is almost as though it serves me, although I know that unless the viewer brings something to the piece, it is unfinished.

I enjoy watching live theater, especially work that makes me laugh.  I hear myself laughing out loud.  I mean, I REALLY hear myself laugh and then…the play disappears for a moment and I cry in the dark…cry for happiness of hearing myself laugh.  I know that I have many unanswered questions.  I know that I am often-times troubled by various changes that keep happening in my life…but, I cry for happiness and love that comedy causes me to laugh.  There is a huge solitude that I experience in that whole process, alone in the dark.

Writing is a place of solitude and there is very little that feels as satisfying to me.  I feel so calm, watching words fly across a ‘page’.  I try to write something every day.  It is as though writing can take me to a place of solitude that is very honest and so ideas are generated, problems are resolved and feelings are expressed. 

Hiking, even with friends, is a place of solitude.  I like the sound of each step…because on the trails, as I exert myself, each step becomes something that I consider.  Muscles come alive.  I feel sun or rain on my face.  Unlike the hectic life engaged with work and social activities, hiking brings me home to myself.  I see things because I slow enough to notice.  I hear my footsteps.

In Fatal Wanderings: Thoughts on Jon Krakauer’s “Into the Wild”, solitude becomes a tragic circumstance.  And, very honestly, sometimes I feel that I am pulled into a sad place in a circumstance of too much solitude…but, what I’ve tried to write about tonight is the absolute wonder and magic of solitude in just some of its forms.  Solitude can be a very beautiful thing.