Posted in Book Review

Wandering Home

Last week, at Shelf Life Used Books in Kentville, I picked up Wandering HomebookCover_wanderingHome by Bill McKibben. It is subtitled ‘a long walk across America’s most hopeful landscape. McKibben walked from Vermont to the Adirondacks in New York State, often accompanied by friends or colleagues. The book was originally published in 2005, as part of a series of small books about ‘writers taking walks’. In his afterword (2014) he describes the impact of Hurricane Irene in 2011.

“But the psychological effects linger: each season of weird weather makes it harder to maintain the idea that our local progress will be enough to forestall the press of global decline.”

McKibben is the founder of the environmental organization 350.org and was among the first to warn of the dangers of global warming. Other books include The End of Nature, Oil and Honey, Eaarth, and Deep Economy.

His efforts remind me of our effort to walk ‘The Road to Georgetown’. As we hear about changes to the Nova Scotia landscape through forest cutting, one approach is to walk, cycle or paddle through the interior of Nova Scotia, recording our observations along the way … ‘Wandering Home’ in the footsteps of McKibben.

maher_apple_1Meanwhile, at home, we are busy picking up the apple drops in the orchard. We wait for the apples to grow larger on the trees. We also wait for the first batch of Hunter’s brandy at Ironworks Distillery. Interspersed, with walking Patrick’s retired Inuit sled dogs: Uqaliq (rabbit) and Siqsiq (ground squirrel).

This weekend, we are off to New Glasgow for Grandad John’s ninetieth birthday party.
Next week, it is time to check out Extinction Rebellion, Annapolis County.

Acknowledgements.

Heather Stewart, Edward Wedler and Bodhi who shared the Road to Georgetown.

Reference

Bill McKibben (2014) Wandering Home. St. Martin’s Griffin. New York.

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Posted in Book Review

Lessons from Haida Gwaii: part three.

On the ferry between Vancouver and Nanaimo, I noted The Nature of Canada in the gift shop.bookCover_NatureOfCanada Subsequently, I picked up a copy at Munro’s Books in Victoria. It was categorized as a “Read Local BC Selection”; edited by Colin Coates and Graeme Wynn, published by UBC Press. Both Coates and Wynn are environmental historians.

The book included sixteen essays. Five authored or co-authored by Wynn, and one authored by Coates.

From Wynn:
Nature and Nation
Painting the Map Red
Eldorado North? (with Stephen Hornsby)
Nature we cannot see
Advocates and Activists (with Jennifer Bonnell)

From Coates:
Back to the Land

The book was purchased before my visit to Haida Gwaii; and only back in Nova Scotia did I have the time to reflect on its content.

What surprised me in this third reading was the distinction of Lessons from Haida Gwaii. Weiss, in Shaping the Future on Haida Gwaii, talks at length about care for the land. Davidson and Davidson, in Potlatch as Pedagogy, describe a very different relationship to the land.

Coates comments:

‘The hippies’ back-to-Nature dreams involved a certain degree of self-sufficiency which usually entailed small scale farming. In ways that they might not have appreciated – though many may have read Thoreau’s Walden (1854) for inspiration – agrarian independence had been a long-standing dream of many migrants to North America from the seventeenth century on.’

The one essay that did capture the indigenous perspective was Julie Cruikshank ‘Listening to Different Stories’.

“A story is different. It does not expand itself. It preserves and concentrates its energy and is capable of releasing it after a long time’ — quote from philosopher Walter Benjamin. The enchantment that pervades a universe inhabited by a community of beings in constant communication and exchange offers a hopeful (and possibly necessary) vision. It deserves more space in our modern world” p.97.

Or returning to Potlatch as Pedagogy:

“They lived the culture and it was common knowledge in my (Tsinii’s) time period. Like they knew the land, they knew the water, they knew the weather. I remember when Dad was looking at a tree, Tsinii said ‘There’s a tree at this….” and he would name the spot at Naden Harbour and describe the location. So they had a visual map of where the different trees were because their life relied on it. Being a canoe maker,(Tsinii) would know where the trees are. He would have a mental map.”

Acknowledgments

Heather, my travelling companion. Edward for his graphics contribution.

References

Colin Coates and Graeme Wynn. (eds.) 2019. The Nature of Canada. UBC Press.
Joseph Weiss. 2018. Shaping the Future on Haida Gwaii: Life beyond Settler Colonialism. UBC Press.
Sara Davidson and Robert Davidson. 2018. Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning through Ceremony. Portage and Main Press.

Posted in Book Review

Lessons from Haida Gwaii: part two

At the Book Stop in Sitka Studio, Tlell, I picked up a copy of Potlatch as Pedagogy, co-authored by Sara and Robert Davidson. Robert is a Haida artist and his daughter Sara is an Indigenous educator. They have produced a remarkable collaboration.bookCover_potlachPedagogy

“ This story is being shared to support us, as educators, to continue to move forward in honour of my father’s belief that the sharing of knowledge helps us grow.” p.6

“The Haida word for “teach” is sk’ad’ada and the base of the word “teach” is sk’ad’a which means “learn”. The connection between these two words reflects my own understanding of teaching – that it is impossible to teach without learning.” p.13.

There are nine sk’ad’a principles that teach us from where learning emerges, how learning occurs, and what learning honours.

haidaLearning

1) Learning emerges from Strong Relationships
2) Learning emerges from Authentic Experience.
3) Learning emerges from Curiosity.
4) Learning occurs through Observations.
5) Learning occurs through Contribution.
6) Learning occurs Recognizing and Encouraging Strengths.
7) Learning honours the Power of the Mind.
8) Learning honours History and Story.
9) Learning honours Aspects of Spirituality and Protocol.

Chapter 3, ‘We were once silenced’, talks about the implications
of the Potlatch ban.

‘In the past, people lived by a strict code of laws that was defined by public opinion. Since there were no written documents, all changes to the existing order were made at feasts and potlatches, at a time when the public was present. If you accepted a chieftainship, or you raised a memorial pole, or you got married, all activities were recorded in this way.’ p.25

In the final Chapter 7, ‘Potlatch as Pedagogy’, Sara Davidson reflects:

“As I witnessed the gyaa isdlaa, I was able to understand for the first time how the Haida Potlatch was being used as a tool to relearn and reteach ceremony. My father has relearned ceremonial knowledge from the Elders in preparation for the pole raising, and he was now using the Potlatch as a means of sharing what he had learned about our ancestral knowledge with our community.” p.67.

In the remainder of the chapter, Sara Davidson recounts her father’s use of the nine sk’ad’a principles to teach us about Haida ancestral knowledge.

“Based on what I learned from my father about sk’ad’a and ceremony, I believe that our connection to our roots have merely been dormant, and as we honour and bring together the pieces of our ancient knowledge and our history, we will revive that connection once again.” p.74

So, here is the challenge, can we apply these nine sk’ad’a principles in our learning, elsewhere, in other parts of Canada?

Acknowledgements

To Heather and Edward fellow travellers, and other educators in both England and Canada.

Reference.

Sara Florence Davidson and Robert Davidson.2018. Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning through Ceremony. Portage and Main Press.

POSTSCRIPT
Raising of the Totem Pole Potlatch …
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p64LWW85fA

Posted in Book Review

Lessons from Haida Gwaii: part one

When you are travelling it is hard to find time to read (except in the air). Thus it was impossible to provide a meaningful book review earlier. This is the first of my book reviews based on our visit to Haida Gwaii.bookCover_ShapingTheFuture Joseph Weiss, in his book Shaping the Future on Haida Gwaii: Life beyond Settler Colonialism, has written an excellent, thoughtful analysis of life beyond settler colonialism. In particular, the relationship between Haida and non-Haida in the future management of the island.

The book is divided into three parts: Pasts and Futures, Home, and Care. He starts with an introduction to Haida future-making in Old Massett, and the everyday temporalities of life in Haida Gwaii. This was particularly poignant since I had purchased the book in a gift shop in Old Massett.oldMassettBC

Under Home, Weiss looks at the Haida departures and returns in the future perfect, followed by a chapter on ‘Of Hippies and Haida: fantasy, future-making and the allure of Haida Gwaii’.

logo_oldMassettVillageCouncilThe third section addresses Care and Governance and the role of the Old Massett Village Council (OMVC) and the Council of Haida Nation (CHN). Again, this resonates, in contrast, to here in rural Nova Scotia.

Weiss concludes with a discussion of ‘unsettling futures’.

To give a sense of the quality of the writing, I have included three quotations from the book.

‘Thinking about the future enables Haida people to address dilemmas of the present, to suggest solutions to issues that seem intractable at the moment. These are not just the problems of indigenous people; rather, we have seen that many rural communities face challenges of mobility and migration, that questions of political accountability resonate across (neo)liberal democracies, and that environmental struggles seek to protect the planet itself’ p.191

The relationship of a nation within a nation is an interesting one. Especially on Haida Gwaii with its unique ‘island geography’. Consider the CHN constitution:

‘The Haida Natilogo_HaidaNationon is the rightful heir to Haida Gwaii. Our culture is born of respect; and intimacy with the land and sea and air around us. Like the forests, the roots of our people are intertwined such that the greatest troubles cannot overcome us. We owe our existence to Haida Gwaii’ p.175

Finally, on the back cover, Weiss writes:

‘Indigenous peoples are not in any sense ‘out of time’ in our contemporary world. Shaping the Future on Haida Gwaii shows how Indigenous peoples in Canada not only continue to have a future, but are at work building many different futures – for themselves and for their non-indigenous neighbours.’

Acknowledgements

Heather shared the journey. John Broadhead explained some of the current initiatives at the Gowgaia Institute. Edward added graphics.

Reference

Joseph Weiss. 2018. Shaping the Future on Haida Gwaii: Life beyond settler colonialism.UBC Press.

Posted in Book Review

Ground Work

Tim Dee’s collection of thirty-one writings on Places and People is organized in alphabetical order. It includes contributions from Hugh Brody, Richard Holmes and Richard Mabey. Most of the places are found in the British Isles and are as diverse as the personalities of the authors. Nick Davies, Professor of Behavioural Ecology describes the life of the cuckoo in Wicken Fen. Marina Warner talks about the medieval shrine at Binsey in Oxford; its link to Gerald Manley Hopkins and Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland. The final contribution by Ken Warpole describes the role of public parks in the British landscape.

richmondParkUK
“Richmond Park Understorey”, image by Gossipguy, Creative Commons 

This reminds me of the parks near London: Richmond Park and Bushy Park.

He concludes:
“Inequality is on the rise, and London’s socially mixed communities are under continuing pressure from ‘the invisible hand’ of the housing market to segment even further into discrete enclaves of wealth and lifestyle. Yet parks remain among the last places in the city where all users are equal and preferential terms of access or treatment cannot be purchased or parlayed”

One essay by David Matless, ‘Seaview: the anthroposcenic’ struck a personal chord. (Anthroposcenic: landscape emblematic of processes marking the Anthropocene).

Page 187.
“Holidays at East Runton; forty years ago, with predictions of a new ice age, and in newer hotting times. A beach mile from Cromer, rock pools and sand, the wave-cut platform and forest bed. A minute from door to paddle, cliff’s topping to North Sea summer icing; always a chill.”

I remember too Summer holidays in a caravan at East Runton on the Norfolk Coast; an escape from the suburbs of South-west London. Likely over sixty years ago.

Today, I think of the time at Rathtrevor Beach with our grandchildren, escaping from the Greater Vancouver mainland to the coast of Vancouver Island.

makingFootprintsRathrevorBeach_Flickr
“Making footprints on Rathtrevor Beach”, image by Ruth Hartrup on Flickr

Will these memories stay with the next generation, sixty years from now?

As we walk the trails of Walnut Grove BC,  we seek the shade of cedar filled ravines. Will they offer the same respite for the next generation. Playing a similar role to the public parks in the British landscape?

Acknowledgements

To Heather, Laurel, Nic, Marcus and Owen all great travel companions.
Edward for his graphic contribution.

References

Tim Dee (Ed.) 2018. GroundWork: Writings on Places and People. Vintage Press.
Hugh Brody. A Story of Arctic Maps. p.44-53.
Richard Holmes. An Elemental Education. p.117-131
Richard Mabey. A Wood over One’s Head. p.140-147.
Nick Davies. From the Old Tower Hide on Wicken Fen. P.77-83.
Marina Warner. Binsey. P.249-259.
Ken Warpole. The Echoing Green. p.260-269.
David Matless. Seaview: the Anthroposcenic. p.185-188.

 

Posted in Book Review, Opinion

Two landscapes

bookCover_worldendingFireIn his essay ‘Two Minds’, Wendell Berry talks in terms of the Rational Mind and the Sympathetic Mind.

“We humans necessarily make pictures in our minds of our places and our world….. we live in two landscapes, one superimposed upon the other” p.177

“First there is the cultural landscape made up of our knowledge of where we are, of landmarks and memories, of patterns of use and travel.”

“And then there is the actual landscape, which we can never fully know, which is always going to be to some degree a mystery, from time to time surprising us.”
“These two landscapes are necessarily and irremediably different from each other.”

“If the cultural landscape becomes too different from the actual landscape, then we will make practical errors that will be destructive of the actual landscape or of ourselves or both” p178.

“And so conservationists have not done enough when they conserve wilderness or biological diversity. They also must conserve the possibilities of peace and good work, and to do that they must help to make a good economy.”p200.

Elsewhere, in the essay ‘In Defense of Literacy’.

“I am saying, then, that literacy – the mastery of language and the knowledge of books – is not an ornament, but a necessity. It is impractical only by the standards of quick profit and easy power” p295.

And so, I am facing two landscapes: the landscape of rural Nova Scotia and the landscape of suburban Greater Vancouver.
ruralNSvancouver
The landscape of rural Nova Scotia I can find described in the writing of Ernest Buckler or the recent column by John DeMont in the Chronicle Herald. Perhaps in the weeks ahead, I will find equivalent descriptions in British Columbia.

In the meantime, I shall enjoy the other essays in ‘The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry’.

Acknowledgements

To Anne Crossman for the Buckler and DeMont links. To John Rostron for early insights into BC living. To Edward Wedler for his graphics.

References
Wendell Berry. 2017. The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry. Selected and with Introduction by Paul Kingsnorth. Counterpoint Press.
John DeMont. Chronicle Herald July 16,2019. Most of Nova Scotia is Empty, Thank Goodness for That.
Ernest Buckler. Maclean’s. June 1,1949. Last Stop before Paradise.
https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1949/6/1/last-stop-before-paradise

Postscript ‘Praise for Wendell Berry’
“He writes at least as well as George Orwell and has an urgent message for modern industrial capitalism…..Nobody can risk ignoring him”. Andrew Marr, New Statesman.

AFTERWORD
This is chalkboard on the stairs in my daughter’s house.
chalkboard

Posted in Book Review

Jane Jacobs Biography

bookCover_escapeToReality

“If you have a library and a garden, you want for nothing else”: British saying.

From Chapter 4. What we can learn from the British, Mark Cullen and Ben Cullen’s Escape to Reality: how the world is changing gardening and gardening is changing the world.
bookCover_JaneJacobs
I found in the COGS Library Alice Sparberg Alexiou’s biography Jane Jacobs: Urban Visionary.

Chapter 10, Economist without Portfolio, starts with the question ” Why do some places get rich, but not others ?” (p 169).

In ‘On the Mechanics of Economic Development’, Robert Lucas, who would win the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1995, argued that places that thrive do so mostly as a result of what economists call ‘human capital’ (p169). When Lucas was developing his hypothesis, he read Jacob’s 1969 book The Economy of Cities. Her book, Lucas realized, was all about the external effects of human capital, and it helped his ideas take shape (p 170).
“As Jacobs had rightly emphasized and illustrated with hundreds of concrete examples, much of economic life is ‘creative’ in much the same way as ‘art’ or ‘science’ (p 171).

“All economic growth since the industrial revolution is due to ideas,” Lucas says ” But growth theory for years ignored the force of ideas. For Jacobs, this question is the centre of everything’. ” Jacobs, he says “shows that most of the ideas come from the ground, not R & D departments” (p 171).

From Jacobs, ” I think we are misled by universities … into thinking that there actually are separate fields of knowledge. But no, they link up … everything is a seamless web … and its a very functional thing, not just a poetic expression.”

CHruralRenaissanceCombine these observations by Jacobs with the Chronicle Herald article on the new rural economy. The PLACE model of Community Development comes from seven years of research on Fogo Island by Memorial University in partnership with the Shorefast Foundation.

Promote community champions
Link Insiders and Outsiders
Assess local capacities
Convey compelling narratives
Engage both/and thinking

‘It is through a commitment to place, and principles of PLACE, that champions muster the energy, creativity and other resources to renew a community’s economy and sense of purpose.’

Further to my conversations with Brian Arnott (see my earlier blog) Jane Jacobs can be considered both an urban visionary and a rural visionary.

Postscript

This week, we settled on the format for the Local Authors Question and Answer session at the EBLES event on June 29th. Bob Bent, Marilyn Jones and Dianne LeGard, all members of Authors Ink, will discuss their work. They will address the question: Why do I write? What do I like to write about? How is my writing published? How to market my book(s)?

Acknowledgements
Brian Arnott for his thoughts on economic development in rural communities. Edward Wedler for his graphics contribution.

References

Alice Sparberg Alexiou. 2006. Jane Jacobs: Urban Visionary. Harper Collins Publishing.

Mark Cullen and Ben Cullen. 2018. Escape to Reality. How the World is changing Gardening and how Gardening is changing the World. Nimbus Books.

Barbara Dean-Simmons. Chronicle Herald. Friday, May 24,2019. How unexpected ideas are leading to a new rural economy. Part 3. Taking the Past into the Future. p A8-A9.

Posted in Book Review

Returning Home

map_easternCanada_2bAfter five weeks in the North, what has changed on the home front? First, Dr Mackinnon has retired. This means no family doctor. Make sure that you have registered on the 811 list; not an encouraging sign, especially given the recent video that went viral on a young cancer patient. Second, Highway #201 is still full of logging trucks removing trees from the remaining forests of Southwest Nova Scotia. Third, no news on the Gordonstoun build outside of Bridgetown. It does make you wonder whether we need a change in our political leadership. or are most of our woes related to the performance of the civil service? In which case, we need a ‘change in the culture’.

bookCover_WonderWithinYouOn a more positive note, courtesy of Amazon, I returned to find two new books by David Manners. You may recall from an earlier blog, that he wrote a novel in the 1940s about rural living in Centrelea. In The Wonder within You, David Morgan-Jones gives a useful biographical introduction to Manners’ life. Manners was born in Halifax in 1900. After going to the University of Toronto to study Forestry, while there, he started his acting career. In the 1930’s he was a Hollywood film star. He dropped out, and moved to Yucca Loma where he wrote two novels: Convenient Season (1941) and Under Running Laughter (1943). He shared his life with Bill Mercer (1948-1978) in both Yucca Loma and Santa Barbara. Manners died in 1998. Awakening from the Dream of Me (1987) was described as ‘a unique collection of aphorisms from an American sage‘. The Wonder within You (2005), edited by Morgan-Jones, was published after his death. It contains a selection of quotation from both his newsletters and journals. For example,

‘No tools, no money, no travel, no teacher, no group, no organization is needed. The ultimate is here, and it is free and open to everyone. No identification card is needed, no scroll of great deeds or list of failures. Come as you are, naked of the world’s judgements.’

From the past, this month, I have received emails from students who were in Lawrencetown in the 1980s. Bill Castel and his mother, Pat, were both students at NSLSI in the Scientific Computer programming program. Sidey Timmins and his sister, Ann, were both students in the new GIS program from the mid-eighties. I have also been in contact with Danielle Robinson. She is PhD candidate at the University of Guelph looking at food sustainability and rural tourism.  She is making a comparison between the Okanagan Valley, BC and the Annapolis Valley, NS. I look forward to her visit to Nova Scotia next month.

bookCover_NovaScotiasLostCommunitiesMy last piece of reading, I picked up this week, at my father-in-law’s house in New Glasgow. The book is by Joan Dawson Nova Scotia’s Lost Communities: the early settlements that helped build the provinceBesides raising questions about the historical exploitation of the Nova Scotian landscape, whether saw mills, shipbuilding or mining, it offers us a reminder that the current overexploitation of our resources will again pass into history. However, it does beg the question: will we ever learn? To do things differently?

Acknowledgements

To those friends and relatives who believe that ‘there must be a better way’ without exploiting people and the planet. To Heather Stewart and Edward Wedler, fellow travellers.

Postscript

After five weeks away, I have five issues of The Guardian Weekly to digest. Just imagine.     In the April 19th. edition, there is a promising book review of Outpost by Dan Richards. Alex Preston, the reviewer compares the writing to the work of Robert MacFarlane. Time to use the services of inter-library loan in Lawrencetown.

 

References

David Manners.1987. Awakening from the Dream of Me. Non-stop Books.

David Morgan-Jones. (ed).2005. The Wonder within You. From the Metaphysical journals of David Manners. Trafford Publishing.

Joan Dawson. 2018. Nova Scotia’s Lost Communities: The Early Settlements that helped Build the Province. Nimbus Publishing.

Posted in Book Review

Northern Reflections

We have been in Iqaluit for a week. One of the first stops was the Arctic Ventures store. They have a good collection of Northern literature from Inhabit Media. All week, I have been reading The Hands’ Measure. It is a series of essays honouring Leah Aksaajuk Otak’s contribution to Arctic Science.bookCover_HandsMeasure

”Leah was an oral historian and linguist with the Nunavut Research Institute in Igloolik. Leah’s lifelong advocacy of Inuit culture and language was uniquely expressed in her passionate promotion of traditional sewing skills and clothing-making techniques.

”To measure with the hands” she asserted, was the essential first step in producing a perfectly fitting garment. Aptly this axiom serves as a proxy for Leah’s unwavering certainty about the essential role of tradition in contemporary Inuit society”.

The nineteen essays were edited by John MacDonald and Nancy Wachowich. Of particular note, for myself, were the contributions by Claudio Aporta and Hugh Brody. Claudio teaches at Dalhousie University. Hugh is an anthropologist and filmmaker and holds the Canada Research Chair at the University of the Fraser Valley.

Aporto’s essay ‘Living, Travelling, Sharing. How the Land permeates the Town through Stories’ contained the following quotation.

”The concept of ‘body of knowledge’ only scratches the surface of that complex relationship that Inuit have with their environment. As Tim Ingold (2000) has argued, it is in the unveiling of relationships that people truly learn, through a process that he calls ‘enskilment’. Many books have been written describing this or that aspect of Inuit knowledge, but knowledge separated from skills (and actual performance) has only partial meaning in the Inuit world. This is perhaps true of any knowledge, but in the Inuit approach to learning, knowledge, skills and performance are fundamentally entangled, to the point that separating them is detrimental or nonsensical.”

Or Hugh Brody’s essay on ‘The People’s Land – the Film’

”To write about the film now is to be reminded that… hundreds of others in the North were determined that Inuit history be known, Inuit knowledge respected and the Inuit land – the people’s land – be a continuing source of every kind of nourishment for the Inuit.” The People’s Land was filmed in Pond Inlet in 1974.

Visiting grandchildren in the North, this book raises a number of questions.

For example,
What is the concept of an elder in Western society?
What skills do we have to pass on?
What happens when you remove people (elders) from the land?

References

John MacDonald and Nancy Wachowich (ed). 2018. The Hands’ Measure. Published by Nunavut Arctic College Media.

Inhabit Education is a Nunavut-based educational publishing company with a mandate to provide educators and parents with educational resources that are infused with authentic Northern perspectives, ways of life and imagery.Inhabit Education

 

 

 

 

Measure

Posted in Book Review

Penguin Comfort

Last week at the Box of Delights bookstore in Wolfville, I noticed a new series of Penguin Books – Great Ideas.bookCovers_Orwell Number #99 was by George Orwell Some Thoughts on the Common Toad. It contained eight essays, including a defence of PG Wodehouse, an examination of Gullivers Travels, and a commentary on Tolstoy and William Shakespeare.

In the Great Ideas series, Orwell also contributed #20 Why I Write and also #57 Books v. Cigarettes. Further online research took me to the Penguin Classics web site.

From Some Thoughts on the Common Toad:

” So long as you are not critically ill, hungry, frightened or immured in a prison or a holiday camp. Spring is still Spring.

The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth still goes around the sun, and neither the dictators nor the bureaucrats, deeply as they disapprove of the process, are able to prevent it” p.6.

With minus 20 degrees centigrade on the outside thermometer, it was good to stay indoors with a wood stove and the comfort of Penguin books.

bookCover_Thanks for ListeningThe Orwell essays complemented my reading of Ernest Buckler. I had the opportunity to read Glance in the Mirror. This quotation caught my eye.

“They thought that writing was always wonderful, but most of the time it was the loneliest job in the world. That crippling stillness when you sat down to try the first few lines. As if everything you looked at was tensed for you to make a sound and you are tongue-tied, like someone in a nightmare. If that lasted long enough you would sit there then and hear the sound of your own life going by. A lifetime is not forever, and yours was already half gone.”

EBLES hopes to present Glance in the Mirror as a short play on June 29th at the Temple in Bridgetown.

dog_feb2019_800x96dpi
For the last two weeks, we have been dog-sitting Uke and Siqsiq, our son’s twelve-year-old retired sled dogs. As Arctic dogs, they enjoy the cold weather. Cold comfort! Daily walks make us appreciate the wood stove and the books.

Acknowledgements

Anne Crossman for transcribing Glance in the Mirror. Heather Stewart for help with the dog walking and loading the wood stove. Edward Wedler for the graphics.

References

George Orwell. 2010. Some Thoughts on the Common Toad. Penguin Books. Great Ideas #99

Ernest Buckler. Glance in the Mirror