It does

…happen here, and so, a link to another review of a poetry reading. If there are more reviews of poetry readings, please send links and I will post them. It’s great to discover that people do appreciate what we do. (Thanks, k).

Last night

…in film class, I experienced a pause in my relationship with my country, with my politics, and with myself. Last night we watched the documentary Kanehsatake by Alanis Obomsawin. This film focuses on the crisis of Oka from the viewpoint of the people of Kanehsatake. The documentary covers the three months of the standoff through interviews with the Mohawk nation and warriors, with town’s people, with supporters, with the army, the police, even journalists, and pieces them together for a riveting 2 hours.

I remember the crisis of Oka; it doesn’t seem like that long ago, but I was preoccupied at the time–July-Sept. 1990– with the pregnancy of my first child, MacKenzie, who was born in the fall of that year. I remember wondering at the accuracy of the media reports, wondering about the situation in general, but somehow the distance of the events happening in the east made it appear far away. I was thinking about these things, with mixed feelings, mostly wondering why I didn’t remember the details better, and I began to think how long ago it all seems to be. Then, I began to think how vast this country seems, how much space we put between us as people, when all of a sudden, on the screen, there was a brief flash of a familiar person, a quick two second image, and I saw the face of someone I knew being led away by the police near Oka. (Near the standoff, a gathering of support for the Mohawk people was being broken up by the police, and in this crowd was the face of someone from Regina who had rallied in support of the Mohawk people).

The rockstar, sitting beside me, knows this person as well, and we shared the small gasp of her name, an awe at her face, each of us turning to look at each other in amazement, our quick, locked gaze bringing home the pause of reality– the very way we know we’re a part of this country is by knowing that our country is really so very small. Like events from the past, the face of one person merges with the present to bring me back to a reality I should know.

Running back to Saskatoon

Sometimes a camera.

A shot of the side of the road while driving–this is getting to be a habit, or an odd skill. The field was glistening in the sun, but I wasn’t able to capture the way the light lit the field. The clouds were separating the further north I went, revealing the blue hiding underneath.

Sometimes a reading.

This is a shot of me reading at the bookstore for the Her-icane Festival. Also reading that night: Nancy Cooper, two members of Sisters’ Ink, and Jade Groat.

Sometimes a drink.

A few of us went for a drink to my favourite bar Lydia’s–it always has live music, and I wasn’t disappointed that night as the Sam Mitchell band was playing, complete with the flute–left is Leona Theis, Wynne Nicholson, and Jeanette Lynes.

Sometimes there is laughter.

Sometimes a Guinness.

Things I am missing tonight

…are as follows:

1) my film class and Apocalypse Now ( also, see the link provided by Brenda in Tues Feb 28th post on The Conversation)

2) a lecture given by Margaret MacMillan on Paris 1919

3) all that extra writing time I had at St. Pete’s

4) St. Pete’s writing colony (this includes everyone)

5) amusing Brenda at St. Pete’s

6) a healthy set of lungs (actually, I think I left one somewhere earlier today)

7) cake–not pancakes (you know, I don’t even consider pancakes part of the cake family, maybe if they had icing on them?)

8) my yard beginning to bud, warmth from the sun flattening a path through the lilac trees, seeds of dew slipping down each blade of grass and sprouting as everything new


After spending two weeks in a monastic society, complete with monks, chanting and music, music, music, I thought I might be better able to comprehend the notion of grace. I thought wrong, of course, because I’m realizing there is so much more to it. I’m researching for an essay on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and I’m contemplating how the notion of grace, as defined by the lyrics–Atwood’s version of “Amazing Grace”– pertain to the novel.

The first research I conducted was to find out that the song was written by a slave trader named John Newton. Ah, Wikipedia. How did one exist without it?

Grace is broken down into two parts: actual grace and sanctifying grace. (There is a lot of reading here).

Atwood has messed with the lyrics of the song to portray Offred’s notion of oppression, and in a way, her idea of grace–I’m also thinking about sound/communication as a kind of grace, and grace as freedom–as Offred is said to have dictated the entire story onto tapes that were found later:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
Could save a wretch like me
Who once was lost, but now am found,
Was bound, but now am free.

and it should be:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

My idea is to put this all together somehow, someway, gracefully.


I began thinking about author photos on Monday when in the Bibliography/Research class we were talking about an abstract given by Danielle Schaub , a particular approach to reasearch and her methods on a project of author photos.

Schaub’s abstract is about this project: “Reading and Writing the Self through Reflections of Those Who Dream Us: Interfacing Photography and Literature”. Of course, Schaub is well known for taking Canadian author photos at readings and festivals. Schaub states:

For the writers’ project had an unexpected result for me; it exorcised the past through the combination of text and image. Eventually thanks to the illustrations, the lecture will highlight the impact of the interaction between the texts by certain writers and their photos, namely enabling readers to discover the writer-as-other while granting the photographer reflective self-discovery and self-inscription.

So, my cousin gave me a photo this summer. If I ever get another book I think this might be the picture for it, part of the past merging with the imaginary present.

I believe, judging by the hair, I’m probably 1 and a half years old.