centre of the universe: Strange Times

Everything seemed normal. Normal for any road trip you take with your kids. A million stops for the peanut-bladders; a million cruddy road snacks. At one roadside stop, I bought some semiprecious stone bracelets (a couple of mine have broken lately so I guess I needed to stock up). It was taking a ridiculous amount…

centre of the universe: A tisket, a tasket…

What the crap is a tisket, anyway? Or, for that matter, a tasket? You know what, it doesn’t really matter. I’m’a just make it up. And I’m’a write about it. And the thing I write is going to be called “The Great Tisket; or, An Adventure in Tasket”. AND IT WILL BE MAGNIFICENT. A short ...

centre of the universe: A letter

I wanted to write to you, to tell you that I’m trying really hard to be positive right now. That I’m trying really hard to think about the things that can go right instead of the things that have gone wrong. I wanted to write and tell you about my friend who’s had his heart ...

centre of the universe: Three Stories

A Story About Crows for @lizzers_ Once Upon a Time, I lived far north of here in a “ranch-style bungalow” on a hill in a city bound by a river. The city itself still had many Wild Places. Not the kind of wild places where one might go after a night in one’s cups, but ...

centre of the universe: Two Princes

I leave the doctor’s office, where I have just been shirtless in front of two men I have never met. I’m feeling a little scared, because in meeting with this doctor, I have basically consented to surgery. Elective surgery, but elective surgery that may change my life and make it possible for me to run, ...

centre of the universe: Why we can’t be friends when you’re in Hawaii

My cousin is in Hawaii right now, and I have vowed that she and I can NOT be friends until she is home. Now. She’s a professional photographer, so all of her pictures of her little “vacation” are fucking gorgeous, and because I am not at all petty or jealous, I’ve decided that I’m going ...

centre of the universe: Storytelling Month – Grandmothers

To celebrate Storytelling Month, I’m going to tell you at least one story per week in  February. These are all true stories. Every day at noon, the bells in the fire hall in Climax (the town in southeastern Saskatchewan that was home to my mum, and to me every summer, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and most spring ...

centre of the universe: Storytelling Month – Dogs

To celebrate Storytelling Month, I’m going to tell you at least one story per week in  February. These are all true stories. You know how you sometimes get in to the middle of a situation and then you wonder “how the hell did I get here?”, and then you spend the rest of the night trying ...

centre of the universe: Oh Danny Boy, Oh Boy Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Danny

I’ve been gone for a little while. Which is to say, after ExMass, I decided I’d do a little assperiment. But before I get to the assperiment, I want to tell you a little bit of background stuff. While I’m ramping up to that, have a listen to the best version of this song that ...

centre of the universe: CRISIS! (Averted)

I don’t know about you, but I still write letters to Santa every year. This year my letter, after the perfunctory inquiries about Mrs. Claus, the reindeer, and the state of Santa’s socks, included a request for the Clauses to look after my wee cousin as he undergoes some surgery. Usually the boys and I ...

centre of the universe: …when you look at it

So after yesterday’s Debbie Downer post, I thought I’d just say another thing along the same vein. And that is, that while there is a very important role that grief plays in dealing with loss, where the actual MAGIC happens is somewhere else. What that mourning stage does is gets some of the sadness and ...

centre of the universe: Not with a whimper

I thought I would be much, much older before so many of my friends died. I thought I had more time. That’s the thing, isn’t it? We always think we have more time. Well, we don’t. That’s just the thing. Cherish every single moment because while time is not finite, our lives are. We are so ...

centre of the universe: I don’t know why she’s leaving, or where she’s going to go

First, there was Alice. You have lived your whole life in the lap of storytellers; everything you have learned, everything you remember, is from stories told over and over. The reason we tell stories is because this is how we learn. History is nothing without the narrative; every religion began as a story – some ...

centre of the universe: Signs, signs…

I was tagged more than five consecutive days ago by my friend Julian (@saskajules) to post five photos for five days. There’s a reason I am the way I am. I have no idea what that reason is, but there’s some speculation it may have something to do with my mother’s strict diet of beer ...

centre of the universe: Despite all my rage

I was tagged by my friend Julian (@saskajules) to post five photos for five consecutive days. Actually, the challenge didn’t say anything about consecutive days; it just said five days. We *assume* it means consecutive days. But really, one could post five photos during five arbitrarily chosen days. Most of the time when people say ...

centre of the universe: The Whole Wide World

I was tagged by my friend Julian (@saskajules) to post five photos for five days in a row. Look there. Look right there, in the palm of my hand. What do you see? Nothing Look again. Just dirt, I guess. There in the palm of my hand is promise. There is history. There is hope. ...

centre of the universe: Believe it or not, walking on air

I was tagged by Julian (@saskajules) to post five pictures in five days. Today is #TheNipper’s birthday party. He wanted to come to the giant warehouse full of trampolines. The WAREHOUSE full of TRAMPOLINES. And because the parts of my brain that process fun are stuck in the 90s, I’m in love with the blacklights ...

centre of the universe: La Frileuse / Winter

I’ve been challenged to post five pictures in five days by Julian (@saskajules). Jean-Antoine Houdon’s (not HODOR as I muttered under my breath as I read the tag) “La Frileuse/Winter”. This was taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art when I was in New York last week. I kind of love her. The curve of ...

centre of the universe: It’s been nine long years

Not really. Not really long years. Nine ridiculously short years. Nine years that feels like days. Nine years that passed in the blink of an eye. Your brother was in his stroller. I clutched my go-mug of coffee with one white-knuckled hand and the stroller with the other. We took pictures of you out in ...

centre of the universe: A Gift of the Prairie

THE BOOK THAT MY POEMS ARE IN IS HERE! THE BOOK THAT MY POEMS ARE IN IS HERE!! Extra points if you can name the reference there. It’s called A Gift of the Prairie and it is published by the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre. This was a project co-ordinated (and edited) by the inimitable ...

centre of the universe: Pale Yellow

She was an energetic child, running ahead of her parents everywhere they went. She was full of laughter and joy and her long golden hair flew behind her as she ran. She was a child of the sun. They tried, one summer, to put her on one of those leashes for children. It was at ...

centre of the universe: What’s art got to do with it?

I was in Calgary recently.  You remember this from such classics as “I lost the King in Yellow” and “damn, that was a good Manhattan, even without the cherries”. Well. Maybe not that last bit. That may have been a *private* experience. At any rate, while being chauffered to the aeroport for my return jaunt, ...

centre of the universe: Sacrifice?

See, the thing is, when I chose to become a parent, I did not think in terms of “sacrifice”. I did not think in terms of “giving things up”. It wasn’t about not being able to go out partying with my bee eff effs. It wasn’t about not eating hot food. It wasn’t about giving ...

centre of the universe: In the Name of

This is something that’s been bothering me for a while. It goes hand-in-hand with the fact that we don’t value art and culture. I mean, as a society. And this isn’t about throwing public money at the arts, so I’m just going to head that whole ridiculous argument off at the pass. What bothers me ...

centre of the universe: Mr. Grinch

There is an unwritten, often unmentioned social contract that takes place when you do what you think is something selfless. We like to think that we are altruistic. That is, unselfish; showing concern for others. And by and large, I think we are. We can always do more, of course. There are some things we ...