On Writing, Catharsis and Joy

“Two a.m. and I’m still awake, writing a song

If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside me

Threatening the life it belongs to…”

Anna Nalick Breathe (2 AM)

I have always had a deep reverence for poets and song-writers. With an economy of words that never fails to leave me in awe, Continue reading “On Writing, Catharsis and Joy”

Portrait of a Burn-Out

The thing about mental illness is that while it is slowly chipping away at your insides, you can look so normal. You may feel like you are spiralling out of control. You may wish you were dead. You may feel like you are falling apart; you may be certain that you are going crazy. But no one can tell. Not even you can tell by looking at the face staring back at you in the mirror. Continue reading “Portrait of a Burn-Out”

Last Kiss

Sometime in my son’s late teens, it occurred to me that I could not remember the last time I had kissed him while he was sleeping. How that troubled me… When had he begun closing his door in an implicit – and slightly defiant – request for privacy? I couldn’t recall. Continue reading “Last Kiss”

Swimming Hole, Part Two

I am not a risk-taker. I do not go on roller-coasters and I wouldn’t even consider doing anything as insane as sky-diving or bungee jumping. I do not seek excitement. I play it safe. I try to stay no more than 10 kilometres over the speed limit. I use cruise control, just to be sure. I do my utmost to abide by the rules. I actually read the on-line waivers and disclaimers. Continue reading “Swimming Hole, Part Two”

Swimming Hole, Part One

I live in the country. In the hot summer months, while there are not lot of municipal swimming pools, there are countless swimming holes if you have the time and the patience to go exploring a bit. My husband loves the water and he rarely misses an opportunity to go for a swim. Our dog is an active and enthusiastic participant in every venture. Continue reading “Swimming Hole, Part One”

Waiting Room

I am sitting at the doctor’s office, waiting for my turn to go in and have a check-up. The wait is a long one but as usual, I pass the time by watching the dynamics of the patients as they enter and leave the small waiting room. I have always been a very content people watcher. I notice the baby before I notice his mother. Perhaps two or three months old, he is sitting in an infant car seat and peering around with eyes that seem to be as round as quarters. Continue reading “Waiting Room”

Prince Charming

I dredged this one out of the archives: the years after my divorce were long and sometimes lonely ones but ultimately, I am so grateful for all that those years taught me…

All my life I have searched for you
My Prince Charming…
I see it all play out clearly
In my mind’s eye… Continue reading “Prince Charming”

Good Cop, Bad Cop

“Mom, did you go down those stairs?” my sister demands one day, as she notices some object that Mom could only have found in the basement.

“I was very careful!” my mother protests. “I held the railing the whole way down and I took it one step at a time.”

“What if you had taken a fall, Mom? I suppose you did this after the caregiver left?” My sister is upset and exasperated. Continue reading “Good Cop, Bad Cop”

Neighbours

They live next door to one another.

They are both in diapers; the pull-on kind. Their families help them practice using the toilet: sometimes they get there on time; usually they don’t. Neither one makes it through the night without an accident: every morning, the family washer is filled with bedding and clothing that was soiled in the night. Continue reading “Neighbours”

Woman in Coffee Shop

She looks to about sixty years of age. She is a big woman. Her hair is short; going-on-white; a stylish but no-nonsense cut. She is wearing black tights and a long, body-hugging sweater that sinks in at the waist and flares out to unapologetically hug her ample hips. Continue reading “Woman in Coffee Shop”