New Work



It’s been over two years since I posted. i guess it is about time I started trying to get  back to it.

I’ve been posting on Google+, mostly.

I am no longer working, spending all my time looking after my Mom full-time. Earlier this year I was still doing a bit of very, very part time working for my old company but the contract ended and I just decided that unless they offer me something I won’t make much of an effort to get work. The necessity of working from home and being unable to schedule my day, due to my Mom’s needs.

I’ve been spending a lot of time fiddling with my iPhone and iPad and related apps. The above photos were some of the results.

Someone please remind me when I need to be reminded…

The Laughing Heart
by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.


My lovely and beloved sister-in-law, Alice died at 6 am, today, with my brother John and her sister by her side.

Alice and Mom

Alice and Mom

True to her nature, up until the few days before she died, she was cheerful and full of loving energy. Everyone on her floor, patients and staff, were charmed by her.

My brother laughed over the fact that a couple of days ago, when the doctors and interns were making their rounds, Alice spotted the very reserved and proper young Japanese intern and waved him over “Come here, You!”, hauled him onto the bed and hugged him soundly.

The next day, he made sure to stay at the back of the crowd. That was just who she was. Loved everyone!

My niece recalled her leaving Ange’s face covered with red lipstick smudges from the kisses she gave her.

I remember her always, despite her pain and tiredness from Fibromyalgia, being ready with a smile and a hug and a kiss.

She tried to resist having her photo taken last November but I said “You decrepit old Nan wants a photo of you with her… ” so she acquiesced. I am glad she did. It is the only photo I have of her.

I am glad that she didn’t suffer the same way my dear friend Carol did at the end. I couldn’t bear it. Alice was comfortable and at ease when she went.

She will be missed.

Ohhh!!! Morbid Anatomy Blog.

The Morbid Anatomy blog. Fascinating!

Rosalia Lomnbardo, or theSleeping Beauty, Palermo Catacombs

Rosalia Lomnbardo, or the"Sleeping Beauty", Palermo Catacombs

Human Oddities

"Human Oddities"

Taxidermia Wurzeltodensis

Taxidermia Wurzeltodensis

And you cannot MISS his website, Astropop….

Musee Mecanique

Venus Flytrap

Venus Flytrap


My dear friend Carol passed away tonight. I didn’t get a chance to see her again before she died. I was suppposed to head to London from from Pickering to see her in the morning and spend as much of the weekend as I could with her. At least I got to spend some time with her last weekend when she was still at the point where she was comfortable and somewhat at ease.

Thirty years apart were too long. It is hard to believe that the photo below was taken just last summer and that someone so vibrant and beautiful, in spirit and otherwise, could die less than a year later.

I will miss her.

Old friends

Old friends

Love, friends, and Serendipity…


I visited my friend yesterday and spent the afternoon  and evening with her.

She is the Palliative Care unit at the hospital. It appears to be a matter of weeks, at the longest. It could be less.

She is on oxygen at all times and her breathing is very laboured. Watching her doing her puffers is painful. She can’t inhale beyond a light inhale and yet it takes all her strength to do . Exhaling is worse because it just looks like she can’t exhale.

She can only speak in short sentences and that is tiring. She prefers to listen.

And, she doesn’t talk about it…. She has “pneumonia” and she will be in the hospital for “a while” is all she will acknowledge. That is very difficult but that is how she has chosen to procede. It is up to those around her to support her decision and respect it.

It is hard because it is sort of like a scene from the movie where one person is slipping over a precipice and is reaching out for the other person, and there is the mutual recognition that at some point, the falling person, not just WILL, but MUST let go.

We hadn’t seen each other for almost… may be more, actually… 30 years. No… I just counted. It is 33 years. We first got together again last summer.

I intend to come down here to see her every weekend for as long as it takes.


I have to say, though, that being here has given me, not just the chance to be with her, but the chance to get to know her boyfriend and meet and talk with her friend. Her brother and his wife came, as well as her ex-husband, with whom she is still very close.

I hope it will make us all feel just a bit less useless to be able to join together and support her and each other. Of course, they are there full-time and I will only be there on weekends and maybe only on Saturdays as where I am staying is about 2+ hours away from the city she is in.

Back in 1999, the family we sponsored from Kosovo (who are Muslim) had a baby and I was so pleased and privileged to be able to be there and actually assisted in the birth.

Two years later, the same couple had a baby which was born very premature and just about when she should have been born, full-term, she died. A number of us assisted the family in seeing them through that. That included helping with the process of washing and laying out the little body.

In Western culture, we have lost touch with the nitty-gritty of life and death. While we now have families involved and present when a baby is born, we “leave it to the professionals” to deal with death and dying and the after death formalities.

Having met with and experienced the Muslim burial practices, where the community simply pitches in and does what we pass on to funeral home employees, it gave me an insight into what we in “Christian” culture (I use quotation marks because it is largely in cultures which are Christian where we have doe so) have lost in backing away from. Where once a person died at home with the family surrounding them, where family or friends or neighbours came and washed the body, and where the body was laid out in the parlour or kitchen, we now are so isolated from death and dying that we actually find death MORE difficult to deal with.

Further, we have lost the knowledge and cultural experience of seeing people through the process of dying and seeing each other through the process of losing someone.

It is what we, as humand beings should do… That is part of love.


On the long drive back from the city my friend is in, I was listening to the CBC.

When I first turned it on, it was Randy’s Vinyl Tap. Which is the program I often listen to on my way out to the gigs by my friends. Being so far from home in unfamiliar territory and alone in the car, it was almost life having old friends in the car.

After that, was A Propos which introduces Anglophones to Francaphone culture and music in Canada. The host, Jim Corcoran, had translated the lyrics of a number of songs to enable his listeners to connect with the French songs. He read the lyrics to “Poussière d’or” (Gold Dust) by Jérôme Minière. The words which I have asked Jim Corcoran for a copy of talked about how dying and birth teaches us and that that the dying and newborns gift us in sharing their journey.

This is a truth that Buddhism teaches…

Death, whatever your belief or non-belief in “what happens after”, is a journey. Part of that journey we travel with the dying and the rest they do on their own. Neither of us knows the rest of the journey… The living will never know the part of the journey continued by the dying person and the dying person will never know the rest of our journey.

That finaly part of dying… and Death are the only things we do truly on our own.

PhotoHunter: Thankful

Only those who know me very intimately know why the Blue Heron is representative of something for which I am thankful.

In 2000, I went through a life-altering experience. I might have… I WOULD have… died had it not been for a brief encounter with a Great Blue Heron. I don’t believe in God or in divine intervention. I believe, instead that I CHOSE to take one path and not another and, while my intended path and my chosen path were intended to lead ultimately to the same place, the chosen one took me to a different place.

I think of the encounter not as “intervention” but in Serendipity. It happened because it happened but I am thankful that it did.

The Heron was an unintended guide… not unlike the chance meeting with someone who, unwittingly, inspires within you a change… a path taken or not taken.

I am thankful to myself for listening to “that small, still voice”. I am grateful to myself for choosing to see beauty where I might have passed by without looking. I am thankful to the beauty and wonder of the place we inhabit. I am thankful for the Heron for being in that one place and for that chance meeting.

The lesson is to not to look at the world around us but to SEE it. We never know where we will come upon a lesson, a guide, a salvation.

My Blue Heron Tattoo (solarized)

My Blue Heron Tattoo (solarized)


Valentine’s Day



For me, Valentine’s Day has no romantic connotations. Instead, it is a day of remembrance… Three lives not come to consciousness… three lives lost before their time… three beings never known.

The little angels came to me, each in their own time, quite by accident, and soon after each of my loses. They are the only tangible reminders I have…

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