Monday, March 16, 2015

::Naming Dragons::

Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of dragons. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of dragons..."
~G.K.Chesterton {paraphrase}

Life is full of dragons. They are breathing fire down our necks in ways seen, unseen and somewhere in between. By default, we fear them. Reflexively, we turn from them at a run. Parentally, we fortify our children against them, shielding their eyes from claw and teeth. Unless, of course, we don't.

Trouble has been brewing, and not the lurking, stick-to-the-shadows kind. It is the kind of trouble that has weight and presence, passing through walls and filtering through avenues of word and deed until it finds us. Now that it has, I've had to make a choice regarding the telling of tales, so to speak. Do I look into questioning eyes and give vague non-answers? Or do I name the dragon and hope that by doing so the fire in it's belly goes cold and its claws retract?

I guess what I'm saying is there's a bit of Chesteron in me; scary tales do not give our children their first idea of fear. {They already know what fear is.}What scary tales give our children is their first clear idea of the possible defeat of fear.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
~Deuteronomy 31:6

Monday, March 09, 2015


I love projects. This one was especially fun because I was asked to look through my camera lens at the neighbourhood I grew up in. Hintonburg, you're beautiful.

Saturday, January 31, 2015


his words, a sloppy paint job
spatter the phone at his mouth
and mist the air with ugly

a mother skirts by him, wide
avoiding the spray before it settles
on her young son
after all, some messes stick

a couple abandons food on plate
taste mingled with fumes has lost it's appeal
eyes cut left as they pass at the one-man exhibit no one wants to visit
a Jackson Pollock carnage
the cafe, his purloined canvas

in the spray zone she sits
feeling the pelt of words like Chinese water torture
pondering lips and their poison
and she remembers
that while he sprays words wide and loud
even quiet tongues
are untamed brushes

Friday, December 19, 2014

::So much to take in::

Most years we have a house-full every other day during the holidays, it seems. This year it's relatively quiet around here, which is reflected in the minimal efforts I put into decorating. That said, the extra shine and glitter is unnecessary when my eyes already have so much to take in.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

::Christmas Ornaments 2014::

It's been getting harder and harder to come up with a new idea for my annual ornament. I finally stumbled upon an idea that I should be able to coast on for the next decade: Twelve Day of Christmas. Not original, but entirely homemade.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

in a 
Pear Tree.


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

::Black Dining Room::

I did it! I finally painted the dining room black. We're still a harvest table away from being able to really make it the room we envisioned, but it's on it's way. The top half is all chalkboard. Mama's chalkboard. I expect smudging and the occasional doodle to appear at about kid-height, but it's meant to be my own personal transformable wallpaper.

::Not-Halloween Party::

We grew up Trick or Treating, and loved every minute of it, but we have a few friends who would rather not deal with the ghoulishness. We've talked about transforming our property into a not-Halloween fun zone for years. Bobbing for donuts, bean bag toss, scavenger hunt through the lantern-lit woods, pumpkin hunt. . . It was all about the kids. And the candy.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

::Water Problem::

We have a water problem out here in the country. We knew it when we bought the land. We knew it when we dug our well. And we know it every time we haul back-breakingly heavy jugs of drinkable water from the store, and wrestle more manageable portions of it into a pitcher we leave on our kitchen island.

It’s our system, but it isn’t a perfect system. Pitchers break. We’ve shattered more glass than a cathedral’s worth of windows. So, we gave up on glass and moved on to metal. But even pitchers that don’t break only hold a finite amount of water. We fill it. And fill it. And fill it. And, I do not remember what fresh, cold water tastes like. Our poor little pitcher does not come with an in-built cooling system, nor a filter. It’s only job is to hold it’s contents.

Has that become my job description? Jo: Wife. Mother of six. Reservoir of old material, levels dropping, inspiration growing stale? Maybe it is. I am guilty of tapping into my own experience to diagnose, bandage and sustain myself through my present circumstances. I do it a lot. Instead of lifting a fresh, glittering drop of scripture to my lips, or letting the morning mist of daily prayer soothe my skin, I lower the ladle of my hands deep into the old, murky water of recycled thoughts and self-muddied lessons learned. I am a pitcher, filled with once-crystalline revelations, now gone warm and still.

Anyone could tell you that running water’s the sweet stuff. I don’t know anyone who would stand beside a leaping, chattering stream, and turn away to lap up the water from the puddle beside it. But we do that. All the time, we do that, when we don’t go the God for refreshment.

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God. 
Psalm 42 

Are you thirsty? I’m thirsty. Let’s not gather around the water cooler. Let’s go down to the river and drink.