On ordinary days that become perfect by circumstance

He found dentures washed up on a flea-ridden beach—smoothed down to half its dental cast by the timid waves that deposited large purple jellyfish like blood clots along the shore. We were looking for beach glass but here was the pride of his findings and he tucked them carefully away to be saved. Now they… Continue reading On ordinary days that become perfect by circumstance

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The weight of you

Buoyed. Up and up. A ribbon like tether grazing the ground, simple enough to snag. And you told me once that there's a cancer in me and you can't bear to watch my cells battle it out. You were the disease and I cut you from me in slivers until nothing remained but the imprint… Continue reading The weight of you

What we always knew

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with an emotional itch I can't get to. My best friend got engaged last month and I'm already writing my speech in my head, every night, while the neighbour's automatic flood light forces its way through our heavy curtains and everything still feels so immediate.… Continue reading What we always knew

All our losses

There are things I do to forget: Laugh more, take my dog for long meandering walks, concentrate on a new diet and exercise program, watch hours of both good and bad TV, and read books. Lots of books. But, it doesn't matter. Death is everywhere. Characters disappearing as easily as the light slips away in… Continue reading All our losses

On coming to terms with staying or why we need to dig in

I always thought I'd leave Nova Scotia. As a child I was the sibling who was more than willing to jet off whenever I had the opportunity—England with my grandparents, Portland, Arizona, Colorado, even Australia for two months the summer before high school began—often to the detriment of my personal relationships, because when you're young… Continue reading On coming to terms with staying or why we need to dig in

Home is where you make it

When we find the perfect house there's no lightning strike. Just a quiet knowing, a certainty. The walls are painted the same blue we painted our own, and everywhere there is light filtering through giant windows. "I could live here," we say, again and again. It's out of the city and suddenly I'm suffocating in… Continue reading Home is where you make it

Think of all the books you could read

I hardly read at all this year---19 books, which is still more than one a month but woefully short of 2012's impressive 70. To me this feels like an abominable failure. When I was younger (but not that young, not young enough to admit this out loud and not feel totally embarrassed) I was terrified… Continue reading Think of all the books you could read

The trouble with wanting

There's no control. No walking into a store and buying it. Just the wishing and waiting, like there's a room made for it, painted yellow to calm you. There's just the hope and the lung crushing moment when they say you're not quite good enough. Close, so close, but in the end just shy of… Continue reading The trouble with wanting

The intolerableness of grief

Suddenly death exists like an unwanted house guest. You make eggs for it in the mornings and try not to scream when it drinks the last cup of coffee without filling the pot. It uses up all the good towels and leaves wet prints on the bathroom floor that soak through the heels of your… Continue reading The intolerableness of grief

In the end it’s all tides

Sometimes I feel in such a hurry to get life started. Like it's not already happening, all around us. Like every day isn't already a step closer to whatever is coming next. It's not easy to sit still, though, when all these stars have aligned and I can finally see everything, all the tiny specks… Continue reading In the end it’s all tides