Sunday, 31 July 2016

I can see that it is easy for me
to sit on my brightly coloured chairs
with my morning mug of coffee
and full belly
surrounded by nothing that doesn't resemble peace
and acceptance
and love
There are no bombs here
no angry shouts
no fear in what the next moment will bring
No trucks plowing down crowded streets
or government imposing curfew's on cities
no poisoned waters
or heavy boots treading on sacred sites

I can see that it is easy for me
to use my body - naked or clothed -
in ways that are seen as art
there are no patriarchs to fear here
no brothers who lie waiting for the opportunity to strangle
no fathers or uncles or sons
who view equality as a sin
and murder as honour

I can see that it is easy for me
to send my fair haired boys to school
or to camp
down the street to the corner store
or into the world on their own
and believe them to be safe
(depending of course, on who they decide to love)
We are not the minority here
we get to grow up with assumptions
like all are equal
if you work hard you will succeed
good things come to good people
we get the safety net of believing that life is mostly fair
a privilege
belonging only to the privileged

I can see that it is easy for me
but that doesn't mean my heart is not broken too
that I don't want to rise up against the pervading sadness
stand up
fight
rage
weep
Somehow use the easiness of my life
to relieve the harshness of yours

It is not easy for me to see
how broken
our world can be

I am adding my voice to the protest song

Sunday, 24 April 2016

I am not even inclined
to avian persuasions
and yet I find the deep drum
of the ruffed grouse's mating call
sexy
The way you feel it,
first on the soles of your leather wrapped feet
then deep in the walls of your wool wrapped chest,
more than you ever can
audibly hear it
It's no wonder the girls
(those avian ones of course)
find it irresistible
the ultimate masculine
beating of the chest
Who doesn't want to feel
the vibration of life
ringing in their heart?

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Hal & Dianne

They have asked me to take photos of their life as it is now,
the story of a life drawing near to it's end,
the story of taking each day as it comes,
the story of laughter,
the story of sorrow.

I struggle with this role I have been asked to play, the questions it calls forth.
Not just this time, but any time I am asked to pick up my camera.
If taking photos is an opportunity to show others how you see the world,
what happens if how you see it,
is not how the people you are photographing are experiencing it?
How does an outsider capture the inner workings of a life so long in the making?
How do I honour a life and a love not my own?

I am struck, so often, by the juxtaposition of life.
The uniqueness of our individual lives and the days that we each hold in our memories,
married to the universal truths of this human existence.
Every house I drive by and every person I meet contain their own story,
It is - simply, complexly, and containing all the clich├ęs this often jaded world will try to throw at us,
the story of love.

I am tied to this particular story in intricate varied ways.
This man delivered my son with gentle hands and a voice that I can still here,
"you are doing great"
at moments that I feel the opposite is true.
He was a cheerleader on the sidelines of my 365 project, his words and affirmations about my photos
helped pull me forward to where I am today.
The love of these two people produced a daughter, who grew to be a woman my brother fell in love with, who has given birth to another daughter who carries forward our family line.
Every person who walks through these doors of this house that they live in,
seems connected in some way to every other one,
and the beautiful web of a community worth treasuring is evident in every moment.

This is the way I see it.
I am here to witness love; unapologetically and enthusiastically.
In as many of its fascinating, dirty, heartbreaking, beautiful and awe inspiring ways that I can.
I am here to capture and honour the uniqueness of this particular story,
and to share with you the vast expanse of the ties that bind us.

To read Hal's side of the story, you have find him here:
www.halirvine.blogspot.ca


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Part 1

When we were little
we were told to go play
which never really seemed to be a problem
when surrounded by cousins
But still
there's something about being excluded
that fascinates
especially as children
when it involves our mothers.

And so it would be
that as we played
childhood games of hide and seek
tireless monopoly
and treasure hunts
our soundtrack became the sound of them
in the kitchen
the soprano of their voices
punctuated
by the staccato of their laughter
in what seemed like endless joy between them
and we the knew the sound that love made

She is gone now
the sister of my mother
fading into vague memories as the days pass
with out her
sitting at the table with my mother

Part 2

We live in a house with straw walls
solid
thick
warm
The wind can howl and rage outside
but this house stands still
Inside
as if to rebel
the ceilings and floors between bedrooms
let sounds and light pass through
The comings and goings of the four who live here
and those that visit too
are never secret

It is a recipe for interrupted intimacy
and recognition of an individual by sound of breath alone
The instant knowing when things are awry
or something is new

I like to think it is a gift I'll give my sons
That the soundtrack of their childhood will be
the deep avalanche timber of my loves voice
alongside the higher melody of mine
and the staccato sound of our laughter
like endless joy between us
and they will know the sound
that love makes



Sunday, 8 March 2015

066/365

The vixen is calling again in the night
Raspy anguished cries that hardly seem likely,
to my human presumptions,
to attract anything,
except my condolences.
And yet somewhere in the moon lit trees
her suitors are inevitably smiling
 
All around me things are shifting
creeks solid with ice and snow
suddenly crack and open,
wide and brown and vocal
People and animals and things, are taking wing and leaving
some, like gangly fledglings pushed from the nest
others gone but for the faint sound of distant beating wings.
 
Mostly, I can see the good
in sliced wrists and broken hearts,
returning to roots and spring cleaning lives
But there are moments when I'm bogged down
the fresh mud and thawing mounds of dogs' spent meals
mountains of expired food and piles of confused questions
collecting at my feet
The uncertainty of so many things I cannot control
a lesson in release and trust
 
These are the simple truths
The vixen will call, again and again
every spring
and the magpies will be busy at their nests all day
The same streams that meander in the heat of July will rage in March
and this too shall pass
Where there is change,
there is life.
 
 
 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

018/365

The old man has died. 
Taken his slow and tired steps into the valley away from the crowd and laid down amongst the trees, signs of his last moments spent running against air and dreams as if chasing one last bovine opponent into the world beyond.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

013/365

The scene initially looks macabre, a pile of still bodies at a wet entrance, still more resting easily within the sparkling snow around the hive.  But in this season, when the Chinook winds blow and the temperature climbs just slightly above freezing, this is a sign of life within.  This is what living and housekeeping  and (I would say) mourning looks like - if one were a honeybee.