Friday, December 17, 2010

Night winds.

Last night after a whirlwind wild pack, I walked to JJ's, cutting through the night winds, thinking about the bush. Night winds rushing through space between covered ears and headphones, unveiled throat, open neck. Montreal wet on my skin. She welcomed me in with a gift, and gingerbread snowflakes prettier than anything Martha could imagine.

Today has already been such a gift. There is sorrow here, plenty of it, we are wading through it together and separately. But there is a lot of good. Part one and two of this operation (and just now Part three) have come and gone with such an incredible smoothness, blessed be. I am incredibly sad today, but also hopeful for a time in life that I do not yet know. Dicotemy town, these days. Lila has a home until the wake of transition is ripple free, also blessed be.

Three friends, Maya, Kim and Dylan (bless them) are helping me today. They are no strangers to hefting million pound boxes and it will be so funny to pile into Dylan's wee car that is home to a billion summer planting memories. These people are such good people. Dylan is forever there, driving this way and that, lazy zags on a gravel road, happy in his hat, rolling in the crease of his jeans like Bram used to in the quiet light of his home looking into the Mansion's back alley (James's face is so clear to me now in thought, studying Mandarin by lamplight across the way from Bram's table with such diligence. Miss you my friends. Can't wait to see you both at Christmas. Bram, if you read this, I would like another piece done by you. We will talk. Miss you and your family).

I am filled with thanks today. Never in one million years would I have guessed this path I am about to alight upon. Always grateful for the moments in between, past love, adventure and excitement that comes with the summer season, the slips of paper that make their way letting us know we are loved and not forgotten. No one is forgotten in my life. Nor is this time something as flippant as a passing gull-like phase. This is life, such is life. We are living, we are alive, together in our togetherness of loss and love and sorrow and joy, all of it.

I carry you with me.

Thanks for the outpouring of love and patience these weeks. I cannot count how many times JJ and Lo especially have sat through countless dinners and wine swallows punctuated by my A. Marj wailings, ruminations, salutations. How many phone calls and deposits my mother has made on my behalf, I am alive because of her half of the time. How many times Grandma has dipped cookies into hot tea in my name, how many prayers at the dinner table from Grandpa and my Dad. How many bathtub bawls A. Daryl has taken in and then somehow managed to send me back on my dripping way with feelings of strength, pride and affirmation. How many hours Mitch has held me, ran fingers through my hair to calm, scratched my heaving back, and been there for me. You are an incredible man. How many letters from Tiny Moms. Andrea, blessed your baby be. Every one of you and so many more, I love you. How many names I have not mentioned, you are not forgotten. You are all appreciated, a trillionfold.

It is time to go now, time to begin again.

The birth of.

I wrote to the wind one year ago around this time without a clue in the world as to what the Year of the Tiger would sail my way. Well, whoa. To say the very least. Dear Wind, okay. Ready when you are.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sheer nights.

I am hiding in the steamed bathroom post bath, encircled with head curls and body candles. Aunty Daryl and I just spoke and a sense of strength and calm lapped up and over and into partnered with the hot bath. Sickness ebbs, but it has been so long so it is okay. There is a quarter eaten bar of milk chocolate near my ankles, sweating like the mirror. I love a good bath in the winter.

This dress is the only thing I want to wear right now (or maybe get married in or give birth in someday). It is the most beautiful piece of clothing I have seen in a long while. Simple and lovely.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

No brands.

This is a drawing especially for Larry Beth Beeston. I am sorry I buggered up your face; my fingers are ink stained and crossed that this doesn't toss what has long been written in the cards.

Greater Toronto.

Here are some photos taken en route to Toronto through a train car window and then a few more in and around town with Eddy and my siblings, closed eyed et al. Great trip.

Red nails.

Pigeons, plants, back lanes, paint, two sheep, a woman with an umbrella, a trailer in a Christmas park.

I walked around this morning with hot tea in a thermos, with my trusty wigwam toque that makes me feel like me when I wear it, wild long hairs shooting out over my shoulders (I will miss this mane one day), headphones and a musical soup of Chad VanGaalen, Land of Talk, Cat Power; four old friends walking intimately through the pretty falling snow.

Montreal is so mild lately but there is enough snow to throw the unsuspecting into unwanted loops. It is nice though. The sidewalks are cleaned up now, and no longer is it necessary to trudge anywhere. I walked this morning listening to music through my toque and being quiet. At one point at Villeneuve and St. Urbain (a really nice intersection) I stepped into a fogged bakery no larger than a big closet. The displays were steamed up from the hot doughnuts and croissants and I just whipped out my ONE fresh fifty dollar bill and bought a two dollar doughnut. I had to, there was no other option. The main baker, a kind french man with a lovely face indulged me for a few over the counter minutes and we shot the shit in broken languages, both of us embarrassed by what felt like a lack of reach the tongue has. Still, it was an exchange, a great one. That reads like we made out; we didn't, but he did give me some long baguette bags that I could sell my dolls in. Just a few, so if you get one- consider it a golden ticket bakery bag.

Baguette, hot bread. Ohhh yeah. JJ made Lo and I a Tante Mary (the whole sha-bang) spread last night. I made a deep salad and Lo brought a good selection of jazz and a bottle of vin rouge. Bicycle man. Silverman Jones. Bushchipits. Oh these women, hysterical. It was nice to lady perch around a circle table, marveling at how it took THREE years for us to all arrive in the same city once again. Nice evening, great day.

After the bakery pop in, I looped around after cruising St. Laurent and looking at all the window displays that made me miss my sister. She is so good at displays. Damn. At St. Laurent and Mont Royal (I think), I met two sheep and another nice dude. This man came out of a tiny red and white camper trailer parked in the middle of a park that is usually bare, holding a folded newspaper. It felt like the bush for a minute (cold May), maybe it was the fire burning low. He had fences up and leaning against them were Christmas trees row on row, their nets touching each other. It smelled heavenly. There were lights and ornaments hanging from tree branches heavy with pigeons (I love taking pictures of pigeons, makes me think of Europe. Oh blessed be). We shot the shit a bit and I took some pictures of his sheep. Then an eagle caught my eye.

Standing tall totem style with wings outstretched, this majestic bird towered with the trees. Morning Auntie Marj, nice to see you. So casual.

Soon Maya and I are going on a hunt for the best Sunday spoon in Montreal, as I am dying for grease meats and slippery eggs with coffee. Shittown, USA. Hey!

I found a new home on Dollard and Van Horne. It is also a long and lean apartment with jaunty angles and kind women. I will have a little sewing room with my work table and a little window looking out onto the sleepy street of Outremont. We are wading through sadness these days, but a lot of good is coming.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wet faces.

I saw Aunty Marj early this morning in a dream, just before waking. I was in Thailand or somewhere similar, somewhere HOT. I was shooting photos of Erin, Tiff and Amy standing against a colorful brick background, their faces to the wall running along the edge of a canal. I was shooting and treading water simultaneously with Aunty Marj's old Nikon F3 [my only camera] that was somehow waterproof in the dream) when all of the sudden, Aunty Marj popped out of the water behind me, her head bursting out of the water. I thought it was a beaver at first! Nope, it was Aunty Marj. She said "Hi Megsie!" and I just cut her off and YELLED into her face how much I loved her and missed her. She ignored what I was saying and said "I am so happy here, swimming in the heat FINALLY" (this is a woman who loved the heat more than anyone I know). She did a few little tight laps in the weird little canal we were sharing and I kept looking at her dripping hair and shining eyes. Then as fast as she came, she went again, dipping down so deep to the bottomless depths. In the dream I remember thinking to myself, 'I had no idea she could swim like that!' with those strong strokes fresh in my mind's eye. Damn.

I woke up, threading it over and over until I was fully awake. Good morning Aunty Marj, whoa. That was nuts. I don't really have the words, I am just grateful the dream remained clear as day throughout my morning and afternoon with Leo. What a swimmer. What a woman. She is happy, where ever she is. She is in the heat, that much I know. Oh man.

Leo and I played outside in the MOUNTAINS of snow today. It is pretty surreal knowing that yesterday and today were his first ever experiences with snow. We made snow angels (I forced his arms and legs) and he just lay there laughing his little head off, a little confused and half blinded by all the white. I can't even count how many times he got himself up to standing in that little blue starfish getup and just bellyflopped face first, tongue out into the snow. This kid LOVES eating snow. It was nice.

All day I thought about Aunty Marj swimming deep down underneath it all. I miss her. I am turning into a sad sack.

Sad sac.
Sad sac.
Sad sac.

Wet faced sad sac.

Two letters to pop in the mail. One cup of tea to finish. Two new drawings, one for an old friend (finished!), another on the go. Leo is sleeping and my day is nearly over. Below is a picture of another wet faced creature, doing his own laps with a starfish in his mouth. My friend Leonard (three days until he turns one).

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Homewards and onwards. I am at the back of the bus Gus, in car 5, seat 16 S (for single) beside Walter and Janice, the red sweater couple who are reading matching New Yorkers and popping pills every half hour for good health. We are at the back, with no escape from here due to a broken vestibule door. I have already been called the "hammer girl" as it is my job to elbow smash the plastic sheath covering the tiny hammer incase of emergency. Alriiiight. Good thing I am very comfortable with a hammer, even one that falls under the Purse category. I am also very comfortable with the idea of heading back for Montreal, my home away from home. My home, home. It was funny to be announced as "she is from Montreal" this weekend, even though I am not. But I do live there now, and am so thankful for it.

Train rides provide wonderful amounts of sitting and reflecting time, something I was in dire need of. Tonight it is dark as night outside my window, save for the occasional blast of town light, or the odd flash of racing red. It is nice. The car is dark and quiet at the end (Walter and Janice quietly discuss Prince William's upcoming nuptial bliss) and I am left to my own devices and thoughts. A cup of warm church tea, one milk two sugars that might keep me up until kingdom come (that is okay, I have a lot on my plate) and a fat stack of letters to keep my hands busy. Lisa, Liza, Rags, Ma, Grandma, Maude, Ronny Rouge. Oh! I just remembered the letter that Erin gave to me to read 'on the train going home'.

So there is that. (I just read it Fritz, thank you one million. Hanky applied to face, stat. Sisters skate already framed and hung in my mind. So perfect, so needed and so appreciated.

There was Toronto too. This trip was even more than a solitary train trip, it was a meeting of siblings as well! Milky and Frin and I walked miles stacked upon miles, ate what we felt like when we felt like it, drank pitchers of local brew and laughed in the fancy hotel beds in the downtown morning light. I walked fast because I just had to and they kept up, laughing behind me, beside me, behind me, beside me. It was so nice to be together, shmaking cloves and lady mints, trying to keep Erin's blur of color in my field of vision in H&M. I forgot how fast she shops!

Another TO highlight was actually meeting my pal Eddy from the bush upon my arrival in Toronto. I had written him a letter along with the details of my train schedule as well as a request to meet, not actually thinking it would work, but there he was. That familiar face. It was really nice. It took a few city blocks to relax into the easy relationship we shared daily this spring, just laughing and asking questions and drinking coffee and jazzing it up in colorful lanes. But it felt nice to spend time with a friend I came to know so well in such a short time period this May. My friend Eddy.

He took me to his favorite graffiti back allys off Spedina and Queen to show me some of his and his pals work. I took so many photos in that tiny window of time together. There is one shot of Eddy standing on a metal staircase making this crazy face. The moment the shutter clicked, the word portfolio just slipped in through my ears into the centre of my head and I felt so grateful for friends like him (among so many others) who make me feel totally comfortable while shooting. That photo whether it turns out or not, is one of the reasons I take photos. One of the reasons why I want to pursue a career in photography. How many people is it possible to connect with in a single life (A. Marj)? Anyway, just meeting him never in one million years would I have guessed Eddy and I would connect the way we did/have. Probably the same for him when he met me in my stripes (tights and Hi Vis) standing in the mud on Strecker Farm in Kenora. Thanks man, I had such a good time and I needed to shoot like that again, it had been awhile since I had taken any portraits (of anyone other than Leo who has zero choice in the matter).

I also shot a bunch of the downtown and my siblings looking at maps while smoking or laughing. A few train shots and subway glimpses. It was a really nice trip.

Now back to reality, back to the basics. Let's get back, back to the basics. Time to purge and rearrange, time to clean and take stock of the important things, time to get real, time to save for many moons, time to start formulating a plan on how to get to the Yukon by July first. Time to get seasonal, time to sew, time to just be.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Tales from the train.


A water tower here, a smoke stack puffing up and out of tree stands there, salt shacks in obscure places that remind me of none other than Dryden town. I am on a train, zipping through Quebec country. Little fuel towns with orange tin roofs, burn blocks and Birch stands, Red Pines (I think) and Black Spruce (I know), crops shorn short, fallen logs that remind me of Spraycation so long ago with Birdy and K. Old farmhouses perched atop hills and tucked into valleys. The car sways like a woman with hips, it is nice. Monte Carlo Motel, see yuh. Cornwall, Quebec approaches, and then goes as fast as it came up. For now it is all birch trees as far as the eye can see draped in the dull early morning light that comes with winter in a damp province.

It is really nice to be on a train again. I have been looking forward to this ride for three years. The idea of my siblings waiting at Point B is quite something. I will write more as the hours wear on, but for now I am simply happy looking out the window at the snow falling. Toronto, here I come.

Ontario here I come, how I have missed you!

We must be rolling into Ontario now, I can feel it. The land looks different and it calls out to the planter who lives inside of me. Furrows row on row outside of my window, no keifshow here. Trust me. There is water lapping at lake banks right beside the tracks under our bodies and everything is the same color as the sky: winter white. It is very serene and for the first time since November 9th, I feel wholly serene. I am not quite sure what it is about Ontario that draws me in the way it does. Maybe it is the familiarity of the little character mill towns puff puff passing my train window, or the wildness of the bush paired with the hopping creeks. Tobacco creek, my creek long dried and gone by now.

I hope there is a time in my life where I am able to really live in Ontario. Little houses tucked into their plot in the woods; driveways winding out of sight. That is the kind of place I dream of when I picture the happiness of my older self. Just a few days ago I couldn't rid myself of the idea (and didn't bother to try) of wining and dining in such a house like the ones I see flying past, my lady guests of honor laughing with necks craned to the heavens, low light, happy women full with good food and pride of our scattered broods screaming somewhere high above our position around the table in the and amongst the trees on the land. I can see a little kitchen, with one of those serious butcher blocks beaten with age and use in the middle, the anchor of the home. It is quite an idyllic daydream and it is not the first time I have been swept up in thought to that place. I have been there before and I have a feeling I know where I can find a home just like it (Casa Seargent, from the sounds of things).

Someone is peeling an orange behind me. And now we just whipped passed a bunch of four or five year old crop trees! Planters were here, plain as day. Oshawa, Ontario is up next, which always makes me think of flying with Grandpa and Milky years ago, Erin and I tucked into the small seater in the back of the plane, our tiny heads taking turns listening to Plane Talk in the giant head set. You have control.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shauna in the sauna.

An old drawing from summer that I found today while rifling through the goods. Bless the Shauna's of this world.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A prerequisite.

A gift from a friend in a time of need. Thank you one million.

Aries (March 21- April 19) for the week of December 2, 2010.

As any mildly wise person knows, exploring the unknown is not only an aid to our mental and spiritual health -- it's a prerequisite. That'll be especially true for you Aries in the coming weeks.

Assume that your drive to experience pleasure isn't a barrier to your spiritual growth, but is in fact essential to it. Proceed on the hypothesis that cultivating joy can make you a more ethical and compassionate person. Imagine that feeling good has something important to teach you every day.

Madhavi, I have been meaning to share these found photos with you especially, and I feel this place is as good as any.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Margot Polo TBA.

This is a loose idea. I will be in Winnipeg from the 23rd until the end of December, so around then.


It is Doll season at the Sad House. Long limbed creatures are blooming out of the corners (Jill, Auntie Sue), it is nice. I was suddenly sad this evening after a good day with Leo. I kept thinking Auntie Marj's voice at Reimer gatherings. Anyway, sometimes there are tears.

So I have been busy, holing up and away, darting out now and again, but sewing. Thus the neglect. Je m'excuse. It is nice, although I am still learning to jump in. Percy, Hilde, Rhoda. Bodies are lying around. Fabric falls under Simple Canvas or Interesting Floral. I am going to take the dolls to work tomorrow and see what Leo does. I am going to try to make that kid the CRAZIEST doll for his first birthday. December 11, 2010, Leo turns one.

So Leo and dolls. We went to the french daycare today. The Blue starfish snowsuit with the flare stroller chicken boy vs. Crazy bob rock solid Chinese beauty who loves to ram strollers into walls . Making friends, ripping out other people's hair, holding two balls of different sizes at once with the craziest grin on his face, that is Leo at daycare. Shitting in the playhouse. Haha. Leo. What a guy. He grew today, a whole bunch over the last three days apart! It is nuts how fast babies grow. Whoa! His entire face changed. He is cuter in the tub now! I took a lot of tub pictures today. Almost a quarter of a roll. It was ridiculous. So I like Leo, a lot.

Today was so balmy. That is the most appropriate adjective I think. Little whitecaps of snow, fleeting snow. I like Montreal weather! When it's good, its good. The cold gets me (probably because I refused to wear a proper coat up until about two weeks ago). But I have a real jacket this year, and two types of good boots and warm clothes and the best toque for my weird little head. The rain is coming apparently. Cold rain.

Life here is good. Gotta sew I think.

Beige, you're up.

If anyone is interested in a Lady Longbody soft doll for Christmas they are going for 40 each or two for 65. Request or get a surprise. I am trying to learn how to make little jumper but all I can do right now is just put together limbs. Time will tell. All of the sudden the Christmas rush is on. Too soon, whoa. Anyway, if enough people would like one (or three), or a pre-ordered drawing, I would love to set up camp (like a tiny Craft Sale, a tiny Margot Polo Presents sale?) somewhere for pick up. Let me know, anyone.

Love to all and to Auntie Marj throwing feathers from somewhere. Aghhhhh, le sigh.

Breathe. Here is a window into the work room this evening.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Church Step Gang.

Dano rolled through Montreal today and Mitch, Leo and I enjoyed his blast visit to its fullest! What a nice surprise. We went for a long walk, had some lunch all together and walked around the neighborhood. I left them and hauled Leo back home for a late lunch. Then I finished this drawing while he slept. Drawing no. 2 of the Stone Face series, thank you Lisa!

Again this drawing is loooooosely based upon the photo (taken sans permission as per usge) below.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Amen Sisters.

I drew this today at work. Three sisters floating in floral, polka and stripe. My kind of women. Lisa sent me this goldmine of faces this morning and it was wonderful to sit down and draw at Leo's table. Just a nib and an ink pot and another drawing called Church Step Gang is well on its way. Thank you one million Lisa, my collection for school has taken a sliver of a shape.

I also wept in the middle of the house. A few times today (once while wiping ass, once while spooning breakfast into a smirking mouth, and another time while Leo did laps in the tub) I saw Aunty Marj's face, just felt her so near and for the first time, felt the empty place in my heart. It all came upon me like a great crashing while I was sitting watching Leo smash his xylophone onto the floor. The boy (who has started WALKING) wobbled right on over to my weeping spot and put his little hand on my leg and all was quiet for once. One look at his face and he into mine and I picked up him up and cried for a good five minutes. These are tears Leo. We cry for the people we love, the people we lose and the people we say goodbye to. They taste like the sea. He was quiet and concentrating on this transformed person standing in his space.

After such a hyper active morning of busyness and destruction and chewing on wires like a little mouse (him, not me), followed by an urgent mouth excavation (a small silver pellet?!? WTF), that tiny little person laid his head on my heaving shoulder and without a single peep told me everything was going to be juuuuust fine. Today I found solace in the arms of an eleven month old kid. Sometimes the hard days are good too.

I nearly forgot, the above drawing is loosely based around the photo below.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Storing for winter.

I love this drawing. I don't know who made it, sadly; but I love it.

Flash in the pan.

The cat is awake. I am awake (not because of the cat). Ice cold peppermint tea, long forgotten and suddenly remembered while sitting waist high in soft blankets at the work table. There is shit piled all around the green cutting mat. A tiger mask looking up at the ceiling, a paint covered Nalgene water bottle, a gifted clay mug from Aunty Daryl, a letter writing box, a haggard Lady Longbody. Today I threw a doll (Gemma) into the rug wash. Not a good idea. Shit. She came out all crazy, but soft. I have a lot of sewing to do.

Oh. Late nights on air. Late Nights on Air. Rebecca, you should read that book. I am up, thinking about train travel and travelling and travails and travailler. Reading on trains and eating raisins out of an open palm. An upcoming trip to Toronto is in the wings. A sibling trip of sorts, seeing as there hasn't been a single one since 2004. Last night Erin and I booked our separate ways to the meeting spot at the same time, long after bedtime, a span of provinces lying horizontally between us. A train ride is in order! I am looking forward to it already.

I came across a year of the Tiger mask today while on an adventure with JJ. We ate clementines in a weird park and cut through alleys to pinch out the cold. Dry pavement Sunday morning walking, after a Bob Dylan egg breakfast.

No work yesterday, for those curious. I did stand beside the kitchen's pass for a good hour, just watching and laughing at the two chefs on the line--main guy Benoit and his right hand toast bitch Simon--hoot and holler at each other as hollandaise was guided over the fresh poaches on toasted bisquits. Careful plating by Simon. I watched that straight cookin' (like straight shootin') and looked on as melted butter circled the hot pans for each order. Bacon, ham, sausage. Bleu, Swiss, Cheddar. I watched and longed for the long kitchen back at the Black Sheep. Madhavi's face as she sailed in and out of my view every few moments. Her laughter in the front of house blocking out the sobs coming from the grill. Those were good days then.

And more are coming. This kitchen that I stood near yesterday was also set up by a person who cooks. Often. It is small, but crazily functional. Everything in its place type place. It gave me a new understanding of how space can be so minimal, but also so highly utilized if well planned. Things were flying, fancy spent shell-work, dropped tongs flipped up like magic and whipped like a dart into their personal wash pit along the wall between Simon's plating/toast station and Benoit's grill/boil/bake station. A nice kitchen dance to watch, those to boys. The prep girl, also named Megan (whose job I am hoping to steal) was a bit of a drag. I could have shaken her for the indifference with which she peeled hot bacon from the pan. Agggh! No, she was nice. But damn! I would really have loved to get in there yesterday. Patience. Dirty rags and slopping bleach water. Subway tile in white behind a wall of ominous stainless steal kitchen appliances. Slim room, but smart. Who knows what will come about my little Go See, but it gave me hope in a way that I haven't felt in many moons.

Toast bitch would suit me fine.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Silverman Jones.

Where in the world is Silverman Jones? Chanel introduced me to this new character last night, Silverman Jones, an almost-but-not-quite intern at her fabric job. His real name is Sheldon Jones, but for some reason he sat through his entire application interview responding to Silverman Jones. Amazing. Silverman sounds far more interesting than Sheldon.

No snow, Montreal, Quebec, Canada! Woooh. This is no Buenos Aires, but I am praying the weather holds for a while before the snow rolls in. Today was ear bitingly cold (it feels strange knowing A. Marj no longer reads this) but clear as day. Brisk walking in the morning in my boots that an eagle helped me find (in true shopping angel spirit), a ridiculous grin at the Cheskies bakery counter just drunk off the smell of it all, one giant croissant still hot hot hot in my hands and eaten inside of EM Cafe next door.

EM Cafe. Dear Wind, innnnnteresting. This place that I have been eyeing up for weeks; makes me think of Liza every time I walk by the corner of Benard and Parc (every day with King Leo). Girl, I always expect to see you reading in the window. I went in today, had a cup of much needed coffee dark as night (last night with Lo and Chanel left me ink stained and laughing this morning) and was sealing a letter to Lisa when the kitchen caught my eye. I didn't think much more of it, other than it looked nice. A big square kitchen: stainless, white and wood. My kind of kitchen. On my way out, I asked the woman at the till when would be a good time to come back to speak with someone about the kitchen and she helped me out and gave me the name Anna Angelas. Good name. Good omen.

Ang, Angela, angels. EM, Em, M is for.

I went about my day, altered some clothes, went through my closet, culled and dead headed, made lunch, cleaned up, hung the fresh wash, pulled in the fresh wash, dressed the bed, and then it as time to drop off a resume. Back out into the cold in boots and flannel and my nearly forgotten white dress shirt from Club M (what??!! What a discovery today. Memo to self: shirts looked better pressed, but should not be forgotten when they are not). In the end, I ended up having an incredible nice exchange with Anna and am set to give my old kitchen hands a run for their money tomorrow during Saturday lunch rush. Wooooh! Holy shit, I can't believe it. A kitchen! A really nice kitchen that makes fancy breakfasts and waffles and rolls and hollandaise sauce and other things.

Patience is a virtue, Margot. I need to relax.

Today was the first day I really grieved for my mum's sister. My uncle's wife. Uncle Jim, so gentle and strong. My cousin's mom. Katie, Jen, Sara, Billy. For all those babies (born and unborn [Izzy, her sister and brother, Chili, Frances & Lily]) out there who will miss her touch more than we will ever know. She left a legacy to uphold. Babies, cooking, parenting, baking, work ethic, photography, gardening. There are one hundred things I will miss about her. She really was one of my mentors and today I sat a long time sitting in a chair in the comfortable space between sewing machine and work table, looking at my camera. That old lens. That was her camera. I can't remember ever getting a camera lesson that day when she handed over that heavy beast to me in front of her closet in their bedroom. She didn't seem like one to give lessons, she simply provided opportunity for the recipient to succeed (in whatever the context of her generosity). I want to be that kind of woman, auntie, mother, sister, daughter. Just give. She gave so much of herself to so many, so freely and without expectation of return.

I wish I had sent her a letter. Tears now. She told me at Thanksgiving that she "would just die if a Montreal leaf came in the mail" for her. An eagle with a leaf in its beak. Salt rivers on my face. I agreed with my own mum today when she mentioned she is having a difficult time realizing her sister isn't coming back. Fuck.

For now, all I feel capable of is staying close to home. A night out arm in arm with old friends was just what the doctor ordered. I have so much crying to do yet. Tomorrow I will chop or bus or prep as well as I can in a new kitchen. When the time is right I will pick up my camera again and remind myself to give more. And to relax. And to stop holding my breath.

Blast cry in a white dress shirt. Winter is coming. I bought some new Cat Power today, her covers album and found the song that I will walk down the aisle (aisle hey?) to. Oh bless you Cat Power. Wild is the Wind played so many times, I thought of Rebecca and Creme for different reasons but equal love and missing. Dear Wind, now alls I need is that baby blue Puch with the little headlamp and a beauty rat trap sitting in the window on St. Laurent. If only.

Image stolen sans grace from The Selby.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Faces many.

A letter came in the mail from China today. It was a nice reminder that if one desires a letter, one must send one to begin with. So I have to pick up my game a bit. The portfolio (no race yet, give me two months) is on my mind, churning around like sweet beurre in there. Leo also decided today that he is too many moons old to necessitate an afternoon nap. Gone are the days sadly. DAMN! I thought I could squeeze through the winter, basking in the quiet of the afternoon while the boy sleeps. Not so. Oh well, maybe this will be a good thing. Who knows what will come of it. More bonding? More activity? Lord only knows. Oh Leo.

Now it is nearly ten bells and long past the time I am usually sleeping these days. Tired and introverted to the max. Heather and Julian had their baby girl, Adelaide. Congratulations on the birth of. Home birth! Whoa, brave. She is such a beauty. Can't wait to undress her and take a million photos at Christmastime.


One more for you girl because it's your and Wertootski's three year anniversary. Happy anniversary you two. I love you both dearly.

From Lisa, for Lisa.

Hay girl. Yours is well on it's way and long, long overdue.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ketchup and Mustard.

A new day. And such a beautiful one at that. Leo and I laughed together a lot and he stayed so close to me this morning and afternoon, both of us lingering in the solace of the other as his sleep schedule slipped through both our fingers like sand. Sometimes, you just have to linger. Being with Leo after nearly two weeks apart has been interesting. Softer in a way, and more trusting for both of us. We read the new books he got (a beautiful gift from my mum [you will be a wonderful grandma too, you already are]). One was called 'Heads' which was all about animals and textures with lots of sliding pulls and soft things to touch. We didn't even read it yet, he was too enraptured with the looking part. The second book, 'The Wide Mouth Frog' was about a wide mouthed frog who cruises through the jungle asking different animals and sea creatures around him what kind of things they like to eat. My kind of book. That one in particular was all papery flaps with both beautiful and smart folding techniques that made things like antelope and fish jump out a good six inches from the spine! Whoa, Leo was freaked. After freaked he switched to destructive. Okaay pal. It will be PERFECT when he is three or four.

We also walked today, a lot. His naps (well one was non existant) were clipped and there was a lot of active time today to say the least. In the morning we took a really long route to the Outremont Parc because there was tons of construction. The temperature was so nice today. Perfect jacket weather (I have been only wearing Jillian's short jean jacket with Mitch's red flannel and Erin's mustard scarf lately. Ketchup and mustard. Two things of which are not in my fridge temporarily). Lots of birds out (my version of an eagle) which is a special thing considering it is mid November. So it was a pretty special day.

Leo and I came up with this new game today that made him LAUGH. Whoa, really laugh. It was wonderful. I have been waiting 3 months for this guy to laugh like he did! Although he isn't walking quite yet (soon), he is a master at standing tall by tables and chairs and tall toys and couches and other things that he can pull himself up on. And he has this little blue cart--well more like a low tray on wheels--that has a little push handle like one would find on a push mower. Trust Ikea sometimes. I can't believe how he runs with it but doesn't know how to turn it or steer it whatsoever. The game today involved Leo pushing the little cart through the triangle of my legs, running on bowlegs in a straight line. He was laughing hysterically when his mama walked in the door.

Laughter and Grandma books? Oh yeah.

Now Lila is weaving through the chair legs toward the closet. Before settling into her favorite spot on a sleeping bag and a yoga mat under a thick clump of silk dresses and one loooong dress, she has come over to my spot and finally, finally lept into my lap. A cat on my lap. Lila the black faced cat.

Oh Auntie Marj, I will miss sitting at your easter tables. The eggs in the wooden bowl. In my humble books, no one prepares creamed baby potatoes with fresh dill quite like her.

Le sigh. On the bright side, pancakes for dinner with my darling. Yes!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Auntie Marj.

My mind is a carousel of Auntie Marj. I can see her so clearly and hear her laugh and her voice calling out "hi sweetheart" over our heads as we piled into her entrance a million times, just as she has to so many before me. I don't have enough words. She is soaring now, free as a bird. Auntie Marj, I will write more, but for now I love you and miss you.

We lost an incredible woman on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010. This is the last photo I took of her (far left) at Thanksgiving, standing outside with my Grandma, my ma, and her girls Sara and Jen.

Marjorie Anne Heinrichs
March 2, 1956 - November 9, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Petit Poulet.

Or en anglais, Little Chicken.

I miss my Petit Poulet, Leo today. He is hanging out in Europe with his parents at the moment and I just miss him. But his absence resulted in an entire week off for this gal and that sure feels nice. Here are some recent photos of my friend Leonard, the little Polish elf. And what a luxury to write in any place of my choosing in the home, drink coffee (thanks A. Karen) and look at my new cat Lila chilling out in the window sill by the sewing machine. Simple delights.

Monday, November 8, 2010

All is full of love.

Turned around in the art room. I have been listening to some Björk today and I cannot stop picturing her as Selma in Dancer in the Dark. Oh that film! Whoa. Crazytown. Anyway, seeing it opened my eyes to a talent I had never heard before. What lungs in that little body. All is full of love, a song by the little woman herself, is quite something. So this post title seems appropriate today, considering a few things and the state of myself.

I got a letter today from the Hector House and my heart swelled. Bang Bang. Crash, crash!

It has been so nice having my parents here. They are wining and dining us like ducks for dinner. And that is amazing! My heart is really overflowing and it feels wonderful. It was so nice walking my with my mum in the rain today ducking into shops when the spirit led. She found so many beautiful pieces and again I was reminded of what style is. We learned it from her. She likes bold things also, and wears them really well. And today my mum turned 50. Good job, woman! You go!

Speaking of the birthday woman, last night she cooked JJ and I one hundred cottage cheese menno perogies with schmont and farmer sausage and it really was insane. JJ was wearing this incredible dress. My mom was laughing, my dad topping up glasses with such grace. What a dinner! Mise en place. Mercy buckets, as they say. One million mercy buckets. I am already sad to see you go. I like walking in front of you guys and looking over my shoulder to check if you were actually there! Holy cow, thanksgiving feels like one hundred years ago! That means Christmas is on it's way in like a dog from the rain through the flap in the door.

I also rode my bike downtown!!! Whooooooo baby J Alba! Cruisy baby. I wore my helmet and a tight toque and a fast planting get up with slim shoes (I would LOVE cycling shoes and clips) and zoomed with the wind down the side of a mountain. It as pretty fun, even knowing full well what that would mean going back. Photos were dropped off at the weird jumbotron mall on St. Catherine street and a cd filled with fresh ones picked up. It felt really nice to walk outside and see my girl locked up, long and lean. I haven't been cycling at all. I wasn't ready to in a way. But today felt really natural. Party!

Late fall. Things are wet and dark, but nice. Mitch and I picked up our little house panther today at L'Arterie. Zoi with an i (the initial sight of her flooded the rooms in my heart: Madhavi! This is your soul woman, you have to meet her. And vise versa), had the papers ready to sign and the little minx slipped right into her stray cat house without a peep. In all the excitement of exchange, I forgot the bag of stuff for start up and so Mitch carried on and I ran back for one more exchange with Zoi (hopefully not the last). What a woman, whoa. I walked homewards thinking of her in the box wrapped inside Mitch's arms and the huge Amish scarf from Josh Ruth's mother in Ohio. What rain, what? We set her up and she slithered out after a good amount of hesitancy.

She checked out the kitchen and went straight for the Art room and hung out in the window for a while checking the brick and city top. We left her to sniff it out and met my parents (and hopped in their cab!) at a delicious family run Italian restaurant in Little Italy called Pizzeria Napoletana. (Thanks for the recommendation Uncle Pete. You nailed it) Pizza and pasta. Apportez votre vin. Cal brought such nice vin and the restaurant had that exciting warm vibe coursing through it. Thick Italian men winking at the customers, pasta, gnocci, blue cheese, buffalo mozzarella, thin crusts and triple helpings. Fifty and fabulous tastes delicious! Thanks for the amazing meal. I haven't felt like I was in Italy since I was in Italy! Well done, Montreal. Then we got into a cab on the way home, laughing and already missing each other, we walked into our home with a cat. Right where we left her.

Lila? I think she could be a Lila. She is so mysterious. Eventually she made her way to the bed with a certain quietness about her and then hopped on up into the piles of soft with out question. Oh hey girl, there you are. She has a nice home I think. I think she will be happy here.

Here are some photos from the neighborhood. Does anyone recognize these types of flowers? Aunty Karen, I am banking on you! They are beautifully resiliant and age so well. This photo was taken in the middle of October (keeping in mind it has been cold). Mauve is all around us, surprisingly so. I love fall. Speaking of mauve, I found another wedding dress today. Oh dear. Good thing it was cash only because I didn't have the cash. But it was quite a dress, tucked away in the back of this red vaudevilleish vintage clothing shop. At first when I sped past it in the rain it looked like a costume shop. Not so. I tried on the best hat, this incredible hat. Fifty dollars for the perfect hat! Oh dear. Then I saw the pink dress, hanging in heavy layers from high above. Antique silk, beads and sequins, flapper, drop waist and heavy. I wanted to try it on but didn't since I knew I wouldn't be taking it home. But it was quite something. I am still thinking about it. So mauve's the word, I guess.