Thursday, August 29, 2013

R. Frank - travellin'

These are all images from the genius American photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank. I found out that he lived in the tiny town of Mabou, Nova Scotia on Cape Breton Island for a time (thanks Leah!). I was in Mabou earlier this month. I stood on one of the most beautiful beaches, and the only thing I could hear was the crash of the waves and the wind whipping past my ears. This was a beach fully exposed. The sun was brilliant that day. The beauty was not lost on me at all there.

These images of his speak to where I'm at right now. Each of them, in their own way, remind me of the strangeness that seems to always accompany travelling - for a longer stretch of time. A paradox always exists when you are constantly on the move - there is the wonder and energy that comes with discovering new places and people, and there is the constant letting go that occurs as you move on to your next destination. Always the good-byes. And then the hello's. And then the good-byes etc

 You receive. You let go. You receive. You let go....

I feel lucky this time as I've had a wonderful home base to push out from, complete with a dear old friend, and now new friends. And even though I'll be away for almost another month, I already feel the anticipation of saying goodbye....I seem to always feel it keenly before the fact! This has to be a good thing since life is so full of good-byes. Traveling is good training in living them out as well as possible. Along with the hello's.

I look out onto a grey and rainy day in New Brunswick. The usually slow Cocagne river is moving with uncharacteristic speed. It's the first day of rain out here in awhile, and I wonder if this marks the creeping entrance of fall. I guess we'll see.

Often I wish life could be like this all the time. Always in motion. Always  moving. Always involved in the exciting process of discovery. Always meeting someone new. Always being confronted with new ideas - with new ways of being. Always being shocked out of habitual patterns of living and thinking into new, spacious ones. These are the things I thrive on. The thought of coming back "home" which is not really any kind of real home to me at all outside of family, is a daunting and sad thought. Where the hell is my home anyway? The truth is I am pretty homeless right now. And from where I sit right now there is something really freeing about that.

Some of us are just built for motion.

That's all for now.
Happy travels.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Something about it

Something about the way the brightness of the morning sun
reflects on the river
makes you never want to leave.
It's in the way the sky turns so pink
as the sun is setting,
and the way your mind and body
starts to sync
with the naturalness that is everywhere.
It's in the sound the sheets make
in the wind.
and the steady thrum of
the hummingbirds wings.
There's something about the way
that your name is spoken,
the way a smile can hold you steady
and warm you.
There's something about all this
that makes your journey
start to root itself
in a people
and a culture
and a place.
It gives you dreams of full, heavy laden branches
and a big harvest.
Something about all of it
makes you never ever want to leave.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


A poem inspired by and dedicated to the L'Arche community of Whycocomagh, Cape Breton.

Amazing how a place
can manifest such peace
that can even infiltrate
a mind so
steeped in

Amazing how the doubt,
confusions, insecurities
slowly recede
like a wave
until the mind feels fresh
and open.
Strong again.

Amazing the way
possibility can suddenly shine
to create lit pathways
where before
there was only a blind groping
the black tunnel.

Amazing that the fruit
of such a peace
is deep gratitude for the struggle
And a growing confidence for having met each fear -
No backing away.

Amazing how every place you cast your eye
the beauty

"Life is precious. And it is brief. And you can use it well."  -Patrul Rinpoche


Cayouche, I'll never forget that night
under the Cocagne stars
on the porch of Ronel's old house
where the bootleggers
once lived
and drank
and sang.

I can hear the voices of your ancestors
so clearly
through your own as you sing
your beautifully worn songs
of renown.

Cayouche, I wish that I could see
the portrait of you father
dans la maison de votre naissance.

I'll never forget that night, Cayouche.
I drank wine
while you drank beer,
we all shared the songs,

and you pointed out the north star
to me, Cayouche,
under that  piece
of Acadian sky.

Thursday, August 08, 2013


Sun beats down hard
on me as I walk down
down, down into the town.
Orchards and vineyards line both sides
of this highway,
Queen Anne's lace growing proud
but every now and then bending low by a sudden
The wind brings a shock of relief
to my burning shoulders.

Rumour has it they grow peaches here,
and that the twisting ancient apple trees
are that of legend.
I stuff the urge to pick one,
but they arent ready yet
so I stop myself.

I bend down and gently pick the Queen Annes lace

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


Calm waters in this shallow bay. Nature is in no rush at all. On this lazy, lazy coast. A white heron wading. All elegance and awkwardness. Today I wish. I knew more names of birds. These un-named are diving into the water. In pairs. They shriek with giddy laughter. 3 men fish off the rocks. One quietly sings a tune. In something like french. I want to live inside. His Acadian lilt.