Monthly Archives: November 2010

Mi’kmaq storytelling

Here is something that’s both lovely and painful about being an obituary writer. Yesterday I spoke with Noah Augustine’s sister Patricia, requesting an interview. I sat at my desk peeking out my window at bare trees and pavement, a Toronto city-scape. … Continue reading

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Child of a burning legacy

As I suggested in an early blog posting, I write far too many obituaries on rich white men. But the other day my editor at The Globe and Mail assigned me Noah Augustine, a Native rights advocate and Chief from Metepenagiag First … Continue reading

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Death in Venice, again

It pulled me toward it and so I reached. I was at the public library doing my usual browsing. I never get over the fact that all these books are available, at no cost, any day of the week. And even … Continue reading

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Coffee Klatches

  With each obituary I write, I set myself this challenge: uncover the woman or women hidden in the story. I mean, other than the woman who gave birth to the (almost always male) subject about whose accomplishments I am … Continue reading

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The poppy map

The other day I felt our house shudder. An explosion of memory, or so it seemed, memory of loss and the inevitable struggles to slip magically back into whatever seemed like life for a family living in this house in … Continue reading

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Time capsules

“And now I am rampant with memory.” These are Margaret Laurence’s words in the Canadian classic The Stone Angel. In the novel, Hagar Shipley is deeply caught up with words, words alive in remembering her eighty years lived both as … Continue reading

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A remembered thirst

Last night Heather and I went to “The larks, still bravely singing” presented by the Toronto Choral Society. It was a Remembrance Day tribute to those who served in World War II. Our friend Andrea is in the choir and … Continue reading

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The King of White Otter Lake

One has to make oneself up, moment by moment. I just read this line attributed to Renaissance writer Michel de Montaigne, the great patron saint of personal essayists. It rings true, as well, in this newly crafted world of blogging. … Continue reading

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Alice Dancing under the Gallows Alice Herz-Sommer is the oldest Holocaust survivor. On November 26th, she will turn 107. A Czech concert pianist, she was arrested in Prague in 1943 and sent to Theresienstadt concentration camp, along with her husband and young son. Her music saved her life and … Continue reading

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Don’t be distracted

At the coffee shop this morning I ordered a large because I didn’t want to be distracted by Monday, the predictable slow slide away from Sunday, stumbling back into alone-time while Heather pedals west to the downtown towers. Today begins November. The … Continue reading

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