Sticks and stones


I am about to turn forty. Not for six weeks or so but it's looming, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about it. Forty. Me. But I'm just a baby – I still don't know who I want to be when I grow up! I've been trying to unravel what it is that scares me about this one. I've never been too concerned about age and in truth, I've never looked my age – or acted it.

I remember turning thirty and feeling liberated somehow. I loved being thirty. There was something in the discarding of the two and claiming the three... something about being able to feel comfortable in your own skin – while it's still relatively smooth and unwrinkled. Something about looking at where you are and where you've been and maybe even allowing yourself to feel proud of who you have become. A gentle evaluation. Particularly considering that at twenty-eight I hit a metaphorical wall head on at great speed and spent two years edge-walking a fine line between sleep-deprived, drug-exacerbated madness and complete shellshock.

A little hello to everyone who knew me when.... and still loves me today. Don't think I don't know it was difficult.

In the relative calm that followed, I was able to put myself back together with glue and sticky tape, small sticks and pieces of string and to come out the other end with some semblance of balance on the highwire. I could see myself as a woman who had something to give that might even be worth something. But that was nine years ago. Almost ten. God, where did it go? 

Forty carries with it a somewhat harsher feeling of appraisal. It seems more frank, less generous. It politely declines a biscuit and gets straight down to business. It asks, what have you got to show for it?  And I'm turning and looking for someone's legs to hide behind. Because that's not a question I can easily answer and it's not asking in a nice way. And if I'm completely honest with you (read: myself), it's even hinting at mortality and asking me what I will have built/created/achieved that I can leave behind.

I'm a bit of a square peg in the proverbial round hole and I always have been. I'm the classic example of the "has potential, needs to focus, is disruptive in class, could do better" girl. Who went on to be always in between jobs, didn't settle down with anyone monogamously, needed a little help to get on her feet. A good friend of mine once comforted me with the prediction that she would end up behind a white picket fence reading postcards that I, her bohemian friend, sent from around the world. And while I'm writing this from the other side of the world, and while I wouldn't be anywhere else at this moment, something niggles inside. 

Could it be that there has been a distinct lack of (conventional) milestones..?

mile·stone / ˈmīlˌstōn/
• n. a stone set up beside a road to mark the distance in miles to a particular place.
∎ fig. an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development

And I'm only now starting to realise that the stones I haven't set down by the roadside actually weigh a fair bit. Only now, with forty just up ahead. Stones like career or artistic achievements. Stones like the children I didn't have. The weight of the things I said no to. The chances I was too afraid to take. Forty needn't suggest the end of everything – in so many ways I feel right at the beginning of everything – but I think my friends who are happily enjoying their forties and fifties, even sixties and seventies would concede that it does augur a time to accept certain truths and embrace certain changes. 

Which is my fluffy and overly careful way of trying to say that it is finally starting to feel too late for a whole bunch of things I thought I would always have time for – all the while trying not to frighten my younger friends or offend my older ones. But if I can be blunt and if I can be totally self indulgent for a minute, (it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to), it scares the hell out of me. I worry that the report I give myself will be less than kind. It will say "Had potential, needed to focus, could have done better, (starting to look a bit frumpy)".

Are we too tough on ourselves? Or not tough enough..

I will probably edit this before you get to read it.
Or maybe I'll leave it as is and be in the kitchen eating chocolate and drinking wine.


Sreshta Rit Premnath

Blue Book, Moon Rock 

If, as Vilem Flusser says, “texts are a metacode for images” and codify them, and likewise, photographs are a metacode for texts and are a second degree abstraction, what then happens when a fragmentary reality (the “word,” the “rock”) collides with the photograph.  The moon is the rock.  The moon is not the rock. The moon is (not) the light.  The light is (not) the photograph.

A promise made in the past, to discuss the meaning of forgetting in the future, is then altogether forgotten.  The word.  The forgotten word hovers like light bouncing off silver.  “Is shiny a color?[2]”

How do we fix an object, dress it, give it a name?

The rest is here.


My first Montréal exhibiton!

Shared with the loverly Miss Karine Léger.... Vernissage (opening night drinks) to be announced asap - if you're in Montréal please come and see us!


I have truths I have yet to claim

Angela Veronica Wong
the written boundaries. the blue lines. my body grid into streets. skin against wetness.
wetness against air. movement; resistance. a red dream. a read dream. a clothesline.
the ocean is on the bottom/ of everything. like being/ in an echo—without language, with
only/ the interruption of the body/ in space.
i can see from here what is left— your rhythms opened.
fuck me like cleaning
a pumpkin plunging a hand
into cold, wet, pulling
out a fistful of slippery seeds,
clumps of tangled
hair, a tumor leaking
between fingers
This body brought to surface—
I was
a girl at her first bleed, thinking
there it is, there it is, I thought
it would never come.
bald thing, this
clenched muscle, smooth
and still like silk, like
a forgotten lunch, it is
heavy with lost purpose.
in the net
i have truths i have yet to claim:
there is no such thing as one-way action like:
i read you. stop.
you fuck me. stop.
geometry is divisive. lines, angles, bisection. parallel and // paralyzed.
divisive is strangely pleasing to the eye, a futile // symmetry.
triplets // in 4/4 time.
Sometimes I forget I share
You use
the same words
I use.
But not these:
monsters the sea creates
to desire is to live, if only a little, in the possession of an object.
maybe we were never meant
to raise to the surface that
which lives in the depths—
to have/ is to lose/ the grammar/ of
in freedom—fluorescent in their
self-illumination, gargantuan and
strange-skinned they are
landscape and borders oceans open in deserts
skin, bones, blood distinguish pronouns
from other pronouns
may/be an/echo/ as zero/ as language completed
Fold me in the direction of origami arrows.

Upsidedown Insideout

I went back to sleep twice this morning, in an effort to shake off the bad dreams and dream some new dreams... nicer ones. 

It didn't work.

At odds with the world at odds with me.


When we were six..

Actually when she was five. That was so last year. Happy birthday (for the fifth) EllaBella, I only just found these pictures again. I miss you so much xx



I just saw this here and had to share the joy myself - I adore this. I feel as though I'm teleporting out of control, never knowing where I'll be when I open my eyes.

Somewhere between a home-video mixtape and a postmodern travelogue, "oops"—a ten-minute art video composed entirely of appropriated YouTube videos, seamlessly stitched together via a motif of camera drops—serves both as transportative adventure and metaphorical elucidation of YouTube itself (i.e. endless related videos), exemplifying the Internet's infinite repository of "throwaway" social documentation. From suburbia to subterranea, the radically shuffling environs induce a vertiginous yet aesthetically contextual thread—a transcendent, reincarnating POV; our omnipresent Camera—by which, the nature of the ultra-verité videos, eschewing any filmic grounding, plunges the viewer into a relationship of fleeting immediacy w/ its many videographers: a self-portrait at arms length, the digital blur of an obscuring thumb, a disembodied narrating voice. This abstractly voyeuristic portrayal of an ever-filming generation (who won't let the transcendence of being in A Moment inhibit their document-everything impulse) presages a future where every instant of our existence, from the mundane to the sublime, is preserved and catalogued for all to see.

"oops" || appropriated digital video || 2009 || concept by Billy Rennekamp


A winner of the 2010 Vimeo Awards!​awards/​about
Official Selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival!​sundance2011


Water, water all around

My heart goes out to Queensland and Northern NSW this week. The flash flooding yesterday in particular looked incredibly frightening (see video). I can't help but think of the people (and animals) in places like Bangladesh, where flooding on a huge scale is an annual event, and wonder how they manage...


In my inbox this morning

Karine sent me some pictures today. The first three are from les Grands-Jardins where we went camping glamping in October. I hope it won't be too long before the next great moose-hunting expedition...

This is our new favourite place to wait for films to be developed. I absolutely love this chunky old table. And the rooibos tea and the cushions in the window seat... and the apple bread with caramel sauce... oh.




That was the deep uncanny mine of souls.
Like veins of silver ore, they silently
moved through its massive darkness. Blood welled up
among the roots, on its way to the world of men,
and in the dark it looked as hard as stone.
Nothing else was red.

There were cliffs there,
and forests made of mist. There were bridges
spanning the void, and that great gray blind lake
which hung above its distant bottom
like the sky on a rainy day above a landscape.
And through the gentle, unresisting meadows
one pale path unrolled like a strip of cotton.

Down this path they were coming.

In front, the slender man in the blue cloak —
mute, impatient, looking straight ahead.
In large, greedy, unchewed bites his walk
devoured the path; his hands hung at his sides,
tight and heavy, out of the failing folds,
no longer conscious of the delicate lyre
which had grown into his left arm, like a slip
of roses grafted onto an olive tree.
His senses felt as though they were split in two:
his sight would race ahead of him like a dog,
stop, come back, then rushing off again
would stand, impatient, at the path’s next turn, —
but his hearing, like an odor, stayed behind.
Sometimes it seemed to him as though it reached
back to the footsteps of those other two
who were to follow him, up the long path home.
But then, once more, it was just his own steps’ echo,
or the wind inside his cloak, that made the sound.
He said to himself, they had to be behind him;
said it aloud and heard it fade away.
They had to be behind him, but their steps
were ominously soft. If only he could
turn around, just once (but looking back
would ruin this entire work, so near
completion), then he could not fail to see them,
those other two, who followed him so softly:

The god of speed and distant messages,
a traveler’s hood above his shining eyes,
his slender staff held out in front of him,
and little wings fluttering at his ankles;
and on his left arm, barely touching it: she.

A woman so loved that from one lyre there came
more lament than from all lamenting women;
that a whole world of lament arose, in which
all nature reappeared: forest and valley,
road and village, field and stream and animal;
and that around this lament-world, even as
around the other earth, a sun revolved
and a silent star-filled heaven, a lament-
heaven, with its own, disfigured stars —:
So greatly was she loved.

But now she walked beside the graceful god,
her steps constricted by the trailing graveclothes,
uncertain, gentle, and without impatience.
She was deep within herself, like a woman heavy
with child, and did not see the man in front
or the path ascending steeply into life.
Deep within herself. Being dead
filled her beyond fulfillment. Like a fruit
suffused with its own mystery and sweetness,
she was filled with her vast death, which was so new,
she could not understand that it had happened.

She had come into a new virginity
and was untouchable; her sex had closed
like a young flower at nightfall, and her hands
had grown so unused to marriage that the god’s
infinitely gentle touch of guidance
hurt her, like an undesired kiss.

She was no longer that woman with blue eyes
who once had echoed through the poet’s songs,
no longer the wide couch’s scent and island,
and that man’s property no longer.

She was already loosened like long hair,
poured out like fallen rain,
shared like a limitless supply.

She was already root.

And when, abruptly,
the god put out his hand to stop her, saying,
with sorrow in his voice: He has turned around —,
she could not understand, and softly answered

                           Far away,
dark before the shining exit-gates,
someone or other stood, whose features were
unrecognizable. He stood and saw
how, on the strip of road among the meadows,
with a mournful look, the god of messages
silently turned to follow the small figure
already walking back along the path,
her steps constricted by the trailing graveclothes,
uncertain, gentle, and without impatience.

Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes
Tr. Stephen Mitchell


I was on my way home..

I was on my way home on the metro yesterday when a man sat down close to me and carefully arranged his belongings on the floor in front of his feet. He then leaned forward and turned his head, staring at me. I didn't respond. The younger man in the corner between us exited at the next station and once reseated, the older man proceeded to again lean forward and stare at me.

This time, I turned and met his eye and smiled. He gave a huge smile in return, and a small nod of his head. At the next stop, he gathered his things and as he got up, he leaned in and said to me, "I'm in charge of the whole world". I watched as he walked through the train doors, straight to an empty bench and settled in for the evening. He didn't look up as the doors closed and we moved away.

I was on my way home having spent the afternoon walking through Parc LaFontaine with Karie. We had two films each to finish before dropping them in to the photo lab. The park has been completely transformed by snow since I was last there and it was beautiful seeing dogs cavorting in it, and watching skaters on the ice.

Having changed plans several times in the last few days, I think we are now going to bring in the new year quietly at home, with some warm mulled wine and perhaps a Madmen episode or two. It's been a big year in so many ways and I think greeting 2011 calmly sounds pretty good.


So, happy new year to all my friends and family who I love and cherish, laugh with, break bread with, am inspired by. And all those who I miss and wish I could give bearhugs to.  And to all the people I hardly know but who take the time to drop in here and read my blog sometimes...

Bon Année !! xx

Shards of Glass in the Heart of Mens

so much to say,
so much to cry for, so much to live for.

this year's been one of many storms,
as strongs and grandiose as they could became,

beauty does feel unbearable,