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There's a place in the northeast part of the island of Montreal where a stream has been allowed to stay in its natural state. It's surrounded by woods, and a path runs along the top edge, but there is also... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Someone left a comment on my blog post today, with a link to this post on Substack from An Irritable Metis. It includes a poem by David Budbill, a Vermont Buddhist poet who I always admired. The post is excellent, if hard to read, but what really got to me were the comments, which are from both Canadians and Americans talking about the authors question, What can we do? (If you have trouble loading the comments, it worked better for me to click on the comment icon at the bottom of the original post.) B.
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2021 on Watercolor Wanes at the cassandra pages
Though I'm a relatively new Canadian, I am a North American of New England settler/colonial stock, and therefore share in the shame of what was done to the indigenous population of this continent. There is no way I can celebrate... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2021 at the cassandra pages
View Toward Palermo from Monreale, Sicily. Watercolor, 8" x 8" My trusty travel box of watercolors has been a good companion during the pandemic: even though I was going precisely nowhere, seeing it on my desk was often an incentive... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2021 at the cassandra pages
I wanted to write something today in honor of my father, who is 96 1/2 and still going strong. Not a day goes by that I don't think how fortunate I have been to have him in my life, for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Several people have asked, "Could you talk about how you begin a drawing? How do we know where to start?" It's a very good question. So often sketchers gets frustrated because suddenly here they are on the left side of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2021 at the cassandra pages
That's the title of this painting, done back in 2014. Like many of my still lives, it contains objects that are self-referential: this is my father-in-law's family's brass coffee pot, which we now have; the window with blue sky above... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2021 at the cassandra pages
E. Adams, In the National Gardens, Athens. Fountain pen with grey ink on beige paper, 14" x 10", May 2021. On Friday, feeling grief and anger over the situation in Palestine, I turned to drawing. Wanting to do something consuming,... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Spring has come to Montreal very slowly this year, which I like -- it gives us time to adjust from our Canadian deep freeze, and to really enjoy the incremental changes each day brings. While friends further south were posting... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2021 at the cassandra pages
On this Earth Day, I could have written about Iceland, where new earth is being born this very minute. But instead, here is a painting of an elemental landscape in Greece, one that's probably existed in various forms for as... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2021 at the cassandra pages
I don't use sketchbooks to make a record of my life, though of course they become that to some extent. For me, sketchbooks are a way of working out ideas and techniques, exploring compositions, and delving deeper into what I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2021 at the cassandra pages
When I began writing this blog, eighteen years ago today, it seemed appropriate to name it after the Trojan princess Cassandra, cursed by her spurned lover, Apollo, to utter prophesies that would always be accurate but never believed. That was... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2021 at the cassandra pages
What do we do -- what do I do -- after a year of this? The past week has not been easy. Everyone is fatigued. The vaccination program is aggressive here, finally, with large sites in convention centers, shopping malls,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Today, I learn, is #WorldBookDay. Who makes up these things? (And immediately hear a response in my head: "Publishers like you!") Be that as it may, in my life, every day is book day, and it's been so practically ever... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Pandemic notwithstanding, this has been one of the loveliest winters in Montreal, weatherwise, that I can remember. We've had two months of velvety snow, temperatures mostly in the 10s or 20s, lots of bright sun and blue skies, and essentially... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Still life with shells, orchids, and bowl. Fountain pen in sketchbook, 9" x 6". The ceramic bowl was made by my mother when she was around 20, long before I came along. I use it most days for my cereal... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Interior with rubber tree and straw angels. Sailor fude-nib fountain pen on paper, 9" x 6". I've been trying to draw and paint more regularly. It's therapy, and it's a joy, and it's a way to remember who I am... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Every morning when I get up and open the blinds near my desk, I take a moment to peer into my terrarium. It's changed since I planted it in the fall: some of the mosses have died back while others... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2021 at the cassandra pages
I'm thinking tonight of particular photographs of yesterday's storming of the U.S. Capitol: the image of the burly white guy carrying a confederate flag through the Capitol rotunda. The image of a blonde white woman and her friend, seated on... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2021 at the cassandra pages
It snowed last night, softening and muffling the city on an already quiet New Year's Day. This morning the roads and sidewalks had been plowed, but the park was covered with six inches of soft new snow. I put on... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2021 at the cassandra pages
Roberto Bolaño and Fyodor Dostoevsky Books of 2020 (list at the end of this post) Books have been my salvation during the months of isolation. I know many people have said they've had trouble concentrating on reading, but my situation... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2020 at the cassandra pages
Oh, how I long for that day too, Rachel! And I wish I could be in Mexico City, eating tamales, sold by a tiny Nahuatl woman and her family who make them from the freshest chicken I've ever tasted. We have the same issues with our groceries, and have come to almost enjoy the "surprises." I hope your black-eyed peas bring you good luck, and that God's eye is there for you always.
Toggle Commented Dec 29, 2020 on End of December at Velveteen Rabbi
1 reply
Here are two musical offerings for this Christmas season by the Cathedral Singers of Christ Church Cathedral Montreal -- a lullaby written by our director of music, Jonathan White, and a lively carol. As always, I'm delighted to be part... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2020 at the cassandra pages
Christmas in my house would hardly be Christmas without a paper project or some sort of ornament-making, and this bizarre year is no exception. A while back, I became fascinated by mathematical origami models which are constructed using identical folded... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2020 at the cassandra pages
There is nothing greyer than a northern November, before it snows. And then, when the dark days and long nights of November stretch into December, and the sun feels like it's on permanent holiday in Patagonia, so far away that... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2020 at the cassandra pages