By definition

A section in the memoir writing course discusses structure; more specifically, whether or not adhering to a predetermined one assists or inhibits creativity and achieving the goals. Sticking to a plan can be beneficial for some while restrictive and static to others. At the same time abiding by a particular practice, like the writing ofContinue reading “By definition”

Good things come in threes

One of the exercises in my memoir writing course challenges participants to write a story using only three word sentences. There is no expectation to be grammatically correct; rather it is in an exercise in parsimony, being able to communicate your message without elaborate sentences. The exercise is part of a chapter on what toContinue reading “Good things come in threes”

Stop all the clocks, let the mourners come

I have been writing about my visit to Kamuli, Uganda for a submission to a memoir writing competition and in that process a re-examination of my time has led me into a deeper understanding of the events. In previous posts about my uncle, Father Kees de Cock, I had described my quest to affirm someContinue reading “Stop all the clocks, let the mourners come”

“Now we must tend to our garden.”

The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect So hard to earn, so easily burned In the fullness of time A garden to nurture and protect I love gardens in the spring for the promise they evoke, the perennial peek into the future, the hope for a beautiful and healthy bloom.Continue reading ““Now we must tend to our garden.””

Hope they have a better understanding

Million young poets Screamin’ out their words To a world full of people Just livin’ to be heard My parents paid $9,500 in 1963 for their one and only house just outside the London city limits. They needed two mortgages in order to finance the home on Kostis Avenue and I seem to recall theContinue reading “Hope they have a better understanding”

Alone. Away. Anon.

The photographs were hidden in clear sight. You never talked about them and I never asked. You pose in a floral printed dress of red and green, lipstick and earrings to match. The picture was taken from inside the room looking out, photographer bending slightly to capture an upward look through the patio door ofContinue reading “Alone. Away. Anon.”

Smoke ’em if you got ’em

Warning: the content of this post might trigger urges to return to old habits or make you attempt to indulge for the first time. After scanning my parent’s photographs, I have been reviewing them regularly to evoke another memory and another story. On one of those time travels I could not help but notice theContinue reading “Smoke ’em if you got ’em”

If music be the food of love…

“Apollo, the god of music, had not very lavishly sprinkled musical talents within our family. Mother’s piano lessons were generally not a great success.” So said my Uncle Nico in his family history book, “Pa vertel eens” ( Dad tell me – in English) which I just recently translated. It chronicles life for the vanContinue reading “If music be the food of love…”

I hope your honeymoon lasts forever

My parents were married to each other twice, in the same month of the same year. Dutch Catholic practice meant a couple would start their life together first with a civil wedding followed by a religious ceremony a short time later. Both days are captured in my parent’s photo collection, each revealing in comparison andContinue reading “I hope your honeymoon lasts forever”

Borje Salming

The first winter in Belmont would have been an eye opener for my parents in 1958. I expect they understood Canada was colder, the winters longer, and the snow more abundant; yet that inaugural snowy season was not exactly in line with what they would have imagined. Nevertheless, Mom and Dad adapted to their newContinue reading “Borje Salming”