Category Archives: creativity: poetry, art, etc.

“in love with the mystery” – ann mortifee’s new book

“mystery” – how do you talk about it? “the deeper you go into it, the more difficult it is to name,” says ann mortifee, and “everything becomes mysterious after a while.”

the first mystery that struck me as i entered st. mark’s church where ann mortifee’s launch for her new book and CD in love with the mystery was held was the image of paul horn, her soul mate and husband. there he was, standing in front of a cross as he gracefully welcomed the raging applause. why did this image speak to me so insistently? i don’t know. there seemed to be, in my experience (was it only mine? did others feel it, too?) a sort of communion, communication occurring between the man and the cross. who knows? no, i don’t know.

the word “mystery” is rooted in the greek myein, to shut, to close. it is that, perhaps, which is closed off to our knowing. all our knowing? or just the intellectual knowing?

ann certainly walks bravely into that thicket of unknowing: with words, images, music, and her voice. oh, her voice! it comes from a deep, deep place … and reaches a deep place inside us. when she let all her shamanic power loose and hurled that voice into space, she sang it into our ears and hearts – and again, into those deep spaces in between, where the mystery lies.

in love with the mystery is something physical you can take away that captures all of this. all the senses are engaged. “the whole work is a synaesthetic feast, an offering for the divine beloved,” says carol sill, who did the editorial work. the book feels good, has a nice heft, the pages are lovely to the touch. strange to talk about a book like that – aren’t you supposed to talk about the content? but any book lover will understand. there is something exciting, almost erotic, about touching, holding, weighing, allover feeling a new book. in love with the mystery is a book you want to hang out with, a book you can open on your lap while you drink a cup of tea on a quiet sunday evening, and while you listen to the music that accompanies the book. in addition to ann’s powerful voice and paul horn’s flute, miles black and edward henderson’s beautiful guitar complete the synaesthetic whole.

there is something melancholic about in love with the mystery – and it makes sense, given its history. in her talk, ann spoke often about the pain that deepens our understanding – shattered dreams and “the grit of disappointment.” these experiences inform the content of the book but there is more. the gentle images that form the background to ann’s writings were created by award-winning photographer courtney milne, who did not live to see the finished work of art. as well, the stunning design by diane jensen-feught was crafted in grief, as the designer mourned the death of her parents.

instead of an excerpt – you’ll just have to read for yourself – a few poignant lines from the talk:

“how does the mystery come?” asked ann.
“just keep breathing.”

tweeting the sunrise

i like to wake up early in the morning, sit down in the living room and watch dawn turn into sunrise through the big balcony door. and then tweet about it, like this:

morning! been wanting to tweet the sunrise for days now, finally getting a chance

it’s actually the dawn that has been particularly beautiful these days. deep, deep blue

right now the sky is steeped (and that’s exactly the right word) in a crazy orangeish-blue soup – there’s almost something manic about it

and how quick it changes! it looks more like a dirty white now, especially with the trees’ black contours in contrast against it

the houses across the road sit hunched against the half-darkness. there’s a feeling of nervous expectation

amazing how tense that particular blend of blue and orange was. now the orange is starting to be stronger. relief.

i can kinda see my keyboard now. i’d say dawn is over. the birds definitely have woken up, looks like they’re going to work

i’m getting impatient. where’s the sun, where’s the sun?

darn. gotta go have my shower. maybe if i’m quick i can still the see the sun rise?

aha! there’s some rosiness between the trees now.

interesting how far the sun has moved over the months. about 1.75 window panes of my balcony door 🙂

the sun takes so much longer to rise now. probably makes sense given that we’re moving towards winter. should look that up.

(a retweet) helenaartmann incredible sunrise in #canmore… blue bird skies, red mountains and yellow trees… i can’t stress enough how much i love the fall colours!

i think we’re almost there. there’s that piercing quality to the bright golden spot in the sky

writing an email while i’m keeping an eye on the sun.

there’s a tiny spot in the trees that is illuminated by the sun already.

this is a bit like an orgasm. almost there, almost there!

the bright spot is not a spot anymore, it’s a part of the sky. but dammit, the sun still isn’t up

now there is a twinkle on the balcony window, and you know what? my keyboard is golden

and here it is!!!!!! welcome sun!!!!!

blog action day: water poem #15

for blog action today, october 15, 2010, i am posting 15 water poems in 15 hours. this is the last one:

moon is slender
and sober is
my meal.
grey cloth
and scrubbed wood.
water runs quietly
over the plate.

by isabella mori|Start Petition

blog action day: water poem #14

for blog action today, october 15, 2010, i am posting 15 water poems in 15 hours. this is number 14:

Blue mists at Snoqualmie Falls

by your waterfall these birds,
at dusk, sigh, fluff their
feathers, nestle their
beaks close to their chest.
early spring: moon guides
blossom dust into their dreams.

by isabella mori|Start Petition

blog action day: water poem #13

for blog action today, october 15, 2010, i am posting 15 water poems in 15 hours. this is number 13:

only this apple knows
why it is necessary to snicker
with the cold falling rain:

cold falling rain, could it be
that i’m your sister?

cold falling rain, brimming over
with goose pimples that the clouds
ordered you to show
cold falling rain, i know
how it is to brim over with goose pimples

and only this apples knows, as it diminishes,
as it hastens towards its transcendence on the compost heap,
only this apple knows i’m talking to you,
cold falling rain

cold falling rain,
it’s dark outside, dark and novemberish
cold falling rain,
there’s a part of me that’s out there with you,
i don’t know which part
and really, i kinda don’t wanna know,
cold falling rain,
and i don’t want anyone, no soul, to know
that i could be your sister
out there
in late fall, with squishy wet leaves on the road that
nobody wants to walk tonight

cold falling rain,
this apple is almost eaten
and there is a leftover core.
it will land in that corner of my backyard,
and keep you company.

i will not be out there with you,
cold falling rain in november night,
i still have to eat lots of apples and gain
lots of fat
to be able to stand
standing out there in late fall
among squishy wet leaves
that no-one else chooses to tread.

by isabella mori

for blog action today, october 15, 2010, i am posting 15 water poems in 15 hours. this is number 13:|Start Petition

blog action day: water poem #11

Unsafe drinking water 01

i drink wine. your water is heavy.
i feel light with merlot in my veins.
you feel light with nothing in your stomach.
my limbs grow heavy; a thick blanket waits for me.
your water is heavy. your mother waits for you
to cook and fetch and carry and mend.
you live there. i live here.
water runs through our bodies,
the same crystals, the same elements,
heavy and light, harsh and warm,
the same and the same, different and different.

have some wine. let me carry your water.

by isabella mori

for blog action today, october 15, 2010, i am posting 15 water poems in 15 hours.|Start Petition