Awoken From Slumber

This blog has been kissed awake by the lovely Sophia Kelly from TailoredTech! Started in 2006, this blog hasn’t had a post for ten years but I’m eager to start anew. So much has changed. In small ways, you’ll notice a change of name – from Change Therapy to HaikuTherapy, and a change from my signature all-small-caps to more conventional capitalization. In bigger ways, I’ve been working at a large organization in the Mental Health and Substance Use Services for ten years now, and am ready to retire. I also worked for an organization that helped churches get better around mental health for a while.

The biggest changes were around walking, writing, and – I’ll tell you in a minute. In 2017, I walked 100 miles from Southeast Vancouver to Northeast Powell River. That wouldn’t have been a long walk for younger me, but what with my arthritis, I couldn’t do more than ten miles a day. It was life-changing in ways I still don’t understand. Here is the last entry in my journal for those days, which I wrote in haibun format.

september 13

twenty-four hours ago, i arrived at haedy’s and ed’s place. everything feels normal and everything feels strange. spending the last ten, twelve days walking feels like a long time ago and not particularly important. all the same, there is another part of me still walking, still feeling the soft, snug pull of my backpack. this part is still tuned to the early autumn breeze, looks down deserted side roads, hears the rushing of the road, smells the musk of birch leaves just beginning to decay. that part is still stepping, stepping, stepping among dark, tall trees. i don’t know that she will ever stop. i don’t know what happened, what is happening, and it is possible i’ll never understand other than in some dark green part of me that hardly ever sees sunlight. i knew when i took off i would be changed, i know i am changed, but that is all – the how is hidden behind a thicket of salal, dried grass, and blackberries.

there she goes
walker among the trees …
the path of the coyote  

So … I walked to Haedy’s and Ed’s place. Now it’s only Ed’s place. Last year, after two decades of terminal cancer, Haedy was finally relieved of her terrible suffering with the help of MaiD. I pressed the button on the crematorium. She is gone. That, too, I still don’t understand. A part of me knows that she is completely gone, a part of me still feels her vibrant, feisty, funny, tortured, wise, bitchy, loving presence. And then there’s lots of writing. After my first book, isabella mori’s teatable book, which is out of print and apparently has also disappeared from the internet (except a few mentions of it on this blog, here for example ) I’ve published A bagful of haiku – 87 imperfections in 2017 and last year, a chapbook, Not So Pretty Haiku. My current writing CV is here. And! In 2019, I started a poetry prize, Muriel’s Journey. That’s pretty exciting.


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