Of Cartophilia and Librocubilarism…


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I am going to miss this particular view (for the next 6 months), and the Salty-ass hu(man) attached to it, so much more than anything I look at out my living room window, for 18 more sleeps. I knew when I met him that he is “a traveling man, not a vacationer,” and a traveling man must travel.

Yesterday he was showing me a rough route plan, for he ‘plans’ only that which is absolutely necessary, and where/what he really wants to visit/see. He’ll be driving to Calgary and Winnipeg first to visit with family, and then flying to Halifax where he will board a freighter to Liverpool.

From there he will make his way to mainland Europe and travel by bus and train or goat or mule or flying pig(?) through many parts, including my other home countries, to reach his goal of Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union. He’ll be back sometime in the early Fall. I am not a bit jealous, I am jealous through and through.

As we were looking at the map, I expressed how much I love ‘real’ maps, and that for many years I held onto various Atlases from high school and University, because the art of ‘real’ mapping and the concept of ‘borders,and ‘cultural territoriality,’ fascinate me so greatly. And just because they are beautiful.

His Salty-ness says ‘hang on,’ makes his way to the forward bunk, and comes out with a Hammond World Atlas published in 1954. It is a magnificent piece of work. A most thoughtful, meaningful gift. Well-loved but in all its glory. Tears of holy-shit-I-love-this-book literally sprang from my eyes when he said “it’s yours, I was hoping to meet someone with a map fetish.” I said “aah, but were you ready for a cartophilic librocubicularist”?

And we laughed and laughed.
March 10, 1019

Share with acknowledgement please. Photos and Writing: All Rights Reserved


Welcome, The BigSteelBox!


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"I honor every woman who has strength enough to step out of the 
beaten path when she feels her walk lies in another; strength 
enough to stand up to be laughed at, if necessary. 
That is the bitter pill we must all swallow in the beginning, 
but I regard these pills as tonics quite essential to one's 
mental salvation."
-Harriet Hosmer

Harriet was a very wise woman! Fortunately for me, I have yet to 
find the rule, stating an age limit for stepping out of said 
beaten path, a maximum number of out-steppings, or a ceiling on 
failed(?) quantity of attempts to blow up the proverbial box. 
And should I come across these rules at any point in my trudges, 
travails and travels, I shall, happily as ever, break them. 

In keeping with my contradictory life and self, it begins 
(again) now, with a sexy-ass BigSteelBox.

~Marcela; moving off the beaten path, coming un-boxed one more 
time, in a BigSteelBox.
March 02, 2019


Un-learned; an Intelligence of Self.


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“The Artist is no other than [s]he who unlearns what [s]he has learned, in order to know [her]himself.”
-E.E. Cummings

The longer I write, create anything, the more I get this on a level so profound it hurts; and it hurts so good that at some point it stops hurting, and serves to validate, that, which I have always known, self.

The less I care about what you or anyone think, of anything I create, written or otherwise, the more I unlearn about all you and they have inured me with: false concepts and ideas, of who and how to be.

The more I unlearn about these things you have gifted me with, the less I need your, and their validation for my art; or anything, pertaining to me, any little thing at all.

And the less I need your validation, the more forth-rightly I can inform you, when you have mis-read me, again, and care little, if at all, about what you do with that. This is a freedom, an intelligence of self, I have not known, here-to-fore.

February 26, 2019.


Life is Not a Black and White Photograph


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Talking about this very concept, idea, led to a mass Marcela un-friending, online and in-human, a few years ago. Even following lengthy and meticulously laborious explanation and clarification on my part, these folks continued to deliberately misinterpret pretty much every word I articulated/wrote, and to convince themselves and others, that I was co-signing, excusing, or even welcoming nasty/brutal life events, acts of rape and other violence and vileness that had occurred/been perpetrated against my (or others’) person, physically, emotionally, psychologically, culturally speaking. Things are not as black and white as, if I don’t hate it, I must love it. Drives me crazy, this kind of thinking. We live in living colour, in the grey areas, in the pastels and neons, we travel on goat trails, detours, derailments and on hair-pin turns, but people insist on thinking in terms of black and white, and on linear highways. I do not miss said (un)friends. Not even for a second, but the memory of it all still breaks my a heart a little. Fortunately, I have people in my life today, who get what I was/am putting down in relation to this train of thought and its (positive) impact, on my person and life.



Diamonds’n Hoars



        Cold-drunken Hoars, drop
        frosty icicle diamonds
        in the grassy ditch

Marcela: itching to go walkabout,
January 17, 2019
Image and Poetry: Please share without plagiarizing. Thank you.




Ageing is Not an Act of Violence

I really, really dislike the language in the so-called “how hard did aging hit you challenge,” currently making the rounds on FB. It asks us to post (y)our first ever profile picture and the most recent one. It’s actually an interesting little game, except for the abysmal language and all of the assumptions and implications inherent in it.
Unless, like some folks I have loved, we die (too) young, ageing is one of the most natural and normal, not to mention unavoidable processes, known to human kind, and using this kind of language to describe it, is just another sad, sad example of how we create false ideals, ridiculous, unrealistic expectations and concepts of youth and beauty, by virtue of the very words we use to talk about them, or the ‘loss’ of them, as if they are to be grieved, as opposed to accrued experience and wisdom celebrated.
Ageing does not hit people, and saying so implies (rather explicitly), that it is a violent act or event, which in turn implies (rather explicitly), that it ought to be avoided at all costs. And while violence is certainly at least partly responsible for some of the visible signs of ageing on my person, the markings on my face and body, the lines, the furrows, the lumps and bumps, are the stories of my life, and I am loathe to describe them as having been “hit” by ageing.
My other beef with this particular FB ‘game,’ is that it generates comments such as: ‘you haven’t changed a bit,’ you still look the same’ and similar bla blabbidy bla, and I call BULLSHIT!
I, and everyone I know and have seen engage with this, do not look the same as I/they did even a few years ago, and if we haven’t changed, inside or out, we’re doing it wrong, life that is, or getting botox-ed to death.
It’s thoughtless, mindless bullshit like this that makes me want to leave the e-world altogether, but since it is one of the only ways I ever engage with some folks I would truly miss, I chose to qualify my own participation with this lil’ bitty rant.
The picture with the spiky red hair was taken in approximately 2009, the other one two weeks-ish, ago. I have had a million and one good, bad, ugly and indifferent experiences since then. I have had at least 12 hair styles and as many hair colours, I have gained and lost and gained and lost at least 50 lbs altogether in that time, and I have enjoyed and suffered many happy and brutally painful times in the 10 years between these two photos, and it shows; as it should.
PLEASE: STOP treating getting older as if it were a disease. PLEASE: let’s try to understand that getting older, really does bring more than just ‘a loss of youth,’ and ‘diminishing’ beauty, it is the only way in which to truly know, appreciate, accept, and love yourself, and by direct extension, to know, appreciate, accept, and love, anyone else.
The devil-chick is my actual original FB profile photo. That, has also changed, in that I am just MORE her as I age, and there is little to nothing graceful about it. As it should be, for me.
January 12, 2019
Images and writing: All Rights Reserved.


First, Conquer Self.

As I watch the squalls bend the fir and cedar behemoths surrounding this house,
see the lake pound the log booms, docks and boathouse into the most bizarre angles,
I am struck by the thought that while I yearn for straightforward, low-maintenance,
I repeatedly choose complicated, convoluted, even, for that thing we call home.

As I navigate flying tree limbs and floods driving the scary highway for the umpteen-millionth time,
curse the road-warriors recklessly passing logging trucks to beat all of us to the same place by 2 minutes,
I am struck by the thought that while beautiful; this place, metaphorically and realistically speaking,
is so far away from the peace and solitude I so desperately crave, that it is indeed, its antithesis.

As I gaze upon my storied-face, decorated with the lines and ridges of a life well enjoyed, and suffered,
pick up electronic and figurative stylus, to scribe chapter six in the book of my nine(teen) lives,
I am struck by the thought that while spectacular in appearance at first glance, like the lake it abuts,
below the immediate surface of this home, looms the deepest dark of high-maintenance and very little peace.

As I rest on this, the final day before the next enormous learning curve in the profession I hate to love,
play many games of solitaire and look out upon the best vista eVer from my beloved, flannel bedecked bed,
I am struck by the thought that while I am as restless a spirit as the scary-wild weather patterns of late,
I am urgently compelled to settle into, a life of less (everything), in order to enjoy, a life of more, me.

And as the gusts move on and we dodge the next wind-storm-blackout-bullet,
so I dodge my own impulsive need to bust the next big move,
and I cancel the viewing of a beautiful, beautifully low maintenance
domicile, in another community.

And I whisper to self: patience Grasshopper-Queen, patience!
One big move at a time! For while we know, you and I, that you
‘can deal,’ with more, it is not an advisable choice at this this juncture.

For to simplify, to conquer the goal of less,
requires a practice of restraint. So do not obfuscate, with more.

First, conquer self.

January 06, 2019
Image & writing: All Rights Reserved.


All we need…

I sat on the plastic blue chair, stared down at the green dots on the floor which designate that area of the hospital as the medical imaging department. I have worked in this hospital, I do not like this, other role, here. I thought about how I ended up here, waiting for a CAT scan of my head, and reminded myself of my Dr’s words, that she’s not expecting to find anything of concern in there, but we’ll do it just to keep ruling things out, or to find something, an explanation for the current bizarre and frightening set of symptoms my body is manifesting, a body that has mutinied for a while now, in various ways, in an effort to show its disdain for how I have driven it, used it, over-used it, for 3 years short of 60.

I cannot help but notice the two women occupying two other plastic blue chairs, directly to my right. A 40-ish daughter is supporting a my age-ish mother, from what I can gather by their conversation. As we wait, mom is asked to guzzle a radioactive cocktail prior to the scan of her innards, and told that the tech will be back for her in an hour, she is free to leave and come back, if she wishes.

They had been laughing until then, attempting to make light in an obviously heavy situation, and then mom breaks down. She is sobbing, and I see the terror in her eyes when I look up at her. She says, “it’s not funny, I wish it was funny.” Her daughter says, “it’s not funny at all mom, not at all. I love you.” Mom laughs and says, “how do I look”? I look toward her, and say, “you look fabulous,” to her child, I say “and you, are a very good daughter.” Mom says “yes, yes she is! I am blessed.” And then she adds, “the lady says I look fabulous, we have an hour, let’s go buy a New Year’s ham.”

We all laugh a little, cry a little, and the two of them walk out of the hospital to buy their New Year’s ham, before coming back, to their heavy reality, in an hour.

I am called in for my head scan, and my heavy reality feels lighter. Validation, to feel seen, heard, understood, in a world where we are all so terribly caught up in self, it’s all most of us need, to be OK in, to lighten, the heavy times.


December 28, 2018


Idiomatic Idea(l)s

Irons in fires
and babies in bathwater
burning hands on hot choices
tossing dreams with the gray matter

Dead horses are flogged
and red herrings are leaders
drown on dry land
cry-cry the bleeders

Cats bark up the wrong trees
and worship false gods
disheveled deliriums
reverence for frauds

Covet glittering fool’s gold
and turning blind eyes
doves are but pigeons
baked blackbird pies

Stitch in time saving nine
and the madd hatter’s head gear
leaches mercury anyway
insane-inside voices leer jeer and snear

Knights in armour so shiny
and heads up in clouds
chainmails breed rust
glory dreams become shrouds

Hold feet to wildfires
and get raked over coals
an ingrate's in-gratitude
shown to kind souls

Hands unfit to hold candles
and heads full of loose screws
hold powerful offices
govern from pews

Low men on high horses
and caught with pants down
got nil on Godiva
gadding all about town

Pots call kettles black
and once upon a blue moon
justice prevails
victories small and hard hewn

Keeping nose to the grindstone
and paying with arms legs and heart
a fertile mind screams
just keep making art

Get your three squares
and beeline to the hive
but find the bumblers and fumblers
they are your tribe

Life in a pickle jar
and facing the music
pay heed  inner wild children
they are the muses

Make all days red letter
and pull out all the stops
climb trees climb mountains
view your world from hilltops

live high on that hog
for yours doth have wings
and when lift-off fails
get up on a swing

Affix rose coloured glasses
and don your finest of finery
misbegotten cretins remain
but you’ll make damn fine scenery

~Marcela: Idiomatically yours. 
November 11, 2018

Poetry: All Rights Reserved, please share with attribution


Where do we run to, Sister….?


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Where do we run to Sister? The noise on the outside, the noise in our heads, where do we run to Sister? May we find a place to rest our minds for the noise all around is building prison walls with no means of escape, where do we run to Sister?

I run no more Brother, I run no more. I find solace in my mind for I know it to be aware and fertile. I find peace in my heart with self for I know me better, now. I seek peace and solitude in my personal environment for my public environments are loud with others’ pain. I run no more Brother, I run no more.

Be still in your heart my Sister, for it knows the true meaning of truth & tranquility. Run no more my Sister. Be still in your heart…

My heart breaks my Brother, my heart breaks. It breaks or us, for them, for me… and I understand, why Vincent cut off his ear… .

I understand as well, we are here for other reasons, not to gouge out our eyes or cut off our ears. We are here to witness and listen. We must give credence to those who cannot do for themselves… he says as he carries his 20 year old dog outside, because he can no longer make the journey alone. Along with the fear in his eyes I see much love and understanding as he holds on knowing that he is safe in my arms. Soon I will have to let go, where do I run to sister?

I held Gloria’s hand, for she had no other, when her eyes saw no more, and I had to let her go. I understand. I seek Brother, and we run no more, we run no more.

Gloria was honoured to have held your hand, she moves on knowing that some one cared and now she too, runs no more. I love you sister…

We have battled over our differences, only to find, that we are so alike. I love you brother.

We battle no more my sister, we battle no more… we took different paths to get to the same place. One can only fight with one self for so long before the futility becomes evident and it is evident to me that we are ONE my sister, we stand together as one, and we run no more.

I cry tears of joy my Brother, I cry tears of joy. And I laugh my Brother, I laugh aloud! For we are cut from the same cloth, and our seams are crooked, but they tear no more Brother, they tear no more!

Yes, they are crooked and you know we wouldn’t have it any other way, the straight path was never meant for us… we are adventurers of sorts and must stray off the path every now and then. It is what makes us feel alive. Walk the crooked path my sister for I am behind you sewing up the seams and filling the potholes as you do for me.

Where do we run to sister, where do we run…? We run no more Brother, we run no more.


This poem is the literal and direct outcome of something I posted to my personal Facebook page. It is the ensuing thread of comments/replies, to the original post. In it, I was expressing my dismay with others’ disregard for their neighbours. The post occurred in a moment of significant emotional, physical and psychological fatigue and pain. The unwitting poem began with the heartfelt words of my brother Tom in response, and took us somewhere quite unexpected, or is it… that? Out of current and more long ago struggles and battles, individual and mutual, we created something deeply meaningful to me, and I am thunderstruck by its depth and the reverberations still going through me, hours later… I am beautifully blind-sided, by its acuity and by its power to break me down, in the most beautiful way, though not without some anguish, to the core. This could not have happened, without his input, which only serves to underscore and demonstrate, the entire point of my original post, and what I am challenged with on a daily basis: what we do (good/bad and all points in between), matters, has impact, good/bad and all points in between. We are connected to everything and everyone, and we live a world which increasingly diminishes, denies and destroys, that. The words of my brother are his heart, my responses are mine. The continuing love and loyalty of my one and only ever best friend Sue, the immediately raw responses of my friends Collie and Carol to the thread/poem, are theirs, and I am profoundly moved by and grateful for, the presence, in my unruly and precarious life, of these women, and my brother Tom. You have done good work mama Marcella, you have done good work. All of your toil, sacrifice and pain, have not gone unnoticed, have not been in vain. And we love you. This poem is yours, mama, it is of your making, word for word.
~Marcela & Tom, with Sue, Collie and Carol.

November 03, 2018

Writing and photographs: All Rights Reserved.