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This awesome post is by a friend of mine who has inspired our documentary on Thai kids recovering from sexual exploitation in the sex tourism industry. I hope you enjoy it and, if you feel moved, please consider a small donation towards the film at

Christal Earle

On the other side of the world, as I type this and as you read these words, there are some people writing history in a capacity we can only imagine. Day after day, they love. Through the good, the bad and the very ugly, they choose love. Because love is the only thing that is strong enough to reach into those places, the only thing strong enough to pick people up and help them move on. They are quiet, dedicated heroes whose actions have challenged many of us to ask ourselves, “What would I be willing to give?”.

In all honesty, if you are Canadian, the concept of compassion may not fully infiltrate your conscious thought. Compassion. One word that means so much. To some, it is a symbol of a child on their kitchen fridge door – a monthly commitment they value and look at with pride and hope…

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Sometimes the most powerful images are those that we don’t take. In the same way, not speaking sharpens what we want to say. Today was like that. So here are a series of images in words.

First image: The widow, wheeled out in a wheelchair, her fragile body filling just half the chair. The wailing, like Lear’s, shaking souls to their roots.

Second image: At the cemetery, a line of bare trees in the whiteness broken by a single tree lifting a “leg” to dance in the midst of sorrow. As I encircle it, I see that the “lifted leg” is an unconnected stump; a dead thing still needed – in this case – to remind us that  joy is plentiful.

Third image: At the cemetery exit, one iron bar is glowing red like a brand. The fire goes out when the van in front of us moves into traffic.

Fourth image: Sam (the dearly departed), smiling, laughing as he always did. What a guy. I’ll miss him.


Sandy Hook Writer’s Block

Many apologies to my readers for going awol. Blog posts “should be” released in a consistent pattern, say online media experts. But my heart has not been in it these days. I don’t know if anyone else has gone through this, but I’ve been absolutely crushed by the mass murder in Newtown. I’ve started on a dozen blog posts, but they all seemed too trite to finish. And maybe this one is, too.

Maybe it was these four characters hunched around the flame that got me working again

Maybe it was these four characters hunched around the flame that got me working again

The text on the left of the photo above says “In this house we do real, we do mistakes, we do real loud, we do second chances”, a remix of the many “In This House” declarations out there, custom-made by my daughter for our family. That’s when I took up my camera again – to find some solace in the beauty of the world, and, perhaps to share it. Picasso, as I recently read in Brain Pickings, said that the “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

Snow and architecture

I’d been waiting for something exciting to happen at this streetcar stop for a long time. Yesterday, the blizzard provided it.

Another famous artist, the anonymous “Anonymous”, said “The Show Must Go On”, the mission statement of all dramatists, actors, entertainers and fools. And the fool, as Shakespeare wrote, over and over again, is wiser than the judge, for he realizes that the best he can do is to share his gift. We hear of athletes playing through injury, the actor playing through heart ache, and the writer writing to exorcise ghosts. Luckily, as I go on, my mandate as an artist, and the love around me, are thawing my creative juices.


This is part of one of my more obsessive projects: Unearthing the world inside women

I hope you enjoyed this post. It took me long enough :)


Bill Brandt

Bill Brandt is one my favourite old masters – one who I completely forgot until I ran across one of his haunting images at the Victorian Vampire Society’s Facebook page.

Bret Culp is one of Canada’s finest photographers. Canadian Photography Online has just published a long-overdue interview, with a link to Bret’s home page. It’s well worth the visit.

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