Sunday, December 31, 2023


This afternoon, I went for a stomp around the property.

I went down to the island, and instantly was transported to May of 2019. I mean, you couldn't walk three steps on the island in 2019 without being hit in the face by overgrown brush. Then there was the time, a few weeks later, when my dear friends Jim and Annette had come up from Toronto for a visit. I was giving them a tour, so we walked down the hill, to the bridge to the island. I had cleared a bit of overgrowth already. I leaned my hand against a tree trunk while I turned to say something to them...and the tree promptly fell over. I tried to make it look as though this had been my intention all along. It didn't fool them one iota. The island has been a microcosm of my life here: a lot of brute labour, a dearth of expertise. But slowly, slowly, it has borne fruit. I can now walk across the island unimpeded. As long as I've got my eyes glued to the ground, I'm safe on the island. 

Exactly five years ago today, where was I? It was my final day in the shop, Atelier Ivaan, and I was excited about winding down my stint as jeweller-in-residence, and even more excited about what was yet to come. I had no idea what I'd be doing next, but after seven years of doing the impossible and making it look like no big deal, I was ready for action. I often say my building was so compact, I could fit it into my swimming pool. That's no exaggeration. I worked there, I lived there, I saw clients in there, and I gardened on the roof deck. I so badly wanted some fresh air and some space around me that didn't include clients wanting something from me. I felt occasional pangs of guilt about abandoning Ivaan, but I'd spent more than a decade grieving him. It wasn't so much his death I was grieving; it was his life. I was dimly aware that in grieving the foreshortening of his life, I was also foreshortening mine. I was now older than he had ever been. I don't know what's going to happen next. I never know. But I guess I'll know it when I see it. 
Happy New Year's Eve 2023.

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