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Transforming Tumbles

On the cusp of 70, my mother has begun to slow down – but by her standards, that’s like down-shifting from the Indy 500 to the Autobahn. She was an indefatigable wife and mother and, after my parents divorced, an even more steadfast working single mom. Since her retirement, she has been globe-trotting routinely, starting…

Transforming Vivid

S is working on a scrapbook of our year abroad. She is good at them – the last one she made, of our 2008 Fringe tour, perfectly evoked the chaotic, grimy glory of the tour itself. She’d probably make more than one book per decade if we weren’t so busy having scrapbook-worthy experiences. I helped…

Transforming Weltschmerz

The phrase “crisis of faith” may not exactly inspire action movie music, but it deserves at least one stirring montage: the conflicted believer on his knees, struggling to pray; the drone of a priest’s sermon barely heard as tears slide down the doubter’s cheeks; maybe a visit to the grave of a loved one, or…

Transforming Timmy’s

Edmonton recently had its hopes raised, then summarily dashed, by the Oilers’ adequate performance in the playoffs. For a brief moment, all Canadians threw in with the plucky underdogs. We were envisioning a uniting moment, not unlike the one we got in 2016, when the Hip played Kingston. In Canada, we are always a bit…

Transforming Deluges

When it rains, it pours. Cape Breton gave us a week or so of decent weather — that is, some clouds, some rain, or some wind, but not all at once — but apres ca, le deluge. For a week now, it’s been unrelenting, and the damp has dampened the excitement of our homecoming. Weather…

Transforming Potluck

The potluck is at S’s boss’s house. The house used to belong to a different colleague, a fact which reflects the two-tiered world of Cape Breton: the academic haves trade resources – projects, homes – while the local-born blue-collars cling to a shrinking raft. But the neighbourhood kids don’t distinguish; they have invaded the potluck,…