Still Life

Wishing for more sleep. Rushing off to work. Making dinner— in a hurry. Making lunch— for the next day. Taking care of the basics of everyday life is a non-stop activity and, although this makes up the more mundane moments of my existence. it also paves the way for those much more poignant times that define the person I am.

With memories of joys experienced, lessons learned and observations made, we face each new day with an ever-richer perspective. In this issue of Room on One’s Own. our contributors explore a variety of “still life’ experiences in their creative works.

Such moments in our lives arrive in many different ways. Some are immedi ately and universally significant as in the case of Vivien Lougheed’s character facing an abortion in “El Paracito”. Tuulikki Tennant’s exploration of family abuse issues in “Hunkering”, or the emotions experienced after a romantic break-up in bren simmers’ “sun comes up it’s tuesday morning.”

More often, however, our significant moments are as unique to us as our fingerprints. From Helen Pereira’s “Seattle Slew. The Stars and Karma” to Sue Macleod’s poetry series to Nancy Holmes’ “Peel River Bridge. Yukon Territory.” the individual discoveries made by characters throughout this issue are threads in the tapestry of their lives. But while these experiences are utterly personal, they have meaning for us all. Often our best insights come from the stories of other people.

Sometimes it is reflection that makes an ordinary chapter in someone’s life become extraodinary. In Anne Hosanky’s “Snapshots.” Amanda Lamarche’s “The Clothesline’ and Penelope Karageorge’s “Smoke.” photos and memories of days gone by help the women in each story to better appreciate their personal history. Faded memories of the past also play a dominant role in Cathleen Hjalmarson’s ‘The Calm’ and Jessie Kindred’s “Baptism, Once Removed.” Artist Ellen McMahill muses on past, present and the self in a more tangible way—with bold pen and ink images.

Featured on the cover. Bille-Jo Thomson’s still life. ‘The Berries”, is an ode to all significant moments. Lush and inviting, the berries’ ripeness represents the best that they have to offer; in their short lives, they only have one moment to inspire. Here. Thomson has captured that moment forever. As humans, we are much more fortunate. We get to grow, learn and experience, again and again, ever-increasing our personal collection of “still lives.”



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