Makenew at Love, Me

Anna Gilkerson’s current Makenew collection is at Love, Me Boutique all day today! I was at the shop last eve and  was so impressed by the whole scene. Anna has managed to create collections of vintage clothes with such cohesion and a small footprint.

I love the concept. Recycled clothes are great… but we can feel sometimes like it is second best. Makenew is the perfect antidote. Each piece takes on new life within the theme of the collection, it finds new ways to be worn that are current and in great taste. Kinda like have a personal shopper and a stylist- but you will still spend less than you would shopping new!

Check out the website to see the collections and the great fashion photos (you can shop online too!).

It is totally worth going to see the clothes in person though. Head down to my favorite shop in Halifax, Love, Me Boutique!

1539 Birmingham St
Halifax, NS B3J 2J6
(902) 444-3668


Back on the horse!

It has been a long time since I have posted here on made for you. I have been in a whirlwind of chaos with children, jobs, household, weather, elections and emotions. I have had so much to write about and yet so little space to do it. Is there more space today? Maybe… or maybe I just had to get back on the horse- space or no space!
I have been contemplating the upcoming holiday of Mother’s Day. It is a stranger day for me now that I am a mother. Before it was so straight forward, I celebrated my mom. Now I am celebrated as a mother as well as appreciating my own mother. This expansion has inspired me to think of this day in an even bigger way… What does mother mean to us? Outside of having a mom or not or being a mom or not. Is motherness living and impacting our lives? I strive to connect with the space and nurture of mother energy, yet feel busy and overwhelmed much of the time. This weekend I am going to attempt to create space, for myself and for others. Please join me in this monumental and noble task!

Wanna Work Together?

I like working around other people. I really like working with other people. Unfortunately a lot of the work I do seems to be solitary: writing emails, writing blog posts, drawing and designing. I enjoy the work I do, but I find that if I am alone, I have a hard time being disciplined, I run into roadblocks and I get restless easily. So, along with many others, I take my work out into the world. I perch with my laptop at Steve-o-reno’s or Fred and drink lattes while doing the same work I would have done at home. Despite the interruptions, chats and bustle of a cafe, I still get more work done. I feel inspired and invigorated by the world and people around me and I use my time more efficiently.

In a further effort to do work around others, I have become a member at The Hub on Barrington St. The Hub is a shared workspace where many individuals (lawyers, designers, programmers, facilitators, entrepreneurs…etc.) get together, in a beautiful space, and do their own work. Fortunately there are no cubicles, and the cross pollination of this shared place is alive and sparky. People network, share ideas, and develop partnerships. Although I am still learning the lay of the land, I feel as though I am on a honeymoon, basking in the vibrant social environment, focused and grounded in my work and ready for the next big moment.

Another social work situation in my life is The Mother Hub on Almon St. Having a new baby at home it has been very challenging to keep up with work demand on top of babe care and house hold tasks. I found myself having this conversation with mother’s all around me. “How do you get anything done?” So, inspired by The Hub, I opened my house up on Tuesday to new mother’s who need some space to get something done. People bring there babes and a lunch and the task at hand. We swap around to allow for each person to have some time to write, read, fill out forms, knit, make some calls…or even have a nap. A sense of accomplishment and support is the result.

Together and alone there is much to be done. I appreciate that my work is exponentially better when created with others and my energy is increased when inspired by the work of others. Halifax is a great place to share ideas, not only because we need a lot of great ones, but also because there is so much potential for them to be realized.

Love for Love

So it is the end of the love month and I have one last post to make.

A personal love that informs and supports all of the other areas of my life. This is for my sweet and loyal husband, best friend and partner in all things, Noel. It has been a challenging month of juggling children, working our butts off, keeping the house together and making plans. Our lives are exploding with ideas and  inspiration, diapers and distractions, tension and tenderness. While in the thick of this seeming insanity I get claustrophobic and emotional, I feel as though things will never loosen up or relax; there will never be enough time.

Where is that guy I married? We have talked about groceries, money, school drop offs and email, but we have not really seen each other. When I find my friend, all of a sudden I am back in a space where I feel like things are workable.  We can operate as a partnership and a creative force, and my energy and capacity is exponentially increased. All of a sudden we have time to talk about subtle feelings and neurotic confessions, aspirations and theory or nothing at all. We see each other.

Five years ago we were married in our little apartment on Harvey St. We vowed to love each other and support each others work in the world. To take care of our family and take care of this world in all the ways we could think of. I am amazed at the weight of that commitment and the places it has taken us. Two children and two apartments later we are right on the edge of our lives. Devoted to this place of Nova Scotia and learning all we can from other parts of the world. Experiencing an incredible wave of creativity and collaboration and working to bring it into our home and work and city on daily basis.

To my partner in all things: Sweep me off my speedy feet, woo me with wonder, romance me with radical notions and accost me with affection. Let us keep up the love through all months of the year and explore our dark and deep hearts in every moment.

The Case. Part 6.

The last bit by Amanda Hester.



Ginger sat at a table playing cards, he looked up as Sydney came in but only for a moment.  He sniffed derisively, going back to the game.  Sydney waited for the hand to finish and then pulled a chair up a short distance from the man.

“Why’d you kill the girl?” He asked in a bored tone.

“What are you a cop?” The man laughed and the room joined in.

Sydney used the chair to push off; he put all of his weight behind the hit, and heard something in his hand make an unhappy clicking sound as it connected with the square jaw-line.  Within a moment he had a million hands on him, hitting him hard and pulling him away. A cold knife pressed angry against his liver.

“Let him go. Let him go.” The red-haired man grinned as he rubbed his jaw.

“You’ve still got one hell’uv’a cross, for a washed out drunk.  Alright so you’re not a cop, no need to get angry.  Have a seat.” He laughed and waived his thugs away.  Sydney shook the last of their hands off of him and sat back down, his eyes were dark.

Ginger cracked his neck and stretched, and then sucker punched Sydney knocking him off his chair.  He sprawled out, hitting the floor hard.  When he got up Ginger nodded at him and ordered two drinks.

“What’s the girl to you?” His voice was light, but his eyes were dangerous.

“Nothing.  Why’d you kill her?”  Sydney sat down again and lit a cigarette.  When the drinks came he drank it in one. He felt nauseous.

“Didn’t.  I was right here the whole time.” A few of the men in the room chuckled.

“Okay, why’d you have one of your boys kill her?”

“Who says I did?”

“I says.  I saw it.”  Ginger looked at him, sizing the man up.

“You gonna tell anyone what you saw?”


“So what, just curious? Or where you sleepin with her too?”

“I’m working a case. . . That why she’s dead? Cuz she was sleeping with someone?”

“No” Ginger shrugged and nodded to a man at the table to start dealing cards.  “She lied to me.  That’s what happens.  You lie to a man like me, maybe you end up dead.”  He growled at the dealer not to include Wolfe in the hand.

Sydney watched the men bidding and thought.

“You sure she was lying?”  Ginger stopped and looked at him.  “Maybe she really didn’t know where Daniels was.” The man paused, but then shrugged and kept playing.

“She knew, and she knew better then to start throwing a fit in the middle of my business.  She shouldn’t have tried to hide him from me.  She was more clever than she let on.  She had it coming.”  He spoke like his words were acid.  Sydney watched his face closely.

“So you know where Daniels is?” He asked. The man’s eyes hardened.

“I will.” The man kept his eyes on the table, answering the detective out of the corner of his mouth.  Sydney leaned back in his chair and motioned for another drink.

“That’s funny Ginger; I never would have figured you for the jealous type.”

This time the hit knocked him out, and for a while there was just stars and black.  When he came to, his mouth hurt and tasted of dirt, blood, and bourbon.  He was lying face down behind The Can, his head pulsing in time with his heartbeat.  He walked up the street and waited for a cab.  Halfway home he had the driver pull over so that he could vomit.  When he got home he took a shower and went to bed.

The next day was Sunday.  He took the day off, and drank until he met oblivion; they stayed together until the evening when he left a voicemail for Samantha Daniels.  It said to meet him at the Westcliff diner in the afternoon, that he had solved the case.  He put on a record and went to bed.


Samantha Daniels walked into the small diner in the West end.  Men sat at a table by the window, in hockey jerseys talking loudly.  The man in the dirty corduroy suit sat at a corner booth in the back.  She went over and sat down across from him.  He called to Martha to bring them coffee.  He looked at Samantha with warm dark eyes and asked her conscientiously whether she would like anything to eat.  She said no and the man ordered himself a cheeseburger and a slice of pie.

Sydney Wolfe P. I. looked even less impressive than the first time they’d met.  The left side of his face was swollen and bruised, and there was a cut on his lip.  She wondered why she felt nervous, and sat up straighter holding her hands in her lap so that they didn’t fidget.  Decades later she would still be able to recall the scent of the man in front of her.  It was a mixture of hard alcohol, coffee, and cigarettes.  It was like another world, the smell of uncles, and grandfathers; old men at bus-stops.  She looked at the man and thought of the two plain envelopes in her purse; she wondered what would happen next.

Sydney’s whole being felt exhausted and all he wanted to do was finish here and go fall back into the arms of his soft couch, bourbon, and jazz.  Looking up from his coffee and lunch he took out his note pad with the broken wire and began.

“As you know, your husband was involved with a gang of criminals led by a man named Ginger.  Sally Shields, real name Turner, was a member of this group.  Either deliberately or not she got into the office, and bed, of the Councilman and got him hooked on drugs, probably cocaine.   At some point the Councilman got involved with Ginger, forging documents and using his connections to get a shipment of containers from Germany through customs without being searched.  These allegedly contain steel for a construction gig out in Fall River, but it is more likely they’re drugs; I’m guessing Hashish, though I couldn’t say for certain.  The shipment comes in this Thursday, and as far as I can tell, the thing should at this point go off as planned with or without the Councilman, which suggests to me that you knew most, if not all, of this already.”  She looked at him with cool blue eyes.

“And why is that detective?’  Her voice was soft and calm; curious, almost sweet.

He said with a sigh, “Because on either Monday night, or Tuesday afternoon, you killed him.”

“Why on earth would I do that?” Still curious, calm, soft.

“I don’t know a million reasons probably.  You were tired of him, the marriage, his crass affairs.  You aren’t the kind of woman who gets a divorce; you’re the kind who gets away with murder.  I imagine you think it is cleaner, more civilized. I don’t know why, only you do.  But I thing it’s likely that it had something to do with the fact that you’ve been embezzling funds from your investors for years, cleaning it through his office. Maybe he helped, or more likely he just let you do whatever you needed.  Maybe he didn’t even know, only guessed. But either way you killed him.  I don’t know how or where, I didn’t look into that, I could if you want me to, but I’m guessing there’s no need.  Doubt it’ll trace back to you, and that’s all you wanted me for, isn’t it?”

Her face was still, her eyes were clear.  “What about the girl?”

He looked at her then, he wondered if she didn’t already know.  He felt nauseous and wished he had a drink; he should have had them meet at a bar.

“She’s dead, killed two nights ago; probably by the thugs she worked with.” He felt angry with the city, with all the people in it.  He should get a cabin somewhere, go and get away from it all.  He handed her a small stack of files and papers.

“Here, these are the records you left in Daniels’ office.  From what I gather he didn’t have the brains to pull it off without you, so I wouldn’t leave’em around.  Cops are stupid, but they aren’t that stupid.”

She took them and put them into her purse.  She took out the thicker of the two envelopes and handed it across to the man.

“Here,” she said, “In appreciation for your services.”

He took it. “Sure, thanks.”

She spoke casually; she felt confident again, breath came easier.  “Do you think I should go to the police now?”

“I would.  You can mention that you hired me, I doubt they’ll ask many questions.”

“And if they do?” He smiled at her. He shrugged.  She realized that he didn’t like her.  She reached into her purse and wrote him a check, it wasn’t excessive, but it would do.  He took it and began to eat his lunch.

“I’ll steer ‘em in the right direction.”

“Thank you.”

He nodded.

She put on her jacket, she was calm, collected.  The man ate his lunch and didn’t look at her as she wished him ‘good day’ and left the diner.   She went to the police station and reported her husband missing.  She never saw Sydney Wolfe again, although years later when a friend in unique trouble came to her for help she would recommend his services.

The investigation into the Councilman’s disappearance led to a major drug bust later that week, it was decided that he had probably been killed by the criminals he’d been working with once his part in the deal was done.  Months later his body was found washed up on a beach.  The Police determined that he had been shot to death and then dumped in the harbour.  The gun used was never found.  Samantha Daniels was cleared of suspicion early on in the investigation.


Farm Love

I am a city mouse/country mouse. I don’t think I will ever be one or the other. I was fortunate enough to grow up with a farm life and an urban life. I feel deeply connected to the busy, moving, social world of the city and the earthy, open, quiet space of the farm and forest. These two places offer me nourishment in different ways and help me to gain perspective on the other.

I have been hearing more and more about farm centered events in the city. Musicians for Farmers, Love your Farmer, dinners hosted by farmers, and connecting producers and consumers more directly… I am so excited about this wave and look forward to learning more. I will keep you all up to date on the latest trends in Farm Love arena.

This week there will be a rally at the Turning Circle next to the Seaport Market. Saturday Feb. 26th at 11am. Come and show your support for farmers, food, and the protection of our precious farmland. See you there!

The Case. Part 5.

The next installment of ‘The Case of the Missing Councilman’ by Amanda Hester.



After eating a shoddy breakfast and leaving a voicemail for Sam Daniels, Sydney headed back to the office.  He called Sally to come over and let him in.  She looked tired and grumpy, and was clearly displeased at having been called in on her day off.  But she didn’t put up a fight when he asked for a list of the Councilman’s appointments.  She found him what he wanted, handed him the keys to lock up, and left.  Her mouth and eyes pouted at him angry and abused and once again he couldn’t help smiling as he watched her walk away.

The rest of the morning, and most of the day, was spent making phone calls and chasing down appointments.  Most of it was a bust, but after bribing a buddy of his who worked at the shipyard he was able to find the container number for a shipment of steel the Councilman had signed through customs that was coming in on Thursday.  It was Saturday, and he and his buddy were in the ship yard alone.

“They open the containers when they come in?” Sydney asked as they walked back to the parking lot.

“Not always.  Yours won’t be, been cleared through customs already, got a rush on it.  Guess they need it for some construction job that’s on a deadline or something out in Fall River. I don’t know. . . Why?” His buddy eyed him strangely.

“No reason. . . Don’t go lookin into it though, okay?”

“Yeah, sure Syd.  I’ll give you a call if there’s anything . . . you know, strange.  Give my best to your sister hey?”

“Thanks. . . and yeah I’ll tell her ‘hi’.”  His buddy smiled like an idiot and got into his car. He drove away.  Sydney smoked looking out at the containers and the harbour behind them.  He hadn’t spoken to his sister in years; he didn’t plan on doing so any time soon.  She lived with her family in Winnipeg and thought he was a drunk.  He thought she was a stuck up whore. He grimaced, put his cigarette out, and drove up-town.  Chris’s car kept stalling because of the cold.  Sydney exhaled heavily, hating the world.

By the time he met with Samantha Daniels that evening he had gone through most of the $500, minus his fee, and he told her so.

“I figured as much,” she demurred, and handed him another envelope.  It was heavier than the first had been. Sydney didn’t comment, he put it away and flipped open his note pad.

“So there were a couple appointments Daniels didn’t make on Tuesday, from what I can tell he didn’t go into the office that day, and it is definite that no one has seen him since.”

“What about that Shields girl?” She asked in a biting tone.

“Nope.  Not from what I can find.  It’s sure she doesn’t know where he is now.”  He watched her reaction.  “Jealous?” He asked.

“Don’t be absurd!” She tossed her hair.  “So what now, do you think I should go to the police?” Her eyes flickered and she sipped at her martini.

“Nah, I’d wait out the weekend.  I’m guessing he was involved in a smuggling operation with one of the tougher gangs in the Province.  Probably one of them killed him, but I don’t know why yet.  I’d say hang tight.  Monday’ll be soon enough to go to the cops. . . Did you know anything about it?”  He looked at her face, it had no expression.

“You mean the smuggling?”

“Yeah, or the gang.”

There was a moment of pause between them as they sat looking at each other.  Samantha Daniels finished her martini.

“I had no idea.  I suspected something, but I had no idea it was that.  I figured he had just gotten carried away with that tramp from his office.  It wouldn’t have been the first time. But no, I didn’t know he’d . . . fallen so far.  It is surprising to say the least.”

She didn’t seem surprised, but then Sydney figured, maybe she wouldn’t.

“You know why he might do something like that? Were you having money troubles?” He asked casually.  He knew the answer; he’d already seen the files at the office. But he wanted to see what she would say.

We weren’t, but perhaps he was.  We have separate finances.  If he was having trouble it is probable he wouldn’t tell me about it.  Inferiority complex!  He has always been . . . sensitive to the differences in our level of competence.”  Her voice was cool, truthful.  She ordered another drink.

“Why didn’t you get a divorce?” Sydney knew the answer.

“How vulgar! Please!  We discussed it a few months ago, I would of course have been happy to oblige him in such foolishness.  However I pointed out to him what an ugly spectacle that would make of both our lives.  He understood and the topic was dropped.  Besides, he depends on me entirely.  It was merely drama.  I am afraid that my husband is in truth a fairly stupid man.”  She drank her second martini in one. “But, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to find him detective Wolfe, or that I don’t care enough to make sure that he is safe and well.”

Leaving money on the table she got up to go.

“Let me know what you discover.  I shall wait to go to the police until you have advised me.  Good evening.”  She did not look backward as she left.  Sydney finished his drink and watched her go.




Sydney went home to eat dinner and drink.  Around 1030 he went out again to a posh bar up-town to drink some more.  He found Tyler Grey sitting in a corner with some people and sat down nearby to ignore him.  He drank fast with his head down and wished that he could smoke.  After twenty minutes Tyler came over, he looked excited.

“Heya Wolfe, let me buy you a drink.” He put his arm around the detective like they were old friends.

“Yeah sure.  How you figure we’re so chummy all of a sudden?” He hoped he didn’t look smug.  They got their drinks and Grey slipped onto the stool beside him.

“I hear Daniels is missing.” Grey looked at him expectantly, like a kid at a toy store.

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, I found out last night after talkin to you.  Got back to the party and everyone was talking about it.  Common Syd, you wouldn’t hold out on your old friend.” He grinned.  His face made Sydney want to punch it.

“I guess he might be.  Why’d the mill say he was?” He ordered another drink, on Grey. They both had one.

“Well, actually I’ve been doing some detecting of my own since then, spoke with Jenny Brooks over drinks at the after party.  She knew all about it.  You know her?”  The kid was smug and Sydney wanted to hit him even more.  Instead he shrugged.

Jenny Brooks was the city’s society gossip and busy body.  Sydney didn’t know her personally, but he knew of her.  He figured she probably did know all about everything, although she seemed to have sense enough not to tell all that she knew.

“What did she say it was?” He asked, pretending not to be interested.

“Coke and extortion is what she figures.  Although, I can’t believe he would be embezzling anything, he worked with city contracts so he had access to the funds, but he didn’t have the brains for it, and he never asked me for any help.”

“Not that you would have condoned it if he had, right? Cuz’ you’re all on the up an up, right?”  Grey just laughed.  He was enjoying himself.  His friends called over to him from the corner.

“That’s right Wolfey, strictly legit. Well anyway, what do you think is going on? What were all those questions about the other night, you think maybe he was embezzling after all? . . . Yeah! Just a minute.” He called back to the corner.

“Yeah maybe, or maybe he just went on a vacation to get away from it all.”

Grey eyed him suspiciously but was tight enough not to care too much.  He shrugged, then smiled, and winked, and gave him the old punch on the arm; Sydney ground his teeth.  The kid stumbled back to his table to make up a story full of intrigue. Sydney finished his drink, got up, and left.

He had returned Chris’s car after his meet with Mrs Daniels so he hailed a cab to take him to The Can.  It was a little after midnight and he knew Ginger would be there playing cards.  He had the cab drop him a block away so that he could approach on foot; he needed the air and exercise to clear his head.

Halfway there he heard two gunshots and the wheels of a car screech. A moment later an old grey sedan flew past him with two men in it.  One was the young thug from the night before.

Sally Turner was slumped against the side of the bar.  A cigarette still burned between the fingers of her hand.  Her face was relaxed and stared into a patch of snow that had withstood the rain.  She had on a red dress and heels, and her lips were a different shade then they had been that morning. They no longer pouted.  They would never again pout, or sneer, or smile.  Sydney looked at her and his look was hard and cold.  There were two holes in the fabric of her dress, and a dark stain had begun to paint the ground.  A few people had come outside; they stood at a distance and looked at the detective.  He sighed heavily and walked past her into the bar.

“Someone should call the cops.” He said, stepping past the bus-boy who gawked in the doorway.

The cops came and took her away.  He knew the two guys who went around asking questions from back in the day.  They didn’t get any helpful answers; this wasn’t the crowd for that.  It made them aggressive, and that made their ‘witnesses’ even less cooperative.

Sydney sat at the bar drinking.  He decided to punch them if they asked him anything, which would get him arrested and probably beat up.  It would be worth it.  He drank some more.

Either the cops didn’t think anything he had to say would be worth hearing, or else they didn’t want to deal with the paper-work.  They ignored him, finished asking questions and finally left.  Feeling belligerent and reckless Sydney ordered another drink and went into the back room to speak with Ginger, no body tried to stop him.


The Case. Part 4.

Sorry I missed this on Sunday. Here is the next installment by the fantastic Amanda Hester.


Sydney Wolfe was out of place in the lobby of the hotel, let alone in the ballroom.  Mrs. Daniels was unimpressed when she found him standing by the hors d’oeuvres table.

“What on earth are you doing here?” She whispered coldly as she came over to stand nearby looking away.

“Pursuing leads in the case as I find em.” He answered, eating casually.  The well dressed men and women in the room looked at his shabby clothes and dirty hair with contempt and disdain.   He didn’t mind.

Before Mrs. Daniels could move away the Mayor came over.  He greeted her, familiarly kissing her cheek; he ignored the detective who at his approach stepped in closer to the couple.

“Sam darling, it’s so good to see you.  Is Herald here?  We were supposed to have drinks the other day but he never showed.  I hope he’s not ill.”

Mrs Daniels smiled and edged closer to the Mayor, away from the man at her side.  But before she could answer, Sydney spoke, “What day was that? If you don’t mind my asking, that you were supposed to meet with Councilman Daniels?”

The Mayor looked at the man suspiciously and answered, “Tuesday, at The Press, with Matt and Jerry, but he never showed . . . who are you?”

“No one, just a friend of Mrs Daniels.”    Sydney smiled at the uncomfortable woman, nodded to the Mayor, and moved away.  In a far corner he found the man he had been looking for.

Tyler Grey was an accountant for the city.  He had worked for the municipality for over ten years and had lined his and his friend’s pockets for all ten of those.  His records were always on the up and up, and the majority of his business was legitimate.  But if a politician wanted to launder money, he was the man to grease the wheels.  Sydney found him wearing a well cut suit and schmoozing with a cocktail waitress in the corner.

He’d worked with Tyler a few years ago, all the kid cared about was money.  He liked thinking of himself as a big fish so he swam in small ponds, getting off on the intrigue of petty crimes and extortion.

“Nice to see you again Grey.  Buy you a drink?” Wolfe stepped forward nudging a shoulder between the man and the girl, and slipping a $50 with his other hand into the man’s pocket.  The man looked unpleasantly at the detective, but then nodded and shrugged apologetically at the girl.

“Sure Wolfe, lets go over to the bar.  Sorry sweetheart, some other time.” He winked obnoxiously as they walked away.  The girl simpered.

They left the function and went across the lobby to the bar.  Sydney hadn’t eaten yet so he ordered a Guinness.

“What’s your business Syd?” The man asked as they sat down.

“You come here last Monday with Councilman Daniels? I got a receipt says you did.” Sydney tried to sound friendly.

“Sure, we had lunch.  What about it?”  Grey eyed the detective warily.  Sydney took out another $50 and slid it across to the man.

“Just lookin for what you talked about is all.  Off the record, nothing official.”

“Who wants to know?” He asked.

“The wife.”

The man took the money and sipped at his drink.  “Daniels was gonna be coming into some money, wanted to know what I thought he should do with it.  I told him.  Simple as that.”

Sydney nodded understanding. “He say where it was coming from?”

“No.  And I didn’t ask.”

“How’d you suggest he clean it?”

“Wife’s charity, I figured she would . . . know how to run something like that.” His slight chuckle was irritating, “I told him if she didn’t like it, I’d take care of it through one of my own projects, so long as he cut me in, he said alright, and we left it at that.  Haven’t heard from him since though.  What’s this all about?”

His eyes looked hungrily at the detective, pink in the cheek.  Tyler loved the cloak and dagger nonsense.  Sydney shrugged.

“Nothing.  Let me know if you hear from him though, okay?.”  He handed him a card. “By the way, when was this pay-day supposed to be coming in?”

Tyler took the card and finished his drink, getting up to go.

“Next week sometime. . . I’ll tell you what though, you see him you tell him to call me.”  He winked obnoxiously again and went back to join the party, leaving Sydney with the bill.


Sydney called a cab to take him back to his apartment on North.  On the way he had the driver pass by the girl’s place on Charles.  A light was on and he could see Sally in the kitchen talking on the phone, she looked upset.

Chris Corrigan was a retired cop who lived in the neighbourhood, about a block away from the girl, Sydney sometimes went there to smoke his cigarettes and play cards.  He went there now instead of going home.  Chris was there, old and grey and probably dying slowly like most retired cops did.  He was wearing his housecoat and watching t.v. He told Sydney to “bugger off”, he didn’t want to play cards.  His house smelled of soup.  Sydney didn’t care, he took the keys to an old civic that were hanging on the wall and told the man he’d be back before morning.  The old cop didn’t respond.

The lights were still on when the detective pulled up, parking the car across the street, but the girl was no longer in the kitchen.  Sydney waited, smoking.  After a while she came back into the room, this time followed by a young thug who looked familiar.  Sydney recognized him as one of Ginger’s boys.  The two were arguing and every now and then Sally would get heated enough to try and strike him.  They went on like this for about twenty minutes before the phone rang.  Sydney watched the girl’s face as she answered it.

Ten minutes later a cab pulled up in front of the building and honked.  The lights in the apartment went off and both the girl and the kid came out, looking as chummy as ever, and got in.  Sydney followed the cab to a house in a bad part of the South End.  He watched the two get out and hurry inside.  He figured the place was one of Ginger’s.  After a while he parked in a dark alley off the street and took out his .38.  He pulled his hat down and walked around the building looking for an open window.

A couple of Ginger’s boys stood in the back smoking and cracking wise.  Through a side window Sydney could see Ginger and the girl sitting at the kitchen table.  The man’s face was calm and no redder than usual; the girl was flush and angry.  She had the papers from the Councilman’s office spread out on the table.  Her voice was shrill, and through the window he could hear the girl yelling.

“Why don’t you ask him?  Everything looks like he did.”

Ginger’s low response was inaudible, but it freaked the girl out.  Her voice became higher and louder.

“Why are you asking me that? I don’t know, I keep telling you!” She was frantic and Wolfe watched the red haired man reach out and pet her hand, speaking low and soothing.  He watched fear fill her pretty blue eyes.

“I told you everything I know.” He heard her say.  “The wife’s hired a private detective.  I don’t think she knows either.”

The rest of the conversation was lost to posterity as a dog came around the side of the house and began to bark.  Sydney slowly moved away into the darkness.  He brought the car back to Chris, watched some t.v. and smoked.  Then he went home.  He poured himself a drink and put on a record, by the time he woke up it was morning.

Heartbreak is the new Romance

This was the title of a photo show a I did at NSCAD years ago. I felt so fed up with the myth of romance and much more connected to the reality of heartbreak. The  images I used were of a wind-up toy heart in the refrigerator. It was a visual choice more than a symbolic one really, but the images have remained meaningful to me so far. They are fully in tune with the theme this month. All about the power of vulnerability, dissolving boundaries and exploring the real love.

In my relationships with parents, friends, lovers and children, I have experienced the greatest love through heartbreak. I am not talking about the “OMG I got dumped and now have to spend Valentine’s Day ALONE!” kinda heartbreak. This is the kind where you actually feel your heart. Bloody and beating and tender and gross. Together is not better than alone because they are equally exposed and terrifying. Heartbreak that makes you wonder if you will ever feel anything else, while kind of hoping it will last forever.

Let’s take this day, this stupid day of hallmark  cards, disgusting candy and ridiculous pesticide soaked imported flowers and kick it to the curb. Make your own tradition of feeling your heart, as the magical and potent organ that it is. Wear it on the outside of your clothes and let the blood drip down into the snow as you walk down the street. Do not be embarrassed by your  show of tenderness but instead feel the dignity and power of true love. A broken heart.


Love to Share

This is a great talk. I love the concept cause I love to share. Well this is not completely and always true… but a lot of the time I like to share. My house, my food, my books, my thoughts, my children. I like to share other peoples cars, food, children power tools…  I felt so inspired by the very idea that this sort of thing is happening in such a huge way.

On a personal level sharing helps me to break out of my self indulgent patterns. If I begin thinking of how I can use the things I have to help others, I become less territorial about the things I own. I am less eager to accumulate more things, and begin to see needing help as an opportunity to reach out. I don’t see “needing help” as a deficiency, or some kind of poverty, but as the simple reality that all people are not all things, we don’t own all the things(or we shouldn’t have to!), we live together and we are interdependent. Things become a way to connect with others, and to learn to ask for help, even if that is as simple as ” Can I borrow one of your purses for my trip to Toronto?” (true story). I am realizing, more and more, that asking for help is as generous as offering help. How can we share our needs and offerings in order to uncover our own vulnerability and the wealth of our community? Share your ideas with me. I would love to hear what you know of that is happening in this vast field of sharing, collaboration and community.