Across the Divide

When I saw the book on Emma Gillis’ desk, I laughed so hard, I snorted. “Shall I put your name on it?” asked Pemberton’s Library Director, in her fantastic Irish brogue. “Sure.” When I pick it up from the Holds Shelf a few weeks later, I sneak it into the house and hide it under…

Breaking Points

Once, when I was really under pressure, blocked by my own ambition, I plagiarized. I stole an entire paragraph of someone else’s writing and offered it up as my own. The story ran in the newspaper. I was sent a cheque. And cashed it. No one ever found out. Except my mother, who was suspicious…

On the gift of attention: Best of Pemberton 2018

Once a year, this really nice thing happens to me. I genuinely thought this year, my time was past, so it was truly a surprise to open this week’s Pique newsmagazine, which celebrates some of the grooviest things about the place I live. And take a moment to realize this weird work I do, locked…

Grow Your Own: Revolution

Thanks to Feet Banks for asking me to write about seed libraries for the summer issue of Mountain Life, out now. (And also for his always judicious and amazing editing, and gentle suggestion that my original opening about the impending apocalypse might be a bit too much for bummer to keep people reading.) Give peas a chance at…

Mindless

What would a food journal or time tracking app tell you about your habits of consumption? On Friday, February 16, at 2:30pm, I downloaded the Moment app to my phone. I’d been reading about the rise of addictive technology and thought I should see where I stood. It’s been running in the background of my…

Stucum Wi: Wanosts’a7 Dr. Lorna Williams walks in wisdom, Part 2

My son heads off to kindergarten in September. Game-changer, friends say. You don’t get as much time as you think, say others. I can’t wait to learn to read, he says. What just happened to the past five years? I think. He will catch the school bus, from our driveway, through Mount Currie, to school….

Hope’s Journey

“What are you working on these days?” asked my friend Andrea. “Oh, this thing on happiness.” (I suck at the elevator pitch. Plus, I’m a bit superstitious about over-sharing a work-in-progress – as if you can squander your excitement for a project by communicating it verbally to someone, and then when you sit down at the page,…

A warrior for Wisdom: talking with Wanosts’a7 Lorna Williams, Part 1

 When Mt Currie’s Xetólacw Community School was created in 1972, it was only the second Band-run school in all of Canada. Starting a school was literally a groundbreaking move for a First Nations community. Lorna Williams was one of a handful of community members, many of them parents with small children, many of them survivors of…

Don’t Chase Happiness

“Try to swing your arms more vigorously when you walk,” says my husband. I scowl, and curb a desire to inflict violence on him. I hate when he tries to optimize me. He’s read an article that says you can trick your mind into feeling happier by moving your body in happy ways. Like swinging…