Adventures with Lulu Dog & The Writing Life



There is birdsound
And breath,

The padding of a dog.
There is birdflap and flutter:

A thrush punishing a thicket for
Not hiding it.

There is a question.

How long have I been walking
In these woods?

—From Sound / A Staircase For All Souls by George McWhirter

June 22: Lu just hiked 16k around Upper Kananaskis Lake without any help #Legend ...

June 21, 2020: Summer begins. National Indigenous People’s Day. Father’s Day. One hundred days of physical + social distance. Anti-racism movements. Political upheaval. A solar eclipse. International Yoga Day.
For now I’ve chosen to participate in the most pressing topics above primarily outside of social media. Today I use this square to acknowledge and thank @yogasantosha and @yogaandbeyondyyc for taking care of so many people these past three months.
Under all the circumstances we have found ourselves navigating in recent weeks, it can be easy to backslide into shallow breathing, accelerated thoughts, a sense of disconnection, low mood and even fury. These studios have offered us a space of mindfulness, calm, inclusivity and hope.
Yesterday I discovered a book, Fierce Medicine: Breakthrough Practices to Heal the Body and Ignite the Spirit by Ana T. Forrest — a startling and absorbing story of resilience and healing #InternationalYogaDay #Yoga #FierceMedicine

June 13 // Storm. Hail the size of tennis balls shredded the vinyl siding of homes, smashed windshields & popped out headlights. A tornado touched down outside of Calgary & a flash flood moved over a major highway. I do love thunderstorms but this was pretty crazy ⚡️————————————————————————📸 = Jeremy Thomas ...

Out of my yoga pants for tonight’s live video presentation of @writersguildab 2020 Alberta Literary Awards (usually a gala) — 8 p.m. sharp via Writers’ Guild of Alberta Facebook page. Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists! 🥂
#AlbertaLiteraryAwards #WritersGuildOfAlberta

And how do we feel about 26 degrees & sun? Her face says it all. ...

I’z smell lighter days in the air — inaugural (2020) hike up Two Pines today #Hike #Homegirl #TinyWolf #Chi ...

May 22: Rain-swollen river, high stream flow advisory, new moon & sunnier skies on the horizon #NewMoon #RiverLife ————————————————————————
📸 = @sarahraebearah

Harnessed our inner Tulum with @dawnbayersyoga @yogasantosha — I look forward to her restorative yoga class every Thurs 💙 ...

A very Canadian moment #Canada #Fire #MayLong ...

So — on the heels of posting (somewhat uncharacteristically) about swimming last week — my friend @deborah.m.willis sent me a profound essay WHAT I MISS MOST IS SWIMMING by @bonnietsui8 (New York Times, April 10) — and last night author @angie.abdou surprised me by featuring my swimming-inspired novel Sage Island on her weekly vlog #WhereIReadIt (Vlog #7) So honoured — thank you Angie!
#WhyWeSwim #SportsLit #Swimming #Fiction #Books

Every day is Earth Day
#EarthDay 📸 Tulum, January 2020

All I can think about lately is swimming. I thought I lost my flame for the sport about a decade ago, and this is not the best clip, but the first thing I want to do when things (hopefully) normalize is drive to Vancouver & swim an open water race (or just swim in the ocean). No training, whatever. What will Lulu do? Lifeguard! ...

Kay, so yesterday was hard. The snowstorm, the isolation, recalcitrant headache & pressure to be productive & creative in spite of everything. But today is a new day—and these are the back stairs. ...

Sun Dogs, Rising (For Lulu)

Our lives converge, a slide of tectonic plates,
five days after a full moon. Snowflakes the size of dandelion clocks
melt against the windshield on my way to meet you.
Your introduction to the north of this planet is biting.

You: tiny black wolf.
Six pounds of sleek, obsidian distress—
a chunk missing from the cupped leaf of your ear.
You wail, and I fear your delicate trachea will rupture.

You tremble until your muscles collapse, exhausted.
What, you stare outside, are these wafers of burning cold?
We sit on a couch for hours, until—at last—you paw your way over,
tail planted firmly between legs, a trench of questions:

Where is my sun? You howl with your eyes.
Where is my sun? Where is my sun? Where is my sun?

Under a starless sky, waning gibbous obscured by cloud, we drive.
Tufts of icy cotton persist against the window glass.
Your coat ripples like ink under streetlights;
your age is approximate, but the moon is 18.34 days old.

Between the pads of each paw, rusty earth of your desert hills.
You quiver around the apartment—sniff oak, iron, granite.
Candlewick eyes alight with fire, you howl again:
Where is my sun?

In the bed, you soften against my chest, push vertebrae against ribs.
Chihuahua. Chi. Life force. Air.
We breathe in tandem. Thud of heartbeat, drift of bloodstream,
your pulse steady, aching under my palm.

What is your story? I howl with my bones.
What is your story? What is your story? What is your story?
We don’t yet know the seismic proportions of sun we will share.

Together, we dream of the home within, of continental drift;
oceanic dusk, expansion and contraction, flow and hope.
You draw closer, a love in silky armour,
nestling for hot spots.

Feature poem in current edition of @dog.eyes.magazine ♥️
#DogEyesMagazine #Poetry #PoetryMonth #Puppaversary #Rescue