As time passes and many of us are still under Covid-19 restrictions, the need for more caring is at the forefront of my mind.
The need to care for myself, for the partner I live with, for distant or isolated family and friends, for those for whom this time has destroyed livelihoods and dreams, and beyond that for the future of our planetary home.
Caring doesn't have to mean expensive pampering either. It can be as simple as a few minutes in silence with the bliss of no demands; listening to your favourite music; a walk in the park, a phone call with a friend, or dedicated time on a meaningful project.
And it can also be taking the time to sign an online petition to safeguard our future.
So scroll down for some inspiration but first, exciting news about an art show! I have three pieces juried into the Federation of Canadian Artists Calgary Chapter Spring Into Hope show.
It's exciting to see them looking so smart, even though sadly the show is online only. It's normally a treat to hang out with the other artists and chat with visitors about what we make and why.
My pick of the BIG courses this month is a series from the SDG Academy whichcover "the headline issues and a multitude of interdisciplinary topics related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a set of aims and targets adopted by member states of the United Nations in 2015."
They are run as MOOCs on the edX platform, free to enrol in and taken in your own time. I am leisurely working through the SDG 14 One Planet, One Ocean material, which is riveting, overwhelming and heartbreaking in almost equal measure.
If you want to be more informed about how the world is run and the overarching issues, these classes are an absolute gem.
My podcast pick of the month has to be the Folk On Foot interview with Cosmo Sheldrake, son of Rupert Sheldrake, a young musician who played with bird song, parrot fish sounds, Mongolian overtone singing, bones and more. Hearing his confidence, thoughtfulness and creativity gives me hope for sure!
The best non-fiction read was the memoir The Right to be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier, who grew up in a fast disappearing Inuit culture and has spent her life fighting against pollution and climate change in a world that worries more about polar bears than about her people. Having gone to boarding school myself, I could relate to her stories of being separated from her family and home.
Icebergs are less dense than water, so they always float with about 10% of their mass above the water. But which way up?
Draw your own iceberg and see how it would actually look in this tiny online game right here.
From time to time, I do a newsletter mention swap with another author who has a book I think you might enjoy. This month, it's my pleasure to introduce Amanda Kimberley's Down by The Willow Tree.
Widowed, and struggling with a slew of ailments, Emma Boucher finds a therapist to help her sort through her issues, but then her old boyfriend turns up. Can she make healing choices this time around?
I am still doing my daily art practice, some little pieces I love and some not so much, but it's nice to get a sketchbook habit in place. I'll show you more next time, this is long enough. Or see them every day on Instagram.
Before I go, some important questions: What does caring mean for you?
Is this something you have baked into your life, or an area you need to work on?