The illusion of Stillness

Mundane, repetitive, stuck, cycling gray
bare cutting into the sky
branches dividing the flat planes.

Over two yards a tree
is busy with dead small leaves
standing texturing the view somewhat.
I seek continuity of
over and over the same
gestures, habits of delusion.
Mind full of thought crows
brassing sounds
comparisons, directions
attempts to keep me scared
and small.

One day looks like the next
a river’s flat silver surface
all turbulence underneath
where water meets the rocks.

To be still, quiet and accepting of one state or another is a monumental practice. My urge to weave a story keeps presenting itself. Today after a month of taking my laundry to the laundromat because some mysterious parts are no longer functioning in my second hand washing machine I see my mind is at work. Up there, in the tree head I weave narratives.

We create turbulence

The higher place is where I try to stand. I call it the balcony view. I picture myself standing on a balcony looking down at my thoughts as if I were a cultural anthropologist and the primitive society was ME.
As I bagged up the laundry, I checked in. So far so good. No story. Just putting the bags in the car. Then I remembered the times when I was in Europe doing laundry and as a grad student. So here was the version I was constructing: I was on an adventure. I was going to a new place.

At the laundromat, I realized I had no soap. That made me laugh. It had been so long I guess I imagined the soap just trickled down like pixie dust from the soap fairy.

When I went next door to the deli/grocery store, a sample pushing woman approached me in her pseudo maid’s outfit lofting a silver tray. After exchanging information about my gluten intolerance, she ran off to check on the two miniature hamburger shaped chocolate eclairs. They were “safe”. She gave me both.

On the way back to the laundromat, I breathed deeply, looked at the sky and thought about how wonderful my day was. Two amazingly delicious, sugar saturated chocolate eclairs melted in my mouth one after the other. The machines were gigantic and tipped on their sides could be a power smart car. Fast. They were done in 20 minutes. I put the wet clothes in the car and drove home singing to the Glee CD I am determined to wear out.

So I did create a story. It was a story of finding the adventure in the flat places of winter. It was a story of seeing my being alone as being free. It was a story of unexpected pleasure when I dropped the turbid drama weavings, the cat’s cradle of catastrophe.

The washer still isn’t working. The repair men went away but after looking at the back of my dryer they explained that the luke warm hours of turning are a result of bad venting. Because they came today, I will have both the washer problem and the dryer problem resolved.

As I sit here with the tepid light coming in my window, I know that there are more things that will appear to be unrepaired, too slow, stultified which are in fact only incubating. Under the shell, under the soil there is growth going on. And that is a story that I allow to dance in my head.

Where do we exist?

The question of where we exist in time and space often occurs to me. At times, such as the weeks when I was recovering from bunion surgery I feel almost invisible. Like the tree clapping in the forest or a ripple of lightened water, I was without witness. The boundaries of self begin to dissolve when movement is restricted and the house is an isolate place.

the self

energy of self

From the time I had the surgery until the day I drove myself to the final x-ray by the surgeon I was mainly alone. Forty days of being unable to drive, to work, to consume and lord knows I like to talk. The silence kept me company.
However, when I begin to drive again I noticed that I tended to go out less frequently. It was easier to maintain a level of frugality and channel whatever funds arrived into my massive line of credit debt. The only distraction/craving which I was swept right back into was sugar. While I ate no cookies or treats for forty days, I am now storing gluten free oreos around me to prepare for the long days of winter.

mending, reforming

Today is the beginning of the new cycle of fruition according to the Aztec calendar. So I celebrated by working ten hours editing and loading in my books to
I find it less than pleasant to edit in Open Office which keeps shutting down when it is loaded with my images. Watching the mocking wheel grind its way to no where on the screen feels less than fulfilling. However, I persisted and I have the first anthology Facing It in both ebook format and in paperback book file. Facing In, the more recent short poems that I have posted on Facebook during the year 2011 is loaded up as a paperback as well. This time I put in a request to have all of the books appear in the google search. It is eight weeks before that happens.
So I continue to work toward the goals I have set on my resolution chart that I composed from Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project. I am walking 30 minutes a day, doing crunches. Today I added a few repetitions with 10 pound weights.
My writing is moving forward and the next project may well be making a book of my blog postings. Gretchen suggested the idea and it really appeals to me.


One of the things my writing teachers and mentors have always said is to respect what you have written. Cherish it. Keep it in a good notebook. And don’t be afraid to publish.
I am teaching myself more about the software of Photoshop Elements after fifteen years of using Paint Shop Pro. The similarity of driving a certain type of vehicle which becomes an extension of your body and then trying to find your way around a rental vehicle comes to mind.
I teach two classes in the coming weeks for UBC-O Continuing studies on painting into a print and on blogging. Teaching is such a joy for me. I have an actual physical reaction in my body. I feel lighter, more energized and excited about life.
Now to try to figure out how to get my television to work again. I put the computer down on the remote and apparently ordered a movie from Shaw which I couldn’t get to go away so I just shut it off. Perhaps, some kind soul will wonder past the house and I will run barefoot into the street to ask for an interpretation of the technology. I often feel like an immigrant to a planet I don’t understand. But I am used to it.

Cultural Community

Tonight I went to two events. The first was a group of people interested in working on their presence in the world through retreats, conferences and reading. The second was a group gathered together by UBC-O’s creative studies department to learn which individuals were to be awarded the top three places by guest judge Annabell Lyons.
It was a joyous, relaxed evening.
At the first event, I met three people formally that I had passed in my life. We shared many experiences. One used to own a book store where I was selling art work on commission. Another taught dance in the building where I had my studio. A third was a close friend of a friend. It is interesting to see where connections can lead. It is why my daughter keeps telling me to go out the door. Staying home in my diaphanous Emily Dickens reclusiveness is not moving me on from this stuck place in my life.

Original photograph of a piece of string on the floor

At the short story competition announcement, I got to hear readings from four writer’s works. It was varied, skilled and interesting work. I had the audacity to take flyers of my poetry anthology which is for sale on LuLu and handed them out to four people. It took guts. I felt very hesitant but know that I have to start getting behind my talent if I want to make money from the work I am doing. My anthology is 36 pages of poetry written over the last year and posted to facebook.
My hopes are that the process of advertising my work becomes easier and more natural for me. Finding a gallery, an agent, a way to run the work I have been doing for thirty years up to a point where it begins to create it’s own energy is what will happen if I keep working to that goal.
I am going to a retreat in Victoria for the last week in March and really happy about having some time away. Life has been very lonely and quiet. Shows are coming up: Myths and Legends opens Saturday night at 273 Bernard; Digital Art show in Vernon t.b.a.; Sopa Under 8 in April. Currently, I have a show at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall which is a wonderful space to show art.

Plans to attend the Permaculture group meeting for tomorrow night are flying around in my head. I also feel like getting out to see a movie or go to Chapters. I have been disciplined this week working on art, cleaning the house, feeding my blog. Tomorrow, I need to prepare for my course at UBC-O Continuing Studies teaching Grammar Lite. Being back in the classroom is always a rush for me. I love to react to what it is my students need. Teaching, for me, is not about feeding a baby. Open the door. Here it comes. Neither is it like teaching steps in a dance routine. People need to know what they are ready to learn. I guess the really challenging aspect of teaching is being able to deal with four or five levels at the same time. It is a challenge; however, it is a thrill to walk out of a room knowing that you have awakened confidence and curiosity in your students. I love it.

I am thinking that it is time to go through all of the boxes of ballast I have in the shed. Clothing, books and fabrics can be freed, reorganized and utilized to create some revue for me. What I am not wearing, I must sell. The separation settlement left me in a position whereby I must start doing things to dig myself out. Listening to Tony Robbins was inspiring yesterday. Tomorrow I will sit down and brain storm 200 methods of bringing in prosperity to deal with the giant debt I had to take on to be free. Now I will find a way to be free of the weight of this debt.

Recently, I created two book jackets for a client who is a poet. I also created a banner for his web site. I worked images as far as I could in Gimp then I finally broke down and downloaded a free trial of Photoshop. Some of the images I created from playing with photoshop were interesting. I am missing my Flaming Pear, Eye Candy and Painter filters that went bye bye with the multiple crashes on my computer during my dark and disheveled days this last year. My creativity is coming back and the feeling of anticipation for what will be is like the pink shoots in my flower bed. Promising.

chocolate enclosure

Christmas Clarity

The air is crisp and cool. The season is settling in throughout the continent. I saw a video of the opening of a new outdoor ice arena in Mexico.
In the Eastern section of Canada there was a meter and 1/2 of snow last night. The romantic image of snow on trees, two wet mitten covered hands linking a couple strolling through the diamond studded snow scape comes to mind. People digging out their dog houses and cars is not usually featured in this dream land.
The interesting work of being in the present means embracing what is and saying this is a season, this is a day. To look at the tree out my window and remember the fullness of green is to reject the beautiful lines of the black branches against the gray, winter sky. There are things to appreciate in even the harshness of the view.
Not being able to be happy in the now, is a practice. Living into the future is a practice. I am starting to “get” that only by being able to enjoy the moment can I get better at accepting the now.

the golden moment of now, a gift from the universe

May you live in joy this day.

Kevin Craig wins Kelowna By election

With a whopping 11% of Kelowna’s residents who are eligible to vote pushing their way off of the couch to go out the door, Kevin Craig has carried the by-election. The 19 years old UBC student who came within 38 votes of winning in the last election cannot be said to have “cleaned up.” So close at under 400 votes.

The questions as to when the residents of Kelowna lost interest in the electoral process, springs to mind. Is there a gradual decline or a eschewing of voting suddenly? What does the refusal to vote mean in terms of the future of the city? How can the relationship between the electorate, the citizens and the city be revitalized? We constantly talk about revitalization of the downtown core, the big structures we are putting in in the name of “progress” but what about the vitality of citizens who feel a part of the social structure of a city.

I am really curious as to what is going wrong. One thing that is happening is that because of the exodus of young people, we do not have the army of volunteers that keep most organization going. Many neighbourhood associations are dying. Many long term groups in the city are hungry for those who have time to keep the board vital. Will it become a place where people live separate from one another, isolate and uninvolved?

Hopefully having a young person on council will help to move the city to creating a more tech and boho friendly city where those under 35 will find employment and enjoyment. It will be interesting to watch.

this gorgeous piece is $1,135 for 50 by 34

this gorgeous piece is $1,135 for 50 by 34

Christmas is coming rapidly with no snow. Tonight I saw 20 Canadian Geese flying against a pink autumnal sky. We have neither low winter temperature nor do we have snow. Between seasons, we are sitting on shoulder season even while the rest of B.C. is headed to winter. The flu, the Olympics are discussed frequently. Many arts groups are creating pre-Christmas sales with beautifully made hand crafted gifts but it doesn’t really feel like Christmas yet.

I will wrap the gifts for my family and ship them off next week because recovery from surgery will keep me quietly at home for the next month or so. The last vestiges of my brush with death will be gone. The long, deep scar from cancer surgery is to be excised and a newer more elegant scar will replace it. I look on it as a new beginning. Setting out in January with my stomach muscle reattached and the extra skin and scarring removed, I intend to concentrate on becoming stronger and less focused on work. Follow along to see if that actually happens.

Beautiful moments blossom in each day. Sitting and drinking tea. Sharing a laugh with my husband. Chatting with friends on facebook. These are what makes life such a gift.

newsletter… Art and Poetry of Canadian artist

Cherie Hanson: News from Kelowna artist

Dates to remember:Sa

There will be self-published books, chapbooks, book art, small press books and publishing house books. Gallery Vertigo’s inaugural book fair will have books, books and more books.

The exhibition of titles is running Tuesday to Dec. 13 and the fair on Nov. 29 in Gallery Two..

I have five poetry/art handmade books for sale.

Salon des Refuses
Artists@Work at the Rotary Centre for the Arts are holding a pre-Christmas sale of 100’s of items at deeply cut discounts.
December 13th: 10-4 pm.

One Woman Show by artist Cherie Hanson

Unitarian Fellowship 1310 Bertram Street

November and December

Viewing available to all who rent the space

Open to the public 11:45 to 12:30 Sundays.

My new Works are up at Energy Gallery and the lay out is great. This is a juried, international show out of Toronto.

Traces of Memory
Presented by Trevisan International Art
Imbarcado Rooms, Estense Castle
Ferrar Italy
from November 29-December 07

Salon des Refuses
Artists@Work at the Rotary Centre for the Arts are holding a pre-Christmas sale of 100’s of items at deeply cut discounts.
December 13th: 10-4 pm.

I am teaching classes in creative writing, hand-made books, poetry and in digital photographic art for UBCO continuing studies. Come to studio 205 to pick up a brochure and ask questions.

I am also teaching for the Rotary Centre for the Arts. You can go to the site or come onto my site for all information. While you are at it, check out my galleries on line.

I have had my second feature article published in in/ur magazine out of Portland. Check out the site and see a really contemporary, newsfilled on line periodical that has the ability to download printable pages for your enjoyment.

All About Cherie
The three disciplines that I studied though out my green years were poetry, art and I danced and choreographed until I was 48. After over twenty years of teaching acting and English, producing plays and volunteering for various organizations, I now focus on my writing and my art. I have a blog, several galleries on line if you want to drop by and have a look. I never dreamed that I would be working full time as a 64 year old. Life is funny, hey?

Cherie Hanson’s Kelowna Creative Classes, Rotary Centre

Classes in January for Cherie Hanson contact 250-763-4269 or

A Gift of Yourself: Creating a Chapbook as a Heritage Item
Category: Literary Arts
Age Group: Adult
(Adult and 16/17 year olds)
January 10th, Saturday, 10 am -2 pm
$50 includes material fee
Class size limit 10
This class will lead the students to create
a chapbook or small handmade book that
is a treasure to give. Bring photographs that
you want to give to others or your life, your hobbies, what you value.
 The group will create a handmade, small book of images and
 either poems or commentary that can be a keepsake for years to come.
This is a true gift, not a commercialized common present.
 Cherie Hanson has taught writing, poetry and scrapbooking. 

Making Scrapbook cards or Chapbooks for Young People 
Category: Literary Arts
Age Group: Youth
(Ages 11 to 16)
January 17th, Saturday, 10 am-l pm.
 $50 includes material fees
Class size limit to 10
The class will be an exploration of how to combine
 scrapbooking with writing to create art cards or small
chapbooks that can be taken home.
 Come with an idea of who you want to receive a gift
 and make them a spectacular present of yourself.
Sticky, exploratory fun with papers, punches, ribbons and WORDS.
Truly a gift of yourself to others.

Poetry for the Fun of it 
Category: Literary Arts
Age Group: Youth (Ages 14 to 17)
January 24th 10 am- 1 pm
Class size limit to 10
A class for teenagers to explore the playful of language.
 Creative exploration. Poems will be written individually and in groups.
 This class is about really letting go of the "right" way to write a poem and
open up to experimental language.
 Cherie has written poetry for forty years and taught creative writing for over 20 years.

Writing Colourful Poetry 
Category: Literary Arts
Age Group: Adult
January 31st 10am-2pm
$50 class fee
Class size limited to 10
A class for adults who are either beginners or
 very secure in their poetry writing. A chance to use colours
 to stimulate the creative response. There will be no criticism,
but instead a search for inspiration from a supportive group environment.
 Have fun with language and explore your view of the world. 
Cherie is a well published poet with a M.A. From UBC,
Vancouver in contemporary poetry. She taught for over 20 years.

Selecting the Image: Photography with an Educated Eye
January 8th , Thursday,  6 to 8 pm room 205 
Cost: $45 a person. Class size limited to 10
Cherie has judged photography for
 the Central Okanagan Photographic Society,
 for the Light Room and judged videos for the Okanagan Film Festival Society.
 She is a prize winning photographic and digital artist with over twenty years of teaching experience.

Starting with You: How to get the best out of your Digital Photography.
January 15th , Thursday,  6 to 8 pm room 205
Cost: $45 a person. Class size limited to 6.
Bring a CD with one or two of your jpg digital photographs 8 by 10 inches at 200 dpi.
Cherie has judged photography for
 the Central Okanagan Photographic Society, for the Light Room
and judged videos for the Okanagan Film Festival Society.
 She is a prize winning photographic and digital artist with over twenty years of teaching experience.

 From Dull to Delightful: Bringing your jpg digital images to a New Level. 
January 22nd , Thursday 6 to 8 pm room 205 
Cost: $45 a person. Class size limited to 6.
Bring a CD with one or two of your jpg digital photographs
 8 by 10 inches at 200 dpi. Cherie has judged photography
for the Central Okanagan Photographic Society, for the Light Room
 and judged videos for the Okanagan Film Festival Society.
She is a prize winning photographic and digital artist with over twenty years of teaching experience.

All works are for sale

All works are for sale