I’ll tell you something I don’t like about Canada (the greatest country on earth)

The day before Canada day I’d like to share an experience I had at the market in Ottawa. I was having a lovely time drinking a cafe au lait and people watching, and I could hear and see a man in the background on the street singing his heart out. He had a very expressive face and a big generous presence, working the passing crowd like an all time great busker. The dynamic assemblage of the whole place was like watching a kite or a hot air balloon.

Then the balloon burst when a bylaw officer’s truck parks on the sidewalk and the bylaw officer has a discussion with the busker, leading to the busker packing up and leaving.

Now that’s what’s wrong with Canada’s litigious modern society– not that we have too many rules and regulations or that government is too much in our business (though I’m inclined to think so), but rather that people in positions of authority either don’t have or don’t use enough discretion. It was clear to me that this busker was an integral part of the charm of that setting, so please just let him play next time on Canada day and let people buy beer from local shops and let kids play pond hockey and let people express themselves and let judges use some discretion to avoid frivolous, stifling lawsuits.

I love Canada and I try to enjoy all the gifts this northland offers while also living up to the responsibility of having so much. I just think it would be even better if we trusted each other more and then offer more to the rest of the world.


Re: The brexit vote

When you have no power and you don’t like what’s going on, it’s difficult to avoid making some noise when you finally get a voice, even when staying quiet is in your self interest. It’s not good enough for ‘experts’ and representatives of the establishment to effectively say ‘it’s a big, complex world and I can’t explain simply and concisely why, but you should listen to me for your own good’

RE: The test of great art

Great art should be like a great field guide: it should make you recognize what you’ve been overlooking for so long, and, inevitably, care about it- and another thing about art: it’s a craft and a gift. That’s why sophisticated folks and virtuosos sometimes despise ‘popular’ artists, because truly great plots and melodies are gifts, not the result of painstaking dedication to working on theory.

On Lismer’s Guide in Algonquin Park


I regard The Guide’s House as the most peaceful painting; it trembles with peace by drawing you to the power above that peace. Time skips a beat then slows down in perfect rhythm. You can hear the poplar and birch leaves whispering and feel the warm sun– at some point in looking at it, though, you forget yourself or you no longer feel strange.