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Part of my own motivation, when we planned a “storm chasing” night for After Hours, was curiosity. Why do people chase storms? Why is there such an appetite for all-day weather networks; a fringe element known as tornado chasers; and why, during a hurricane, will people converge on the shore and risk being swept... Read More

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Wild weather forecast for After Hours tonight!

  Dear Churchmice, In the cultural weather forecast for this evening, watch for a storm or two at sea courtesy of Newfoundland bard Michael Crummey, a conversation during a blizzard (as reported by Gwendolyn MacEwen), a squall in the mind of Milton Acorn, and Patricia Young's defiant "Tornado in the Bible Belt,"... Read More


Glimpses in Passing

  Toronto poet Gwendolyn MacEwen died in 1987. She was exactly the age I am now: 45. Circumstances aside, no one can really say why one person lives to 90, another to 10, or 25, or 40. That doesn’t stop us from believing certain people go “before their time.” In the case of MacEwen, she “went” before what further... Read More

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The Dutch cleanser woman led us to infinity

Last month at Churchmouse After Hours we plodded through deserts, rode ships, dug tunnels and escaped tyranny.   We followed T.S. Eliot’s magi at “Just the worst the worst time of the year / For a journey, and such a long journey: / The ways deep and the weather sharp, / the very dead of winter.”   We roamed with... Read More


We Creatures of the Earth Must Move and Move Again

. . . a matter of sense—the thousand-eyed, thousand-eared alertness of a flock. The strategies are given names— I don’t know them. What sticks for me is how the air itself is altered. The way light bends back from bellies and wings as they turn. Churchmouse is back home—only to ponder what it means to go... Read More


Is a stair any place to belong?

“In the country where I now live, there is no word for home.” That’s the first line of Isabel Huggan’s 2003 memoir Belonging: Home Away from Home.   As we prepare to confront the power of the sun at Churchmouse After Hours in approximately 17 hours from now (7pm Wed evening!) my mind is turning to the last two... Read More

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Its Place Among the Elements

  I didn’t hit me until I began choosing things to read for April’s Churchmouse After Hours, “Beginnings and Endings,” just how often stories end at the beginning, or begin at the end. There’s “The Closing Down of Summer,” Alistair MacLeod’s haunting 1976 story about a group of Cape Breton men—all related—who are... Read More

A woman%27s work

‘A happy love. Is it normal?’

[PLEASE NOTE! Our next Churchmouse After Hours Coffeehouse is Wed, April 26. 'Endings and Beginnings'. See info below.]   Of course love is the heartbeat of humanity. But why? How? I for one, came away from March’s ‘Churchmouse in Love’ After Hours coffeehouse with an even deeper conviction that love is... Read More

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Light in dark places

‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.’ We read those words in the prologue to John’s version of the Gospel, where ‘the light’ refers to Christ, the life that has come into the world for all people. This is an important theme of Easter, and it becomes dramatically evident for us... Read More

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Bears tobogganed down the hills

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow—Billy Collins, “Snow Day”   Welcome to our first Churchmouse After Hours afterword. In future, we’ll post a little highlights blog after each event.   At the first-ever Churchmouse After Hours we pondered the mysteries of hoarfrost, ventured onto frozen waterways, stayed... Read More