Saturday, April 28, 2012

Being Four

It takes a lot more work to be four than it does to be twenty-four. Anyway, this is what I believe at four. At four, you're the boss of no-one and everyone bosses you. At twenty-four, you can take a bath when and if you want and you don't always feel as though you are missing something because you are the one making things happen instead of doing what you're told or failing to do what you're told which is more the case with me. At twenty-four, I won't have to eat Lima beans if I don't want to (does anyone ever want to?).

If I want to, I'll wear my underwear outside my pants and tie my towel around my shoulders and no one will laugh because I really will look like Superman by then - even though I am a girl. For sure, I'll never wear dresses because they're uncomfortable and stupid and I hate having to pull them every which direction in an effort to cover enough of my tomboy body.

At twenty-four, I won't have to come in just because the streetlights are on and, some nights, I'll eat dessert first because I want to be sure that I won't be too full for that part and I'll ask the minister at the church, "Why? Why do you think it's fun for us to get out of bed early when it's not even a school day, just to be told that we're sinners and that we're 'less than'.

Sure, at four, it's a bit easier to say someone else did it and kind of get away with it when the baseball goes through the bedroom window but, at twenty-four, I'm pretty sure I will be strong enough to throw it over the house and miss the window like I meant to in the first place.

When I'm twenty-four I'll probably look back and think I was pretty darn cute at four instead of feeling like I was put together like a fort,out of spare parts. At twenty-four, I'll be able to go to the store on my own and buy as much junk as I want. At twenty-four, my parents might make sense and I'll be able to tie my shoes right every time.

It's so far away. I'm four and I'm small but I get it. I gotta go; it's past me bedtime.

-Gillian Cornwall, 26APRIL2012

Monday, April 23, 2012


I used to dream that I could fly. When does that stop? I know I'm not the only one. Others have told me they used to dream this. When do we lose our faith in that dream? Is it one day in our teens when we ask someone, when we tell them of that dream and they simply laugh at us in our naivete? Have we said, "Wouldn't that be cool, to just run and jump and take off into the sky like that?"

I wish I could feel the freedom and terror of that dream now, the way it felt to lift off from the ground and soar ever upwards; feel the terror of blundering the navigation through the power lines and careen towards a less than graceful landing with a little smoke and sizzle.

When does the word "impossible" enter our vocabulary with such permanence and spirit-crushing power? Why do we believe it? Why do I believe it now, when I can so easily recall the perfect truth of the dream, the sensation of flying? 

With enough fatigue from the grind of work-a-day life, I can close my eyes and rise above the weight, the weight of gravity and the weight of the word I was given to carry at such an early point in life: impossible. 

Put it down; it was never your word to carry. Fly.

-Gillian Cornwall, August 2011

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Finnerty Gardens at the University of Victoria

Amid the chaos of the first day back after the Easter weekend, I took the time to walk with a friend through Finnerty Gardens at the University of Victoria today. 

I work at the school and haven't been for a walk through the gardens for longer than I care to remember. It is so easy to stay attached to the computer, to not move, to not go outside to walk and breathe and chat with a friend but, you know, it was just as easy to go and it did me the world of good. 

"There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy." Ralph H. Blum

All images and text, with the exception of other quotations, are property of Gillian Cornwall. April, 2012

Sunday, April 01, 2012

The Wine Magical Mystery Tour

I love wine.

I have a map in my head and heart of all the places she has taken me with all my senses engaged in the journey. I have been bold, more bold in these travels than I have been in so many other aspects of my life. 

I have freely taken the hand of sommelier, vintner, aficionado and friend and said, "Sure, take me there." I have sipped from their cups with the eyes, nose, palate and imagination of any brave and true explorer. 

These explorations through the glass have led me to BC orchards and fields of French lavender, through summer meadows and into the Napa Valley. I have felt the warm summer sun and breathed in the sage of the Okanagan bench and wandered silently through the depths of cool, clay cellars and I have hidden in their oaken barrels. I have breathed in the scents of the tropics and glided over the dizzying heights of the Argentinian mountainside. 

I close my eyes when I taste. I breathe deeply. My breathe is a breeze crossing the wee rivulet of wine on my tongue and with this inhalation, the colours, textures, scents and images rise up and take shape across my senses.

I understand little about the process. I know nothing of viticulture and soil - the study of oenology is beyond me but I have my own wine map which I have drawn through my tasting travels and the mental picture book of the places I have traveled with her (for surely wine is a woman) and I so look forward to the next adventure, to every taste, with anticipation, wonder and delight.

-Gillian Cornwall, April 1, 2012.