READing and retreating

I am back at St Peter’s Abbey for another winter writing retreat with the Saskatchewan Writers Guild and CARFAC artists. Mild and sunny outside, with hungry birds loading up on free peanuts. When I first started coming to the winter artists colonies, about ten years ago, only the chickadees were bold enough to come to our hands; then the nuthatches took over. Today it was only chickadees. Indoors, the colonists, as once we were known (retreatants just doesn’t have the same ring) are unloading ideas and getting into the swing of a quiet time among the monks.

A week ago I attended an anniversary party for the Victoria READ Society, which promotes literacy to all ages. This event was a day of games held at Government House in Victoria, introduced by Steven Point who toured the proceedings and seemed to be enjoying it. Also present was David Bouchard, the society’s newly-appointed literary ambassador, who was sporting his Metis sash and entertaining youngsters on his collection of flutes. Elsewhere there was a hot game of magnetic poetry happening, and much else besides.

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