Last month I embarked on a weekend residency with 8 Toronto artists: Outdoor Studio. We shared tents and created together and alone in Rouge National Urban Park; painters, photographers, filmmakers, and me. We went on a 5km one-way hike and at the moment of our turn-around the skies opened and tornado-warning rain poured down upon us. Our clothes did not fully dry for lack of open sun, but we loved it.
We did yoga under grey clouds and I wondered how many bugs stood on air between my eyes and the moving sky. We meditated on playfulness. We toyed with watercolour. We drank coffee and wine and water. We sat around the campfire as the sun set and all “awwwwwwed” when Brian added a log to the fire and it lit up our circle like a light switch.
I met many curious passerbys, lonely people, and searched for a lost old dog named Marnie. I never heard if she was found. I think about her on varied days.
We made memories in our brains for our hearts on hard days: trees blowing in the wind, blue heron flying, water passing by, fellow new friends creating nearby. Steps into wild trails. Tall trees. Memories of settlements that no longer exist there. Energy. Calmness. Wild turkeys cooing out of eyesight.
I conceived and wrote this zine as a part of my residency. It is available to read below for free. If you like what you see, please consider purchasing a copy for $5 — all revenue will go to Forests Ontario 🌲, a not-for-profit dedicated to the renewal and stewardship of Ontario’s forests.
Thank you for your time and energy, and for exploring this zine with me.