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Memoir

May-June 2020

Not silent all these years

How '90s icon Tori Amos helped me through a troubling time

Adele Barclay

She dives for shells With her nautical nuns And thoughts you thought You’d never tell – “Pandora’s Aquarium,” Tori Amos I carried Tori Amos’s From the Choirgirl Hotel with me everywhere in eighth grade even though I didn’t have a Discman. I’d stick the album into the CD-ROM of my desktop during computer lab and […] More »
May-June 2020

On thin ice

A trip to the Athabasca Glacier puts climate change front and centre

Sara King-Abadi

Standing at the toe of the Athabasca Glacier in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the six-kilometre long swerve of thick ice—about the length of 65 football fields—opens up in a slow incline above you. It reveals crevasses and streaks of sediment framed by textured, scarred rock that rises over the sides of the ice expanse. These […] More »
May-June 2020

Travel reservations

On travelling with chronic illness

melannie monoceros

I have travelled to the U.K. twice in my life. The first time I went was with my then-partner in 2009 and the second was on my own, in the summer of 2019. We (my now ex-partner and I) went to Brighton, Cambridge, and London. We walked for hours on cobblestone. I ran up and […] More »
May-June 2020

Between two worlds

The ethics of travelling "back where you came from"

Barâa Arar

I am trying to get my grandfather’s attention at a busy intersection in Tunis, Tunisia. It is 36 degrees and dusty. He is old and frail and has outgrown his home country since he left for Canada 20 years ago. My grandfather once had every winding alley of the downtown core memorized, but he’s unfamiliar […] More »
May-June 2020

I’m not a fake Canadian

Thoughts on travelling as a person of colour

Li Charmaine Anne

I often think of myself as a proud Canadian. Of course, Canada is by no means a perfect—or even racism-free—country, but as a Chinese-Canadian who has had the privilege of travelling widely, Canada remains one of my favourite places. But I’ve learned that introducing myself as Canadian in a foreign country can be surprising to […] More »

Invisible labour and tangible risk

On working through a pandemic

Nisa Malli

Lately, all of my labour—domestic, creative, and income-earning—has shrunk to the space of a studio apartment. My office now doubles as my kitchen table, my gym, and my sick bed. It is a home which felt small even when I had access to third spaces for work, leisure, and exercise (such as cafes, parks, libraries […] More »
March-April 2020

Perfuming my daughter

The scent of sandalwood was a way to connect with my culture and home— I followed its roots to learn more

Nehal El-Hadi

When my daughter was born, I would place tiny dots of sandalwood oil behind her perfect little ears and in the folds of her delicate neck. She was the best smelling baby around; the combination of the natural scent of infant and sandalwood was heady, divine, something you could live in forever. It’s an unusual […] More »
January-February 2020

Memories on the margins

A relationship ends against the backdrop of a changing city

JP Larocque

After the break-up, I walked Yonge St. at night. I didn’t understand this compulsion, but the circuit remained the same: a few drinks at a village bar and I would wander the corridor between Bloor and Dundas, peering into closed stores or sleepy bars, stopping in at a late-night bookshop to peruse the dusty shelves […] More »
November-December 2019

Leaving a literary legacy

In the wake of my cancer diagnosis, I decided to read

Melanie Masterson

When you are diagnosed with a terminal illness there is a lot of talk about leaving a legacy. Some people write letters to their children. Some record videos. I have a pretty active Instagram account and have blogged for decades and hope my daughters will enjoy looking back on that. Some things older women living […] More »
November-December 2019

How circus arts helped me deal with body shame

On aging, gender presentation, and—of course—trapeze

Dana Baitz

  After reaching my late-40s, becoming more visibly trans, having a child, and losing most of my employment prospects, I finally became comfortable with myself. A lot of that comfort and acceptance came from a new love affair—with, oddly enough, trapeze. In grad school, my girlfriend went to the gym.  I followed suit, because everything […] More »
November-December 2019

Who are you calling a foreigner?

When visiting your ancestral home doesn't go quite as planned

Bilan Hashi

The children raced barefoot alongside us in the muddied street through the shallow pools of water that were left over from the building of mud houses. It didn’t matter if we were in a small village or a sprawling metropolis, on a boat that just landed on their island, or rushing to catch a bus […] More »