Thursday, 30 April 2015

Cause and Effect...

Two rabbits sitting next to the entrance of their burrow while a couple of rabbits are gamboling in the background. Etching by J. Tookeyafter J. C. Ibbetson.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London.

In that moment when Betrüger’s teeth pierced her, the heat of that sharp pain flashed through Flitzen so powerfully that it brought her back to the memory of peace with Schatz. Memories were all that she had and they had begun to feel unreal. The inception of the bond that had been created and the rapport between her and Schatz were fading as she came back to consciousness. Flitzen was tattered and scarred with the trauma from the past few months. But she would awake to a new sorrow. A time of joy but mixed with mourning.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Linden Tree

Dewdrop Marie-France Boissonneault

I walked into my school library this morning to see Christina Rosetti's Poem Hurt no Living Thing hanging on the wall...  And so, on this Earth Day, I thought I would share Jean Giono’s  L’homme qui plantait des arbres (1953). Giono’ story about Elzéard Bouffier was adapted by Canadian director Frédéric Back and released as The Man who Planted Trees in 1987 going onto win an Academy award for Best Animated Short in 1988. It is a story that is very close to my heart.

In previous posts, I have written about childhood tales that influenced my empathetic path and passion for writing narratives along the humane education stream. The Man who Planted Trees was introduced to me in a brilliant film class I took with my very best friend while in CEGEP. The story is one that speaks to me on several levels; from my ecological interests, respect for the world around me, and equally on a more personal level about the strength of character, dedication, devotion and determination that I see echoed in my family and close friends. In a world that seems more and more transient and less capable of fostering profound relationships, the story of Elzéard Bouffier is one that gives me comfort. Its deeper themes are reflected in the people that I have been blessed to call my family and honoured to call my friends…

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Unspoken Truths

By Marie-France Boissonneault (Dallas Road)
In the health class I have taught for the past two years, I incorporated an assignment from one of my previous classes that explores themes of embodiment through our five senses. 

In writing through animal characters, I have found this to be an ideal way to enable a deeper understanding of the world through the experience of another’s whom we cannot truly grasp due to our own limitations. I am always amazed at the imaginative ways that my students describe the experience. It can be a difficult task given the criteria, but some, like the first time I assigned it, really take to the challenge!

This past term, I came across a book in my middle school library that illustrated the exercise beautifully when writing about colour. This book proved to be a great tool to help some of the students that struggled with the assignment. It is hard to conceptualise the world of another, whether it is a being from our own species or a species with which our experience of the world is so far removed from our own.

We all live intricate lives that have a unique unspoken understanding to each that may cross our paths but they are only truly appreciated by ourselves. The reasons we do things, the choices we make, the way we survive, how we keep strong and smile into the next day… We can look upon another and try to assume that we understand their struggles or their pain, their joys or their sorrows, or even the reality that they mirror to the outside world, but no matter who we are there is always a hidden truth.

It is fascinating to travel through the realms of other beings by researching their experiences of the world and describing it to the best of my ability. As well, it is a great writing exercise to challenge oneself to describe an understanding outside the confines of the shared, and to inwardly conceptualise the journey forbidden from using descriptors related to our senses in question…

Monday, 6 April 2015


Like flashes of lighting on a stormy night the brief illumination revealed moments past. Memories hidden in time came rushing to the surface. The first moment they had shared a breath, the feeling of calm as they traveled side by side across the dry landscape and the deep blue of the sky in the early morning light. She nickered softly stomping her hoof upon the ground of her stall. Her head nodding in longing as though to affirm the reality of her mind’s eye…

“And the rest is rust and stardust.”
~ Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

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