T H E O K A N A G A N I N S T I T U T E
TILTING AGAINST CONFORMITY SINCE 2007, AND NOT THROUGH YET.
Slightly Higher in Canada : What follows is a prospectus, apologia and explanation of why, in spite of appearances to the contrary, it is still possible to prevail. As Will Durant proclaimed, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
SEPTEMBER 22. 2015
Greetings and welcome to Fall – the harvest season – which begins on September 23, early in the morning at 4:21am. The autumnal equinox is when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator from north to south. The celestial equator is the circle in the celestial sphere halfway between the celestial poles. It can be thought of as the plane of Earth’s equator projected out onto the sphere. We live inside the cosmic, looking out in awe.
We’ve had quite a number of enquiries about the whereabouts of us and our projects – primarily our long-running event series EXPRESS and our regular newsletter FRESHSHEET. Here’s what’s happening:
¶ Both projects were important to us, and provided much of the creative engagement that is our core mission, but their time has passed, at least in their current form. After almost 300 events featuring more than 700 presenters in 5 communities over 8 years, and more than 200 tirelessly curated issues covering a broad range of topics and territories, we feel that we have accomplished what we set out on, and it's time to change up and move on.
¶ That's not to say that we won't be hosting events, developing publications and fermenting collaborations going forward. In fact, we have already booked two events for later this fall, and several more for the winter and spring. And our sturdy little newsletter will still be going out on a regular basis informing readers of our activities, egging on the usual suspects, exploring ideas and activities that will no doubt benefit you, me, us and them. Thus we have our new INFORM, which, along with this spiffy new website, will keep you “informed” about our progress.
¶ We are, in particular, concentrating on our culinary arts, story teaching/telling and creative aging projects, and actively seeking contributions from creatives of all shapes, sizes and proclivities. If you are one such, take this opportunity to get in touch. We intend that these initiatives deliver the same level of engagement as has become our habit, be responsive to the rapidly changing social and economic landscape and contribute to our evolving creative mandate. In other news, we are reaching out to writers and notioning a platform for delivering informed and imaginative works in a variety of genres.
¶ We appreciate the many messages of encouragement for our efforts and curiousity about our whereabouts and wellbeing. We hope we can continue to deserve your support for and interest in our works.
ITEMS OF PARTICULAR AND/OR PRACTICAL NOTE:¶ The 17th, Fall issue of Sage-ing, our Journal of Creative Aging, is now online. Please drop by www.sageing.ca for a visit.
¶ WE ARE LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO EAT and don't mind getting some flour and crumbs on their clothes.
¶ Writiers are encouraged to contribute stories to our website and newsletter, and participate in our upcoming reading series, starting this winter. Story School will be fun, and you don't want to miss out. Get in touch if you're interested in writing, reading, contributing, coordinating or collaborating. It's the best thing since watercress soup.
¶ Of special note, our friend and colleague Dona Sturmanis is offering 9 new writing classes September and October in Kelowna. Curious Beyond Words, Kelowna's first writing school, was founded by Sturmanis a year ago. The idea was to hold informal, informative writing classes with a maximum of 12 participants in a casual, comfortable setting. For more information and registration, visit www.curiousbeyondwords.com, email email@example.com or call 778-214-6318.
¶ The Leap Manifesto was released last week by a coalition of Canadian authors, artists, national leaders and activists. It lays out a vision to transition our country off fossil fuels while simultaneously improving the lives of most of us. Climate change is presented not just as an existential crisis but an opportunity to make our political and economic system more just and fair. If you haven't already, go on over and read it.
OUR CURRENT ACTIVE PROJECTS:
¶ Sage-ing : Get your grace and gratitude on. New issue just released!
¶ Passionate Plates : Come eat and learn with us. Yummy.
¶ Publications : Read all about it, that, them and the other thing.
¶ Story School : Narratives are the marrow of our lives.
THE STORY SO FAR | A RUMINATION BY ROBERT MACDONALD
THE LONG PATH, THE GARDEN, THE EARTHLY DELIGHTS
This summer I have been rummaging almost daily in my small garden, adding new elements, taking some away and tidying and tending others. I have a vision of the garden I want it to eventually be, and I've spent almost five years working toward it, knowing full well that it will never be finished.
My humble garden is an urbanized homage to the variegated and breathtaking cottage gardens that I encountered on occasion during the days and weeks accumulated over a dozen youthful years of holidays, retreats and escapes walking the coast path that rings England.
I learned that many of these cottage gardens had as much to do with bees and chickens and vegetables as with wisteria and foxgloves. In the 18th century cottagers with reduced land access (as a result of the destructive enclosure laws) were encouraged to use cottage gardens to feed their families. The ornamental elements owed much to the kitchen garden of the Elizabethan dooryard and the herbs that lived in it. At first medicinal and other functional herbs predominated but they too had ornamental value, and it was hard to tell if the tall spires of hollyhock were central because of their medicinal or ornamental utility.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” - Mark Twain
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