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Mental hygiene…

March 17, 2011


the trolls led her down a flight of steps that gradually wound into a tight spiral…

The walls streamed with mineral-scented water,

and were slippery with algae that grew in great clusters on the luminous toadstools…

For a moment,

the flow of earth magic quickened under her feet,

and Little Fur thought she heard the voice of the earth spirit,

whispering to her to have faith..

— in Little Fur, A Fox Called Sorrow by Isabelle Carmody

I went to a lecture a few weeks ago,

on a Monday morning…

I’ve been told by people,

things like,

I’d love to see you,

doing something,

in the fashion industry…


I think you’re going to open a store,

with your daughters…

I have no idea how to get there,

or what that could look like,

so I just keep the comments,

on my hard drive,

filed under,

the beat of a drum

Little Gem has displayed,

a strong sense,

of how to wear a scarf,

since she was about,

eighteen months old…

My class used to love the stories,

about why I was late for school,

because my baby wouldn’t wear the outfit,

I had picked out for her…

Some of my students would put up their hands,

at five and six years old,

and say,

I’m like that too…

I was lucky enough,

that my children,

spent their early years,

in a family daycare,


along with outdoor play,

a nap,

and healthy,

homemade food,

drawing was seen,

as equally important,

as love,

in the daily diet…

Knowing my children,

were in such good care,

I could concentrate on my work,

with other people’s children,

and the development,

of other ways,

of coming,

to know…

Both Little Gem and Starshine,

have scrapbooks full,

of images,

we like to look back on,

for reference,

and fortune-telling…

To this day,

Little Gem,

can often be found,

sitting by herself,

in her tiny pink bedroom,

making miracles,

on paper…

In this lecture,

I attended,

Signe Aarhus,

the owner of Oleana,

spoke about the thinking,

behind a business success,

despite the persistent naysaying,


In this economy,

your vision will never get off the ground…

She told all of us,

listening there,

Thinking is free…

So put a lot of it,

into everything you do…

She said,

We have this rule…

Only sell to people you look forward to talking with,

over the phone…

And she carried on with her true stories,

The banks laughed at us…

So we borrowed everything we could,

from everyone we could…

We used our networks,

our experience,

and we took the time to think about what we really wanted…

We created an identity we could believe in…

Everyone we hire must be positive,

and have a sense of humour…

Our ambition is not to make as much money as possible,

but to make beautiful textiles,

and to create a workplace where our people are happy…

We have a very simple organization,

where few people,

learn to do,

many things…

All of us try to behave honestly…

We don’t cheat,

and when we make a profit,

we take 40% of it,

lay the money out on the table,

and share it equally,

among everyone,

in order to illustrate,

that we are,

from the custodian,

to the designer,

all important,

and needed,

in the factory,

and for our company’s success…

Once a year we close the factory,


goes together,

on a research holiday,

for inspiration…

We use our guts,

to tell us where to go…

It doesn’t matter whether you find yourself,

in the auditorium,

of Kwantlen College,

in the dressing room,

with the whole team,

or at home on your own,

the same principles apply…

But it takes courage,

to floss out the doubt,

and fear,

and to act,

on what one knows,

to be good,

and true…

I’ve never been one,

for pets on the bed,

but there are only a few things,

as nice,

as going to sleep,

with cold feet,

and waking up,

in the middle of the night,

to the scent of cat breath,

on your cheek,

and a ball of commitment,

curled up,

against the back of your knees,

in Viking spirit

with godspeed

And the fire glow...

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