A Scary Start

Van Dusen Gardens

Van Dusen Gardens, Vancouver

Today’s the day. This is my first post. I’ve put it off for a long, long time, mostly from a toxic blend of fear of commitment and fear of exposure. I already feel exposed enough most of the time, thank you very much. Why would I create something public like this, without the protection of a publisher between those who might read my words and me? Yet, here I am.

In the past, I thought I would write a blog mostly for my students. It could be a resource, I thought. I could write about children’s books and writing strategies. But I didn’t do it.

Now, I want to do something else. I want to write as deeply as I am able about my self, about my struggles and my insights as I move through the coming months. That may mean writing about books from time to time, of course, both those for children and those for adults (I’ve just finished John Boyne’s Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Will Ferguson’s 419), but books and writing will not be the driving force.

The other day, in preparation for this beginning, I went for a walk in one of my favourite places: Van Dusen Gardens. It was the first of September, a glorious blue-sky day, and everyone was out enjoying a last snippet of summer. As I was wandering the garden, I thought, pictures! I’m supposed to take pictures for my blog… Where better than Van Dusen on this shining day? I retraced my steps, phone at the ready, and, without planning it,  ended up with three paths, all of them crooked: the first crosses water, the second meanders through a cedar-and-bamboo forest, the third leads into a secret place, between walls of molten rock.

Each one beckons.