They greeted each other and sat down.
“The world is big.”
“Yes even bigger than we thought when we parted.”

~Collected by Knud Rasmussen, Eskimo Folk Tales, 1921.

The night is actually cool for August. The blanket wrapping my legs extends warmth and a middle finger to the cloud of mosquitoes hovering over my knees. In the long shadows of firs, my pale Irish arms reflect what they can of the waxing moonlight. It’s 2008 and the peak night of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower when I begin the required drug regimen in anticipation of my impending In Vitro Fertilization surgery later that month. …

I don’t know what took me so long. I’d read some tweets when it was released, but I am always coming to shows that were ‘trending’ months, sometimes years, after the fact. Last evening, I began watching Normal People finally; and it was the first time in ages I couldn’t stop watching. Sleep is ever elusive for me, but I was absolutely gripped in a way I didn’t anticipate at all.

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if self is a location, so is love (Heaney). August 2020. Photo credit: Nancy Forde

I knew nothing about Sally Rooney’s novel, apart from the fact the show was based on it. Had no clue as to the premise. So it was a shock to my system and that’s an understatement. I’d been looking for something to keep me company during wee hours. …

He ordered the men to leave the classroom. Then he shot the women.

Thirty years ago on December 6, 1989, a gunman walked into a classroom at École Polytechnique in Montreal. He ordered the men in the classroom to leave. Then he shot the remaining people in the room. They were all women. He killed 14 women. Not ‘because they were women’, media. Don’t write or say that as though it’s some kind of valid reason or excuse. It’s not the reason. Please, I shout at Twitter, and Facebook and the paper and the television if I had one. Don’t utter those words. Women are blamed for enough things already. Now it’s 30 years on, can we learn not to phrase what he did that way? …

What happens when Mother Earth is battling infertility?

“Woman is the First Environment…
From the bodies of women flows the relationship of those generations, both to society and the natural world.
In this way, the earth is our mother, the old people said.
In this way, we as women are earth.”
Katsi Cook, Mohawk Elder and Midwife

I remember the first time I saw Venus of Willendorf in a darkened lecture hall on the University of Waterloo campus. The tiered seating of the hall was quite steep and the sound of the lecturer’s voice echoed above the low hum and advance of her slide projector. The actual figurine, found by archaeologist Josef Szombathy in a tiny Austrian village in 1908, stands at just under 5 inches in height, but projected there on screen, her impressive figure towered over us in that first year lecture on the history of art. …


Nancy Forde

I draw light | Canadian photographer. Irish mamaí. Digging with my pen and my lens.

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