February 14, 2020

Lane forever

Pearl blouse in peacock.
Pearl workshirt in pewter. Pearl trousers in peacock.

Lane D.G. for Tony Chestnut FW19.
A series of photographs from a single roll / a series of looks I felt inspired to capture.

HUT K / Winnipeg, MB; September 2019
Kiev 60 / Portra 400

February 10, 2020


Work clothes drying in the sun. Near Roseisle, MB; August 2019. Canon AE-1 / FP4

"Did you love her so much, then?" My sister Reinette, with her high cheekbones and her glossy curls. My sister the harvest queen, lipsticked and crowned with barley, with a sheaf of wheat in one hand and an orange in the other. That's how I'll always remember her, you know. That clear, perfect picture in my mind. I felt an unexpected prick of jealousy close to my heart.

"The same way you loved him, perhaps," said Paul calmly. "The way you loved Leibniz."

The fools we were when we were children. The hurting, hopeful fools. I spent my life dreaming of Tomas, through my married days in Brittany, through my widowhood, dreaming of a man like Tomas with his careless laughter and his sharp river-colored eyes, the Tomas of my wish--you, Tomas, only you forever--Old Mother's curse made terrible flesh.

"It took a little time, you know," said Paul, "but I got over it. I let go. It's like swimming against the current. It exhausts you. After a while, whoever you are, you just have to let go, and the river brings you home."

"Home." My voice sounded strange in my ears. His hands over mine felt rough and warm as an old dog's pelt. I had the strangest picture of us both, standing there in the failing light like Hansel and Gretel, grown old and gray in the witch's house, finally closing the gingerbread door behind them.

Just let go, and the river brings you home. It sounded so easy.

"We've waited a long time, Boise."

I turned my face away. "Too long, perhaps."

"I don't think so."

I took a deep breath. This was the moment. To explain that it was all over, that the lie between us was too old to erase, too big to climb over, that we were too old, for pity's sake, that it was ridiculous, that it was impossible, that besides, besides--

He kissed me then, on the lips, not a shy old-man's kiss but something else altogether, something that left me feeling shaken, indignant and strangely hopeful. His eyes shone as slowly he drew something out of his pocket, something that glowed red-yellow in the lamplight. . . .

A string of crab apples.

I stared at him as he drew the necklace gently over my head. It lay against my breasts, the fruit glossy and round and shining.

"Harvest queen," whispered Paul. "Framboise Dartigen. Only you."

I could smell the good, tart scent of the little fruit against my warming skin.

"I'm too old," I said shakily. "It's too late."

He kissed me again, on the temple, then at the corner of the mouth. Then from his pocket again he drew a plait of yellow straw, which he placed around my forehead like a crown.

"It's never too late to come home," he said, and pulled me gently, insistently toward him. "All you have to do . . . is stop moving away."

Resistance is like swimming against the current, exhausting and pointless. I turned my face toward the curve of his shoulder as into a pillow. Around my neck the crab apples gave off a pungent, sappy scent, like the Octobers of our childhood.

We toasted our homecomings with sweet black coffee and croissants and green-tomato jam made to my mother's recipe.

An excerpt from Joanne Harris' beautiful novel, "Five Quarters of the Orange" page 305-307.

Old girl crosses over. I snapped this out the back seat window of our car. Near Roseisle, MB; August 2019. Canon AE-1 / FP4

January 14, 2020

Softie but a Goodie

Third time momma to be captured at 28 weeks on a crisp day in early October.
Mother / daughter.
Chad with his young / Kelsey and young Amelie stroll through the bluff. Rosenort, MB; October 2019.
Uncle Mike reads a new book to Benny after bath time. Winnipeg, MB; November 2019.
Crystal and Rusty ham it up in their back lane. Winnipeg, MB; November 2019.
Dad & son / Son & mom in the sun. Winnipeg, MB; November 2019.
Benny / Lue. Winnipeg, MB; December 2019.
Sophie's portrait at the Forks / Sophie & Will. Winnipeg, MB; December 2019.
Sophie, Will & Benny at the Forks / softie but a goodie. Winnipeg, MB; December 2019.

Diptych review caught at the tail end of the year. I loaded the half frame camera in early October and processed it the first week of December. A 36 exposure roll of FP4+ took what felt like lightyears to fill (72 frames). Fun to slow it down and completely forget what I shot. Need to start carrying a tape measure by the looks of my soft focus. Too shallow, too deep. Find the depth, Madge.

Yashica 72-E / FP4+ processed as 400

January 7, 2020


'Backward Bill' by Shel Silverstein, a genius. 


In late November--around six weeks into my second pregnancy--I had a vivid dream where I was standing in a lush meadow alongside Iain and our dear friend Grant--a real life horse whisperer. We were conversing casually, surrounded by green on a bonny day. Suddenly the air became charged by a powerful sound of many hooves thundering toward us. I couldn't help myself; my body suddenly taught as the strings on a bow, determined to ride no matter the cost. Determined to be one with one of those flying beasts. I readied myself for a mighty leap and then grabbed hold of a magnificent chestnut stallion as it came flying past and then slid with relief and pride into the familiar position against the horse's withers.

At that point in the dream Iain was furious with me for riding in my 'delicate condition' but I hooted and hollered at him from across the bluff to stuff it. I had a horse who knew their own agenda. We were flying through a meadow together when suddenly the giant horse began to gallop backwards. It was a magnificent feeling. Shocking redirection. Terrifying, but magnificent in its wildness. I instinctively began to clamp my thighs down in fear when the horse conveyed a message to me telepathically.

He simply said, "My name is Laurence and this ain't my first rodeo". In other words, LEAN INTO IT, BABY. Well then. There was nothing left to do but enjoy the ride!

I woke up with a large grin plastered to my sleep-creased face. Nothing better than a good gallop with an old friend.

We lost our little baby a few weeks later. As I processed the loss of that spirit babe in my own way and time, I couldn't help but circle back to that wild dream and smile. Not his first rodeo, no. Surely not his last either.

While perusing the stacks for a beautiful piece of writing to share in this worn old space in an effort to get back into the saddle of writing, my eye caught on this gem by Shel Silverstein from his "A Light in the Attic" poetry collection and cracked me right up as if I were in Grade Five all over again.

Walk on, dear Laurence. I heartily look forward to leaning into your incredible strength and power again someday, even if it's just in my dreams.


December 24, 2019


Found files from IDP's great aunt Josephine's collection. This one stood out amoung the rest :)

Merry Christmas Eve. May your holidays be mellow, cozy and one good bite after the next!

xo Madge

December 17, 2019

Shed / Flow

Self reflection at TCHQ. Winnipeg, MB; October 2019. Kiev 60 / FP4

I swallow the lump in my throat, breathe in the briny smell of the ocean. I think of Diaghilev, with his utter terror of any open water. Of his nervous half-smile when he watched Vaslav swim in the Lido. Of his relief when my brother, in his striped swimming costume, ran toward us, cold, dripping, splashing us with water he managed to carry in his cupped hands. "Come on, Serge, you coward. Come with me."

Will I find the strength for another struggle? After all I have lost?

Kolya is a few steps away from me, his face dense and heavy with waiting. I see his chest heave; I note a pulse throb in his throat. Don't blame me, Bronia, his eyes plead. If I could give my life for Levushka's I would.

Harsh winters strengthen trees. The ring that forms through a time of stress is stronger than the ones formed in milder ones. The Chosen Maiden, my brother once told me, is a warrior, not a dying swan. She dances to make life possible again. 

This is an old memory, but Vaslav's voice remains urgent: Are you ready, Bronia?

I nod.
I step forward and raise my hand.

An excerpt from page 408 of Eva Stachniak's "The Chosen Maiden".


Shed / Flow

Ain't that the truth, whether we like it or not.
 "She dances to make life possible again". Ah HA!


November 11, 2019

One year of loving you

Minutes old. There you are! 

Happy first birthday to my sweet Bernard Elgin!

Words fail me this evening. I am awash with wild waves of emotion as I reflect upon the day you were born. Today, every time I glanced toward a timepiece, be it on my wrist, upon the wall, in the car, my mind would register the time and the corresponding memory would play out in my mind's eye.

At 4:00am, after labouring hard for four hours, a doctor broke my water without asking me first. Mon dieu! Invasive! I was so deep in my work riding the waves of labour I had no voice to oppose. Things really picked up after that. I didn't like labouring in triage so your dad and I walked up and down the gritty stairs. I would stop with each contraction and moan through it as your dad quietly and patiently looked on. At 9:15 on the morning of your birthday, my mother arrived--your dear Granny Kim--and while I couldn't register more than her warm voice in the hubbub of triage, I took great comfort knowing she was there. At 10:00am your Auntie Erin and my midwife/ cheerleader Emily showed up. Again, I felt the circle of strong women widen around me but was unable to utter words beyond "MERCY"! At 11:30am, an earth angel/ labour & delivery nurse named Kristen turned up to say hello to Emily. Praise the moon above for their connection and teamwork. They agreed to ride out the rest of your birth as a team. I was moved from triage to a lovely private room with a shower. You, my little Scorpio water critter appreciated this (as did I) and together we moved you downward, closer to the light. By three I was 9.5cm dilated and Emily called for the warming table. By this point I was coherent enough to know we were close. Wrong! You took many more hours untangling yourself from the cord. I was so frustrated to be hung up for four more hours with only half a measly centimetre to go, but alas, as Emily put it then: You must cross this bridge alone as we cheer for you from both ends. And so, I hauled myself out of a dark place and crossed that bridge with determination.

At 7:11pm you slid out after six or seven incredible attempts to push you out. That work is not for the faint of heart! I was sure my head would fly off before I had the chance of admiring you all fresh and new. Thankfully, we both lived to shore up against each other, awash in relief. Home at last.

How easily you have carved out a spot for yourself in this family of ours in the course of one year. Your dad and I would be lost without your cheeky play, curious little spirit and hearty appetite for life. Benny boy, straight from the stars you are! One whole year of loving you kid.

Cheers to a hundred more!

Love, mum (and dad)

First new morning, happy as a lark in your dad's loving arms.
Tiny little bird with big mitts.
Birth of a proud mother.
Lovely little creature.
Home at last.

October 1, 2019

Teenage Mutant Ninja Baby

This was my last frame on the roll. As the camera rewound, Robert Falcon Ouellette walked into the frame. What are the chances of that? Missed encounters.
Sometimes Ni and I walk along Portage on Sunday evenings and play funny Cruise Night games.
Father and son watching the world go by on one of the last warm evenings of September. 
Simple pleasures of the Witching Hour.
Benny's first time at the track.
People watching. I am trying to challenge myself capture people (other than Benny) again. It's virtually impossible.
Watching the horses thunder by.
There they go! First horse track experience. 
I spy: long limbs. Typical scene.
RIP Westminster Tot Lot. Benny and I miss that playground space so much!
Suddenly I have a teenager at my table. How?!


I shot this pink-sopped roll on 40+ year old colour film from long-dead Laurence, using the little pocket cam Iain received from his mum and dad for his 16th birthday.

Olympus Stylus / very expired Kodak 400

September 25, 2019

Club o'clock

Oh the hilarity of hide and seek with Uncle Beetle! 
First bites; camping edition.
Cool dad alert!
It is always Club o'clock with these dingos!
Mama and girl pick flowers along the way.

Nice little roll to welcome back. This one shot on IDP's trusty old Canon AE-1 on FP4+ depicts a lovely weekend getaway to Spruce Woods over the Labour Day weekend. Love this gang of good folks.

Canon AE-1 / FP4+
Spruce Woods, MB; September 2019

September 18, 2019

Dog Daze

Popsicles on a hot day with Rebecca & Evey.
Miss Arlo multitasks in the shade.
Little Miss Evey girl! 
Benny's first popsicle.
Pearl & Arlo, Beatty cousins!
Experimentation in good company between B and Evey.
Girl, its MY turn.
Leo and Benny.
Leo gives it away for free.
Evey and Benny go for a swing.
Home again, home again, jiggety jig. Bernard happily reads with his dad.

Quick! It is essential that I tuck away this summer roll before the snow flies! This day was one of those random, super lovely, good company, sticky, easy breezy kind of days spent with our Beatty-Petkau clan. Cousin party all around!

Winnipeg, MB; July 2019
Canon AE-1 / FP4 400