if you love something, set it free. especially if it gnaws a hole through the screen to get out.

remember the rats? our small rodent friends who live with us? they cut a hole through the screen window in an escape attempt while enjoying some free range time in the art room. after being gone for some undetermined time, (we were in the livingroom, watching a nature documentary) they scurried back inside, single file. i caught the last one coming through as i stuck my head in to see what the heck they were on about and wouldn't you know, the other two were already nestled in their terra cotta pot, fast asleep.

they must have engaged in some sort of strenuous activity while on the lam. like bank robbery or speed walking with tiny rat-sized nordic poles.

mornings and muffins

i get up early because i can hardly wait to start the day. every day is like that. i mean that's probably a small stretch of the truth some days it is tempting to stay warmly cocooned in bed, under blankets and beside my love, but most days i am so excited to wake up and start doing stuff.

a day! a whole new one! with eating and drinking and learning and moving and seeing and hearing!

lucky, lucky me.

driving (scientists in love)

whenever we have to drive somewhere and we're on a highway especially, jeremy and i are often in complete silence. maybe that's surprising, given the true nature of yours truly, but we are very good at long and comfortably wonderful periods of absolute quiet. usually we're both counting hawks so sometimes they'll be the silent communication of pointing and averting our gaze. look there. look up. we can tell the difference between a vulture and a hawk in the air and i don't think that was always the case? we're two scientists in love on the road of life. there's just no stopping us.

march missive

remember how we thought it was summer? we had to sleep with the fan on one day last week, with our legs swung languidly outside the covers. it was too soon though, which we knew it had to be, so now we're back where we started and i'm wearing a hat and scarf to blog.

i had some blood work done at the doctors. just some standard testing to make sure i'm getting enough nutrients not eating mammals and sure enough, my iron is low. i've actually had this problem before when i was young so it's not that surprising nor is it really anything to worry about i just have to eat more leafy greens and source an animal free iron supplement. time to call the naturopath! as i'm reading about iron deficiencies i'm finding common phrases like 'low energy' and 'chronic fatigue'. if this is me in slow motion, what will i be like when my levels are up to snuff? i can just see it now, jeremy replacing my supplements with placebos so he can get some rest. BUT I FEEL GREAT SWEETIE WEEEEE! *hanging from the rafters* *doing chin-ups*

yesterday something wonderful happened. while i was walking home from work a large, drooling dog was startled by my presence and proceeded to aggressively snarl at me. because he was not on a leash and because i have a history of emotion about unleashed dogs, i felt immediately infuriated. in an instant i was completely armed and ready to have it out with this dogs owner. how dare you let your dog run off leash when you don't have control over it. how dare you disrespect my personal space and right to enjoy this trail, unaccosted by your large and aggressive unleashed animal. but i didn't say any of those things. i didn't say any of those things because i realized in saying them i would only be hurting myself. i would get mad and they would get mad back and i would be yelling and they would be yelling and i would walk away feeling angry. all that anger and yelling would take me away from the present moment to a place where i would be consumed with negative emotion and belittled by my own choice to lash out and so instead, i just let the anger go. i am not an animal. i am in control of my emotions. om.

i just saw a hawk outside the window. isn't that a neat thing about where i live? that hawks often swoop by? and not in the distant horizon either, i could see this guy's underbelly. it was white with red flecks.



past and present (and morning macaroons)

i met my new friend michelle for a saturday morning date. michelle is betrothed to stuart, who i've spoken of before, and recently the four of us have come to really enjoy one another's company.

today though, was the very first day just us ladies took some time to spend together.

it's a funny day that's grey and follows a string of sunny ones but somehow, bundled up in our jackets, walking faceward into the wind, it made the day more cozy. more intimate. more conducive to spending over an hour sifting through drawers upon drawers of old photographs in a vintage shop.

we also tried on hats. and shoes. and talked about weddings, (hers upcoming, mine in loving hindsight), over macaroons and hot drinks in tall cups. it was delightful.

and now i have these treasures, these photos i selected while in each others' company, to remind me of our date and the beautiful spring bud of new friendships.

a survey of sounds

hitting the keys (tap tap space tap)
the don valley parkway (a constant, low din)
my breath, slow and intentional
the quiet noise my hair makes when i wiggle my ears against it (barely audible)
the computer hard drive
a motorcycle (buzzing, high pitch, far off)
my bare feet on the leather hippo, stretching, touching
a helicopter (mechanical dragonfly)
the neighbour's door in the hall

(thinking makes no observable noise)

two-year-olds are really easy to write to

today's letter is to madelyn and so i drew her a whale because a picture speaks a thousand words and also because i like drawing whales. who doesn't like drawing whales? crazy people only. and people who are afraid of whales.

i am wearing a sundress

i am wearing a sundress and i am not wearing socks and before i went to work this morning i put sunscreen on my face.




i know it happens every year and i know the earth has been revolving around the sun in the pattern of seasons for quite some time now but for me, every spring is the first spring. every spring is the spring you never thought would come. every spring is the sweetest, most alluring, most seductive in its budding, its waking, its rejoicing flora and fauna.

my shoulders are so happy to be bare.

afternoon arts and sciences


sometimes i think if spring was any more wonderful, everyone's heads would just pop off. who needs them anyway? they're heavy and always thinking about stuff.

things i'm into (march)

mindfulness meditation.

the civil wars, in particular this song. and this song.


reading the dictionary.

ballet with jessica.

yoga with jessica.


walking long distances.

jogging short distances.

backyard wildlife monitoring.

letter writing.

letter reading.


letters (and doodles) for change

today's letter was to starbucks.

yes, i hand wrote a letter to (and drew a picture for!) the international coffee conglomerate. i addressed it 'dear starbucks' and signed it 'sincerely, jennifer sorrell' and advocated for the in-store promotion of using mugs and plates instead of paper cups and bags for customers who are enjoying their indulgences to-stay.

it's a start, right? change begins with the little guy?

i suggested if they did decide to institute my fabulous idea that i be given a lifetime supply of ginger-molasses cookies because those are my favourite. i would eat them all on a plate.

gifts marrieds give

despite a brief period when we got a kick out of addressing each other as 'husband' and 'wife', jeremy and i don't regularly consider the official status of our relationship.

but when i do and it's in the context of something he's done, some little thing that's just so simple and sweet, i'll think how glad i am to be a union, officially.

the other day he bought me some strawberry jam. he hid it in the cupboard and dressed it up as a surprise.

all the rainy walk home today i thought about how perfectly my surprise strawberry jam would taste on my peanut butter toast, then i laughed and thought, these are the gifts that marrieds give.

i love you, jeremy! husband! mister sorrell! my after work snack was especially satisfying. it tasted like love and strawberries.

you, through the eyes of someone else.

mel took these photos. the first is from yesterday when we were walking together in the beaches and jeremy and i had our arms around each other and the second was from earlier today when i took a stroll and sat down, briefly, to watch for movement in the cattails.

two stolen moments - one in union, one in solitude - both captured objectively, (but ever so subtly subjectively) by someone who sees me, really seems me, every day.

how to: make a bird face with pineapple rings and a scone

tickle me spring

we rode our bikes down to jessica's in the beaches, had brunch and a walk by the boardwalk. stretched a morning visit into an afternoon beer, you know, it's a sunday.

and what a fine specimen. it is eighteen degrees and everyone looks like they're having the best day of their lives. there was a big line at the ice cream shop and i saw at least ten games of frisbee.

and i have a teensie bit of a sunburn on my nose. i know, so good.

sun day

i have these moments, instances, experiences, when i am overwhelmed with a zesty adoration for life and specifically, the one i'm currently having.

like this morning making scones while the sun poured in.

a saturday scene

i'm "pro" neuron development

we're teaching ourselves to meditate or as jeremy points out, talking about teaching ourselves to meditate. hahaha, ah my love, speaker of truths.

it's interesting though, thinking about committing time to the silence of your brain. an inward activity that focuses on, among other things, compassion and love. i'd say that sounds worthy of effort.

we're going to start learning by sitting in stillness and quiet for 5 minutes a day, just focusing on our breathing. this will likely not be a joint activity because i distract easily and jeremy for me is especially distracting. i always want to talk to him and see how he's doing. hi sweetie! we're meditating! are you feeling anything yet?

anyways, i like that it's a simple plan. small to start, you know? work gradually up to transcendence and journeys to other spiritual dimensions. that probably takes a week at least, right?

the loveliness of letters

address unknown

dear stranger,

it's me, the person who got that book out of the library after you did. i can see that we both like to dog ear pages of note. i can see that we agree on which pages are noteworthy.

when i read something profound, when i pause to take it in, when i go to fold the page corner and notice a crease already there - i feel connected to you, dear stranger.

i wonder who you are, what you thought when you were reading those passages, if you felt alone, if you considered at all that these creases you left would be like a hand stretched out. if you knew that i would be the one, forward in time to take hold.

it's pleasing to think that our actions in solitude have future implications in collectivity. don't you think? i believe in those things. like i believe in small turns of kismet and fate to somehow bring this letter to you and what's more, for you to understand its yours.



the walk home

"we shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

t.s. eliot

you're just so cute, it kills me.

mel won't ever let me take her picture. isn't that funny? i think that's funny. maybe she's just so comfortable behind the lense, she doesn't know what to do with her adorable ebony-haired self in front of one.

it's poppycock. madness.

joke's on her though. even in these, stolen stills i snuck while she snapped some of her own, that beauty shines through.

as beauty always do.


i read an article recently about ssb (secret, single, behaviour). the things you do when no one is looking and you're left, in your home, entirely to your own devices. besides being humourous and collectively affirming, i thought the article to be vaguely prejudice. being a married does not mean i don't find myself, every now and again, alone in my abode. like tonight, par example. jeremy is out at the soccer season opener and i am left here, with an evening completely unto myself.

and what will i do with said evening you may ask? let me enlighten you and allow me to speak in generalities knowing for the most part, time alone is a smattering of column A with a generous seasoning of column B. in other words, these are my rituals. leave me be for longer than an hour and i'm bound to partake in at least one.

for your consideration, (and perhaps for your peace of mind when you land on one that begs the utterance, "ME TOO!"), here is my smb (secret, married, behaviour).

- i listen to strange music
- i sing. really loudly. the same three songs.
- i drink a glass of wine
- i drink 3 glasses of wine
- i dance. wildly and without caring that we don't have curtains.
- i write
- i have multiple costume changes often including but not limited to: my wedding dress, my black swan halloween costume, my swimming trunks
- i eat food that's been prepared by someone else (take-out, delivery, something from the grocery store deli counter)
- i buy a delectable and completely indulgent dessert from the bakery
- i pretend i'm going to only eat half
- i eat the whole thing
- i put my hair up
- i put my hair down
- i do a headstand by the front door and for the first (but not the only) time in the evening i'll miss jeremy for not being on hand to help me down
- i'll make something
- i'll draw something
- i'll try (and fail) to wait up until jeremy gets home
- i'll leave a loving note/sign/banner made with toilet paper

embrace your time alone! eat the whole damn dessert yourself! and, who are we kidding, have that fourth glass of wine. i'm going to go pour mine now.

the problem pastry

sometimes you can get hung up on something. like the god damn french donuts at the bakery up the street. i guess it started about a year ago when i noticed a sign in the window proclaiming 'french donuts for sale'. having no idea what a french donut was but assuming them to be worth the effort of advertising, i went inside to make my purchase.

"oh no, those have been sold out since 9," the girl said, almost incredulously, "you have to get here really early to get one."

and so began an increasingly determined quest for the elusive donut. one time i was too early ("they're still in the oven"), one time i was too late (9:05am), and one time i got there before the bakery had even opened. that time, (and i confess this in the hopes you'll understand how defeat, even of the pastry variety, can sometimes get the best of us) - i cried all the way home.

i've since enjoyed plenty of french donuts. i remember that first successful trip vividly when i was neither too early nor too late and i saw them sitting neatly in their paper and wicker basket holdings and i waited patiently in line for my turn to say, "i'll have one of those, please."

it was delicious.

airy and sweet and warm - you could tell the thing was made with skill and love in equal parts.

this morning i met mel for one that we shared over coffee and i laughed to myself thinking how something once so mysterious, can be made familiar with persistence and patience, (and an early bird constitution).

letter writing (a protest on progress)

inspired by mel's letter writing marathon, i am going to write and mail a handwritten note for each day in the month of march. i started a list of intended recipients - people i love, people i admire, people i've never met - but left the list incomplete on purpose.

email correspondence is alluring in its instant gratification. we send an email, we get an email back. there is no waiting, no wondering, no need to travel to the mailbox to spy, as if by magic, an envelope addressed in ink to us.

when i sat down to write my first letter last night i thought about all the people i wanted to include on my list but couldn't as they'd passed on. imagine the comfort to be gained if letter writing were possible across the great divide? hello, i miss you, it's unimaginably beautiful here - something like that.

i can hear a bird outside the window right now. i might include that in today's letter. all writing should seek to convey the total sphere of state that the writer was in whilst writing. the bird's song, the smell of cold air through the open window, the grey/blue sky, almost purple near the horizon.

show me your world. write it on paper with pen.