Volume 2 of Raw Forming: 1964 April - September  work & days: a lifetime journal project 











Summer job at Sunnyside Children's Centre, This volume again is mostly letters. Most of the writing is embarrassing but it's a detailed record of Sunnyside the last year Joyce Detweiler and Isobel Allen were alive to run it.

Mentioned: Linda Stojan, Joyce Detweiler, Isobel Allen, Peter Hagedorn, Sushila Solomon, Joan Styles, Enid Easterbrook, Brian Wolfe, Maureen Law, Tom Hathaway, Alison Gordon, Peggy Morton, Vicky Lee, Betsy King, Roger Granit at CFRC, Peter Dyck, Bob Schwab, International House, Dennis Stamp, Frank Nabotete, Ad Varma, Harsh Bhargava, Olivia Howell, Norman McLeod, Martin Ware, Mike Easton, Ben's in Montreal.

Look Homeward, Angel, L'Etranger, The Plumed Serpent, Menotti's The Unicorn, The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies, Child Care and the Growth of Love, Margaret Bourke-White's Portrait of myself, The Brothers Karamazov, Babbitt, Beckett, Exodus, Saroyan, Liszt Les Préludes, Kinderscenen, Corelli Concerti 1-4, The prophet, Le Rite du Soleil Noir, Night on a Bare Mountain, The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.


Sunnyside, Union Street, April 26 1964, Sunday afternoon

Magnificent afternoon, magnificent day, magnificent job and this magnificent Sunnyside.

We have just had Sunday dinner, with the kids all talking at once. Mrs Govia, one of the workers, shushed everyone up with an announcement, "Quiet kids! Kevin is going to make a speech." And Kevin made his speech: "For dessert we are having vanilla ice cream." Long applause!

There are many people you'll have to meet, but not all at once so you'll have profiles scattered through most of the next few letters.

Today, I give you: Miss Allen, the director of Sunnyside. Tall, spare, perhaps about forty-two, soft white hair in a Miss Grundy bun that is beautiful and dignified on her, impeccible grooming. Everyone is a bit awed by her but it is a respectful and affectionate awe.

Kingston this morning is one of the most beautiful places I've seen. All over the city the lawns are over-run by tiny starry blue flowers that begin by being planted in flowerbeds but soon overflow like weeds over the whole lawn. The lake is smoking under a haze and everywhere Sunday hats and Sunday shiny cars are going their way in a sort of stupor.

27 Monday morning

I was on duty for the first time last night, putting-to-bed time. Read a picture-book story to three of the Littles (as opposed to the Bigs), helped with homework, kissed and snuggled and admired and patted and shushed. Bedtime is very pleasant for all of us.

30 Thursday


I thought the profile of the man I sat down beside last night was Martin Ware's, but he was looking at me and I didn't dare to turn and look at him until he was concentrating on the movie again. Instead I took off my gloves - French kid! - very slowly and smoothed them out in my lap and noticed their good leather smell. Then I looked carefully sideways and it was Martin Ware, with his hair untidy all over his large intelligent English schoolboy head and his usual sprawl.

History. I could say to him, "I don't really care what you are like. I don't care really if you are a dissipate or a homosexual or a lewdy. I like you Martin Ware because I liked your voice reading from the Old Testament in chapel one morning; and because I met you walking in the rain one day, and when I smiled at you, you smiled back like a blessing on the joy of the day; and because of the day when you ran and steamed and stumbled and ran for an hour in the drizzle of Lower Campus in boots and cricket shorts and a rough sweater."

The movie was a Japanese film with beautiful ghosts, passion, samuris, gore, the usual..

In the intermission I opened my Camus (a red book, L'Etranger) and had fumblingly found my place when the lights flicked off. He made some laughing comment in the dark. I saw that he had noticed my child psychology book. The movie had scenes of magic. I remember one scene of a flat boat emerging like a ghost with the mists of the morning in shreds all about it, the woman leaning on the large oar at the back and singing a song thin and vague as the fog. A throat-catching beauty. Then there was a grim scene of war, blood, plunder. But in Japanese movies even the heroes scrabble about like beetles, darting here and there so ludicrously in fright that they seem to mock themselves. In the large respectful silence surrounding this scene Martin and I began simultaneously to laugh and we felt a smiling closeness to each other in the laughter. I was glad for the obstructing head of the man in front of me, so that I could lean sideways toward him just a little. Eventually our elbows brushed very lightly, but it was warm and chaste and friendly. But not that chaste.

And there was a scene that was unreal: ghosts singing "All the finest silks, all beauty has faded" in the charred timber of an old warlord's house. Ghosts singing, magic; answering a remark Martin Ware leaned over to say to his friend, "Strange, but oh no, not boring."

Near the end, the pretty, patient woman-wife covering over her sleeping husband and their child, then taking up his sandals, clapping them together softly to knock off the dust of his travel, his sin, his honor, and arranging them neatly on the domestic hearth.

I said "oh" very quietly to myself and to Martin Ware; and he said "ooh-h" very quietly to himself and to me. Somehow the sandals were a bond.

But the lights came on and we walked quickly outside and I saw his head mirrored in the glass of the door behind me as I passed through. Rain outside, unbreathing dark, splinters of light exploding in the hard black puddles on the street as raindrops fell into them. Swishing tires of cars passing. The books heavy on my arm, my hair becoming wet. Martin Ware somewhere with his friend, blond Mike somewhere with a little girl in fragile dancing shoes.

Martin Ware ... I walked home in the rain muttering to myself, "Oh darn, darn, darn, darn, darn," and telling myself firmly that if I knew him he would probably be a disappointment.

The wet branches of bushes at the Sunnyside gateposts gleaming, the lighted porch of this beautiful white house, apples and music and books in bed, Saint Joan on television.

Saturday, May 2

Kevin last night when I came to tell him good night and bring him his cookie was crying broken-heartedly. At first he said he was crying about his rage at Bobby who was evidently the entire universal cause of his troubles, but after a while, he pushed his hand under his pillow and pulled out a fistful of cookies, "Here, stole 'em." And soon he was confessing theft of sugar from the kitchen, lies, things going 'way back. Terrified of going to hell, pauvre petit, crying terrifiedly. We let him talk it out and cuddled him up and when he finally went to bed he was happier.

May 6 Wednesday

My opinion of Miss Detweiler rises all the time. She is stocky but not plump, freckled, about forty five, brisk, capable, rather impersonal on the surface; her hair is short, red and wiry, bristling up all over her head; eyes a pale turquoise; sensible clothes (flat shoes and sensible laceless slips etc) but she does add feminine touches like scarves and so on. Her language is a mixture of gusty slang and technical psychological terminology, a good foil for her very tart sense of humour. With kids she is no-nonsense but warm and intuitively 'right' in her attack (I say with chagrin, because it is piquing to be a green apprentice). More and more this job does seem like an apprenticeship in psychology and social work, because our staff meetings and my own research relevant to these meetings and to the individual files I'm studying on these kids bring up all sorts of knowledge and questions on the real behind-scenes workings of psychological and social work agencies, especially because Sunnyside works closely with psychologists, psychiatrists, adoption and childcare agencies, mental hospitals (some of the children have a background of mentally ill parents, alcoholic parents, unwed parents and so on - this brings these agencies into the picture as well).

May 8, Friday

The Sunnyside lawn is full of blue and purple and yellow violets, the leaves are coming out slowly, showing now in a mosaic of all different shades of green. I keep dragging pots of flowery leafy stuff up to my room and the kids are dragging pots of it into the dining room, until yesterday Miss Solomon gave up in disgust and moved some of the bigger branches off the table to make room for food.

Large boats are going uplake now, more every day. They move quietly and deliberately, hardly disturbing the water, and only a long time after the boat has passed pulling its sky-fishline of smoke behind it do the ripples reach the beach; and then they are nearly smooth. At night and in the early morning we can hear their fog whistles very faintly, more like a smudge than a sound.

9 Saturday

A gale today, with whitecaps on the lake and seagulls struggling for balance. My quiet bit of beach with its flat rocks was spray wet and the wind was too cold even in the corners between rocks to stay very long.


Later: the music on the radio, folk music, makes me lonesome for the Ban Righ Three crowd. During the last weeks we spent most of our breaks in Sue's room singing at once exuberantly and sadly because we knew that nothing would ever be the same again. By the end of the year we were good at harmonies and variations, Sue was an expert on the guitar. We would sing with the windows wide open to the beginning-spring and people going by below would stop to listen. Our room was full of sound, the corridors echoing, girls from the lower floors coming up to see us and standing rather wistfully in the doorway. Now and ever after when we think of those times it will be as if WE are standing wistfully in the doorway.

11 May

Last night I slid out to mail your letter, Mom, and decided to go for a walk. Warm dark, a mysterious flower scent. And then, suddenly, on someone's dark lawn, a pink tulip tree! You have never seen them, but at night they are fairyland - small broad trees covered with waxy tulip-like pink flowers shedding their petals on the grass. They take your breath away when you come upon them by surprise. [Sounds like a magnolia.]

All of the trees have small leaves and dripping catkin blossom; even the grass has a scent; and there is a hole in the Sunnyside fence that we can creep through at night to get back to the house via the trees (one of the trees has a distinctive squeak) rather than by the drive, and glimmer in the kitchen door and up the steep winding servants' staircase to the second storey where the floor is solid in some places but treacherously creaky in others. I must draw you a diagram.

May 17

But most of all, Friday night. Our marks, you see, were posted on Friday and we dashed out immediately after bedding the kids to the basement of the old Arts Building to check the lists of subjects with their lists of names and grades. While I was on my way down I met Maureen coming the other way and she came along to check mine with me. The English marks weren't posted yet. French - B. Sigh of relief. Psychology - A. Well I expected that. How many others out there? Ooo - only four in the class, not bad! But ol' Alistair McLeod has one too, and he beat me at Christmas, bad. Philosophy - A. What do you know! Music, I'm afraid to look. "You look, Maureen." "A." "That's the wrong column." "No, it says A."

Meanwhile, Peter had discovered that there was a separate list of people to receive their BA's and that his name was on it. So he phoned Detweiler and Allen, hauled out the rum and brandy, and we all sat around yakking until three. There had been a strange big box waiting for Peter to hear about his marks, and when he opened it now, there was a mortar board and a gown which he immediately put on over his maroon pyjamas and blue brocade robe, setting the mortar board at a foppish angle over his beaming redbearded face. Detweiler and Allen appeared to admire him. Detweiler smoked cigarillos and got slowly happier and happier (tho' by no means sodden) while Miss Allen crossed her legs and sipped something delicate and frowned at the cigarillos. You should have seen Miss Detweiler in her ballooning maroon housecoat and her wild red hair, she made me think of the Ghost of Christmas Present in Dickens. Peter as well got vaguer and happier on a strange horrible mixture of rum, brandy, milk, and sugar. When he went upstairs finally he was weaving like one of the kids playing train-going-up-the-mountain. Enid and I washed up glasses in the kitchen!

It is the quiet Sunday morning, most of the kids are at Sunday School. Quiet flamenco guitar music. A low ground fog outside with the wonderful green shining through it, and fog horns from the lake.

Olivia has written, she has a job in Toronto selling magazines from door to door. She tells about the sales pitch they are to memorize: "We start off by saying 'Hi there.' (I am going to scrap that part and say 'Good morning.') 'I represent the EDUCATIONAL department of the Better Reading Foundation.' Then we mention that the radio and tv are sponsoring programs for children, educational. This is nothing to do with the magazines but that is beside the point. Then we offer them this Children's Guide to Knowledge, FREE!!!!! Then we say that they will have to let us place in their home two children's magazines at 25¢ a week. We don't tell them that although they pay 25¢ a week the magazine comes out only once a month, that it is cheaper on the newsstand. And that the Children's Guide to Knowledge is a useless pile of paper! All the people there are absolute crooks. Every time I say that pitch it makes me sick. I hate lies and I'm so blunt as you know, that I find it impossible to smooth-talk people. But the leaves are finally coming out, which is news for me because I think it's the most important thing that happens every year. Oh to be a university student again instead of a 'representative of the EDUCATIONAL department of the Better Reading Foundation.'"

I feel lucky about Sunnyside! We do have problems tho'. Kevin is terrified of his plastic surgery operation. Joey is hysterical about his confirmation this afternoon. Cathy is jealous of the new girl Helen who is a pretty, sturdy, bossy little engine. I keep realizing how much work and frustration you've had with us Mother! Getting kids up in the morning and putting them to bed, oooooof. At the end of a day we tend to collapse in front of the television set and stare blankly at some terrible show, munching passively, listening to someone else quip with Peter or Brian. And shop talk about the kids.

Tuesday, May 19

Last night: had a walking date with one of my IH friends, Frank Nabotete who is one of the most beautiful men I know, a Kenyan, in law school working on his law degree. Very fortunately he 'belongs' to one of my girlfriends, Heather Maki, who is at home working for the summer - so I have to keep hands off but he is gorgeous. His story is very interesting: join us leaning on the railing by the lake with the moon on the water and the waves piling in on a line of foam, and hear about it. He comes from a town of about three thousand people near Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, near enough to Lake Victoria to sail across it to other parts of East Africa. He and his cousin are the only people in his town who have gone to university. This happened because his parents became Christians (missionary efforts - we had an interesting talk about missionary impact on Africa - he is a living example of part of that impact, and it is most interesting to notice how his religious views have developed from the straight missionary-preached doctrine to a very North American type of anti-denominational quasi-Christianity that is very Campus) and realized the value of education early enough to see to it that he got through the ridiculously tough elimination exams the Africans have to go through as early as fourth grade. This continues: grades eight, nine, ten, and twelve are weeding-out years for huge numbers of children. He is taking his law degree here, after a BA in the US, and when he gets it he expects to go back to Kenya to practice law as a means of living independently of government supervision which would hobble him in a civil service job, and as his real interest, work for improving standards of education and living among his own tribesmen. He is very interested in this, and his face lights up as he talks about it.

For coffee we dropped into the 'African Embassy,' the boarding house where most of the African boys are staying. Music - African and Western pop - and coffee and toast and stories about their boarding school days in high school. Stories about how they used to get around the eleven o'clock curfew by studying under blankets, about sneaking away to the bush to curl up and read with the snakes in the trees, about forbidden feasts of 'gali' (a stable something like potatoes) after lights out; as prefects or head boys, they could not be punished openly for their écarts in order not to lose face with the smaller boys, and so they were set to walk six miles along a specified route and leave their initials at regular intervals on the rocks along the path to prove they had been there. That is how they began to leave their mark on the world - and they like to go back now to show their friends the initials.

May 20, Thursday 2:15 a.m.


After a while tonight I went for a walk, in my old dirty tennis shoes. Miss Detweiler was alone in front of the television set in her huge maroon bathrobe, with her red hair on end. The curving lane in the dark, the gateposts, the auburn glow of red maple leaves from the underside, from the street light. Houses quiet. Only a few secret curtained windows lit. Then a wonderful upright white house with its shutters and brick steps and now a lilac tree in the backyard. Masses of shadow. Apple blossom, a scent of lilac untraced. An armful stolen from a bush already bare on its street side.

A vase of lilac, the small pitcher of apple blossom. The sad joy of Mozart again.

Tuesday May 26

On Thursday night at nearly ten Miss Detweiler mentioned leaving for TO in the morning. At seven thirty next morning I was with her (a fortunate weekend off) on the way to an Ontario Welfare Council annual meeting at which Miss Allen was to speak. We had three hours worth of good talk before we got there. She told me the story of how Miss Allen ("Boss" is what most of the senior staff call her) began to work at Sunnyside and built it up to one of the foremost child rehabilitation centres in Canada, and certainly the finest in the province. She mentioned something that is especially exciting: she feels there is an overwhelming need in the field of on-the-spot workers who can articulate their experience - she says, "I know so much, and I understand so much, but I can't verbalize it and it will be lost - most of the people who write about kids-work don't know anything, they write clichés about what should work, but it doesn't." And when I mentioned that I was studying English because I would like to hyphenate free-lancing onto social-type work, she seemed excited with the idea. Excitement from Miss D is valuable, and I'm pleased. This feels good, it is an indication of what my leanings are tho by no means a commitment.

Sunday afternoon train back to Toronto in the rain, with the light dimming gradually and the countryside seeming to glow from a strange inside light - I've never seen such green! So many of the trees, the wild as well as the orchard-kept, are blossoming, the hedges are full of lilac. During the whole four hours of the trip I felt that I was moving through an Eden with its old stone houses and strange stone fence-remnants and glimpses of some vast misty grey sea.

Thursday May 28

The funeral you heard mentioned I know was my friend's - there is only one Ed Luddington. Fuzzy white hair, querrelous old voice demanding attention, laughing softball yarns, thumping cane on the floor, stubborn shuffling walk, craving for cocoa-bars and coffee, company - the long tale of horse-dealings and the funny defenceless mouth with its ring of white stubble, rocking chair and pale blue eyes and a reluctant concern about other people, affectionate-wistful inspection of some youngster's pitching arm - a mind full of things remembered: old trees in the town where he grew up and the hot afternoon when he got drunk on a jug of cold whisky he thought was water, anger and disappointment. I hate it when people's minds die.

Yesterday the Annual Meeting or 'Sunnyside's Birthday' was held in pomp and glory in a perfectly sterilized house with gleaming kids in their Sunday clothes and a house full of elaborately arranged flowers. I remember: Brenda's face shining because she was "smelling pretty" (my 4711 cologne), a horrible boardmemberwoman in a stern yellow plaid suit with a monsterous wildly flowered hat, Bobbie passing cookies shyly at the tea party shining with pride and our scrubbing, Marlene and Sherry conducting a charm-sopping house-tour for a dubious reporter, pouring tea from a silver tea service myself for the kids after the VIPs had moved on home: "Will you have milk and sugar Miss Cathy?", Joey quivering with excitement and stuffing himself with cookies, supper with the kids getting sleepier and sleepier, watching Carol's freckly-monkey-imp-beautiful face falling asleep and sitting on the floor beside Bobbie's bed as he drifted off.

And then staff had a party downstairs, everyone strangely unrecognizably elegant (at last I could wear the orange dress), a beautiful bowl of pink punch called 'bowle' made by our house manager's beautiful German husband (strawberries soaked in brandy, wine, cognac, etc), heaps of food (smoked oysters, shrimp, caviar which I dislike intensely, baby tomatoes, fresh pineapple and heaps of grapes). A fire in the fireplace. The party was pretty dull or is that just the nature of parties? Anyway, Sushila was feeling low because of Nehru's death, Miss D was wit-congested with a cold, Peter got slowly sillier because he cannot stop drinking. The good things were talking eating pineapple and sitting outside ALONE after the ghastly socializing was over.

Peter H is sporting something new and Daring - a pair of 'trousers' whose pockets are red-lined so that it looks as if he is wearing red underwear and his pants are side-split. He loves them and he is wearing them constantly "so that you can get used to them."

While he was happy last night, he started telling stories of the boobs he used to make in English before he understood implications etc, and then there was the morning when he got up sleepily, went downstairs, heard his big dog Buffy shuffling in around the corner and said "Hel-lo muttikins-baby, sweetie-puss, howareyuh honeypatch doggie er, Miss Allen! I thought you were a dog I mean, I know you aren't a dog, but I thought you were ... I mean ..." And Miss Allen, coolly, "Why Peter, that is the nicest welcome to Sunnyside I've ever had."

A record of Handel's arias is on - it meets Peter's record of Maria Callas at the corner of the hallway.

May 30

A wonderful many edged plot is underway at Sunnyside, to hoodwink both the Board and Miss Allen in one blow, and instead of getting one dog to replace Buffie, to get two dogs, a labrador and a Saint Bernard. Miss Allen is in love with a lab puppy who has "such a marvelous personality" but Peter wants a Saint Bernard too. So Peter is going to buy the labrador puppy himself, have the kennel man tell Miss A that her darling has been sold. According to plan, she will then resignedly okay the Saint Bernard, which the Board's money will cheerfully buy. When this other puppy is safely a Sunnysider, Peter will sneak in the labrador. She can't and won't object, and the Board has no voice over worker's pets - then, gradually, the labrador becomes Sunnyside's dog rather than Peter's, and we've won. Maybe.

That record of Handel and Bach arias is so good. It is wonderful to come home from a party of sociability and listen to it.

31, Sunday

It has been a wonderfully sunny Sunday - how was your day? Do you still sleep in the afternoon and have a cake-lunch late in the afternoon and then do chores and then - listen to records and CBC Sunday Night?

Tuesday June 2

Joey today explained very earnestly that Sushila Solomon is a "skwak" because she is Indian and Indian women are. Another of the kids' bloobers is in their skipping song where they sing "He goes corking one, two, three." A prize example of adult bloobers was the letter Joey's worker in Toronto sent him. She explained coyly that she was one of the "kind big people" who tries to "help children," and ended by saying "We are trying to find a new home for our nice friend Joseph." Staff found this - ugh - thing a demonstration of how not to write to children.

Mrs Thompson has such a refreshing way of waking one up in the mornings. She slides into the room, touches one's toe very gently, and says "Miss Ellie ..."

The Board has approved our Saint Bernard! Our schemes are going well.

Tuesday June 9

Liebe Familie in der? Die? Ferne -

I would like to send you a newsreel of how it feels to whiz down the campus streets on the bicycle in the late afternoon green-saturated sun-sopping AIR smelling whiffs of trees and flower beds and the distinctive smell of the library. There is a sculpted head of some dignitary in the middle-floor row of windows, that looks like a staring human face from the sidewalk below. It sees a large number of people on bicycles passing on University Avenue, girls walking barefoot on the grass with shoes in hand, workmen in helmits puffing on coffee-break cigarettes, funny dirty alive Mr Ferguson with his head stuck forward on his shoulders and the grizzly hair on his neck (like a scraggly mane) shedding over his inevitable, filthy, black suit . High school students using the library to cram for senior matric finals (and I look at them with a condescending fondness that says - I've been through all that!). Lilacs are past now, and iris are blooming in daffodil-recapitulation yellows and orchid-dotted browns and terribly royal purples. And hawthorn - aren't you curious about hawthorn? I always was, because I loved the sound of the word. Hawthorn is tree-bushes with small red flowers in clumps, very pretty - I have some with white maythorn in a yellow jug, on my bookcase. And iris next to my quaint, friendly Rembrandt. Robert Frost is in comfortable austerity on the back of my door.

Wednesday, 10th

Last night's prowl was at 2 a.m. of course, coat over pyjamas and delightfully sneaky slippers, out of the big red front door, down the black drive in the deep shadow of all our trees, through the street-lit gateposts with their "Sunnyside" sign, no cars, empty streets, warm air tossing a little under the restraint of a ground-fog, pockets of light in the trees near a streetlamp. The long hill down to the lake, white ghostly mayflowers spilling over a fence. One street to cross, pause until two people have gone by, holding hands. Then the long cool lawn, the edge of the beach, and the lake moving in and out on a line of white spray in the dark. Lying flat on the grass, a line of trees and streetlamps stretching in one direction along the lake, stars like powder. Terrifying and peaceful at one time.

The staff has given Miss Detweiler a dozen red rosebuds with a note, "To Det for braving the Board." (About the Saint Bernard which is due to be picked up next week.)

Thursday 11 June

What a kooky and rather wonderful lot of people these Sunnyside staffers are! An example - I come downstairs at two a.m. for a brief walk outside, and there in the sitting room are a touselled Miss Detweiler and a lounging Peter listening to Bach's Saint Mathew's Passion and passionately discussing prison reform! And when they catch me sitting on the stairs listening to the music, they say "Why don't you come in and sit on something softer? We'll not talk too loudly." Then the three of us listen, they drink rum and I drink lemon Coke and we all discuss prison reform until at three thirty a.m. I leave them to go to bed, and they are only half-way through the Passion.

I have to be up by six for kids getting-up duty, so there is no point in going to bed. Read a novel until five thirty. It is bright out, and Kingston must be asleep. Bicycle, empty streets, the campus already warm and green, but deserted. A fat lady walking to work, shouting a bit of conversation after me. A worker in a steamboiler room leaning from his window to whistle, later a newspaper boy, a taxi driver too grumpled from night duty to smile, no one else.

The bike's wheels turning through the reflections in street-cleaner puddles, strange white-washed sky, paths in the parks clean and bare, the black iron lion and the statue of John A like signs of imagination in the town, a black door with an elaborate knocker, a tall elegant old house with geraniums and underclothes on its back balconies, the lake by the yacht club dock smooth as if there were a thick transparent milk-like skin over it. The boats moving ever so slightly on the water, their black and wood masts in swaying reflections that seem to be screwing straight into the water, the "Royal Tramp" with its stateroom curtains pulled shut, the "Second Try," the "Enigma" perhaps there somewhere too. A red freightboat on the horizon. A long time standing and looking at it all.

Monday 15 June

This morning Tom Murphy who is long and thin and hollow-eyed, put on his monster-robot act in which he freezes his face to steel-mask rigidity and shuffles with stiff legs like a machine. He was chasing a screaming Helen around the tables where we were eating breakfast. To get a little order, I had to grab the 'control box' on his back and put him out of commission. We could almost see the springs and screws popping out as he crumpled slowly to the ground. All the children unexpectedly began to clap and cheer until the ceiling rattled - the land was delivered from the monster robot! I shudder to think what would have happened to the good time if Mrs Govia had been on, because she pounces on every little disturbance, but Peter was with me and both of us could only manage to laugh. So the morning left everyone feeling a bit light-hearted. Times like these make you like the kids.

June 27

Sudden softnesses of myself today, during the warm afternoon, the child-full morning, are fragments of last night's melting.

After babysitting until twelve fifteen last night, I flew to the International House party on my bicycle, and the cape-streaming shadow was so ludicrously Batman that I laughed aloud.

A few shapes still moving behind the curtains at the House, music and light. Striding in (in a cape you can stride) to the doorway, pausing to see Dennis' face alit in the chair below me, flourishing him the cape and falling quickly into the pattern of his dancing. Light, precise, sway-right, shift-sway left, step quickly step. Face and cheek. Peace, and an almost-oblivion like a trance.

Then sitting in the chairs and talking to Dud while I could feel his fingers on the back of my neck.

And by the door as he stopped to open it for me, his arms slowly drawing me close to him; and his hard lean body nearby, cheekbone and shoulder, arm and thigh. For myself, response to the mystery and the darkness in his face, and to all that he is, unknown but believed in.

"Are you trembling?" "Perhaps. I don't know." "Are you afraid of me?" "No." "You should be." "I have a habit of being very trusting." "I don't like to tell you, but you shouldn't."

Walking home together, close, he wheeling my bicycle and holding my shoulders with one arm. The shadow under the tree, beside the bicycle rack: close and warm, his ears cold, the books clumsily between us, the soft curly hair on his neck. His head once softly on my chest like a small boy's.

"Sweet little Ellie."

"If it wasn't for that," (oh, I thank you for this honesty!) "you would be one of the most beautiful girls in Queen's." Dennis you must know that I have a shepherd's face and that what I have of beauty is only expression of my life.

But the mirror, two a.m., in my room smiles at the petunia in my hair, smiles to remember his secret face and his gentle hands, at the hair tumbling down. Says I am pretty. And so I smile to myself today in softness.

Tuesday June 30

Yesterday morning when I was on duty, a visiting lady-psychologist and I took Kevin, Bobbie and Tom on a hike. We took the boys' route, not the conventional one: through a truck yard, down the railroad track on the waterfront, over railroad cars, under a truck in a garage that was getting a grease job, with a detour to sample the used oil and talk to the garage man, over a fence, and pell-mell down to the bridge. It is a favorite bridge of the boys because it is a lift-bridge and goes up with much fascinating creaking and sighing whenever a boat wants to pass under it. While we were there the many-sailed brigantine Saint Lawrence II passed under the bridge and so we saw it creeping up and then down again. The workmen who had been painting the bridge watched it with us. When I said to one of the boys, "Why don't you wave at them?" a rumbly voice behind me said "Why don't you? They are more likely to see you."

Tuesday July 7

Lake Ontario is warm this afternoon and was perfect for swimming.

Yesterday night Peter went out to the Old House and asked if I'd like to go along, so you shall hear about the Old House too. It is a large two-winged stone building erected somewhere about 1882 as a farmhouse for a man who came from Bristol as a pioneer after dodging a debtor's jail sentence. Miss Detweiler and Miss Allen own it now, and are renovating it slowly and beautifully. They also have a large barn and 22 acres that a farmer cultivates for them. It has a long rutted drive with trees on either side, and rabbit thickets. The back verandah is covered with grape vines, and the back door opens directly into their favorite room. The dining-living-kitchen has a huge stone fireplace built into one end, with an array of brass and iron cooking pots and pans on the hearth. They use it often. Other furniture in the room is sand-colored, simply-built pioneer-style; the windows have rush curtains in red and gold; there are candles everywhere, and two beeswax tapers frame Miss Detweiler's big iron goddess sculpture in one deeply recessed window. There are large books with wonderful pictures strewn everywhere, and many paintings (a number of them by Peter) on the walls. Fruit, sea shells, bottles, curios, rugs, books, everywhere. Next to the fireplace, built into the wall, is a little black cast-iron door - the bread oven. Baskets hold firewood. There are three puppies leaping from person to person - Miss Detweiler is sitting in a big chair in her pedal pushers and an old college sweater with paint on it, reading a book on early Canadian history, chuckling often and reading us bits. The rest of us pick up books of our own or cuddle the dogs - delightful place to visit. You know how often you've been embarrassed, Mother, when your children are visitors and they straightaway pick up a book and ignore everyone - here it is natural and the hosts do it too!

Got the nicest letter from Grandma K who says "Grandpa und ich schliefen in eurem Mädchenzimmer. Habe mir oft den Halbmond mit den Sternen angeschaut und gedacht was wohl die Mädels fur Luftschlosser bauten, die möglich bis an den Sternen und bis zum Mond reichten? Ja, o wie schön ist die Jugendzeit mit all seinen Träumen und Wünschen!"

July 15

Canoeing with Mike to Cedar Island - the exaltation of sitting at the canoe prow slanting across waves with the free lift-fall of the water - a feeling of being completely in the water and feeling the fluidity of it in reality. Pulling up on a flat rock, climbing while Mike swam (long thin body thrashing quickly in and out again). Running over the island exploring, like a child, but thinking, as I picked berries, "gathering berries for your supper, Mike" - undertone of cave woman and sexuality in that!

The small fire under a wall of rock, built on a ledge among cinders. Twisted elm tree nearby. The lake lapping near us in a finger-lagoon below. The silhoettes, lights on the water. Smell of smoke, rustling of trees, large grinding of water. We had bacon-steak-tomato shish-kebab on green sticks turned over the fire. Apple pie squashed flat together, two pieces pried apart on the wax paper. ("Here is the piece de résistance.") Then dark and the comfort of lying on your stomach with face in the firelight, talking - about all the people in Hemingway that we remember, about progress and science and ourselves in this. Later, about love. "It's something in yourself. It has nothing to do with the other person besides being a catalyst."

"You are very pretty in the half-light. How old are you?" "Nineteen." "Did you ever make love?" "No, I guess not." "I wish you liked to make love. It's such fun!"

Later, leaning against the rock with his arm about me and his fingers moving, I saw a girl's face in the embers, very alive and young. "I wish you could have something more than bricks in your arms, but -."

July 23, Thursday

Peter Hagedorn teases me no end about all my 'lovers'. And he choked with glee last night when I was making a snack in the kitchen, wrapped in pyjamas and my bedspread, with all my clothes in the washer, and suddenly I had an unexpected gentleman caller, but ha for Peter, the visitor was Harsh Bhargava from India, who thought my turquoise chenille bedspread a perfectly respectable sari! Harsh has just finished his MA English thesis and wanted to talk about it.

The clippings of the Frank J Doerksen silver wedding were interesting, thank you for sending them. They made me sick. Platitudes and saliva. I think the Frank I know hated it. It would make me sicker if I didn't think he hated it. I hate to think of him existing in that East Aldergrove MB muck, and trying so hard to reconcile himself to it. That is the worst. If he ever stops fighting it the Frank I care(d) about will be lost.

26 Sunday

26 Sunday

Do you know about our new little boy, Simon? He is three and a half, and tiny, with huge blue eyes and almost white hair. His legs are still a little curved, from rickets, but he runs, walks, jumps, and takes his tumbles without a wimper. His mother, who finally married her stepfather after an incestuous relationship, had twelve other children, one nearly every year. She had the first when she was thirteen. And so Simon hasn't had much of a life! But since he came to Sunnyside he has begun to radiate happiness - at first he trusted no one but Peter Hagedorn because the only decent relationship he had before was with his male case worker. Now he likes most of the women here, and is beginning to trust them. At first he would allow no one to help him with anything - he dressed, fed, toileted, himself by himself with a fierce and desperate independence. Now he has begun to let us help him, and this is wonderful. Simon has of course become the Sunnyside pet: all the children dote on him because he is so small, so sunny, and so game: and the staff quite naturally make utter fools of themselves over him. But this little boy won't get spoiled. Even the kitchen staff are always hugging him and sneaking him cookies! Frankie, who is our temporary cook, stood in the kitchen and cried her eyes out when he came because he was so tiny and bow-legged and tough -

Carol and I have a 'thing' - in Sunnyside jargon, that means that we seem to have developed a special relationship that is just a bit more than the child's relationships with other staff. These special 'things' are very good - they show that the child has progressed to the point of being able to handle a more personal and intense relationship trustfully, and when he is able to do this, he is nearly ready to move into a home, and the kind of special relationship that will hopefully develop with the parents. The symptoms of a 'thing' are mainly preference for that person, confiding of troubles, telling of good news. And Carol sneaks into my room sometimes at night to sleep with me for a while. And I'm delighted that Carol has a 'thing' on me because I'm very fond of her - she is such a quicksilver child, moods, humour, depression and delight. And she is a beautiful child as well, more from expression and movement than from actual features because she has a thin body full of angles, freckles, a defiant chin. But elfin eyes! And naughty. I chortled to myself yesterday morning when I heard Thompsie chiding her for singing in bed. Thompsie said "That is very impolite. Don't you know that little girls should be refined and cultured and QUIET." Carol, with her tomboy ways and her raucous voice, cultured and refined!

Wednesday July 29

I am in my room, listening to Les Préludes by Liszt, I think: slow exquisite music. And I'm rejoicing in my new clothes - a pair of cut-off blue jeans like the ones that were Ban Righ III uniform, a beautifully tailored blue shirt, sneakers.

It rained one afternoon about two weeks ago, and rain is my undoing - I got onto my bicycle and peddled madly, waving at people and grinning insanely all the way. And I took all my money, eight dollars and seventy-six cents, in a plastic bag, most of it jingling change. The record shop: a sale, twenty percent off everything. !!!!

Do you know, there is a different sort of magic about nineteen. It is still ingenue and girlish, but it has a suggestion of worldliness and wisdom that sixteen suspects nothing of. It seems to be an age that appeals to men very much. Twenty is such a placid-sounding age, and twenty-one has a smug I've-arrived quality. But nineteen still has a questioning many-possibilities piquancy that I'm very much enjoying!

Kingston is very hot and very lovely now, with an intensity of color, scent, contrast. I like to swim at night, where it is shallow and warm in my favorite spot. Especially when there are small waves, it is very peaceful to float on your back and look at the stars, the lights on the water.

I met a man swimming last night who has been here from France about four months - he is a swimming instructor with a beautiful body and a very strong face that seems to flicker with light and intelligence. His name is Michael. We had a long talk after we came from the water, and it was one of the ships-by-night meetings that make me realize as I so seldom do, as anyone so seldom does, that another person exists in the same very real, urgent, and CONSCIOUS way that I do myself.

I have been dreaming over cameras, poring over photo magazines and hanging about photo shops - the camera I want is a Leica of course, for about $432 with case. But I'd settle for a Super Contaflex B, about two hundred dollars less. Dreams! And Europe too. But that isn't a dream, it is a reality unless the world falls apart.

28 July Friday

Peter is in the sitting room now, watching the moon-shot coverage on television. A press conference is being shown now, and it appeals to me for the many faces listening so intently and everyone leaning forward in their chairs, firing questions into microphones. Moon flights are suddenly less chimerical, and we can begin to feel the slow apprehension of Change. But I'll always remember Mrs Kinderwater when I hear of moonshots and new exploration. Do you remember the afternoon when we were having tea with her and she said, "I wish I were growing up in this age. It is a wonderful time, so much happening, so much changing." I hope to feel the same way when I am an old woman, and I think I will.

I have been sitting and talking to Betsy tonight - I'm becoming very fond of her because she has an enthusiasm, warmth, humour, joyfulness, that is rare and valuable. I'm just beginning to realize how important a capacity for joy is in the people I love. My best friends are the people to whom I confide - sometimes my troubles but not necessarily - my joy. It is irritating to go out with so many perfectly nice boys because they are so flat-toned.

5 August Wednesday

Summer seems to have come to a standstill: the flowers have stopped blooming, cold days alternate with hot ones, the leaves aren't yellow exactly, but seem to be less green.

I told you about my cut-off bluejeans didn't I? They come to about three inches above my knees so they are bona fide shorts. They are so comfortable that I only change out of them to go out - they even go shopping downtown. The reason that I'm relating this mundane detail is that it is not really mundane at all; it is quite a victory. Mother will probably have grasped that already - remember the girl who used to refuse to get the mail from La Glace without socks on? I think I'm all through wincing; and it is good.

August 6, Hiroshima Day

One of our daycare children is Harold, who is eight I think, but retarded - he is blond, blue-eyed, pink-skinned, very silent except for flashes of temper in which he jumps up and down and gibbers indistinguishably. His speech defect blurs his speech so that children and even his parents can usually not understand him. His family is a family of good minds and liveliness - they can't stand him. Another of our daycare kids is very much the opposite - David Mead is ten, a 130-plus IQ, freckled, inventive, flashingly green-eyed and red-headed, a troublemaker. The school and the neighbourhood watch him from the corner of their eyes - he's an accomplished liar, thief, cheat. But there is so much fundamentally terrific about him (Miss Detweiler's phrasing) - our first problem here is to make him understand that we know he is intelligent - that we are intelligent too - and that we usually know what he is up to. And that he can succeed and manage without his old tricks - at home, his wealthy but penny-pinching parents (his father is a physicist) and his three other siblings can't understand or stand him. He is beginning to trust Sunnyside.

I'll see you soon. I'll bring some records. Am I welcome?


There is a plum tree growing beside one of the Sunnyside walls, leaning over what was once the stables and is now the school. The children have been throwing stones and sticks up to knock down the half-ripe plums all day. Tonight, now that they are safely asleep, I climbed the tree myself to pick a handful. Do you know about my nightgown? Blue checked with lace and long sleeves, very good-girl. It caught a bit in the tree, but the bark was rough and good for footholds. Picking fruit in the dark is like receiving gifts. Judy will remember last year, picking cherries in the rainy dark at Mr Dyck's. You put out your hand to brace yourself, and the tree puts a plum in your hand. Tonight the cat, Tinker, climbed up with me but refused to have any part of this mad and night-gowned plum picking.

Now it is several minutes after midnight, and I'm afraid that I am having one of my orgies. How I hate to go to bed. There are too many books, records, things to think out. Could we not perhaps change things so that the day started at noon and ended at three a.m.? But oh! Oh! No! I refuse to give up my mornings.

Mama, Mama, I knew you would fly out with all sorts of anxieties when I told you that I'd done weekending with Peter. You seem to have read things in lilac ink between the lines: some of them may even be true, but not nearly as dramatically violet colored true as your romantic heart will timorously like to think. Unfortunately! Explosive, I'm afraid, it is not. Who will explode? Me? I've found very disappointingly that I have not a single passionate inch of tissue or bone or brain. The only things I can get passionate about are nonanimates like plum trees and waves. It is a great shortcoming. And if you knew Peter a little better you would know that he is not in danger of exploding either: he is very security-minded and that includes emotions too. And besides, I'm overweight! How does he feel about me? Affection, attraction perhaps, gemütlichkeit, friendness. And who cares about the particulars of it? I hope that you are not terribly relieved or disappointed at the absence of grande amour Mother. Maybe another time.

9 Sunday

I've wanted to tell you about the masquerade party we had on Saturday afternoon. This was the afternoon after the no-sleep night.

All of the children had costumes and we had a flurry of tying sashes and putting on makeup and admiring in our rooms (an invitation to a staff bedroom is very special): the front verandah was decorated with large purple and black abstracts (paintings the children had done with their feet earlier in the afternoon); music was broadcasted onto the front lawn from loudspeakers in the second floor bedroom windows.

The kids: Brenda, who is naturally a helpless giggly little female, was glorious and fluttery in a red ballet tutu, diamond earrings and several necklaces, broches, bracelets, and her plaid bedroom slippers. Carol, in a short pleated satin skirt and peasant blouse, with a pink satin rose on top of her head looked half-majorette and half-colt. I gave all of them exaggerated black eyes, red round cheeks and Scintillatingly Scarlet mouths.

Peter dressed the boys: blond Stevie was swashbuckling in a flattened-with-age velvet chevalier hat, wicked pointed black moustache, and sweeping gold cape. He naturally looks so appealingly naughty that the role was a perfect fit. Tom was very long and I'm afraid monkey-looking in a soldier suit, because he has such lengthy bare bones and sunken eyes. Teddy was a wild Injun. With half-moons painted on his cheeks. Simon tumbled about in a baby-soldier suit with cape, sword, cap.

When everybody was ready we went out in the front and started the music. Then we had a Polonaise - an old Polish folk dance. Two by two with Peter and me raggedly leading (but enthusiastically - hops and skips and confidential grins when the kids weren't looking) a very shaggy line of couples through promenades, ducks under our London-Bridge raised hands, circles and turns. Then we had minuets. One-and-two-three, one-and-two-three, turn and bow. One-and-two-three Peter's voice with its comical Dutch accent and spontaneous glee leading mismatched couples who were always two counts behind him and the music. Walzes - the staff picking up one child each and whirling him front-wards piggy-back through all sorts of walzing turns and glides. Then ballet: first, the Nutcracker Suite which the kids know backwards and perform beautifully; then Peter and the Wolf acted out delightfully with Tom as a comic Peter, Brenda as a fluttering red-net bird, Marlene as the purring Negro little cat scooting about on the ground, Carol as a hair-tossing, snarling, leaping wolf caught to the tree, Teddy as a buckskinned and stalking hunter, Sherry as the plump waddling little duck. The kids are exciting actors and they do the play without any selfconsciousness. In the Nutcracker Suite they are languidly awakening flowers, leaping Russian Trepok-dancers, flashing twittering Sugarplum Fairies, everything with so much energy that I found myself joining them in spite of myself. I'd give a great deal to be able to skate and to dance. There is something very thrilling about creating and expressing in motion.

These children in many ways are a blessing: they develop the children in us I think - I know that my affectionally and expressively rigid personality is loosening just from dealing with them. You become emotionally more spontaneous and expressively much less self-conscious working with them. And these kids are absolutely matter-of-fact about my awkwardness in dancing. All they really care about is that you are in there with them. I'm crazy about lot of them, and it is so easy to show it. And so necessary. Love is our working material and personal relationships are our technique. Creative work, and for me at least, a sort of creative becoming.

Perhaps that is why Peter Hagedorn is such a remarkable person. Aside from the intelligence, awareness, and creative imagination which he has enormous amounts of, he has as well a seemingly completely free personality. He is a cynic in theory, but he lives like a child who loves things and times and adores himself and the world although and because he knows they are so ridiculous. His plans for the children - the ball and the masquerade this time - are always imaginative and he participates with them, as one of them. He seems to have no self-conscious feelings and not a sliver of inferiority complex. He is ugly in a way, crooked front tooth, bristling hair, but we find him very attractive. His body is part of his attractiveness - very active, running, painting, toe-wiggling, built like a bullfighter's. He loves crazy clothes like plaid ponchos and red-pocketed tight black trousers or a pair of pale green bamboo-looking skinny pants. He capers, dances, sings, whistles, hugs and tickles and shouts at children all at exactly the right moment, drinks rum and listens to Callas, or talks all with the same tight joyousness. He doesn't give a whit about the opinions of other people, he doesn't worry about a thing and despises money-worship, he knows how to enjoy food or art or music or books intensely and critically. If I didn't have some of the sense of the ridiculous that wears off from him, I'd probably fall laughingly in love with him, but his insouiciance about such a giddy myth makes even the idea proposterous. Another reason for enjoying Sunnyside.

- And Miss Detweiler too. Green querying mocking eyes like a large cat's over the rim of a rum glass, hair tied back wildly with a white shoelace, flat shoes and striped pedal-pushers, large mouth and alert but womanless body, freckles and blond hair on her arms. She has an arrogance about her too that I like very much. She never says anything nice to or about anyone else except for a good reason, her humour is half-grin and half-grimace, biting. She is interested in everything worth being interested in. She refuses to listen to you unless you are talking about something interesting. But if you are, she gives you her full green-eyed and dangerously sardonic attention. She is delightful. She knows it.

I don't seem to be getting any sleep but I seem to be becoming more energetic and happier if possible with every late night. But then to sleep in in the morning. How are you all? Please be fine: else I shall feel guilty at being so coddled by Olympus.

12 August Wednesday night

Photography becomes more and more of a dominating interest. I love the creative possibilities of photographs, but I also love the technicalities of it as an art. I think this is related to the part of my brain that loves algebra and philosophical devialities and what Frank used to say was "thinking like a man."

Last night it rained, and the lane, gateway, tree-framing and street lamp made a wonderful light-shadow-form composition that was so exciting one had to run into it down the drive through the warm puddles and become part of the enchantment. Perhaps part of joy is absorbtion into beautiful things or vigorous things.

Thursday Aug 19th

Olivia did appear for the weekend. Spent the afternoon bumming around on bicycles, getting "Sorry but we've just rented" from all our prospects.

On Sunday morning I left Olivia fast asleep while I got up at seven to take Musical Panorama, the 8-12 Sunday morning classics show with operator Bruce Robinson who is delightful company, as well as the music. Began with Bach and ended with twentieth century stuff, quite 'hairy' and potboiler.

The apartment we have now if nothing disasterous happens before September, is the third floor of an old brick house. The downstairs and hallway is very shabby and smells of countless suppertimes, but the third floor is airy, clean and all ours - bedroom, living room, kitchen, and a shared bathroom. Olivia will have the bedroom and I'll sleep on the couch in the living room because she is much too untidy for me anyway and will be sleeping later when I have to get up at six thirty to go to work. More about it later. The landlord is Hawaiian, a very hearty warm sort of person I think, and his wife is untidy and probably stupid, but friendly. The family is quite large, going down from a fifteen year old girl to two babies. Several other students live there. It is near the cathedral, a grocery shop, a drugstore, and five blocks from University. Near downtown too. It is is sixty five a month which is very cheap I suppose.

21 Friday

Mother, you will think this is cupboard love in demonstration, but I have been thinking of how much I am going to enjoy some of your cooking - notably: a-hem! stew with fresh vegetables! Bran muffins with many raisins! Warm biscuits! Fresh bread both brown and white! Onion rolls! Buns! Jam! Oh this is ridiculous, I'm rattling these off with as much excitement as if I hadn't eaten in a year. I'm excited - that's good? I have my ticket.

August 25, Tuesday morning

During the weekend Norm was here. Saturday night we did nothing but walk miles and miles in the pouring rain until our shoes squished at every step: we waited carefully at every traffic light and did not cross until it turned red. Then we had egg rolls and Chinese tea that tastes like perfume in a little restaurant, and then we walked home while it poured still harder. When we got home at midnight-plus we lit candles in the TV room and set them on the floor for warming fire, had hot chocolate and watched the late show while Peter H and Miss Detweiler got higher and higher in the sitting room; when they get really high, after four or five rum-and-Cokes, they begin to tease the dogs. The two puppies have a ball, and horrible Johann (the hideous daschund yaps at all my boyfriends whenever they come to the door and I detest him), goes into a howling frenzy of jealousy. Miss Detweiler doesn't become noisy, but she does begin to giggle most appealingly. Peter just becomes terribly witty (he thinks) and wonderfully silly (I think).

La Glace September 8

The Brothers Karamazov and the red sky-ed tapestry on the wall. Ivan speaking his anger and his disbelief tersely to Alyosha in a Russian café. I shouting my anger against the God my mother believes in, and I shouting anger against Mother's hard work, Father's blind heart, Rudy's bent thin shoulders. Peter - against the realization of his energy and anger. Strangeness.

I love this energy and anger of him. We had supper together here, went driving, stopped at Saskatoon Lake to watch black reeds moving in the textured water; spun and swerved through a sort of nothingness on the merry-go-round, clumped and tilting close in the centre. Holding hands in the car and stopping at the corner in La Glace for just one moment. Sluffing through grass to the small house [where the Dycks used to live]. Rain on the porch, wet dripping from the roof, hair wet, cold water on my back and a strange thorough kiss. Gentle and stirring rather than sharp, as a cat-kiss would be. Opulent. Fleet.

At Sexsmith today, brooding from the office window, over the wet grass, the small roofs shining, the blue shack and the footbridge. The pebbles on the gymnasium roof still and calm-colored under the racing rings of light-drops on the water. Anger at goodbyes and the desire to look at Peter and shout Damn! Finally a wordless exit.

I hate to say goodbye and yet I love the ceremony of Lasts. I love Sexsmith, I love Mr Mann and Peter and Wayne Lock and the corridors and corners. Why not say long words to bridge having and not having them? But the uselessness and the dissatisfaction of it.

Masks? Mrs Bellamy - and the impulse is always to say "Bless her" - said "Oh, we could talk for years. It is so seldom that you meet someone you can talk to. Masks. Everybody." She hugged me when I came, and again when I left. She bubbles joy and warmth - small, sturdy, many-colored bubbles like champagne and like soap. Small, round Mrs Bellamy with her open face, her girlish hair around her face, her long goodbyes and her eager questions. She is innocence and youthfulness - wistfulness. Briskness and gentleness. "See my beautiful children: look, etherial, almost." And she introduced them to me one by one, her really beautiful grade one children. "Compassion is the word I remember" and "You must read The Agony and the Ecstasy, Michaelangelo. It made me think of you. Fury, or dedication. It makes me think of Peter Dyck too. Taking the hammer and the Pieta!"