Inspirations from Artists and Authors, Friends and Family, People and Places

From around home to around the world

We’re jubilados (Spanish for retirees) on the alert for inspiration from our travels be they near (the kitchen) or far (Cape Horn)


Sicily and modern art: seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Magellan and I were ambivalent about going to Favara. Mostly because we had found so little about an art complex begun in 2010 that we wanted to see, Farm Cultural Park. Paradoxical name isn’t it? Also, getting there required a triangular diversion that would add considerable driving time on head-shaker backroads. In going, we discovered a pastoral road, a town centre transformed into a Sicilian casbah—and a backstory of how cultural agitators create social change.

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At the intersection of the Dempster Highway and Latitude 65 N

Latitude65 is the age of a kindergartener, equally headstrong and having just as much fun.

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“Alexa, drop in on Maxine.”

“Maxine MacLeod’s Echo Plus, right?”

I wait for Echo’s signal at mom’s bedside, room 128, Birchview Home, Birch Hills, Saskatchewan.

“Hello mom,” my voice loud even though I’ve upped the volume on her Echo beyond 80%. “How are you?”

“Not. too. bad.” (Pause) “What. day. is. it?”

And so begins “Maxine’s Newscast,” a daily ritual since COVID-19.

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If you landed here after consulting Ms Google about a sexy night out in Drake Bay—gottcha!

Also, be forewarned. If you’re afraid of scorpions, snakes, spiders or frogs, this might not be your favourite nocturnal adventure. For us, it was total pleasure, thanks to Tracie Stice and her husband Gianfranco Goméz.

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Mariposa: poetry in a single word. Better than butterfly?

A paradise for butterflies, Costa Rica has 1,200 individual species, ten percent of the world’s mariposa population. Throughout the country butterflies are a kaleidoscope of colour, petal wings nectaring in blossoms.

A butterfly’s life cycle is a natural source of poetic inspiration—egg to imago (adult) in forty-eight weeks, imago to death sometimes a mere three days. “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly,” wrote an anonymous poet. Since April is Poetry Month, we have paired photos of the delicate beauty of butterflies with the lyrical imagery of poets. After all, as Vladimir Nabokov wrote, “Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man.”

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Donald Judd in Marfa

Readers, you know we love Marfa, the quirky town in West Texas sixty miles from the Mexican border, Marfa, where artists and ranchers, shopkeepers and railroaders are anything but square.

Today, March 1, a retrospective of the art of Donald Judd—who made Marfa his home, studio and gallery for the last seventeen years of his life—opens at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). It will explore

…the remarkable vision of an artist who revolutionized the history of sculpture…and emphasize the radicality of his approach to art-making and the visual complexity of his work.

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