But could we do it?

photo: Juliane Liebermann for Unsplash

More often than not, when one brings up the topic of equality and equity between women and men, the wage gap is cited. Then the talk is of the need for more women leaders.

People who grasp that numbers and statistics don’t always tell actual stories — rarely, in fact — numbers are not words, not even when spelled out — might be able to discuss the nature of this, and discuss myths and truths and all that’s in between.

So… what about more women leaders in all work and political sectors? Gone are the days when we think of…


I write all over the map

photo: Andrew Neel for Unsplash

I am not a niche writer. I publish with some regularity for The Writing Cooperative, and for Middle-Pause. Also for P.S. I Love You, The Faculty, and others. Many pieces are about caregiving and ALS, about family relationships, teaching... I’ll set up themes below, and collected titles — not all — but ones you may have missed. Browse and enjoy. I appreciate your readership. You might even want to check out my books.

People! Relationships! Connecting!

Caregiving, ALS, Aging

Writing


The good, the bad, and the ugly

photo: Arun Sapru for Unsplash

In sickness and in health

What does that mean? It wasn’t something I was thinking about, that hot August day in our backyard under the pear tree. I wore a green wedding dress that I’d discovered in an antique store, a week after telling my mother that green was the original color of wedding dresses before the advent of Queen Victoria. Fertility as opposed to purity.

The original wearer of the gown I bought was married in 1917, and my history-major-heart beat a little faster at that; I thought one had to be very brave to get married in the…


Let’s resurrect the idea of tithe, and keep art in our lives

photo: Jazz-to-GoGo playing in Vancouver park, courtesy of Viviane Hotz

This past summer, this was the one way I heard live music: in the park, and on the beach, with a jazz standards group. Bring a blanket and bottle, enjoy the setting sun, the warmth on my back. Listening to tunes that have sustained for decades.

The idea of tithing is even older: take 10% of whatever we earn, and give it to something or someone we believe in. It used to be about the church. But let’s focus on the What you believe in piece. Or What sustains you.

I know I cannot live without music and literature, dance…


Your apprenticeship is already cut in half

photo: Glen Hodson for Unsplash

A photograph tells one thousand words. A face, another thousand. An old and beautiful face, as above? Even more.

If you write one page a day, at the end of a year, you will have 365 pages. You might have a book. Or a collection of short stories. Or a stirring number of poems. With one page a day.

When do you know?

There are those who know from an early age, or even some age, that they want to be writers. Or they want to write. And they put it off for any number of reasons.

Then there are others who never give…


Follow the…

photo: Jude Beck for Unsplash

People feel loved when you love what they love.

No, I’m not describing a narcissist; this is about values, and acting on your values. Feeding them, even.

We are all busy

Days pass too quickly.

We’ve given up spending hours with our children because paid work takes 40+ hours each week, and for most of us, much more. So we give in to the myth of “quality time” and designate some few hours as such, and that is what we spend with our children. Some bit of time kachunked between grocery shopping, hockey practice, and errands on Saturday, or maybe between the Sunday afternoon…


Getting healthy without feeling punished

Photo by Iqhawe Bayani on Unsplash

I’m a writer. I sit. A lot.

When I’m not writing, I read. I’ve never understood the urge to go to the gym. The urge to play a game. Or jump rope after the age of ten.

Isn’t chasing after kids enough?

When my sons were little, I did the requisite chasing after them. But after that, three or four pounds were added to my body weight. Year after year. After year. My GP started to say words like, “You need to take off five pounds. Eight pounds. Ten pounds.”

But I’ve always enjoyed walking. I just didn’t make the time for it. I was…


A writer’s memoir of living elsewhere

Cover of Towers Temples Palaces

“For as long as my heart keeps knocking in my ribs, I’ll always be home.”

This is how Ryan Frawley travels, likening it to the life of a hermit crab.

The title, Towers Temples Palaces, is a way to see the world, whether we are speaking of navigating tourists and tourism, or the temple of home within our very selves, or the forests or rivers, or aged buildings from other times — our palaces.

I’ve been reading Ryan Frawley’s work here on Medium for the past months, and I sought out his books, and purchased this. …


Sponsor teachers re-creating their selves and the cost to children

photo: Photo by Austrian National Library on Unsplash

Decades ago, in an environmental geography class, the professor talked about what happens within the meeting-space of two different ecosystems: where prairies meet mountains, or ocean meets the shore. He demonstrated how such places have more life-forms — flora and fauna — than each individual system, and as a result are more diverse, vigorous, and dynamic.

While I don’t remember much else about that class, that piece has stayed with me; it is analogous to so much else in life, be it a shelf filled with books from all continents, a band with a dozen musicians instead of a trio…


Open your mind and respect others’ time.

Photo: Charlotte Harrison for Unspash

Once upon a time I fell in love with a house. I decided to buy it before even stepping in the front door… just because I peeked through the floor-to-ceiling window beside the front door, and saw all the elements of a house that make it a home. For me, anyway.

I saw brick, the back of the fireplace. I saw warm walls of red cedar boards in a vast open main room, and on the far wall, more floor to ceiling windows. In fact, when I stepped into the entrance way, I realized the entire wall was windows to…

Alison Acheson

My latest book is a caregiving memoir, Dance Me to the End: Ten Months and Ten Days With ALS. I am now on Substack with The Unschool for Writers: a DIY MFA.

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