Stripping down to the basics

nanaimo sunset

Nanaimo sunset

The weight has lifted

As we settle into our new—albeit temporary—life on Vancouver Island, many encumbrances melt away.

We’re renting our home, so we don’t worry when the air conditioner fails and we don’t even take out the rubbish—our comforts are woven into our housing agreement.

We get very little mail: newspaper subscriptions and most of our magazines have been converted to online channels, except for the beloved New Yorker and Economist which have now arrived in paper form.

My e-mail correspondence has been reduced to a trickle and I have yet to hear from anyone at my new campus after work and on weekends.

Seems my Canadian counterparts are better at separating work-life from home-life than my American colleagues—including me.

We brought just one suitcase of clothing for each of us—not counting the winter coats and rain-boots—so we have fewer decisions to make each morning.

There’s still stress that comes from arriving in a foreign country—even one where we understand the language (well, most of it).

You have to pay attention to new routes, how to park, where to catch the bus and what gets recycled.

There’s new coins and paper-money and multi-lingual signs.

Folks bring their dogs into stores and we see bunnies and deer on our morning walks.

And a psychic weight has been lifted.

We are now distanced from the unhinged cretin and his lackeys that are unraveling the vestiges of mindful, moral decision-making at a national level, creating lasting harm in their wake.

Here? It just feels more … sane.


15 September 2019













About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
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3 Responses to Stripping down to the basics

  1. Ah, Cynthia, you have landed a blessing for sure. Our time away from the madness was immensely restorative. May yours be as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dave Holt says:

    Thank you, Cynthia, for reporting on sanity in other parts of our globe. I’m originally Canadian, now long time Californian. Though I wish these days I could go back, too much water under the bridge, I’ll just have to continue working to preserve sanity and morality in this corner of the troubled nation. BTW I think I’m friends with your uncle–Anthony Tusler?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you are working on preserving sanity: a worthwhile cause. Anthony! what a small world indeed. I was married to his brother, Martin, and our girls (Megan and Rachel Tusler) are his & Lyndi’s nieces. We love him to death. ~ Cindy


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