in the days after

On Friday the 13th, my sister and I were driving in heavy rain along the 417. We just wanted to get home and be safe. As we’ve seen, some places are not safe.  When we found out what had happened in Paris, we were stunned.

This morning, it’s cold and clear. I hear the sound of crows dimly through window glass. Soon we’ll be entering the festive season in various cultures.  And while I’m not religious in any formal sense, the face of this choir boy speaks of the innocence of so many in our troubled world.

This is a small woodcut I made years ago. The woodcut is about 4″ x 5″.  I was learning how to make prints in the traditional Japanese manner, using a different block for each colour.

morning light

through new jars

of wild grape jelly


Back to poetry and history

Should anyone wonder why I know for sure that my seventh great grandmother came to New France on a ship called the Saint-Jean-Baptiste out of Dieppe in 1671, here’s a record of the ship and some of its passengers.ship013Margeurite De Laplace is # 10 on the list, a fille du Roi, along with 2 carpenters, 2 masons, and 100 men 50 sheep… Also listed are ten donkeys.

The record also mentions that the ship returned to France in October with 10,000 pounds of beaver skins, 400 pounds of moose skins, 12 geese and a fox as gifts to King Louis XIV.

In the first poem in a minute or two/ without remembering, twelve year old Margeurite, orphan, speaks from on board ship. She was from the La Salpêtrière, at that time an orphanage/hospital in Paris.

She and Pierre LeSiege’s eldest daughter Louise would marry François Cottu (Coutu). She and François would become my sixth great grandparents and start the Coutu family and the Coutu name in Quebec and all over the world.