I originally wrote this right before we left Schefferville this past December.

Snow Ridge Panorama

That’s all I saw. Just snow.
I watched it from my parents front door, staring out onto the silent town. Silent not just because everyone, save a few die hard insomniac drinkers, had gone to sleep, but silent because of the snow itself.

Make no mistake, this was a storm. Far from the fat gentle puffs in It’s a Wonderful Life or Charlez Shultz’s self-depricating Christmas (don’t get me wrong, I love the show, just wish he would have cheered up on occasion).
No, you stick out your tongue to catch these snowflakes, and in a matter of seconds you’d learn that, yes Virginia, you DO have quite a lot of pain receptors in your mouth.
But these snowflakes were silent.

Movies get it wrong. Whenever they depict snowstorms, it’s always this whipping, howling wind, that screeches and whistles, slamming doors and rattling shutters.
To be transparent, that does happen sometimes, but most storms are like this one. A steady, silent march of sound-absorbing ice crystals, unceasingly falling to a barely perceptible yet maddeningly familiar pattern. They dance and swirl with charisma around lampposts and stony parked snowmobiles, but you’ve never heard a silence like that of a steady strong snowstorm.
And it is quiet.
You can stand out there, bundled up in a parka, and not feel or hear anything, but the gentle constant shove of a million tiny snowflakes across your back.

Standing out in it, at times it seems to suck the cacophonous choir of everyday noise right out of your head.
And I, one of the very few, was grateful for it.

I needed it.

I grabbed the brake above the wristgrip and wrenched the handlebars to the left. The Skidoo, which had been traveling at a great rate of speed, locked it’s tread, and pirouetted in the middle of the vacant midnight road, the loose dry powder kicked up by the twirling skis and tread, revealing the slick smooth compacted ice underneath.
I held on, leaning automatically to counter the force trying to pull me off.
Once. Twice. Three times. Four times I spun around until I was pointed back in the same direction, a spiral snake echoing out behind me made of sleek black ice. I hit the kill switch, the engine hummed to a halt, and I stood.

The ringing in my ear from the roar of the engine subsided, and I was wrapped up in the snowflakes.
The sound of nothing.

The flakes beat against my visor, slamming themselves against the plastic, but making no noise. My eyes welled.

I pulled the killswitch back on. Yanked the cord. The Tundra roared back to life, throttle on.
It sat there and spun on the ice, immobile, until it finally caught and surged forward. I fought the machine up the ridge, holding back tears. I felt my demons clawing at my back, gripping my arms in fervor. Fatherhood. Debt. Marriage. Work. Zerflin. Faith. Courage. Weight.

I prayed.

Through the screeching engine, through the whistling air piercing the gaps in the helmet, I couldn’t hold it back.

And as I stood on the ridge, blanketed, torn, broken… the tears came.

Nya Visits Jaju

Over Christmas 2007, we got to journey up to Connecticut to visit home. My grandfather Edward Jancewicz (Jaju) had recently taken a fall, and was in a recovery center.

He hadn’t been in high spirits, but when Nya came to visit him, he lit right up. My favourite photo is when my dad was swinging Nya in front of Jaju; every time she got really close they both burst into laughter.

Babchi (Martha Jancewicz, my grandmother) seemed so proud to hold her!

_Nya visits Jaju 7462_Nya visits Jaju 7377_Nya visits Jaju 7380Nya visits Jaju 7353Nya Visits Jaju 7414_Nya visits Jaju 7445




It was as if they beckoned me, those windows.
We were in the far end of Union Station, across from where the rest of the staff from the National Fatherhood Initiative’s Golden Dads crew sat in the Thunder Grill. They wanted to sit and chat, and I was restless.

And the windows, they called to me.

There was something about the design, the pattern of the glass. It reminded me of the Frank Lloyd Wright wing at the Philadelphia Art Museum. I would spend hours at a time there, just sitting and looking at everything.

And that’s what I did here. Oddly enough, some sort of art exhibition was being shown on the floor. It was empty. Not a single person in the hustle of catching their train or towing a family out into the Capital that was interested in admiring a few paintings.
I lay down on the marbled floors of the chamber and aimed my lens at the ceiling.

Electric Cacophony

Electronic Cacophony


I gazed down through the portal in the desk. The menagerie of wires twisted below, the soft fans humming to themselves, breathing, sighing.
I made this.
It was my job, of course. To expertly arrange wires in organized systems, feed them through their portals, name them, number them, record them, plug them in.
I know what each wires does and where it goes. What information that passes through it’s coils and how quickly it thinks.
Most people would look at it and see cacophony. But I see the system. I look under the desk and see how it works instantly. I understand.

Kind of like people. I understand how they work, why people fall in love, why they break up. It’s natural for me. Look me in the eyes and I can feel if you’re truthful or not.

But most people don’t take the time. To them, it’s cacophony.

The Great Minivan Art Sale

As many of you know, my parents are missionaries in Northern Quebec.

As many of you ALSO know, my parents have very recently had some major car troubles.

So, we’re raising money for them. Through art.

I’ve recently updated the pricing structure for selling my art of the Zerflin website. You can check it out by going to the Art Gallery, clicking on any piece of art, and scrolling to the bottom. Underneath the comment field, you find a place to buy the art.

So, here’s where the Great Minivan Art Sale comes in.

At the bottom of the size/finish options on the Add to Cart field, are some Charity options.

If you want to give 1$, buy a 4×6:Charity print. (it’ll be $1.30)
If you want to give 5$, buy a 8×10:Charity ($6.75)
If you want to give $25, buy a 10×15:Mounted-Charity ($35.50)
If you want to give $50, buy a 12×18:Mounted-Charity ($70.50)
If you want to give $100, buy a 16×24:Mounted-Charity ($139.25)
If you want to give $125, buy a 20×30:Mounted-Charity ($174.25)
If you want to be extremely generous and give $500, buy a 40×60:Mounted-Charity ($686.50)

You get the idea.

100% of ALL PROFITS will go to my parents.

And every little bit counts. If you can do $1.30, please.

Of course, you can get a whole bunch of 4×6’s too. They make great gifts! Give them away. Do as you will.

And thank you. 🙂

September 18, 1997

I’m trying to get a copy of “Leonardo Kirkmeister”. I think I might get a better response from the class if they didn’t know it was written by a classmate. If you do this, use the name Chetter Hummin (Chet-ter Hum’in).

You’re right, I think I do have a tendency to give up before I start. But, I think, from re-reading Slash, that TOM would have reacted the same way.

I think you’re right about people not knowing enough about history. I just read a 432 page book titled Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov (who is, or was the best Sci-Fi writer in North America) which is a story about the Universe that is so old and so populated that people think that humanity starting on one world is an absurd legend. People had totally forgotten what once was and where they came from.

Miss, do I get more points if I read more books? Some teachers have told me yes, and some no, so I want to know how you are.

As for the stories, it’s a deal.

Which month are we going to write stories? What’s the outline for this year? (I think you have us a paper that told us what we were going to be doing that year this time last year.)

Here’s a scene from “Leonardo Kirkmeister”:

I think each of my characters has a little bit of me in it, my latest story has a pretty big chunk of me in it. I think it’s going to be a long story, so it might be a while before you read it. When you read it, try to find the connection between me and the story.

O.K. looking forward to it!


Sept. 17, 1997


OK Ben,

Here it is… I shall return this to you, two days after receipt… AS PROMISED!

Just a note, yes you can skip lines, but with that you should be writing on more pages!! You can do it!!!

Do you get more points for reading more books. Here’s a plan. I’ll open this option to the whole class. If you read a book on your own time and provide me with a critique (review) of the book, I’ll add that to your marking scheme.

Regarding the outline, I included a breakdown of the marking scheme in the Term Handouts. I must give Secondary IV’s individual copies. Next week, we will have to start researching our topics for the oral presentation and the stories. So by the beginning of October, stories should be started.

Take care– G.S.