Wednesday, April 15, 2009


WhimsyFlowers1The English language harbours a hoard of scintillating words; in order to comprehend its full extent, consult innovative tools, such as the Visual Thesaurus and A.Word.A.Day (especially its daily newsletter via email).

Whim—especially in its adjectival form, whimsical—is one of my favourite words. Whimsy envelops an ethereal lightness, which suggests divine playfulness: fairies, laughter, fate, and karma converging.

For me Geist embodies the whimsical. I do not mean that it lacks rigour, but that it presents information and art in a playful and ingenious manner. As a result, I welcome each issue; the latest features eco-friendly paper and inks, Barack Obama, and Leonard Cohen. Consistent with Geist’s eco-friendly choices, Andrew Nikiforuk dispels some myths concerning the Tar Sands; Geist also included some decals to be placed on Loonies in order to raise awareness of the threat of tanker traffic presents to BC’s coast—get yours here.

In Obama Dreams Sheila Heti presents a collection of dreams from her blog, I Dream of Barack. These dreams range from the absurd to the surreal and reveal our subconscious expectations of Obama. Stranger Song is Ann Diamond’s account of her relationship with Leonard Cohen, including a number of close calls in which she nearly met him. In anticipation of the upcoming concert I have been devouring all things “Cohen”.

Geist is collecting Stan-ecdotes: stories of how another Canadian music legend, Stan Rogers, has affected people. My own Stan-ecdote hearkens from a cold fall many years ago. I was in-between jobs and spent much of my time working my way (listening, strumming, and humming) through Stan’s discography. He grounded me to Canada, especially in its lore and history, when I was relatively new to this great nation. I have already lauded The Geist Atlas of Canada and I love their Cross-Canada Phrasebook.

Although this map from the BBC lacks whimsy, it presents the information well:


1 comment:

Geist said...

The Leonard Cohen story at Geist is now updated with an interactive Google map!


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