Winter Workshop


Wednesday 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th March 2019 Arts Place

Create stories to enrich future
generations. Bring photos, letters, artefacts or stories to help you explore,
reflect and write about your place in the history of your family. Imaginative
exercises and meditations will enable you to glean the wisdom and legacy of
your ancestry.

Calgary Board of Education - Chinook Learning Services

Managing Workplace Emotions
You can't change conflict and opposing points of view in the workplace. You can, however, change the way you react. Become more emotionally aware, harness your emotions and express them positively with control, confidence and composure.
Friday 1st March 2019 12.30pm -3.30pm

Conflict Resolution for the Workplace
Successful conflict resolvers are not born; they are trained. Build your skills as an effective conflict resolver and mediator. Learn to recognize conflict patterns and what triggers and escalates conflict in others, master strategies that reduce conflict escalation, assert yourself confidently and give constructive feedback. These skills will help you work more productively and harmoniously with clients, colleagues and superiors. See Course Outline.
Instructor: Wilma Rubens - see Instructor Profile

Fridays 8th and 15th March 2019 9.00 - 3.30pm

My story straw to gold
We live our life forwards, yet read it backwards. Discover the unique story that your life makes as you reflect on where your desires, struggles, and insights have taken you. Learn to use free-fall writing, guided meditation, and discussion to put your conflicts into a bigger picture and see yourself as the hero/heroine in your own wandering journey even as it is happening. No previous writing experience is necessary.
Read Course Reviews. Instructor: Wilma Rubens - see Instructor Profile

Entangled Enchantments

Entangled Enchantments
My very first collection of poetry. These poems celebrate my journey on the uncharted waters of the feminine. For your very own copy purchase at Cafe Books, Canmore, or Pages in Kensington, Calgary or contact

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Celtic Roots

The young man in CafĂ© Books, Canmore replied to my question with a strong Irish accent. “I am from Wicklow, south of Dublin.”
”Do you have Celtic blood?” he asked.

“Yes, I have just returned from two months in Scotland and Europe.” I replied.

 What is Celtic blood? Does it differ from Canadian, Croatian or African blood? I wasn’t born in the Scottish highlands but in Aberdeen the heart of the Calvinistic northeast. It is the aquamarine seas of Mull that floats into my mind’s eye.

 In June, Clive and I spent a week on the island of Mull on the west coast of Scotland. On our first night in Salen, serenaded by the urgent calls of oystercatchers with not a midge in sight, I walked down by the pier on a carpet of pink thrift. I remembered the good times I, as a teenager, spent with my older sister Ruth who left this world prematurely in 1999. She taught in the two-teacher village school for a few years in the seventies. Almost fifty years ago she and I hung out the train window as wind blasted through our hair, as we sped past Loch Lubnaig, collected multicoloured shells on the deserted beaches, walked under the ancient oak trees, on the orange bladder wrack, cut peat, licked pork chop juices off her frying pan, sang Petula Clark’s hit song “down town” as we shopped in village grocery store that smelled of soap, and sang Scottish songs as we walked miles over hill and moor.

This time Clive and I cycled to Tobermory. In dazzling sunshine, red, blue, white buildings crowded the bay, yachts bobbed lazily on their anchors and Clive said the dense jade forest could be Tahiti. I was so very present, soaking in the fresh greenness, the wide seascapes, and the island air. I longed for the day to last forever.

The next day we walked along the track through the purple heather and bracken on the Island of Ulva. Again the sea vistas was scattered with close and distant islands, sun glistened off a million spring leaves, the call of the cuckoo, the antler discarded on the bog, seals and eagles captivated me.

This was followed by a well-spent day striding over Ben More’s rocky ridges, pulled upward by the call of skylarks, curlews and the unfolding views. My character was strengthened by a bike ride in the rain alongside silver beaches, over the forested pass to Pennygael.

 After a long sleep we had a sunny bike ride over the moors to the south coast where we walked along a narrow track beside lapping waves, through the marsh, bog myrtle, honeysuckle, glossy silverweed, familiar smells of childhood, feral goats, a herd of deer, to the dramatic basalt columns, the Carsaig Arches,  eroded by the constant motion of the sea.

The cycle to Iona wasn’t long enough. The cool western island breeze bewitched as we crossed the short straight to Iona dominated by the austere grey and pink granite walls of the Abbey.  But it wasn’t the Abbey I had travelled so far to experience but the silvery sands, the turquoise water, the emerald grass of the machair studded with blue, yellow and pink flowers, and the evocative crack of the corn crake. It was the pebble beaches, the pink, green, white rock smoothed by eons of wave action that took my breath away.

As a child I was rooted in this landscape. At first in father’s Airdire garden, then summers spent on the Island of Arran, as a teen to the Island of Mull and as a university student my roots deepened in Glencoe, Skye, Kintail, Ben Alder, Ben Nevis, mountains climbed with the Edinburgh University Club. Since then they have encircled the planet.

Lingering on Mull, I connected footstep by footstep with the land of my birth and formative years. It was a homecoming, a recognition of the magic, of the tangle of the Islands. And as I felt the mystical call I responded with my full attention, took numerous photos in hope of  capturing the essence of the beaches, yellow irises, and islands to carry with me as I returned to my adopted home in the Canadian Rockies.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Woman's Mystical Wisdom

Are all the mystical poets are old bearded men

with pointed turbans who lived centuries ago?

Do women have mystical wisdom?

we who bear children

experience the mystery of pregnancy

we who lend our bodies to the growth of another

we who labour to bring the child from the inner to the outer

we who suckle our babes

feel our breasts hard with milk

feel it drip bounteously from our nipples

we who see the mystical in the mundane

laundry dirty dishes perfect salads

snotty noses sick children

well made beds clean kitchen sinks

we are no strangers to the unknown and the agony

since the beginning of time

we have created groaned nurtured

our babies into being

we have screamed at the wailing wall

as our children have been wantonly killed by bombs bullets cars

our handiwork is the work of God

yet destroyed as thoughtlessly as the work of the devil

women’s work is love

not the romantic kind

that ends happily ever after

but ongoing tough love

that expands through pain tears and forgiveness

love that causes our tender hearts to ache for the pain of another

love that breathes us into acceptance

love that keeps on loving after tragedy

wild courageous feminine love