What is the Geography of Now?

What is GON

Registration opened today for the Geography of Now.

This six-week eCourse begins on Monday 11th of May. There are 25 spaces available in the class.

In the end-of-course survey, I ask participants to define what this course is. The responses to this question have made me giddy with joy and, more importantly, I believe these insights may help you if you are thinking about taking the course.

The Geography of Now is…

“An amazing 6-week online course where you get an email Monday to Friday with a short discussion and an assignment to photograph things, write about them, think about them and become more aware of your surroundings.” ~ Mary Wallace

“The yoga of creativity.” ~ Cheri Rauser

“A safe and thorough exploration in gradual, thoughtful, do-able exercises to stretch and explore different themes in writing about self, other, present moment, photographs, beauty, aspiration and play. A very well organised, fun journey of self exploration and online community support. Hats off to Monna for her beautiful design, and effervescent vigilance with our March 2015 group. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience.” ~ Jenna McAsey

“The Geography of Now is a course in daily reflection and mindfulness. It helped me to look at my local area with new eyes – kinder and more adventurous.” ~ Anita Wadsworth

You can learn more about the course and register here.

I love this course; it’s the online class I’ve always wanted to take!


Not their job

not their job

Shall we now at long last
stop talking about
how girls and women look.

Shall we speak, instead,
of the awesome vastness
of their hearts and minds.

Shall we marvel at their skills,
at the way they see the world.

Shall we encourage them to harvest
the wildness of their dreams,
to explore the open skies
of their potential.

At our school, we told girls
it was not their job
to be pretty.

Not their job.


Purple orchid morning

Purple Orchid Morning Small
At the 20th floor
the silver doors slide open
to a small Japanese woman
holding a large white pot
holding an orchid.

Purple blossoms bob
with each small step.

Four slender branches reach
like fingers
her head,
a purple crown to adorn her
at 8:07 on Wednesday morning.

Just like a Japanese girl


On the train home from Tokyo
seats always open up at Kikuna
as if its the last station
before we change galaxies.
I pounce on a vacant seat,
almost crushing a ten year old boy
with spiky hair and a navy blazer
gunning for the same spot.
His friend drags him out
by the scruff of his neck
like a kitten.

There’s still an open seat
beside me.
The three boys look at the seat
and then at me
my strange foreign ampleness
and my red hair.

They stare. I return
to the reading of poems
on my iPhone while Ed Sheeran
croons into my headphones.

At Yokohama Station
we enter the next galaxy
in our train universe.
Black suits disembark
and another seat opens up,
easily enough space
for three little boy butts.
The boys eye the seats
form a little huddle
near me
no longer afraid
but not able to commit
to sitting down.

At Minato-Mirai they tumble
One has forgotten
his umbrella, a good one
not the clear one
from a convenience store
and he runs back on the train
where I hand him the umbrella
and he’s bowing backwards
tripping off the car.
Arigato gozaimasu
he says.
Thank you very much.

His friends are halfway up the stairs,
halfway to their next adventure.
Umbrella boy waves
or something
as the train pulls away.

Perhaps, over dinner,
he’ll tell his parents
“There was this woman
on the train
and she was so round
and more pink than white
and she had red hair
Yeah, like really red.
Just like a Japanese girl.”