Tag Archives: Gratitude

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!


Geography of Now starts March 9th


To be at home
where you are,
to notice,
to photograph,
to write,
to feel grateful.
To fall back in love
with your life.

That’s the Geography of Now.

The course starts on Monday March 9th.

Learn more here.

Grade 10 sends their love


On Thursday morning
in Grade 10 Wellness class
we wrote letters
of gratitude.

Not emails.

An array of
coloured papers
and envelopes
covered the table
like a carnival

Students chose
their stationery weapons
but it was a good day
and no one fought
over Hello Kitty.

The rules.
1. Write a letter to a person in your life whom you appreciate.
2. Sending the letter is optional but encouraged.
{This might be scary but the recipient will appreciate it more than you can imagine.}

*Note to self:
The tricky thing about
“they will appreciate it more than you can imagine”
is that 10th graders cannot imagine that
and this is not their fault.

They plugged into their music,
their choose-your-own-sountrack.
As the late morning
sparked and simmered,
they curled like cats
around their love letters.

A girl asked if she could write
in another language.
My teacher impulse was to wonder
what’s your angle?


were already swimming
on her page.

She had asked
so she could give the letter
to her grandmother.

{English is not required}

Geography of Now: The Scholarship

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The Geography of Now begins on Monday January 19th and I thought it would be cool to offer a free scholarship for the course.

If you know someone who would benefit from this scholarship, email me at monnamcd@gmail. Please write me a paragraph explaining the reasons why your friend or family member would appreciate this creative opportunity. Please include their name and email address. Please note that you must nominate someone else and, in order for your nominee to really participate in the course, she/he needs to be a Facebook user.

Nominations are due by midnight EST (Ottawa and New York City time) on Monday 12 January. I’ll announce the name of the scholarship winner on my site on Wednesday 14 January.

Here is the trailer and here are all the lovely details of the course.

Ordinary Lovely



{Rue Cler, Paris}

For me
there is nothing
than regular people
living their lives.

This ordinary loveliness
is my favourite thing
to photograph.

Lately, I’ve noticed
and toxic squabbling
on my Facebook feed.
Mean, disheartening comments
appear below the posts
of friends.

I help people
with their problems
for a living
so I know
the world is

But I wonder
if we don’t
make it harder
by dwelling
in darkness.

I don’t know.
I don’t have the solutions.

For me,
for now,
I’m going to keep posting
ordinary loveliness
and talking to students
at a time.

Your one wild and precious life


With deep gratitude to the participants of Geography of Now.

There’s a voice
in our heads,
a nasty piece of work,
that says:
“Don’t you dare”
“You’ll fail”
“You’ll look foolish”
“People will think
you’re too big
for your britches.”

If you let that voice tell you how to live
you condemn yourself
to a life of

An existence
rather than
a life.

{People will judge you
no matter what you do
but that is none of your business.}

So what have you
been dreaming of?

What’s the first step
to creating it?

And how would it feel
to silence that voice
with extravagant happiness?

*The phrase “your one wild and precious life” comes from Mary Oliver’s poem The Summer Day.