Tapestrywith Mary Hynes
'We all live in a city': Father-son pair of landscapers help build shelters in Toronto encampments
Henry Lee Heinonen and his father Eric have very different perspectives on how they see the world, but over the summer, they both concluded they wanted to help people living in Toronto’s homeless encampments.
More than just a number: what street addresses say about you
On the surface it might seem like an almost bureaucratic detail - a piece of information that helps the government to find you … when it’s time to pay your taxes. But your address can mean a lot more.. Deirdre Mask explores the link between where you are - and who in her book The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power.
Making life-affirming decisions: Choosing joy, solo motherhood & pound cake
Candice Marie Benbow is a writer and theologian who has decided to pursue her dream of being a mother on her own in 2021 because, she says, “We literally were given the gift of surviving one of the hardest and most difficult years that any of us have ever seen. We didn’t survive all of that to play small. To not live these big, beautiful lives that are of our making.”
COVID-19 derailed everyone's plans. Here's how to make new ones.
Stephen Johnson tried to weigh out whether he should move to California and in the process discovered a whole world of long-term planning tools. At a time when planning for the future feels impossible, Johnson talks about how to thoughtfully make big plans.
Soundtrack for the Soul — The 2021 Edition
Our continuing series on music as a soothing source of company. Five guests share the songs accompanying them into 2021.
When you’re faced with the really important decisions in life, how do you know you’re getting them right? Steven Johnson studies the art of making decisions, big-ticket items like having children, changing careers, proposing to your sweetie, moving to a new city (when the pandemic permits.) He is the author of Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions that Matter the Most. Candice Marie Benbow is a writer and theologian who has decided to pursue her dream of being a mother on her own in 2021, saying: “We literally were given the gift of surviving one of the hardest and most difficult years that any of us have ever seen. We didn’t survive all of that to play small. To not live these big, beautiful lives that are of our making.”
McMindfulness: how capitalism hijacked the Buddhist teaching of mindfulness
Ronald Purser, a Buddhist teacher and a professor of management, advises us to approach mindfulness techniques with a critical eye. He says mindfulness practices have been co-opted by capitalist interests, freeing corporations and governments from responsibility for the larger issues at play in our stressful society.
Canadian choirs try to recreate 'divine' music moments under lockdown
After ensemble singing was deemed a potential superspreader activity, choirs looked for other ways to continue to make music together. Erick Lichte of Vancouver’s Chor Leoni and Elaine Quilichini of the Calgary Girls Choir share what they did.
Soundtrack for the Soul — The 2021 Edition
We spoke to five Canadians who’ll be turning to music this darker-than-normal winter, to keep them inspired — and keep them company — in the new year. If you have a song and story to share, please send us an email: email@example.com.
How to enjoy Christmas in 2020: lessons learned from Jewish holidays celebrated virtually
Christmas this year might be unlike any other. But the Jewish calendar has already had many celebrations this year during isolation. S. Bear Bergman wants to share what he’s learned this year by celebrating virtually.
How we've nested in our homes through the pandemic — and why it might be good for us
After months of working from home and being indoors, many are discovering that there’s something about their homes that just needs to change. The founder of Design With Science believes that this instinct to nest comes from somewhere deep in the human mind.
Making your home and the holidays special in a pandemic
A locked down winter is in the cards for many Canadians. Tapestry talked to two people on how to endure, through nesting and celebration, a very unusual winter. After months of working from home, many are discovering that there’s something about their homes that just needs to change. The founder of Design With Science, Sally Augustin, believes that this instinct to nest is a deeply human one. Christmas this year might be unlike any other. But the Jewish faith has already celebrated key holidays. Jewish writer S. Bear Bergman wants to share what he’s learned by celebrating virtually.
She didn't want to come out to her grandmother. Getting engaged made it harder.
Erica Lenti hoped she could hide her sexual identity from her grandmother until Lenti either married or her grandmother died. Getting engaged meant she couldn’t hide it for much longer
'Instagram for Prisons': How a mom's daily pics kept her son alive
If it hadn’t been for his mom’s daily correspondence while he spent eight years in prison, Marcus Bullock may not be the dad and business leader he is today. He created an app that connects families with incarcerated loved ones.
When is it okay to feel schadenfreude? It depends.
John Portmann, author of When Bad Things Happen to Other People, has long mulled over the implications of schadenfreude, and how the word has been perceived over the centuries. It’s a common feeling, but not always a morally clear one.
Family bonds and unconditional love
If it hadn’t been for his mother’s daily correspondence while he spent 8 years in prison, Marcus Bullock may not have become the man he is today. Bullock created an app that connects families with loved ones in prison in a similar way. Erica Lenti’s grandmother didn't know she was gay. For years, Lenti chose not to tell her out of fear of rejection. She hoped to keep this information from her grandmother for as long as possible, but getting engaged made it so much harder.
Is the pandemic killing gossip? Why humans need to spill the tea
Writer Ian Leslie believes we’re missing out on a very human need when we can’t gossip. The murmured stories we’d normally share as we meet at a pub after work, or when we pass by neighbours, are the most informative, says Leslie. Without those conversations -- which we can’t have during a pandemic -- we risk living in a world that’s “a lot less human.”
Why is the world so beautiful? An Indigenous botanist on the spirit of life in everything
Robin Wall Kimmerer is an acclaimed botanist who blends her scientific studies with her Indigenous upbringing . She says there is much to be learned about how to interact respectfully with the earth, from the behaviour of plants.
Delighting in the Misadventures of Others: The Case for Gossip & Schadenfreude
When U.S. President Donald Trump contracted COVID-19, Merriam-Webster reported searches for the definition of “schadenfreude" shot up more than 30,000 per cent. Schadenfreude is defined as “enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others.” John Portmann, author of When Bad Things Happen to Other People, says it’s a common feeling, but not always a morally clear one. Writer Ian Leslie believes our lives under lockdown have us missing out on another morally murky human tendency – gossip. He says the side conversations we’d normally share in person – often with juicy details about others – are the most fun and informative. Without those conversations, we risk living in a world that’s “a lot less human.”
Can psychedelic drugs help ease the fear of death?
Anthony Bossis, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at New York University, has been researching whether psychedelic drugs can help relieve the anxiety of patients with life-threatening illnesses. And the results so far are remarkable.
How this anthropologist found inspiration and quarantine comfort in a 700-year-old book
Inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron – a book of stories on fear, grief and humour amid the Black Death of the 14th century – anthropologist Iza Kavedžija’s story collection transports readers “into other worlds without leaving your own house.”
'Heaven's like West Edmonton Mall': Collecting stories from elders
Author Richard Van Camp knew he wanted to dedicate his life to telling stories after an Elder shared her experience with the afterlife. Van Camp says stories are the “soul fire” we need right now – in the pandemic and onward.
Stories are "Soul-Fire"
Inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron, a book of stories written about the Black Death of the 14th century, anthropologist Iza Kavedžija curated a collection of stories during the 2020 pandemic called: Decameron Relived. Author Richard Van Camp knew he wanted to dedicate his life to telling stories after an Elder shared her experience with the afterlife. “I think that storytelling is medicine. I think it reminds us of what it means to be human.”
Who gets to be a part of Canadian history, asks Arab-Canadian writer
When writer Christine Estima explored her family’s history, she discovered her great-grandfather helped build Montreal’s Arab community. Yet, despite his accomplishments, Estima found that Canada’s immigrants don’t often get the credit they’re deserved.
'It makes the world worse': Why grandstanding is better ignored and avoided
Philosopher Brandon Warmke is getting on a podium in hopes you might step off yours. Warmke believes that grandstanding is a moral issue, one that makes conversations worse and can tear people apart.