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  • Writer's pictureCarol Wiebe

Still Standing

This morning I made a most fortunate find. My dear friend Robert Genn (whom I do NOT know personally but who constantly provides such rich content in his twice-weekly letters that I have come to feel as if I know him), included a response from a woman named Jennifer Noxon.

Jennifer wrote a letter entitled An eccentric relation, where she managed, with an economical number of words,  to communicate the essence and influence of her relationship with her aunt, Betty Lane. Looking up the work and life of Betty Lane, I begin to realize what Jennifer meant when she said “Today, I, too, am a teacher, musician and painter and I have no doubt that my relationship with Betty Lane had something to do with the choices I’ve made.”

Naturally, I needed to explore Jennifer’s work, and was delighted with her music (hear more here), her art, her writing. Noxon is a creative force.

'Still Standing' by Jennifer Noxon. Used with permission.

Let me offer you a slender, but rich, slice of her writing. In a one paragraph post entitled Still Standing – beauty in death, Noxon paints a vivid picture of a winter scene in my mind, and conveys a stirring message about forms that have been touched by death:

The good thing about it being that cold is that it’s almost always clear. Everything is sharp, in focus, defined, sparkly – the sky a cerulean / ultramarine mix – making the snow blue too – the palette is a multitude of blues and whites, beiges and deep gold greens, charcoal greys. Can’t help but notice the elegance of dead and dried shrubs. Seed pods, stems and frozen berries. The strength of fibre. All the little strands and leftovers of summer past in silhouette casting lengthened shadows on a blanket of blue.

Jennifer ended the letter she wrote to Robert Genn with the belief that “by sharing our creativity and allowing our individual-ness to shine, we pass on the flame to the children that come after us. We owe them that much.” Jennifer doesn’t owe me anything, but she certainly transmitted her energy in my direction.

I am a grateful recipient.

'New Growth' by Jennifer Noxon. Used with permission.


Can’t help but notice the elegance of shrubs that died and dried but are still standing.

Seed pods, and stems and frozen berries, Leftover strands of summer, now demanding

My attention, my full attention. The sky is clear, and blue, And the snow ‘s a sparkling

Quilt of many colors. Here amidst the shadows, like the remnants of last summer I’m still standing.    I am

still standing.

© Carol Wiebe & Jennifer Noxon

#RobertGenn #JenniferNoxon #eccentricity #BettyLane #beautyindeath #passontheflame

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