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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist

Choosing Well

In 2011, I watched a TEDTalk entitled Stories Cut from Paper in which renowned paper artist Béatrice Coron discussed process and inspiration. Projected on the screen behind her was “Hells and Heavens”, an intricate and sprawling piece that had been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. I marvelled at the individual yet connected stories she’d envisioned and brought to life. How did she lay her vision on the paper without losing sight of perspective and skewing the images?

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Dream Life, Creativity, Self-knowledge

Twelfth century philosopher, Ibn Khaldun wrote that, “God created man in such a way that the veil of the senses could be lifted through sleep, which is a natural function of man. When that veil is lifted, the soul is ready to learn the things it desires to know in the world of Truth.” What a beautiful and comforting thought.

His idea couples well with the commonly held wisdom of sleeping on it when faced with a critical dilemma. Instead of making an on-the-spot decision, we use the period of sleep to separate our emotion from the issue. Sleeping on it is more than allowing ourselves an overnight cooldown period. Science shows that during slumber, instead of powering down like a computer, our minds work to synthesize the information and scenarios we’re wrestling with.

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A Boy, a Toy Chainsaw, and a Buddhist

There’s a route I walk through my neighbourhood when I’m trying to think and sometimes when I’m trying not to think. More often than not, I circle the loop solo (if you don’t count the characters of my novel riding on my shoulders). When other humans cross my path, I nod and give the smile that says, “Way to go, you’re out in the world.” We’re mostly introverted, hence the early hour of our stroll. But once in a while, the sidewalk presents a bubbling extrovert. What can you do but take notice?

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