Returning to the Shack

September 12 1916   Brent P.O. Algonquin Park

Dear Followers,

It’s late summer and it will soon be early fall. The colours haven’t started yet, but a few trees high on the watershed are on the edge.  It’s now the time of that the clouds are at their finest. But then it’s the colour of the leaves and then the grey clouds of November.  In fall, it’s a tug-of-war between land and sky. Between heaven and earth and some say, hell.

My eyes are skyward now but they’ll becoming back to the colours of the earth. And soon, I’ll be returning to Toronto, writing once again in my journal starting November 28, 1916.

My last times in Toronto, I wouldn’t call  a mystery but there are many unanswered questions. This year, I hope to explore these questions and shed some light on the realities and anxieties I faced during what was the most exciting but also one of the darkest times of the Dominion. Add to that, I’ll be exploring the friendship I had with my peers and mentors: Jimmy MacDonald, Dr. MacCallum, Florence MacGillivray and others that you might be surprised that I knew.

There are other questions to be answered, Some of you think I was a member of the Arts and Letters Club. Everyone else was, but not me.  My greatest work (so they say) I almost burned and I never bothered to enter anything into the O.S.A. 45th Spring Exhibition. Everyone showed their art, except for me. I left it all behind in the Shack.

I’m now preparing to go back to Toronto. I don’t know why, but it’s an inevitable part of my cycle. Every year, I stay North as long as I can, and longer if possible, but the City draws me back by a force I cannot countenance.

When I return North in the Spring of 1917, I hope I never need to return.

This new year, I’m looking forward to it. I hope you are too. There are still secrets out there, many that I don’t even know. There are things that are lost, waiting to be found. I know they are out there. If you have something, please share it with me and I’ll make it part of the story. This story never ends.

Affectionately,

Tom

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