Marché Richelieu (Gouvernement du Québec)

The town where I was born no longer exists. A fly-in mining hamlet when built in the late 50s, it was dismantled and bulldozed about thirty years later, when the quarry was no longer profitable, and its four thousand residents packed their mattresses and memories, and drove away, as by then there was finally a road.

That road is all that remains: a section of highway that briefly widens to become a boulevard, complete with a median, sidewalks, and sewers — and this, as Wikipedia states in a faintly astonished tone, despite being deep in the Canadian wilderness, hundreds and…

Earlier this year, I spent eight days in Mexico, split between Mexico City and Oaxaca. The trip was nourishing and memorable due to the friendliness and warmth of the people I met, as well as horseback riding to a butterfly sanctuary where monarchs overwinter, and experiencing the vast and deeply stirring array of weaving, painting, ceramics, silver-smithing and street art that underscores the vibrancy of Mexican culture.

I flew to join a friend who, three weeks earlier, escaped the chill of a Canadian winter. …

It takes courage to ask for what you most want. It takes even more to survive not getting it.

Sunrise at the cottage (lisa Schmidt)

In the middle of my summer, a years-long relationship brimming with passion, filled with adventure and affection, and leaps off the dock at sunrise, ended in the way Hemingway described going broke — slowly at first, then all at once. This was a relationship to which I had, possibly for the first time ever, decided I was going to be all-in.

The all-in decision came after years believing I could somehow experience the love I longed for while keeping a part of my heart in check. …

Strawberry Fields, Central Park (photo credit lisa Schmidt)

I have been working for a long time: almost forty years in jobs of one sort or another.

And longer, if you consider selling almost-ripe plums at a sidewalk stand in Chilliwack, BC, barely into the double-digit years of my life. Later, spurts of low-paid retail, food service and administrative jobs — none with holidays or benefits. Further stretches working for myself — teaching, speech-writing, book reviewing, trick-costume making for magicians — anything to make a go of a freelance life.

Later, navigating my 30s and 40s, in and out of school, accumulating degrees, diplomas, certifications, and promotions. Here and…

lisa Schmidt

Workplace revolutionary, organizational culture change agent and catalyst of creativity, change & learning. Find me at

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