Joanna Gilman Hyde

"Good Morning, World!"

Tag: depression


THE COAST GUARD, Shelburne, N.S., Tuesday, July 20th, 1993 — 1B


by Harold Hart

Joanna Hyde of Shelburne has

been busy recently in her back-

yard painting the design of a four-

teen point maple leaf on a huge

40 by 30 foot map of Canada.

The fourteen points mark loca-

tions in Labrador and Quebec

where Hyde would like to position

light reflecting surfaces to reflect

star-like points of light in the out-

line of a maple leaf into outer


The large map arrived in Shel-

burne from Ottawa on May 17

where it had been hanging on an

outside wall of the National Arts

Centre.  It was put there by the

Canadian Conference of the Arts

earlier in the year in an effort to

pressure the Federal Govern-

ment to stop cutting funding for

arts programs.  It remained there

until the April 26 budget was


Joanna learned about the map

from an article in The Chronicle

Herald.  Being interested in what

is called public art – the kind of

art which is large and displayed

outdoors – Joanna decided she

wanted the map.  She contacted

the coordinator of the Canadian

Conference of the Arts and was

told she could have the map if she

would pay the shipping charges.

Joanna agreed and wound up the

new owner for just less than two

hundred dollars.

The map consists of twelve sec-

tions that were circulated to

more than 150 art galleries,

theatres, and schools in each

province where signatures were

affixed to protest government

funding cutbacks for the arts.

Once joined together the pieces

make a huge map of the country

with more than 400,000 signatures

appearing on it…

“Well, what is its weight?”

“Oh, it’s Dead Weight.”

“That’s OK.  I just cremated

My Mother —

She didn’t weigh very much.”

After She painted Her 14-point Maple Leaf

Joanna lay down

and almost died.

She almost died

for years and years.

Long after one husband

cut up the map for tarps

to cover wood piles

at Her First Marital Home

Joanna revived eventually

on poetry and bird song

to find in the Summer of 2016

the abandoned map sections —

one with moss and ferns growing

out of it —

With the help of Her Adult Children

She retrieved three surviving pieces

of The Giant “Ties That Bind

and dragged them across the county

to The East Side of Her Hawk House.

She laid them out

busy in Her Back Yard

hosing and scrubbing a 23-year build up

of Nova Scotia’s Forested Fate

stained and distressed

front and back

to dry in the sun

with the help of a couple of old towels —

not Her Grey One —

there was left no semblance of the configuration

of Canada — only the ghost

of a few red lines

a few patches of indelible signatures

and one partial strip of big black letters

along what must have been

the bottom — in English and French:


She arranged the pieces

some still edged by sturdy grommets —

into what became a nearly perfect square

measuring 27 feet by 23.5 feet:

She had Her Canvas.

She would paint on the BACK.

She folded up the three sections

and with the help of Her Second Husband

She piled Them onto the floor

of The Hawk Utility Room —

the floor She had been using

for Her Most Recent Paintings

and as She writes, She thinks

of building a platform

a stage

perhaps next summer

if there is the same lack of rain

as this one —

She would secure The Triptych

upside down, with the foundation

of Canadian signatures — what’s left of the original


and setting up Her Gallons of Paint

with broom and hose nearby

She would paint and sweep and hose

Stratosphere of The Universe




The Hawk Deck 4:04pm

Since that first spring of 1993

with a ten-minute diagnosis of schizophrenia

crowning My Head after My Mother’s Death

and a summer’s hospitalisation for depression

when a psychiatric nurse tried to assure Me

“There will be other summers” —

how could She have known

there wouldn’t be a straight one

until now, twenty-three years later,

when My Second Husband

allows Me to throw

My Bed-thrashing Knees

across His Hip

in the dead of night

and reads My Extensive Medical Records

on His Lunch Break

to find out what happened?


The Hawk Portico 2:25pm

There was that time —

too long a time —

when I would not get dressed

would lie in bed

and wish the worst

upon My Self —

Now if I choose to wear

My Pyjamas all day

it is simply because

I am enjoying My Leisure

My Bird Song

and The Waves


The Hawk Computer 6:04 pm

My Husband, Dr William Hunter Blair, now believes

that My World Trade Center Roof Top Painting from 1984

titled Self Organizing Galaxy

may have given someone the idea

for 9/11


EYE have not been writing much —

EYE have been making recordings into M(EYE) cell phone

in-which M(EYE) Husband does not seem very interested.



Celebration of A Day’s Depression

The Hawk Kitchen Outpost 1:22pm

I will change out of My LL Bean Cashmere Sweater

out of My Reitman’s grey stretchy pants

I am upstairs now @ The Hawk West Desk Window

about to order My Self


off with My Everyday Sandals

keeping on My Dark Grey Underwear

& galaxy filament-ed bra —

I am about to cloak My Self

in My Warm Grey Bathrobe —

There!  I did it!

& I’ve left My Smoky Crystal Dangly Earrings



The Hawk Queen Bed 9:11pm

The Colour of Moonlight

fell on My Head

The Colour of Moonlight

made sure I was dead

inside My Mind

My Faith It was changed

to see My Self First

My Plans were arranged

to live out My Life

attached to One Sprite

That Light has stayed with Me

even @ Night


The Hawk Portico 5:30pm

My Ativan Prescription

is filled @ the pharmacy

but I’m trying to figure

whether to purl or knit


of going to get It —

there was a time

a grey time

when I would have held

the bottle close

& seen My Self

indulging in several times

the recommended dose

just to conk out

from life

or death


Listening to Future Islands 8:25pm

One night

an eternity ago

when I was young with My Brother

alive, yet within the walls

of Our Psychiatric Unit

He gave Me a white carnation

& a red rose & said

I was The Rose — I asked Him

to join Me in the morning

in My Pink Bedspread-ed Room

to make the announcement

to Our tall psychiatrist:

as I took Howard’s hand

I pronounced to Dr Chandler

“We are The Second Coming of Christ”

and he, that very tall man

with the booming voice

walked out