Mah-Skall-Ick

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Life on the Ground Floor – Winner of Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust award winners announced at Toronto gala “James Maskalyk, left, was awarded the $60,000 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction for Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine. David Chariandy, centre, received the $50,000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for Brother. Sharon Bala received the $10,000 [...]

The Subtle Art of Giving a Fuck

C.E.C. Newsletter #140   “I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look [...]

G is for Ground.

I’ll sue you. I’ll stab you. I’ll come back with a gun and kill all of you. You’re a shitty doctor. You’re an ugly nurse. You’re an idiot. Goof. I want a second opinion. I want to kill myself.

Dying person, dead person. Sick person. Lying person. Faking. Manipulative. Poisoned. Raped. Dead. Screaming. Crying. Writhing in pain. Hopeless. Afraid. Confused. Alone.

Wow, must be stressful, people say.

You get used to it, we answer.

Ground floor, downtown, ground down. Suffering can be contagious, and no matter the job you do, it just keeps coming back.

the stuff of life.

pouring through us, and over us, then, for a moment, we’re flowing with it, then we’re lost.

A Field Guide to Paying Attention.

C.E.C. Newsletter #137 “The power to concentrate was the most important thing. Living without this power would be like opening one’s eyes without seeing anything.” ― Haruki Murakami           Evidence suggests our minds wander from the scene in front of us, into waking dreams about half the time.  It’s impossible to say, [...]

2016 was everything.

lots to say about this bouncing baby year, but you know, even more to do. sincere wishes of love, but an even truer commitment to show you what i mean. i think that’s the biggest change for me, and while the movement towards it may have been incremental, even unseen, it feels irrevocable for the [...]

trump slump.

need to go. that’s it. so, as we should have done all along, we organize, just better, facilitate healing where there is pain, in ourselves and between each other like it was our main job, because it always has been. it’s a deeply hopeful time. we have been given a great gift, and those who [...]

How to Bow.

The world we’ve built for ourselves is nearly as fast as our mind. If we’re not careful, between the two, it can seem that so much is happening in each, we’ll never catch our breath. We become overwhelmed, frenetic, hurried along. The space between stimulus and response disappears, and with it, room for us to choose the life we want.

We can claim it. That’s what this month is about. Slowing down, making ritual from habit. We’ll do it sitting and surrendering. We’ll do it by noticing the subtle tug of a stimulus, the twitch of our response, the almost infinitesimal space between the two. Perhaps, we’ll even watch that space grow, get a glimmer that if we pay attention, there is in fact great space, and we’ve been living in it this whole time. Then, to the freedom it holds, to ourselves and to others, we will learn how to bow.

happy new day.

2015 sounds like the beginning by James Maskalyk on Mixcloud i’ll keep this short, as it has been a long night in the ER. how many vodka sodas can a teenager drink on new year’s? i don’t have an exact answer, but not as many as he thinks he can. the hospital is a living [...]

When life is in your hands

  (this piece originally appeared in PenguinRandomhouse’s Hazlitt magazine.) I knew what had happened, though I wasn’t there. She was tossed from her motorcycle, turned in the air and fell, her helmeted head bearing her body’s weight. The landing snapped her neck at its weakest point. When I saw her in the trauma room, her eyes roved, trying [...]