2020 was a year full of anxiety for many, including myself. COVID created a new stress in my already fraughtful life. My classes suddenly went online, isolated from family, friends, and colleagues, my workaholic tendencies shot into overdrive. By October 2020 I had to go on stress leave. I was exhausted, burnt out, overwhelmed. 

During my leave, my doctor suggested I begin a hobby. Hobby?? What was that and don’t be silly – I don’t have time for a hobby – even on stress leave I was convinced I didn’t have time. 

With her continued proding I eventually began thinking of what this hobby would look like. I began by collecting driftwood. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but I began scouring the beaches for it several hours a day. 

Luckily, I live in the Okanagan Valley and walk my dog along the beach for hours everyday anyway so I thought, why not just collect wood and pacify my doctor.

My Beginning of my Journey with my two dogs

My Driftwood Graveyard

The beach with a beaver chewed tree


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Choose from a variety of Driftwood Monsters. Sculptures come in a variety of sizes and prices. 

So why M-FORMS?

On the second stage of my journey, I began to create things out of the driftwood. Unsure of what these things were, I started to think of them as monsters and this led my inquiry back to Socrates: I began to wonder what a monster is – what the FORM of a monster looks like? 

I looked up the definition of a monster and was thrilled to discover the following:

MONSTER: an animal or plant of abnormal form or structure

So why was I thrilled by this definition? I am a university lecturer and a lifelong student of Socrates and Plato. Every semester I teach a Platonic dialogue; Socrates, it seems, is always with me – including in this journey! Socrates’ teaching of the forms is complex and controversial, so here is a very brief summary:



In several Platonic dialogues Socrates discusses his theory of the ideas or forms – a teaching about the first or most fundamental beings. 

The meaning of this teaching has always been a subject of controversy. Etymologically, eidos is derived from the verb “to see” and means, in the first instance, “the appearance of a thing” – how it looks, the visible charac­teristics that distinguish it from everything else. ‘A human craftsman looks at the idea of a bed and makes a bed. And the painter or poet looks at the bed made by the human craftsman and makes an image of the bed. He is thus an imitator of an imitator and his products have very little reality.’

Socrates argues that ‘all the beautiful things he knows are also in some ways ugly, and that what was once beautiful becomes ugly. These beautiful things seem to be understood to be beautiful in relation to some standard which is entirely beautiful.’ That standard is beauty itself, while the things which imitate it are an imperfect representation of the FORM of beauty. 

And then we were evacuated