For 27 years, Lyn Ayre and her husband would take their annual trip to Oregon to share a nature experience with about 100 other travellers.
The couple stayed in the same place each time, by Newport, and every day for 17 nights, Lyn would beat a native drum with other state park visitors — while her hubby, Norm, played the didgeridoo — as the sun set over Beverly Beach.
“It was really remarkable,” the Coquitlam resident said. “We just had to see one more sunset even though it looked the same as the night before.”
Their journeys to the American state are referenced in Ayre’s poetry, which she’ll read, in part, at the 18th edition of Writers in our Midst (WioM), an online production on June 8 that’s hosted by the Tri-City Wordsmiths.
Starting at 7 p.m. the virtual event will feature eight poets via the Port Moody Public Library’s Facebook page.
Ayre, who will make her début with WioM, has many books of self-published poetry to draw from for her seven-minute presentation.
A prolific writer, she’s also penned short stories, spiritual books, energy healing manuals and a memoir. And, later this year, she hopes to unveil Murder on Belcut Mountain.
Her poems — with rhyme and rhythm — are a release for Ayre but her art is cathartic, too.
After Norm died in 2016, Ayre said she completed 87 paintings that year. “The colour and light flowed right through me,” she said. “That’s what saved me from going out of my mind with grief.”
Ayre predominately works with acrylic paints but she also uses oils, watercolours and alcohol inks to create abstract images and landscapes, sometimes reflecting on her travels as well as her motley life: Until her retirement in 2018, she was a singer, credit and collections agent, master herbalist and energy healer.
Now a full-time writer and visual artist, Ayre said she sees little difference between her two creative paths.
“It’s all spiritual,” she said. “Whether you’re writing about or painting nature, the sunsets, the sunrises, the birds, cooking. It’s all about colour, light, aromas and sound. Every sense is touched upon and I get a feeling of oneness of all that is.”
• Meanwhile, on June 5 at 2 p.m., author Traci Skuce will talk about how to develop a narrator or character’s “impossible longing,” in a free workshop by the Tri-City Wordsmiths. To attend the online event, email email@example.com.