A thin mantle of ash

A personal weblog by Cole Peters

Introductions and anticipations

June 28, 2023

It’s a funny thing, starting a personal blog in the year 2023 — somehow awkward and a little exciting all at once. Having been born in the mid 80s, I grew up with blogs as a teenager and young adult. Over the past decade or so, personal blogs have largely fallen by the wayside, the practice slowly eroded by one social media platform after another. But 2023 may prove to be a turning point. Many of these ‘social’ edifices are crumbling, and personal blogging, it seems, could be resurgent.

I’m excited about the premise of personal blogging making a comeback. There’s much to recommend it, from the DIY spirit and decentralized infrastructure to the freedom of space and expression. I admit it’s also a little intimidating, though. Is anyone out there? Will anyone read this? How do you even go about finding blogs in 2023? To what end I am tapping these words into being?

But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. Although I imagine that most of you reading this may already be familiar with who I am, some of you may not be — and those of you who are may be wondering what I’m up to here. So here’s what’s worth knowing if you’re planning on sticking around.


My name’s Cole, and I’m a man in his mid 30s driven by curiosity and creativity. I was born and raised in central Canada — specifically Winnipeg, a city on Treaty 1 territory. That’s where I currently live too, but from 2013–2018 I lived and worked abroad in London, UK. I’d like to live outside Winnipeg again someday (I think), but as most of my friends and family call this place home, I do too for the moment.

I’m a design engineer by trade, which means I write code which is primarily concerned with the function and expression of design on the web. I won’t be writing much about that here — I recently started another blog for that. My general interest in design, however, will likely show up in various ways across the articles to come here.

Outside of my professional work, I am a multidisciplinary artist focused primarily on sound and visual art. You can check out my work on my website. Although my art does not serve as my mode of income, I do consider it a foundational expression of who I am, and as such, a vital component of my life. My work over the past few years has been primarily concerned with sound art (alternately termed experimental music, if you prefer), specifically within the forms of musique concrète, field recording, and electroacoustic minimalism. I’ve been honoured to work with some fantastic labels in releasing my work recently, including Room40. I also collaborate with my dear friend Curran on music, which we perform under the moniker Seracs.

Generally speaking, I’m a nerd, and proud of it. When I say that I’m driven by curiosity, I mean it wholeheartedly. I actually have to be careful with how many things I get curious about in my life, because I tend to go deep on things when I get excited about them, and there are only so many hours in the day (and only so long one can go without, say, eating). Some of my areas of fascination include physics (especially thermodynamics and quantum physics), cooking (especially the art and science of it), zazen (seated Zen meditation, though I do not identify as Buddhist), and chadō (the Japanese Way of Tea). I spend a great deal of time thinking about and reading books on these subjects, though my reading does branch out to other areas (and in good years, I tend to read a lot — follow me on Goodreads if you like).

Another aspect I consider central to my personal experience is that of mental health. I’ve dealt with Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder for most of my life in various forms, though thankfully have only had to endure a couple of more severe episodes. As of mid 2023, I’m grateful to be emerging from a pretty gnarly number of months battling anxiety in particular. I’m a huge advocate of modern medicine and therapy, and I consider both of these interventions to be lifesavers. I don’t plan on making mental health a topic in and of itself on this blog, but I imagine my experiences may colour some of the things I’ll likely end up writing about. Futhermore, I’ll admit that part of my impetus for starting this blog is one of regaining a sense of direction and purpose following my most recent challenges with mental health. In that sense, this blog is as much for me as it is for a hypothetical audience (if not even more so). If this thing manages to pick up a few readers along the way, though, I’d certainly welcome it!

I think this should give you a pretty good idea of who will be behind the keyboard on these articles. But speaking of articles… what are they going to be about?


I have a few ideas rattling around in my head as to what I might want to write about here. But in general, I’m planning on starting out somewhat casual. This blog is not going to be a sales platform or a branding tool. I’m not going to be trying to convince anyone of anything, and I may not even have a point to make most of the time other than writing about things that capture my attention.

My fascination and experiences with Zen meditation and the art of tea will likely be fertile ground for some of my initial posts. There’s a lot of crossover between these two areas of study, as well as between these areas and my own creative work (albeit in perhaps an oblique fashion).

I could also see some articles appearing more specifically on my artistic studies such as sound art, and other creative fields I find interesting, such as ceramics, drawing, photography, sculpture, and design. Some of these articles may not be in depth at all, perhaps coming about more as notes or a quick volley of images that I’d like to have stick around more accessibly than a social media post might.

As a whole, I want this blog to serve as an outlet for creative and personal expression, and to remind myself of why I find fascination in the places, objects, and experiences that I do. I realize that sounds a little self centred, but I also know that I share some of these fascinations with a lot of people — and if you’re one of them, perhaps you’ll find something that catches your eye or mind as things progress here.


If you’re keen to follow along, there are several ways to do so.

First, if you’re old school (and I mean that in a good way), you can use the RSS link at the bottom of this page to follow me on your RSS reader of choice. If that’s not your vibe, consider following me on Mastodon or Instagram, as I’ll likely post about updates to this blog on both of those channels. Lastly, you could simply bookmark this blog’s homepage and check in from time to time like we used to do back in the day. It’s a little more work, but also kind of charming in its way.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks so much for your time and interest — as much as I’ve said this blog may be more for me than anyone else, I genuinely find it so awesome that someone might spend their time reading this stuff. I look forward to sending some more substantial and thematic words your way very soon.