Courtney Milne, Oct. 3, 1943 – Aug 29, 2010

640 480 Ann Mortifee

A Word from Ann:

Courtney Milne, my dear, dear friend who created the photographs for In Love With The Mystery, left his earthly vessel before he could hold our book in his hands. How strange are the ways of life.

Paul and I took our kayaks out to a wee island not far from here to say our goodbyes. Paul played his flute. I sang and drummed. The eagles flew overhead. Courtney would have loved that.

I love this photo of Courtney, captured by his friend, Cathy, in one of his joyful moments on the riverbank near Outlook.

For so many years the two of us shared our love and our talents back and forth. He using my music for presentations of his marvelous visions, and I using his photos on CD covers, posters, and now books. Always our sharing was an open gift to one another, a gift of the heart. Never have I known anyone with such a natural capacity for joy. A simple pleasure could catapult him into a state of such glorious exuberant delight. What a rare, rare being.

For the last 20 years, Courtney traveled in union with Sherrill Miller, his extraordinary wife, creating their dreams of Beauty. I remember when they met and how Courtney called and the first words out of his mouth were … ‘I have finally found her!’

During the weeks before he left his body, I wrote to Sherrill …

‘It is raining here for the first time in a month. I sit in the early morning watching the small round dimples creating such graceful circles on the still bay water outside my window. Circles within circles. Lives within lives. Moments within moments. If the two of you were here now, you and I would put on the kettle for tea, and we would watch through the window our beloved Courtney outside in the rain, leaning over, camera in hand, catching the moment. I can see us now, shaking our heads in affectionate wonder at the enthusiasm of our wise, impish companion. Yes, that is the word that captures the raw essence of our wonderful Mr. Courtney. Enthusiasm. Entheos … ‘In – God.’ ‘God within.’ Bubbling over with God, the Creator of Beauty.’

They had laughed when they read this, knowing how true it all was. Beloved Courtney, with his magnificent capacity for poetic ecstasy and hard work.

I would love you all to know more about him.

For over ten years, and 40,000 images, Courtney spent time photographing a Pool outside their home. It was a spiritual practice, a journey into silence, just as In Love With The Mystery was for me. After witnessing so many expressions of the water, he realized it reflected the whole world for him, and wondered, ‘If I can see so much in one small space, what might this say about how our lives would change if we could all see the world ‘with new eyes — how would this change our relationships, our work, and the planet?’ He then took 365 images of the 40,000 and created The Pool of Possibilities Daily, an ecalendar, and added his musings.

On the day of his passing, his Poolside Wisdom and photograph for the day was called Appreciation. This is what Courtney said …

One of the things I appreciate most about the pool is its ability to reflect the sky. By paying attention to the nuances of movement, form, and tone portrayed in the water, I have come to see aspects of the grand roof over my head that otherwise I would have missed. Like the pool, the sky is always in flux. Indeed it is one of the main contributors to the pool’s mercurial nature.

If my day is clouding up, I might appreciate the clouds in the water. If it is raining, I admire the water in the clouds. If my day doesn’t unfold as I expected, I am thankful for the pageantry and ask “What gifts of learning are there for me here?”

Observe how the day brightens around you when you share with others what you appreciate about them, with no strings attached, and what you appreciate about yourself, without qualifying your statement. Suddenly there is blue sky where moments ago you could see only fault and find only fuel for blame.

This is our Courtney. This is his precious gift to us … the ability to appreciate all of life in all of its hues and colors.

Appreciation, August 29th … the 6th Day in the Month of Abundance

Photo by Courtney Milne


I would love you to experience Courtney’s Pool of Possibilities. As Sherrill said, “This is a way to keep the beauty he created and his spirit and wisdom alive and circulating around the world — he would be so delighted to know that people are excited every day to see the world anew through his eyes and heart.”

How I love this being. I will miss him so much.









You can subscribe to the wisdom and beauty of Courtney through the Gift Shop on their website:
“Miracles begin with you. You must find that place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.” Deepak Chopra
Subscribe to the The POOL OF POSSIBILITIES DAILY, and find out what would be possible in YOUR life if you were able to See the world With New Eyes.

Tribute to Courtney at CBC Arts News, also on CBC: This I Believe: Courtney Milne

Courtney’s website:

Ann Mortifee

Singer Ann Mortifee is a genre unto herself. Blessed with a remarkable four-octave range and a gift for impacting hearts with her music and lyrics, her albums, concerts, full-length musicals, scores (ballet, film, opera, TV), and In Love with the Mystery book have generated national/international distinctions and awards. She is an Order of Canada Member, the country’s highest civilian honour. A world traveller, compelling storyteller, and sought-after keynote speaker for major conferences, Ann creates and facilitates inspiring arts and consciousness workshops and co-founded two foundations - for social innovation and for forestry conservation. Based in BC, Ann is the wife of the late jazz flutist, Paul Horn.

All stories by: Ann Mortifee