“That is one good thing about this world…there are always sure to be more springs.” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea
“And the Spring arose on the garden fair, Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere; And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.” Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Complete Poems
Whenever I feel the uncertainty of a moment, a lingering fear of the unknown or sense of urgency, I go to nature and feel the strength of the earth under my footsteps. The trees bestow their gracious welcome as the sounds of the forest fill my soul with a peaceful silence. The sky, the wind, the sun and clouds remind me that I belong to this world. I am home.
As a global community, we are learning to reinvent our lives. The road turned and we have come upon an unexpected detour. The path may be unclear, but we are together. And that gives me great comfort. Join me on my nature walk and consider the words of the poet, Mary Oliver.
“Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.” Mary Oliver
“It is impossible to do a thing the way I see it because the closer I get the more differently I see.” Alberto Giacometti
Vancouver Art Gallery is my “go-to” place for creative inspiration. Last year, I recorded my walk from the Vancouver Seawall by Cambie Bridge to the Art Galley located in Vancouver Centre. I wanted to document my visit to an extraordinary exhibition: Alberto Giacometti – a line through time.
Alberto Giacometti is considered one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century, which was dramatically evidenced by this extraordinary exhibition. Influenced by the Cubism, Surrealism and Expressionism movements, his work was a search into the human condition.
“All the sculptures of today, like those of the past, will end one day in pieces… So it is important to fashion ones work carefully in its smallest recess and charge every particle of matter with life.” Alberto Giacometti
“Once the object has been constructed, I have a tendency to discover in it, transformed and displaced, images, impressions, facts which have deeply moved me.” Alberto Giacometti
Please join me on my walk to the Vancouver Art Gallery. For more photos check out my SmugMug portfolio link: Alberto Giacometti
We live in times of uncertainty, but of one thing I am certain: We can create compassionate communities wherever we are. I am grateful for my blogging community. We have learned how to forge connections across the globe. Together, we have built a virtual community that supports and encourages, shares knowledge and wisdom, fosters hope and resilience.
Tonight, as I look out into my city that is embracing the night, I feel a sense of solidarity that comes from the lights that shine in the darkness. In a time of uncertainty, we continue to meet challenges together, as a community.
In the darkness, there is light.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once wrote that “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”
Mary Jo has graciously allowed me to recite her poem, “Sleight.” As I read her words, I feel that I am there in the woods with her, walking by the edge of the lake. It is a marvelous song of winter and spring negotiating the terms of transition. Her last lines conjure up profound memories of seasons that have come before.
I invite you to read along with me as we walk with Mary Jo Malo
Spring can be so winter encumbered I learn to walk again layered in a long-sleeved tee and hoodie sweatshirt and bulky jacket and thermals and jeans But the sun is hot and will no doubt spot and freckle my hands and face The old woman I never saw myself becoming
Far into the woods tracing my familiar path around the little lake worried frogs launch from their spawning shore stir up muck and lurk undercover Minnows dart beneath woolly floating leaves survivors of last Autumn then frenzy back into clear warm water when I pass They pull up short out in the deep cold murky center of the pond where bigger fish await to feed off their mistaken direction
A giant carp slowly trolls the shallow water surrounding the island roiling up mud and purling water along its shiny back Game fish lie in wait and jump to snap up bugs I rarely see them hit but hear the splash and watch concentric circles left behind calmly disappear
I nearly submerge a memory one you often asked me to remember that pale yellow sundress with little blue roses and twenty tiny buttons down the front You plucked a wild violet from behind my ear as if you could keep me fooled
“Transits and Returns brings together the work of 21 Indigenous artists from across the Great Ocean and offers a closer look at what connects their practices but also how they are distinct.”
Vancouver Art Gallery
What better way to begin the week than with a visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery?
Five Indigenous curators: Tarah Hogue (Senior Curatoral Fellow of Indigenous Art at the Gallery), Sarah Biscarra Dilley, Freja Carmichael, Léuli Eshrāghi and Lana Lopesi created a vibrant exhibition that celebrated the journeys of participating artists.
I was overwhelmed with this brilliant collaboration showcasing the rich artistry, craft and creative spirit of cultures, places and stories. Join me on a Sunday Evening Reflection with Transits and Returns.
Orkney, with its well documented Neolithic and Viking heritage attracts visitors from around the globe. We are enticed by the narrative of our ancient past that is shrouded in the mist of long ago. We come to find the stories, to feel the kinship of humanity, to marvel at how we have prevailed over the millennium.
Orkney has many historical moments that speak of courage, determination, perseverance that are closer to our time. Tonight, I am remembering the way things were in the not so distant past. Join me as I enter the world of Kirbuster farm, where farmers shared a connection with the land.
Orkney’s soil is fertile. Even today, agriculture is the most important sector of Orkney’s economy, with most of its land taken up with farming – grazing for sheep and cattle as well as for cereal production. Farming today may be more efficient, but one thing that remains the same – Orkney’s farmers, over the centuries, have held a great love and respect for the earth.
Special thanks go out to my dear friends, Lorna and Carrie of See Orkney Tours, for giving us the most amazing Orkney adventure.
Kirbuster Farm Museum in Birsay provides a fascinating glimpse into life on a traditional Orkney farm during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The farmhouse was occupied until the 1960s before being reopened as the musum in 1986. It’s the last un-restored example of a traditional ‘firehoose’ in Northern Europe, with the house built around a central hearth and peat fire. There is also a stone neuk bed and a peat fire, with the rooms full of old household implements and furniture.Kirbuster Farm Museum