Thank you, Deb & Cat

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Dear Deb & Cat,
We have never met…

There is a possibility that we may have passed in the street without knowing that we had somehow connected through your artistic endeavour. Yes, it is your mural that appeared overnight along a path that runs under a bridge, leading to a busy street. The one with the brilliant sun shining over a tree, three tulips, a flowering shrub.

I was in a hurry to complete a scheduled task. Until…

The spreading branches, with fresh leaves called to me. There was an enveloping warmth, a feeling of renewal, the arrival of spring.

You reminded me that we live in a beautiful world of light and colour. Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the souls the dust of everyday life.” Your mural exemplifies this idea.

Looking back, I have no recollection of the “urgent” task. Instead, I have a memory (and photos) of the moment I spent with you via your art.

Wherever you are, whatever you do, I know that you will accomplish great things.

With gratitude,

LadyBudd

Freedom in the Delay

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Vancouver Seawall Winter 2019

Whenever anyone brings up the subject of procrastination, they invariably give a nod to Mark Twain who stated with his usual clarity and generous humour:

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” …

Those poor frogs!

Procrastination is simply the action of delaying or postponing.

We know how not to procrastinate.  In fact, there are books written to help us through the trials and tribulations of avoidance.  I have read books on de-cluttering, time management, setting priorities – all are filled with marvelous vignettes and stories that give that exuberant promise that once I make a list, and dramatically cross off completed tasks, I will be liberated.

Living a productive life is a noble goal with great outcomes. Lists allow us to measure our performance, and perhaps stave off the dread of procrastination.

What if we looked at procrastination a different way?

What if we stopped the tasks, took a moment to simply be in the moment, and allow our mind to gather strength and resilience?  Perhaps what we consider urgent, may not be important. Perhaps a delay or postponement is the best course of action.

Maybe those frogs should be allowed freedom.

And with that thought, I invite you to share a walk along the Vancouver Seawall, just as the sun is setting.  Take a deep breath and leave your lists to another day.

 

Winter Sunset from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Moving On

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There is a time to move on. That is what my grandmother told me many years ago. It is how we move on that makes life interesting, productive, meaningful.

We cannot change time, or the season. What we can do is embrace the present, to honour the moments that are given and affirm the poignancy of our inability to hold time in abeyance.

Cities are no different. They are ever-changing, a reflection of our evolving societies. As the Scottish scientist, Patrick Geddes, noted, “But a city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time.” And time moves on, with new dramas appearing and receding into archival memory.

La Taqueria restaurant, situated on Cambie and Broadway, close to City Hall is on the move. The building is scheduled for demolition, making way for a new construction that promises more space and amenities. For patrons of La Taqueria, the move is only a block away. Within the messages of gratitude written on the walls, there is a recognition of moving on, for acknowledging that what was once, is no more. There is also a sense of excitement, anticipation, a commitment to accept what comes next.

“To every thing here is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Star Watchers

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“We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered was the earth.” Bill Anders, Apollo 8 Astronaut

SFU Trottier Observatory and Science Courtyard

We are Star Watchers.

When we think of the infinite or question our place in the universe, our first action is to look upward. The sky holds opportunities and uncertainties that come with humanity’s need for exploration.

We are Star Watchers.

But we belong to a world where gravity holds us to the earth. Our stories and mythologies allows us to ponder our existence. From ancient times, campfires have been a place for storytelling. We look up at the night sky and see the stars enticing us to continue our search, to remind us that we may not be alone.

We are Star Watchers.

We live finite lives, but we recognize the possibilities of the infinite through the twinkling sky. May we continue to look upward, to explore and be amazed.

 

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” Vincent Van Gogh

53 Seconds

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53 Seconds of Meditation.

Meditation has been defined as engaging in mental exercise, breathing deeply and repeatably so as to reach a special and elevated understanding of our place in the fast-paced, mercurial world that surrounds us.

Reflections, pondering or whatever you believe meditation to be – definitions are easier than the practical application. Simply because of our time-constraints and responsibilities. Our minds are active throughout the day, and according to brain research, achieve heightened activity in sleep.

Today, this is my way of slowing down! Happy meditating.

Art Under a Bridge

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The idea of permanence imbues feelings of safety and security.

Stability, durability, endurance, constancy – these words allow us to indulge in long-term planning and undertake big dreams that will happen sometime in the future.    The assumption of indefinite unchangeability suggests that we have time enough for everything because what is today, will surely be here tomorrow.

Tomorrows are fresh starts and they chose their own destinies.  All we are given is a reasonable expectation or likelihood of what may, or may not, occur.

For all our supposed need for permanence, however, what lies within us is something far more profound – the need to explore, to experience the extraordinary, to live big lives.  Now, in the present. Not in the opaque and unknown future.

One thing that remains steadfast is our desire for community, for belonging, for a place to call home.

#ChalkTalks – a student project by CityStudio “made by us, for you” appeared in the afternoon and left the same evening.

Thomas Merton, in No Man is an Island, wrote, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”   That thought came to mind when I walked under a bridge and experienced this remarkable temporary art installation.

 

Within a few hours, the crowds dispersed, and the music stopped. By morning, all that remained were a few chalk messages left on cement walls.  And yet, what these students said through art, remains with those who experienced the moment.

Perhaps that is the only permanence we need.