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.

Creative Spirits & Innovative Cities

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FAÇADE Festival 2017

It was a late night in early September.  The summer warmth lingered, still unwilling to give way to a cooler season. The muted lights of Vancouver’s downtown cafes spilled onto the streets, mingling with laughter, voices and the aroma of fragrant spices.

In the midst of a vibrant night scene, one street commanded a hushed audience fully engaged within a mythological world of light and music.  It was opening night of the FAÇADE Festival 2017 that began at 7:30 p.m. and would end at Midnight.

The FAÇADE  Festival is a week-long public art production presented by the Burrard Arts Foundation in partnership with the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Jane Jacobs once wrote, “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because and only when they are created by everybody.” Artistic expression is the foundation of bringing communities together.  When we recognize and share our creative spirit we are building innovative cities that will continue to thrive within a vast global world.

 

A Blessing

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For that which we are about to eat, may we be truly thankful.

Granville Island, Vancouver, B.C.

“Some hae meat and canna eat, –

And some wad eat that want it;

But we hae meat, and we can eat,

Sae let the Lord be thankit.”

Robert Burns

Happy Thanksgiving

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“A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.”  Canadian Parliament proclamation, Thursday, January 31, 1957

I was once told that practice makes perfect; in my experience, I found that it also makes permanent.  A thankful spirit comes from practicing gratitude on a regular basis.  This week will be dedicated to thanking our family, friends, community and fellow creatures that walk with us in the world.

Vancouver Gastown Steam Clock

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say “thank you?” William A. Ward

Anger & Answers

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Sometimes it’s okay to be angry – at injustice, hunger, poverty and discrimination.   These are universal struggles that require the entire global community to focus on seeking answers, rather than assessing blame.

It starts with me.  Today, I will join the community and focus my energies on solutions.

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems – not people; to focus your energies on answers – not excuses.”
William Arthur Ward

Talent vs. Genius

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Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens, Vancouver B.C.

May our eyes see beyond the obvious and take another look at the improbable, impossible and impractical…perhaps we have overlooked genius?