Sunday Evening Reflection with Mary Jo Malo

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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.”

I have taken Johann up on his thoughts for my Sunday Evening Reflection. I feel the call of poetry and found the words have come from my dear blogger friend, Mary Jo Malo, from her blog, “This Shining Wound, Original Poetry by Mary Jo Malo.”

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

 

Sleight by Mary Jo Malo, Poet from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Sleight by Mary Jo Malo (pronounced Maylo)

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

Sunday Evening Reflection: Transits and Returns

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“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.

For more photos of the extraordinary exhibition, please link into my  SmugMug Photo Gallery

Transits & Returns, VAG September 28, 2019 – February 23, 2020 from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

 

Oh, How I Long For Home, 2016

 

Sunday Evening Reflection – The Way Things Were

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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

Sunday Evening Reflection: At the Orpheum

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The Vancouver Orpheum

The Vancouver Orpheum opened its doors on November 8, 1927. Ah, it was a grand building, the largest theatre in Canada at the time, with a construction price tag of $1.25 million.  Three thousand seats awaited an audience eager to see the interior of the much-awaited theatre.

Buildings have biographies and encounter transitions that reflect our ever-changing societies. Would it surprise you to know that the Vancouver Orpheum was launched as a vaudeville house? The vaudeville that became popular in North America from the early 1880s until the early 1930s, was similar to the music halls of Victorian Britain.

When the voices and acts of vaudeville’s singers, dancers, comedians and magicians fell silent in the late 1930’s, the Orpheum became a movie house, under the Famous Players name.

The crisis occurred in 1973.

In 1973, Famous Players made a financial decision that would change the course of our beloved Orpheum’s history. The Orpheum was scheduled for a major upgrade to a multiplex.  The magnificent interior was to be gutted.  The public protest was heard across Vancouver and beyond.  Even Jack Benny made an emotional appearance.

The Orpheum was saved.

The City of Vancouver bought the Orpheum and closed the theatre on November 23, 1975 to complete a full restoration. April 2, 1977 the Orpheum was reopened and is now the permanent home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, in 1979, the Orpheum was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.

During December, our family attended a performance of Handel’s Messiah.  After the crowds dispersed, I stayed behind to capture a few photos to celebrate the history of this noble building and all those who came together to save its legacy for generations to come.

Come, join me on a short walk through a building that has graced Vancouver for nearly 100 years.

 

Music by Cercles Nouvelles “Palace Garden Roses” Epidemic Sound

Sunday Evening Reflection: Who has seen the wind?

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The wind and trees have a special relationship. Together, they create exquisite music that comes with fluttering leaves and waving branches. The fresh air that trees bestow on this earth brings a sense of well-being.  A recent Instagram post by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization stated that “studies show that trees boost happiness and reduce stress levels.”

Trees are the vital source of fruits, medicines, oxygen.  They decrease the greenhouse effect and prevent soil erosion, which in turn prevents water pollution.  Under the shade of trees, wildlife find protection.

Tonight, I am celebrating trees with poetry by Christina Georgina Rossetti.  Embracing the dance of the wind and trees.

Who has seen the wind?

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

 

 

Sunday Evening Reflection: Desiderata

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“You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

 

Tonight, I am going back in time to the moment I first heard Desiderata, which is Latin for “things desired”.

It was the beginning of a new year and a new decade – 1970.

A poster designed to look like ancient parchment with the Desiderata written boldly in an elegant script was a treasured purchase. It remained on my study desk for inspiration and traveled with me to college a few years later.

2020, the Desiderata continues to be relevant as I look forward to the years ahead.  It is a new year and a new decade.

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann Recitation by Rebecca Budd from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

 

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, 1948