Gorilla House LIVE ART: November 27, 2013

I was distracted by all sorts of things after my day of guest teaching.  There were so many things going on that I lost track of time.  An interesting concept…LOSING TRACK OF TIME.

In a couple of the language arts classes yesterday, the students were reading chapters from their novels and this gave me opportunity to read from mine.  I always try to carry a novel with me, but most often don’t have the chance, during the day, to read.  I had finished  A Rhinestone Button by Gail Anderson-Dargatz the night before and so selected one l had picked up at a second hand shop some time ago. Amazing book!  My Mother’s Ghost by Fergus M. Bordewich!  A memoir, this book fell into my hands when I most needed it.  The thing is…the intensity and the authentic voice, somehow impacted the way I saw everything after setting the book down.  Honestly, for me, this is an always-event, when I am reading a well written book.

I realize that I spend an excessive amount of time considering family, family history, family stories, family records and family photographs…and I am always seeking out a resolution to this sense of nostalgia and memory that pervades most things I do.  Fergus M. Brodewich seemed to be on the very same road in his novel…and so, more than once, my eye brows turned up.  His is a memoir that deals almost exclusively with the resolution of reality and memory.  A rich amazing story!

The story stuck…and so, I painted it.

My focus…the John Lennon lyric, In My Life.

There are places I remember all my life
Though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places have their moments
Of lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I loved them all

And with all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these mem’ries lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new

And I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I loved you more

And I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I loved you more
In my life I loved you more

I pulled out the iconic photograph of Yoko Ono and John Lennon taken by Annie Leibovitz, hoping to capture, in a painted sketch, the contrast of light world resting up against dark and to allow the wood grain to inform that composition.  I didn’t particularly want to go into a busy social environment…I was feeling pretty singular…so, I pulled out pencils and did some sketching at home.

It was quite late when I headed down to ‘the house’…and I only had about an hour to paint ‘this thing’.  I was grateful to find a fairly quiet place next to my friend, Jen, at the table…my back to a wall…a very rare experience when painting in that public space.  I had a couple of  conversations with people.  I treasure those.  (Jen finished early and she headed across the street to her apartment to pick up her four liter of chocolate milk to share with people at the Gorilla House…she just didn’t think that there was any way she could drink it all before the stale date.  I share this wee tale because it gives you the idea of how close knit we’ve become at the Gorilla House.)  Last night, painting was a quiet, introspective act.
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Thank you to Teresa, for purchasing my piece at auction.  Thank you, Rich Theroux, for the hug and to Enriquito for being there.  Thank you, to the dear lady who is taking painting lessons at the Kirby Center…”I so appreciated your conversation and your dream to attend Thursday figure drawing.  I chatted with you for a good while.  I took your photograph while you sat in front of the beautiful purple canvas.”
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Anderson-Dargatz
Anderson-Dargatz
Anderson-Dargatz

Painting Narratives: Saying Enough

Last evening I wrapped up a panel that I’ve been working on over the past few weeks.  I was thinking a lot about the act of painting someone’s story and the privilege of that opportunity.  I think that it’s important to be true to the story, but also to incorporate your own style and approach.  It’s a balance.

The greater themes here are father and child, service to country, sacrifice, connection and transcendence.  I received excellent biographical information from the little girl in this photograph…a young lady now.  Her story is a potent one and initially, it brought me to tears.

Text comes from Walt Whitman’s preface to Leaves of Grass…these were adhered to the panel through transfer. As well, the words Blood and Memory.  To say that Lawrence Hill did not impact this piece would be a fib.  I began painting the commission after listening to him speak of universal truths…I see an artist’s images like he sees the written word and so there is a true responsibility in the marks that I make.

“But I have long loved the written word, and come to see in it the power of the sleeping lion. This is my name. This is who I am. This is how I got here. In the absence of an audience, I will write down my story so that it waits like a restful beast with lungs breathing and heart beating.”
Lawrence Hill, Someone Knows My Name

“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem.” Whitman

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Love Art in Calgary Tours: The Gift of Harry Kiyooka’s Story and Studio

Harry Kiyooka is a generous person and as I perused his space, looked at his objects and listened intently to his stories, I had an experience of humility and love…something that transcended art, and spilled out as stories of the heart.  His narratives about art history, making art, Venice, the Aegean, framing and establishing, along with his wife, Katie, the KOA Centre…all reached deeply into my core.  I will try, through images and brief captions to express a bit of that.

Tucked against a wall…a monumental piece from Harry’s Aegean Series.  He smiles as he tells us that he built his studio with a revised ‘garage’ package in order to accommodate the size of some of his canvases.  Immediately, I liked this guy!

Content from Artists of Alberta: Suzanne Devonshire Baker University of Alberta Press 1980

Content from Artists of Alberta: Suzanne Devonshire Baker University of Alberta Press 1980

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Aegean Sea Series: As he began to paint this series, Harry had not yet viewed the Aegean Sea. He built up reliefs, using plastics. Accurate and technical pieces.

As we gazed upon recent and forever-evolving figurative works, we learned of Harry’s use of familial portraits including the subject of his wife, Katie and family cat…portraits of passed family members.  He is linking his contemporary subjects to memory and relationships, as well as remembering subjects from art historical contexts.

P1140248 P1140238He engaged us with a dynamic narrative that connects the Pierrot (Gilles) figure by Antonio Watteau circa 1717(as found in the Louvre) encountering a collective of contemporary figures of his creation.

Watteau Pierrot 1

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Of his Venetian Series, gallerieswest’s writer, Monique Westra explains in August of 2011,

“And now he’s come up with another surprise. In late November, the Herringer Kiss gallery in Calgary will present a “new” body of work, featuring one of the most challenging subjects in the history of art — Venice. Who knew that this abstract artist has been painting images of Venice for half a century? The exhibition will feature approximately 20 works, including oil paintings, sketches and watercolours. All the paintings are representational, with clearly recognizable subject matter, rendered in a vigorous style that can be described as a cross between impressionism and expressionism.

The Venice works don’t constitute a series exactly, but instead represent a beloved subject which the artist returned to over and over again, over an extended period of time. Kiyooka had spent three memorable and formative years (1958 to 1961) as a young artist in Italy, returning many times from the 1970s to the early 1990s. Venice was a source of endless fascination for him, and his youthful rapture became a lifelong obsession. He was enamoured with the city — its stunning palaces, churches, museums, bridges and canals, and especially its light. Kiyooka admired the Venetian artists of the Renaissance, like Titian, Giorgione, Tintoretto and Veronese; the 18th century veduti painters Canaletto and Guardi; and Turner and Monet, who captured the mysterious and shifting beauty of the city in the 19th century. Like them, Kiyooka painted the famous sites at different times of day and in variable conditions, including the Grand Canal with its resplendent palazzi and the Piazza San Marco.

Kiyooka felt compelled to grapple with the formal problems presented by this famous but elusive subject. The oil paintings are studio works based on photographs, sketches and watercolours done over the years in situ. The canvases share an intense sense of painterly ardour, built up with layers of heavily encrusted impasto, animated by evanescent light which glows on the surfaces of structures and in reflections on the water. There’s something deeply private about these passionate works, wrestled from time, place and imagination. This may explain Kiyooka’s reluctance to show them publicly. Seen together for the first time, these beautiful paintings will reveal what an extraordinary painter Kiyooka is: truly a painter’s painter.”

P1140206 P1140208 It was fascinating to hear about the process of creating the Kalpa paintings and to observe the variety of forms that these paintings take.  Harry pointed out that on the back of some panels, he will make notations of the numbers of layers and corresponding colours he applies, a calculated and exacting process. Of Kalpa, Harry shared and it is further explained by Wikipedia…

Buddha had not spoken about the exact length of the Maha-kalpa in number of years. However, he had given several astounding analogies to understand it.

1. Imagine a huge empty cube at the beginning of a kalpa, approximately 16 miles in each side. Once every 100 years, you insert a tiny mustard seed into the cube. According to the Buddha, the huge cube will be filled even before the kalpa ends.

2. Imagine a gigantic rocky mountain at the beginning of kalpa, approximately 16 x 16 x 16 miles (dwarfing Mt. Everest). You take a small piece of silk and wipe the mountain once every 100 years. According to the Buddha, the mountain will be completely depleted even before the kalpa ends.

In one situation, some monks wanted to know how many kalpas had died so far. The Buddha gave the analogy:

1. If you count the total number of sand particles at the depths of the Ganges river, from where it begins to where it ends at the sea, even that number will be less than the number of passed kalpas.[2]

As you gaze upon Harry Kiyooka’s works…this is the sort of spectacle one experiences.

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P1140215 P1140226 P1140228 P1140233  P1140246 Around this corner, Harry spoke of his brother, Roy Kiyooka.  He hesitated.  This was a deeply personal time.  He showed us where several pieces of Roy’s sculpture are stored, waiting for the construction of the art pavilion, in order that these remarkable pieces be appropriately shared with so many others.

Harry's collection of Roy Kiyooka's works.

Harry’s collection of Roy Kiyooka’s works.

Roy Kiyooka

Roy, instructing at Emma Lake, Saskatchewan.

roy kiyooka 2The stuff of Harry Kiyooka’s creative life.  These objects are so powerful to me.  I am so touched at the pleasure of their intimate presence.

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Small painted sketch…

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Cezanne…a tremendous inspiration to Harry Kiyooka.

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Love Art in Calgary Tour: We Visit Harry Kiyooka and Katie Ohe

To try to adequately write about my experience yesterday, attending the Kiyooka Ohe Arts Centre, will be a challenge.  I think that I was engaged at a very personal level to this experience and so these few posts will be informative, but with a smattering of heart felt connection.  What the heck!  My readers know me and my obsession with issues of identity, memory and sustainability.  You will understand.

The ‘getting there’.  Wendy Lees has opened up so many opportunities for Calgarians through her offer of Love Art in Calgary tours.  I highly recommend them.  She is inspiring, connected and driven in this venture and I’ve become more aware and more linked in to my arts community because of these experiences.

P1140192We gathered at Wolf Willow Studio, where the air is filled with the rich smells of evergreen. Presently, the studio is home to Michelena Bamford‘s Rocky Mountain Wreaths where, on December 8, my readers are invited to take in a marvelous day of creative wonder.  Michelena, a profoundly inspiring mosaic artist provided that sort of comfortable space where we could gather and connect, in preparation for the car pool to our art experience.

P1140185 P1140187 P1140194Thanks, Bill, for driving.  I shared the road with Conrad, Doreen and Suzanne.  It’s always fun to connect with new people and it was especially interesting to learn from Doreen that they had hosted Lawrence Hill, near the onset of his writing career.  Lawrence had shared a narrative at his One Book/One Calgary launch about a Calgary couple that he treasured deeply for their long friendship and somehow I ended up sandwiched between them on our ride out to KO Arts Centre.  God has a way of pulling the pieces of our lives together.

I am ending this first post with some photographs.  Upon arrival, we stepped out into a warm bright day, facing a vast expanse of mountains on the horizon…tall stands of trees…stunning architecture and a sense of anticipation.  The twenty acres that is dedicated to be the KO Arts Centre was charged with magic.  A feature article, as an introduction, can be found in the Calgary Journal here, Giving it All Away.  Please scroll down to the video.

Air. Breath. Expanse. Beauty. Anticipation. Mentorship. Generosity of Heart. Opening.

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Gorilla House LIVE ART: November 20, 2013

I began writing this post at 3:33.  Cool.

I heated up a bowl of cream of mushroom soup for lunch.  It was prepared the way Mom used to do it (apart from the addition of a can of water) when we were just wee things.  I sat at the large feast table by myself and pretty much ruminated the soup away, with thoughts of Mom and her love and care of me.

P11401590019_###After that, I spent the afternoon on my kitchen floor, working on a painting of a soldier and his daughter.  It should be finished this weekend.  Max and I took off for the off leash park and while my lashes froze during that one, I enjoyed getting up and moving after the intensity of my afternoon work-out. Painting is a huge work-out, the way I look at it.

I hesitated to go down to the Gorilla House because of the cold.  In the end, I made the trip out of commitment to myself and my friends who also attend every week.  It has something to do with the practice…the community…and the brain gym.

All of the driving concepts had to do with Mathematics… Game Theory and Deformation Theory (something to do with P).  HUH?    Math was a struggle for me in school…a struggle last night as well.  In the end, I thought simply of the relationship of a mother to her child.  Is that in any way mathematical?  Thanks to Rich for picking this one up at auction.  I was glad to see you, Angie. Be better. Thanks, Bruce, for the beverage.  Congratulations, Jess, on getting those cards done!

P1140177I finished writing this at 4:03…and that, with a consoling conversation with daughter.  I love you, Erin.

Thinking About Al Purdy

It’s -16…the sherry has been poured and it is not too early for Christmas oranges.  I sit down to the computer to write the second last post about summer. Dad agreed to take the drive to Ameliasburgh for the First Annual Al Purdy Picnic.  He knew that I wanted badly to be a part of the event at the A-Frame and so he attended with me.

We began at the community hall where we had our picnic lunch made by ‘the ladies’, a wonderful egg salad sandwich, cookie and lemonade as we leafed through Ameliasburgh history set out on the tables.  From there, we jumped on the shuttle bus and out to the A-Frame house edging on Roblin Lake.

From APAFA, this…

The A-frame house at the edge of Roblin Lake was built in 1957 by Al Purdy and his wife Eurithe, who had set aside $1200 dollars from CBC radio plays Al had written in Montreal. They bought a piece of land and a load of used buildings material from a structure being torn down in Belleville, then set to work, building from architect’s plans ordered from a popular magazine. As Al made clear in his autobiography, Reaching for the Beaufort Sea, in the first years they endured fierce cold and poverty and worry. “But Roblin Lake in summer, planting seeds and watching things grow; doing a marathon swim across the lake while Eurithe accompanied me in a rowboat; working at the house, making it grow into something that nearly matched the structure already in your mind. Owls came by night, whoo-whooing in a row of cedars above the house; blue herons stalked our shallows; muskrats splashed the shoreline; and I wrote poems.

Today, the Al Purdy A-Frame provides for a Writing Residency Program, a wonderful concept that has been and continues to be supported by a large number of interested individuals.

The John M. Parrott Art Gallery is housed in the Belleville Public Library.  Some time before the picnic, I had picked up a small stack of second hand books on one of my visits. One of those books, and a real treasure of mine now, is George Bowering’s 1970 book about his dear friend, Al Purdy.

Al Purdy by George Bowering Toronto Copp Clark 1970I read this analysis of Purdy’s poetry during long nights, struggling with grief at the loss of Mom.  As I read, I became more and more connected to the poet’s words.  I was really looking forward to walking through the landscape and home that had been a part of his writing.

Dad sat on a fallen tree with me…and I knew that it wasn’t his absolute favourite thing to do that day…but he did it with me.  He was there for me…and more than anything else, as I sit here writing on a winter’s eve’  this is what matters most.  We listened to poetry readings…heard a few speeches and a little bit of music in the company of great people and Al’s wife, Eurithe Purdy.  Then, without terrific pomp, we toured the little house…looked out onto the water…gazed up through the branches of trees and then we left.

Thank you to all of the organizers for welcoming us and for sharing with me, a piece of the magic.

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Roblin Lake

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Eurithe Purdy July 27 2013

Eurithe Purdy July 27 2013

P1110936 P1110940 P1110942 P1110944 P1110949 P1110952 P1110953 P1110955 P1110956 P1110957 P1110959 P1110961 P1110962 P1110963Since leaving Belleville, Dad has revisited Ameliasburgh and took a whole collection of photographs from his stop at the Museum/Library.  I am so blessed that we shared that time on Mom’s birthday.  I will never forget that afternoon.

Where are you Brenda Draney?

It was blustery.  I thought about the slowest way I could possibly drive to the Esker Foundation, located on 9th.  I have attended other events related to the exhibit (film viewing, panel discussion, artist talk) since the opening of Fiction/Non-fiction.  There was no way weather was going to keep me from a painting opportunity where Brenda Draney would be doing some sharing…some wandering…some listening.  Everything I’ve been ‘incubating’ about since Mom’s passing (story, connection, identity, loss), would be a part of the afternoon’s experience…so, I was going to forge through the weather, regardless.

Once I arrived, I chose a seat that faced out toward the street…wide, tall windows stretched before me.  I could see onto the neighbouring roofs and watch the snow blowing.  Above me, the pod that houses the administrative space…a nest-like feature, caused an immediate sense of comfort and coziness.  Meeting Sharon, the artist across from me, led to a very quick and impact-full connection.  I felt happy.

I had dumped a pile of old black and whites into a zip lock bag before leaving home and proceeded to shuffle through them, looking for references. It didn’t take me long.  I won’t go into details…I won’t share the stories that connect me with the images…but, I will say that there was an immediacy.  Topics shared on my visits with Brenda and Sharon yesterday afternoon included, but certainly weren’t limited to; identity, memory, stories, mothers, objects of affection, nostalgia, art, teaching, journals, writing, voice.

At the conclusion of the afternoon, I felt so empowered and so grateful.  Brenda Draney is like an angel who was brought into my circle for the purpose of some reflection…some connection and some healing.  It was the most delicious of afternoons, and certainly a gift to myself.  Thank you, Brenda.

P1140140 P1140146 P1140147Technically speaking, it was a tricky thing to choose to use greys for the entire day…but, this session wasn’t so much about the technical aspects of watercolour (a completely foreign medium), but about meaning. I spoke to Sharon about the curtains that Mom had sewed on her treadle sewing machine, even when we were in military-poverty in those early years living in Ste. Sylvestre, Quebec.

Incubator: Brenda Draney from Latitude 53 on Vimeo.

Brenda Draney, Church 2012

Brenda Draney, Church 2012

Craig Cardiff, You ARE the BOMB!

If a person looks, they can find a Craig Cardiff lyric for anything they are thinking about…anything they are feeling.  He gave me a hug as I was waiting for dinner at the Ironwood the other night…that, after the hand shake, which, with creative people, is usually enough.  He passed me a book to write my thoughts down and then went about doing the same thing at most tables.  I drew a scene…it spilled out of me…and I thought about the full moon that was coming as I drew.

The music was so special.  I most appreciated that I had opportunity to share the music, good food and I nice bottle of Malbec with my cousin, Peter.  Our conversations are always deeply personal and all-encompassing.  We ‘don’t beat about the bush’, as some folk would say. Recently, I’m of the mind that life is too danged short to mess about contemplating whether or not you should or should not share your true feelings.  So, forgive me, if you’ve been the subject or the result of my tirades.  I’m not that great with boundaries these days, at least not where ‘the voice’ is concerned.  I’m speaking more.  I love Craig Cardiff’s music for  that very reason because I think that he’s ‘saying it’.

I like that he signed my cd…and spent time signing it, instead of thinking that the interaction was solely about his signature…instead, with this musician, it’s about the interaction.  I liked that.  I’m posting the song that spoke to me most remarkably, that is, after the When People Go thing…that one speaks to me the most.

Dance Me Outside reminds me of my love for the book The Diviners by Margaret Laurence…the moment in the beginning chapters when Morag’s daughter, Piquette, asks what a buffalo looks like…this, a question posed in the Manitoba landscape where once, myriads of buffalo ranged free.  That exchange was one of the reasons I became a landscape painter in the day…long story.

Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors

Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors

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This Indian girl walks out into traffic
The traffic stops then she’s causing havok and baby won’t you
Roll up the windows dial up on the cellphones
Get the cops to get out here
I just want to get home

She says, “Well, do you remember the all buffalo?”
And all the dumb white people say, “Do you mean Jimmy Neil Young Springfield?”
She says, “No”
But Cleveland isn’t the home of Indians
And not even Eskimos it feels like you just don’t want to know

She says; “Take me around
Dance me outside
Show me a place where we might hide
and oh, what I want I’m afraid that you can’t afford to buy”

This Indian girl
Spins like a toy top
And her hair spreads out like fire and it’s like she just can’t stop
And then the cops come
Donut guard state car
Rolling up along the side
With the fire lanterns burning
The sirens opened wide and they say
“Excuse me little miss I’m afraid its time to take this home”
And they try to get her address
She says, “Sorry I don’t have one
It’s only we and the feeding fields
And look where you are”
And she kicks at the hem of her skirt
And on go the cars

She says; “Take me around
Dance me outside
Show me a place where we might hide
and oh, what I want I’m afraid that you can’t afford to buy”

This indian girl
Feeling cold and tired
Wouldn’t mind some help then
But the cars go by it’s no wonder why
‘Cause all they want to do is go and get away
“All I wanna do,” she says, “is get away from here”

So she builds a fire
And all through her belly
And through her hair and bones
And to remind her that shes alive she stares at in awe

And she says; “Take me around
Dance me outside
Show me a place where we might hide
And oh, what I want I’m afraid that you can’t afford to buy”

“Take me around
Dance me outside
Show me a place where we might hide
And oh, what I want I’m afraid that you can’t afford to buy”

Mom and Dad…Still Giving

I received a parcel four years ago from Mom and Dad.  It may have been the last year that Mom participated in shopping for Christmas for me before the Alzheimer’s disease stole so much from her.  I put it on a shelf…in a box…thinking that I wouldn’t ever replace a perfectly good and functioning coffee machine.  I owned my white ‘number’ since my #2 was born in 1986.  The past three weeks, I’ve been sticking doubled paper towel underneath my coffee maker so that the water that was leaking would stop spilling over my counter.

Today held the morning of magic; I went down to my basement storage area and brought out my NEW coffee maker.  In the storage room, I was squealing.   And then I went upstairs, read all of the safety concerns, set the bright blue digital numbers to the proper time and then made my first cups of coffee.  What a blessing!  The ‘whitish’ coffee maker is done…it served its years well and I pride myself that I didn’t toss it before its time had passed.

Rarely will I share BEFORE and AFTER shots…but here, it just seems a part of the celebration!

Thanks to the generous hearts of Mom and Dad!

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

 

When people go,
when people leave,
make some people cry,
make some people drink.

When people go,
when people leave,
it’s the saddest thing.

When people go,
is it like they’re asleep?
lost to the world,
in the longest dream.

Like when boats at sea,
never come back,
is it like that?

I think it’s going to be,
another long night,
i think it’s going to be,
another long ride.

When people go,
when people leave,
make some people cry,
make some people drink.

When people go,
when people leave,
it’s the saddest thing.

Dizzy in the head,
broke in the heart,
there’s no business,
it’s all art.

Until it’s far behind,
and it all comes back,
when people go it’s so sad, so sad, so sad,
so sad, so sad, so sad.

And goodnight,
and go home,
and there is nothing more to see,
just a song,
in a box,
some need to cry,
and please,
find a friend,
have a drink,
and go home,
taking two,
empty hearts,
go to bed and,
go to bed and.

Well goodnight,
go home,
there is nothing more to see,
my friend,
have a drink,
go to bed,
and tell them,
that you need them,
hold them hold them tight,

Goodnight,
go home,
there is nothing more to see.

Goodnight,
go home,
there is nothing more to see.

Goodnight,
go home,
there is nothing more to see.

I think it’s going to be a long long night.

Goodnight,
go home,
there is nothing more.

Goodnight,
go home,
there is nothing more to see.

Go home.

Lawrence Hill Comes to the City of Calgary

Last weekend was intentionally scheduled around the One Book One Calgary event and the visit of the author, Lawrence Hill, to Calgary.  I was unable to attend his final talk on his most recent book, Blood: The Stuff of Life, but have caught up via the various pod casts available on line.  I hope that my readers will take the chance to listen/view these as I think they contain some real gems, especially for those who, like me, are in a determined search for their family connections.  I seem to be a descendent of a ‘powerful’ collection of people and through the toughest of times, no matter their story’s origin, they prevailed.

Lawrence Hill’s talks are not about slavery, but about the power of the human will and its forever-digging-out of the mire, in order to experience the light.  He also reminds us that in this contemporary world, slavery continues to exist, reminding us of the vast numbers of women and children who are used as slaves the world wide, for every sort of travesty including the sex trade.

I’m providing a link to the Massey Lectures and some of the resources here.

When I asked Lawrence Hill, at one of his book signings, if he might write the story of a character in my life, he delegated me that task instead, saying clearly…”This is your story to write.”  It was a quick but very ‘loaded’ conversation and I left the library that day feeling empowered somehow.

The weekend was a rich one filled with thought provoking lectures that turned out to be both entertaining and deeply moving.  The Calgary Public Library continues to provide programming developed around The Book of Negroes throughout the month of November.  I recommend that my readers look over the possible programs here.

P1140135 P1140138 P1140139Thank you to the Calgary Public Library for the amazing program that they offer and for the lovely opening reception in particular.  We are very fortunate here in Calgary.