Days and Art at Vancouver General Hospital

I dread flying. (The fears stem from multiple days on a cross-country flight in a single engine Cessna…but, that’s another story.)

When I heard that one of my best friends, spiritual guides and artist-buddies was moving at warp speed toward death (as we all are), I had to fly.  It is with gratitude for a few people and circumstances and timing that I write these words down.  Everything lined up so that I could be with Bobbie.  Bob and I shared over twenty years of friendship and he inspired such rich and wonderful magic in my life.  It was an unwritten pact of sorts that led me to his bedside and into the wonderful circle of his family.

When we landed, I took words of a highly-traveled friend, Hollee, to heart and pretended, to some degree, that I was Dora the Explorer.  I had some reservations about flying into Vancouver, not being familiar with the ‘big’ city at all.  I had flown into Vancouver with a friend many years ago in order to enjoy a Dave Matthew’s Band concert and the Art Gallery, but hadn’t ever found my way around on my own.  So, on the advice of Hollee, I took my time finding my way to the Canada Line, enjoying the beautiful art displayed throughout the airport.  Bob would have loved that I did this.

I successfully found my way to the Broadway/City Hall stop and then began my short walk to the hospital.

Peter met me at the elevator on the 16th floor of the Palliative Care Unit, after a convoluted wandering of the hospital, having thought I would find Bob on the eleventh floor. When I stepped around the corner and into Bob’s room, his arms extended and opened up to me.  The embrace of two old friends was delicious.  He uttered his delight and I parked my bag.  I knew that I would make this room my home for the coming days, although Bronwyn had graciously offered me a bed.

I write this post to celebrate the type of care and the environment where Bob spent his last days.  The Palliative Care unit was exceptional.  It was a comfortable space for both residents and families.  And there was art…everywhere!  Referred to as the VGH/ UBC Hospital Foundation Art Collection, the collection gave me the opportunity to disappear into various visual experiences throughout my stay.

“We are grateful to our donors for their contributions to this innovative program,” says Dr. Bev Spring, a physician with the Palliative Care Unit at VGH. “Art helps to create an atmosphere aesthetically and attitudinally where emotional and physical healing can happen. This is important for the heart and soul of the hospital – and the hearts and souls of those who find themselves on the giving or receiving end of care here: patients, their families and staff alike.”

I collected a series of photographs…none of them great, because I was so impressed.  I wasn’t in Vancouver for site seeing or for a vacation.  And yet, the space where my dear friend spent his last days was absolutely beautiful.  I’m so grateful for that.  This post is written in order to celebrate Bob’s life.  He held, in his imagination, such knowledge, practice and understanding of place, aesthetics and image-making.  This collection would have awed  him.

I sat through the wee hours of morning on August 20th and felt an overwhelming peace.  Of course, I was weary, but I was and am so grateful for the people who are in my circle.  I am so blessed.  Bob was a gentle and kind man.  His spirit lives.

 

Days on the River

Early mornings on the river now reveal just how circular my own journey is and how natural death is to life. All life blooms, but also fades.  In youth, I ran toward the next Christmas and to the next Halloween and to the next grade and the next teacher and to a boyfriend and to a husband. Never would I suffer divorce. Never, in my imagination, would my mother die.  My brother would not die.  My life long friends would remain at my side always. The abundance of living well, seemed endless.

In reality, the magic that perches at the edge of the river demonstrates again and again that life transforms.  I look down at my own hands at this keyboard this morning and see this transformation in my self. I have no choice but to accept it, while at the same time, I have the opportunity to create magic in others and to watch life unfold in my children and in my grandson.  I also have the choice to embrace the beauty of another fading summer.

My circular walks at the river have healed me throughout this lush green often-wet summer.  I have watched closely as the adult Bald Eagles tended two eggs at their nest, saw them through the biting cold of spring when at last those eggs hatched and almost two months later two beautiful fledglings found their place in a brutal world.

Having watched this mating pair over several seasons, it was sad to watch the disappearance of Mrs., a week after the second youngster fledged.  She was such an inspiring raptor and was vigilant with the two young eagles, demonstrating fiercely, the skills that were intuitive and essential for their start in life.  She may have been evicted or killed and within days, a sub adult began to dominate the territory, eventually captivating Mr. who diligently fed and raised up his two progeny.

These days those same juveniles soar high above me, carving huge circles into a deep blue sky, utterly celebrating what it means to be Bald Eagles.  I sometimes find myself weeping at the enormous beauty of this passage of time as manifested in one little family at the river.

I no longer hear the sounds of the Red-Winged Blackbirds.  Theirs is the first song of spring.  And now, they are gone.  Where only a month ago the Yellow Warblers’ very particular song filled the woods, there is only the occasional flash of bright yellow in the low brush.  Mating and fledging behind them now, where do they disappear?  The sounds of geese returns after a month of silence.  The adult Mallards begin to separate from the juveniles now, after so many weeks of being alert and startling so easily.  The American Pelicans no longer rest in great numbers in the quiet eddies of the Bow.  The changes happen in subtle ways.  One beauty is replaced by another.

Now, the Cedar Waxwing juveniles are practicing flight in great numbers and every evening they are making loops out over the water and back, out and back, lighting in bare branches.  Adults remain vigilant.  Yellow Rumped Warblers have increased in numbers, likely just passing through, and Downy Woodpeckers, Nuthatches and Northern Flickers take up residence.  Many of them will winter here.

Wild Asters are in bloom for a second time and the Thistles are in seed.  Small water bugs fly thick and hover above the racing water.  The fish jump. Conversations with the fishermen include stories of Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Pike.  They pull out their phones and scroll through their photographs, proudly telling me their fishing narratives.  They  humour me with observations of the eagles.

The native grasses are now beyond my shoulders and the closeness creates that feeling of being watched, a mystical feeling of not being alone.  Sometimes, I look to the left and deer are perfectly still and their eyes meet mine.  Their eyes are pools of dark liquid, staring.  They do not move. We are captivated by one another.  If I move at all they flinch or huff and spook into the trees. The coyotes sulk into the tall growth and disappear.  It is in this stillness where I discover life, abundantly.  I look up and a juvenile eagle is peering at me.  The Grey Catbirds, now gone, would remain absolutely still as I slipped by.  The Eastern Kingbirds, showmen as they are, perform their antics with seemingly no fear.  Their numbers are also dwindling at the river’s edge.

Once, the stillness was broken by the loud slap of a beaver in the quiet eddy to the south.  Another time, with my back to the water, I heard a powerful bang and quickly pivoted around to see an Osprey lift up and out of the water, huge fish clutched in its talons.  The sounds at the river are mesmerizing…and now, with the tall grasses turning gold, those sounds can be very soft and comforting.

 

Tansy is changing from brilliant yellow to brown.  Leaves drift silently to the ground from the highest canopy.  I am in awe that summer is at an end.

Over the coming weeks, the Bald Eagles will eek out their place on the river.  Mr. will no longer provide the two youngsters with food.  He will evict them and they will begin their struggle to survive through another bitterly cold winter.  I don’t have any idea how to end this post because life at the river has no real end.  It is a place of beginnings.

I know this.  I know that we must challenge everything in the world that does not steward the land and the earth and the air.  Life is a brutal thing.  Death is brutal.  We must protect the little ones.  We must leave my grandson this beauty…I can not imagine him not knowing what a world of abundance we were given.

Wood!

That’s it…three sessions of scrubbing down my sanded furniture and I’m ready to apply the primer.  I thought I’d capture a photo of the living breathing wood before I seal its pores again with paint.

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After some discussion with daughter #2, I’ve decided to free-form the pieces for my bedroom to capture the feeling of autumn.  So…forget Marc Chagall.  Onward and outward, Kathleen Moors!

I used this furniture for healing.  It took me a long time to recognize that…but it is so!  Alzheimer’s disease steals layers of memory so incredibly slow.  My heart goes out to every reader who has had to find strength through years of watching your dearest loved ones make this journey…and I pray with everything in me for families who have just received a diagnosis and who need to find creative and accepting ways of taking this same walk.  I came to discover as I peeled back the layers of paint over so many nights and weekend afternoons that GRACE is what helped me…GRACE is what healed me and the quiet of hours picking away at paint in the warm light of my studio.  Mom, you remain, with all of your memories, inside of me always.

 

I picked up the green vanity on September 12 of 2011 and the other pieces August 22, 2013. The fronts and backs of every piece were totally suffocated in multiple layers of paint.  I will not be removing paint from furnishings again…let it be known!

Vanity Headboard Stripping Paint

 

 

 

Contemporary Calgary Serves Up Made in Calgary: The 1990s and Deadly Lady Art Triumvirate

Made in Calgary The 1990s and the Deadly Ladies Art Triumvirate

It’s the ‘morning after’ writing this post and as I read it, I think that it might be a particularly challenging post because Saturday night was so FULL to exploding with art and at this single venue, a lot was going on.  For those who are not familiar with the physical lay out of the building that was once called the Art Gallery of Calgary, there are four floors, each separated by a very open stairwell.  Presently, on three of those floors is an exhibit titled Made in Calgary: The 1990s and on the top floor, an aboriginal women artists’ exhibit titled the Deadly Lady Artist Triumvirate.  This post will explore both, although, barely touching on the 1990s portion.

The Art Gallery of Calgary and our MOCA, located by City Hall, along with the Institute of Modern and Contemporary Art have consolidated/E-merged as Contemporary Calgary.  So, to begin with, the language that I use to label the evening venue becomes a tad complicated.  Here are some of the highlights, as I saw them.

An upbeat evening was had at Contemporary Calgary on Saturday night…friendship (happy birthday, Jen), hugs, laughter, great catered food and fantastic art.  In the 1990s, I remember making the acquaintance of several local artists in their studios…places like the Burns Building.  I think that the exhibit nicely characterizes the sorts of things that were happening at the time and it was very reminiscent to be in connection with the ‘stuff’ again.

While I won’t be able to feature or write my connection with each piece, I want to showcase a few. For example, a nice little threesome of silver gelatin prints by Lawrence Chrismas were exhibited.  I met Lawrence when I attended a powerful exhibit of photographs at the Esker Foundations some time ago. The exhibit was titled Splendid Isolation…and captured the intimacy and narrative aspects of spaces. At one of the art talk events, Lawrence (Larry) had shared, during question period, an encounter with photographer,   Orest Semchishen.  It was a highlight for me as I was taking in Orest’s historical images of small town Alberta.

P1150108I’ve made a visit to the Paintedearth Coal Mine with my friend, Bill Webb and so when I saw the image of these welders, I was so impressed with the fact that faces were ‘put on’ the history of the area.  Art sustains our narratives so that we might always make reference.  I felt engaged with a small part of the archive that is Alberta mining.  Beautiful.

P1150104A Wayne Giles piece demanded the viewer’s attention by its monumental presence on the lower level.  The first image is the AGC’s documented image and the following one is my attempt to capture its presence at my first encounter.

Wayne Giles Mondrian's Cat 1992

Wayne Giles Mondrian’s Cat 1992

P1150106Then I headed for the Top Floor gallery space…and THIS!

From artrubicon. Visual Arts Magazine, this...

Contemporary Calgary, (formerly The Art Gallery of Calgary) is pleased to announce its first Artist-in-Residence (AIR) project, supporting local and ntional artists in the research, creation, and presentation of new artwork while building mentorship opportunities between emerging and established artists.  Throughout the month of January, the AIR project features three Aboriginal artists; Tanya Harnett, Amy Malbeuf, and Brittney Bear Hat.

P1150102It is my hope that my readers will find opportunity to enjoy this exhibit that runs until May 4, 2014.  Opening night, the voices of female singers and the sounds of their drums filled the Top Gallery and left me, in a few different moments, silently weeping.  The exhibit of works was brilliant and create a composite of deeply felt moments…stories of family, identity and healing.

Deadly Lady Art Triumvirate February 8 2014

Miriam Meir, Tanya Harnett, Chantal Stormsong Chagnon and Cheryle Chagnon-Greyeyes

Deadly Lady Art Triumvirate February 8 2014 2 Next, musician, Olivia Tailfeathers performed with a young lady and gentleman…exquisite!  Powerful!

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Artist: Brittney Bear Hat

Artist: Brittney Bear Hat

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Sculpture in Mixed Media by Artist, Tanya Harnett

I had previously written some ponderings about Tanya Harnett while being blown away by an Edward Burtynsky exhibit at the Glenbow.  It was wonderful to finally see her very potent and beautiful works exhibited in this way.

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Artist: Tanya Harnett

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Artist: Brittney Bear Hat

Artist: Brittney Bear Hat

I had done some reading about Chief Running Rabbit, just recently, and chose to depict him in one of my paintings at the Gorilla House.  It was a quick two hour engagement with the subject and a bit more in research, but to have this encounter with his story during the night’s events, was a highlight for me.  I’m disappointed that I didn’t meet Brittney.

create! on Friday

We gathered at the Golden Age Club in the East Village this afternoon for a second painting activity.  It was a glorious thing to see Harold and the T-girl and to be able to get big hugs from them.  Needless to say, we all miss Gorilla House and I ache for the friends who I met there.  After setting out the basics on the tables, I relished sitting back and relaxing as a number of folk came in…we conversed and shared in treats donated generously by Brulee Patisserie.

create 26

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

The participants in create! were enthusiastic and patiently explored the notions of foreground, middle ground and background as well as how to create the illusion of form out of a flat shape.  Building upon the skills explored earlier this week, we began to speak about issues of composition; static versus dynamic and added shades into the mix.  The break out moment was the exploration once each artist had created three spheres, dynamically placed, into their compositions.

I was blessed by the sense of calm that filled the room…bathed in afternoon sunshine, create! was the place to be.  Thanks to Dan’l for the Mona Lisa joke…to Larry for his stories of Vimy…to Fran, for reading the Bricklayer’s Lunch Hour by Allen Ginsberg and for memories of her sister, Louise Marie Rose…to Jennifer, for painting in violet…to Noelle who wore pink and painted pink…for Georgia for asking about contrast…to d-rae for focusing so intently on the details and to two new painters, a daughter and her mother because they painted after years of watching Bob Ross on television (“We don’t make mistakes; we just have happy accidents.”), without ever having painted…for Wendy Lees who shared her dream with all of us when she opened up programs in EV.

It was an afternoon of light and joy and peace.

Create 1

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 2

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 4

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 3

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 8

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 13

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 14

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 16

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 17

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 18

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 19

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 21

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 22

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 23

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 24

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

create 25

Photo Credit: Wendy Lees

Cross-town Correspondence

Wendy and I are writing back and forth to one another by electronic mail this morning.  I’m sitting on pillows, recovering from my fall, my left arm leaning into yet another pillow as I type at the keyboard.  Wendy is recovering from serious medical interventions as of late and making me feel, as she writes about her experience with tremendous humour, that I really have nothing to complain about.  Her ‘stay’ at the hospital elicits several rants in tandem…all very poignant, if you’ve spent any time at all in hospital…but at the base of it, a consistent underlying zest for life and for observation.  Wendy can make me laugh out loud at pretty much any of life’s ‘poopy’ experiences.

From Wendy, without permission, this…and you’ll see what I mean….Food dreams ARE torturous! Counting the days until away from the hospital and really BAD food.  My awesome friends visited and brought me tea! Lifesavers!  As good as a purple blanket.  Real tea, not Red Rose in hot coffee water!

Sitting here listening to really old people snore! Thinking of a semi-private room just to get near the washroom! The Foothills is in short supply of washrooms!  All the 70/80 yr olds figure they have dibs! Younger bladders/bowels just gotta wait!!

Perhaps we can go for Ramen when I get out. There are a couple of great places in Kensington, both moderately priced and quite yummy! It would be a good lunch. Checked your food truck app lately? There are lots of other cool/inexpensive places we can meet.

Yesterday, Darren snuck me in a smoked meat sandwich at lunch and I’m afraid the results can only be described as ” food porn”. Sooooooo gooooood! He tells me he won’t post the vaguely embarrassing photos! Too intimate!

Over the holiday, Wendy’s family hosted yet another amazing feast.  Her husband, Darren, and daughter, Rebecca, never cease to amaze our ya ya group with their gourmet delights.  My photographs do not do this prime rib delight any justice at all.  Missing, is the sense of relaxation that comes with an expertly served dinner, served in courses, while good conversation is shared.  Also, there is something to be said for the proximity of the dining table to the kitchen, where the preparation happens seamlessly, sending out wafts of aroma throughout the experience.

I treasure Wendy.  I treasure her family.  I treasure this circle of friends who share the road…the sorrows and the joys, the drinks, humour, talents and feasting.  It is a wonderful thing!

All courses are aesthetically bang on!  Beautiful food.  Beautiful people.

First Course…cheese platter.

P1140344Second Course…fresh, light salad.

P1140345Rebecca provided us with warm bread.

P1140346Yes!  IT WAS THAT GOOD!

Where the magic happens…

P1140342 P1140343Main Course:

P1140348Tea is Served.

P1140353 P1140354Thank you, for your generosity.  Today, this causes me to think about how beautiful food is…flavours…and what it can do to heal the heart, especially when paired with the stories of forever-sister-friends.

Bounty

You may be glad to know that I have sought out support for my grieving and the big losses of this past year.  Thing is…in short, I’ve been given permission to write it out, paint it out, cry it out, sand it out…do it out…whatever it takes.  I guess it’s not for others to judge the form that grief takes in others, so don’t worry on the mornings when you see twenty blog entries…it’s my manic grief finding expression…and if I can find a way to breath, then my readers can as well.  I guess I’m asking you not to suggest when to empty my closets. Thing is, you folk need to know that I’m not sharing my dark nights with you here…in fact, the only clue you really should have that something is going on, is the extent of my writing.  I’m keeping a private journal for the dark moments. I’m painting a mandala for my mother in the deadly quiet moments.  I’m painting again. (Thanks, Mom.)

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”

T.S. Eliot

Action is key in my life…taking action of any sort that is not harmful to others is typically alright with me.  I’m not one to have in my language, words like boredom, fear or helplessness.  I’m all about ‘doing something’ about everything.  It will be helpful though, if I have the support of my family and friends as you observe this very phenomena…it is likely not that unfamiliar to you, in regards to ‘moi’…please don’t judge me because if I feel I need to do something differently ‘for your comfort’, then I will struggle needlessly.  I’m tending, lately, to be alone…at home, but also in crowds.

I am the one who is NOT contributing to a conversation, and when I am, I am not doing it very well.

I am the one who is arguing with confrontational atheists, likely because they are rattling the cage of the very thing that is getting me through this, my faith.

I am the one who is booking into countless programs in the city…more so than ever before, if that is possible, as a way of not staying home where I hear every now and then, “Oh, it’s time to skype with Mom.”

I am the one who is blogging about ridiculous things and taking photographs of step-by-step recipes.

I am the one who is enforcing by-laws about back yard fire pits and front yard cats.

I am the one who becomes confused over more than two instructions/directions and I am the one who will stare blankly at you, rather than ask for clarity.

I am the one who loses track of the number of cups of coffee I have sipped while watching birds at my bird feeder, wrapped in Mom’s flannel nightie…and in her flannel house coat…ten sizes too large, but, as close as I can physically get to her.

I am the one who could not host a Thanksgiving feast at my feast table this year because Elma would not be there…for the first time in a zillion years…because this year, as my own mother was battling pneumonia, dearest Elma was quietly slipping into the arms of heaven also.

The news of the world continues to roll…a giant super storm on the other side of the world, gives me pause and I bow my head for strength for India.  So many mothers.  So much loss.  But still…in all of this…there is BOUNTY.  Here, I am warm…I am sheltered…I am well-fed…I am blessed with my three beautiful children.  There is bounty everywhere I look.  This year in Alberta, a bumper crop for the farmers.  The fields look glorious this harvest.  The trees are golden and the sky, blue.  I am safe and blessed.

I received a phone call from Bobby…spoke with Bee…messaged Adrienne…left a voice mail for Mary-Lou…spoke to Yvonne on telephone…made a cell phone call to daughter, Cayley, on the coast…chatted with Glo and Bill Webb…skyped with Dad and Val, JP and Eliane and Louis…texted Margy.  Wendy asked, “How was today?” and…invited me to Beanos.  The circle of friendship continues to close around me. It seems that a feast table is a metaphor for something much larger.

With gratitude, I went to my daughter and son-in-law’s for dinner…we prepared a whole wad of recipes we have never enjoyed as a tradition at the feast table.  I have collected some images here.  It was a wonder-time with Erin, Doug and thankfully, James.  I feel blessed.

Rolled Cranberry Turkey Breast with Creamy Gravy Recipe: Canadian Living

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P1130408 Kale and Pancetta With Crispy Shallots: Canadian Living Recipe

P1130359P1130404P1130361Roasted Chili Lemongrass Squash: Canadian Living…

Highly recommend this one!

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P1130357P1130416Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette

For me, too sweet…less honey than called for!

P1130405Chopping water chestnuts for pre-function spinach dip.

P1130349 P1130364Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary

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Gorilla House LIVE ART: March 27, 2013

I went to paint with my community last night…not for the sake of an auction at the end of the evening, but as a way of working out my frustration at being here in the west while out east my Mom is sick and my Dad is worried.  I’m grateful to my sister and my daughter who are there as supports…grateful to my uncle who drove from Montreal to love and support…but still my heart aches to be there…so I painted.

I have captured a likeness of my mother at a young age, but recognize easily the bits that need to be perfected to give a truly accurate depiction.  S’ok though, because in two hours, the place I arrived at was a peaceful place.  In attendance, and greatly appreciated, were Clayton, Margy, Wendy and Jen….and with open arms and big hugs; Bassano, Jeff, boy-Morgan, Karen, Jess, Harold, Tamara, Andy, Bruce, Jeff, girl-Morgan and of course, Rich.  Oh yes, and there was one wee girl who observed from behind for much of the evening and finally approached.  Her hair was in a thick mass of curl.  She said sweetly, “If that lady had brown eyes, we would be twins.  I think I look like her and she’s beautiful.”   Great conversations were shared while painting and I thank the people who attended for the first time and the people who stopped to give me their thoughts on my process.  It was wonderful.

So, no, I did not paint the inspirations of the night…and I began upside down and then shifted to right side up during the last half hour.

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Love, As it’s Made to Be

seuss quote

Some days it’s a challenge to walk, with head up, and believe.  Daily, religion is axed for its sad history and the way that man has toyed with religious intention…and in the name of religion; lives have been ruined, people have been killed, souls of children have been ripped out and lies have been rationalized to the ignorant.  One can NEVER justify the mistakes of the past.  For the record, I CAN NOT.

But I AM a RELIGIOUS being.  Will you forgive ME the mistakes of the past…or even the present…of other RELIGIOUS beings…and stop attacking me, ridiculing me, mocking me, excluding me, rolling your eyes at me…will you respect my desire to connect with the intentions of my Lord?  Will you trust me…the individual…just me…to do everything in my power to live a good life?  Will you let me be as free to see the world from my own viewpoint as I will try to respect you with your views?

Who among you are Muslim?  Who, Buddhist?  Who, free-thinking new ager?  Who, Catholic?  Who, Protestant?  Who, atheist? Who, agnostic?  When I meet you, I do not ask what you believe.  I embrace you…because this is what my particular religious beliefs tell me to do.  I am Catholic.  While I do not condone the mistakes and perversions of some who have led and taught and misguided in the Catholic church, I hold fast to the words of Jesus.  He had none of these intentions for his people.  Do not judge me for remaining in his love and his intention.  Look at me.  See me.

On the heart of everything that my priest-friend, Father Seamus O’Carroll OMI, believed and lived and hoped for, I need to go forward with my own beliefs and rise above the horrific mistakes of the past…the sins of the Residential Schools, the rattled knuckles and hurt knees of Catholic School students, the molestation of children, the inaction and lack of remorse from church leaders, the hypocrisy.   I can not fathom that in today’s world, human beings have not learned from past mistakes.  But this…this is not because of religion, this is because of human choice and free will.  We are a sorry lot if we look at where that free will has taken us.!  I want to serve God, love and mend.

Feed the Hungry.  Clothe the Naked.  Have Compassion.  Care for the little ones.  Give patience to the aged.  Bring water to the thirsty.  Care for one another.

Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons

Serve God, love me and mend
This is not the end
Lived unbruised, we are friends
And I’m sorry
I’m sorry

Sigh no more, no more
One foot in sea and one on shore
My heart was never pure
And you know me
You know me

But man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing

Love it will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be
There is a design, an alignment, a cry
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be

Like fresh air, this arrived in my mailbox.

Simple Pleasures

Peanutmeister is curled into my arms at the computer desk…this is his posture every morning!  He is so beautiful and gentle and has gone through much in this adaptation, first losing his dearest friend, Laurie-dog, and now adjusting to an energetic puppy!  I enjoy this time in the morning when I respond to my e-mails and he watches the text move across my page and purrs.

The amazing thing about summer is that it gives me the opportunity to go on  dreamy  river walks.  Typically, Max gets one ‘special’ walk a day and two exercise walks besides.  For the special walk, I choose a place where we can enjoy a bit of wildness; the river, bird watching and ‘alone’ time.  We have seen graceful deer on river islands, fishermen  in boats drifting past…cormorants and pelicans…mother ducks and their youngsters.  Beautiful times shared! At the end of this walk time I feel energized and happy…and oh so blessed!

The day before yesterday we went to the weir, where in summer the pelicans gather like white boats on the Bow River.  At the weir, the Pelicans line up like sentinels to fish as the ‘big ones’ come over the rushing drop of water.

Yesterday, we headed north on our ridge and down past the community of Douglasdale.  The air was stirred with the promise of an afternoon storm and so the birds, the light on the trees….everything, was filled with a strange ‘charge’…electrified!  I said aloud over and over again, “I love this.  I absolutely love this!”  Our exercise walk in the evening was equally wonderful as everything was so fresh after the rain.  I felt my lungs completely open to the air and my young pooch walked with  a bounce in his step.

At the end of the day, I look at my Maxter and I am so happy for the simplicity of my life right now…for the joy of being completely present to my life.