Three Men

Yesterday, I wrote briefly about a few priests who have influenced my thinking and offered me support before and since my confirmation in the Catholic faith.  I realized as I was writing how interconnected that faith journey has been with my growth as an artist.  I’d like to explore that a little bit here.

Old ACAD Notes

First, as I was thinking about them, I searched the internet.  I searched the name of my long-time spiritual director, Father Carroll…and found absolutely NOTHING.  It was interesting to find that someone who I viewed as godly, should not have a stick of recognition on the ‘information highway’.  I DID find, quite by accident, that my home Parish in Lethbridge, St. Patrick’s Parish, is  ‘temporarily’ shuttered.  At some point, this will be a topic for my blog, particularly since Father Carroll shared with me some archival material about the history of the church building and I think that it is a truly significant landmark and a place where I celebrated my baby steps as a Catholic.  As well,  I found a great deal of information about the Oblate priests and their mission, but nothing specific to Father Carroll’s journey from Ireland, to serve as a priest to God’s people for what seems, a zillion years.  Father Carroll’s final resting place is in the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Cemetery in Mission, B.C.

Wee Sketch

I have always really treasured Canadian literature and novels that were inspired by the early settlement of Canada.  These seem to contain powerful examples of how ‘the Priest’ has influenced Canadian society in a whole number of ways.  Five of the books included in the list of novels that got me thinking about male archetypes in Canadian literature and in life, and eventually art, were John Richardson’s Wacousta, Ringuet’s Thirty Acres, Sinclair Ross’s As For Me and My House and Gabrielle Roy’s Where Nests the Water Hen and finally, O’Hagan’s Tay John.  Along with these, are a whole number of more contemporary (mostly Canadian) novels written by women that also explore the same themes, but for now, I’m thinking EARLY Canada.

Three Men

Two summers ago, my son and I visited the Jesuit mission of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons across the highway from the Martyrs’ Shrine Catholic Church near Midland, Ontario.  This opportunity, and others since,  have provided me the ‘magic’ of exploring  settings that were essential to writers of these novels.  My travels have invigorated my faith and contributed to greater knowledge of the early church in Canada.  There is no way that I can possibly convey how significant my journey to Ontario and then up the St. Lawrence river to Prince Edward Island was this past summer.  On so many different levels, returning to my ancestral roots, brought me to a profound realization in my faith.

So, I have been incredibly interested in reading about and painting archetypes that appear over and over again in life and in reading and this has transferred into my art, most literally, in the series I painted in art college, Three Men.  In various cultures, there have been written scads on male archetypes.  None of my work is related directly to these views and suppositions, rather I painted three men who were significant to my own life and the development of my esteem and path.  In the end, I met these people again and again in literature AND in other art and so, I came to know them as archetypes because of their universality and how they were used as the conduit for so many stories.

Soldier (Warrior), Husband (Hunter), Priest

 

I am certain that these archetypes have influenced my evolution as a woman/person and likely my readers will note how these directly impact my writing and the sorts of ideas I explore.

Close Up: Father/Military Man/Soldier: Husband/Hunter/Warrior

Homecoming

It is August and I am home after a huge journey, both emotionally and physically.  I am blessed to have traveled the miles safely and I am happy to be home in Calgary, where the skies are huge and blue and the mountains stand tall to the west.  On Monday I will experience my last ‘first day’ of school and I am full of excitement about what all that will mean. 

This summer I shared, with my daughter, big ‘things’ of all sorts, big bridges, Lake Superior evenings when the waves pounded up on the shore, wild lupines, good food and Millers beer…miles and miles of music and road kill, wet firewood and laughter.

I spent time with my Mom and Dad, helping them to transition into the next phase of their lives…sorting through fabrics, wool, needlework, photographs, pottery and gardening implements, clothing and papers…so much emotion wrapped up into so many wee things…and in the end, a bright flash of realization that it is all about the warm hearts and hands of those we love! 

I was able to cherish my sister and her family, to eat well…to watch children, so young and full of life….riding bikes, jumping waves, colouring and giggling…..I was able to sit next to my sister at the Ottawa Blues Festival…feeling secure in her love…her support…and hoping that she felt those very things from me.

This summer I shared, with my son, the Martyr’s Shrine and Huronia, the journeys of Jesuits and soldiers…Tobermory, the ferry, meals and a campfire that just would NOT light! Duluth, Fargo, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Rushmore, Deadwood, Badlands, Little Big Horn, Billings and breweries, Great Falls…Presidents, a driller, a special cousin, ‘big’ things of all sorts!

Max was with me through it all…and he nestles near my feet as I type.  He is a good and faithful dog!

I feel blessed by this summer…and again my eyes have been opened to all that is important….love for one another….

We are so blessed in this country of ours.  We are so very rich and the miles and space go on forever.  Let us keep our Covenant with God to care for all of it!