I always feel proud of Wendy Lees and the magical events/experiences she creates. Today was no exception as the Laurel Crescent Little Free Library and Little Gallery enjoyed its opening with a large draw of neighbours, family and friends. The festivities were marked with warm buttered popcorn, lemonade, heart shaped cookies, painting, bubbles and chalk drawing. What an amazing community feel!
It was great to see the MLA for Calgary-Glenmore, Ms. Anam Kazim (ND) and to see her engaged and genuine support, as well as Lakeview Community Association’s President, Geoffrey Vanderburg out and about, meeting the neighbours on Laurel Crescent.
I brought my contribution to the Little Library since this was a bit of an historical event for the neighbourhood.
Glad to celebrate this event with you, dear friend, and congratulations. We honour what you do for community building throughout Calgary, Wendy.
Generously, Katie and Harry shared their spaces with us. Conversations were rich and warm. Hospitality was offered us…a group of diverse travelers from the city. Stories were told…so many stories that connected objects to the souls of the artists. A fabulous journey into the lives and motivation for creativity, in the sense of art practice, but also largely in the sense of a vision coming to life in the form of the Kiyooka Ohe Arts Centre. I highly recommend that your contribution be known as funding is always challenging for the arts opportunities and they are imperative to the health of our communities. In the spring, a group of us will be heading out to clean out scrub brush and physically labour on the property. Let me know if you wish to join us.
The selection for this year’s One Book One Calgary exploration in November is The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha. This past week, I attended the launch of the event at the downtown branch of the Calgary Public Library and once again, felt so proud of and impressed by our public library programs. It may seem to be an odd thing to do on a Friday evening, especially since our city is cooking with great events, but it turned out that my friend and I were the last to leave, apart from the participating artists, musicians and library volunteers. This is sort of becoming the norm. What a celebratory event! Champagne was served along side catered appetizers… an art wall was bursting with colour under the direction of the Art Gallery of Calgary art educators…positive and friendly people were everywhere! It was a delight, from beginning to end.
I’ve always been a person to look for the ‘magic’ in ordinary things and I think that this is what Neil Pasricha is all about, as well. (I was influenced in this way by the book, Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, many years ago. The protagonist, Douglas Spaulding, kept a special journal of such observations for an entire summer, the summer of 1923. In the front of the journal, he would note the date and itemize each event that seemed particularly ordinary. In the back of the journal, recorded under the same date, he would note what he had discovered about that ‘ordinary’ experience or observation. In this way, his summer became ‘magical’ and filled with rites, ceremonies and revelations.) This way of thinking has the potential to shift the consciousness of individuals and communities because simple pleasures are elevated, not because of some miracle, but because of a keener awareness.
This past Saturday, I invited a group of amazing women to celebrate good conversation, yummy wine and all sorts of food! These are all such smart, funny and inspiring women, that I will always hold high regard for them and I’m so happy that they are in my life. It was such a ‘magical’ evening and it would be classed, for me, as one of those awesome moments I am trying to communicate here. Several times through the evening, I was quiet and just sat back…looked around…and felt grateful as I listened to laughter and smelled such rich and interesting food. One of the YaYas brought me a bouquet of flowers and tonight I have tried to capture some of what makes them AWESOME in my collection of photographs. Thank you to Joni, Denise, Monica, Elena, Jen, Rita and Margy. You are treasures to me.