Artists and Musicians; Poets and Priests

I’m of the mind that we can move kindness through the world.  This week, I have encountered some beautiful and engaging moments on Instagram, Facebook, Skype and other social media.  Congratulations to those of you who are being supportive, loving, generous and healing.  While we don’t necessarily have all of the time in the world, there are positive people we can access in order to contribute to our own wellness.

My family drew a line in the sand once prescriptions were picked up. My son and I are following the requests of the World Health Organization and our own Provincial Dr. Deena Hinshaw by remaining at home and keeping social distance.  In the meantime, we are finding our ‘new normal’.  I have to say that this past week I listened to the media a lot.  I’m guessing you did too.  I know that the news coming out of Italy makes me very sad because my daughter and I had such a magical time traveling Italy and I find this heart breaking that their  community is suffering so much loss.

In the meantime, back at home, I’m getting into gathering research for a project that I’ve always wanted to do.  I’ve also connected with a lot of different uses for social media that serve me in healthy ways and offer support for others.  At this time, everyone is coming to financial blows.  Good for those of you who are enjoying financial stability because your houses are paid for and you have provisions to get you through this.  Bless those who are struggling….but then, you’ve all heard the news during this past week.

Here are a few of the amazing connections I’ve been blessed to have in the last week.

Auntie Check-in with all of my nieces and nephews…this will be a weekly thing.  I haven’t heard from Ainslie, but every one else checked in.  For this, I’m using Facebook group messenger.

E mail group letters are being exchanged in some of my circles, in order to touch base with how friends are doing and what they’re doing.

I’ve always touched base with my father via Skype, although our reception has not been very good as of late and so we are using Facetime for daily check ins.

My Grandson and I are Skyping, although sometimes we have used Facetime.  I love joining Steven at his breakfast or lunch table.

I’ve figured out Group Skype and a circle of my friends and I will be meeting every Friday evening at 7:30.

I’m enjoying various poets and their works on Instagram, book reviews and all connections with word.

There are many artist tours going on on Instagram as well, including those conducted by Trepanier Baer and the Glenbow.  Seek them out.  You won’t be disappointed.  I’m really excited about the one offered by vivianeartgallery in Kensington, Calgary.It’s called Staring at my Four Walls!  Check it out.  And in the meantime, think about your own art and perhaps get around to archiving it.

Live Streaming includes a daily meet up with artist, Mark Vazquez-Mackay.  He is working on an amazing piece…magical.  If you want to observe his approach to using mixed media and structural perspective, join up….usually a 12 o’clock start up.  Just put yourself on the list to be notified.

There are a number of musicians who are connecting with us through various media and live streaming.  You can fire off a wee contribution for these mini concerts.  I missed Joe Nolan’s the other night, but I DID attend Ruth Purves Smith and her Swalwell event.  She is reading dramatically from the classics in an intimate setting.  Of course, she ended up playing us a tune. ‘We just keep on dancin’. There ain’t no other way.’

Contribution to her Pandemic Kitty can be made to

This was a wonderful gathering with Ruth at the center. She shared a real time experience.  You don’t have to dress up for these events…wear your pajamas!  Ruth showed us her latest kitty rescue, a photograph of her mama and a portrait of her Dad.  She showed us notations that her mother made along the margins of her Poe book.  She drew the Northern Flicker card and thought of our communal well being.  It was lovely and minimized a huge anxiety that had come over me last evening.

There are wonderful things happening all over the world.  You are not alone, dear readers.  I will make every effort to continue sharing some of what is available to you through the coming days.

Patrick is working on a couple of YouTube channels and these may be of interest to you for the coming days.

Teachers, I am, of course, thinking of all of you over these difficult times.  I know that you are all experimenting with various programs like Zoom and Google Group in order to open up remote learning for your students.  You are shaving down content to meet the new guidelines coming out by Alberta Learning.  You are caring for your own children at home while doing this.  I am thinking of you all.

Where possible Moms and Dads, hook your school aged kids up with Live Cams that are set up the world over.  Many of these include teacher units and other resources.  Getting your children to connect with nature is a wonderful thing.  Message me if you wish a copy of a PDF I created based on Live Eagle Cam viewing.

For those of you who have lost your faith communities through this isolating journey, many of you will be able to connect with Live services streamed in the media.

I am sending out love from my little techno world to yours.  Be safe.  Keep distance.  Blessings.



The Air is Humid and I Feel Like Alice

Last summer, I wrote some thoughts in a post titled What Happens When Your World Shrinks.  While I am not with my parents on Bridge Street, I still feel like Alice as she fell Down the Rabbit Hole.  Of this chapter, one of the quotes that strikes me best is, `But it’s no use now,’ thought poor Alice, `to pretend to be two people! Why, there’s hardly enough of me left to make one respectable person!’  Really, there are so many lessons to be learned from Alice in Wonderland!

As I was watering the garden this morning, I was thinking about how big my world is, although to a great degree, the small bits continue to get larger in my eyes.  The flowers in the garden and the birds at the feeder become bigger with my observations of them and my time spent with them.  Does that make sense?

I meet my mother and father in front of a monitor, via Skype, most days at 5:00 p.m.

As I spend time with Mom this way, it is interesting that I feel I know her better.  Sometimes, when one is present to people, places and experiences, one is not completely wired in and there is so much ‘knowing’ lost.  Some would say this is ‘taking things for granted.” It is the world that shrinks…not the observer.  Given what is happening to me, the world is getting larger…and I am shrinking.  It is a ‘fantasticle’ thing, this, because it means that I don’t have to go very far in order to be amazed!

Recently I have been amazed by this new friendship with a cousin in Kansas.  Bit by bit, we piece together our common story as family.  Yesterday, I visited the resting place of a first cousin once removed, John Boyd Haddow,  here at Queen Park Cemetery in Calgary.  I have learned recently that several of my family members had homes in both Calgary and Drumheller.  These sorts of discoveries are, for me, wondrous.  I feel like Alice.

I Look to You

I Look to You

I don’t really know, Mom, if you have understood your own strength in life.  You inspire me with your tenacity.  Nothing is more precious to me than the few minutes I can grab to see you and interact with you, face-to-face, on Skype.  Because of technology, I feel as though I’m in the same room as you, Mom and Dad, when in fact, I am thousands of miles away.  After our Skype date this evening, I headed for my bank of photos, tucked into files on the computer and found this one.  It made me smile.   You shared such satisfaction clearing this piece of land!  You inspired me then and continue to inspire me today.

Clearing Land

My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.
— Anais Nin