Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy Birthday Frida Kahlo

I unexpectedly was unable to post my blog today because the power went out this morning and did not come back for nine hours. I also had an very unexpected visit today from a very dear friend whom I have known so many years, and we'd both lost track of how long it has been since we have seen one another.

She is really my soul sister and we have shared many thoughts and feelings over the years.
As well would we both attend a very special and I think sacred gathering of woman that are deeply connected and these gatherings are embedded in my psyche.

After she left and I returned home. The power still being off, I decided I would go to the local country store and write her a long letter, in reply to the one she actually started  to write me in December 2014. While we were at the beach having a picnic she said she had started a letter and handed it to me before leaving today.

In my letter I shared with her about the book, The Heroine's Journey. We have both in our own way taken this journey whether we knew it or not struggling with loss, finding our direction and strength though weakness which resulted in us becoming better human beings.

Today July 6th is the late Frida Kahlo's Birthday. She is, I think, my favourite artist, because she is one of my favourite human beings, and I feel also a soul sister, so whenever I have a reason, not that I need one to write a post about her, I do.

I found this video below, of actual footage of Frida today. I may have seen it before, but it doesn't look so familiar.

More than her work I so admire Frida Kahlo the woman, for her inner strength and her humanity. If there was ever an artist I wished I could meet it would be her.

I long to some day travel to Mexico to see  The Blue House (La Casa Azul) and Museo Frida Kahlo.

I believe Frida Kahlo took The Heroine's Journey.

 "I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you." ~Frida Kahlo (born 7/6/1907)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

John Ralston Saul - Comeback

 "There's this wonderful resurgence, comeback, whatever you want to call it of indigenous people in Canada. But at the same time there is a continuation of and a strengthening - a very surprising strengthening of the 19th century Imperial ideas at their worst. Suddenly you're able to talk about the British Empire as if it was a lovely romantic place, and the French Empire."
-- John Ralston Saul

My late husband had a Cree heritage. I loved him deeply, and miss him greatly. I am certain this is why today I feel particularly connected to Indigenous people. But in the past I have had many close friendships with many First Nations brothers and sisters. I identify philosophically more with this culture spiritually then my own.

While driving home from an appointment last night I heard Ideas with Paul Kennedy in discussion with John Ralston Saul and Hayden King from Ryerson University. It was a compelling discussion with powerful message with a call to action for each and every Canadian.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Michael Gaudet - Go Big Or Go Home!

Initial Construction

Michael Gaudet- Hard at Work

Here is a recent update on the progress of my friend Michael Gaudet's mural project, for the Saskatchewan Government Employees' Union (SGEU). I suspect Michael is working tirelessly on this monumental undertaking.

Michael has so much experience creating and executing this kind of large scale art work, which boggles my mind really. That said, SGEU could not have chosen a more qualified artist or individual to do the job.
I am so very happy for him to have received this much deserved commission.

I am really looking forward to seeing the completion of this wonderful mural that Michael is creating.
I have provided the link below to read more about this project.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Karolina Jonderko - " Portrait With My Mother "

I have learned that there is no time line for grieving. When my first husband died at the age of 26, while in my last year of University in 1980, I excelled in my art work. Creating art helped me to grieve. Many artists use there work as a vehicle to process their grief. It's something I think for many artists is a natural inclination, even if we are not fully conscious of this at the time. Creativity is a conduit for processing and communicating deep heart ache.

Karolina Jonderko I think, found this to be true for her, inadvertently with no intention of sharing what she was doing after the death of her mother, who had been very sick with cancer. She began to take a series of photographs of herself, in her mothers clothes. To some this might seem morbid, and perhaps not being able to let go. There is never a set formula in knowing how to grieve if we have not experienced it personally, in such a profound way, and it think it is different for all of us, though we can identify with many of the feelings.

When those we love die, it is profound, death is profound, as is life, neither are easy but both can be very beautiful. I believe mortality is what gives our lives meaning.

A few years back I learned about Caitlyn Doughty a member of The Order of The Good Death, and a mortician in Los Angeles, Califonia. Her approach and attitude toward death I believe we can all learn and benefit from, as our society has kept death at arms length. We don't want to talk about it.

People need to be allowed to grieve in what ever way they wish. However suppression of feelings after a period of time becomes repression, which is toxic to our health and happiness. I can't think of any more proactive way to communicate emotion, than expressing ourselves through creating art work.

Here's the link to an interview with Karolina Jonderko about her exhibit of photography, Portrait With My Mother.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Johnathan Kozol - "Losing My Father One Day at a Time"

Sitting in the waiting room at the dentist office, is not an unusual thing for me these days.

What is unusual is seeing and meeting a 99 year old woman, with whom I struck up a very pleasant conversation with while we both waited.

She spoke to me about a teacher she'd had, when she was just 16 years old. I knew of him I said, and told her he was still living in the area of Nova Scotia where I lived. I mentioned he was not well, with dementia. She could remember the details of her whole life, but wasn't good with names, she commented. When she told me her age, and that she still had all her teeth, and that were all over 90 years old, as she laughed. Her mind was sharp and lucid. I was very amazed and impressed by this beautiful sweet soul.

She made me think of the item I heard today about dementia, an interview with jounalist, author, civil rights activist and educator Johnathan Kozol.  His new book, Losing My Father One Day at a Time is about his father, the brilliant neurologist Harry Kozol, and how Alzheimers disease had affected their relationship. It was a touching, wonderful interview, and he has so many insights about this disease.

I haven't had family members that have suffered from long term dementia, or Alzheimers, but I am all too familiar with several life threatening illnesses. Disease is disease regardless of what kind it is, every one has to learn how to cope and live with it the best way they know how, and education is key.
Considering how dementia is on the rise, it is so important that as an aging society we educate and prepare ourselves for this fact.

Johnathan Kozol's does much to enlighten and educate about dementia, and I am certain his book will do a great deal to change misconceptions, and perceptions about the disease. His words and experience will deeply touch hearts, no doubt.

I've posted a video that was taken in 2007 Letters To A Young Teacher that gives you an impression of the kind of man Johnathan Kozol is, and you will agree with me. The world needs more people like him.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What Elizabeth Gilbert Learned From Tom Waits

I started this blog seven years ago, as a exploration of what it means to live life creatively. I've learned about, and from so many creative people along the way, and continue to do so.

This journey truly began in 1994, when I was first introduced to a book and recommended by art therapist friend. It was then I read, The Artist's Way a Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron,  which was powerful and life changing for me. I know I always rave about this book, for good reason.  Julia Cameron's ten spiritual principles, and exercises, especially the practice of morning pages, helped me immeasurably. I learned the importance of daily writing. It was the way to channel and create my own creativity. Daily journaling has enabled me to achieve important goals and fulfill some life long dreams.

So many wonderful books about creativity, and not enough time, and am always excited to learn of new good reads by creative people, especially about creative process in all forms.

I have never read the Eat, Pray Love I didn't even see the movie, nor do I recall hearing anything about of Elizabeth Gilbert, though I had heard the title, as a good friend recommended it to me some time ago, but I never got around to reading it. Some times I feel I live in cave. Progress not perfection is the order of my days.

So I consulted the Google god! I found this great TED talk with Elizabeth Gilbert. When she mentioned the Greeks and Romans, along with Tom Waits, she got my attention!

Now I have to read Eat, Pray, Love, and can hardly wait for Big Magic! I'll  skip the movie, because the book is always better than the movie right?

Monday, June 15, 2015

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” - Ian Maclaren

I am excited to recently learn of a book entitled "Getting There", a book about mentors.  I hope we all have mentors, everyone should have at least one. I haven't known so much about Marina Abramović who was one of the accomplished visionary mentors that inspired Gillian Zoe Segal to compile these interviews with these individuals, but I have to say Marina Abramović what I do know of her, I would definitely call her a mentor. She has overcome so much. It is a testament to the healing and trans-formative power of how our weakness can become our greatest strength, and how trials can turn into triumph.

It causes me reflect on the relationship between fear and creativity. I ask myself the question, is fear triggered by creativity or creativity triggered by fear? I know it takes courage to be an artist, then again it takes courage to be a human being.

 Here are some compelling facts and thought about Marina Abramović and people like her, published on the Brain Pickings site, that I read today, based on Gillian Zoe Segal's interview with the artist.