Tuesday, May 26, 2015

what was and what is...

hello kindred hearts!
I want to share a glimpse
of my world with you.
Or at least what I've been doing
for the past week or so...
Walking the trails.
This past winter was so hard on the trees... :(
But then this makes me hopeful
that things will grow again.
I've been watching sunsets
and even the occasional sunrise.
Watching the sun rise or set
always clears things up for me.
All of a sudden, my problems seem trivial.
(most of the time - they are).
 I've been painting.
Nothing to write home about,
but I don't care.
The point is: I'm painting.
Acrylic on paper.
And then a quick portrait of god knows who...
because I had black paint on my palette
and letting paint go to waste
is just a damn sin.
looks like he could be in some serious trouble. ;)
I've been doing quick tiny sketches
on my little tags...
Bottled beets. :)
I rarely use green whenever I'm painting,
so this was kinda different for me.
 Another quick one - acrylic on paper.
I've been sorting out a shitload of things
in my blue room.
Writings, old sketches, notes, lists...
When i found the list above (What brings me JOY?),
I was amazed at how all of these things
still bring me joy today.
I wrote this list 15 years ago!
I've also been visiting cemeteries,
which MAY seem strange to some of you,
but i always find cemeteries calming.
I always wonder about the lives of those
whose names are now engraved in stone.
I wonder what they did in life,
and who they loved,
and what their dreams were,
and if they had any regrets.
The tombstone you see above
is that of an entire family
(husband, wife, and 7 children)
who burned in their home
in the middle of the night in 1966.
My husband was a child back then
(the Cormier family were neighbours)
and he remembers being awakened
by his own father running to their rescue
and by the crackling of the huge fire
and seeing the dancing
red and orange light
reflected on his bedroom wall.
I can't even imagine...
Needless to say, the whole family perished.
There were no firetrucks nearby back then
and even with all the neighbours trying to help,
it ended in tragedy. :(
And this lovely little reminder
that I keep near my space
when I write.
Because sometimes,
I need to read this,
and maybe you do too. :)
Thanks for sharing this space with me.
big love.
xx

Sunday, May 17, 2015

wide open spaces

hello everyone.
First of all, thank you for the kind comments & emails on my last post.
You were all so right about so many things.
I sometimes get frustrated about things
that shouldn't frustrate me.
Like "why aren't they thinking the way I am?"
Pointless questions, really.
We're all different, we all have different goals in life.
I just need to get smarter about
what kind of people i surround myself with
and learn to keep my distance
from the soul sucking vampires out there. :)
(thank you Giggles... for your words of wisdom) xx
I know I said it would take me 5 months to decompress,
but actually, i think 5 days will do.
Since last Wednesday, I've surrounded myself
with nothing but nature,
because the ocean and the walks in the woods
always heal me and make me feel grounded again.
Of course, there's been writing too.
And reading.
And some sketching.
Because these are things
that make me feel alive.
Just looking at this makes me feel 
like my heart can breathe again.
So after walking for long distances on the beach...
and thinking about how fortunate I am to be here,
doing this,
life is good again.
oh, and just as i crossed the boardwalk,
here's what I saw...!
Yes, snow!
On one side of the boardwalk,
people were swimming in the ocean,
and on the other side,
remnants of a harsh winter...
Just after I snapped this photo,
an older woman came down the path
in flip flops
and she looked up at me & said:
"I wasn't expecting THIS!! 
I thought for a minute I was seeing things!
Thought I was losing my mind!"
We laughed.
From the cold snow to the warm sand...
 some of the books i've been looking at this week...
i love graphic novels,
and especially those that are historical.
Remember the photo booths?
We don't see much around here anymore...
And the wonderful Lynda Barry...
 How much fun is this?
I'm in heaven whenever i read
anything that promotes making art
for the fun of it.
Can't remember if i posted this...
sent my brother this birthday card a while ago.
Cracked me up. He loved it too. :)
My dad's here for a visit!
Gotta go!
Thanks for hanging out with me!
xx

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

a rant about office work

I'm DONE!!!
I finished my 5 month term at a call center yesterday
and I feel like it's gonna take me 5 months
to find my bearings again.
Needless to say, the first thing I did this morning
was make a pot of coffee - and write.
Without wanting to sound ungrateful,
I couldn't wait to have time to myself again
and to have nothing on the agenda
but writing and painting.
We all do what we need to do to pay the bills,
but i learned a valuable lesson this time around
about how important it is to surround ourselves
with our own tribe
with people who share the same values,
the same life philosophy.
When I first started there,
I knew I wouldn't "fit like a glove"
with the business types and the corporate setting.
I knew I would need to detach (mentally)
and just focus on doing my work.
Easy peasy.
I would be polite, and respectful of the differences,
considering that I was the one who accepted this job.
What I didn't know 
was how alienated I would actually feel.
On my second week there,
I brought this print from home
and put it on my gray cubicle wall
so I would see it every day.
It's a water-colour i did a while back.
The quote may sound hypocritical to some,
because we all know how wealthy Steve Jobs was.
But it's poignant to me,
because he came to this realization
after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Once your health is gone,
it doesn't matter how much money you have in the bank.
But after this print was on my wall a few days,
one of my colleagues came closer to the print,
read the words, and said: 
"oh, coming from the mouth of babes.
Easy to say this when you have billions".
To which I replied:
that's why it's so powerful a message.
Because his billions didn't matter anymore.
The only thing that mattered now was time,
and he knew it.
After the 3rd person came over
to comment about the words of Steve Jobs,
i realized my print must have struck a nerve.
Especially with those there who live
as though money was the ONLY thing
that mattered.
The ones who choose to work overtime
rather than spend time with their families,
so they can make as much money as they can
and have all the toys.
The ones who no longer believe in dreams.
And i soon began to realize
that i really didn't fit there.
That I felt alone in the crowded coffee room,
because I had so little in common with the people there.
But the strange this is:
I was totally ok with that.
Actually, I was kinda happy not to fit in.
It felt good to know that I was different
and that I didn't share the same values.
It felt good to see the world
through my eyes
and my time there actually made me realize
how proud I am to be an artist
and to be marching to the beat of my own drum.
The shame I used to feel
at being seen by society as flaky or lost or lazy
is no longer there, 
thanks, in part, to office work. :)
To all you artists out there,
TOOT YOUR HORNS!
The world needs your art,
your poems,
your music,
your point of view!
It's a sad place without them.
xx