Saturday, 18 March 2017

The Turning of the Year

This post has been some time in coming. Late fall melted into advent, into Christmas, into the new year and January is waning like the moon. My Christmas cards printed in October are, as yet, unsent awaiting a lull in the relentless business of working full time, meeting obligations and weathering numerous colds and flu. I have had two months to read a book for my book club, a pleasurable experience I will have to achieve in 48 hours if I am to be ready to share. We are reading Rudy Wiebe's Sweeter Than All the World. Reading is and has always been for me sweeter than all the world for each book contains its own world where I can visit, linger, leave at my will. In the end this book moved way too slowly for me and repeated a lot of his memoir Of This Earth, but without the charm. My whole book club of the four of us agreed on this.

Almost two months have passed since I started this blog.Our next book club book  I just finished reading. It is Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland which, of course, deals with Renoir's painting by the same name. This was slower to pull me in than The Girl with the Pearl Earring, but eventually the fictionalized truth of the painting's composition and subjects created a hypnotic sense of time-traveling backward.I found myself cutting a pattern for a blue dress with Aline, balancing between loss and a new shoot of hope and love with Alphonsine, taking risks with Ellen, mixing paints with impressionistic abandon and control, all of it with sails, boats and skiffs in the background like an armada to the brevity of summer. Each second in the sunlight stretched like a butterfly still fluttering, but pinned. A thing past and present and living fixed in the paint.

In a few days we will have the spring equinox. In the midst of a late brush with wintry weather on the March break Mathew and I went to see the Toronto Home and Garden Show at the Enercare Exhibition Grounds. We walked some 20 kilometres in total that day!
  It was as cold as these pictures look! 
Matthew got cozy with Glenn Gould. 
 Inside it was a haven to the wind weary pair of us!

 The floral show was in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary this year. We really enjoyed some of the displays.

 This last picture was missing half of an important province! It sort of takes away from the patriotic pride to have left out the most easterly province. Otherwise, I am left to conclude it was another example of a central Canada idea of what area is not important to the country!
 There were competitions in so many different categories of floral arranging. It was all mind-boggling to me how many different elements there are to it. Below are a few highlights I was taken with on both the large and small scales.

We met up with a familiar face at the home show. 
 Two more pictures : one of each of us. 

We met up with our friends Andy and Kris and spent a happy evening with them at their lovely home. 
 At the Art Gallery of Ontario I have never seen so much by way of Indigenous Art. I found it ironic that as I am fighting as a Mi'kmaq to retain recognition as a status Qalipu member due to politically imposed injustices, that artistic statements about the importance of reclaiming one's culture and writing wrongs were being given voice at both the AGO and even the Toronto Home Show. It is one step forward and one or two steps backward.

This is from the Home and Garden Show. Residential schools were devastating, but they were not the only means used to try to extinguish a culture as my family can attest to. There are so many more people of indigenous background who have suffered and who are suffering still.

I do not want to leave this post on such a negative, sad note. The battle for justice, fairness and healing goes on. I like to believe that with love and a true, universal  desire to right the wrongs of the past that we may be able to cease the need to battle and be embraced for who we are and who we wish to become.

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