How to Live in Interesting Times

These are not trivial times. You would have to have been abducted and put in some shed, bunker, outback hill hollowed out captive at random especially built structure to be unaware.

 

Every beautiful thing is here

It is a time of triggered, reactive, defensive, spewing of fear. So many are feeling like their nervous systems have been tasered and as they finish their convulsions of neurological energy epilepsy, they lay limp looking around for WHO did that. They find some post on facebook, or twitter, or snapchat or some news source and attach all of their explosive overload onto that one thing.

The other day a troll fight broke out about Oprah and Weight waters. What was her motivation? Was she altruistic? Was she simply marketing? God help us all if we can’t believe in the Oprah Ministry of Follow Me.

I put up a response as I watched some insisting that Oprah was being disrespected and attacked by others’ comments. Reading through the thread again, I saw not one disrespectful comment. I was curious.

Then I got it. Good lord the media is corrupt. We have to cover our heads to protect ourselves from the revelations that most of the structures, systems, institutions, inculcated belief systems are mind prisons and simply not reliable. We are like a partner in a marriage that has been betrayed and can no longer believe in anyone.

People are like children. The safety corner is gone. The sanctuary is a myth. Daddy is a monster and has committed atrocities that we weep to see.

So what is left? The limbic system is running the show. We have four choices when we are in rapid foaming at the mouth fear states: fight, flight, fornicate, feed.

The cracks mean reformation

And so people are triggered instantaneously. They are having trouble with insomnia. They are experiencing neurological diseases for some yet unexplained reason. They are walking around with a skin crawling type of anxiety.

Blaming themselves works for a while and then they look outward.

The question becomes, “Who is attacking me now?”
How else do you explain the tsunami of cortisol flowing through the society?

What if the crow were yellow?

So we attack one another. Somebody out there is doing this to me. Something out there is doing this to me. And then the eyes squinch up and they fall upon somebody who is attacking the vestiges of faith they still manage to cling to.

Oprah… no. I will fight for this symbol of light and truth.

I joking said that people are so triggered at the present time and so engaged in verbal fist fights on social media that I dare not post I like sweet pickles.

Somebody will come on the thread and say only garlic dill pickles are real and good. Sweet pickles are chemical, GMO, owned by a devil company, poisoning heavy lead mercury nano robot bone marrow depleting.

And heaven protect us all if I had said olives are the best.

And so we have become like children or frightened animals and race around looking for someone else to blame for the clearly and truly chaotic energy place the world occupies today.

Now more than ever, we are called upon to ground ourselves and become mindful. To see the flash of fear energy entering the body or leaving the body is to be in a place where you are no longer a victim.

It is what meditators strive for. It is what paramedics strive for. The calm understand that people are hurt right now will allow you to be able to see everything with the higher brain function. Instead of being a victim, you can become an emergency worker. You can show up with love. You can show up with compassion. It is what we are being called to do.

And I have no emotion around Oprah, pickles, which music group is the best. The heated debates are the result of marauding gangs of victims looking for a way to release fear. It is unnecessary.

The result is a population that is more fearful and more easily manipulated.

Sit down. Meditate. Check your body. Everything you need that allows you to grow up is right there.

You eat whatever pickles or olives you wish listening to any music that makes you vibe high and learn to believe in yourself and your instincts. There is no Daddy or Mommy. We are grown ups.

Gathering thoughts like socks

It has been neither nor, not either or lately. The weather has caused the persistence of my flowers setting hopeful buds and the continued infill of grass in the bald spot in my lawn.

 

Trees heavy with no snow

Trees heavy with no snow

I have also been floating in some kind of bubble since I returned from Los Angeles for the Airbnb conference. There I was surrounded by 15000 other hosts and constant stimulation.

I followed my “open door” policy that I adhere to when I am travelling. If a door is open, I go in. I found an architecture school retrospective and a feminist film festival. The experience was delightful and I felt happy, excited and at home.

l-a-castle

Los Angels looks like a Castle in the distance

Getting back to Kelowna was less stimulating. I fell into distraction mode by watching netflix every evening.

So I am neither totally at home as I stretch out my desire fingers for more stimulus, nor ready to travel. It is an in-between state.

I find myself thinking a great deal about Christmas.

Christmas is, basically, about time. It is when we slide from past images of ourselves surrounded or trapped; supported or sabotaged by our immediate family.

Rituals are powerfully present. The old ornaments are dug out of boxes. The archived rituals like museum displays of half remembered or reconstructed narratives surround us.

Some try to recreate what went before and others like survivors of an undisclosed war suffer flash back intensity moments.

 

out my winter window

out my winter window

Another group tries to sand away the family chisled pictograph stories and start again.

The pressure from the societal mindset to experience the “most wonderful time of the year” leads to scarcity mind. Comparisons lurk everywhere. It is a time of the highest suicide rate in Western culture.

The chasm lies like an earthquake severed landscape between what we are told we “should” be experiencing and what we have actually experienced in our lives.

We react by mainlining… main landing on the sugar, fat, booze and entertainment surface. Or we jingle bell our credit cards to buy promises of pleasure.

We are desperate to cover up the crevassed split between that which we see in our own lives and the mythical saccharine made for TV movies.

But we do have the ability to walk about this shifting landscape and between the seasons with grace and skill.

We each find our own way forward to the place where our own version of the everyday super hero lives.

We can move away from the seasonal quaff from the cup of bitterness or booze. We can clear see the mindless expectation that are trying to script our decisions.

Getting to the next thing… the next season… the next stage of who we are becoming is an immense relief.

The question is: “Who am I now?”

“Who am I now?”

“Who am I now?”

We step as children into our own past and re-author all of it with every new thought.

Freedom to love comes from freedom from the old stories.

What is this time that now holds me?

The season moves to a wall of cold and winter shows up. Christmas shows up with so much possibility.

 

my livingroom sanctuary

my livingroom sanctuary

We are free to run towards others with a child like innocence and love. I am here. I showed up.

It is all new. It is all now. What fun.

Sisters at the Well

In 1997 when I visited Rome, I had a transformative, informative experience. In the center of one section of town there was a stone well. It was at the heart of the neighbourhood. And it was here that the women came together to work the stains, dust and dirt out of their family’s garments. It was here that women used the narrative woven by wagging tongues which maintained civil order. Women warned one another what would happen should the undisciplined urges be followed. A tongue lashing was not trivial.
Gossip is a powerful manner of structuring mores and habits which are the foundation of any society. The cultural threads that make the fabric of society were woven, mended and attended while the women worked together on their laundry.
Side by side, they rewarded or castigated certain forms of behavior. While a woman repeatedly rinsed, and twisted her husband’s clothes, she could hear what would happen if she dared to indulge the secret flirtation she felt toward another man.

The heart of the sisterhood, the public laundry.

The heart of the sisterhood, the public laundry.

Alliances were formed. Problems were worked out. Questions could be asked and answered by those with more life experience. The repetitive actions of the hands, arms and backs were strenuous and soothing. There was a place where connection was customary and expected.
Today, we have lost the power of the women at the well. All too frequently the closest we get to one another is via text or sitting without speaking next to another in a coffee shop.
Or it is an artificially arranged, special occasion when women plan a networking meeting for some pre determined goal. But the habit of the women meeting at the river or at the public laundry allowed for the comfort of contact in a way we no longer experience today.

 

women meeting at the river

women meeting at the river

Women do better in all aspects of their lives when they are in contact with other women. The terms ‘connectivity’ and ‘social capital’ are used in sociological studies which show the benefit of women having frequent, anticipated interaction with other women. These women are healthier. They live longer. They are more cheerful. They are more likely to discover alternative methods of solving problems and thus thrive more easily. They meet challenges with a more relaxed, creative mind because they know they can seek advice.
And last of all, they are more light spirited. Because who doesn’t like to tell outrageous stories while doing repetitive, necessary daily drudgery!!

And, lasty, when society is mirrored back to us from advertising and media, women feel overwhelmed with choices, confused about the very manner of being a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend and a sister. The background anxiety is like the sound of violins in a scary movie.

How do I fit in? Where is my place in the world? Who am I as a woman?

The old, restricted cultural choices are rapidly disappearing; however, women still need their sisters to mirror back to them who they are to be in the changing world. We need to work it out at the well, or the river. We need support and advice.
I think society is much the poorer since the central meeting place for women is no longer a feature of daily life. But thank goodness, we no longer have to do laundry by hand. In addition, we have made progress by allowing greater choice and freedom in discovering what it means to move into the world as a woman. And for that I am deeply appreciative.

I just wish there were some middle ground upon which women could meet face to face in order to bond and prosper. Meeting at the well is no longer for the purpose of restricting our choices and locking us into a place in society. Now it would be an occasion to discuss and expand our individual version of who we wish to be. The companionship, advice, feedback and habitual contact is still necessary, however the world changes.

 

To Learn by Going Where We Have to Go.

The crows have built a magnificent nest in the long arms high up in my Maple tree. They have instinct, skill and whatever evolutionary magic is on their side.

As I struggle with the sticks of new skills, the structure I am building called “marketing” and “presence” is so much less compact and architectural. At times, I feel as if my head empties out. I learn how to record on Garage Band, change the file to an MP4, load it into IMovie and then… and then…

The next time I attempt it, my voice has so much reverb I am an opera diva soloist. The track sounds like I have a 500 pound barrel body with words careening off of intestines and ribs.

What also fell out of my head or perhaps is just not aligned electronically is the method of paying my PST for my art work. Then there is getting insurance on my art hanging in a local bnb. So far it is two days and multiple phone calls.

I think to myself that it must be some Zen Koan life. When I am dealing with electronics or institutional authority, I must first fall to my knees in humility and work through waves of frustration. Eventually, it will work. Eventually, I will learn it.

Maybe, one day the path will arise to meet my feet instead of being hidden in dense under brush.

What I have been learning is how to market my work. The first task is to allow people to see what I have created. So my store on the Redbubble site found at http://www.redbubble.com/people/covitch is being featured on my facebook page, on twitter, on linked in and every time I go out for a walk, I wear the leggins.

 

My Maple tree in winter wrapped around my legs

My Maple tree in winter wrapped around my legs

At the present time, I have a list of nine things that I am trying to learn. They are in a scrawled and numbered column on my neon orange index card.

I look like the crow when it sits watching me from its perch. I have my head to the side, blinking my eyes black with ignorance. I can feel the sharp beak of curiosity trying to figure out the way in, the way out, the best way to grasp that shining bit of knowledge and fly away. I can take it back to my nest of a mind where I now “own it.”

It is a process. It is all process.

Canada Day

IMG_0070

Outside the temperature reads 95 degrees farenheit down from 100. As I sit in the house, the gauge is only 75 degrees. Working until 2 am last night I completed a poem which I will deliver tonight at the City of Kelowna’s Canada Day special edition of the Inspired Word.

images

The first step in the process, have I mentioned I am an academic, was to research. I spent three days reading everything I could find on Canadian history. Cultural history. History of immigration. Canadian stars, comedians, women’s rights activists, inventors also fascinated me.

I took notes on cards much as I would should I be writing an essay. Chronological order, sorted by topics as I learned more.

Finally, putting voice to the information I wanted to share. My voice. My reaction. My take on the long formation of the country to what it has become today.

I read the poem over repeatedly for an hour and each time, I teared up. Each time I felt a swelling of gratitude for the process that created a place where “being different” just didn’t create a push back. So many who fled here are not “different” but are simply a particular, individualization of the effects of their family, their inherited DNA, their culture of origin.

2-buddha

I remember driving across the border for the first time in the early 1970’s and feeling so much like I had undergone time travel. Moving not just North but back to how my home town of Vancouver, Washington had felt in the 1950’s. It was slower. It was more polite. It was not a nation at war.

When we drove down a one way street the wrong direction, a “cop” car came up behind us and pulled us over. We were frightened, waiting for some punishment. The policeman got out, walked slowly toward us and smiled. Now we were totally puzzled. Because of the tension in the states in our college town it had been a long time since we had seen a policeman smile. They were caught in the cultural tension of a nation at war with itself.

We make our home in places that nurture the soul

We make our home in places that nurture the soul

He found out we were lost and asked where we wanted to go. Then, jumping in his car, he had us follow him. He escorted us to the street we were trying to find and waved good bye.

By now, I was in love. I was in love with the slower pace, the politeness that met me everywhere, the sense of somehow spaciousness in the allowing of one another.

I became a Canadian citizen in 1972 and maintained my US citizenship. I love both countries. I love the creative, hard edged push of the States. I love the way that strangers talk to one another and people show interest in you whom you have never met before and will likely never meet again.

Canada is where I have chosen to live since 1972. But I count myself lucky that I, like so many Canadian citizens do not have to choose one parent over the other. It is absolutely Canadian to be American and to love Canada. And that is her strength.

I think of these things as I prepare to read my poem of gratitude to Canada.

Canada Day 2013

Oh Canada. Oh hi there Canada
Our Home and native land
with a culture that cannot be defined.
And That right there, there it is in a nutshell.

Except by the line that crosses off the Humongous States sprawled
mingling with Mexico way low
down there.
That border does not hold
the flow of people rushing in.

But Here we wait in cars politely
holding our passports open on our laps
to show that

we are Canadian

which cannot be defined.
We only know:
Nobody puts Baby in a corner.
We can take them to the boards
our history shows.
Deferential, So sorry, so sorry, oh pardon me, no you first
we know how to put our elbows out
and claim
WE are not that
WE are not them
WE would rather not.

Obscure and obdurate,
The true North strong and free
filled with those of us
Adrienne Clarkson says are,
“Stumbling through darkness and racing through light,
we have persisted in the creation of a Canadian civilization.”
Which cannot be defined.

True Patriot Love
we sing at hockey games
and standing in the rain on baseball fields.
Our voices soft and mumbling over words
we cannot quite define.

Does the past give shape to what we have become
the history of rivers of refugees flowing
into the true North?

The land whispers of a Siberian bridge
early on people crossing to make a home,
the five Iroquois nations sitting to formulate
the Confederacy of the Longhouse
establishing in a new place
order.

So strange that land is claimed
like putting an item on the charge card
Cabot picked up Newfoundland and Cape Breton
in 1497 to put in England’s basket.
Jacque Cartier picking up The Gulf of St. Lawrence
to take home to France in 1534.

Ah then the fun began!

This finally peaceful land at times so open
to the dispossessed.

1770 Quakers fled the rules of England
and brought their pacifism, their desire
for social justice, the focus on international relief.
Next the Loyalists cross over by the thousands
British, Dutch, Irish, Scottish, Germans
bringing only what could be moved hastily
and food, the words, the thread of their homeland
to weave the start of a new cloth in 1783.
The Poles fled the triumvirate of Russia, Prussia and Austria
to find shelter in this land.
1840 to 1860 The underground railway
terminal brought 30 thousand enslaved to
their new home singing code in songs to communicate.
Next came the European Jews running from
revolution, repression.

Canada passive while Europe formed
like a foster mother she opened her arms in 1871
for 150 thousand Italians displaced by the sculpting
of a new nation,
170 thousand Ukrainians
fleeing Austrian rule making in 1913 this nation, a
population 6% Ukrainian.
By 51 there were 400 thousand
here.
She did not flinch.
In 1899 after a month long voyage at sea
the Doukabors from Russian came
to farm the land waiting for seeding crops.
Mennonites brought their gentle, kindly ways in
the person of the 20 thousand fleeing Bolsheviks.

The world torn by war sent people from
their homes.
Turmoil, families ripped from their lands
from 40 to 49 and she, this nation
that cannot be defined,
this Canada
active sought out and gave refuge to 165
thousand Displaced souls.

When Revolutions fractured peace, people
packed and fled to Canada:
Hungarians, Chinese, Czechoslovakian. Palestinian,
African Jews, Chilean, Bangladesh refugees,
Tibetans, Ugandan Asian who were given a “dead” line
by Idi Amin.
60 thousand Vietnamese boat people,
Iranians fleeing after the Shah’s death,
Cambodians running for their lives,
Rwandan’s, Bosnian Muslims,
Albanians who were air lifted
out of certain death by Canadian planes
and brought back
Home.

The Karen refugees from Thailand,
5 thousand Bhutanese.
In 1986 this nation whose greatest strength is that
she cannot be defined won the Nansen Refuge Award
for offering a life to those
who had no options left.

True Patriot love in all thy sons command
With glowing hearts we see thee rise
especially in hooray for Hollywood.
Deferential to a fault,
George Woodcock said,
“Canadians do not like heroes and so they do not have them.”
Generously given to the United States to imprint in cement.
Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Sarah Polley,
Pamela Anderson, Paul Anka, Will Arnett,
Dan Ayckroyd, Adam Beach, Jay Baruschel,
John Candy, Jim Carrey, Kim Katrell, Michael
Cera, Ellen Page, Hayden Christensen,
Tommy Chong, Kim Coates, Elisha Cuthbert,
Adam Agoyan, James Cameron, Michael J Fox,
Ryan Gosling,
Rachel McAdams, Eric McCormack, Howie Mandel,
Cory Monteith, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara,
Sandra Oh,
Anna Paquin, Matthew Perry, Russel Peters, Christopher Plumer, Keeanu Reeves, Ryan Reynolds, Seth Rogen, William Shatner,
the Sutherlands, the Tillys,
Brian Adams, Justin Bieber, Jully Black, Michael Buble,
Shania Twain, Feist, Fertato, Krall, Avril, McLaughlan, Murry, Morrisette, Leslie Neilson, Neil Young,
Jason Reitman, Paul Gross, Lauren Michaels, Phil Hartman, American’s first sweetheart yep Mary Pickford,
Nathan Fillion pilots Serenity,
Davids Croneburg and Thomas, Andrea Martin,
Paul Shaffer, Kids in the Hall, Taylor Kitsch.
With Glowing Hearts We See Thee Rise.

We are
from far and wide.
So demure and sarcastic; polite and irreverent.

How do we know
what we don’t know
we know
without a definition?
Spelling us out to visiting people’s
the web describes us to ourselves.

Canadian Communication Styles

First the disclaimer that there is a style but it is not a style due to:

“…its regionalism and cultural diversity.
In general, communication is ‘moderately indirect’ perhaps reflecting an amalgamation of both North American and British tendencies. Although most Canadians can disagree openly when necessary,
they prefer to do so with tact and diplomacy.
Their communication style is essentially pragmatic and relies on common sense.
If you come from a culture where communication is very direct, you may wish to soften your demeanour and tone
so as not to appear threatening.

Canadians communicate more by the spoken word rather than non-verbal expressions.
Canadians like their space and prefer to be at an arm’s length when speaking to someone.”

From Far and Wide.

“Canadians expect people to speak in a straightforward manner and to be able to back up their claims with examples. They do not make exaggerated claims and are

suspicious of something that sounds too good to be true.”

Beecham Trotter said…
“It is a great country,
inhabited by a great people
who are
much greater than they believe themselves to be.”

And so we stand, not running, not attacking, and certainly not gesticulating. We stand.

Our gates open, shining our wit into the world
humbly asking God to keep our land glorious and free
and we carry on being indefineable.

draft_lens19482990module159161065photo_1337189476a_a_aaa_a_a_a

Two Months and where is the art?

Today is the anniversary of the dissolution of my partnership, friendship and married state. Things are getting easier in the sense that I can sleep for four or more hours a night. The emptiness is still intense. The sense of unreality and living in a darkened valley is pervasive. Yesterday when I was buying apples, I was excited to see the kind my husband likes and began to put them in a bag. No. He isn’t there any more. Then I began to sob in the store, deep soul rending sobs. I embarrass myself. The act of caring for, thinking about, trying to find small gifts and pleasures for the person I love are habits developed over 16 years and it is a deep sense of loss when I cannot show my love any longer.

words that held no meaning

words that held no meaning

I have created a couple of digital art works and begun to put thoughts as poems up on facebook in order to speed the mourning process. I do not love lightly. I do not love easily. Fiercely loyal and passionate, I have held on when others would have walked away.

When I think of the two of us, I think of gardening. Two plants that are close together have their roots intertwined. To transplant them is to tear the roots apart, the white threads indistinguishable until the ripping begins. This tearing was not gentle, anticipated nor was it kind. The shock has set me back but the sun is shining and I have hopes that one day I will not be so wounded and full of sorrow. One day I will wake to calm and not emptiness.

your voice so sweet carries me forward

your voice so sweet carries me forward

The sun is frozen on the branches

outside my window.

I awake alone.

Air hangs cold in the room

There is no sound of you

with coffee cups of love

to warm the day.

I am waiting

for my heart to mend

and pull the wrapping blankets around

to hold me like your arms.

did once.

One foot in front of the other even though I cannot see the ground keeps me moving. The two images I have up at Sopa are in the gallery.

Embrace $680 at Sopa under 8 show

Embrace $680 at Sopa under 8 show

Today I will begin the process of getting my taxes done, finding out if I had a successful procedure to stop the tearing of the retina in my right eye (the doctor said it is trauma related. Maybe 8 weeks of crying all day). I have a yard to prepare for spring. My class in Penticton needs care. I have the marking up to date and some preparation done but I do need to create a mid term mark. I am hopeful that I can get out of this depression and get back to work in the studio. I am pushing myself to function and making accomplishments.

Grieving is exhausting work but I don’t want to take this baggage forward with me. I want it out of my system, out of my heart. There is love waiting for me. I am sure of that.

Kevin Craig wins Kelowna By election

With a whopping 11% of Kelowna’s residents who are eligible to vote pushing their way off of the couch to go out the door, Kevin Craig has carried the by-election. The 19 years old UBC student who came within 38 votes of winning in the last election cannot be said to have “cleaned up.” So close at under 400 votes.

The questions as to when the residents of Kelowna lost interest in the electoral process, springs to mind. Is there a gradual decline or a eschewing of voting suddenly? What does the refusal to vote mean in terms of the future of the city? How can the relationship between the electorate, the citizens and the city be revitalized? We constantly talk about revitalization of the downtown core, the big structures we are putting in in the name of “progress” but what about the vitality of citizens who feel a part of the social structure of a city.

I am really curious as to what is going wrong. One thing that is happening is that because of the exodus of young people, we do not have the army of volunteers that keep most organization going. Many neighbourhood associations are dying. Many long term groups in the city are hungry for those who have time to keep the board vital. Will it become a place where people live separate from one another, isolate and uninvolved?

Hopefully having a young person on council will help to move the city to creating a more tech and boho friendly city where those under 35 will find employment and enjoyment. It will be interesting to watch.

this gorgeous piece is $1,135 for 50 by 34

this gorgeous piece is $1,135 for 50 by 34

Christmas is coming rapidly with no snow. Tonight I saw 20 Canadian Geese flying against a pink autumnal sky. We have neither low winter temperature nor do we have snow. Between seasons, we are sitting on shoulder season even while the rest of B.C. is headed to winter. The flu, the Olympics are discussed frequently. Many arts groups are creating pre-Christmas sales with beautifully made hand crafted gifts but it doesn’t really feel like Christmas yet.

I will wrap the gifts for my family and ship them off next week because recovery from surgery will keep me quietly at home for the next month or so. The last vestiges of my brush with death will be gone. The long, deep scar from cancer surgery is to be excised and a newer more elegant scar will replace it. I look on it as a new beginning. Setting out in January with my stomach muscle reattached and the extra skin and scarring removed, I intend to concentrate on becoming stronger and less focused on work. Follow along to see if that actually happens.

Beautiful moments blossom in each day. Sitting and drinking tea. Sharing a laugh with my husband. Chatting with friends on facebook. These are what makes life such a gift.

Does Kelowna care? By election and arts community

Recently the CBC held a forum on support for the arts in Kelowna on the Day Break Show. It amazed me how optimistic the program sang in tone. We were told that 200,00 people were in the Rotary Centre in the past year. The issue of how the community supports the arts was totally by passed because there was no discussion of what “supports” means.

from photo up knox mountain

from photo up knox mountain

If by support, you mean they attended a musical event or play that had an ’80s rocker or a play that was popular in other cities in the 90’s, then yes. I guess that is support. But what of the local artists, musicians and performers. The real question is what is happening to make sure that we keep these people alive (as in fed), give them an audience (as in inspired) and build a fan base (as in future security). Is that happening? Most artists and musicians that I know are working on their art at a cost. It is financial with the need to find other sources of income to feed the fire. It is emotional in the attempts to garner a respectfully paying gig, or customers who will buy enough to keep them in paint.

the bridge is the answer to all problems

the bridge is the answer to all problems

Why were there 50 fewer artists in booths at Propera this year? The economy is down. But it has always been “down.” We rely so heavily on outsiders to support and appreciate our local talent that most artists end by feeling like creative buskers in a tourist town.

Further to the issue of passivity and apathy, is the up coming by-election. I am really curious as to what percent of individuals here will bother to go out and vote. The last major election it was under 20%. What are you guesses as the interest of Kelowna residents in their future?

The all candidates forum is on Wednesday, November 25th. How many care? How many will come to the forum? Which individuals will have the energy and commitment to the future of the city to go to a polling booth? We will have to watch and see.

where are the dolphins

where are the dolphins

Meanwhile, I am tired and happily in bed after the Potters and Artisans Show at the Rotary Centre which has just one more day. Hope to see you there Sunday and at local voting station November 28th. We deserve the kind of government we get.

Where do I take classes to increase my creativity in the Okanagan?

Fall and Winter Classes by Cherie Hanson

Rotary Centre for the Arts Course Studio 205, 421 Cawston Avenue.

Wednesday, September 9th, 6:30 to 8 pm. Writing from Where You Are. A gentle, non-critical workshop on prose writing. Take those old dairies, the notes from your last vacation and create something memorable. 14 years and above. $40

Rotary Centre for the Arts Course Studio 205, 421 Cawston Avenue.

Wednesday, September 23rd, 6:30 to 8 pm. Poetry for the Novice. Creating interesting, vivid poetry under the guidance of a writer who has earned her M.A. In contemporary poetry. $40.

Vernon Community Arts Council, 2704A Hwy 6, Vernon, B.C. 250-542-6243

Saturday, October 17th, 10 – 2, Writing Colorful Poetry ( 13- 17 years)$ 80

Rotary Centre for the Arts Course Studio 205, 421 Cawston Avenue.

Wednesday, October 21st, 6:30 to 8 pm. Making handmade greeting cards: Get inspired to make something unique that speaks from who you are. Make a gift of your talent. For children and adults together. Family fun. $45 includes material’s fee.

Vernon Community Arts Council, 2704A Hwy 6, Vernon, B.C. 250-542-6243

Saturday, October 24th, 10-2, Making Memories (All Ages) Making a gift of a unique scrapbook technique book. $80.

UBC-Okanagan Continuing Studies, cs.ubco@ubc.ca, 250-807-9289

Saturday, October 31st, 10 – 4 pm,Creative Writing Buffet. Writing various forms. Sample to find what form of writing is delicious for you. $149 +GST

UBC-Okanagan Continuing Studies , cs.ubco@ubc.ca, 250-807-9289

Saturday, November 21st, 9 am- 2 pm, Digital Photograph Art- From So-So… to stunning OPS 120 FO9A, $125+ GST

Vernon Community Arts Council, 2704A Hwy 6, Vernon, B.C. 250-542-6243

Saturday, November 14th, 10-2, Presenting Poetry ( 13-17) Guided work that takes a phrase, an image and crafts a poem or a selection of poems for the student to take home. $80.

Rotary Centre for the Arts Course Studio 205, 421 Cawston Avenue.

Wednesday, November 24th, 6:30 to 8 pm. Scrapbook Exploration. How to make cards, books, gifts using scrapbook techniques. 14 years and above. Family fun. $45 including material’s fee.

Vernon Community Arts Council, 2704A Hwy 6, Vernon, B.C. 250-542-6243

Saturday, November 28th, 10-2. Adults

The Gift of Poetry. Create your own anthology as a gift for a loved one.

UBC-Okanagan Continuing Studies , cs.ubco@ubc.ca, 250-807-9289

Saturday, December 5th, 10 am- 3 pm.

The Hidden Poet. Using the senses to explore poetry, interpret imagery and be inspired. $125 + GST

Rotary Centre for the Arts Course Studio 205, 421 Cawston Avenue.

Wednesday, September 9th, 6:30 to 8 pm. Writing from Where You Are. A gentle, non-critical workshop on prose writing. Take those old dairies, the notes from your last vacation and create something memorable. 14 years and above. $40

Rotary Centre for the Arts Course Studio 205, 421 Cawston Avenue.

Wednesday, September 23rd, 6:30 to 8 pm. Poetry for the Novice. Creating interesting, vivid poetry under the guidance of a writer who has earned her M.A. In contemporary poetry. $40.

Vernon Community Arts Council, 2704A Hwy 6, Vernon, B.C. 250-542-6243

Saturday, October 17th, 10 – 2, Writing Colorful Poetry ( 13- 17 years)$ 80

Rotary Centre for the Arts Course Studio 205, 421 Cawston Avenue.

Wednesday, October 21st, 6:30 to 8 pm. Making handmade greeting cards: Get inspired to make something unique that speaks from who you are. Make a gift of your talent. For children and adults together. Family fun. $45 includes material’s fee.

Living in the moment

Living in the moment

Vernon Community Arts Council, 2704A Hwy 6, Vernon, B.C. 250-542-6243

Saturday, October 24th, 10-2, Making Memories (All Ages) Making a gift of a unique scrapbook technique book. $80.

UBC-Okanagan Continuing Studies, cs.ubco@ubc.ca, 250-807-9289

Saturday, October 31st, 10 – 4 pm,Creative Writing Buffet. Writing various forms. Sample to find what form of writing is delicious for you. $149 +GST

UBC-Okanagan Continuing Studies , cs.ubco@ubc.ca, 250-807-9289

Saturday, November 21st, 9 am- 2 pm, Digital Photograph Art- From So-So… to stunning OPS 120 FO9A, $125+ GST

Vernon Community Arts Council, 2704A Hwy 6, Vernon, B.C. 250-542-6243

Saturday, November 14th, 10-2, Presenting Poetry ( 13-17) Guided work that takes a phrase, an image and crafts a poem or a selection of poems for the student to take home. $80.

Rotary Centre for the Arts Course Studio 205, 421 Cawston Avenue.

Wednesday, November 24th, 6:30 to 8 pm. Scrapbook Exploration. How to make cards, books, gifts using scrapbook techniques. 14 years and above. Family fun. $45 including material’s fee.

Vernon Community Arts Council, 2704A Hwy 6, Vernon, B.C. 250-542-6243

Saturday, November 28th, 10-2. Adults

The Gift of Poetry. Create your own anthology as a gift for a loved one.

creating is about perception

creating is about perception

UBC-Okanagan Continuing Studies , cs.ubco@ubc.ca, 250-807-9289

Saturday, December 5th, 10 am- 3 pm.

The Hidden Poet. Using the senses to explore poetry, interpret imagery and be inspired. $125 + GST

Facebook, is it a good idea?

From Portland Chinese Garden

From Portland Chinese Garden

The questions of opening oneself up to the internet is very difficult to answer in a straight forward manner. One problem with the internet is that all that is “revealed” will continue to spin in cyber space much as space junk continues to circle the earth long after those who created the detritus are not alive. In the same way, the pictures, stories and videos that people load in, load up and away are to continue twenty, thirty or forty years into the future.

The question of judgment is very, very important. At one time, I sent an email to someone that had other recipients’ emails cc’d and not bc’d. There was outrage. There was flaming. There was viciousness. It was an oversight on my part but it quickly taught me that levels of privacy are integral to a person’s value systems.

When I see someone on facebook putting up pictures of themselves dancing joyfully in his or her underwear, I immediately remove that person from my list. Why? Because people assume that those you surround yourself with are in your “tribe” or share your ethics and world view.

It is enough that I see people fully clothed, struggling to present a modicum of politeness and decorum. I wish in all ways that I can to celebrate and reward the actions of making the internet a calmer place.

I found it interesting the other day when someone said that they would not like it if people they had know thirty or forty years ago discovered them on facebook. It never occurred to me that it wouldn’t be a good thing. We were, after all, equally stupid in youth. As toddlers, we fell and cracked our heads on coffee tables, fell off of chairs, got our fingers caught in things. As twenty-somethings, we stayed up all night, experimented with altered perception, cried for days until we were even more stupid; drove, ate, stayed awake and spent our energy far beyond our safe limits.

So for me, Facebook has been a way to recollect the past. It has been a way to reconnect with people who made a difference in my life. So many of my students have resurfaced and I am filled with joy when I see what they have done with the life they have been given. I found a college room mate from 1964 yesterday and was thrilled. She was studying to be a studio artist and I was working on my M.FA in creative writing. Today she is a poet and I write and teach poetry. However, when I was at that time intent on poetry and English, today I spend an equal amount of time as a visual artist. Being an artist was not even a consideration in my past.

I have begun to chat on line through facebook and have met inspiring people. I have met people who are positive, creative, contemplative and walking a spiritual path. Others are teaching me. Others are widening my world.

In the same way I would not let an angry, hurt being into my house who might damage themselves and others, I retain ownership of who I connect with on Facebook.

Is Facebook a good idea. It is if you are looking to connect with the good in others.