What Does Christmas Mean To You?

This year I experience a pastiche of images of Christmas which are as sundry and disparate as random ripped pages from a magazine. Still in bed after abdominalplasty and a reattached stomach muscle, I have a vision of the dead “helicopter” seeds on the Maple tree out my window. My two granddaughters like me to designate them as such. The seeds beige to browness hang almost plastic in the tree. Almost too enervated to fall, these last ones. All night the wind howled out my windows but these seeds are determined to hang on until Spring when they can complete their encoded mission.

doorstop for sale on etsy

doorstop for sale on etsy

The sky is a sickly white with a scattering of snow on the rooftops that I can view. I have been moving little after my initial burst of enthusiasm. Four days of migraine, vomiting and horrible pain let up and I continuing to be unwise and a “busy body” decided to watch three movies on the couch and trot up and downstairs a couple of times. The evening of my folly found me sobbing into my pillow in agony. Taking more opiates than I had all day, finally got me into a strange, fibrous, drug induced sleep.

I pay homage to the great guilt God by remaining in bed the last two days and finally I slept without waking up sobbing with nightmares. I awoke in the full steam ahead playing out of a musical in which I starred. Taking the centre of the shot in a beautiful park, I spread my arms and sang gorgeously. Waking myself up with the sound of a croaking, dry throat that was not producing any “song” per se but rather random words, I decided that perhaps more time was needed to heal my body and get myself out of the drug induced world of pain killers.

from knox december

from knox december

I am reading Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel again in lieu of actual physical freedom. While his use of language is pleasing, intellectual and deft, I do find him to be rather lachrymose. He is so British in his dampened appreciation of life’s pleasures.

Yesterday, I spent too much time trying to dis-spell the loneliness of lying in the 300 feet of our upstairs retreat… unable to descend and un-willling to entertain my husband’s sad, gentle inquiries as to my condition which is improving beneath the pain, I am sure. I was on facebook and checked my email. It exhausted me.

Today, I didn’t even open the beast of a computer until noon after three naps. What a pleasure to see that Jason Woodford had put a lovely image of my donation to the Okanagan Film Festival Society on his site.http://okanaganfilmfestival.com/ I am awaiting news as to who purchased it so I can give them a certificate of authenticity. Too done in by the operation to complete that task, I left it for another day.

tari's amazing christmas cookies

tari

My friend Tari informs me that she had made her spectacular Christmas cookies again this year and asked the artists of the RCA to her house for a luncheon. She mentioned ice skating on Shannon Lake with her friend. Now I hold two lovely, traditionally satisfying pictures of Christmas in my head thanks to her email. I wrote to her, “You can always make me laugh. I just pictured you eating while ice skating. A turn, a flourish, the hand raised and at the top of the spinning wonderment a cookie which pops into your mouth at the last moment. Beautiful. ” http://www.misstari.com/

Finally, the image of my granddaughters was soothing to me upon awakening suddenly with the shooting pain in my side. Rhane so business-like, abrupt and non-nonsense requested a cleaning set so she could clean her home sparkling clean, “If some people would let me.” When I asked her if it was a toy set, she paused in impatient disgust then informed me that it was in fact a real set. Stupidly, I had thought her to be trivial or playing simply because she is four years old. Tegan on the other hand is mainly concerned that the star on top of the tree doesn’t sparkle. She is a leo/monkey and knows the importance to bling in existence. Without shimmer, life is dull.

magic of little girls

magic of little girls

Judith Jurica continues to work her magic and sent through an email publicizing my show at Kalamalka campus even though it is “the holidays”. She is another who creates a very real shimmer to the existence of art in the valley through her works.http://www.galleryvertigo.com/

So these snippets of life create images. Along with the unfinished kitchen wall that has yet to be re-enclosed after the new electrical service was provided, the pile of unfinished christmas cards that I had anticipated having the strength to send out by now.

Instead, I am floating upstairs with a plastic bulb draining out of my stomach. Looking out of the window at the dull day hanging without the energy to deliver snow. Laying under my blanket thinking about another nap before I return with Alain to the Lake Country and Wordsworth is the reality of now. Transition.

transition moving from one state of being to another

transition moving from one state of being to another

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.

All Candidates Kelowna By-Election: Who Cares?

Because I was hearing nothing about the by-election arriving on November 28th, I was concerned about the heavy pall of apathy. The sound of silence was like that after a heavy snow fall.  Some of my neighbourhood association members suggested that we might garner more members to our small, hearty band if we made an event of it. Bingo. Two solutions with one meeting.

detail from Peace inspirational door stop

detail from Peace inspirational door stop

After notifying all of the neighbourhood associations in the city that they could make their presence known by asking a question of one of the fifteen candidates, I sent out an invitation to the candidates. Anyone who has ever organized an event knows that this part of the structuring is always needful of minding. Plant the seed, water the seed, replant the seed, water the seed… Well, you get it.

Now we have, I believe, all of the candidates confirmed. Six of the ten groups invited have prepared a question. But most happily of all, we have an event. It is an event that is in the media. Radio, internet, newspaper reporters are… well reporting. It looks as if there will be six media representatives in attendance, if not more.

10 door stop prosperity inspiration

10 inch door stop prosperity inspiration

Now comes the part where I take my husband away from his work as an electrician and ask him sweetly to spend the day setting up the sound. Thankfully, he is a skilled sound technition. KSAN has said they would do all the niceties, coffee and cookies. How wonderful when neighbourhood groups help one another out and contribute to building community strength.

I got my cards to city hall in a timely fashion, saw the plastic surgeon who is going to reattach my stomach muscle in December and cleaned the house. Once the forum is done, I will take cards and door stops around the various Christmas shops to see if I can get some sales over Christmas.

hand made each drawn into archival cards

hand made each drawn into archival cards

Judith Jurica of Gallery Vertigo has hung my art work at the Kalamalka campus of Okanagan College so some works are “out there.” http://www.galleryvertigo.com/ I now have to go into the Authentech home and move a few pieces around as well as rethinking the work I have up in the Bohemian Cafe on Bernard so they show better.

The opportunity to just lay down in bed and heal will mean that I can upload some ETSY items and read. Wind in the Willows always impressed me with the wonderful winter scenes. All of the animals in an underground cave, looking at the fire and reading.

So, the adventure begins. How many people in Kelowna will leave their houses to vote? How many people will be looking to buy locally made gifts? When will it snow? So many questions to see answered over time. It is why life is so interesting.

What has Victor Wooten to say about Life and Music?

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones with Victor Wotton

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones with Victor Wooten

This image is a photo of Bela Fleck with Victor Wooten playing at the Vancouver Jazz Festival. The image is flipped on its side, given a new age spiritual feel with an inner city graffiti spray. It is both spiritual and edgy. It is both technological and rudimentary. The image, for me is a recreating of the feel of the music.

Check out Victor’s new book at the following link http://www.vixboox.com/

The man is a genius bass player who has a joyous, relaxed and powerful presence. Being in the moment allows him to bring all of the energy of living to each thing he does. His new book discusses the relationship that he has with music and leads people to consider living in a more spiritual manner.

We are so lucky here in Kelowna because Wentworth Music has arranged for Victor to come and teach a bass clinic at Gotcha’s Nightclub on October 21st. Cameron, my bass playing husband, is enthusiastically looking forward to the experience.

When we heard Victor play at the Vancouver Jazz Festival we were blown away. He is luminescent on stage and his playing can only be described as…. physically impossible. Wentworth Music is bringing in a few books for people to buy. However, they can be purchased on line directly from Victor’s site.

If you visit his site, check out his retreat, bass camp and see how amazing his instruction and life lessons are. Mind blowing combination of bass technique, learning to live on the land and spiritual path finding.

Thank you Nori and Wentworth for bringing us this experience.