April 12, 2015

Has it been that long since I last wrote??  The passage of time is evident only with marks such as here on this site… one and a half years have passed since I had any leisure to pen a few lines.  Much has happened and some events are even blurry now but here I am, sitting in the quietness of my small office space at home pondering about life in the past few years.

The world news is not a nice happy topic if not downright depressing.  I mourned the sudden loss of Nathan Cirillo, the senseless utter injustice and the cowardice act of cutting down a defenceless ceremonial symbol of our liberty and rights and to such a pure, beautiful young man was so gouging, for days I felt a deep sadness and a rage which had been subdued since my arrival in Canada long ago.  It was significant because of the violation of the most sacred place in this country:  at the tomb of the unknown soldier.  A peace monument to remind us of the violent past.  Then the turmoil in the Middle East where journalists and innocents were slaughtered.  The atrocity in Boston, silencing of Charlie in Paris… too many and too sad to think of!  A prayer for each, you will never be forgotten!

Someone told me they avoided looking at the news to retain sanity.  Perhaps it is true, the onslaught of ready, instant news piped into our handheld device or TV at night is a bit too overwhelming, we should try not to let it dominate our day and spirit.  But for some personal happenings sometimes are not better;  regardless, each day as we know, is precious so here I am, thinking…

School is good for me.  It sets a routine, engages me in cerebral activities.  It makes me wiser, forces me to endlessly research, practice art even when the mind is tired, the body exhausted.  It is totally justifiable to be at my age, willingly paying tuitions and materials, riding the subway most days at rush hours, lugging at times, heavy canvases and equipment and be in class on time.

My travels abate somewhat but we still visit Europe whenever possible;  Prague last summer!  we walked everywhere, tasted a variety of local dishes, met some nice folks and saw so many historical and wonderful arts!  I discovered David Cerny’s genius displays scattered around the city.  The only ointment was the overt racism there which was unbeknownst to me prior.  That totally surprised me: in the 21st century there are still people who hold such narrow thoughts and prejudice against others!  Sure, blonde hair and blue eyes might be preferred but I can name a handful of those no one would want to meet or be close to…(Think skinheads and Nazi) and laugh a little at the blonde jokes some friends forward.

Racism is such a strange beast: not because one race is better than another but just because of the skin colour!  As one of my friend put it: racism is just plain stupidity of the human race, it is indeed the 21st century and some prefer to remain in the cave age! Sadly these folks only understand it when they suffer from prejudice themselves!  would Czech (or countries that are racist) be better off without foreigners?  no tourists, no infusion of any good developments or talents from elsewhere? no other cuisines or cultures?  Not even a pizza or a bowl of Pho?  how sad for them!  We did not let discrimination bother us much to spoil our trip, focussing instead on the good things that Prague offered.

I produce steady works;  celebrate the presentation by Agora Gallery in Chelsea, NYC; the first group show there this May!  That is a significant milestone.  In between intense periods in school, camaraderie over lunch or coffee with good friends and frequent art shows kept me thoroughly exuberant.  The hiatuses out West each year recharge the battery, restore any minor bruises in the spirit and the solitude, quietness of the retreat surrounded by pure magic of nature of the mountain region all help the escape be what it should be.  Last year I was able to produce two art works, made a few new friends and discovered the spectacular beauty of snow scenes all around us.  Lake Louise blanked out in white, lunch at the chateau there was even more special.  What a time!

It is almost mid April and the rain has arrived in earnest.  The heavy downpour for 2, 3 days in a row accompanied by slashing winds was not nice at all.  We can argue it is better than snow but snagging traffic, causing flooding and drenching pedestrians…even dogs would not want to be out for a walk!  But perhaps good for the grass and farmers rejoice?  I wish we could ship most or all of it to LA which currently has a drought crisis!  No happy medium, is there?  but we can put away the bags of salt and the shovels.  Out come equipment for the grass and the swimming pool.  Lawn furniture and BBQ materials!!

Today I took a mild walk/run and discovered how unfit I have become!  Oh boy.  But what a joy to see others biking and running along too.  Parents with youngsters and pets, the immaculate lawns in my neighbourhood seem to promise further blooms on the hedges.  Spring has arrived!!