Saturday, October 31, 2015

Café Art We Are All Homeless

 Café Art is a kind of what I'll call an art movement in the UK, galvanized by Paul Ryan and Michael Wongart in 2012. I found out this wonderful project today that was posted  on Facebook by artist Willie Baronet.

 Café Art was started by one art group a homelessness organization and one cafe. The artists all have had experience with homelessness and are given the opportunity to have their art work hung for sale in cafes.

I have become acutely aware of how this kind of art has become near and dear to my heart for many reasons, and is becoming more important to me as the years go by.

Everything I Own or Bags of Life David Tovey

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Zombie Zeitgeist - The End of The World As We Know It

When I can't blog every day my world just isn't complete. I don't throw out computers, because well, I know what happens to computers when they are sent to the recycle depots and it's horrendous. But when I am without my internet access, I realize how dependent I am on this daily activity in the same way most people are.

I don't have a cell phone which is a good thing because other wise I'd be glued to it no doubt. walking around like a mindless zombie and phubbing people and lacking the social skills to communicate face to face with my fellow human beings.

And so, today I had to go to town for a doctor's appointment, but what was foremost in my mind I admit it was making a b-line first thing, to purchase a replacement for my old Dell computer mouse that was no longer working. Once I had it in my hands, I felt better already! I was doing everything short of swinging it round my head like a lasso to get it to work. My mouse came with my old Dell desktop that I purchased...yes...20 years ago. It's had a few upgrades, but I'm afraid it'll soon be time to retire the old dino for a laptop. My Dell may be old dinosaur, but it's not a zombie, though it may have done things to my brain, that may or maybe not be positive.

In our North American culture, I've heard a lot lately about the zombie apocalypse. You hear about it on  television, radio, movies, and in books. You just have to think about the shows like The Walking Dead etc., to see this preoccupation come to life, that seems to be an increasing preoccupation.

 Yesterday I heard the Ideas program on CBC Radio, The Coming Zombie Apocalypse which gave some context to this preoccupation, and then began to make some sense to me, whereas before, I really didn't get it, other than suspecting that it has something to do with how in the western world, we hold death at arms length. It's easier to pretend our own fantastical demise, than face the realities that exist in our own lives.

Our world is indeed threatened, but not by zombies, but by us, human beings. We are alive, thankfully, and are not zombies. My hope is that we will keep it this way, until it's time for us to go, but not before our time.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Steve Bonello - Artist Extraordinaire

Honourable Gentlemen (1993). Drawing in ink and mixed media. I was probably influenced by the daring assassinations of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino which had happened in quick succession.

I subscribed to a site that gives your the opportunity to link, review and refer you to other sites. Much of the information provided can be lacking in taste and quality websites. Though every now and again, I come across some amazing sites in particular I am talking about artist sites. I get very enthusiastic and give them a glowing review, because it is most deserving.

 I came across the art work of  Steve Bonello who is from Malta. This finely rendered, and detailed artwork is mostly done with coloured ink, pen and mixed media, which art has a classical yet contemporary quality with some great socio-political content in his cartoons and illustrations with a very humorous bent.

Bastions of the Faith (1989) Ink and mixed media (Private Collection Malta)

Steve Bonello also has a wonderful in depth blog that covers a wide variety of topics much like the subject matter of his art work.I think you will agree both his site and blog are very well worth checking out.

The Market at San Lorenzo, Florence (1989) Ink and mixed media. (Private Collection Malta)
It is difficult to go to Florence and not fall in love with the place. Apart from the wealth of art everywhere I have a soft spot for markets and this is my homage to one of the city's liveliest.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Robert Burley - The Disappearance of Darkness

Robert Burley

I am grateful for having had the experience, the privilege of learning about the art, the process, the history, and the philosophical magic of photography with an old school photography teacher, Thaddeus Holownia.

 As most artists involved with photography, I have to say I am saddened, and troubled in seeing the changes that have taken place very quickly, especially the demise of Kodak, and film processing. It appears to be the end of the a Golden Era of film.

Those of us that spent hours in the dark room of chemicals, feverishly developing film, diligently bent over enlargers, and perusing through contact sheets was what the process of photography was all about and so much more.

Thankfully Canadian photographer Robert Burley spent six years documenting what has happened to photography, eloquently and succinctly expressing in his book, The Disappearance of Darkness what many analog photographers are also lamenting.

Among many younger art students there is a re-surging interest in the traditional photographic processes, such as using large format, black and white film, gelatin-silver process, and working in a dark room.

 My hope is that it will be enough to reignite more interest in photography to include, and supplement digital photography along side of analog photography, without replacing it exclusively with digital and without a disappearance of darkness.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Key Learnings

This morning I found these nine, what they've called " learnings" from Brain Pickings in my email box. Lots of food for thought in these reflections. I have commented at the end of each one listed.

"1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Cultivate that capacity for "negative capability." We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our "opinions" based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own reality. It's enormously disorienting to simply say, "I don't know." But it's infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right – even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself."
  • That last bit about it being "infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right" certainly is a resounding truth with me. Annoyance, contempt  and a false sense of superiority are manifested when the ego gets in the way of our opinions and clouds any real understanding.

"2. Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone. As Paul Graham observed, "prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like." Those extrinsic motivators are fine and can feel life-affirming in the moment, but they ultimately don't make it thrilling to get up in the morning and gratifying to go to sleep at night – and, in fact, they can often distract and detract from the things that do offer those deeper rewards."

  • One of the basic human needs is recognition, however being in pursuit and expectation of it never ends well. Having an imbalanced need for prestige or for anything out side ourselves is like trying to fill a bottomless pit, and can become addictive.  Spiritus contra spiritum is what Carl Jung called it. "The attempt to fill a spiritual void with a material reality." 

"3. Be generous. Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It's so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life's greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them."

  •  Generousity is putting our gratitude into action otherwise it is just a pleasant emotion.
  • According to the Lakota tradition, the natural law of generousity states, that energy we use to communicate, returns to us fourfold.

"4. Build pockets of stillness into your life. Meditate. Go for walks. Ride your bike going nowhere in particular. There is a creative purpose to daydreaming, even to boredom. The best ideas come to us when we stop actively trying to coax the muse into manifesting and let the fragments of experience float around our unconscious mind in order to click into new combinations. Without this essential stage of unconscious processing, the entire flow of the creative process is broken.
Most importantly, sleep. Besides being the greatest creative aphrodisiac, sleep also affects our every waking moment, dictates our social rhythm, and even mediates our negative moods. Be as religious and disciplined about your sleep as you are about your work. We tend to wear our ability to get by on little sleep as some sort of badge of honor that validates our work ethic. But what it really is is a profound failure of self-respect and of priorities. What could possibly be more important than your health and your sanity, from which all else springs?"
  • We live in a culture where most people are sleep deprived and are barely functioning on a chronic sleep deficit. 
  • Driving while deprived of sleep it like driving drunk, it's a very dangerous situation.
  • Digital devices used before bed are said to be contributing to our lack of deep sleep.

"5. When people tell you who they are, Maya Angelou famously advised, believe them. Just as importantly, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don't believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you."
  •  Human beings are complex, and have many layers to their personalities. I think if we die without knowing or experiencing who we are as individuals, this is a tragedy. Each person brings to this life a sacred capital. This is our value and worth.

"6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity. Ours is a culture that measures our worth as human beings by our efficiency, our earnings, our ability to perform this or that. The cult of productivity has its place, but worshiping at its altar daily robs us of the very capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living – for, as Annie Dillard memorably put it, "how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." "
  •  I am fond of remembering that I am a human being, not a human doing. Living fully in the present moment is what brings me peace of mind. Worrying about the past and projecting into the future robs me of my happiness.

        "7. "Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time." This is borrowed from the wise  and           
wonderful Debbie Millman, for it's hard to better capture something so fundamental yet so impatiently overlooked in our culture of immediacy. The myth of the overnight success is just that – a myth – as well as a reminder that our present definition of success needs serious retuning. As I've reflected elsewhere, the flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst and yet, as a culture, we're disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming. But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny.
And here are the two new additions:"
  •  I remember what a wise old recovering New York nun said about recovery and I believe it can be related to living a worth while life. Growth happens little by slowly.

"8. Seek out what magnifies your spirit. Patti Smith, in discussing William Blake and her creative influences, talks about writers and artists who magnified her spirit – it's a beautiful phrase and a beautiful notion. Who are the people, ideas, and books that magnify your spirit? Find them, hold on to them, and visit them often. Use them not only as a remedy once spiritual malaise has already infected your vitality but as a vaccine administered while you are healthy to protect your radiance."
  • Wow I love Patti Smith even more now!

"9. Don't be afraid to be an idealist. There is much to be said for our responsibility as creators and consumers of that constant dynamic interaction we call culture – which side of the fault line between catering and creating are we to stand on? The commercial enterprise is conditioning us to believe that the road to success is paved with catering to existing demands – give the people cat GIFs, the narrative goes, because cat GIFs are what the people want. But E.B. White, one of our last great idealists, was eternally right when he asserted half a century ago that the role of the writer is "to lift people up, not lower them down" – a role each of us is called to with increasing urgency, whatever cog we may be in the machinery of society. Supply creates its own demand. Only by consistently supplying it can we hope to increase the demand for the substantive over the superficial – in our individual lives and in the collective dream called culture."
  •  Idealism as opposed to cynicism is the only way to go. Idealism is where hope lies and there is always hope for even for the hopeless cynic.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Artistic Old World Bread Making

 I thought it was a good day to make bread. I have a family tradition of  making bread on Saturdays, or when ever it feels like a good bread making day. I then got thinking about the significance of this tradition and why women do it. This lead me to finding a wonderful film made by Mariette Sluyter who taught others to make bread, and Bread is the name of her NFB Film that she documented, telling the stories of six women, all who baked bread.

There is something so grounding, and very special about the process of making bread. Anyone who makes their own bread knows this to be true. For most women baking bread it is an ancient practice, and has a cultural significance that provided the sustenance of life, and it connects us to one another because it is prevalent in all cultures. The  word  "companion" comes from the Latin word "with bread'.

My fondest memories are of the sweet and comforting aroma of my grandmother's fresh bread, slathering it with butter, while it was still warm from the oven. I am so glad my mother passed this tradition down to me, and when I make bread I feel this connection to my mother, and with all the grandmothers, past, present, and future.

“Bread reflects who we are as a species; the basic ingredients are the same but the outcomes are different. It is the same with humans: we share the basic building blocks but it is cultural practice that changes the outcomes. It is through breaking bread together, figuratively or literally, in a spirit of open, curious learning that we can transcend what divides us.”
                                                                          - Mariette Sluyter

The video below is of a group of joyful women laughing, talking, and participating in bread making, and you will see how creative this bread making can be.
I have no idea what nationality these women are or the language they're speaking, but it is a beautiful thing to see how they interact laughing, enjoying themselves, and are bonded with one another.
 I tried out a few of these artistic techniques with my bread making today, making three regular loaves, and a few other small braided buns.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Self-Taught Versus Formal Art Education

I believe everyone owes it to themselves to get some kind of art education. Regardless if it is self-taught or in a formal setting like in a University. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

I have known many artists that have educated themselves. The admirable quality is the passion and the drive they have to learn. Creativity, and curiosity go hand in hand and for me, and these are spiritual like practices that directly relate to education.

I love what Laurie Anderson says about being an artist. That is a spiritual like practice, rather like being God because you are creating something.

I have to say I am so grateful and thankful that I had the opportunity to have a University education. That said, I also know I can have all the education in the world but if I don't have that thirst for knowledge and learning then I'm wasting my time.

Ken Robinson talks about the need for a paradigm shift when it comes to our academic education that needs to be overhauled, towards creativity. I completely agree with him.

Art education in a university is somewhat different than being self-taught, in that you are constantly exposed to creative thinking which is conducive to a learning environment. Having the constant exchange and interaction with other artists and educators in a formal setting is extremely beneficial and life changing, on numerous levels.

And so I have to say, though a University art education might not be perfect, I'll never regret having had one. In the mean time I continue to work on educating myself living life after art school.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Daydreaming Patti Smith

I've never been a huge fan of Patti Smith's music, but I sure do admire her as a very a genuine person, and as an artist. She's been called the "punk poet laureate." I don't really think of her as a "punk", but as an artist first and foremost.

My exposure to punk was more so punk rock bands like The Ramones or even Sid Vicious when I headed for England in 1977, and horrified my mother after I got myself a haircut much like his. I wasn't a fan of the Sex Pistols but I found it all curious from the stand point of a cultural phenomenon.
I don't know if Patti Smith was a cultural phenomenon but legendary for her contribution to music, and song writing ability. She is both a renegade and a wise woman.

The interview with her this morning reflected the kind of person she really is I think, and what you see, is what you get. She has been and will continue to be a real mentor for so many other artists. Her ideas about the importance of daydreaming, having discipline as an artist, and concentrating on the work at hand, exemplifies her commitment to creativity. These are all the elements of her personality I admire, and I look forward to reading her memoir, M Train.

In my opinion Patti Smith is a wild woman in the truest sense, a wolf woman, a Crone, the Wise Woman, a woman who runs with the wolves. She understands that the real work is to keep doing the work of creating, growing, and life long learning.

"Freedom is the right to write the wrong words"
                                      - Patti Smith

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Politics and Art

Everything we do, whether we know it or not is political. Even apathy is a political statement.
I've always held that especially when it comes to art, the personal is political.

Politicians like to think and try to impress folks with their, hand shaking, baby kissing, and photo ops that this somehow has made their politics personal, but this is mostly smoke and mirrors, and is reflected in empty promises, particularly once they get into to power, when they start to towing the political party line.

Marsha Lederman's article I have posted below, from the Globe and Mail makes some pertinent points that are very insightful, and urge artists to get active and press our politicians to discuss the arts.

I especially love what she says about great civilizations.

"Great civilizations aren’t remembered for their tax policies; they’re remembered for their art."

Artists speak out about politics. Why don’t politicians discuss the arts?

I noticed a group of people standing on a Vancouver corner, pointing at a parking lot and having an animated confab. It was Wednesday and I knew exactly what they were discussing. The issue that has dominated the city this week has not been pipelines, pot or even politics, but a conceptual design for a new Vancouver Art Gallery. When the proposal, planned for that parking lot, was revealed on Tuesday, Twitter blew up. The reaction was mixed – much of it negative, even nasty (“seriously ugly,” “dog pile,” “just because it’s weird looking doesn’t mean it’s good”). But still – people cared.

Meanwhile, in Edmonton last weekend, tens of thousands took in the city’s first Nuit Blanche event. About one million people are expected at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche this weekend. Want to attend “An Intimate Evening with Lawrence Hill” at the Vancouver Writers Fest later this month? Sorry – sold out (along with 22 other events and counting).

Translation: A lot of Canadians are interested in art. And by art I mean not only paintings and installations but also the architecture to house them, the book you read in bed last night, the music you might be listening to right now, even that Netflix series you’re binge-watching. The arts contribute to our lives in a profound way, illuminating our condition or distracting us from it (there is honour in that, too). Art matters. And yet.
During a heated federal election campaign, wouldn’t you think the arts might capture at least a tiny bit of that heat?

The arts have received a modicum of attention, with a few campaign announcements – the Liberals in particular have highlighted their cultural platform – and some talk about the CBC. (Full disclosure: My husband works for the CBC and I am a former employee of the public broadcaster.) But none of this seems to be getting much traction.

I get it: Child care, budgetary spending, carbon emissions, foreign policy – these issues are top of mind, and rightly so. But the arts are a key, consistent ingredient in the salad of daily life. For most of us, arts and culture have an impact far surpassing, say, “barbaric cultural practices” (or the niqab or marijuana).
And with federal funding so key to arts and culture in Canada, it seems odd that this importance is not reflected in an election campaign. It almost makes you pine for 2008 and that nonsensical Stephen Harper quip about galas for rich, whining artists. (Okay, maybe not.) There have been some attempts to get a conversation going. The Canadian Arts Coalition (CAC) sent questions to the four major parties about issues such as support for the CBC and the Canada Council for the Arts. As of late Thursday, the group had received responses from all but the Conservatives. The CAC also created a Twitter hashtag for these discussions. But #ArtsVoteCAC isn’t exactly dominating my feed.

Meanwhile, some artists are mobilizing, and not necessarily to discuss the arts.
The #ImagineOct20th movement is putting on shows across the country (Feist and Joseph Boyden were among the participants in Toronto this week) with the stated purpose of booting the Conservatives out of power.

“I felt like I could not live with myself if the Conservatives won one more time and I didn’t do what I could,” said musician Dan Mangan, who is leading the charge along with musician Torquil Campbell.
“The hope is that we’re not preaching to the choir; the hope is that we’re actually making some converts out of this,” added Shane Koyczan before the Vancouver event on Thursday night (emceed by that famously rogue Senate page, Brigette DePape). Mr. Koyczan is the poet best known for bringing the house down at the Vancouver Olympics opening ceremony with his poem We Are More. He refused to perform it this past Canada Day, saying he could no longer stand behind lines such as “We are an experiment going right for a change.”
He brought down the (much smaller, grittier) house again on Thursday, with a piece he wrote for the occasion, The Cut. “We’re looking for change and not just the penny you phased out,” he roared.
Margaret Atwood, meanwhile, is leading a group of more than 200 artists (including filmmaker Paul Haggis and children’s musician Raffi) who have signed an open letter opposing Bill C-51. Arguing that the legislation “directly attacks the creative arts and free expression in this country,” the letter asks if writing a spy novel about an assassination plot or recording a song questioning the government’s agenda amounts to promoting terrorism.
If so, watch out, Blue Rodeo. The band’s new protest song Stealin’ All My Dreams pulls no punches, touching on issues such as child poverty and the treatment of First Nations, refugees and government scientists (“you muzzled all the white coats in your laboratories”).
So artists are speaking out, or singing out, about politics. It would be great to hear politicians speak out about the arts.

Take the Vancouver Art Gallery, which has been tasked with raising $100-million from Ottawa for the project. The Conservative government was clear that it would not provide that funding, and its position hasn’t changed. The Liberal incumbent for Vancouver Centre, Hedy Fry, told The Globe and Mail that the project might be eligible for funding under the party’s social infrastructure funding plan, depending on priorities. (The NDP and the Green Party did not respond to requests about this issue by press time.)
Given that spirited social-media debate about the VAG design, it would be refreshing to hear candidates discuss the issue – and the question of arts and funding priorities – with the same vigour. I think many of us would take that over Mr. Harper belting out another off-key Beatles tune. So let’s do it. There’s still time.
Great civilizations aren’t remembered for their tax policies; they’re remembered for their art. The economy and the environment are essential issues, of course. But really, we are more.
Follow on Twitter: @marshalederman

Below is a video my friend , artist Cliff Eyland made during the last Federal Election Campaign  in 2008, when he spoke about how the Harper government was not supporting culture and the arts.

Here we are in 2015, seven years later, and the cuts by the Conservative government are widespread and deeper than ever. The message in this video is more relevant and increasingly more urgent now, than in 2008.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Going Solo


" Despite its prevalence, living alone is one of the least discussed and consequently, most poorly understood issues of our time. "
                                     - Eric Klinenberg

The above is a quote I read this morning by Sociologist and Author Eric Klinenberg. Most artists need solitude, alone time, and statistically most of us live alone, being in the 50% of the population that are single.

I have to admit living alone can be challenging and there can be lonely times like the holidays, but my worst experiences have been the loneliness you can feel within a relationship. At the age of 62, I actually prefer living alone which gives me a lot of freedom and contentment. It's not without it's frustrations, but what lifestyle isn't.

In the past being single was either frowned upon, and the Greeks like Aristotle considered it a fate worst than death. Today I think singleness is seen as being somewhat suspect, and a threat to those coupled.

 Roughly one out of every seven adults live alone. I think this needs to be talked about more. The pros and cons, and how our culture and society is drastically changing because of it, in positive and negative ways.

I have been alone the majority of my life and have adapted, come to appreciate, and need my solitude. Being an artist I think makes it much easier because I always have something to do. My creativity takes up much of my time, and I can put my energy into my creative work, which is a very good thing. If I hadn't made the decision to do this, I'd be unhappy and annoyed most of the time.

Solitude heightens my receptivity to creativity. My thoughts and feelings are not only mirrored back to me. but I make the decision to face my thoughts and emotions over long periods of time alone. This is were the creative process unfolds, in my solitude, often in the contented, lonely hours.

Monday, October 5, 2015

When Was The Last Time You Were Phubbed?

 I've long been interested in language, communication, social skills, and inter-personal  relationships. Here's a new word in the on line Zeitgeist. Phubbing describes those of us who are preoccupied, and are more interested in our phones, and ignore communicating with the person(s) who we are with, face to face, in the flesh. It means you've been snubbed by a person using a cell phone.

 I have been phubbed a few times. Usually I directly address it when this happens and pose the question, why they won't put their phone down. Sometimes they put the phone down, but aren't long getting back at it again. It doesn't leave you with a very good feeling when you are ignored or phubbed. You've been usurped by a phone, an inanimate object.

There was a time, many years ago, when cell phones were first coming onto the scene, that I did have one. But between the expense, and seeing how easy I could become addicted to these communication devices. I then stopped using it and haven't had one since, and I like it that way. I prefer a slower communication.

Computers and the internet in general are addictive and internet addiction is very real, especially if you have addictive tendencies, or personality. There have been recent studies on this which statistically show a high percentage of folks are doing damage to their relationships and it is adding to feelings of depression, because it is hurtful to others, when they are being ignored by those who are constantly on their phone, and seem to prefer this kind of on line communication.

This isn't rocket science, and we don't need another word to point this out. It's just plain and simple rudeness.

I'm certainly not anti computers, nor am I against cell phones. I'm pro real face to face communication and positive inter-personal relationships with one another that is respectful and loving.

If you are lost and fearful without being connected to your phone you're probably a phubber, or just plain rude.

Friday, October 2, 2015


Just getting over a real bad cold and with the change of the season, which is usually a sad time for me, I'm very happy to be having started on this day a new blog. It's called Eudemonia. In Greek it's spelled Eudaimonia, and means happiness. Oh goody. I could certainly use some happiness. Not that I'm unhappy, but prior to 21 years ago I came to the realization I am the only one responsible for my own happiness and ever since then that's what I have been doing. If I am happy I feel successful yes, however happiness is complex, and much more than feeling.

My blogs correlate, and also directly or indirectly relate to happiness. So I figure happiness is the perfect theme, and subject of this brand new blog that I have been wanting to write. If anyone had told me years ago that I would be writing three blogs I could've never imagined taking on this kind of commitment.

Writing is a disciplined commitment like any art, and I do it because I love it, whether it is long hand or online. I learn a lot about my inner and outer world through the writing process, and it gives my world order, plus it's real cheap therapy.

 " Success doesn't come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently."

The idea for this blog started incubating in my mind a while back. I had no idea what it was going to be about.
Creativity and synchronicity work hand in hand I believe, and when all things intersect at the right time, shit happens, good shit. It might not seem so good at the time, but some how seems to work out, without awareness or even knowing it. Mistakes and crappy things are all part of the mix that go into a  new creation. Trusting that muse, and creative guardian spirit is crucial.

This word eudemonia  is a beauty, and I can only imagine if it were to be anthropomorphized, what might take the form of a water being that shape shifts and powerful energy flows into everything.

Of course happiness is different or similar for every individual. Perhaps it can be reading a good book with a good friend over a cup of tea in the garden, or the beauty and bounty of nature. The simple pleasures often provide the most happiness. Primarily for me happiness is pleasure, and finding gratitude in these simple pleasures.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

You Got Me Singing Take It With Me

 I heard Tom Waits Take It With Me last week on Bruce Cockburn's My Play List, a really neat CBC radio program that features musicians and their own personal playlist of their favourite music, and what it means to them. l've been a long time fan of Bruce Cockburn since I was about 16 years old, and the same with Tom Waits. I've had the great pleasure of seeing both of them in concert. Take It With Me expresses the feelings most of us have about our memories of life, and love.

 The one other artist I also put into that category of consummate poets and philosophers, is Leonard Cohen,  and whom I would dearly love to see live.

 The changing of the seasons, like from Summer into Fall, brings up a sadness in my soul that comes to the surface because of the losses I have had in my life, and I think about people, places and the events in the past, that live deeply in the memories of my heart. We all experience times like this in our lives. Music and words can touch the soul so deeply, and be a healing balm to a troubled soul.

I was profoundly touched by this particular Ideas broadcast entitled Global Migration and Finding Home with Pico Iyer, that includes Leonard Cohen's beautiful song, You Got Me Singing. I love what Pico had to say about Leonard.