Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Nadya Kiwanibens - Horace Poolaw - Photographers

Nadya Kiwanibens is Anishinaabe and French from Anishinaabe/ Ojibwe from the Animakee Wa Zhing First Nation (formerly Northwest Angle #37) in northwestern Ontario.

Horace Poolaw (Kiowa), posing for a photo during his work as an arts and crafts supervisor. Old Town Anadarko, Oklahoma, ca. 1940. (45ACOT6)  © 2014 Estate of Horace Poolaw.

  Horace Poolaw was born in (1906–1984) a Kiowa photographer from Mountain View, Oklahoma .

 Both of these photographers portray the honest and contemporary story of Indigenous peoples through their art, in a relevant and beautiful manner. It is a poignant departure from the historical stoic and negative depiction of First Nations people, that seems frozen in the past instead of a contemporary present.

Monday, February 27, 2017

"Life is the Root, and Art is the Flower." - Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan with her children Deirdre and Patrick, 1913

I love this quote by Isadora Duncan.

         "Life is the Root, and Art is the Flower."

In 1969 I was 16 when I first saw the film that came out the same year about Isadora Duncan, starring Vanessa Redgrave. I remember being totally captivated by this story and I wanted to dance like Isadora.
My enchantment with her continued throughout my life and my love of dance remained form an early age.

Recently I began reading about Isadora Duncan in her autobiography. I was fascinated to learn how she saw dance as her religion and that some consider her to be a kind of mystic. Her autobiography, is very candid, truthful, and moving. The book was published, just shortly before she died very tragically in a car accident.

" Is it that in all the Universe there is but one Great Cry containing Sorrow, Joy, ecstasy, Agony, the Mother Cry of Creation."
                 - Isadora Duncan, My Life

Isadora came from a poor household, her mother was a musician, and a single mum with four children. Life seemed to be destined to be filled with much hardship for the family, and especially for Isadora who survived so much loss. I believe it was her love of dance that gave her strength.

If I could go back in time I would dearly love to know Isadora Duncan. I'm happy to learn she was a Gemini, as I've the same Sun sign.
She very much lived in the realm of the heart, identifying with Aphrodite and loving the sea.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Bagpipes Transform Lives

My friend Eugene at the Nova Scotia Boarder

I don't remember the first time I heard bagpipes but I suspect it might have been when I my family made the very first trek driving from Ontario back to Nova Scotia, when I was just a kid. Once we hit the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia Boarder crossing there was always a Piper in the middle of a big flower garden playing his heart out.

I grew up with a friend who was actually was one of those Pipers at the Nova Scotia boarder. Eugene made a fine figure in his kilt and did a grand job playing his pipes.

It wasn't until I got older that the bagpipes really resonated with me. My heart would get very nostalgic and I'd get the feeling I was being called back to another place and an ancient time.  I'm not sure if that place was the heather covered hills and dales of Scotland, but it was definitely ancient.

The history of bagpipes is ancient and after listening to a program about the pipes they held an even deeper fascination for me.

About a week later after hearing this program I learned about Jermaine Downey  who talked about his love and passion for piping and how the bagpipes saved his life. He has a special vision and mission to help kids by teaching them to play the bagpipes and believes in the power of music to transform lives.

Jermaine Downey in Scotland

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Why Do I Write?

Many years ago I had the most beautiful fountain pen. I'd bought it for a great price, at a very fine classic jewelry store that had been there for so many years but was sadly going out of business on Barrington Street, in downtown Halifax.

The fountain pen was finely crafted, adorned with gold plating. Oh it was a grand pen to write with, a Parker. Unfortunately I lost it in Newfoundland. Whoever found it, I sure hope they're appreciating and enjoying it as much as I did! How I long to have another. Parker pens are hard to find, and very expensive new. If you are fortunate to ever have one, I'm sure you'll agree, writing with a Parker fountain pen is second to none, like no other and the best experience ever, when it comes to putting pen to paper. Some day I'll be able to afford to luxuriate in this!


So yesterday I got thinking about all this writing and I asked myself why do I write? Though I know many of the benefits I never really got intentionally specific about answering this question until today, when I found this site, Write Practice that encourages those who write to take fifteen minutes to think about it and answer that question for themselves, why do I write? So I did that. It was a positive, worthwhile endeavour and this is what I've come up with.

Why do I write? Writing for me is a natural as breathing. I have to do it. I've written most all my life but now I write every day, long hand in journals and in three different but related blogs.

 I've been seriously writing daily since 1995 after reading the Julie Cameron's The Artist Way.

Writing has changed my life and continues to do that and has given me a strong sense of freedom and it's helped to actualize dreams and accomplish my goals.

 Writing helps me to get rid of my inner critic, that very negative inner voice all creatives experience.

 If I don't write everyday, my world is just not right. Long hand writing in journals is of real, vital, importance to me and  so beneficial but very different than online writing. It's a visceral experience that connects my mind and soul through the physical exercise of the tangible cursive word.

Writing is exercise. This exercise enables my body to bring the mind and emotion together. It's then transformed into a spiritual and at times sacred experience.

I write to get those creative juices flowing. I do believe when you put pen to paper first comes the thought, then comes focused action, which increases my confidence. I feel empowered and my sense of identity feels strengthened.

I write to connect to myself and in turn connect to other human beings sharing this human experience called life.

The more I write the more I come to understand why I write. The more I write, the better writer I become.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Martha Thompson Has Something to Talk About on Information Morning!

 Having my radio next to my bed side at night, I always catch the early morning show, CBC Information Morning, but sometimes it gets integrated into my dream world if I happen to nod off, which is exactly what I did today. I was dreaming about my very good friend and neighbour Martha Thompson sitting at a table, looking out her sunlit window, but in reality she was actually being interviewed about being a respite foster parent on the morning show, that had found it's way into my dream.

 The reality is I can attest I've known Martha for a over 20 years now and she has so much to offer children as a creative, kind, caring, generous, intelligent and wise woman. I'm so happy she has been able to provide this much needed service and caring to young people. Safe to say Martha and Dan love kids, and had four of their own with grandchildren. I know all of her children who have grow into wonderful humans. I only wish there were more like Martha and her husband Dan, who were willing to take children into their home.

 Martha and I have  long walks together and we often talk about kids in crisis within the system and how there is such  a dire need for available foster parents, and all that it entails.

 I just listened to the interview she gave that I missed in the early hours of the morning. I then gave her a call to thank her and to let her know how much I appreciated what her and Dan have being doing over the past five years as foster parents. They are truly a blessing to the children they bring into their home and to our community.

 As a Youth Care Worker for many years, I got a real bird's eye, close up view into how the system does and doesn't work. That said, being someone on the front lines, working with youth is one of the most rewarding life experiences a person can ever have, regardless of how many problems the system has.

 They rewards might not appear immediately, but they are guaranteed to come and you'll be a better person for it.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

My Friend Lillian - "How Deep in the Valley"

Last night I lost my beautiful, creative friend, Lillian. She was 89, soon to be 90 in March. She was very much a big youthful personality.

I don't remember the first time I met Lil, seems like a long time ago, reflecting back, but it wasn't really. She certainly left a lasting impression on me. She was always smiling, dressed with flare and was friendly with everyone, young and old and she loved to socialize, and sometimes even flirt. I think that's the way she impressed everyone who met her for the first time.

 If memory serves me right, I think Lillian and I met at a fund raiser at the local school. We were both providing Tarot readings for the participants.

Several months later she'd asked me if I'd come to work for her one day a week. I was happy to accept her offer. Prior to this I knew of Lillian, but I didn't really know who she was, until I went to work for her. We  fast became good companions and I did a variety of chores for her. Mostly we'd shared many things in common, that we both took interest in, like country living, gardening, cooking, reading, CBC Radio, singing and playing music and Tarot.

There are many memories I have of my time with Lillian. One afternoon we spent the day listening to her fabulous and treasured old vinyl record collection, on her big cabinet Hi-Fi. Just to name a few there was Hank Snow, Wilf Carter, Charlie Pride, Dave Dudley and all the old classic country music she'd been collecting for years and years. It was something, and it felt very special to be sharing this time with her.

Lillian always had one Tarot card on her fridge, The Sun. She told me this was her card, which really did embody Lillian's positive personality, a musician, optimistic, with purpose, foresight, and faith in the striving human spirit, always moving forward and transforming toward the goal.

Because we shared our belief and love of Tarot, one day I told her I would do her reading. She was very happy and open to this. We both looked forward to that afternoon. Of all the readings I've done and it's been many, I'd never seen such a positive reading.

Some might say, what kind of reading could someone her age have and how could it possibly be positive? All I can say is you'd be surprized! When I think about it now, how could it be any thing but positive?

 Lillian was full of a life force and lived a full life. She'd overcome so much, walked the hills and valleys and still had a deep faith in the God of her understanding. She knew where she'd been, where she was in the present moment, and where she was headed. Lillian without a doubt, found her wings and was glory bound, because she knew 'the way on is the the way out.' Lillian was very much the transformed  Mariposa/Butterfly Woman.

 We had lots of great heart to heart discussions, about everything from politics, the state of the world, God, our spiritual beliefs, philosophy, art, story telling, jokes, family, relationships and mostly about life. We enjoyed each other's company, understood one another and shared lots of laughter.

Lil was full of life, with a positive attitude and an independent outlook, which was very important to her. She loved having company, but she also loved her own company, very comfortable in her own skin, in her big old charming country home.

No she wasn't perfect, she had her foibles like we all do, but she liked to shoot straight from the hip, telling it the way she saw it. If I disagreed with her, she might not have liked that, but regardless, she respected me for it.

I'll certainly miss Lillian's spirit and our community is now diminished, no longer having her living presence among us. But she'll always be a big part of our hearts in our little rural tight knit community. She'll not ever be forgotten. I know my life and spirit has been greatly enriched for having known her. I'm very grateful for her friendship and the lessons she taught me. I will miss her very much.

This song is for Lillian.

Rest In Peace Diamond Lil'

How Deep in the Valley - Sarah Harmer

How deep in the valley must you go
To find what your footsteps already know
The way on is the way out
There are signs to follow
There is deep in the valley
And I'm bound to go
How deep in the valley must you stay
To know why your footsteps led you that way
The way on may be truly to stand in one place
And let the deep of the valley
Fill you will grace
And treat yourself lightly
Treat yourself kind
You've got nothing to worry on
You will be fine
You will leave this place laughing
And somebody will cry
There is deep in the valley
Wonder not why
Wonder not why go
Wonder not to stay
If it takes me and I follow
Or if I lead the way
It can come when it wants to
But it might have to wait
There is deep in the valley
I don't hesitate
I don't take it too lightly
But it don't weigh down too low
There is high on the cliff top
And there are deep creeks below
There's a green shade you can't miss
Where the spring water flows
There is deep in the valley
And I'm bound to go
How deep in the valley must you go
To find what your footsteps already know
The way on is the way out
There are signs to follow
There is deep in the valley
And I'm bound to go

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Moses (Amik) Beaver and Stuart McLean

Warrior - Moses Beaver - 2004

 Today's a very sad day hearing about the deaths of such gifted, talented artists and story tellers, Moses Beaver and Stuart McLean. I couldn't possibly mention one without the other.

 Like Moses Beaver's beautiful painting "Warrior",  I believe both of these individuals were warriors in the real sense. They fought the good fight, and it's all that can be expected of those who love life and who give back to others through our art.

The death of Moses Beaver I believe was preventable, but the lack of mental health services afforded to Indigenous people once again, has resulted in tragedy.

Moses Amik Beaver, shown in 2010 with students at Holy Family Catholic School in New Hamburg, Ont., died Monday in the Thunder Bay jail. He was 59.  (Peter Lee / Waterloo Region Recors

I'd never heard of Moses Beaver until today, when his death was announced on the news. Adding to this the death of his beautiful sister Mary, as a result of a car accident, when she was on her way with the family to retrieve her brother's body. My prayers go out to their family, and I carry them in my heart.

Stuart McLean, who for so many years on the Vinyl Cafe, I'd been listening to for more than twenty years I think, enjoying his many moments filled with humour, humility and love of humanity. I've heard every episode, numerous repeats and then some. He was a big part of my Sundays.

 I remember listening to a Morning Side program, before the Vinyl Cafe, when Stuart worked with Peter Gzowski, another of my very favourite radio personalities. This very funny episode was in 1986, when they both went into a complete laughing jag over Stuart's  Sleeping Cricket.

Stuart McLean - 1948-2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

Jim Gaffigan on Valentine's Day

I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day. The commercialism of every holiday is a big turn-off, and I simply try hard to ignore all that and enjoy what I can about every holiday.

The only time I can remember even vaguely liking Valentine's Day was, you know when at school everyone in your class gets those cheap old Valentine cards, your mother would buy for you at Woolworth store, that we all exchanged.

No one was left out, and there wasn't any thoughts of who you were going to let know that you "loved" them. It was just kind of fun, even though we really didn't have a clue why we were giving each other cards, and we sure as heck knew nothing about who Saint Valentine was.

Today in 2017 most of us still don't know much, if anything about Saint Valentine, and if we do, it really doesn't matter because, we're more interested and all caught up in getting flowers, chocolates, a dinner out and maybe disingenuously giving some kind of schmaltzy card we've picked up at the last minute from the corner store, all just to let one another know we "love" them.

One of my favourite comedians Jim Gaffigan expresses his feelings about Valentine's Day very well and pretty much sums up my thoughts about Valentine's Day.

The cards that Jim and his wife Jeannie write to one another are my idea of the perfect love notes.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Feargus Callagy - Free Diver - Fire and Water

Feargus Callagy

Sleepless nights sometimes lend themselves to late night radio. Feargus Callagy is what's called a free diver (no tanks) and was featured on RTÉ Radio 1: Documentary on One - Fire and Water last night.

WOW! What an amazing story he had. Feargus Callagy is a real testament to what human beings are capable of without ever understanding or believing this to be reality, only until we really begin to understand ourselves and how we are all directly connected to nature.

This story immediately brought back a number of years ago when I learned how to SCUBA dive. It was a hard won battle with myself, because initially it certainly wasn't something I wanted to do. Proir to having this chance to get free training, I was fearful. But once I made up my mind to take advantage of the opportunity to learn and get certified, I immersed myself into the learning process completely and I had a new determination.

A whole new world was opened up to me and I was given an acute and in depth insight into myself and how I approached challenge, overcame my fears, and like Feargus Callagy says, diving helped help me to surpass what I thought I was capable of doing.

 SCUBA was so full of rewards and important lessons that I can apply to just about every life situation and circumstance. Diving to me, can help you to get in touch with a spirituality. It's one of those self-actualizing experiences that changes your life.

I've never been a free diver, but I'd certainly love the opportunity to one day learn. I'm convinced the rewards of being a free diver even greater than with tanks on you back as a SCUBA diver.

You can see listen here to the RTÉ Radio 1: Documentary on One - Fire and Water.

To be Free
as wild animals are.
To dive naked
as a dolphin.
Swift, silent, serene
into the depths of the sea.
To fly high up into the
infinite blue of the sky,
and glide quietly
over man’s shabby world
to blend in with the air
or melt into the water
becoming one with nature
and rediscovering the “Self”..
This is my motto!
-Jaques Mayol.

Friday, February 10, 2017

"Carry It On"

Sacred Tree - Catherine Meyers
I know I can't sit around waiting to get 'inspired' or motivated. I've learned that it's in the doing what creates motivation and perhaps even inspiration. I believe we don't have far to look for inspiration. Life itself is inspiring and sacred. Knowing this is what helps us to get through the storms of life.

The Snow Moon or what is called Hunger Moon brings with it snow storms, and it's hard for the wild creatures and even human beings to forage for food. This year with this full moon and the Lunar Eclipse, certainly has brought that and it can be easy to feel down in the dumps, having a good dose of the Winter blues, along with shack wackiness.

We might find ourselves hungry for Spring,d the warmth of the sun with longer days ahead. So today I wanted to post this inspiring and uplifting song by Buffy Saint Marie that is a good reminder to carry on.

Carry It On
© Words & Music Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Hold your head up
Lift the top of your mind
Put your eyes on the Earth
Lift your heart to your own home planet
What do you see?
What is your attitude
Are you here to improve or damn it
Look right now and you will see
we’re only here by the skin of our teeth as it is
so take heart and take care of your link with Life and
Oh carry it on – We’re saying
Oh carry it on – Keep playing
Oh carry it on – And praying
It ain’t money that makes the world go round
That’s only temporary confusion
It ain’t governments that make the people strong
It’s the opposite illusion
Look right now and you will see
they’re only here by the skin of our teeth as it is
so take heart and take care of your link with Life
Oh carry it on – Keep saying
Oh carry it on – And playing
Oh carry it on – And praying
Look right now and you will see
we’re only here by the skin of our teeth as it is
so take heart and take care of your link with
Life is beautiful
if you got the sense to take care of your source of perfection
Mother Nature She’s the daughter of God and the source of all protection
Look right now
and you will see she’s only here by the skin of her teeth as it is
so take heart and take care of your link with Life
Oh carry it on – Keep saying
Oh carry it on – And playing
Oh carry it on – Keep on praying

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Transcending The Ordinary

Organic Shallots, Jalapeño Peppers, Lunch Box Peppers, Aunt Molly's Ground Cherries

Organic Garlic, Leeks and Roma Tomatoes

 We are anticipating a big ole Nor'easter tonight, 25-40 cm of snow is forecast. This kind of weather is a pretty ordinary thing for Nova Scotia. It doesn't bother me that soon it will be snowing and blowing, because I'm busy growing. I've been planting seeds for Spring gardening. This means having the ability or vision to transcend the ordinary and that's creativity to me.

 This year I've made the transition to all organic gardening.

Excited to be having creative thoughts about organic gardening in the early days of February sure brightens my day and greatly enriches my life. I'll call it my Hygge health.

Now I'm just looking to get a high blueberry bush, a hanging strawberry plant, some broccoli, potatoes and then I think I should be good to go for digging in the dirt this Spring. Before I know it, the Easter season will soon be here, my favourite time of year!

Quite some time ago my interest in gardening lead me to learning about Permaculture. It's a creative design system  based on  principles and a philosophy that incorporates these three things. Caring for people, caring for the earth and everyone having a fair share, living within limits and distributing the surplus.

 "Vision is not seeing things as they are, but as they will be." 
                                                                            - Unknown Author 

 Well the Nor'easter has arrived but I'm transcending that ordinary into a beautiful daffodil!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Thaddeus Holownia

http://holownia.com - Photo credit: Denis Duquette
Below is a post I saw yesterday written by Michael de Adder, a fellow Mount Allison Alumni, who also like me and many more are very happy to be celebrating the exhibit and work of Thaddeus Holownia, called The Nature of Nature at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
"In my life there were a few artists I looked up to as mark makers or painters. But only one artist almost tempted me to consider another art form. That was my former professor of photography Thaddeus Holownia. In the newspaper business I've been lucky to have met the best photographers in the world, many of whom inspired me to draw an image. But only Thaddeus inspired me to want to take a photograph.
Now at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia: Thaddeus Holownia: The Nature of Nature (Halifax)�
February 4, 2017 to May 28, 2017
�Curators: David Diviney and Sarah Fillmore�
This career overview offers insight into Holownia’s photography from the late-1970s to the present day, providing the most comprehensive critical analysis of this Maritime artist’s practice to date."

Michael de Adder's brief item is very poignant to me in it's meaning.
 Thaddeus Holownia was also my former professor and photography teacher, mentor and I'm proud to call him friend. I doubt I'd been able to graduate without his generous, encouraging and ongoing support when things got really difficult for me as a mature student, who'd been out of University for 30 years.

What Michael de Adder has stated about how Thaddeus inspired him, is no doubt a deeply shared sentiment by numerous students that have ever been fortunate enough to study under him. His intimate knowledge of and passion for photography are second to none.

Thaddeus is what I would call one of those rare Heuristic teachers, and I've been very blessed to have been one of his many students.

Monday, February 6, 2017

I'm Diggin' Deep


I always thought there was a strong connection between creativity and digging deep into the earth, whether it be growing plants indoors or working in a garden.

From my earliest memories of spending time with my grandfather in his garden, voluntarily working in a large farm gardens as a teenager to eventually growing my own gardens as an adult, all have not only been therapeutic but has directly increase my creativity. I say this because actively growing things improves our mind, body and soul, everything we need for having optimum creative lives.

If you're any thing like me who gets the Winter Blues or what is commonly called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) you'll know what I'm talking about. The lack of light, short days and long cold nights, snow storms, all can really do a number on your mood. Like Cajun Man on SNL use to say DEPRESSION! It helps to have a good sense of humour and so I watch a lot of comedy.

 I've never been a Winter person and try as I might to "embrace" the season, the only dang thang I've come to embrace, is the fact that I'll never be a Winter person and I'll never like the cold!

 So now that all that's been said and I've got that out of my system I tell you what I've noticed today.
The light, the sun has increased probably by half an hour. Tonight at 5:30 p.m., there was still natural light, as opposed to December 28th the shortest day of the year, with the time change which makes it even worse, it was completely dark by 5:00 p.m.

 It's easy when you are in the dark days of Winter to loose awareness that the light is indeed increasing, but today was the first day I really noticed.

Then it dawned on me. I need to plant some seeds! I've received some seeds and garlic in the mail and perused my seed catalogues, and even planted my in the Fall. But right now today,  exactly the time to get tomato, pepper, and leeks seeds planted indoors on my warming grow mat,! So I hopped right up, grabbed those seeds,  my grow mat, made markers for them and planted those little dojiggers and set them in a sunny window.

 Wow! Immediately I could feel my mood improving and when I was done I was felt so good knowing things would be sprouting up in no time and I'll be ready for Spring!

Something that especially helped me this year actually, kinda, sorta enjoy, and get me through Winter was learning what the word Hygge meant, which I wrote about in my blog Eudemonia.

So today my seed planting has arrived just on time, because my Christmas Hygge has run a little thin. I'm  moving onto the Spring Hygge now!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Ella Wheeler Wilcox - "The Sin of Silence"

                                                      Ella Wheeler Wilcox- 1850 -1919


To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticize oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and child bearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.
Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.

The first line of this poem, that has been referred to as an Anthem Against Silence and had been falsely attributed to Abraham Lincoln, when in fact the quote is from Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem, Protest, written at the height of the Suffrage Movement and just prior to WW1.

Musician Amanda Palmer's reading of the Protest poem brings the reality of our present time in history. Acutely and poignantly it quickly comes into perspective, bringing to life the real, profound relevance and meaning of this poem, in particular, the first line.

 Poetry is meant to be read out loud and Amanda Palmer's reading on Sound Cloud makes this poem  powerfully relevant, with a timeless message, we all need to hear.

" To sin by silence, when we should protest, Makes cowards out of men. "

Friday, February 3, 2017

Harland Williams - Speaking the Language of Bent Reality

I don't remember the first time I saw Harland Williams. I think I'd seen his stand-up a few times before seeing him like every one else, in Dumb and Dumber, where he played the cop who pulled them over and proceeded to unknowingly drink pee in a beer bottle, that Lloyd used to relieve himself while traveling in the van.

His comic ability was absolutely evident there and then. I went on to follow his comic career, not in his movies but his stand-up comedy when ever I could, from that point on. Many might think he's just a comic but he's a really engaging visual artist, musician, and children's book writer, with a number of other talents.

Harland Williams is a naturally brilliant comic, with such a sense of play and the ability to just be his very likable self.

Here's a great little clip of Harland doing what he does best, just being himself. He's a naturally creative improviser or what I'll call a great creative loafer, who has a great therapist.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

David Frum - Autocracy

Frum in a BloggingHeads.tv post

As a life long devoted CBC radio listener and I'm 63 now, so I'm very familiar with all the personalities that have come and gone throughout the years and their political views, generally speaking.

 Canadian born David Frum, who now works as the editor of The Atlantic Magazine, I've heard many of his commentaries, especially when he worked for past President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C., as his speech writer. I knew that Frum had to be a very bright and a well educated person, though I never agreed with his political views and I never knew him to be anything but a Republican, and the so called, "neoconservative". I was left scratching my head wondering why. Ironically he was once an NDP supporter back in 1975.

 I could never quite figure why or how he ended up in Washington with Conservative/Republican views as I really thought Barbara Frum's son would some how be more discerning. That might be naive of me to say and I don't want to be unkind, but in spite of my opinion of David Frum, I must say, after hearing an interview this morning with him talking about his present views reflected in his article,  How to Build an Autocracy in The Atlantic Magazine, he's obviously gained discernment and has got his finger on the present political environment of 'alternative facts,' where democracy seems to be more about entitlement than human rights.

His left leanings were been abandoned in the early years of 1975, while campaigning in Ontario for NDP candidate, Jan Dukztra. Upon reading the book, Gulag Arcipelago by Solzhenitsyn, given to him by his mother, he found himself ridiculed by his fellow volunteer NDP campaigning buddies and he left, the left, never to return.

  I confess I've never read any of his books, but a few of them were received very favourably in his more left leaning years such as, Dead Right in 1994 and How We Got Here.

Another irony is the when David Frum was offered the job as George W. Bush's speech writer, he wasn't a Bush supporter, had no experience in government, felt unqualified, and strongly doubted that Mr. Bush was up for the presidential office. He was once again to change his opinion after the election.

 David Frum describes his political views this way.

" I'm a conservative Republican, have been all my adult life. I volunteered for the Reagan campaign in 1980. I've attended every Republican convention since 1988. I was president of the Federalist Society chapter at my law school, worked on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal and wrote speeches for President Bush—not the "Read My Lips" Bush, the "Axis of Evil" Bush. I served on the Giuliani campaign in 2008 and voted for John McCain in November. I supported the Iraq War and (although I feel kind of silly about it in retrospect) the impeachment of Bill Clinton. I could go on, but you get the idea."

 David Frum I think is a bit of an enigma and a political chameleon, and maybe that's not a bad thing. Obviously his political perspectives have changed once again, in light of the election of Donald Trump. He's stated that he'd voted for Hillary Clinton.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Mr. Gaga - Ohad Naharin - The Language of Dance

Ohad Nnaharin is a world renowned contemporary choreographer. He is also the originator of Gaga. (Gadi Dragon)

One of my very vivid memories as a little girl was regularly dancing around the living room in an ethereal like trance, while my mother accompanied me on the piano. I was completely uninhibited and though I wanted to emulate dancers I idolized, like Karen Caine, Martha Graham and Isadora Duncan and it didn't really matter what I could or couldn't do, or if I was doing it right. I simply would follow what my body told me to do and got great pleasure from moving my body around the room. I did this for a number of years, until I was about 12 years old when pre-pubescent self-consciousness began to creep in and inhibite.

 Prior to puberty formal dance lessons did not "spoil my soul". I continued to love all dance but never had the opportunity to study formally until I was older when I studied a variety of dance forms.

" Naharin says children who begin dance lessons at a young age "spoil their souls" by dancing in a room, in front of mirrors. He adds: "Instead of looking at the universe or at the elements, you're looking through your own image."

I was really excited to learn about Ohad Naharin  today on CBC Radio. "Mr. Gaga", a new documentary that is about to be released, about the language of Gaga  and Ohad Naharin. I think children and maybe elders, understand intuitively, this language of dance.