Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Toast can save your life, if you let it.

Image: Mary Pratt
To find out how things actually look is a revelation.
— Mary Pratt, 1997

I got to the Mary Pratt exhibit on the very last day of the show.  I took my almost ten year old with me and she was astonished.  It was exciting to be with someone who had never seen her work before.  She kept repeating over and over, "I can't believe they are not photographs."  

She put on the headphones and heard Mary Pratt speak about her art.

At one point she relayed that Mary Pratt thought she was cheating because she painted from photographs.

My daughter shook her head and said simply, "She's no cheat."

I have been to a Mary Pratt exhibit before at the Art Gallery of NS back when I was a university student and she continues to be my favourite artist.  She has definitely made a noticeable impression on my own work.  However, I had not yet seen an image of hers that you can see above called Between the Dark and the Daylight (2011).   It moved me to tears.  After all these years, Mary Pratt's vision has matured and become perfected, but at heart it is still focused on the simplest matters.  The image of translucent toast is both comforting and transcendent.  Toast can save your life if you let it.

Image: Mary Pratt
My only strength is finding something where most people would find nothing. (Mary Pratt)

Saturday, 21 February 2015

We surrender

The kids and I have been plunging to deeper and deeper depths to entertain ourselves through these ice encrusted days.
When the temperature stays low, it forces us to submerge. To hold our breath and search for a way to
float back up to the surface.


A strange feeling

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.” —Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran

Monday, 16 February 2015

Hand Melted

Winter has been hard this year. It has been freezing doors shut, blowing ice through our veins and even my dreams have not been immune. Last night, I had a dream that I put my hand right inside a frozen pipe and hand melted the water free.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Valentine job description

I seem to recall as a kid valentines were a major ordeal.
I can still picture me sitting at the kitchen table, while my mother patiently sat with me while I copied down the names of my classmates onto whatever valentines became available to me.

I really never gave it much thought.  I never remember feeling thrilled or joyful in the process, one mortifying year, a boy actually took the opportunity to declare his love for me.  It all was so routine (except for the declaration of love) it barely stood out against the snowed in the gloomy February 1980 something backdrop.

For my kids, for some reason, Valentine's Day is a major holiday right up there with Christmas and Easter.  They have for two years now, made and filled in their valentine's with at least 2 weeks to spare.

They have not waited for the class list, they have just made their own.  I learned the hard way last year, that it is important to do a bit of quality control before they get distributed, just in case any one gets left out, but otherwise, I'm so not required.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Snow type

These last few days a combination of dramatic drops in temperature, a sizable dump of snow, followed quickly by rain produced a snow with a solid crust.  So solid, that even me, a fully grown adult, was able to walk on top of it without breaking through.

Yesterday was the pinnacle of this type of snow.  Additionally, there were stiff peaked snow bank mountains encircling the school yard that the kids happily scrambled up whenever they could.

After supper, the kids declared that they wanted to go sledding.  I was reluctant, but I relented hoping some exercise would help everyone sleep better.

We set out.  The hill was dotted with a couple of dozen kids shrieking down the icy slope.

My kids did a bit of sledding but were a little freaked out by the speed that they travelled.

They gravitated towards the snow piles.

The piles created all kinds of crevices to hide behind.  The snow bank was a fourth person in our hide and seek game, a thrill erupted in my belly when I hid behind a hardened snow clump under the dark sky listening intently for the crunching of an approaching seeker.

As we walked home, it was like we were floating as we walked with ease over the surface of the snow.

That snow type might not come this way again.

This morning the snow is rushing in rivulets down the streets, I easily broke through the surface on my way over the bank to cross the street.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Crying Milestones

So there are the typical milestone books out there, What to expect at 10 days, 3 months, 37 months.  But so far, I have not come across a book that chronicles the crying milestones.
The first time you cry from hurt feelings
The first time you  cry from seeing injustice happening in front of you or on a news report
The first time you realized that you are going to die someday....
The first time a movie makes you cry.

Those milestones are different for everyone, but they are on a chart somewhere inside all of us.