Monday, April 12, 2010
Twitter an Tweet! ... Ain't Spring sweet?
No.... I have not decided to morph my blog or web site... using these social networks as a tool to attract readership! I'm simply referring to the increased flurry of sounds and activities in the outside world here in the Oro-Medonte. I have again begun my hour long walks out into the countryside... "plein airing" in a sense... because I find this healthy activity not only strengthens muscle and cardio strength... but that it heightens my creative thought and makes "Me" observe... and learn... by "Seeing". I heartily recommend it to each of my visitors. It is a wonderfully enriching ritual of "cleansing".... meditation really... and preparation for the new day... before (or after) java!
The Hills' usual winter greyish cast broken by darker evergreen spears is pinkish and pale green everywhere... as the hardwoods, birches and soft woods leave their dormancy behind... and come to life. Every day... new voices are added to the growing birdsong choir. Yesterday I recorded 17 different species on my early morning walk... all busy at setting territories and attracting mates.Tamaracks are now budded... reclaiming their lovely evergreen ... dropped over the winter. Snow has disappeared... save for a few pockets in the deepest bush where sunlight rarely visits.
Despite all of this "Twitter and Tweet"... my post today is dedicated to the Canadian winter and to one aspect that continues to make our winters different than other places in the world. "I" am posting my latest... and my last winter canvas for the year. I started it before heading off to Algonquin Park and conceived it during the Winter Games in Vancouver.
I must say that in my "early" youth and teaching...athletics... especially football, track,baseball and hockey drove "Me" passionately. They were everything to "Me" then.I even tried my hand at coaching my son' Andrew's hockey team. It was at this time that "I" abandoned my interest in sports... partly due to my increased interest in my art... but mostly... due to the complete and utter disgust "I" felt because of poor adult behaviour and interference.
This brings "Me" to the new painting and the Winter Games thing. Like so many of my countrymen... "I" am proud of the unique heritage we have built here in Canada with hockey. The "Game" now involves international participants who never laced on a pair of skates before... let alone have a "program"... or female participants! "I" AM indeed proud of the fact that we helped introduce hockey to new venues. I was ashamed really of the GO phrase adopted by our Olympic Organizing Team: "Own the Podium!" I was ashamed too that "The (final) Game brought out so much animosity between two usually friendly "Neighbours"... and such obvious greed... for Gold!
My Painting... entitled "The Real Hockey Night in Canada" is taken (imaginatively) from a view within a stone's throw of our home and Gallery and depicts what "The Game" truly should be about: Playing for the pure love of the game... outdoors... without a rulebook... gender or size differences... without referees... fighting... spectators... or parents who steal childhood away by imposing adult expectations and structure... TOO SOON for children.More importantly... it teaches children to win with pride... yet humility... and to accept defeat graciously and with dignity intact... in sport... and in our later lives.
Mister Fred Rogers, another mentor of mine once said... "That play, is a child's first form of work".In my own teaching and family experiences, I concur and add that unfettered and child-centered play develops social cohesiveness... issue resolution skills... team play... fair play and most of all daily outdoor physical activity with friends.
This painting is respectfully dedicated to Pat Burns... another mentor of sorts and his family.He was a former coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but "I" honour "Him" because of the courageous and passionate manner that "He" has displayed in dealing with his terminal colon cancer struggle... and his final preparation to complete his earthly journey.
Two weeks ago, the Canadian Government with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Pat attending... "broke sod" to begin the creation of a new ice surface in Burns' home town in New Brunswick.Haggard... drawn... emaciated... but not beaten "He" whispered a profound and lasting message that "I" wish to "pass forward" to any "Other"... who might "understand"... and share it:
"I know that my life is nearing its end and I accept that.Don't cry because it's over. You're happy because it happened. That's the main thing."
So in closing this post... "I" offer that "You" put on a glove and get into the game. In so doing.... practise long and hard... play by the rules... with passion and determination to improve. Listen to your own heart first... but listen also to mentors whose wisdom will help "You" to soar. Lastly... remember to share your "Light" with others unselfishly. Pass it forward!
Good Painting to All!