Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blogging Benefits... and Benevolence

"Embracing Winter... and Life"- oil on canvas 30x24 inches

Embracing Winter...
Gnarled beech arms resolutely
stretching skyward
Soaking up the remaining precious
pink warmth
Of another day's sun.
Unafraid and uncaring of certain
Revelling in warmth and beauty of the
Steadfastly refusing to give Death his
One hour sooner than He deserves,
Nobly and with dignity
Deciding to die living...
Embracing the warmth of Life,
And not the chill and emptiness of

March 29th, 2008

There are many moments when I question why I continue to post. I will confess that I spend (too) many hours thinking about... writing... then editing... before posting. My wife often becomes upset that I continue to "waste" so many hours of my life that have very little to do... in her mind with painting. And in some respects, I would concur that my time might be better used... especially these days... when our imminent... and rapidly approaching move to Rockport should be my priority.

I'm afraid that I don't surf... "collect" or worry about my Friend registry... or look to either receive or offer "fluff" comments. I write to reach out and to genuinely share my thoughts... feelings and ideas... in the hope that these might help others who share my passion for creating Art. I guess that simply put... the need to help and share overrides any measure of common sense or practicality.

I had intended to complete the second and final painting to be shipped to my gallery in Nova Scotia, however a post by one of my dear Friends rocked "Me" to my very core. It struck me like a bullet - square in my heart... and I have yet to really comprehend and move on past the news. I was totally overwhelmed by the fact that this response came about as a result from news from the life of one... whom I have never met... and yet I "know" and respect "Her"!

I am... most certainly an incurable Romantic... "in love with Love itself"... involved by my feelings for all the inequity and unfairness that visits so many people in so many parts of the world. That vulnerability has cost "Me" dearly too many times in my life already... and yet... "I" can neither push those feelings aside nor ignore them.

The event that I am speaking of is no secret in Blogger land. It involved the tragic and sudden passing of Suzanne Berry's Soul Mate and Husband, Tim last Wednesday. It is no secret... because Suzanne posted the news of this tragedy herself on Friday. Given the level of loss... grief and numbness that this event would create in any of us... it seemed almost inconceivable to me that Suzanne could bear to reach out to her artist Friends online... for comfort and solace.

The continuing outpouring of genuine love... sympathy... and respect that her Blogging Family has delivered back to her, clearly defines the value and function of this social networking device. It reaches out far beyond the intended general use... even misuse of the blog. It reaches beyond embellishing one's artistic presence or making sales. It can be seen to have possibility to serve as an organ of connection... interaction and yes... genuinely bonded relationships between kindred spirits that would never be possible otherwise.

Tonight... my self-doubts and my feelings of guilt for using my time to be an active part of this medium... for even the twelve or so individuals who I regularly "speak" with and who make up my Blogger Family have been put to rest. One has to search one's own soul to understand the reasons for choosing to be involved... or not, or to describe the motives for so doing.

This evening, I wish only to reach out to my Friend Suzanne in moment of terrible loss to place my words along with the many other tributes she has received. "You" and Tim are in my thoughts and my prayers Suzanne! Oh... that words were enough! But in such times... I know the comfort of the presence of Friends and the healing power that Art has! I send along both to "You"... in the sincere hope...that they provide "You" some comfort!

From "Me"... to "You" Suzanne! There lies a great capacity within Art for healing. It saved "Me" from Darkness! "I"... am reborn ... a better "Me"!

Much Peace... Healing and love,


  1. Bruce, I know. It was so tragic and awful to read. You will always hear people talking about online friends not being "real" but I couldn't disagree more! I have made some beautiful friendships though blogging. Art can be a solitary endeavour. Conversing daily with like-minded people reminds me of being back in art school. It's exhillerating to see what people create every day. And to share our thoughts, successes and struggles. And now, grief. take care friend.

  2. Never a huge fan of poetry, I have to admit that this poem is wonderful and beautiful, Bruce.

    I too was knocked off my meddle by Suzanne's post. I too admired her grace and her ability to post. I am heartbroken for her, even now swallowing past lumps...Wishing I could be there for her, to cry on, to scream at, to listen.

    I also, while not a romantic, seem to need these online blogging friendships. I don't have all that many friends in real life as I don't do things that put me in a place to meet people, other than at work. And I work in a small place. I actually treasure my artist friends.

    Thank you for your blogging.

  3. I am truly taken by your eloquence with words, Bruce. You seem to speak what my own heart is feeling.
    I know what it is to lose a loved one. At that time, I felt the soothing embrace of my cyber family. And then, I felt the healing force of viewing and creating art.
    I pray that Suzanne can find solace for her agonizing loss.

    Just keep doing what you've been doing involving your blog time.
    God will direct your path and will guide you. He will let you know when it is time to change course.

  4. Hi there Kim!... Thanks for visiting and for offering your comments and feelings here!

    The term "friend"... has indeed been totally re-defined with the advent of the social networking phenomena. The possibility of "making friends"... feeling friendship and sustaining friendship has as well undergone the very same change.

    It is an exciting world of opportunity... one which can be shaped over great distances. It is a pleasure and privilege which I personally take very seriously... and enjoy.

    Perhaps my term "fluff" is not fair. I really wanted to infer that the comments and the friendships were casual... like meeting neighbours as you pass on the street.

    The depth of friendship and support.. so very obvious in the outpouring of response to Suzanne's loss surely demonstrates clearly... a much deeper and more personal level of "being friends"... usually in the past... reserved for regular and intimate contact. A wonderful new opportunity for kinship and sharing!

    Thanks for dropping by and for your very appropriate comments!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  5. Hi there Sherry!... So very nice of you to drop by and add your very valid ideas and feelings!

    The most wonderful aspect that I value in blogging... is the very real opportunity to reach out instantly across the planet to unite with kindred spirits (like your wonderful Self)... who think... feel and respond to Life in a manner similar to my own values.

    The Blogging Universe... and it is indeed that... a vast, brave New World that reveals new ideas... new techniques... and new people who enrich my daily life. We have no need to meet any specific criteria to engage with those who visit... just a willingness to trust and reach out to reveal our feelings... thoughts and ideas.

    I too... very highly value my few "regulars" like "You" Sherry and look forward to connecting... whenever we feel the need... or have the time to do so!

    Let's stay connected... and growing together. Hey!... You might even get hooked on poetry if you hang around Moi! HA HA!! I'm always fishin"... HA HA!!

    Good Painting and Writing!
    Warmest regards,

  6. Good Morning Dean!... Thank you for your visit and your very own..."eloquent words"!

    The simple Truth... in my own experience... is that the greatest teacher in Life... is Adversity. Adversity can indeed discourage and even destroy... but for most of us... it offers us an opportunity for gaining Humility and Grace... through our own actions and Self-examination.

    Death is... without doubt the most dire form of adversity which we must all face along our journeys. But I believe that "Death (need) not ..be proud"... in the face of Truth...Grace ...Courage and Faith.

    When these four are combined and are embraced over time... Death loses its paralytic capacity and power. I believe that You and I stand as testimony to that undeniable truth.

    I pray that Suzanne discovers this Truth as well. Her latest post reveals that "She" has indeed taken the first steps towards finding that place on the Foot Path to Peace.

    Thanks for your kind words and thoughts Dean!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  7. I too was shaken out of my own doldrums by Suzanne's tragic news. I was stunned actually. Last night doing the dishes all I could think about was how she is coping...and I've never met her! Blogging family is truly special, and like you, I have just a few I consistently contact, although there are many I drop in on to have a look so to speak. If you stopped blogging I would be very distressed...yours is one of the first I stop by whenever I'm checking up on my blog list! Your comments are always well considered, thoughtful, and often very wise. LOVE this painting of the tree in snow and the poem is just the right statement about it!

  8. Hi there "You"!... Thank you for dropping in and sharing your thoughts!

    It is indeed wonderful to have company visit. Most of us are solitary in our work... and therefore often are in need of encouragement and support to prop us up when the always elusive and unpredictable "Muse"... evaporates!

    It is often only when adversity surfaces around us... that we truly understand and appreciate our own blessings. And we are... ALL of us truly blessed Karen... beyond most others who share this planet with us!

    I am so happy to see you rise to the occasion and again produce such beautiful paintings, even given your own trials and tribulations. We must try to rise above Adversity... learn his lessons as they come to us... and push forward bravely... and more determined to continue than before!

    Good Painting!... and Good Luck with your "Bloomin" contest! HA HA!!
    Warmest regards,

  9. Your post is so incredibly moving, Bruce and your words are so real! When I read about Suzanne's husband, I cried for her ..I never realized how strong my feelings were with my friend's here on line. All of you are so special in my life. My thoughts are with Suzanne and wish I can give her a hug!!

  10. Bruce your words described how we are feeling. Yes we are a family of bloggers. When I read about Tim, my thoughts and prayers were with Suzanne. How strong the feelings of sadness were felt. I called cousin Sue, to tell her about Suzanne's husband. We are indeed a unique family. We all care so much for one another even though we have never met.

    All the best to you and Deb,

  11. Hi Bruce, it's at times like these that I feel that blogging really comes into its own. Many of us live isolated lives and don't get much chance to interact with like-minded people. This on-line world goes some way towards fulfilling that need.

    The poem and the painting go beautifully together and provide an uplifting message. I hope they bring some comfort to other friends of Suzanne and Tim.

    All the best,

  12. Good Morning Friend Hilda!... Thank you for your own special thoughts and words in response to this post!

    Suzanne's tragic and deep loss truly underscores the true value of on line freindship... or for that matter... Friendship in general!

    We all seem to become so deeply "into ourselves" and the importance of staying afloat in a stormy world... that we only come to realize that in the face of such tragedy... whether our own... or that of those we love and respect... that life and living is really ... only about people. These are amongst are greatest blessings!

    For most all of us... no one will remember the kind of house we owned... car we drove... or for we artists... few of us will in all likelihood will be remembered for the years spent pursuing our craft... or have works hung in galleries of any importance. That's simply Life... "for a small frog... in a BIG pond"!

    However... we do have the opportunity ... in "The Now" to matter... and to be an active and valued member of two very real Families. That can "be"!

    "To be... or not to be... that is the question." Sound familiar? He wrote all of the scripts in Life. Grab a part... and jump in!

    Good Pastelling!
    Warmest regards,

  13. Good Morning Joan!... Wonderful to hear from you... and to see your latest work... very strong!

    I am thankful each time that I receive a comment for the presence... even for those brief moments... of Friends like you and our common family members. I value your thoughts because they stimulate "Me" to look and listen beyond the end of my sometimes narrow nose... and brush! HA HA!!That is why I write rather lengthy responses to each comment. You matter!

    I surely hope and pray that the outpouring of messages of Hope sent to Suzanne somehow offer her comfort and the courage to push beyond this dark period... using the gift that "She" has blessed us with... in the good times!

    Thanks for your presence Joan!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  14. Good Morning Keith!... Snowing... big time here again... winter is as yet having his way with us! The world looks clean and white... better than dirty slush and ice!

    In our own case... our friendship has grown steadily with each conversation and new piece of art that we pass back and forth. During this process... it has become abundantly clear to us both just how many commonalities and connections there are between us... despite the distance and the fact that we have never met... face-to-face.

    I truly hope that the Universe might deliver that opportunity in the future... but in "The Now"... I am blessed to know and feel the warmth of your on-line Friendship! You matter!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  15. Hi Bruce I just spent a while looking at Suzanne's blog and at her incredible very talented work. As I travelled back I found a beautiful pastel drawing she had done of Tim way back in the old days when they first met. It was so tenderly drawn and the light in it is wonderful. It is hard to believe the sad news. How fragile life is.

    I just wanted to say that blogger friends are real people, we do exist and we have the great common interest in our art, it is a big part of our life and it takes up so much of our time too. Dean is right, for now it feels the right thing for you to do, to write and share your thoughts and your poems and paintings with us all. It is very important to us to have you with us Bruce. But I do understand that as you are having to move home and start your gallery in a new location there may not be the time to blog. But don't worry we will understand if you can't always make it here. Though remember how much we all worried about you when you had the very bad cold and were silent for a while! we missed you! I just wanted to say a big thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment I am amazed that you found the time and do appreciate your words and your visit so much, thank you Bruce. You take care and blog when you can laddie.

  16. Hi there Highland Lass!... Thank you for your visit and for your supportive and understanding comments!

    Life is indeed fragile... and often can be measured in mere heart beats... rather than years... as demonstrated with the tragedy that visited our Friend Suzanne.

    That makes it all the more crucial... that we measure our step... continually focus our attention on what really matters in our lives... and to take the time to tick off items that each of us dreams about... on our "bucket lists."

    Painting has sustained and guided "Me" throughout my entire life... and it somehow averages in all of the other items in my own person list of things to do... and experience.

    My family has supported my continued journey... acknowledging its value and purpose in sustaining my life and health. I am blessed in that way!

    And now... I enjoy using my second "voice"... using my writing to enrich not only my own life... but the lives of others... even though I might never actually meet them. So my passion... commitment and enjoyment arising from my blog has become yet another viable vehicle to share my ideas... feelings and love for people in general. Essentially... that was what formed my purpose for selecting "teaching"... as my life's work.

    While I most certainly have a very long list of to-dos at the moment... and it seems to be ever-increasing as our moving day approaches... I will attempt to maintain at least once weekly posts... perhaps using selected paintings from the past which fit a theme that I can easily produce a short post for.

    I very much value our "conversations" Caroline... and my comments are certainly offered as observations that encourage... but as well that clearly express the truthful impression that they make on me... when visiting a friend's site.

    I always enjoy my visit to your "Wilds of the Highlands" tour of your part of Scotland!

    Good painting!... and Good luck with the shows! They're winners already!

    Warmest regards,

  17. First off I love that painting Bruce, what a grand job you did!!! Those Beech's have always been symbolic to me of the forests of my youth, though never as plentiful as the maples and birches etc. seeing those remaing orange leaves glowing through the gloom of a wintery day always lifited my spirits even when I see them only in my memory or now in your painting.(no gloom in your wonderful painting Bruce!!!)

    A great heartfelt post. I am sure your thoughts are shared by many in the Blogoshere. Thank you.


  18. Thank You Jeffrey for your sharing your own very vivid memories and thoughts from your own past... and for the tremendously supportive comments about this painting!

    Sometimes Nature and the Universe converse with us... if we only take the time to stop... and listen!

    You and I have always been good listeners... and that's what ties us together as painters... and blogger Friends!

    I very much value your comments and look forward always... to our online conversations!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  19. Hi Bruce.
    I have just been through some of your paintings and There are several that I wanted to comment on but I chose this one for a comment. It is a beautiful painting. I looked at it for some time and in the end it still hit me as first when I saw it, It`s brilliant. All the best Bruce.

  20. Hi there Victor!... So very nice to hear from you again!

    Thank you for visiting and for your very uplifting comment on this painting. It was a favourite of mine. I had even thought that we might actually keep it around. However, a good client/collector purchased it for his home along with several others... and business is business! It has a good home... with a Friend... and that makes me happy!

    Every once in a long while... a subject comes along that speaks to one and says something deeply meaningful. The brush and heart seem to be able to transpose that feeling onto the canvas. That's the magic of painting!

    I know that will understand what I have just said... for I have seen and felt the very same phenomena in your own wonderful work!

    Good Painting!... Happy Spring!
    Warmest regards,