"Some wish it could happen. Others make it happen."
-Michael Jordan NBA Star with The Chicago Bulls
(Likely the best the league has ever seen)
This quote above forms the rationale for our decision to weigh anchor and return to the place where both our journeys began. We certainly faced the distinct possibility of failure... and it still "might" occur. However, neither Deb or I want to, or have lived our lives driven by doubt or pessimism. We know , that in the face of whatever "possible" failure... there more importantly exists the power of a covenant that we share unconditionally. We love each other passionately... and we share a passion for creating Art and in sharing it with others. In Jordan's words... we have made it happen... and chosen the road we will follow... and so far ..." that has made all of the difference" (Robert Frost)... in the quality of our current personal and business lives here in Rockport!
A curious... but well understood and much-loved title to open this morning's post. It will at the very least sort out my Followers by age! I have selected the quote because it is a tad funny... and humour is something that I have always needed... thrived upon and used to steer my way through the often dire straits which I found my Self in during my now almost seven decade journey. It is alarming to encounter so very few people as one walks down... even familiar streets... wearing the simple-to-form smile... or for that matter, folks willing to make eye contact. That is most especially more the rule and is expected when one travels the streets of larger cities. However ... it is what I have recently discovered in the very place I was born and raised, Brockville... a smallish city on The St Lawrence which still maintains a turn of the century Victorian "down town look" as I fondly and proudly remember it.
Brockville was an ideal place to be raised in ... to be educated in... to play in as a child, or as an adult. That was the very reason that led me to choose to return to Brockville to begin my teaching career and begin my own family life. It was a safe place... a haven... a place where local police, firemen and local service club members were your first mentors and coached your athletic teams. It was a place, such as in the bar famous in the TV series "Cheers"... a special place... " where everyone knew your name."
The youth of Brockville thrived and were readily embraced and encouraged to remain as equals... in an adult world. The local school board gave preference in their hiring of new teaching staff... based upon excellence and the relationship they had built over years with their youth. To me, that sadly, is the missing ingredient in our present world. Children have been made promises by the adults of society which today seem lack the same commitment offered me ... "way back when."
We simply don't deliver emotionally day-to-day the feeling of belonging that we as social beings thrive upon to be healthy and happy individuals. Time runs faster than the speed of light... and competition and "winning" are the driving force of our entire society. Little wonder that our children have retreated into their own hand-held electronic worlds... a place where they can control play... communicate and live beyond the grasp and the pretence of an adult world that has lost step in their race into Modernity.
Rockport has indeed changed... as all things in life must. The people in it unquestionably have moved with change as well. However, in spite of the change in River traffic and commerce, the "sense" of place and Time itself... seems to have stood still for "Me." There still exist markers which speak to my soul... and comfort my need for Peace and a sense of belonging. My friends are many... and they smile back at me. Our families are nearby. And the unchanging River continues to flow as it always has... lower this year perhaps, than I can remember... but moving as mysteriously as ever... towards places that I will never visit. And that comforts "Me"!
The whole time since I have returned here, I commence my day in the same fashion. I rise each and every morning between five and six and take my cup o' java in hand to our dock-patio on the River's edge... and I watch as the new day arrives. No matter the rest of day weather conditions... the first dawning of the day never fails to deliver a spectacular pageant of light and rapidly changing colour. No dawn is exactly the same as the next... or the one before. Never ... do I return to the house deflated or lethargic. Always... I carry with "Me" the precious gift and blessing of "Hope"... for a good day ahead. This ritual surprisingly finds "Me" alone ... which I have yet to totally fathom. Where are the other folk? Those early hours of the morning are my meditation - creating my spiritual readiness for what I might face later in the day.
Yesterday was a special sunrise day and an especially fine... crisp and icy morning. Fog was lifting everywhere on the River. Ships and Canada Geese were bugling their presence to each of their kind from the other... for the same basic reason: "I am here here.... where are you?" The near calmness of the water was only interrupted in places where a small easterly breeze touched the surface. There were patterns of colour on the water surface created that clearly defined and revealed the places where river current continually flows unnoticed could be seen this particular morning. An occasional eerie loon's voice added further to this smoky autumn "Witch of November" brew... to further heighten the drama.
I thought at the time... between glimpses and hot sips. Here, before "Me"... lies a magnificent and complex theatrical production of the highest order. There is no cost of admission .. and I sit alone in the largest outdoor "Thousand Island Playhouse". This scene along with all of my plein air forays throughout the year further attest and give credibility to my pantheistic system of spiritual belief. Whether one is from the Present here in Rockport amidst The Thousand Islands... or in the Past Toniata or Maitouana.... "Garden of the Gods",we who choose to and are blessed to live here have it right. Here...there is Peace.. Tranquillity and Hope in the midst of God's Grandeur. Here "I" am "One" with my Creator. Here... I have a feeling of belonging and safety. Here... "I" travel my own path at my own speed with someone whom I love and cherish. Here the creatures and I share this Kingdom... neither in fear of the other's presence or motives.
Here... in this sacred place, which "We" who dwell here call "Home"... both "They and "I"... "have miles to got before we sleep... and promises to keep"!
"I" feel deeply blessed... and am deeply grateful!
Here "I" am... and where are "You"? Worship in your own cathedral as you wish... and may you feel equally blessed!
Make it Happen!!!
Rockport's Autumn Technicolour Morning Dream Coat
Three River Spirits
Good Painting... and Much Peace and Rich Blessings to ALL!