Sunday, December 16, 2012

"Lighting of the Gate" - An Annual Rockport Ritual

Each of us has inherited and embraces  a tradition which celebrates in our own way... Winter Solstice... the point where long dark winter days commence to yield to increasing light. In the Christian tradition... we call it Christmas and we mark it as the birth of Christ ("I am the Light...")... lit by a strange star in the East. You likely know the tale as well as I. We have had it read to us... we have sung about it... watched it on television... passed the story on to our children. Strangely however... or perhaps not... we have succeeded in separating "the story" from the scientific reality that the earth's position is changing in its annual journey around the sun. This fact likely accounts for all of the other stories and traditions that have existed to help mankind... no matter where he has lived get his head around this physical phenomena.

All that said... and out of the way, I'd like to show you in blog land... how Rockport folk celebrate this event. It is purely "down home" as it gets. Just a bunch of ordinary citizens planning a purely informal event... to create a reason and focus for their community to come together... however briefly... without pomp and ceremony to mark the changing of light with a simple gesture of goodwill and belonging. I was honoured to be included in the planning for the first time this year... and to attend with Deb on my arm. It was a gloriously uplifting start to our first Christmas season... as full citizens of Rockport!

I so wish that the rest of the world could embrace and enjoy such a beautiful... peaceful and non-competitive hour in their lives. Then perhaps... we would not spawn the senseless and despicable tragedy... which just yesterday gripped the entire United States.... and the world at large. We should teach our children that we love them - that they are precious beyond anything else on this earth and that we will NOT tolerate harm being directed at them... by anyone!

Here in our own country and in our local schools... we too are violating our promise and our responsibility to provide a full opportunity for our youth to become educated to go out successfully into the world. Here.. we are currently watching government... school boards and teachers in both elementary and secondary schools refusing to offer extra-curricular activities... before or after school help to needy students... issuing reports with no comments... and during the last week... to proceed forward... closing schools and the daycare facilities offered in some of them on a rotating basis around each school board area across the province.

As I passed the high school in Brockville... from which I myself graduated, the front of the school was lined with students who had walked out themselves demanding that "things get back to normal"... and their sports programmes and necessary academic activities be resumed to give them the educational opportunity which we as adults had promised them. How can teachers ever win back the trust and respect that they are forfeiting through their money-driven motives and actions? How long will it be... until some disgruntled... troubled adolescent cause similar havoc in our own schools? Sandy Hook was once a safe haven... or at least we thought it was! We know better now... too late... for too many innocents?

God bless the souls of these wee innocents... and offer Peace to their surviving playmates and family members! My horror and my grief... is beyond words. The act violates everything which humanity should stand for! I am sickened... and discouraged!

"Suffer the little children..." But why??? ... and for what obscene reason can this be tolerated ... anywhere in the world????

I can only offer to work harder with the children and adults in my own world as these pictures serve
to illustrate my point. Young and old souls and voiced mingled in song... and swaddled in the peace and safety... which only a sense of being accepted as a part of a community as an equal can offer. Enjoy the Advent of Christmas in Rockport. From The Paint Box Gallery ... to ALL who choose to read and follow 
my blog... a Merry Christmas... and Peace (I pray) ... on Earth... everywhere!

"Light" and "Truth" are metaphorically the same in meaning and function. Both free one from Darkness and Despair! Share your "Light" this Christmas!

 Here is the West Gate entrance into the village... now decorated gaily... inviting citizens and visitors alike to enter... past The Church of the River and down to the River waitibg below! Home!

 Silent Night... Holy Night... all is calm... all is bright! A joy-filled night in Rockport!

Christmas is a time for all... young and old alike to come together in song... one voice!

 Let there be Light!... a special moment to remember!

 Good tidings of joy and Peace... my gal Deb... right hand side!

 Our octogenarian organist... once a commercial artist and designer...a wizard the the keyboard. Still young at heart... making his beloved music and art.. still living life fully! I admire him so! Reminds me of my own Dad so much!

Where there exists "Light"... there also lives Hope... and Perhaps... Peace!

We are lighting special candles in our home every night... so that the memory of those children lost is not forgotten here during our Christmas celebrations.

Good Painting ALL!!!

PS I hope that you can forgive my rant... but the time is well passed... to simple ignore the responsibility to speak up! Our children deserve better... don't they? If not... I too have wasted my life... and that fact is too dastardly to consider at this time on my journey. I WILL NOT be quiet! I simply can't!


  1. I am with you Bruce. I want to rant and rant and rant. How can any of us be satisfied with the system.
    I cannot be quiet either, but where to direct my rants?
    I've begun writing email letters to politicians and keeping them in a file. Just to let them know that some of us, who have the time, are watching and expecting more. Good luck to us getting it.
    Merry Christmas Bruce and thanks for saying what so many are thinking.
    Babies, slaughtered. Unspeakable :(

  2. Good evening Mary!... Thanks for stopping by to comment on this important post!

    How can remain still... in the face of such an atrocity... committed against innocent children and committed educators? How can we ever look into the eyes of our own Children... or search for joy in this Christmas season?

    We all have permitted this to occur through our silence and neglect to use our freedom of speech to force change in an archaic Constitution... designed to protect when an enemy was in the country's midst.

    Continue to use your voice... continue to plug politician's mail boxes... write editorials to awaken those you live with and stir a spirit within your citizenry which allowed your country to be the "land of the brave."

    I intend to formulate my own strategies to convey my disapproval about the travesty now occurring in regard to education here. I have already written to the Director of Education of the schoolboard where my lads attend high school. No reply!

    I will not be quiet. I have fought too long and too hard for children's rights to simply coalesce.

    Stay tuned!... More to come!

    Thanks Mary!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  3. Thank you, Bruce. I'm with you 100%.

  4. Good Morning Sherry!... Thank you for commenting and adding your support of the thoughts expressed in this "more-than-art" post!

    I have ALWAYS felt your supportive presence Sherry... we run in parallel in our journeys... no matter distance or past experience. We need to join voices and do more than just rant. Each of us has a moral responsibility to speak out wherever... and however we can... in our own realm. Then... and onlt then ... we will possibly be heard.

    When we spaeak of children... they are the true masterpieces which emphatically say:
    We were here!... and this is our very best work!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  5. Beautiful post, Bruce.
    I'm with you.
    Wishing you Peace and Joy and I want to hear everything you have to say.

  6. HI again Mary!.... Thanks for offering your support and best wishes!

    I wish that same Peace... Joy and Happiness of the Christmas season to you as well!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,