Saturday, October 12, 2013
Thanksgiving... The Offering of Thanks and Gratitude... For Life's Blessings
"August... On My Mind" - oil on canvas 24x18 inches - SOLD
This painting was created, as I mentioned in an August post to honour the August birthdays of my dear Mom and Dad... now passed. It is one of those paintings, however, that operates at more than a single intellectual or artistic level either prior to, or during the actual painting process. Often, it can resurface and its message can be appropriate for another use and interpretation... as it is being used here.
In this instance, I thought it timely and highly appropriate to use it yet again on one more occasion. This time I offer it in a votive (a work to fulfill a vow) sense. To the best of my ability, I continue to pass forward my thanks... my gratitude and a promise that I made to them to while they were here to continue their good work. I have used both of my "voices" to carry out this promise as I continue my own journey. Both appeal. through different senses. This blog /journal combines both and I post its contents regularly... solely to encourage others that I love, or have met to lift your own two voices proudly... and to let your Light shine... so that others may see your Light and gain from it. Art Matters!
I don't normally read newspapers much , or too deeply. I find that newspapers today,by and large, sell and headline topics that are contentious, or disturbing ... and do little more (for me) than heighten and further encourage anxiety and pessimism about the world about me. I do "surf " certain sections of one paper however... in search of more humanistic and lifting, or thought-provoking articles. On Saturday, August 17th, 2013... a day after my Dad's birthday and two days before my Mom's on August 16th... I was struck by this headline in the Life Section of The Toronto Star:
"My parents... led me to who I am."
It is indeed strange... how one phrase can impact one's psyche immediately... enter one's heart in a single second and then propel your actions over an extended period of time. This particular mouthful of print/ thought (in print by no means my own) triggered me to construct this votive painting... and now several months afterward to offer it to you as food for thought at your own Thanksgiving tables.
The painting was purchased this summer by a regular collector of my work. Her response to it and request to purchase was immediate. While one might think that a painting that was so important to me personally should be kept, I choose to look at it this way. My parents shared the bounty/fruits of their life together with us while we grew to maturity. Their became a time when each of us, though cherished had to leave their care and move out into the world to carry their "good works" and to create our own to share them in a world in which they would never see. My paintings are, in a small sense "my children" and in my view they are created to find their places in the world. Perhaps then... my "voices" will live after me. That's called... Hope!
If your parents, or loved ones are still alive...hug them and kiss them. Tell them how much their love, counsel and years of sacrifice means to you. Tell them that their gifts led you to become the person that you are. Oh... that I could do that but one last time. But I did you see... each and every time before I left them. It was a ritual I learned from my beloved Gramp Birrell:
"Never leave those you love without kissing them... and telling them that you love them. For it may well be the very last time that you see them alive."
I live by his mantra with my own family and special loved ones in my life. I choose to hug my friends as well... be they man or woman. That should hardly make the difference if you feel genuinely that you love them... in whatever manner that you do!
In lieu of personal "kiss"... I content and comfort my Self by visiting their graveside... leaving a beautiful colourful fall mum to brighten their resting place. I do that for my Mom and Dad. I do so as well for Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Don Leigh (who offered me their home so that I could attend teacher's college) and my Mom's parents Gram and Gramp Birrell, whose lives of generosity and selflessness have transformed my life into a peaceful pathway that I carry each and every day... no matter where I go. Without the gifts of these mentors and counsellors... my teaching life and these words would not be written... or read.
In closing this Thanksgiving 2013 post, I offer additional my thank you... my love and my gratitude to Deb, my soul mate and to each of my children and their families. Without you my life would be barren. I thank you for loving "Me" and accepting "Me" as you always have. You are amongst my richest and most precious gifts!
"I"... am deeply blessed! Thank you... one and all!
Happy Thanksgiving to all members of my Family Friends and Followers!... and as my Dad's card in the painting reminds us...
Mom and Dad... I love you both... Forever!
Good Painting... to ALL!