In July I stayed with Mary in Tofino. Mary, in her early 80′s lives a simple life in her cottage on Chesterman Beach. She talks to friends, listens to the radio, reads, makes simple meals for one and walks on the beach watching everything that goes on in her natural neighbourhood. She lives in her own time zone. She does what she wants, when she wants to and in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Every day Mary takes her binoculars and goes for a long walk along shorline to keep tabs on the local flora and fauna. She doesn’t hurry but notices everything. While I was there I went with her twice and both times we ended up sitting on rocks watching an eaglet impatiently waiting for, and being cared for by his parents. This little sketch was my attempt to capture the picture above.
One of the joys of the trip…really… has been the joy of reconnecting with hand written letters. Several of the women I stayed with, Mary included, are living lives without computers (imagine). It means that to keep in touch I need to write. I used to love doing that and have haven’t done it in years. It is such a nice format. Anyway, Mary and I have been writing back and forth and she sent me this picture of the eagle baby as a fledgling. Her son, a nature photographer took it on one of their walks. Babies do leave the nest. It is so sad but also wonderful.
I am thrilled by the gifts that continue to pour in from the time I spent on the road. I am glad I can share some of them with you. Keep posted.
It seems like forever since I was sitting huddling in the near dark in Vincent’s cozy interior writing something to post either that night or in the morning when I could find an internet connection. Now that the connections are easy I find myself falling into bed at ‘bed time’ and not putting a word down.When people ask me what I am missing about being on the road I have some easy answers but recently I realized I miss having something to write about every day. Oh and that is not true because every day I find myself thinking…I should write about this or that and then I run out of time. Oooo. So along with the list of things I said that I would do for sure when I got home…I want to write more. I have so many stories swirling around in my head.
I also said I would like to spend more time with Fred. We are working on that and it usually seems to involve checking something else off of my “I really need to do” list.
I said I would like to have more music in my life and in the past couple of weeks we tried two things we don’t normally do. One was go to the Opera. No, really. At the insistance of Fred’s voice teacher we decided to go to the New York Metropolitan Oprera HD live series. It is held at theatres all over the world and as luck would have it, the Newmarket Theatre is one of the host venues. (Of course it would have been fun to go to New York but that would have been another story) Now, you need to know that I am not a huge classical music fan. I have not been exposed to it and don’t understand it. I have been very taken with certain selections that I have heard in the past but…opera??? I don’t think so. Fred had to go and I understood that I was being narrow minded and so we headed out to see Aida by Verdi. And WOW! What an amazing spectacle. It was bigger than life and with the HD thing it felt as if we were really there especially since we were seeing it as it was happening in New York. We were out front when people were taking their seats. I could hear the rustleing and whispering as everyone settled. Once the show started we were right on the stage. During the intermissions we were behind the scenes for interviews with the principal singers and to see the set changes. Woo hoo. It was great. We will definitely go back to see more. Check it out at www.cineplex.com/events There is so much more than movies there.
We went to an old time country dance the other night and danced til our legs were sore. Someday I have a wish to actually learn how to dance but Fred and I have developed a series of moves that don’t look too awkward on the dance floor and we have fun. As long as neither of us have to dance with someone who really knows what they are doing we are fine.
I also got together with local artist Sheila Maloney. I went to her studio where she shared her paints and easle with me so that I could start to paint some of my experiences. I have always loved painting and Sheila has a level of knowledge and common sense about art that make it much more approachable than I would ever let it be. Here is a photo of the half finished painting. It was inspired by a hill I passed in northern BC.
Creativity has always been a huge interest of mine and Wednesday night I went to Stouffville to the Latcham Gallery to see an exhibition of Icons by artists Diana Bennett & Ryan Van Der Hout. The incredible storyteller, Janice Turner was telling the stories of three old testament women. She gives them the voices they were never allowed to have in the past. Afterward I met several people involved in the arts and the following conversations were so inspiring. What a week.
In all of this I am trying to stay true to the rule I had on the road, spend little, do lots. It works well here too. If you have a show or event that might meet my criteria…let me know. A friend and I are going to an improv theatre tomorrow evening and they are going to let us play too. I will let you know how it works out.
I have been working on fixing up my lifelines website and looking for coaching/speaking/writing jobs. Those things seem to fill up my days and keep me out of trouble. I am also restlessly pondering maps of the country and plotting the next leg of my journey. I think it will be a very short winter.
Talk soon as I start to sift through my pictures, journals and memories.
Today I went to a very sad funeral. It was the final goodbye to an immensely talented man, our age, who shared his talent and inspired many. The church was packed with people trying to come to grips with his death and who wanted to celebrate the life of this amazing human being…and yet the saddest part was that he chose to end his own life.
I can’t help but think if he had been at that celebration, he may have changed his mind. If he had known how important he was in all of those lives that he might have chosen to reach out for help instead. Oh, I know, I have no idea what pain he was in and I didn’t know him well enough to understand it so I can’t really comment. On the other hand It made me think that we need to tell the people that have an impact on us. In this busy world sometimes we forget to say the words. Better to grab hold and tell them when we can still see their faces. Don’t wait.
More soon. I just can’t write today.