30 June, 2010

Windows of my Journeys II


Life is ridiculously busy since I returned from Toronto. Everyday I start with a list of items that need to be done. The end of the day comes with having crossed off quite a few, but there are always more left only half-done.

It is not yet noon today and the list looks something like this:
  • write three blog posts for up-and-coming Football Tournament in Kimilili (not done)
  • go for long walk with A. (done)
  • work out job search priority list with A. (done)
  • create mock-up text for website my son is creating for sponsor company in Nairobi (mostly done)
  • write S. in Germany who is going over to Kimilili as a volunteer in August with the list of contents of the two boxes I sent to him yesterday that he will take with him (not done, left over from yesterday)
  • ask A. whether she knows anyone with an old laptop for the women's co-op in Kimilili (forgot)
  • rework "Women on a Journey" concept (started, needs lots of work)
  • write C. about whether her family is willing to help if needed for young woman I know who is going to work in Capetown's townships (not done)
  • wish C. happy wishes on starting new job tomorrow (not done)
  • prepare for charity shop monthly meeting (not done)
  • attend charity shop monthly meeting (not done)
  • need groceries (not done)
  • 5 other items that I forget what they are (typical, ssheesh)
Mid-day... time to get going...

Collage makes me feel calm when all around me chaos rules.

26 June, 2010

Windows of my Journeys

I've started another series of collages. For now, I will call them "Windows of my Journeys".


This is one of the collages I am making for a exhibit. The exhibit is part of a year long art exhibit and series of workshops called, Woman on a Journey, that is going to take place at the Womens-Only Hotel in 2011.

24 June, 2010

Football Fever

Sorry, you guys. Bad case of Football Fever and can't make it to our regular tea party. Will be back soon.

19 June, 2010

Concentration at Work/ Working with Concentration

It took six days for a group of Buddhist monks to create a mandala of compassion out of coloured sand. I think this is the first time-lapse video that I’ve seen that was captures the work of someone producing a singular piece of work over such a long period of time. The monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery who created the work apparently then destroyed the mandala and scattered the sand into a river for it to be carried off into the world.

To read more about the creation of this mandala you can go to the following links (here and here).

18 June, 2010

Special Times with Friends

Toronto has apparently experienced a fantastic warm and sunny spring. One of the funny things about this trip was the rainy cold weather I brought with me. Yet, the photos I took on the two or three good days seem to defy this impression that I gained as the Bringer of Bad Weather.

This trip was unique in the amount of time I spent walking and talking with friends. What a delight this was. Particularly, we walked through two neighbourhoods (Cabbage Town and Dundas/Bathhurst) I hadn't known before. We also went to museums and saw the normal tourists sites, but I didn't take any photos of these because there are much better ones to be found on Flickr or other photos sites.

16 June, 2010

From Another Perspective

One of the reasons I so delight in going to cafés is because I love looking at the mundane day-to-day dealings of life viewed through the eyes of a stranger (me), yet also that of a participator (customer).

This lets me sit and watch two fellow customers idle away the morning waiting for the rain to stop.


Or just watch a veteran waiter work the espresso machine with an ease of movement that is highly enviable.


Or, consider how our choice of footwear can say about our personalities.


In the end, the experience of sitting in a café is similar to being both an insider and outsider all at the same time.

14 June, 2010

Gil Scott-Heron, I'm New Here

Something so mesmerizing about Gil Scott-Heron's voice and the moving images along the walls and piano keys...

There are still some posts that I am composing concerning my trip to Toronto and Montreal. Been trying to catch up on my google reader and all the emails. Thought I would be able to get so much done today. Not so. Slow as a snail actually would be the best way to describe the pace.

Wonderful to be back, though the time spent with family and friends was brilliant.

Big news... oldest child officially finished with high school (grade 13). How marvelous! Congratulations, dear son of mine.

12 June, 2010

Nothing Left To Say

Always appreciated John Clarke and Bryan Dawe's input.

10 June, 2010

Rainy Toronto Morning

The Old Portuguese man with the long grey beard stands outside the cafe smoking his cigarette. He does so in a manner that doesn't tip the ash off, instead it leaves the ask attached to the glowing ring forever descending closer to the filter.

His cup of coffee awaits him patiently at his table in the corner.

The owner of Wah Fook Seafood Trading, a shop that is walked with hanging plants and vegetable garden seedlings, stands under the awning finishing his cigarette just at the same time the Old Portuguese is lighting his. When Mr. Wah Fook is done with his quick smoke, he begins to shift some of the plants from under the awning with those potted plants standing on the sidewalk away to the left of his shop.

He subtly, but irrevocably, crouches over to the sidewalk space of one “Manuel R. Bentes, Denture Specialist” before he opens up his office this rainy morning.

04 June, 2010

Curiously Lacking in Representation

As so often happens in life, a common thread of an idea has woven its way through my reading over the last week or two. This common thread is the lack of vital representation of  women leaders in our society. It started to make itself present through a  lecture I listened to that Stephen Lewis gave called, Women: Half the World, Barely Represented. (This was the 4th of the 5 Massey Lectures he gave in 2005.)

Then my son sent me this rather whimsical video called The Bechdel Test,

You would think with such minimal requirements contemporary films would manage to past the test, but it does not appear so.

Then this video by Women's Media Center that was a winner of the Vital Voices youtube contest discussed the curious lack of representation of women in media.

It really makes you wonder doesn't it about how long it has taken to move such small a distance? Or maybe not, the news I read today lifted my spirits. Congratulations Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessa!

03 June, 2010

International Travel

These are some of the observations of my trip yesterday:

What is it with people traveling in their flip flops? An international airport and an airplane where you are squished together, are not the places to wear beach gear. Enough already.

Having an hour in the earlyearly monring to sit and watch the "ramp agents" (kid you not, that is what was written on their polo shirts), window cleaners, shop people, and waste disposal people clean up and prepare their shops and the departure lounges for a busy day, was like watching a symphony of efficiency of motion.

A note to Air Canada: taking the very bad idea of a corn dog, stripping it of its stick and hot dog, squirting some chickpea mush back in and serving it in a paper container with Air Canada stamped in the corner, does not make it a meal.

Boy, can I talk up a storm when I am dizzy with exhaustion, joyful at seeing dear friends, and so excited at the prospect of sharing their company for the days to come.