Inspired by last month’s visit to the National Gallery of Canada with a friend, I have been using Pointillism as one of my art therapy activities for the past couple of weeks. You can follow the creative process here.
That pack of gift boutique magic markers and the pile of repurposed charity donation plea snail mail paper have provided me with a creative distraction from the news, all while we are still navigating through a pandemic. Some of us are still practicing safe distance and protection measures.
While watching the Juno Awards on TV Sunday evening, I spent time and energy reflecting on the weekend news out of Buffalo, New York and feeling sickened by yet another crime of hate. I said a prayer for those affected directly and indirectly by the actions of one angry white man. In addition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the plight of refugees everywhere, world events are weighing on me.
Fear breeds hate. With every little dot I pray for kindness and understanding, starting with myself. I hope it can spread onto the canvas of humanity.
Appreciating and creating art provides me with comfort and relief, especially while listening to music from my pile of favourite CDs.
This will be another summer of staying close to home, avoiding the stifling heat and only exploring sights within reach by foot, public transit or a friend’s car.
If you too are feeling overwhelmed, what methods are you using to cope?
History is repeating itself and it seems that Poland is the only European country that is helping the throngs of refugees lately. What the hell, United Nations, European Union and NATO? Your economic sanctions aren’t stopping this bullshit.
US satellite images showed proof of troops and artillery amassing on the Eastern borders many weeks prior. Russia denied any plans of an invasion. They lied. It seems that some European countries hesitate to get involved because they rely on Russian oil and gas, plus don’t want to be the next target.
Feeling sadness and guilt, we watch helplessly from a distance, from the comforts of our relatively stable democratic regions. After crying and shouting into the void, the best that some of us can do is to donate money to the international relief organizations so that they can help the refugees – all this during a fucking pandemic. Those people, especially their children are going to live with trauma for many years after this is resolved. We cannot forget the refugees from Syria and Afghanistan either.
Some of my anger and PTSD symptoms still linger from effects of the so-called anti vaccine mandate trucker convoy that occupied streets and terrorized residents of Ottawa weeks prior. Many of them were clueless puppets of dirty money and foreign political interference. Remember that the western Canada convoy founders encouraging these “demonstrations” had plans to overthrow our government. Let that sink in, Conservative sympathizers.
Other countries are feeling the ripple effect of this latest invasion and destabilization of supply chains. Countries in Africa depend on Ukrainian wheat to feed their people. Do we want to prevent yet another famine of epic proportions?
Africa could be hit hard by loss of Ukrainian grain exports, institute says Reuters
You can count your blessings of family, shelter and food. You can reduce fuel use and emissions by limiting air travel for pleasure, and limiting your daily commutes by working from home. You can feel some relief that corporate cultures are finally realizing that hybrid and remote work options are the new normal, acknowledging that people are leaving organizations in droves for jobs that offer more flexibility.
You still feel some helpless guilt for Ukraine. Sometimes the best you can do is pray and meditate for a peaceful solution while turning to art therapy for your soul’s relief. You pray that Russian soldiers and commanders will see the light and follow a different path.
You can feel some consolation knowing that Canada sent armed forces troops to Poland, to help with the refugee assistance efforts.
Canada to deploy military personnel to Poland to support Ukrainian refugees Reuters
If ever we needed to see the Second Coming of Christ, this would be the time. Evildoers are still profiting on the suffering of others while damaging our environment, our Mother Earth. We need the courage to step up and stop the abuse. God has abandoned us.
You can clutch that package of Sunflower seeds you purchased at the local grocery store in anticipation to plant them in your small garden and watch them grow tall this summer, praying this latest humanitarian horror is over by then.
I ventured into crowds outside of my community willingly last week for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.
I don’t experience wanderlust nor do I rebel against science-based protocols and restrictions on personal movement. I bite my tongue in passing judgement on others I know who have been travelling across country and borders for pleasure this summer. It has been two years since I have seen my grandchildren.
A friend and I made plans in June to aim for attending an arts event in town this summer after we got our two COVID-19 vaccinations. We had hopes for a pleasant time considering the circumstances.
We needed to experience the beauty of art during a social outing again.
We navigated with her car through summer road construction to Lansdowne Park. We navigated the underground parking facilities. We respected protocols by waiting with masks on, ground level in the time slot visit queue of art lovers then followed slowly at a distance through the maze of digitized art displays and meaningful quotes that led to the immersive experience.
The venue was warm with very little air flow. In general, the immersive experience was entertaining and enjoyable. All the while though, the risks associated with the pandemic were on my mind. Even the beautiful images of Vincent’s Starry Night and floral arrangements struggled to calm my concerns.
After 45 minutes of that, I made sure to purchase a souvenir at the boutique on the way out, an over-priced notebook with reprint images of his popular paintings.
Lunch out was a challenge with filling out the electronic contact tracing form before being allowed into the restaurant. Management made safe distancing arrangements for diners. It seems that trendy restaurants are still playing background music way too loud for my preference in enjoying a conversation. Half-way through my salad, I declined the offer of dessert. I just wanted to go home.
There are other art gallery and museum exhibits I want to see this summer. My desire is dampened by reports about the COVID-19 variants spreading about.
I am okay with delaying the satisfaction of my selfish desires for a little while longer, and finding safer alternatives.