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.
Nine months into this COVID-19 pandemic and we’re hanging on relatively well here in Eastern Ontario.
Most of the people I know have been abiding by the advice of public health officials with wearing masks, distancing and keeping within small social bubbles.
I am fortunate to still have the work from home option. The cat (aka The Home Office Supervisor) tolerates my constant presence, is enjoying frequent tummy rubs on the couch and “comb comb” sessions in her window box. She’s like photogenic putty afterwards.
Some days the best you can do is go through the motions while staying healthy and safe. Most days you say a little prayer of thanks, gratitude that you have shelter, food, health and social connections. Thank you, Internet and the good ole telephone line.
My youngest Millennial came to stay with me for the winter. I am relieved that I get to see one of my adult children on a regular basis but am reliving memories of habits from his earlier years. It could be worse.
Since I was encountering disappointment and frustration with the working life, I was relieved when I started a much-needed vacation week. I survived another anniversary of my life altering experience at the hands of my now ex-spouse. I see it as traumatic and liberating in that our children were finally free of his controlling, stifling grip.
Practising art therapy and allowing in happy thoughts, I decided to let loose my inner child that week, to express and create art. I also read one of my favourite novels again.
I pulled out a Koi compact watercolour kit that my daughter gifted me five years ago. I remember attempting to do flower paintings once a month but that inspiration wilted after three.
I felt pleased with my rough watercolour copy of Starry Night by one of my favourite, misunderstood artists.
Being a fan of the Golden Ratio, I made a few magic marker and water colour versions of the Fibonacci Spiral.
I did a watercolour version of The Tree of Life, one of my favourite objects in mythology and spirituality.
My stage of life could be represented by the squawking, flapping ninny in the upper left – or the tired-out old bird dropping what may be seeds of wisdom. Who knows where they will fall and eventually sprout?
That Monet “bridge over lily pond” attempt is taking longer than anticipated. I hope I can finish it before the end of vacation weekend. I want to finish writing Christmas cards and put up our wee artificial tree.
It’s good to have plans for the short term and long term. I look forward to finishing that part-time college program by the end of 2022. Not sure what I can to with that diploma but at least the courses are keeping my mind busy and allowing for social connections with classmates if only online these days.
As usual, I refrained from Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping sprees, cringing still at the abuse of our natural resources and persistent use of plastic in toys and other consumer goods. There is nothing outstanding that I need. My children are old enough to appreciate money as gifts so they can buy the things they need, they want – or to pay off bills.
I may lead a quiet and boring life but I’m just happy to be alive and to know that those in my sacred circle of loved ones are too.
Thank you for dropping by. What have you been doing to keep safe and mentally sound during this pandemic?