Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Inspiration from the Past

I think I'm not running on all my cylinders. On Sunday, I watched the mailman walk up to my house to deliver the mail, and I thought, since when did they start delivering the mail on Sunday? That's when I realized it was SATURDAY, not Sunday. That shocked me a bit. Then this morning, I showed up at 8 a.m. at my tax guy's office only to be told my appointment was not today, it's tomorrow. So I drove home and decided what I really wanted to do with the rest of my day was go back to bed with a bag of Oreo cookies. Realizing that this plan would ultimately come back to haunt me, I decided to do something fun on this gray snowy day - I would go to see the Matisse exhibit at the museum. The exhibit was a treat, but the real moment of inspiration came as I left the exhibit.

As I passed through the adjoining room of Native American artifacts, I came across a beautiful Innu Indian warrior hunting coat of the 18th century. The accompanying text informed me that Innu Indians originated in what is now Quebec, and for them, hunting caribou was considered not only a survivalist routine but a holy occupation. The caribou and their god needed to be appeased for the hunt to be successful. Before the hunt, the warrior's wife created a hunting coat out of the hide of the previous slain caribou. The motifs on the coat were dreamed by the hunter and given to his wife to interpret and paint with earth pigments. Here's the part that struck me - the success of the hunt depended on the skill and artistry of the coat's creator!

A great example of the importance of women and art in society!

Image courtesy of : Naskapi News, One Nation, One People

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Goodbye Papa

Dad with his sketchbook

At the Mall

By the garden with Suzi-Q

On Ash Wednesday (a day to remind us of our mortality, ashes to ashes) my beloved Papa departed this world. He was healthy, lucid and comfortable to this last week when he stopped eating. On Wednesday he became very tired and lay down in his bed. We said everything we needed to say with lots of love, and while I held his hand, he breathed his last at 6 p.m. I could not have wished for a more peaceful transition than this. He was seven days shy of his 101st birthday, yet I thought he would live forever and I cannot believe he did not. I miss him terribly, but I hold him close to me in all the things I see and hear that bring him to mind. He was the most important man in my life, a source of inspiration, comfort and wisdom. Today as I walked outside and saw the trees, I was reminded of the time I complained that the trees were so depressing in winter, stark without their foliage. He told me it was his favorite season for the trees, because you could see through them to the beyond, unlike the summer versions. I'm sure his sunny disposition is serving him well in the Beyond.