Friday, November 30, 2018

A morning walk along Riverside Park

 I arrived Thursday night in Kamloops, ready for the 2018 Secwepemc Winter Gathering.

I slept in (what a treat), and then went for a walk in Riverside Park. 

It was a crisp morning (hovering just above zero), but that was fine, since I was dressed for the weather.

It was a quiet morning.  one dog walker, a person jogging with a baby in a stroller, two women doing a power walk, and a few random stragglers (such as myself).   

The clouds were low in the sky, with only portions of this hills visible.  

The river was beautiful at each turn of the bend.   

I love its reflective capacity.   

It is so easy to imagine another parallel world beneath the water.

I also love how the colours of winter kind of creep into my heart. 

There is not the vibrancy of spring or summer, but there is much beauty in the palette of grey and brown.  

Monday, September 17, 2018

Driving home the scenic way - mid september

On Sunday afternoon, I headed off with Stacy to see "The Children Act" (with Emma Thompson).  It was one of those movies that generated a ton of conversation, though maybe not the conversation we had thought we would be having.  Seemed a good excuse to continue the conversation by taking the long way home, stopping at all the lookout points as an excuse to keep talking.   It was also an excuse to keep taking photos.   What a beautiful afternoon/evening.

Because my phone is only partly functional, there are no selfies here (the camera will only work in one direction).  I did try to get one picture of Stacy and I.... you can see us here in the shadow of the photo below!   I do like the colour contrasts!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Yellowknife to Victoria - or, Adventures in Travel, July 2018

And so, at the end of a week of adventure in Oslo, and with chest pain on the plane from Frankfurt to Calgary, I found myself taking an equally unexpected trip to Yellowknife, for a three day stay in the Stanton Territorial Hospital.  

Steve arrived that night on the last flight out of Victoria, and so I lifted myself out of a drowsy morpheine-induced sleep to find him touching my feet at the bottom of the bed.  Nice treat.

Because the unit was not overly busy, they let him sleep in the other bed (in the double room).   So that is where the two of us spent the next few days.  As Steve, says, it was a lot of work for a weekend get-away (we need to rethink what 'date night' looks like). 

The view from the room was lovely.  Across the way, one could see construction underway for the new hospital that was being built.  A bit funny to find ourselves situated thus, after all the months Steve was working on the team for the new hospitals in Campbell River and Comox (he kept wanting to ask the staff about the health records software, or other aspects of data integration, haha).

Because it is July, and the north, the sky was lit-up til well after midnight.  The sun seemed to take only a gentle touch to the  horizon, and then head back up in to the air.

Map of the Official Languages of the NWT
I was reminded that the North is an amazing place (as if i needed reminding).  On the wall of the ward was a huge map of the Official Language of the Northwest Territories.  

I loved the side panel on the poster.  I provided the same sentence in each of the 11 languages of the territory.  

I loved seeing all the different Indigenous Languages marked around the map.  

the language groups around Yellowknife
The map reminded me that Indigenous Peoples have always been working with "international law", as they have long been negotiating relations across and over linguistic groupings (and well before English and French speakers began to make their lives in the Territories).  

It was an interesting reminder, having spent the earlier week doing Indigenous Legal Methodology with a group of European, South American and African scholars.


Gifts of the mind!

The nurses and doctors were wonderful.  On the second day, someone sort of apologized to me for the hospital food (wondering if I wouldn't have preferred to have Steve bring me something back when he went out to get himself breakfast).  That morning, the breakfast had included toast and cream of wheat porridge.  I suppose one could say that breakfast had been a bit bland (heart smart menu, and all that!), but truth was, i had thought quite a bit about the food while eating it.  Yes, the porridge is perhaps 'nondescript' , and it was a bit watery, but it also felt like an amazing gift (would it be weird to say, something like a sacrament?).  Part of the gift was that it reminded me of my childhood (cream of wheat porridge was my favourite breakfast until I was well into my teens).  But more importantly, I couldn't help but think about the gift of socialized health care, that I was in fact sitting safely in a hospital bed and was provided with food... not something that every one actually gets on a daily basis.   I know it is in the Canadian temperament to sometime complain about how our health care system is functioning (and yes, i know there are reasons to be attentive, and things that can be improved), but still.  A plane had been diverted to get me to a hospital (sorry to those other 350 people on the plane!), I had received immediate and active care from a team of people (airline staff, fellow passengers, paramedics, ER room nurses and doctors, a hospitalist, and internist, other hospital food and cleaning staff) who fully threw themselves into sorting out the possibilities, with skill and kindness.  And I would not be leaving the hospital with a bill to pay.  So... it was this that was on my mind as I was eating that porridge.  Just thinking about it still makes me feel a bit weepy.   The Cream of Wheat just tasted like 'gratitude'.

View of Frame Lake from hotel room in The Explorer
And so, Monday morning I did the 'stress test', and passed it:  which meant I had the requisite paperwork for Air Canada to allow me to board a plane to get back to Victoria. Yea!  

Just enough time for a trip to the Vietnamese Noodle House for lunch, and to the Northern Exposures Gallery to pick up T-Shirts for the boys, and a bag for me with a Kenujuaq design on it.   We sat in The Explorer Lounge for one last drink (ah sweet diet coke!) before the airport shuttle.   I liked that the straw (which was paper!) matched the new bag.

I also love the Yellowknife Airport, with its large map of the north built into the centre of the floor. 

I could walk myself through my own adventure from a Saturday morning start in Norway at 10 degrees east, to an afternoon arrival in Yellowknife at 115 degrees west.  
a day begun in Oslo...
...and ending in Yellowknife

And so, we boarded the plane for the final leg of travel, first to Calgary, and then on home to Victoria.  

And a beatiful flight it was!

Smoke on the water...again.

Once again, a summer of forest fires.  It has been brutal.  This is a photo taken on Sunday morning (Aug 19, 2018).  This is the view from my mom's balcony, looking out across the lake.  At the bottom of the photo, you can see the roofs of the houses just below us on the beach.   Note the colour of the sky, and the total absence of background.  Is it sky?  Is it water?

Just for comparative purposes, here is pretty much the same view on an august evening in 2016 (you can see the roofs of the houses at the bottom of the photo).   The sky was full of clouds while the sun was setting, but you can still see that there IS a lake, and there IS a mountain over there .

So for those who are wondering how thick the air is with smoke from the forest fires?   Just scroll back up and look at the first photo.   Amazing.  Terrifying.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Trip to Tofino for Barney Williams Jr. honouring ceremony

February 17, 2018, there was a ceremony up in Ahousat to honour Barney Williams Jr., who was given an honorary degree from UVic at the Fall Convocation.   Having received an invitation, there was no way I was going to say no!   And so, I found myself on a road trip up to Tofino with Jennifer Hunt-Poitras.   There is so much to be said about the event, which was truly wonderful.  But... no time.   So here is a just a quick photo essay from the trip to Tofino, and hopefully the images will help me remember how awesome it was (and how much fun i had hanging out with Shelah Rogers, Robina Thomas, Lalita Kines, Jennifer Hunt-Poitras and more) 

A storm blowing in...

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Flung at the Wheel - Pottery, Summer 2017

It was largely a summer of necklaces.   Hundreds of them.  The goal was to make enough to give one away to each student in the Legal Process course as part of my own TRC work, and also enough for my part of the project with Shain Jackson in the Testify Indigenous Law + the Arts work.

That said, there was still enough time at the wheel to produce a couple of dozen bowls and mugs to get me through another year.   For the purposes of remember what I did, here are a bunch of close up photos. 

Will see if I can also track down my notes of just what the heck i actually DID on the glazing front (everything here is at least two glazes...)

Gotta remember the glaze combo.  Tenmoku and something else?

Red and Black underglaze, carved out with white matte glaze

smoky merlot and something else?

goldstone clay is magic in itsinteraction with glazes...

I had hoped that glass in bottom might fill in the crack in the mug.  No luck.