Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Hard Week Soothed by Smooth Stones

I told you about the commissioned painting I did earlier this summer of a house in Cap Ferret, France. This week the doorbell rang and the friend who had asked me to do that painting handed me a gift bag. Inside it was a collection of beautiful beach stones. Shirley and her daughter Rachel gathered them for me on the beach when they were in Cap Ferret. They made sure to include several with heart shapes. I love them so much. The colours in these stones (they are called 'galets' there) are absolutely beautiful! Such a thoughtful gift.

I have to admit it's been an odd week. It started with a civic holiday on Monday followed by a school holiday on Tuesday for Emma and Chloé because there was a provincial election here. Not much time for painting. Wednesday, we woke to news of a shooting at the celebratory party of the winning candidate. Yesterday, I felt paralyzed with sadness and thoughts of how fragile society and individual life are. Was the shooter politically motivated? Some say yes. Some say no. Whatever the motivation, an innocent man, a technician working at the event, was killed. Elections do have a way of pointing out, emphasizing and creating chasms between people. It's so important for us, everywhere, to find ways to live together with respect and without fear. Today, I was sure it was Friday and I think it was maybe my brain suggesting that it would best for this week to be over.

But I did find something good to do.  I went upstairs today and started working on a painting.  It's still in progress.  I picked some of the beautiful 'galets' from France, an acorn from a walk with Meeko and some bush cranberries from my backyard. A couple of hours of painting smooth, beautiful stones and my frayed nerves started to feel soothed again. And because it is Thursday today and not Friday, I have another lovely day of painting ahead of me tomorrow. 

Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try
No people below us, above it's only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do
No need to kill or die for and no religions too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger a brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing for the world

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
Take my hand and join us
And the world will live, will live as one

Imagine
John Lennon

16 comments:

  1. What a beautiful gift, very much deserved since the painting was gorgeous; what a horrible event...very sad...
    I love your painting, pebbles-gallets are all time favorites to me, I started collecting them since I was little, I can't help it, my husband laughs at me all the time when I pick them up on my walks, sometimes more than one...
    Sorry about Meekos snack, oops!!

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    1. Thanks Maria for all of your thoughtful comments. I totally understand your love (should I say obsession?) with smooth stones. They are so beautiful to look at and to hold. Plus you do those beautiful paintings on yours. :)

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  2. Beautiful and touching. Thank you, Kathleen, for adding those special lyrics at the end.

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    1. Thanks Jody. Those beautiful lyrics get me every time. Such a simple idea but so hard to do.

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  3. Such a lovely gift! A good heartwarming moment in the middle of this madness that too often casts a shadow on our world. It
    is good therapy I think to concentrate on the beauty at hand, the painting waiting to be completed, the gestures of friendship, the lovely lyrics-thank you for all that. Have a great Friday painting.XX

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    1. The stones are so beautiful and the thought of my friends gathering them specially for me was very touching. Madness is a good word for the events of this past week, but reassigning our focus to beauty and goodness is, as you say, effective therapy.:)

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  4. Love the gift, very thoughtful of them! Enjoy the painting! :-)

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    1. It was very thoughtful and so appreciated. Have a good Friday!

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  5. did you feel my wave as i drove through montreal late wednesday night?
    Quebec is such a beautiful province.

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    1. I waved back! You are right, Quebec is a beautiful province. And it is full of beautiful people.

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  6. We heard here in France on TV about the elections, and then about the shooting, we are thinking of canadians, a long way from you.
    I see that your on progress painting of galets and cranberries will be gorgeous. How lucky you are to have cranberries in your garden; I have dried ones in my pantry and didn't find how to bake them yet :)

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    1. The man who died is considered a hero here. It seems that without him, there would have been many more lives lost: https://www.facebook.com/pages/En-m%C3%A9moire-de-Denis-Blanchette/117480325065618

      The cranberries I have are high bush cranberries (viburnum trilobum). Apparently you can eat them in a similar way to true cranberries but I tend to leave them for my friends, the birds. :)

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  7. Wonderful lyrics, they played this at the Olympics and showed Johns image, so beautiful, I just wish they were true. People who have guns can use them! I'm afraid I would have them banned, or very limited use, as these cases crop up too frequently. The stones look lovely too, so nice to touch as well as to look at, you enjoy your painting time!

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    1. It's a beautiful song. I saw it played at the ceremony too. I agree with all of your gun comments. I painted again today. I love painting natural objects.

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  8. A beautiful gift of stones and then a beautiful painting. Senseless loss of life is so so sad.

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  9. Oh Kathleen, I'm sorry to visit so lata after your post. I've heard about the shooting, and it left me speechless. It takes so much effort & miracles for a human to be created, it just disgusts me when life is taken away so easily & quickly. Thinking about him & his family.
    On a different subject, yes, smooth stones have something special to them. I love that you added acorns & cranberries, it totally makes a sweet composition !
    xoxox

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Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and to leave me a comment. I love reading them. -- Kathleen

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