Thursday, October 23, 2014

Contemplations and Joys

My thoughts this morning continue to be with the family members and loved ones preparing funerals for  Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer, Patrice Vincent, two Canadian soldiers, cruelly struck down this past week in, of all places, the homeland they valued so deeply.  This photo, found after an image search, is very tiny but their faces will loom large in my memory for a long time to come.  My heartfelt thanks go to them.  May they rest in peace.   
Nathan Cirillo  Patrice Vincent  
You can listen to the speech in response to this horrific event by Primer Minister Harper, as well as those by Leader of the Opposition, Thomas Mulcair, and Liberal Leader, Justin Trudeau here.  These three excerpts reflect in part, my thought that we must pull together in a stronger than ever spirit of cooperation and respect for all those, wherever they may live, who value peace.
"I have no doubt Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges." Mr. Harper
"I'm here tonight in solidarity, side by side with my colleagues, with our prime minister, and with all Canadians," Mr. Mulcair
"Continued mutual co-operation and respect will help prevent the influence of distorted ideological propaganda posing as religion.” Mr. Trudeau

I am sharing my post this morning with Meri, of Share the Joy.  Celebrating life is all the more vital to me in the reminder that there are no guarantees of the time we have here on earth.  Three of my joys are art, music and loved ones.  

The art below was created by young students at the international school where I taught for many years.  The students represented 30+ countries and it was a joy for me to watch them working together on this project (the gym wall was covered with their posters) to remember the horrors of war while celebrating individual acts of heroism.  We saw that sort of heroism yesterday, over and over again, something that also looms large in my memory.
I took the photo below during my visit to Ottawa.  This art by Turkish artist, Hikmet Çetinkaya, was on the wall in the cafeteria of the Canadian War Museum.

I listened to music a lot yesterday.  It gives me comfort.  A young boys' choir from Wales (link sent by my sister), a song picked up from a busker on Granville Island (Everybody's Talkin'), a jazz piece that I've been playing on the piano (Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man) and then, this aria from a Korngold opera are quite a mix of styles, but each, in their own way, brought me great joy.  In the aria, there is a leap of an octave that occurs between 0:47 and 0:52 that I heard just as I walked into the room a few days ago.  Bill was sitting at the table, Black Jack was in his lap, and that note almost took me off my feet.  I felt as though we lifted together beyond all stress to a place of the greatest peace.  I would wish that feeling for you, should you have time to listen to the recording.

And finally, a few moments recorded with Bill and Black Jack yesterday. We had biked a little and managed to let Black Jack have a little run in the rain, but in the end, we decided to put the bikes away and walk together up Davie Street to do some grocery shopping.  The light rain suddenly became torrents but we pulled under the protection of a small roof over a shop and I tried to capture the beautiful drops as they hit the pavement.  By the time I got the camera out, that rain had lessened, but the photos caught reflected tail lights.. 
and they preserved a memory that I am loving today.
Last night, we started a new book on our Kindle.  We've struggled lately to find just the right read.  I loaded several on the KIndle yesterday, some suggestions from Bill's sister and some suggestions from facebook friends.  I don't know which one we will stick with, but I do know that I love that time after supper when Black Jack curls up between us on the couch.. 
and we read aloud to each other. 
We both love that Kindle.  Print size and lighting adjustable, it has made reading easy.
Thank you, Meri, for giving me a place to share my thoughts and joys today.  


  1. that last photo of black jack looking backwards to see you is too cute!

  2. The reflections on the wet and rainy roads are beautiful.

  3. Carol, I love the artwork and the colorful street reflections.. And Black Jack is always a favorite... Enjoy your evening and have a happy weekend!

  4. Thank you for the aria from Renee Fleming! So soothing. Do let us know what you settle on for your after supper reading. Phyllis

  5. The deaths in Canada were both tragic and shocking -- I think of our neighbor to the north as much more gentle and peaceful than the U.S. is, so the news of shootings was unexpected. I love my Kindle to, at least for novels. Not so much for non-fiction, because it's too hard to flip back and forth to compare passages.

  6. Such a lot of beautiful photos on your blogs -- and sad things too. It is a sad world we live in too often. I love the Renee Flemming clip, and as for the welsh boys choir, well what else could it be but fabulous. We are of Welsh extraction and just love male voice choirs. They have a rich history of old Welsh hymns many of which are in the minor key. What great photos of Black Jack and Bill. I also Love that primarily blue painting of poppies. I could live with that somewhere in my house.