Thursday, March 5, 2015

People and Outings and Thoughts in Our World

In the previous post, I told you about Matt Majid, the elite cocktail-making juggler who practices his skills under Vancouver's Cambie Bridge.  Dreamy cherry blossoms behind him, he has a sense of wonder in his expression here. 
 Looks like the syrop flavouring is perfectly lined to enter the cup :)
 Cyclists riding along the False Creek bikeway, children playing in the enclosed area..
 and along False Creek's shore just behind him,
mothers engrossed in capturing precious moments,
 others catching equally precious moments of rest,
 and still others fitting in fitness wherever and however they can in their busy lives.
 A man passes by with covered shopping cart,
 and children have a view of Matt's performance even as they savour the flight..
 to places my imagination still conjures up with only the tiniest bit of encouragement.
Lots of smiles around us, and still more to come when Matt shares a story with us.  A year ago, he noticed a toddler, still too young for speech, with his mother.  She was new to the country and not yet speaking English.  The little boy couldn't express his fascination in words, but there was no mistaking the mesmerized entrancement in his eyes. Mother and child visited almost daily, boy fixated always on the objects flying through the air to be swept up for a second in Matt's hands and magically launched again.  No words were exchanged between Matt and his audience of two, but the communication between them couldn't be denied.  Through the winter season, they lost touch with each other but in the spring, a happy meet-up one day proved they could pick up right where they left off.  Only this time, the boy walked up to Matt, introduced himself and words were exchanged.  The mother, too, with her newly acquired English vocabulary, was able to express herself.  To Matt, this was beautiful.  A small tableau that speaks to the memories that shape our future. The fact Matt chose to share this story with us warmed out hearts.   
    We bid him good-bye and as we left, passed by this skateboarder.
He flipped his board..
and landed..
perfectly, as though it were..
 the easiest thing to do in the world.
Just past the skateboard area, we admired these blooms (Rhodos?) My cute pet could not be kept out of the garden area :) 
Greenery popped up, even along the curb of a busy city street, as we made our way to Harrison Galleries.

The work of Steven Friedman, one of our favourite photographers, was reflected in a..

beautiful table that sits in the centre of the room.  With another of his works just over the first, I loved this triple layer affect.
And, it was about a week ago that we visited the Vancouver Art Gallery.  I'll probably come back to that visit again in the next post, but in the mean time, perhaps you can imagine our reaction when we first looked at an entire room full of paintings that looked like the one below.  In fact, it was the same art we had chuckled at during  a previous visit.  On this second viewing, something made me spend a little more time with the paintings.  I'm not sure what these people..  
 were thinking but I'm guessing something along the lines of, "This is art?"   
The artist is Qui Shihua (b.1940).  I took the time to read on the gallery walls that..
his process of painting involves "being in the moment, a description that lends itself to expressionism but is equally based in the Chinese philosophy of Taoism."  I photographed more of that information that you can read below.
After staring at the paintings for a few minutes, I began to see some faint shapes and forms, that could have been landscapes, and these emerged even more when I examined my photographs, reduced highlights and increased definition. It will still take some patience to spend the time necessary to appreciate these works, but at least, we no longer wonder how he convinced the gallery to display a room full of blank canvases :) 
A little ride to Olympic Village Park on another beautiful day brought out some textures..
and lots of wonderful colour.. 
around us.
We have noticed these birdhouses many times, 
but Bill remarked on this ladybug in the tree that we must have missed on previous visits.
The sun was so bright that Bill struggled to look into it,
but as you can see, there was still a little nip in the air :) 
I played with my camera..
and loved this little feather caught in the branch of a tree.
I asked Bill to walk the stepping stones..
and he did that most cooperatively.
It wasn't long, though, before his sense of humour..
emerged to take over the moment.
I realized I wasn't the only one laughing when..
a couple behind me asked if we would share the youtube video when it was published :) 
Two more outings, one just a walk through city streets where we admired this mosaic tile at our feet.  Bill noticed the seaplane right away and I focused on Engine 374, as it lives just around the corner from our apartment.  I discovered a blog this morning titled the Third Wave Cycling Blog.  In this post, the writer talks of all the things to be discovered when one cycles around the city, but on this occasion, it was a walk that really brought the mosaic to our attention.  Here's the blurb quoted from the blog about the art: Transported Through Time (2008), by Bruce Walther. Located at Smithe and Burrard St. Historic rendering of transportation modes in Vancouver --First Nations boat, electric inter-urban streetcar, bus, seaplane, ocean liner, train and bicycle. 
On this day, we were not wandering, but actually had a destination in mind .  Having passed by the First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard Street many times on our visits to St. Andrew's Wesley for the Jazz Vespers concerts, we thought we would like to see the inside of what we knew was a heritage building.
Bill tried every door, but sadly, all were locked.  A young woman walked by and told us the church opens to tourists on Monday mornings only, and that busloads of people often take advantage of that.  Perhaps, we will go on a Monday in the future, but in the mean time, 
Bill admired the poppy in the highest window of the building,
and I also liked the greens and golds..   
of the windows and the beautiful arches and stonework around them.
 As we headed back in the direction of home, the afternoon sun was hitting the walls..
of high-rises around us and we both thought the reflections looked rather like totem poles.
We were just about home when Bill recognized Dolce and her friendly human, Uli.  We hadn't seen them in ages, and were happy they are still in the area.  Neighbourhood friends are all the more special, I think, in big cities (I think of Vancouver as a big city).
A final outing to talk about today (but a few more waiting in the wings) was our rainy evening ride over the Burrard Bridge to see Birdman.  I took a couple of screen shots of moments in in the film, this one looking down on the set of a broadway play that movie actor (played by Michael Keaton) is struggling to mount.  I liked this movie quite a lot..  in fact, I might even.. 
venture to say it deserved its Oscar wins (though Mr. Turner remains one of my favourite movies this year, and that in some very, very strong company.  I think we have had a rich selection of movies to enjoy these past few months).  Below, Birdman talks with his daughter, and as you can see, they are both suffering.  Fame comes with a huge price..   
and the more one needs it to feel a sense of identity, the more everyone attached to that person is pushed to the role of bolstering that ego or fading to the sidelines.
It isn't a happy movie but I had moments of exhilaration that brought back a long-ago memory of seeing ET. I am not always willing to suspend disbelief but.. 
for some reason, the feeling of floating over the top of one's insecurities to give ego just about as much space (can you find it below?) as it deserves in the big picture appealed to me.  Bill wasn't quite as entranced, although, as always, we enjoyed some fun conversations related to our evening out and we were both energized by the bike ride.  
There's another post coming later today.  Black Jack will be in that one for sure :) Thank you, as always, for stopping by.  Your visits mean the world!  


  1. you've got spring bursting out all over!

  2. Beautiful blossom and lovely images, Carol! It is nice seeing all the children outside smiling and playing..I love the tree artwork.. And I have to see I missed Black Jack.. Have a happy day!

  3. I really enjoyed the smiles of the children and those shots of them on the swings.

  4. The first pink flowers among your photos are, I think, camelias. You surely have an active city life especially with the skate=boarders. Always something going on. Missed Black Jack :)

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