Why Do We Share Our Worst Selves With Those We Love The Most?

Why do we save our worst behavior for the people we love the most?  I thought about that after I saw the movie Lady Bird.  It’s the story of a girl named Christine who prefers people call her Lady Bird. She is in her senior year of high school.  Lady Bird and her mother love each other but they disagree about almost everything. In an early scene in the movie the mom and daughter fight because the mother won’t let her daughter cook breakfast for herself even though she is perfectly capable of doing so.   There is a contentious scene where their tastes clash over the selection of Lady Bird’s prom dress. Near the end of the movie the mother is angry her daughter wants to go to New York to school so she can’t bring herself to wish her daughter well or even go into the airport to say good-bye as she heads off to college.  The two women just can’t seem to get along.  

But there are moments when their underlying love for one another shines through.  When Lady Bird has a disappointing  first sexual encounter her mother is there to comfort her and they spend a Sunday afternoon touring real estate Open Houses having a great time together imagining they might live in the homes they are viewing.

Save for a few of these sporadic episodes of affection the two woman are diffident and contrary with one another throughout the movie bringing out their worst character traits whenever they are interacting. 

I am sure many audience members could identify as they considered some of their own relationships.  Perhaps there is friction in their marriage relationship despite an underlying love.  Perhaps there is tension in a sibling relationship despite a sense of belonging together.  Perhaps there is conflict in a friendship despite an assumed loyalty.

The mother in the movie is a psychiatric nurse and is so gentle and understanding and non-judgmental with her patients.  Most of the time however she just can’t exhibit that same gentleness and understanding and open-mindedness with her own daughter. 

Why do we so often save our worst behavior for the people we love the most? 

Other posts………

He Watches, He Listens, He Thinks, He writes. 

I Live in a Movie Set

Botswana Moves Up the Bucket List


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Why Did You Say That?

At the beginning of each tour we give at the Winnipeg Art Gallery we provide this welcome.

” We acknowledge the Winnipeg Art Gallery in located on Treaty One land, the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Dene, Dakota and Oji-Cree Nations and the homeland of the Métis.”  

Treaty One by artist Robert Houle

At the beginning of November I gave a drop- in guided tour to about twenty five gallery visitors and after the tour was over one woman stayed back to ask me a question.  She was from a small rural community some distance from Winnipeg.  “I was just wondering,”  she said, “why you made the statement you did at the beginning of the tour.”

The Delegate- Portage and Main by indigenous artist Jeffrey M. Thomas

 I said that kind of acknowledgement was now common place at many Winnipeg venues.  I told her I’d heard similar statements before concerts at the Centennial Concert Hall, at Winnipeg Jets games at the MTS Centre, at plays at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, before morning announcements at public schools I visit and that in my church such an acknowledgment was either announced or printed in our church bulletin each week. She seemed surprised to hear this. 

Treaty Map of Canada

I told the woman indigenous people had lived on the land where the art gallery stands for thousands of years, long before settlers from other parts of the world came to Canada.  I explained the importance of respecting that and recognizing that although treaties regarding land use were negotiated with indigenous groups their understanding and the settlers’ understanding of those treaties was very different. I said acknowledging the original inhabitants of the land was a way to work towards a more respectful relationship with indigenous Canadians and to actively pursue a path of reconciliation.  

Treaty medal on display at the Glenbow Museum

The woman thanked me for my explanation.  She said she had learned something new.  I had too because I’d really had to think about how I could best answer her question.  And maybe that’s exactly why we acknowledge our presence on Treaty One land before every tour at the Winnipeg Art Gallery………… because it makes us all take a moment and think about something really important. 

Other posts……..

Gone But Not Forgotten

Ojibwa in Paris

Build Your Own

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Filed under Art, Canada, History, WInnipeg Art Gallery

Sorry but I Like Facebook

“Facebook is evil.”  I was having lunch with a colleague not long ago and was somewhat shocked when she made that judgemental statement. 

I know are many good reasons NOT to spend time on Facebook but……………. I like spending time on Facebook for many  good reasons too.  

Last week I spent an evening helping my seventy-nine year old aunt upload photos to her Facebook page.  She was excited to share images from the three trips she made this past year with her friends and family.  I had a nice evening visiting with her and she made me a great supper.  Thank you Facebook.

me and hannahLast week my niece Hannah who lives in Ontario sent me a message via Facebook. She was desperate for some new books to read.  Did I have any recommendations?  I sent Hannah a list of books I had enjoyed in the last year or so and she told me she was going to start at the top of the list and read her way down.  I look forward to talking to her about the books she’s reading and compare notes.  Thank you Facebook. 

lake winnipeg al loeppky

Lake Winnipeg-photo by Al Loeppky

My cousin Al has a house on Lake Winnipeg and he is always posting these absolutely gorgeous photos of the lake and surrounding area on Facebook.  They make me appreciate the created world.  Thank you Facebook. 

The head of my school programs department at the Winnipeg Art Gallery has started a Facebook page where all the  guides share ideas and information about our tours with each other.  It is very helpful!  Thank you Facebook. 

My cousin Dirk and his partner just moved back to Taiwan and his Facebook posts are keeping me up to date on his life there.  I miss my cousins and it is nice to see glimpses of their life in Asia. 

me and aunt vi- summer 2011My aunt Vi is celebrating her 95th birthday at the beginning of December.  I am flying to Saskatoon to host a party for her.  I used Facebook messenger to announce the party to all my cousins and invite them to attend. Thank you Facebook. 

hong kong student farewell

At a farewell lunch some of our students hosted for us before we left Hong Kong.

We lived and worked in Hong Kong for six years and via Facebook I am able to keep up with the activities, careers and families of my Hong Kong highschool students and colleagues.  I learn about marriages, births and new jobs.  Then when we travel to places where our former colleagues and students live and get together with them I have lots of topics for conversation because I have been following their lives on Facebook.  Thank you Facebook. 

This week I used Facebook to give my niece Stephanie some help with buying a Christmas gift for her daughter.  

I used Facebook to publicize a book club I am leading at the art gallery.  

I used Facebook to bid on some items being auctioned as a fundraiser for the Manitoba Writers Guild 

I used Facebook to provide links to the blog posts I wrote.  

I used Facebook to brag a little about an award won by my son’s music group.  

Thank you Facebook. 

I know there is talk that Facebook was partially responsible for electing Donald Trump President of the United States and I may never forgive them for that, but I do like Facebook.  I can’t help it. 

Other posts………..

To Unfriend or Not? 


Technology and Family Time

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Inside a Language Womb

“The room is dark and in the middle are three walls in a triangle, painted black and covered in foam. Stepping in and standing in the centre of the triangle you’re immediately surrounded by a loud rhythmic sound, like a heartbeat or the rush of blood through veins. Then the voice of a woman speaks Anishinaabemowin an Ojibway language. It’s both beautiful and overwhelming.”

That’s the way CBC personality Rosana Deerchild who hosts the popular radio show Unreserved describes a piece of sound art in the Insurgence/Resurgence exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  She calls Scott Benesiinaabandan’s work a language womb

I like to use that description too when I lead gallery visitors into the dark interior of the exhibit.  I invite them to imagine they are in a womb listening to a mother’s heart beating, her blood rushing and her soothing voice almost like a lullaby telling her baby the story of her family and her people.  Kids especially like being inside Scott Benesiinaabandan’s untitled art installation.  It is just a little bit scary at first because it is dark and so they are excited.  Then their eyes adjust to the darkness.  They start listening to the woman’s soothing voice and are lulled by the rhythmic ‘heart beats’ in the background. Invariably they grow comfortable, quiet and calm and don’t want to leave the exhibit.   

Scott Benesiinaabandan is a University of Winnipeg graduate and an emerging Anishinabe artist based in Montreal. His piece in the current Insurgence/Resurgence exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery is one of my favorites. 

Other posts…………


Zip Ties and The Three Little Pigs

This Looks Familiar

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Filed under Art, WInnipeg Art Gallery

Don’t Be Scared to be Creative

To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong. – Joseph Chilton Pearce

That’s something I need to keep telling myself. It’s something we need to keep telling each other. It is especially something we need to keep telling our children.  So often we hamper creativity or put a stop to it all together because we expect too much of ourselves and too much of others.  We need to remember……….You don’t have to be a professional photographer to love taking  pictures.You don’t have to be an art critic or art history student to enjoy art and learn as much as you can about it.

You don’t have to be a trained musician to have a good time singing or playing an instrument.   

You don’t have to be an art school graduate to have lots of fun creating artwork. 

You don’t need extensive theatre experience to act in a play and have a great time with your fellow actors and audience. You needn’t have attended journalism school to write a book or a story or a blog post that others can enjoy reading. 

You don’t have to be a top chef to make some really creative dishes.

In her book Big Magic Elisabeth Gilbert lists twenty five fears people have about being more creative.  Everything from a fear of being ridiculed, undisciplined, untrained, or embarrassed.  And I would add…….. a fear of being wrong. 

It’s a hard fear to overcome and I struggle with it mightily.  But we need to get over it!

Other posts……….

When Did You Stop Drawing? 

Dave Driedger Nature Photographer

Siloam Mission At the Winnipeg Art Gallery


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Our European Bed

On our bicycle trip in Europe Dave and I really loved the bedding in our hotels.  We usually had a king size mattress to share but we didn’t have to share a blanket as each bed was outfitted with a pair of duvets, folded over and placed on their respective sides.  This eliminated any tussling over the same blanket during the night.  We decided we would like to try a similar thing in our condo bedroom. When we got home Dave ordered a pair of goose down duvets and now they’ve arrived.  I had already found matching duvet covers and after slipping our new duvets inside we were ready for our first night at home sleeping European style!

Other posts……….

I Don’t Make My Bed

Quilts Galore

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Filed under Bike Trip Boden See

Everyone’s A Winner

I attended the Arts Junktion fundraiser last Friday night.  We are annual patrons of the event.  In case you don’t know Arts Junktion does wonderful work by redistributing reusable stuff to community artists.  Businesses donate materials to Arts Junktion that might otherwise be headed for landfills and the ArtsJunktion volunteers organize the materials and make them available free of charge to teachers, early childhood educators, crafters, community organizations and the general public. Arts Junktion also hosts workshops led by artists to educate people on how to use the materials available for various art projects. It’s a win/win experience for everyone involved. 

Regular features of the annual fundraiser night at the Kings Head Pub are a 50/50 draw, a silent auction and a raffle for a brand new bicycle donated by the Les Wiens Investors Group.  Last Friday Dave and I bought tickets for all the contests.  

At the end of the evening Allison Moore the new chair of the Arts Junktion board started pulling tickets for the silent auction winners.  Lo and behold my number was selected and I had won a collection of things including…….. a beautiful necklace, a gift certificate to a designer clothing shop and a print by local artist Craig Love.  I was excited! 

black and white with bikeThen came the draw for the bicycle.  Les Wiens who had donated the bike pulled the winning ticket.  He teased the audience a bit. The winner’s last name ends with ‘r’ he said and it starts with ‘D’ and the first initial is ‘M’. By then I was pretty sure I was the winner and by the time he read out my full name I was already half way up to the front to get my prize.  

I had a lovely chat with Les later and also with the owner of White Pine Bicycle Company where the bike was purchased.  He told me I was free to come in and trade my bike for another color or size anytime.  I don’t think that will be necessary. I’ve tested my bike already riding it up and down the long hallways in our condo and think it will be the perfect bike for me.  I did give my neighbor Stephanie a little scare when I zipped by her as she walked up from the elevator. 

Although I was a big winner at the Arts Junktion fundraiser this year everyone who goes is really a big winner because they are all contributing to a great cause that promotes artistic expression and environmental responsibility for everyone in the community.  

Other posts. …….

Tin Can Art and Feeding the Homeless




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