Just look at this elegant English tea party arrangement! On Saturday I got together with three former teaching colleagues. We call ourselves the T-4s and about once a month or so we spend an afternoon or evening together. This time we enjoyed a real British tea at my friend Glenys’ beautiful home. She and Debbie had pulled out all the stops to arrange for a fun afternoon complete with dainties to die for, two kinds of tea and a perfectly appointed tea table. Decorations included my friend Debbie’s lovely collection of quaint David Winter cottages and……… a family heirloom from Glenys’ aunt, a musical teapot that played Tea for Two when you picked it up. We ended the afternoon with rounds of Password and Catch Phrase which sometimes involved such crazy clues that we were all laughing too hard to give an answer.
The T-4s Solve a Mystery
Make New Friends But Keep the Old
Hugh John McDonald School is on my street. Its outer walls are decorated with these beautiful mosaics.
To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak. – Hopi Indian saying
Music is a rainbow. – Stephen Earl
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. – Margaret Mead
Your limits are up there somewhere waiting for you to reach beyond infinity. – Arnold Henry former NCAA basketball player
We should consider everyday lost on which we have not danced at least once. – Friedrich Nietzsche
Life is like soccer. You need goals. – Author unknown
The Paper Garden
The Heidelberg Project
Inspiration at The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
This famous poem by William Carlos Williams is imprinted on a wall in The Hague.
When I taught high school I used to ask my students to write their own poems using the Williams poem as inspiration. The Williams poem is said to be based on a note his wife left on the fridge for him. I asked my students to think of place where they might leave a note and what they would say.
Here is a sample I wrote for my students about a note left by me on student work ………
This is just to say
on your assignment
is for real
you probably thought
figure it out
but you plagiarized
and I am
than you think
Fifteen Dogs and Writing Poetry
Dancing in Shangri-la
Poetry and Teenagers
On September 15, 2012 I took photos of this Winnipeg Strike Mural on the south wall of the Whiskey Dix night club on Main Street. I captured the art work just in time because later that same month a wicked rain and wind storm ripped the vinyl mural from the wall and damaged it. The mural painted by Tom Andrich tells the story of perhaps the most memorable event in Winnipeg history, the strike of 1919. In May some 30,000 workers walked off the job because of poor working conditions and a lack of employment opportunities especially for World War I veterans. Union organizers wanted an eight-hour work day, collective bargaining and demanded employers pay a living wage. These are the strike leaders who were imprisoned. The woman is Helen Armstrong. Nicknamed Wild Woman of the West she was a union organizer who championed the cause of working women. Born in Toronto she moved to Winnipeg in 1905 and became the leader of the Women’s Labor League. Her leadership helped bring a minimum wage to Manitoba. During the Winnipeg Strike Helen organized kitchens to feed female strikers and harassed strike breakers who were crossing the picket line. She encouraged women to boycott stores where the workers were on strike and challenged them to join the men on strike. She was arrested and jailed for inciting people to strike, disorderly conduct and encouraging the abuse of strike breakers.
Winnipeg business owners organized a Citizen’s Committee of One Thousand to oppose the strikers. They blamed foreign immigrants for the strike and many were deported. The majority of the strikers however were British.On June 21, 1919, war veterans organized a parade to protest the arrest of labor leaders. They were also upset at the government edict that the labor movement newspaper could no longer be published. 6,000 people gathered in front of City Hall. When a streetcar, operated by strike breakers came by the protesters overturned it and set it on fire.The federal government had sent out the Royal North West Mounted Police to help put an end to the strike. Carrying clubs and firearms the North West Police charged into the crowd after the street car was overturned. They began to fire their weapons.June 21, 1919 became known as Bloody Saturday, because the North West Mounties killed two strikers, wounded thirty-four and made nearly a hundred arrests. The mural on Main Street has a portrait of one of the men who died. His name was Mike Sokolowski. After Bloody Saturday the strike organizers fearing more violence called the strike to a halt and the strikers went back to work on June 26th.
1000 Nails A Musical Mural
David Bowie in My Neighbourhood
“The merchants stepped into the modern era still carrying the weight of the yoke on their shoulders.”
That’s a line from the book Ru by Kim Thuy. I just finished reading her poetic and haunting novel about life in Vietnam and a family much like her own that immigrates to Canada. The book was a beautiful reminder of my own visit to Vietnam. Kim Thuy’s non-sequential narrative moves from one scene to another each describing a different time or event in her protagonist An Tinh’s life. Certain sentences in Ru seemed almost to have been written as captions for some of the photos I took in Vietnam.
“The women let the sadness grow in the chamber of their hearts. They were so weighed down by all their grief they couldn’t pull themselves up……bowed under the weight of their sorrow.”
“the little girl who was swallowed up by the sea after she lost her footing”
“I was born in the shadow of skies ………….. shot through with rockets and missles.”
“I was lucky enough to have parents who were able to hold their gaze steady”
“people are too preoccupied by their day-to-day survival to take the time to write their collective history”
“Aside from his mother’s teeth laquered black he had forgotten the faces of his parents.”
“He had slept in underground tunnels.”
“She mixed the pork with steaming rice in a blue and white bowl”
Hearing the Red River Valley in Hanoi
Sliding on the Sand
Filed under Books, vietnam
Meet Annie Moose and Brenda Longclaws. Their portrait is currently featured in the exhibit We Are On Treaty Land at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Annie was 113 when she died in 2007. She was an educator and the mother of 15 children, grandmother of 63, great grandmother of 214 and great, great grandmother of 80.
In this photo taken in 1996 by First Nations photographer Murray McKenzie, Annie poses with Brenda Longclaws, an assistant principal at Gordon Bell Collegiate.
Annie’s obituary in the Montreal Gazette quoted her as saying that she believed her longevity might have had something to do with her love for her family and her ability to take hardship in stride. Brenda Longclaws says, ” I like to get people smiling and see them in a good light.”
Annie and Brenda represent two very different generations of aboriginal women.
Other posts about We Are On Treaty Land………
What’s a Bandolier Bag?
Abstract and Frustrating