The first day of the year was radiant and sunny in Vancouver and I hope it is a sign. I hope it will a radiant decade, if not, at least a year! A clear blue sky is showing up after all these humid grey skies. But I probably have found a solution: a light lamp! It is quite funny, thinking back about it as I did a radio report about it for a local radio in Mons, Belgium in 2007. It sounds true that we usually find answers to our own issues. But even if this thought seems egocentric, it is far from it.
I always wish to bring to others but I learnt a good lesson: without energy, peace and joy with yourself, you might pass on negativity. I tried to be very careful about it when I was teaching. I do remember a teacher about holidays and recharging: ‘It is crucial. If you have no rest, you pass on bad things such as frustration and impatience.’
On the first day of 2020, sitting on a bench in a park, I was observing these line-shaped trees, maybe coniferous trees, gently swaying in the wind. The concept of tree communication came back to me and I remember starting reading Peter Wohllenben’s ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’. The foliage of trees were being cut down in order to interlock and some branches, slightly bended, were like hands inviting you to dance. A dancing couple of trees.
Art is everywhere, even in words: nATuRal for example. I like the French word ‘partage’(meaning sharing) when you do find these letters.
Seeing what you want to see
We do see what we want to see. I miss Australia sometimes and I do see it, here, in Canada. I was even able to see Reunion island in New-Zealand. If you are focused enough, I think you can see what you want to see. As a teenager and even young adult, I was incredibly pessimistic. Going through tough events, my perspective changed and that is why gratitude became my pillar. We forget too easily that we are able to change ourselves.
2020 will sound...
I mentioned in my last post my will to volunteer, to collaborate on a project for the community, my love for public service. I wanted to volunteer for a French NGO (Valentin Haüys), providing audio books to visually impaired people in the past. Today, I'm thinking of going to read books to elderly people in hospices.
I love sounds and voices. There is so much in a voice. Warm voices, rocky voices, heavy-experienced voices, funny voices, original voices.
I have started writing podcasts but I have a technical issue with my recorder.
... like Art?
I am naturally going towards painting from the moment I arrived. I painted in good company: with a friend, Tanya and a good glass of wine (only one). It was a nice winter scene but with warm colours. We were listening to Bob Ross’s explanations. He has such a nice and gentle voice. I was thinking that it is such a 80’s signature. Today, the majority of online tutorials are so shouty and the editing is so fast paced, always wanting to go faster and faster, faster towards the end. I am not nostalgic. We have to live with our era but for nothing on Earth I would fit this one. I am embracing this difference, even if I suffer sometimes.
I also learnt knitting with Emily, a Canadian friend who was crucial in my good arrival in Vancouver.
Meeting, salt of life
I was very lucky to meet Idliko Kovacs. I interviewed her for the bilingual newspaper The Source: you can read the article here. This woman is amazing.
I felt so reinvigorated! I love this job for this reason: meeting people. For me, meetings and discussions are always enriching. They can also be challenging but I like to talk with people having very different views as it can be quite boring in a way to agree on everything and to be satisfied of it. I don’t like conflicts but a proper point of view defended in respect for each other. I am keeping an eye on the next public debates at the Vancouver Public Library…
Poverty in Vancouver
In Verbatim in The Source, I am mentioning the gap between rich and poor people in Vancouver but I think it is far from what I have seen in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
But it is still shocking that it is so significant in such a rich city. Hard drugs are a real plague. I have not heard yet about junkie attacks but I am not really going out at night anyway… During the day, some people beg downtown, others remain discreet or simply walk on the streets or on the bus.
Talking about bus, I was very surprised by a scene in a bus. A young man with sunglasses and headphones on was almost yelling at the bus driver, telling him he had no change but obviously, his outfit and accessories were clearly saying that he could afford a bus ticket. Then, his nose up, he went at the back of the bus. I was shocked as it had been weeks or even more that bus drivers’ strikes were on the news because of working conditions but also low salaries. How can someone lacks of respect towards public services? How do we reach such a situation?
I don’t want to stigmatize Canada, the situation is not better than in France: firemen, public hospital staff and other public services are attacked. But in general, I don’t understand how irrespectfull humans can be…
The value of things
I was thinking about the value that we are giving to things. Humans love what is rare and go without any scruples digging in the Earth’s guts for ripping off stones that took millions of years to be formed, for taking lives, those of mining slaves, which had been shaped by so much love, abnegation and work. But what about this rare moment of peace that we can have for ourselves, moment of laughing because of a play on words, moment of love at first sight?
Unfortunately, we realize how precious things are when they are lost, especially in such a capitalist and materialist world like ours. However, they are still reachable, right now…