returning

holidays, moving, and just plain busy-ness – oh how i’ve missed being out with mac!

a post in celebration of leapday and for sunny days to come. here are a few memories to brighten your day. 🙂

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blessing

in the midst of this holiday season, in the midst of recovery, maya angelou’s amazing peace – a true blessing for the world – remains poignant and timely.  whatever your culture, whatever your belief, may we all learn to look beyond complexion and see community…with peace may we create a language to translate ourselves to ourselves and to each otherwithout shynesswithout apologywithout hesitationpeace.

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with gratitude to maya…

amazing peace ~ a christmas poem

thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
and lightening rattles the eaves of our houses.
floodwaters await in our avenues.

snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to
avalanche
over unprotected villages.
the sky slips low and gray and threatening.

we question ourselves. what have we done to
so affront nature?
we interrogate and worry god.
are you there? are you there, really?
does the covenant you made with us still hold?

into this climate of fear and apprehension,
christmas enters,
streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
and singing carols of forgiveness high up in the
bright air.
the world is encouraged to come away from
rancour,
come the way of friendship.

it is the glad season.
thunder ebbs to silence and lightening sleeps
quietly in the corner.
floodwaters recede into memory.
snow becomes a yeilding cushion to aid us
as we make our way to higher ground.

hope is born again in the faces of children.
it rides on the shoulders of our aged as they
walk into their sunsets.
hope spreads around the earth, brightening
all things,
even hate, which crouches breeding in
dark corridors.

in our joy we think we hear a whisper.
at first it is too soft. then only half heard.
we listen carefully as it gathers strength.
we hear a sweetness.
the word is peace.
it is loud now.
louder than the explosion of bombs.

we tremble at the sound. we are thrilled by
its presence.
it is what we have hungered for.
not just the absence of war. but true peace.
a harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

we clap hands and welcome the peace of
christmas.
we beckon this good season to wait awhile
with us.
we, baptist and buddhist, methodist and
muslim, say come.
peace.
come and fill us and our world with your
majesty.
we, the jew and the jainist, the catholic and
the confucian,
implore you to stay awhile with us
so we may learn by your shimmering light
how to look beyond complexion and see
community.

it is christmas time, a halting of hate time.

on this plaform of peace, we can create a
language
to translate ourselves to ourselves and to
each other.

at this holy instant, we celebrate the birth of
jesus christ.
into the great religions of the world.
we jubilate the precious advent of trust.
we shout with glorious tongues the coming
of hope.
all the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
to celebrate the promise of peace.

we, angels and mortals, believers and
nonbelievers,
look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
peace. we look at our world and speak the
word aloud.
peace. we look at each other, then into
ourselves,
and we say without shyness or apology or
hesitation:

peace, my brother.
peace, my sister.
peace, my soul.

recovery

there have been so many events that have challenged the topic of this post since i started this draft five weeks ago.  these events have come in the form of a personal and continuing family rift; an accident that miraculously did not have the fatal result that it courted; a series of deeply disturbing dreams; global events that have sickened me with despair; and an illness that is most unwelcome.IMG_1176.sg

for each of these events the topic of recovery is even more apt.  before i go further though i must address our current global humanitarian crisis.

my heart is broken for the individuals and families that are being terrorized by isis.  please stand with me and others through avaaz, and pledge to face isis’s agenda of terror with love.  a very small gesture, but in the face of complete brutality and hopelessness it brings a small measure of comfort.

i cannot reconcile the hatred that has been displayed in my own country towards the very people who are already victims of this horrific regime.  the question echoes in my heart where is my canada?IMG_1190a.sg

and then while reading online i found this article about a man who has the compassion, generosity and resources to sponsor 50 refugee families.

omg, recovery!

this is my canada!  this is the home that i trust!  ReadyToHelp is a group that is pulling together resources and people to contribute in whatever way possible.  the actions of groups like RTH and people like jim estill have inspired in myself a turn away from despair and fear towards healing and hope.  the ripple effects of this kindness will continue to impact countless others.

to jim and his team of people making this happen (see “organizing syrian refugees” post), to the reporters that are putting out a message of love instead of suspicion and fear, and to the countless others that are giving whatever they can to help – know that your actions are supporting a powerful process of healing.  thank you for your kindness, generosity and compassion.IMG_0942.sg

now for my original post…

recovery has been on my mind a lot recently.  it is a process that can come in so many forms, and at any time.  most of the time recovery is possible, and on occasion even an enjoyable process.  generally recovery takes the form of rest – a time of stillness, of peacefulness.  but it always includes the breakdown of one thing, that necessarily makes room for the growth of another.IMG_1055.sg

perhaps that is the greatest miracle of this baffling existence.  that we can, within the space of a moment, experience the complexity of anger, compassion, helplessness, doubt, fear, love, inspiration, and despite our various wounds and agony we persevere. or maybe i have a multiple personality disorder.

IMG_0816a.sgas the northern hemisphere heads into its season of recovery i am grateful for a chance to settle my soul into the healing dark to rest. i hope that from this place of rest i can contribute a measure of healing, however big or small, to myself, to those i love, and to those that i can only reach through the ripple effects of small gestures.

may we all be blessed with recovery.IMG_1022.CR2.sg

sweaters

a perfectly sunny and slightly chilly autumn day in the gardens around the city.  the plants were out in their ‘sweaters’ it seemed – from cozy fuzzy favourites, to bulky standbys and tight knits.  the glorious array kept mac and me busy!  time for a hot cup of tea. enjoy!

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push

what is time?  where does it go?  and why must it continually contradict my wishes?

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so much has transpired in the past few weeks, and so little of this time has been spent exploring the macro world i love.

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the moments that mac and i have spent together lately have pushed me to explore scenes and subject matter outside of my comfort zone.

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i am learning (still) that being outside of my comfort zone is one of the most freeing experiences, yet there is always such resistance to the unknown – such a very aged problem.

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the results when we finally do dare ourselves are often so rich with material that it alters our reality.  and that is not something that is such a terrible thing.

new camera!

meet mac, my latest flame

mac 3she is named (tongue in cheek) for the lens that will one day adorn her gorgeous little body, but in the meantime i am crushing hard on my new little rebel!

deepest gratitude to my beautiful wife and friends for making this wish come so unexpectedly and delightfully true.  your support and love is truly inspirational and even a little overwhelming (in the best possible way).

i have previously been ‘working’ with borrowed equipment from my beloved and generous mentor, so it is difficult to put into words how much this means to me.

a thousand thank you’s and more xo

mac and i spent a beautiful day out and about in parks around the city.  here are some of the things we saw…enjoy!

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first show!

i celebrated my first show with friends last thursday night – yay!

this is a group show is in support of the families of the 43 mexican students who were abducted last year while en route to protest shady government policy. a year later these students are still missing, and there is no evidence of what has happened to them.  i cannot imagine what these people are living through or the pain these families are experiencing.

for this show each of the 16 artists donated a piece that will be auctioned on november 1st with the proceeds going to the families of the students.  below is my write up with the pieces i submitted (a couple are already posted elsewhere – i apologize for the redundancy):

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blossom
cleanse 3
cleanse
reverence 3
reverence

 

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sanctuary
wish 3
wish

stacey gardiner

in honour of the 43 i hope that the beauty of this work can provide a moment of relief in a world that is too often overwhelmed with horror

about me

i took my first macro shot with a point & shoot canon elph over 10 years ago and have been enthralled with exploring the world of tiny ever since. several canon reincarnations later i finally took the plunge with a “real” camera – a canon t3i with a 100mm f 2.8 macro lens. to my immense delight i found that my love for this art form continued to intensify and become part of me as my learning curve deepens.   

it is my hope that the images i capture bring you a moment of tranquility, peace, beauty, respite or whatever blessing is meaningful to you.

you can see these and other wonderful submissions in person at artisans at work – woodbine & danforth until october 1st.