Saturday, June 7, 2014

fear, grief and forgiveness...

The weak can never forgive.
Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
- Mahatma Gandhi
I write this post with a heavy heart
but i am writing it anyway.
I live near Shediac, a small coastal town in Eastern Canada.
The nearest city is Moncton, about 15 minutes away.
This week was a crazy week for Moncton
and the kind of week we're not used to in this small, friendly,
peaceful place we call home.
A young man of 24 went on a shooting rampage
and killed 3 Mounties and injured 2 others.
For 30 hours, the city was in lockdown
as the RCMP searched for the gunman.
These brave souls had just lost 3 of their own
and grieving would have to wait because
they had a job to do.
People were asked to lock their doors and stay in.
They were also asked to keep their porch lights on,
to help with the search in the darkness of night...
People did leave their lights on
and in a show of solidarity,
others across Canada and elsewhere in the world
left their lights on as well...
You can see some of them here:

Whenever something like this happens
i'm reminded that there are FAR more good people in this world than bad.
At 12:10am on Wednesday, June 4th,
the shooter was caught and taken into custody.
We all breathed a sigh of relief...
and then of grief.
The next day,
people began to bring flowers at the RCMP headquarters in Moncton...
by 7pm last night, about a thousand people had gathered
to pay their respects to the fallen...
My heart goes out to everyone -
including the young man who did the shooting - and his family.
No parent raises their child
hoping that he or she becomes a mass murderer.
It broke my heart when i heard people wish him dead...
it doesn't mean i want him FREE,
but i think it's wrong to wish the death of another,
regardless of what they've done.
As much as i understand the anger and the fear -
I also believe there are far more people
on the brink of a mental breakdown
than we may think
and I believe in forgiveness more than i do hate.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King Jr.

And soooooo....
when the time came to paint,
although my heart felt heavy,
I wanted to paint something light...
so I started with this - on canvas, about 2 x 2ft
from a photo of my uncle who loves to bake. :-)
 at first, it didn't look too bad...
as i went along, i was more and more uneasy with it...
by the time i got here, he looked like a man
who had lost his arms... 
or like he had lobster claws for hands... hehehee.
 So i tried fixing it by showing more of his shirt,
lowering the pan,
widening the arms,
lightening the background...
Then i decided to put one of his arms
under the pan completely...
in the photo, he's holding it with his 2 hands -
but i'm the artist, and that means i can put his hand where i want!
 I also decided to stretch his head right out of the canvas
rather than try to squeeze his whole body AND the pan inside the canvas.
Certainly not done yet, but I'm a lot more comfortable with it.
At a certain point,
i came so close to painting over the whole thing.
I sat and stared at it for about 5 minutes
wondering if I could really salvage the lobster claws... ;-)
We'll see where it ends up after the next sitting,
but i already like it more than i did, so it should be ok.
When the palette starts to look like this,
it's time to take a break!
And something I thought you'd all appreciate...
i definitely relate to some of this.
Much of this.
ok, all of this. 

thanks for being here Munchkins.
Be kind to one another.
Be grateful for what you have,
where you are,
WHO you are.


  1. My heart goes out to everyone. I can't imagine what the week has been like for all of you. :/ I'm glad you were able to paint. xo

  2. My heart is with those in grief! I can't fathom what those 30 hours of terror must have felt like... A good reminder what war looks like in other countries. Fortunately it was only 30 hours not years and years! Still that is no consolation for is a time of peace and healing. I know the relief I felt several Provinces away after I sent your email then turned on the tv to see he'd been caught!

    Thanks for sharing your process with us! I got a little chuckle over the lobster claw reference! Your uncle looks like a very friendly human so far! I look forward to this in it's completion! Take care....and exhale!

    Hugs Giggles

  3. It's awful when things like this happen, en so very hard to understand how someone can come to a point where he starts taking other people's lives..... The guys that died look so young ... Sadly, it happens way too often. Symptom of our society I'm afraid. I'm glad you managed to move your thoughts a bit by painting. Love following the steps you took to make it more to your liking. And the picture with the palette: yes, definitely time to take a break ;-)

  4. So very sad! Such tragedies are always greatly felt by all. Your words are always so good though and I love that baking uncle of yours. Keep well and at peace dear friend,

  5. A very touching post. Your writing and artistry must be very cathartic for you. My husband is with the OPP and as everyone else we grieve for the fallen and their families. So very, very tragic.AND I have been thinking a lot about the shooter's family and how although he did horrendous acts....he is someone's baby. What heavy hearts they must feel. Just so puzzling. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh, my dear, I wondered how close this was to you. I hope you can feel the hug I am embracing you with across the miles because it is real, filled with love, and I'm not sure when I will let go. xo

  7. I share your sentiments re. the shooter. It must be devastating for his family too. My heart goes out to all those affected by this tragedy. xo