Neighbourhood graffiti

 

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Ah, here people will start to turn up their noses.  This little piece is 2 blocs from  my home.  I always feel happy and safe when I see that orange glow and the little spaceship and the child? Hero? below.  Some of the work which is as long as the house it is painted on, is a little tagg-ish, if there is such a term.  Elaborate graffiti tags, modern calligraphy one might call them, have never appealed much to me.  I don’t tend to stop and absorb the narrative of the wall painting when it is made up of tags, no matter how elaborate they may be.  Maybe I should make a more conscious effort to examine this kind of work more closely.  We admire Arabic calligraphy and Japanese calligraphy, after all.  As you see, there is a commercial aspect to this work.  A name and telephone number invites us to commission our own work.  Should I, I wonder?  What would the neighbors say?

 

Water image for today:  the sky steel-grey, persistent, dense fine snow particles hurtle down from a loaded sky to the cold earth.  The wind veers the little  granules here and there in straight lines.  The sun is utterly forgotten in the onslaught of fine barely-frozen moisture.  A man dutifully takes his dog for a walk.  The dog would much prefer to be sitting by the fire but his master, his training, his habits, his insatiable nose urge him on.  The air smells of moisture, deadening the other facinating smells.  He looks up curiously at his master with his large brown eye, moist and glassy.  They turn the corner by the house with the graffiti and the dog catches sight of his steps, his door, his home

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Happy New Year to all

 

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There are a lot of expectations tied up with the New Year.  It is expected that people will spend time with family and friends, that people will have a lovely time.  That one should “bring in” the New Year with some ceremony, toasts, good food and good wishes.  Where do these expectations come from?  Tradition?  Memories?  Images that are sold to us?  Something to think about.  Every day is ” New Year” in some ways, I suppose and every New Year is rooted in the old one.

I read a little on the subject of blog writing…funny idea. . .reading about writing.  One of the contributors presented what I thought was an interesting idea.  She said she believed we could think of ourselves as water in its various forms, liquid, ice, vapor, still or stormy, even evaporatng I suppose.  I think I will try to do a few posts on this and we will see if they are worth while.

We know that water is the origin, the sustainer of life.  I remember not believing my teachers when I  was a child and they revealed that our bodies were made up of a high percentage of water.  It seemed impossible to me.  Now I know it is true.  True and miraculous in a way.  We take so many of its manifestations for granted.  Often we think of snow or rain as inconveniences when, in fact, they give life to the thirsty earth.  On the other hand we love to go to the beach and play or float quietly on the cool water.  On of my favorite walks is along the great river that surrounds Montreal.. Just imagine, a city sitting in the middle of the stream of the river.  When I walk along the shore of the river, no matter what the season, I am facinatd by the strong flow of the water.  In winter chunks of ice emphasize the speed of the water, constantly, day and night, hurrying on downstream to the sea.  I have a vivid memory of a huge silvery fish jumping up out of the water on a hot summer day.  So beautiful and full of life.

So,what is my watery self during these special days?  I see a narrow stream flowing unnoticed down a green hillside.  No one can see it, hidden in the ferns and gorse bushes.  It flows around obstacles and creates patches of swampy ground here and there.  It is cold, timid perhap, but creatures come to drink at twilight time.  What is in me that is kin to the little stream?  All the cels of my body, tears of joy or sadness, that flowing questing spirit that hides away?  Certainly the little brook must merge with something bigger but just for today it is quiet, alone, obscure.

My picture is not anything like what I imagine for the little burn, but even the most humble of water must come at last to the great ocean.  So, perhaps this graffiti on the side of a Women’s’ shelter here in Montreal will do.

 

Looking at you

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I came upon a stunning wall of graffiti a couple of years ago when I was visiting the Eco Center.  It’s located in an industrial part of my pretty down- home neighbourhood.  The Eco Center is facinating.  Ours has us drive up a slope, a youngster in a booth checks our ID to be sure we really live in the area and that we’re not just hauling junk from all over the city to get rid of in our own little corner of lost junk.  There are super big containers just at the level of the parking spaces.  Some builders and do-it-yourselfers back up their pick ups and dump loads of wood, plaster,glass into the dumpsters with a resounding and satisfying crash.  I’m always afraid to back up in case I back right up into the dumpster!  There’s a table for empty paint cans and a little hut for electronic stuff like TV’s.  As one drives down the slope to the exit, there’s a sort of shop where people can take away stuff that is salvaged from the bins.  As I drove out I  gasped at the wonderful wall of graffiti.  I drove around the building and found spectacular stuff.  Besides the typically comic strip characters of mad doctors and busty nurses, there were moody pieces like these.  I jumped out of my car to try to figure out what this street art gallery was.  A guy was having a cigarette break in the doorway you see here and I asked him about it.  Seems this is the canvas for graffiti artists who come from all over to compete every summer.  Last week I was sad to see my mad doctor with his swarm of pills around his head totally painted out.  These  haunting faces remained.  Enjoy.oh, Happy and Healthy New Year!

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