Government in the early morning light!
I stopped in the hotel lobby checking the map of Ottawa getting the lay of the land, then stepped out into a surprisingly cold biting winter breeze. But, I am a prairie boy, so the .6 of a mile distance touted on the map would be no problem. Not only that, I was also from Winnipeg and used to such weather, I marched on, eagerly observing my new surroundings along the way.
I moved along Wellington Ave. and did recognized the Supreme Court white building but moved on anticipating the next landmark. Meanwhile the cold breeze became more intent on distracting me. My eyes began to water and I was beginning to see Ottawa in a whole new light, kind of a mirage through sheets of running water!
When I got to the site of our seat of government, I just wanted to get my photo and move on. Every moment of not walking was simply another moment of getting colder. It was early in the morning so you would not expect a crowd. Well you would be right, but what makes a crowd? There was one photographer with a camera and tripod set up beside the eternal flame right in the way of my perfect shot of this iconic building. After a few moments of waiting for him to finish I decided that with hypothermia setting in I would just include him and possibly return again another day. Once he noticed me attempting some wierd angles to kind of place him on the periphery of my photo, he waved and kindly moved off so I could take my shot.
We are such Canadians aren't we? I could have just walked up to him and begun a "pleasant" conversation about how I'm so cold, why I need to take a nice photo NOW, that I'm a pure tourist and letting him offer (hopefully) to move over for me! But no, we are polite to a fault and will just make do. He though is also Canadian, who seeing my plight, offered to move. In the end it all worked out so being who we are is not that bad after all...eh?
But, I digress, hang in there, I will get to the "muse" part eventually.
Now I was cold. I just needed to walk to stay warm. I wisely decided I was going back to the hotel so took the next street over, Spark St. and started back. Being a mall all the way back I was now looking for a coffee shop to warm up. After a few blocks I saw one, but with so much construction going on there was a long coffee line extending some distance outside the front door. I stopped, but only momentarily realizing that I could become a icicle before I got to that door, I moved on scanning the "outdoor cold" mall for another option. One block further I was rewarded, another coffee shop also with a line-up but it was in a hallway inside a larger building. Awesome. Here I was warming up as I waited!
I need to go back and explain something here. When we were in the Winnipeg airport waiting to embark, it dawned on me that we had been given separate seats for the flight over. I would not be sitting with my life partner with whom I could be chatting away for the whole flight over. I would be "alone!" I NEEDED A BOOK TO READ! I jumped out of my chair and made a beeline for the obligatory convenience airport store with the ready supply of "interesting" books which are apparently best read at an altitude of 30,000 ft.!
My eyes feel on an astounding book called "Proof of Heaven" written by a neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife! Eben Alexander, M.D. You have to know, I've had a weakness for this kind of thing for a while now, studying the brain for it's creative wonders like left and right brain and so on. This written by a 25 year experienced neurosurgeon who came out of a 7 day coma, who would then analyze his experience from this perspective was a no brainier, ouch!
As I was warming up waiting to order, I was impatient not only for the caramel latte coffee or the pecan muffin, I was looking forward to continuing my reading as I'd devoured half the book on the flight over.
Our Ottawa experience has done many things for us, and for me. It has become kind of a marker, a door to a lot of new things. My problem has been to kind of re-invent where I'm going with my art. What is my passion now that the case is over "for us?" Where do I go with my art? What emotions and feelings do I give expression to now? The incidental cold temperatures, plus this book was to become a huge influence of that decision. The time from Nov. 14th when we went to Ottawa, to the writing this blog, has been a time of re-inventing and evaluating myself and my artistic expression. My metaphors have been adjusted and changed. My visual expression as a result will be different.
This blog is to long now so let me just say I've come to some conclusions and have begun visualizing my next art show in March in a whole new light. My "muse" has returned. The show, if I can pull this off, will be an experience!
that they'll find out it's a fluke, that you don't really have it.
You've lost the muse or - the worst dread -
you never had it at all.
I went through all that madness early on."