The Cloud Maker…

Photograph of the Joffre Cogeneration Plant – A natural gas power station owned by ATCO Power, EPCOR and Nova Chemicals. Produces 480 megawatts of power and 530 tonnes/hr. of steam.

My brother in law used to live within a ten minute drive of this place. I would always look out on a cloudless day and wonder what that huge column was rising to the east. The photo doesn’t do it’s immense size justice. The plant covers approximately three square kilometres. To drive around it is 13km on gravel roads. I don’t even want to guess how high the steam column was but it was impressive.

Stream of Consciousness Writing…Latte

The latte tastes rich, hot over tongue and beyond. Warming my insides and letting the feeling grow. The foam is light and was adorned with a leaf, which looked great till my spoon dumped a teaspoon of sugar onto it taking it to the bottom of the cup. I sipped gently, listening to the chatter around me and the jazz playing over the speakers.

I wait in anticipation. A few more sips, cooling as I go.

Finally I savour the last of it and I’m saddened to discover that the leaf is not where I hoped it to be.

So… Really…Why…Mid Life Crisis Meets Creativity – Part 3

The lightning burst from the grey overcast sky lighting up pure darkness. The air, forced out in every direction leaving only, the suffocating vacuum. I wait for deafening thunder, but it doesn’t come, only silence – GW

Thats the best way I can describe it. I had a series of events that happened and without going into detail, everything I held as dear and familiar, was blown away from me in all directions. I am waiting for them to return. Nature, Music, Photography, Spirituality, my Personal Relationships and much more. My MLC had hit it’s highest point. The pain was incredible. I oddly found that the things I took my greatest joy from had become to painful to take in. I couldn’t listen to music, pick up the guitar, take a picture, or look at nature or even my home the same way. My vacuum was suffocating. I didn’t understand what was happening or what had happened. I felt completely lost. The catalyst was not gentle, the transformation violent.

Many months have passed now. Lots of reading, lots of talking. The sharp edges of life have started to be worn down and some of the things that were blown away in the storm are starting to return.  It was in these months of self examination and introspection that I came to understand that creativity is my heart and my soul, and I had neglected my true creative energy for a very long time. I hadn’t picked up a paintbrush in 28yrs. Sketched something for pure pleasure like I used to. Simply, let go. It’s very hard to do. It’s vulnerable. It’s laying your soul on the line, and letting others see it. Am I good? Bad? Does it matter? Shouldn’t I just do it for me? Do I need to please other people I have never met? Validation? What is it?

I would love to know what you think. What holds us back from becoming who we are? Tell me…

Back into the World of Painting… Part 2

So I took the plunge last night and pulled out my paints and brushes and underpainting and started to lay in the first color pass. Like I said I haven’t painted in 28 years and I was a bit surprised at how natural it felt. I was really nervous to start. Yo Yo Ma played over the stereo (thought a little classical music would help) as I laid out the paint on the pallet. The trees were first, then the sky, then the mountains. and finally the foreground elements. It’s not even close to being done as you can tell but I like the general feel of it.I just wanted to get some color down to see how it would come together. Lighter clouds in the notch of the mountain, define the trees more and richly develop the foreground. I think I’ll bring the mountain down a bit so it’s peak cuts behind the tree rather than ride over it.  The apprehension I was feeling has dropped away and I am excited to start the second round of this… my first painting in a very long time.

So… Really…Why…Mid Life Crisis Meets Creativity – Part 2

WE CANNOT LIVE THE AFTERNOON OF LIFE ACCORDING TO THE LIFE’S MORNING; FOR WHAT WAS GREAT IN THE MORNING WILL BE LITTLE AT EVENING, AND WHAT IN THE MORNING WAS TRUE WILL AT THE EVENING HAVE BECOME A LIE.Carl Jung

My MLC as I’ll call it from now on was a very slow process. It took about four years to fully develop. I’ve done a lot of reading about it and a lot of writing. I filled several journals that, after reading them could see the slow changes that were starting to gain traction and have a greater and greater influence on who I was and who I was becoming. I was one of the lucky few who managed to get the one mosquito that gave me West Nile Neurological which is the worst form of the disease you could get. My father who was the primary influence in my love for nature was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He was on the decline. I started to re-evaulate everything in my life. The decisions I had made about my career etc, which is pretty normal for an MLC. Your inner self, the person your were always meant to be (your soul) and not the one you thought you were supposed to be (your ego) based on what your parents wanted or on what society dictated, starts to push back when facing mortality. The doctor who was meant to be a carpenter, the carpenter who was meant to be a vet, the vet who was meant to be a classical pianist. You have everything that you want, a lovely wife/husband, great kids, a great home and comfortable standard of living.

But… your miserable… and then you ask, “what am I doing with my life?” The signs that you hung around your neck that you thought defined who you were to everyone around you begin to mean nothing and fall away. Things that you thought were important, no longer are. The way in which you see and feel the world changes.

You are making the transition to Authenticity.

A journey back to yourself.