Gratitude

I am grateful for success in a project Julie and I devised on our way home from our getaway last week. We’ve dreamed of installing a hot tub since before we got into our house, but it’s never been the right time for us to invest in one, and it’s also always seemed like it would be one more thing to manage if we did.

At the place we were staying last week, one of the big draws was a private 2-person outdoor bathtub, and it was great. We realized we don’t really need jets, we just wanted a big warm place to soak. A bit of googling revealed a solution, and on our way home we purchased a 180 gallon stock tank from a farm supply store in Langford. This is the thing you’d typically use to hold water for cows and horses to drink from, but it turns out, it’s a very comfortable place to be, even for up to 3 of us, when filled with hot water, and in our backyard.

Gratitude

I am grateful as all heck for 2 nights alone with Julie at the Sooke Harbour House while my folks-in-law took care of the boys. It was sublime. The weather was great. We took in the sunset, at several of the most amazing meals I’ve had in my entire life, went for a walk by the Sooke Potholes and the river, and puttered around town for a bit. It’s been a long time since we’ve had so much time together without all of the constant distractions of our real lives.

Gratitude

I am grateful for time spent at the studio. First time I was in there for a while.

I am grateful for a tidy household. Everyone pitched in, eventually, and it’s a more pleasant place to be now.

I am grateful for a swim with my lads this evening.

I am grateful for some art sales today.

Gratitude

I am grateful for a fine Easter. The bunny came, and left a record number of treasures in our front and back yards for the lads to collect.

I am grateful for my kids, who were kind enough to take a good portion from each of their piles of Easter loot to put together for a basket for a buddy of theirs, who was injured recently, and spent time in surgery and was recovering in the hospital where we visited him today. I’m also grateful it wasn’t worse for that poor kiddo; from what I hear it could have been.

I am grateful for a festive dinner at our place tonight. We had a good friend over, and feasted like kings before playing a card game called Rat-at-at Cat.

Gratitude

I am grateful for time spent with a contractor, replacing the railing on our front step. I love doing projects like that, when I have the time anyway. Not so much when it’s a rush, but it wasn’t, today.

I am grateful for a visit from my brother-in-law who arrived today, and is reading the lads some bedtime stories as I write this.

Gratitude

I am grateful for Efron Quiroz, who has a Youtube channel that he fills up with brief interviews and statements as well as a quick video documentation of pretty much every art show in town. He interviewed June Haynes and myself for the Spectrum show we have up currently at the Gage Arts Collective Gallery.

I am grateful for Coop, who made a chocolate cake with ganache icing from scratch, with very little help from anyone. It was delicious.

I am grateful for Farley, who has taken to disassembling his Lego models and rebuilding them as he clicks through PDF documents I download from the Lego website for him.

I am grateful for Julie who made tea with leaves she grew in a teapot she made that she drank out of a mug she also made.

My absence, explained

There’s been some radio silence on this blog for the last while. My folks called me to ask if anything is wrong. Nothing is, but perhaps I should explain.

I was 21 in 1993, when I first heard about and started using the internet. I was enthused. I subscribed to Wired and Mondo 2000. The promise of a globally connected world was hard to fathom, and expectations were high. I made a career out of it. For a good long while, the internet was great for me. In so many ways, it still is.

But now it’s everywhere. And with this phone, it’s always nearby. And while being connected can be great, it has its downsides. The endless scroll of social media endlessly beckons. At some point, I stopped reading books. Boredom is a thing of the past with the latest news at my fingertips, but the news is rarely good.

I miss the noticing and wondering about real world things that often comes right after the sense of boredom sets in. This used to happen everywhere and all the time. Waiting for a bus, or a ride, or an appointment, or a lunch order.

Being connected is great, but it also means being ‘on’. Even when I don’t intend or need to be available, if I am checking my emaiil, I am ‘on’.

It’s good to know what’s happening in current events, and we have a responsibility to be informed members of the electorate. I wonder though: how many casual connections with strangers in my community have I missed, because I look occupied while I thumb-type, or because I don’t have to ask for directions anymore?

I’ve taken steps. I purchased a flip phone, and use it when I feel I am getting too involved with my iPhone on a day to day basis. More recently, I’ve tried keeping the smartphone out of my bedroom, too. I don’t want it to be the last thing I look at every night, and the first thing I look at every morning.

And that’s why I haven’t been blogging about gratitude every day. My ritual used to be to compose that post on my phone, and it would be the last thing I’d do in a day before switching out the light. Truth is, I just haven’t found another place for that in my routine now that my phone doesn’t reside within arm’s reach while I sleep.

I miss the gratitude post though. I think that was a big reason for my career change to become an artist. That’s another story. I would like to work a daily gratitude practise into my routine again, so if you are wondering what I am up to, stay tuned.

Or, if I may be so bold, call me and ask me how I’m doing. Don’t text, call. I’d love to hear from you, and you don’t have to worry about waking me up.