Thursday, July 22, 2010

"B" is for Bravery

There are many brave people in this world.   And there are many different degrees of bravery.  I bet you have been in a situation where you have been, or felt that you have had to be brave.

About ten years ago I found myself in a situation where I put myself in harm's way, but never even thought about whether or not I could have been hurt.  Afterwards people said that I had been brave for doing what I did.  But it wasn't bravery to me, I just did what I had to do, people were standing around doing nothing, and I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I hadn't acted.

There was a fire in the apartment building that I lived in, an apartment was burning up and the whole floor was full of acrid, black smoke.  People were standing around waiting for the fire fighters when this woman came up to me and said  "There's a baby in that apartment!". Well that just got my blood boiling that she wasn't doing anything to help that child.   I asked the crowd if anyone lived on that floor, and one guy said he did, so I told him to run and wet me two tea towels.  He came back, I took them and ran down the hall with one of them covering my nose and mouth.  A man was near the apartment trying to get the fire hose and extinguisher off of the wall.  I tossed him the other tea towel, felt the door and doorknob, and stupidly opened it, which was unlocked, and entered the apartment.

The smoke was so thick that I couldn't see anything.  After feeling around, bumping into things, calling out to the child and unable to hear any response or crying, I decided to get out of there.  I ended up being all turned around, not knowing where the door was when a fire fighter found me and pushed me out of there.  I had smoke inhalation and second degree burns on my feet which they treated at the hospital.  The next day I found out there never was a child in there, and the woman that told me that there was one, was the person that started the fire.  She was angry that the woman that lived in that apartment declined her sexual advances.  She was seriously messed up and ended up going to jail for it.  But I didn't think twice about trying to get that little one out of there.

Fire Fighters do that everyday.  It takes a lot of guts to walk into a burning building when everyone else is running, panicked out of it.  Police Officers also put their lives in jeopardy on a daily basis.  They could be shot just by pulling someone driving a car over because their tags are expired.  Those men and women that choose those careers, to do that everyday for a living, that know they might not make it home ever again, that's bravery.  I don't think they get thanked enough for standing up and being there whenever anyone needs their help.

But it is our men and women in another uniform, the defenders of our rights and privileges, the soldiers that fight for our countries freedoms that are the unsung heroes.  They could have done anything else with their lives, yet they chose to enroll in the Army, Navy or Marines to stand up and protect the rest of us from our enemies and keep our country's citizens safe from harm.

These men and women leave everything familiar to them and everyone they know behind, including parents, wives, husbands and children.  We have soldiers right this very second fighting and dying or losing their limbs trying to stop terrorists from killing innocents and ruining societies.  I can't imagine being in a foreign country knowing, even inside their safe boundaries, that they could die at any moment. They are the bravest of the brave.

Everyday here at home we take for granted how dangerous going for a walk or driving in a car can be.  Snipers and IED's are killing our soldiers over in Iraq and Afghanistan, just by doing those same activities.  I am sure that they are afraid, but they do their jobs for the greater good despite of it.

If you are on Twitter, I would like you to join my friends and I to salute these heroes by adding #SS to your tweets on Saturdays (Saluting Soldier's Saturdays).  Hopefully we will start a trend showing these brave men and women that we are proud of the job they are doing, that we stand firmly behind them and that we will never forget the lives of the ones that died sacrificing everything for us.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"A" is for Art! What is it anyway?

Art is everywhere. The world is one big revolving art project. You can see art in anything as long as you keep your ears, eyes and mind open. I think that art is anything that arouses some sort of emotion in you. Whether you like a piece of art or not, it's because of the feelings, or lack there of, you experience when you see or hear it.

I believe that art should be personal and subjective. When we each encounter art, whether it be a painting, sculpture, music or any other medium, our own opinions about what we see, hear or feel about it shouldn't be wrong. I don't subscribe to the belief that however the Artist intended for you to feel about their artwork is the only way to feel, or even that all the "Great, Classic" Artists were great. As long as the artwork speaks to you that's all that should matter. And it speaks to each of us differently.

The word "Art" encompasses many different mediums such as the ones listed above and music, theatre, poetry, crafts and more. We don't all enjoy or partake in the same types of art. That is what makes art so great, there is something for everyone. I love most art mediums, and enjoy making art, but that doesn't mean I like all art.

Photography is one type of art that I really enjoy taking part in. I like the idea of seeing something that appeals to me, taking a picture of it and being able to look at it again over and over. Here in Levack, Ontario there are many gorgeous sights that I have been able to capture in a second. Forever.

The above picture is of a creek that runs next to my house. One of the very cool things about photography occurs when things show up in your pictures that you didn't notice when you were taking them. The sun was shining that day, but the effect of the rays of light and the purple colour weren't noticeable at all to me at the time.

Architecture and Interior Design are two other art forms that I am interested in. This Log Cabin is my "If I Had A Million Dollars" house. It's vacant and doesn't even have hydro leading to it.

If I won the lottery I would try to salvage the logs where they are and build my Dream home around them. That would keep the historical aspects of the house in tact, and the new design would be my artistic creation.

Fashion is also a form of art, and I don't mean just designing clothes. Picking out and putting together what outfits you are going to wear every day is artistic creation, as well as your choice of hair style. How you dress makes a statement, just as any piece of artwork does.

I went to University and studied Theatre. Acting was part of the curriculum and I really enjoyed those classes, however I specialized in Costume Design because artistically I found it more fulfilling. I learned so much about clothes and the time periods that they came from, how to make some very interesting things like a Bishop's mitre for example. For some productions I was lucky enough to be the Costume Design Assistant, working very closely with the Director and the Designers for lights, sound, props and set making. It was a thrill to see your designs come to life in the shop, and then end up on the actors on stage.

I also design and make jewelry, but that is for my "J" post so stay tuned! What art mediums do you enjoy? Do you have a favorite Artist? What do you consider Art, or what does Art mean to you?