Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Elemental Living

Assignment 2 ENG-109 Feature Story Serena Aubrey

Elemental Living

When I woke up Monday morning I found it a bit chilly, so I turned the heat up. I looked out the window and noticed the fog. Everything was wet outside from the mist. I shivered at the sight of it, glad for my home, grateful that I do not have to struggle with attempting survival in the elements.

I had determined, the night before, that Monday was the day I was going to go see the “porch man”. I had noticed that a homeless man had moved onto the porch of a vacant house on Cliffe Avenue, between 19th & 17th Street. I thought I would go talk to this individual and ask him how this unfortunate situation had occurred. Sitting at my kitchen table, sipping my coffee, my thoughts turned to this guy. I wondered how cold he had been last night? I wondered if he was wet from the mist in the air?

I had been watching the porch for about a week, trying to catch a look at the fellow who made his bed there every night. I wasn't sure if the gentleman would be willing to share his story, or if it was even wise for me to make contact with a “street-person”. When I finally saw who the man was I felt okay about approaching him. I thought he wouldn’t mind so much. He hangs around Safeway, you see, and I had run into him before, given him a few cigarettes. On Sunday, while shopping, I sought him out at his regular spot by the Starbuck’s stand. I sat with him and asked if he was living on the porch of the house on Cliffe. He peered at me bright sky-blue eyes and quite readily told me he was. I asked him if I could visit with him the next morning, on his porch, to talk about his situation, and ask him some questions. I explained that I was a journalism student, assigned a feature story, and wondered if I might write about him. He was agreeable.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Follow the link above to the full wide angle view of LeRoy Zimmerman's photograph

In relation to my blog, Searching For The Light: One Woman's Journey, I found this picture and the photographer's explanation for taking the picture. How fitting with my essay! In his own words:

There are many reasons that people go to church. And surely one of those reasons is to 'seek the light'. Sometimes through beliefs, and other times through a camera. There is a simple Russian Orthodox Church in the village of Ninilchik, in south central Alaska, along the coast of the Cook Inlet. A shot I had long envisioned getting, auroras over the historic church, was never easy to do as it was almost 500 miles from my home in Fairbanks. I do not find myself in that area too often. But the auroras had been active for the few nights previous, so I was making a photo-trip around the state at that time; it made sense to park myself at the church that night. So that became my reason to attend church that evening, as I too was their to 'seek the light'.
There are many ways to be aware that there are greater forces at work in this world than we can ever understand. Some may go inside the church to know, and some of us can know from being outside the church. I welcome the mystery of not knowing some of the secrets of this world, and this night, was a reminder of just how humble one should be.

Leroy Zimmerman

LeRoy Zimmerman's photographic work is part of the World At Night collection at the website

Be sure to follow the link above, to see this wonderful and artful compilation of the work of many, many photographers who turn their lenses to the night sky that covers us all, no matter where we are standing when we gaze upwards towards the heavens. It is another way of realizing that we, as inhabitants of this planet, share so many things. The billions of sparkling, twinkling, inspiring, wondrous flickers of the night stars are as numerous as our brothers and sisters upon this earth.
We should consider each beating heart that shares our space on this planet as if they were one of those sparks of celestial beauty in the night sky. We are all as precious to our maker as each one of his stars - and if you stop to think about it, we all throw off our own little version of "the Light" and with that I say goodnight. May I wish upon a star...................................

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Woodstock Writers Festival

Here's A Link For All You Writers Out There

Check out the workshop schedules to see what they're up to at these events

My girl, Julie Powell is a guest-speaker at this festival. She was my inspiration for starting this blog. Do you know that the movie Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep, was based on Julie Powell's blog, right here on this same site? Yes indeed.

From her humble little blog -- recounting her efforts to cook each and every recipe in Julia Child's cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking -- came a best-selling book and then eventually a box-office movie hit! Fabulous, don't-cha think? And look, now she's guest-speaking at writers festivals. LOL!

If only the same could happen to each and every one of us. Hah! Keep blogging my fine friends. You just never know what the cosmos have lined up for YOU!

You Must Be Flexible: you can not demand order from chaos

Vision Quest joins the Tribal Journeys - G. Senkowski Photo

The above title is a paraphrase from an article by Jody Patterson on July 24, 1997:

If you get a chance, check out the series of articles written by Jody Patterson, a Times Colonist columnist (wow, that's a bit of a tongue twister, LOL), back in the summer of 1997. I came across the site while I was doing research and development work for my novel, Murder On Pink Mountain. I was looking up the official account of the murder of RCMP Const. Michael Joseph Buday in Teslin, Yukon in 1985. Certain elements of the incident, that ended with the death of Const. Buday, are very similar to the storyline of my novel.

However, back to Vision Quest -- in 1995 RCMP Staff Sgt. Ed Hill and his friend, Roy Henry Vickers, painted the Teslin Lake scene that was the last thing Const. Buday saw as he lay dying on the shore of the lake; shot in the back by the murderous draft-dodger, Michael Oros. He had been descending into a crazed state for thirteen years, culminating in that tragic shooting.

Sales from the painting raised over $100,000 and was the beginning of the official fundraising efforts for the vision Roy Vickers had held in his heart from the time he was 28; to build a treatment centre for others, like himself, who were sick of battling the grip of addiction. In 1997, Vickers was 51 and addiction-free.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Digital Storytelling

Wow! I have just been turned on to the website and what a powerful site it is.

My friend, Sophie, from Fort McMurray, just pointed me in its' direction. We were discussing courses we are taking and she mentioned she was in a digital storytelling class and pointed me this way so I could see what she was talking about. I am HOOKED!

There are some powerful stories included. Don't go there if you don't have lots of time though, because the stories are a plenty and they are all told wonderfully and with such depth of meaning.

This does add another layer to everything doesn't it now? And once again I ask

Just how fascinating is this life?