November 14, 2015

A Thought or Two: November, Paris, Loss.

November has not been a cheerful month so far.

I thought it would be a fabulous month - I'm a part of some group art shows this month, which was exciting. Lots of work, which is also exciting. My birthday, and my sister's birthday, and subsequently lots of celebration. There was a lot to look forward to.

But it hasn't really shaped up to be a wonderful month at this point.

A friend of mine from highschool passed away, and we all found out November 2nd.
We hadn't been a part of eachothers' lives for a year or two, but in grade 12 we had a majority of our classes together. They were bird classes, so we had a lot of time to bum around and we spent a lot of time together. There was tech design class, which was first period, so I would start every day with a little dose of his silliness and constant joking. Then there was photography, where we would often slack off in secret in the dark room and sometimes even work very hard in the dark room, making chemical, photo magic happen. We would go on adventures in the nearby ravine to take photos for assignments and end up climbing trees and fences and really exploring. It was difficult to hear of someone who had once been an integral part of my every day, suddenly gone.

There was another young life lost in my neighbourhood, someone who had gone to my elementary school but was a few years older, with a tragic accidental shooting which you don't hear much about in Canada because there aren't usually guns lying about in homes. So it was really shocking for everyone in my neighbourhood.

And now Paris.

Some of you may know I lived in Paris in 2014. It was strange to wake up this morning and be so thankful that I was home, waking up in my cozy bed with my great boyfriend and sunlight pouring in through the window. Thankful that I wasn't in Paris, that I didn't stay, that I didn't go live there now. I woke up thankful, but scared. Scared that I could have been. Scared that I know so many people there, thankful that they all are safe and alive. Sad that so so many people were not so lucky. Scared to think that this sort of tragedy and death happens almost daily, in places less close to my heart. Scared for what conclusions the world will jump to in the wake of these attacks. Scared to what conclusions will be drawn fairly, scared of what this all means. Thankful that I have never known such fear, and that even now, my fear is but a fraction of the fear felt by anonymous others who I find myself caring deeply for, now.

I guess I have been having a lot of thoughts surrounding death and life and gratefulness and what really matters in the world. It's not altogether gloomy - there is a lot of beauty in appreciating the fragility and worth of life. There is beauty in reaching out to those you love and telling each other how much you do love each other. There is beauty in realizing what's important to you - in prioritizing and not letting the little, insignificant things irk you. There is beauty, sometimes, because there is also the ugly.

I'm sorry that this post is a bit of a downer/dumping of all that has happened this month. I've been making some art to meditate on these happenings and create something I can feel good about. This is a collage I made today For Paris. Some of the photos are actually mine, from my time living there. It's nice to reflect on nice memories at times like these.

Rest in Peace, all of November's dead.

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