Saturday, January 17, 2009

Going With The Flow

Since my ‘Art For Earth’ workshops began, I have learned how to adapt to all the many changes that continuously arise. It isn’t too difficult a challenge because I’m made of rubber and I can bend and change to navigate through any obstacle course.

I was informed that there was to be an assembly happening at Kensal Park School during the same time when I was to begin my workshop. “No problem… I’ll simply arrive a little bit earlier on that day,” was what I told the teacher. This was an easy course to navigate through – on this occasion.

Since the students were to attend this assembly and I would have no one to paint with, I asked if I could attend the assembly as well. The gymnasium quickly filled with all the primary classes. Since I have painted with many of these students, over the last several months, I had a lot of students waving at me with a “Hey! There’s Mr. Jim… Hi Mr. Jim!!!!” I spent a few minutes talking with some of my former students. It was really nice to see them again, and they made me feel really appreciated with all of their warm smiles.

The presentation was created by the senior students of the school. They performed a couple of short skits for us and there were a few speeches that highlighted the activities we saw in the video presentation. This assembly was a part of the “Me to We” campaign and their message was simple “Let’s stop thinking about the ‘me’ and what ‘I’ want and what ‘I’ should have and let’s start thinking about the ‘we’ and what ‘I’ can do for others and how ‘we’ need to work together!” It was a very powerful message.

To involve all the students of the school with this idea, a fundraising project was brought to our attention. The senior students want to raise $5000.00 dollars to go towards a clean water project that is being established in an underdeveloped country. The students have already raised close to half of this amount through other initiatives since the beginning of the school year.

Later, while I was eating my lunch in the staff room, I heard some of the teachers sharing stories about what their students wanted to do to help with this campaign. It was truly wonderful for me to witness so much heartfelt dedication to finding ways to make this world a better place.

For the rest of that afternoon and for all of Friday, the students and I worked on our painting…

Now – some of you readers may be thinking “Hey, this painting looks the same as the last one.” and it’s true. Just to clarify for some of my new readers – because I am teaching these workshops in three schools, each painting is repeated three times. Each month a different topic is discussed and a new painting is created. By the end of this school year 18 paintings will have been created of 6 different images.

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Well, it sure was a tiring week and I’m very happy because of all that was accomplished, but it’s nice to have some ‘unwinding’ time. To do this, Joanne and I and a few of our friends decided to go the London’s Food and Wine Show at the Western Fairgrounds. It was a lot of fun. Lots of people had attended and there was a lot to see, do, eat and drink!

We all began with a sample glass of wine, but soon we discovered that we had more selections than just wine. One of our friends began to sample some fine imported rums while I visited with a few of the micro-breweries enjoying a variety of beer. I even tried a cherry beer. It tasted like cherry pie squeezed into a bottle. Now, I love cherry pie, but I couldn’t imagine drinking an entire bottle of it – the sample was more than enough.

Many chefs, were there as well, with pans on burners filled with different pasta and rice sauces. We all decided to sample different foods, from different chefs and the selections were really great. Afterwards, I led everyone to the chocolate fountain that I found and we enjoyed marshmallows in warm liquid yumminess!!!

Peace is a full belly surrounded by friends.


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