Weekends go by so quickly…

Even now, when I’m in this stage of my life without a normal work week, weekends still stand out bright and then pass away just as fast.

I’m feeling better but still in recovery. Still popping those Tylenol and keeping a Halls in my mouth most of the time.

This weekend saw the triumphant reunion of myself and my camera. Thanks to those who babysat it after I left it behind. Here’s a couple of quick shots from our Christmas day on the Sunshine Coast.

Christmas day walk on the beach

So now, hopefully, you will get to see more pictures of what’s really going on and I get to continue honing my photography skills.

This weekend we made the drive in to Vancouver. I miss that city. When I lived on the island, I never thought I’d want to live there again but lately… I most definitely could. I’m spoiled to have grown up in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I’m reminded of that every time I return. I miss orienting myself around the mountains in the north. I miss the golden domes of the Sikh temple. I miss waiting for the bus on Broadway. I miss real Chinese food. I’m even starting to miss hipsters.

We spent Saturday afternoon wandering through the Bill Reid Art Gallery on Hornby Street with two dear island friends. I highly recommend this gallery to anybody. And if you happen to have a friend who knows all about Bill Reid and can tell you interesting anecdotes and history, even better! If you don’t know Bill Reid and you’re a Canadian, you should. (Start with a $20 bill.) I know Reid primarily for The Spirit of Haida sculpture that greets you at the Vancouver International Airport and is displayed prominently on the 20. (Hint: it’s one of four on the bill.)

The Spirit of Haida - Bill Reid (I did not take this photo nor do I have any ownership over this artwork. Obviously.)

But did you know that this is only one version of The Spirit of Haida that Reid did? There is another, twin sculpture with a black patina. He frequently did multiple versions of the same sculpture in different mediums, colours, and sizes.

This is the killer whale sculpture seen outside of the Vancouver Aquarium

There’s another, smaller version of this sculpture done in boxwood in the Bill Reid Gallery. This guy was seriously talented. Also, created some absolutely gorgeous jewellry. Check out theravenscall.ca to see more of his work or, better yet if you’re in Vancouver, check out the gallery. It’s worth it.

I’m trying to organize my thoughts about how Bill Reid’s art makes me feel. There was a great quote in the gallery from Reid that was basically him saying he didn’t consider himself “white or non-white”, “Haida or non-Haida”. “I am a citizen of the West Coast of North America,” he said. And I think that’s what makes his art so accessible, why it moves me. I can’t claim ownership over Haida art or any other First Nations art and I won’t try. But I do identify with it and I do claim it as part of my identity as someone who has lived most of her life on the West Coast. I see Reid’s art and I think, “That’s a part of who I am. That’s a part of my culture.”

It’s similar to a feeling I had down in Seattle this past summer. Peter and I spent a day at the Seattle Art Museum (great collection, if you get a chance to see it!) and they have an extensive North American First Nations collection. Lots of beautiful stuff, mostly from the Washington area. And then we turned a corner and stepped in to a room full of art from our own West Coast, including Haida. I had this profound feeling of familiarity, of this art being “home” in some sense. It’s because of artists like Bill Reid, who opened this art up so wide and let a whole nation step in to it.

Saturday night was spent celebrating the birthday of a most excellent sister-in-law (I am blessed with 2 really awesome sisters-related-by-marriage) and tonight I am back in my own home and happy to be.

It was a rainy drive home.

I prefer rain rather than the snow that chased us out of here on Saturday morning. Watching fresh snow fall on piles of dirty, left-over snow is not that picturesque. I’ve had enough snow for 2012. Rain, I can deal with.

Another shot from the drive home this afternoon.

This bridge is almost finished; it’s being built side-by-side to the one still in use so it’s been neat to see its development. It looks great but am I the only one who sees a bridge with cables like that and imagines it in a disaster movie where they rapidly snap one by one?

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