My He(ART)-Full Life

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bienvenue au Canada!!

" There is so much to see and feel and hear out in the open. It keeps your whole being alert, drinking in wonders till you are drugged by them, and drift off carried by this smell and that feel and this sound, that color- out, out to that which stands behind all these things, God, comprehending all substance, filling all space." - Emily Carr (Hundreds and Thousands)
Being back in Canada has been food for my soul in so many ways...too large and all encompassing to explain. It just feels good! A long long time ago (somewhere in my late 20's) I lived in Vancouver for close to a year. So it was really special for me to share this place with Tim and Tara. And what a marker of revisit places 10-15 years as a wife and mom!!! A deep knowing that life is just so short...and while every moment carries the seeds of rebirth, every moment is also a dying off to who we were.

I spent an afternoon at the Vancouver Art Gallery which has an entire floor (Theatre of Transcendence) devoted to the extraordinary Emily Carr. I just sat and soaked everything up...her quick and lively brushstrokes, her thick paint laid on like swirls of butter and of course, her writings. I could feel her energy there with me...her deep and abiding love of this land and it's First Nations people. Thank you dear Emily...for following your heart, being true to your soul and living life on your own terms.

" memories of the past define our perspective, help us negotiate our circumstances, and develop new ways of being and becoming"            -Anh Hua
So, dear friends, you see...being back in Canada was, to me, like a "breathing among the trees" . It just opened up my soul...full of gratitude and wonder. You see...I immigrated here when I was just 12 years old...escaping the evil and oppressive regime of apartheid. I think I would be an entirely different person had we not left. So...just very very grateful to be Canadian, that's all. And i regret to say that I haven't always felt that way. But now that I am older...and a mom...I feel a deep sense of love and appreciation for the many things I used to totally take for granted.

I also had the opportunity to see 2 amazing special screening documentaries put on by the Soroptomist Society Of White Rock. The first one was Miss Representation which was an eye opener for me in so many ways. It's examines and challenges the many ways the media limits, distorts and misrepresents girls and women. The second screening I saw was It's a Girl which is about the gendercide that's happening right now in India and China. It was heartbreaking and devastating to watch...but totally necessary. It's not enough for me to say that I am so glad Tara isn't born "over there"...There is no "over there" and "over here"; these girls are our daughters...these women are our sisters.

Me: So Tara...what do you think about Canada? this is where mommy's from.
Tara: I think it's great!
Me: What makes it so great?
My girl...just so full of beans!

 "Living here and remembering there, between memories of places of origin and entanglements with places of residence, and between the metaphorical and the physical home" -Vijay Agnew
But perhaps the greatest gift of this trip has been this...home is right here with these two...wherever we are...this is where I belong. Because the truth is that even though Tim and I have our differences (he's a U.S. Marine and I'm a Canadian tree hugger...okay?? )...this man right here loves me and this little girl just melts my heart.


patty said...

Oh, boy, Soraya, sounds like this trip is just exactly what you needed at this particular time in your life. How meaningful to share it with your 2 beloveds and perfect to be there before the COLD sets in!

SooZeQue said...

Beautiful post - as always so full of heart and reflection and love! I love Vancouver been at least 35 years since I was there - also as a young girl (19). You guys are so adorable.... and it's OK for Dad's to serve Snickers for breakfast sometimes. :) hugs