Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Two Roads Project: Roots

Johanna (left): This week I had the chance to watch my little boy eat adobo (a traditional Filipino dish), made by his Filipino Great Grandmother (Lola). While to some, it might have been just another moment in the day, I felt like it needed to be recorded. Whether he knows it or not, he is taking in these moments with his family and is filing them away as part of his history. What a gift both my children have been given, to have this time with their extended family (on both sides) and to get to know who they are in a greater sense.  I want both Noah and Katia to be proud of their cultural backgrounds and to know where they come from ( a family of many colours and backgrounds).  

Sarah (right): When I was little, my family members used to tell me I looked so much like my Nannie. When I hand drew birthday cards, or hung another watercolour on the fridge, people would remark, "An artist, just like your Nannie." I loved this. I loved being compared so endearingly to our family matriarch, a woman who was held in such high esteem by everyone in my life that mattered. She was a locally famous artist, who painted mostly flowers and still life watercolours, and a poet. My Nannie died when I was nine years old, but I carry a piece of her with me. Her paintings hang around my house, reminding me of her. As an adult, and an artist, I feel her in my roots. She is there in my foundation, a key nutrient in my blooming soul. When I feel especially tapped into my creative side, I wonder if she felt the same surge of inspiration in her brushstrokes as I find in my pen on my paper. I sign my paintings in my maiden name, "S. Gilmour,", as tribute to her. I return to my paper when I don't feel like writing anymore, in honour of her dedication to her art. She left us a long time ago, but I count my lucky stars to be her descendant.

The well-known poem by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken ends, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."
Two women, who became friends via the magic of the Internet, were both living life on roads less traveled by. Circumstance had them both live in Whitehorse for a short time, where they became best friends. Life's map has them currently in differing geographic locations, but their connection and camaraderie continue as they continue on paths of motherhood, friendship, creativity and discovery. The Two Roads Project is our effort to reconnect with each other and our inner artists on a weekly basis, each Friday. (Or thereabouts. We don't always know which day of the week it is).
Johanna writes here.

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