Saturday, July 1, 2017
Ottawa for a Few Days
We were in Ottawa a couple of weeks ago. Everything is decked out for Canada Day - this year celebrating 150 years since Confederation. After the study groups I have participated in lately, one about the residential schools and another on indigenous art, I have mixed feelings about the celebrations. While on the one hand I love to live in Canada and feel good about so much of the values of the country, I am also aware of the terrible things that the indigenous people have endured and continue to endure. There is much to reconcile and to fix so we can move on.
We spent time in the National Art Gallery. The exhibit space has been completely rearranged with aboriginal art sharing the same space as the art of those who came to live here. The exhibit space is divided by art until 1967 and art from 1968 to the present. It acknowledges that the creations by the people who lived here first is art not artifact.
On the walking bridge over the canal people have placed "love locks". So many now are rusty and I wondered if the relationships have also become rusty - as the elements of life took the shine off the hopes and dreams.
If you were looking for a symbol of your love, would you find a lock called Master Ex? It seems doomed for failure. This may be an ex-relationship long before the rust sets in.
Inukshuit were created by the Inuit as markers, often placed on higher ground so people in boats could use them for navigation. Now you can find many versions of inukshuit all across Canada. Near Remic Rapids there are several small inukshuks - a little more open than those normally built for practical purposes.
We weren't the only ones enjoying the park. Ducks, a large number of Canada geese and many other people were taking advantage of the weather. It has been a very rainy season, so clear days (or clear parts of a day) bring everyone outside.
I think cities built near water are so much more picturesque. There is something wonderful about being able to watch water, to see reflections that just calms the soul.