Fall musings 2018

In my last post in July, there was some pondering and wondering,
remembering and reflecting,
gathering and wrapping – up ‘drawn to respond’.
Since then many things, important, significant things have happened –
a little backtracking…
In April, my lifelong teacher and mentor, GyoZo, Ron Spickett, passed away, left this dream world for another, he was 92. Without question he was my biggest champion in life and in art. He ‘saw’ me and loved what he saw. He understood what no one else understood. He encouraged me, showed me possibilities, gave me perspective, saved my life more than once, loved me unconditionally. His passing changed everything for me, from my weekly routine of checking in with him, cleaning for him, bringing brownies and butter tarts… to my emotional/psychic equilibrium. I literally went into shock. It took me weeks to get my energy reorganized and rebooted. It was as though the major thread in the tapestry of my life, my energetic framework, was pulled out leaving an empty space, filled only with the echo of his last words to me
‘ be at peace Okori, be at peace.’


With the encouragement of a friend I decided to once again apply for the residency in Finland. There was also a call for a residency at the Banff Center that would suit me and the project that I had in mind. So I spent the month of May writing residency proposals, getting  clear on my next project and figuring out how to make it happen.

June and July were taken up with household chores and maintenance. I sold Bill, which was relief filled with some sadness at the same time, that part of the ‘hai’ lights journey now complete.
A friend introduced me to the Equinox Vigil which has been happening in Calgary at Union cemetery for the past 7 years on that day. After meeting with the organizer Sharon Stevens at the cemetery she invited me to participate in this years celebration. We chose a site that could work, not the choice I had envisioned, but I could work with it just to have the opportunity. I had seen several cemeteries on my road trip through western Canada  that would have been perfect for an installation – and now here was a cemetery, with permission, at night – I was excited about the possibilities!

At the beginning of July I heard back from Arteles in Finland, I was accepted to the residency ‘Silence, Awareness, Existence’ for the month of January. I was over the moon excited! And just before leaving for Vancouver, I heard from Banff that I had been wait listed for the Sept. residency. I was ecstatic, that meant that there was a good chance that I could get in!

August in Vancouver was very, very busy. I arrived during the Fireworks festival, Pride, and swarms of summer tourists. The beaches were closed for swimming due to the high e.coli count, there was a ban on watering because of the drought, so no green grass or beautiful flowers everywhere, and the smoke from the fires everywhere in the province made being outdoors difficult at times. But I loved all my visits with friends, reconnecting with people, some that I haven’t seen in years, bumping into others by surprise, some much needed down time on Mayne island with a friend, all made for a happy, hectic holiday!

The day I got home there was an email from Canada Council informing me that there was a meeting the next morning in Calgary to announce new funding. I showed up at that meeting and found out that not only could I apply for money for the residencies, but also for the research that I wanted to do in relation to my project proposal…hurray!
When I got home from that meeting there was an email from Banff saying that I had been accepted into the fall BAiR  (Banff Artist in Residency ) program….beyond ecstatic!!!!!
I had exactly 2 weeks to write funding proposals, one for AFA due on Sept 4th, and one for Canada council due on the 12th. Banff started on the 16th… I had no time to lose!
I wouldn’t find out about the grants until the end of January, but I was going to go to both no matter what, figure out the money later.
First time I ever sailed through writing a grant application…relatively speaking… excitement and anticipation buoying me through the process.

Arriving in Banff was –
I’m actually at a loss for words – not because there aren’t any, but because there are so many. My 5th floor room was beautiful, the bed faced the mountain view, I left the blinds open and fell asleep with that view every night and woke up to it everyday for 5 weeks.



Room with a view     Banff Center for the Arts, Alberta

The first person I met was a writer/violinist from New York who was working on a musical in the glasshouse studio in the Leighton colony on campus. There were people, artists from all over the world, Germany, Ukraine, UK, the US, France, Australia, all across Canada – writers, musicians, performers, dancers, all hanging out together, connected by a common drive to create, to bring forward something of ourselves, for ourselves and for others – everyone supportive, encouraging, curious, respectful, understanding, non judgemental, all the faculty there to do what they can to make sure you succeed. Grateful!
The studio they assigned me was perfect. I rented cameras and tripods, photographic services helped me set everything up that I needed for the success of my project. My facilitator was very patient with me and super helpful with all the details, making sure I knew everything that I needed to know before moving ahead.

Studio 15 Glyde Hall.     Banff Center for the Arts

On September 22nd I drove into Calgary to install the ‘hai’ lights piece for the Equinox Vigil. Installing in Union cemetery was a challenge – rocks and asphalt – cold, wind, mist, rain – weather!
It took me about 3 hours to put it up and about 30 minutes to take down.
People responded very positively to the piece. As the evening grew darker and mistier the piece took on an even more ephemeral presence – people were moved by it, touched by its simple beauty. I heard a few weeks later from someone who was there that the piece still haunts her –
I was happy to have been a part of this ceremony, acknowledging the universal cycles of life and death, collectively and personally – in ritual and remembrance.

‘hai’ lights : Union cemetery     Calgary AB     September 2018

I was able to put up a ‘hai’ lights piece at the Banff Centre during my time there. Not initially where I had intended but in the end maybe the best place in terms of visibility and accessibility. The facilities manager went out of his way to help me find a suitable location. In the week that it was up, there was a lot of curiosity, and once again positive responses. I wasn’t allowed up on the roof to take photos, but the head of photography Don Lee, went up for me and took amazing shots. Grateful!

‘hai’ lights : BAiR          Banff Center for the Arts       October 2018
photos        Don Lee       Louise Pagé

We had studio visits, interactions with curators, writers, archivists, from Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Toronto, LA, all responding  to our work, talking to us about our process, our thinking.  There was an open studio event 3 days before the end of the residency. Banff centre people, towns people, Canmore and Calgary residents came and wandered through our studios, to see what we had been up to. We were a productive group of artists. Curious, innovative, bold, courageous, thoughtful, open-minded – everyone uniquely creative.
I loved being part of the community that we created for those 5 short weeks –
The entire experience was intense and focused, inspiring, exciting, encouraging, and utterly freeing – to be relieved of all day to day activities/chores – except laundry – having only to decide where to eat and what – the amount of time and space that that created all directed to creative work was totally liberating!
Every minute of being at the Banff Center was beyond rewarding, I’m grateful for all of the learning and expanding that happened – excited about what it means for what’s next.

In the end I learned what I need to know to make work that I have been wanting to make for a long time, a piece about the heart. I know now that it’s possible and what to do going forward to make it happen.


animated projections :   ‘sketches’  of the heart piece      work in progress         20’x30′

There is more – much more – to work out, that will be Finland’s job, in the quiet remoteness and endless space making room to ‘see’ the unfolding of the idea –
going to where I need to go – following my heart.


PS    I began writing this in October and finished it today, December 9th….some things      just take a long time to get done!!

Happy holidays wherever you are in the world.
Peace Peace Peace and more Peace 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻


‘There are times when life sharpens, things come into focus and gradually, you become aware that you are standing before a threshold. There is no way back to where you were before and there is no way out but through.’
John O’Donohue


For me, ‘drawn to respond’ has been a journey within a journey – within –
Me travelling through the land, the land travelling through me – not over –
changing pace – continuous
What happens next happens in the editing room of memory and meaning and it could literally be anything!

One of the things I loved about this project/journey was everyday was different, even when they looked the same – There were lazy days, busy days, driving days, beach days, weather days, exploring days, sick days, nothing days…daily visits of awe and inspiration. Then there were the moments within the days – moments of noticing – everything –
pull over the side of the road and weep for the magnificence moments –
moments of overwhelming joy, moments of connection and solitude, moments of clarity and understanding –
and  one moment of sheer terror where I faced the very real possibility of dying…
Driving back from Sundial Medicine Butte through the farmer’s field, Bill and I ended up perched precariously on the side of a hill trying to avoid a collision with a mother cow and her baby just to the left. On the right, large boulders that would surely topple us over into the bottom of the ravine if my wheels were to bump up against them. In front of me, three possible ‘tracks’, more like ruts carved into the side of the hill serving as a ‘road’. There was no turning around, going back or staying put, the only choice was going forward and that choice did not guarantee safe passage – for the first time in my life I was faced with making a decision where I had no idea if I would live or die – strange place – surreal –
Then a fascinating thing – in the face of terror the unexpected happened –
I became very quiet and calm, the sounds around me disappeared. I repeated my mantra for the journey, tapped my thymus to get my body on board with my intention to move forward no matter what that meant – making it to the other side – this one or the next –
I literally was face to face with the very real possibility of my death. In that serenely calm place I noticed that I had no regrets, no sadness, no remorse, there was instead a seeing of sorts, a deep knowing and understanding of something I was feeling that defied words or language.
Then somehow without knowing how – I was ready – I moved forward –
Clearly I made it to the other side in this world – changed forever by that experience, an experience like no other, its intensity still reverberates through my body as I recall it. GyoZo said I entered deeply into the experience of Source – of Okori –
All I know, is that experience changed everything, none of it perceptible.
That memory now woven through my energetic blueprint, deeply embedded securely within my being – forever.

Along the way I committed to disavowing myself of everything that was never mine to begin with, energetic and otherwise – a daily ritual of decluttering the soul, the inner landscape, the attic of collected attitudes and obligations, no longer relevant or helpful or healthy. Then one day, I realized that I no longer felt anxious. Anxiety I didn’t even know I had, anxiety that had taken up residence in my being as though it was entitled to live there, was suddenly gone….The space that it left after it vacated made me realize that it had been there a long time, quietly eroding away at my well-being –
Now, it was calm and peaceful, replaced by courage and an unfailing sense of knowing that I can do anything. I would have said that was true before I started this project, but this was different, as though something settled inside of me instead of moving around and wreaking havoc. Or something woke – roused from a deep dream of anxious possibilities – quiet, calm, peaceful, OK, and somehow perfect –
and, all that I was feeling, I was feeling for the first time –
It was as though the static was gone and what was left was a clear, quiet, strong connection to the radio station that was ME and only me
It was like nothing I’d ever heard before at the same time as being completely familiar.


Read more:   https://bornonthe263.com/2017/11/14/june-25-june-30th   (scroll down)

All images / text  © Louise Pagé     2017


Rio Frio December 17th 2017

October, November, December came and went – months, weeks, days, hours disappearing into the routines of the everyday. A lot of computer work, learning, refining, updating, editing – all things creative – very intense –
My life on the road and the rhythm of it seems so far away –
I feel the lethargy of the energy in the house, in contrast to the frantic pace of the city and long for balance and returning to the flow of the open road. I felt myself being drawn back…I wanted to try to squeeze one last wander through the October prairie landscape before the snow and cold came, but it was not to be. In late October I parked Bill for the winter, it wasn’t time to decide what to do next, it was time to process –

Nov 4th 2017          Sat night 8p or so               suspended in limbo

‘Here but not really, maybe only some of me, but if not here, where then?
somewhere else?nowhere I can say – vaguely disorienting, difficult to accept –
There’s so much to be done, yet I can do none of it, the body refuses, the mind is busy, preoccupied, and the heart, well the heart feels like it’s not ready for words –  ‘

There was still the prospect of another possibility for the winter solstice on Dec 21st. I arranged  to do a piece on some friends property just south of town, but was once again was thwarted by the weather. So much snow fell it was impossible to get out of our street.
So I decided to work with what I had – a backyard, a fire pit and tons of snow – I drew the celtic symbol for gratitude by shovelling the snow around the fire pit, filled it with ‘hai’ lights, and created ceremony around the fire as the last rays of the sun disappeared –
My homage to the light, the Source – Okori – of everything – on the shortest day of the year   OMMMMM….

Winter solstice                December 21st   2017              backyard homage to the light

This project and the journey that it took me on, woke up a longing inside of me – roused a desire, a memory of freedom –  something I feel deep inside my bones… I hear it calling me from somewhere far away – remember – it says – remember this? and at the same time as knowing exactly what it is, definitions/explanations elude me –
It’s not so much ‘be this’, do that’, it’s more like ‘feel this and step into it’
a visceral experience – even though seeing it is obscured and seemingly far away,
it’s close to my heart – holding me –

With this blog, I’ve taken you along on my ‘wanderings’ through space and place, sharing my work – intuitively inspired/spontaneous expressions of light – hopefully the telling of it wasn’t too tedious to read.
There’s also a deeper more personal journey that parallels the detours and delays, the twists and the turns, the surprises along the way filled with insights and epiphanies,
ah ha’s and oh no’s,  ‘hai’ light moments all!   the ‘ponderings’ part of the project
Coming soon…

I’m not going to say that this work is done, it’s more like on pause –
There is much to examine and to sort – physically – creatively – psychically –
Fall and winter are ideal for inner mining and incubating.
And the future?   well, the future  lies – in the future –
the realm of the ‘unknown for now’  space –
The womb of endless possibilities …..
If you’ve signed up for updates, you’ll know what’s next when I do.
In the meantime
Enjoy     En joie
In light  En light

‘drawn to respond : ‘hai’ lights on the road   
Began on    May 12th 2017                 95,331.3 kms           1p
‘Paused’ on     October 22nd 2017         102,672  kms         11:45a
Total kms                                                  7,340.7  kms

storing Bill for the winter

All images  / text  ©  Louise Pagé   2017