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Hardly beautiful

My dear friend Anne tells me she wants beautiful. This is now my mantra as well.

At this point in my life, I passionately want it. I’m not just thinking rich embroideries, silk, soft to the touch or pretty pictures by Picasso and Matisse; or even cheerful stories than end with heroes riding off into the sunset with faces turned towards the twinkling stars. Beautiful becomes a mental shield, a metaphor for what is good and sustaining in life as well as a place to rest one’s mind and heart in the midst of turmoil and crises.

For example, I am so sick of that stupid Rob Ford debacle. In my oil painting classes, in the press, on street corners, everywhere I turn, someone has something to say about that useless creep. Before he was elected, my husband and I happened to be in the small plaza at the corner of Bathurst and Lawrence, and Howard pointed out this fellow, standing by himself, alone, shunned, a Willy Loman type in a shapeless beige overcoat. We chortled a bit, thinking this is no man for the mayor of our great city.

Obviously the laugh was on us.

I used to find Mel Lastman and his pants-pilfering wife an embarrassment, but Ford makes Lastman look like a debutant. Besides Ford’s abusive behavior as he carelessly knocked over Pam McConnell in City Hall chambers, the drivel that comes from his mouth: not only the gravy train slogans and his excuse for apologies that are really not apologies at all – are all slobber. I will never forgive Jimmy Kimmel’s kindness when he interviewed the hulking excuse of a man, Ford, well rehearsed so he appeared not-so-bad.

No surprise that Ford’s attitude towards the arts is a nightmare. I shutter to think that Lord Associates based in Toronto is working on Chicago’s arts in schools and on promoting art on the streets there while our city is bereft of that necessary support. There is no place for art or culture here unless it is football, in Ford’s life. His attitude towards Gay Pride is clearly evidenced by his avoidance of the parade. And there is so much more, so un-beautiful, bullish about Ford and his brother. I cringe to think of Ford’s attitude towards the 14 year old who waited till early in the morning at City Council to plea for maintaining library services. The only person unmoved was Ford.

Recently Dougie in his car as he exited a parking lot almost ran over Howard who retorted that Dougie should slow down. The response: a finger pointed upwards. Seems the finesse runs in the family, but we all ready knew that.

But now I have become one of those I have deplored who has wasted even a second’s thought on the lout, giving Ford space and time in my life.

This is exactly why I want and need beautiful, a place to rest my head from the discrimination in India, the Putin power takeovers, the plea for Christmas dinner for poor children, the federal payoffs to people like Duff and Wallin, the senseless murders by gunfire on the streets, the corruption in Quebec, the impossibility of banning firearms, Sandy Hook: one could go on endlessly, targeting the lack of care and morals and self-satisfied politicians and false facades that circumscribe our world. No wonder we become Scrooges, crying out Humbug! and feeling helpless and powerless in a sea of awful :what is the point.

Last weekend we babysat Grandchild #1 and watched the Boris Karloff animated Grinch who stole Christmas created by Dr. Seuss (Ted Geisel). In spite of feeling overcome with the lack of beautiful in the world, we had to smile at the Grinch and why his heart grew two sizes. Simple and clear, the idea of giving was beautiful. Similarly, as we lit the Channukah licht (candles) , chanted the prayers and observed the glowing dance of flames illuminating our grandchildren’s faces, we had a moment where the pure and truly beautiful shone out.

We have to believe that somewhere there is light in this muck of the world, that there is beautiful : otherwise what is the point?

Please note that I develop a germ of an idea and write throughout the year, but edit these blogs when I publish them, therefore, the reference to December’s Channukah. As well, Ford is finally in Rehab as I review this. Well, maybe he is and the province although deep into election slogans has replaced one kind of noise for another.

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