Christmas was spent in Toronto. We had a wonderful time with Second Son and family; just the granddaughters’ expressive joy over their gifts alone was worth the airfare. The four-year-old’s top wish was an Elsa doll, of the Frozen movie franchise, which she duly received from her parents, as well as the Anna doll. We’d gone to see Frozen after it came out, on account of our grandchildren’s interest, and it had seemed to me that Anna, with her act of sisterly love, was the heroine of the story. I noticed that the girls of my acquaintance were more strongly attracted to Elsa, the princess who turns the kingdom into snow and ice, however. When I puzzled aloud about this, my daughter-in-law explained (and the four-year-old confirmed), “It’s because Elsa has the power.” Hmm; interesting.
While in Toronto, H. and I also went to see the Alex Colville exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I’m intrigued by Colville’s paintings for several reasons, not the least of which is the way they suggest stories, though not telling them as much as demanding I create them myself from what’s set in the frame. What happened? one wonders. What’s going to happen next? And why this moment?
In “To Prince Edward Island,” which was reproduced on a wall outside the exhibit for visitors to pose against (as I did above), the woman has picked up binoculars to look closely. Her pose is one of vigilance. The man behind her, though hidden and surely looking too, seems relaxed. The woman’s gaze penetrates, feels uncomfortable (if directed at me), has a sense of prescience about it. The distance and depth already traversed is vast; is past. It’s the Here and Ahead that matters.
Is her looking eager, or afraid, or steady as she goes? Are the binoculars her Elsa-like (and thus attractive) power?
“To Prince Edward Island” reminds me of the temporal space into which I’m travelling as the new year opens. Uncertainties about 2015 seem larger for me than usual me on the cusp of a new year. Nothing to do, however, but look straight into it. Like the woman in the painting does — unflinchingly.
In that spirit, I’m coming to you, for however short or long, with a new blog face. Thumbs up or down about the change are welcome.