Location, location, location

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It appears that art installations, like real estate, may be all about location, location, location. After the fiasco of vandalized art earlier last week, I intentionally returned to the same site, but a slightly different location. Rather than the quiet north side parkway, I chose a location directly adjacent to the front door of our Aquatic Centre H2O. While my daughter worked out, I installed lights and poetry and stood back all spy like and watched what happened.

Within 15 minutes all 20 copies of my poem and as many tea lights were taken by an interesting variety of people. I overheard joy, gratitude, questions and comments that affirmed what I was doing. The most energetic and positive being a group of tween girls with their enthusiastic YMCA leader who said “Look, this is a random act of kindness (RAK) which lines up completely with what we are doing tonight! Let’s take a poem back and copy it and share it with everyone.” I hadn’t thought of PUP as RAK before. Yes, I was standing fairly close by to hear all this! I also saw people take selfies with the installation. Yep.

The funniest comment was from a boy who was very excited until he saw “They aren’t real candles!!!” Then I returned to my car and received a sticky under my wiper blade. It said “you are special in many ways 🙂 🙂 “ I think it was placed there by those very same happy tween girls! So undeserved, so personal, so WOW.

I want to thank each one of you who spoke kindly and affirmatively when I was feeling hurt about the vandalism. Thank you for your reminders to rally on and not let the darkness win. You know who you are. You are my light.
LA

Bright eyes, twinkling lights

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DSC_0004It has been my joy to install poetic illumination around the city lately. In my neighbourhood, at the mall, the library, the aquatic centre, churches, and homes belonging to people I know to be large-hearted givers.

This week I was joined in a lighting expedition by two bright-eyed vibrant young ladies who have begun to write poetry with me each month. The girls sat at my table, drank tea, and made some beautiful luminaires decorated with perforated shapes and words about light. Then we bundled up and headed out in the night to hang the lights and give back a gift to one very special giver.

What a delight.

Shine on,

Lesley-Anne

Your words

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DSC_0328Thank you for your words. You are a mirror, a reflection, a ripple of what I do. To write is one thing, to touch a life is much more. Thank you for gracing me with love through your encouraging words.

Here are just some you shared recently. Beautiful.

It was getting dark and colder when I hurried my way into the Orchard Mall last week. Mentally, I was already inside thinking about my to do list, when these beautiful dancing flames in lanterns made me stop in my tracks. I stood there, reading the Properties of Light, moved beyond words and thankful for the gentle nudge to return to the present. Later, that night when my hand found the tea light in my coat pocket, I remembered the words on the side without even seeing them. Shine On …and it made me giddy.
I am sending your poem, along with a winter candle, to my sister in Ottawa. I miss her the most at this time of year, and I know your poem will light up her day like it did mine.
Thank you for sharing your joy, Leslie. I loved it more than you know, and I am grateful for you! Carolyn

“Thank you so much for clipping your poems at the Unitarian Fellowship of Kelowna, on Sunday !! Several of us read your poems, including a passer-by, and we love them & you ! This is a fabulous practice!!!” Bonnie

A morning walk, a dog on leash,
quick unthinking steps, mind far away.
Stop. What is this?
A note clipped to a bramble of blackberries.
Enticing, inviting, encouraging
Be here now.
Observe, enjoy, smile.
And 2 million neurons surge endorphins
A walk home with open eyes and lightened heart.
Thank you. Nancy

I’ve been writing for about eight years (not that long really). I still find myself holding tender in trembling hands this gift of words I received, and unwrapped, and now extend to you. To write is a gift. And each time you write back to me is a gift and an affirmation that what I’m doing matters. So I thank YOU from the bottom of my heart.

Here in the Winter’s early dark I am humbled with the knowledge that, “every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” EVERY thing. EVERY gift. In EVERY season. And how much more in this season when we consider God’s love gift to us in the form of a baby ~ born in a stable, raised in a village, rebel preacher to a nation, sacrificial Savior to the world. Jesus is still light and love.

I trust you hear in my writing an echo of a loving Father, always light giver and illuminator of lives like yours and mine. I trust you know you are loved.

Comfort and joy,

Lesley-Anne

Black Friday? I don’t think so.

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As I drive about town in the day, I scope out places to light up at night. It’s not easy to find spots where lots of people are outside evenings of our cold Canadian November, but I found potential at Kelowna’s Adventure Fitness Centre H2O. There, people come and go to the pool and gym for several hours each day after dark.

So yesterday I headed to the H2O and found a little tree just outside the glow of streetlights and ambient light from windows, and there I hung some paper luminaires. I also placed a sign to help folk make sense of the spontaneously lit tree. In a basket beneath the tree were poems and tea lights for people to take home. I left everything there for a couple of hours. It’s hard to say what the impact was… part of the mystery, I guess. But I did see a mom with kids stop at the tree, read the sign, walk on.

Tonight I’ll install light at another location. Maybe outside a Mall, if I don’t get security after me!!!

Black Friday… I think not! (this is Canada, right?) Bringing light,

Lesley-Anne, SDG

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This little light of mine…

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DSC_0001 DSC_0011 DSC_0014So be it, at approximately 4:30 pm yesterday, I embarked on my first illumination installation. A little paper lantern and inside a battery operated tea light turned on, some additional tea lights noted with, “be the light,” and “shine on,” my poem, “The Properties of Light,” and a candy cane, suspended from the trees and porches of my neighbours.

I came home aired out and rosy cheeked and with a giddy feeling of having done something, while only a few hours earlier I was questioning the validity and integrity of my initiative (feeling rather dark in the beginnings of this winter season, feeling rather inadequate). Then I was reminded of a tiny verse that is fixed to the front of my fridge with a magnet, “Go in the strength you have.” Joshua 6:11. So, deep breath, small prayer, winter coat, cozy scarf, flipping stomach, I went out. I hung lanterns. I took photos. I saw the lights twinkle in the dark. And that was enough.

City Light Kelowna, and something inside me flames.

SDG, Lesley-Anne

Illumination…

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Winter is here. Early dark. Cold. Insular and introspective. More difficult to go out and do things. Still, I know I must. I know my health (mental and physical) depends upon it.

I’ve aligned myself over the past 20 years with my faith community, Trinity. Sometimes I participate in event planning, or in prepping for celebrations, or I design and build things, or dig in with study groups, or I share words, or sing, or simply attend a service and listen, soak, learn.

This week I’m aligning myself (and Pop-Up-Poetry) with a Trinity initiative called City Light Kelowna. And I’ve been thinking a lot about illumination, physical and metaphorical, and how each of us can be a part of what another person needs. Tonight I will install my first series of luminaires in my neighbourhood. Each lamp contains a poem and some tea lights noted with, “be the light” and “shine on.” Here is the poem and some pictures prior to installation.

The Properties of Light

by Lesley-Anne Evans

We know forest fires,
how sparks airborne and high
light up neighbourhoods,
candle ponderosa on the ridge.
We know about heat,
how August sun in a bleach blue sky
sends us to beach and lake
and shade of backyard trees.
We know the warmth of a wood fire,
crackle lighting up a room
on a crunch cold January night,
the snow squeak under boots,
then tingle of fingers and toes
as blood rushes them back
from near frozen.
We’ve struck matches to a hundred candles
eyes shut, blown out a hundred wishes
for the spark of new adventure,
for illumination to our questions,
for light in the dark.
And we’ve felt a flicker
of something we witness in passing,
a small child twirling in a pink tutu,
an old couple holding hands.
Double rainbow, ghost trees, dragonfly,
cry of osprey over orchard,
the shadow banishing light of
human kindness, bright heat
of words or gesture, how in these
we are a small flame fanned to life.
How, with open eyes
and open hands, each of us
can be a light, each of us
can blaze.

DSC_0021 DSC_0022 DSC_0023 DSC_0024 DSC_0025 DSC_0029 DSC_0030 DSC_0031Shining,

Lesley-Anne, SDG