The outpouring of sentiment regarding Jack Layton's death is staggering. As sad as it is, to loose anyone we know and care for, Jack's passing appears to have galvanized Canadians in a way that I haven't seen in a very long time.
Like a lightening bolt hitting the sand, the crystalline glass of the moment is bringing new clarity. My sense is, that his life has inspire many of us to recall some of the important values, that Jack lived. And in doing so, shifts in consciousness are occurring. His legacy will be to change the world, now and forever. That's pretty amazing.
When my mother died, I knew immediately that I would design and build a stained glass window in her honor.
When my grandmother died, the question I carried for some time was: how do I honor her death?
Loving stained glass as I do, it was surprising not to also immediately know that stained glass was the appropriate gift. As I pondered this question I realized it was not going to be an expression of art, but the act of living, that was required. This shifted for me the single focus of stained glass as the only expression of my practicing art. Since then, stained glass is still my passion while exploring a less myopic view of my life, almost cross training if you will, spending more time attending to my own health, garden and home.
I am also challenging the perceived notions about what artists lives are like. Do artist have to be poor? Do artists drink too much? Do artists dress outrageously? Do artists spearhead causes or political agendas? Sounds pretty cliche, however it is those unexplored beliefs and values that direct our lives.
Jack offers us continued service by helping take the time to thank him and offer condolences to his family. As we reflect his life, we reflect on our own. For artists it assists our further exploration of the life-death cycle and how we need to express it, not only for ourselves, but also for the community we live in.