Catchlight Canada: Blog http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog en-us (C) Catchlight Canada paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) Sun, 22 Oct 2017 20:50:00 GMT Sun, 22 Oct 2017 20:50:00 GMT http://www.paulabanks.ca/img/s6/v139/u607202838-o145322029-50.jpg Catchlight Canada: Blog http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog 80 120 commercial work http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/commercial-work Yes, sometimes I do take up the camera for something other than art or self-expression.

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/commercial-work Sun, 22 Oct 2017 20:49:36 GMT
yellow http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/yellow “Don't you like a rather foggy a in a wood in autumn? You'll find we shall be perfectly warm sitting in the car."
Jane said she'd never heard of anyone liking fogs before but she didn't mind trying. All three got in.
"That's why Camilla and I got married, "said Denniston as they drove off. "We both like Weather. Not this or that kind of weather, but just Weather. It's a useful taste if one lives in England."
"How ever did you learn to do that, Mr. Denniston?" said Jane. "I don't think I should ever learn to like rain and snow."
"It's the other way round," said Denniston. "Everyone begins as a child by liking Weather. You learn the art of disliking it as you grow up. Noticed it on a snowy day? The grown-ups are all going about with long faces, but look at the children - and the dogs? They know what snow's made for."
"I'm sure I hated wet days as a child," said Jane.
"That's because the grown-ups kept you in," said Camilla. "Any child loves rain if it's allowed to go out and paddle about in it.” 

C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/yellow Sat, 21 Oct 2017 22:09:36 GMT
Les fleurs du mal http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/les-fleurs-du-mal Under the harvest moon,   
When the soft silver   
Drips shimmering   
Over the garden nights,   
Death, the gray mocker,   
Comes and whispers to you   
As a beautiful friend   
Who remembers.  
-  Carl Sandburg, Under the Harvest Moon

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/les-fleurs-du-mal Fri, 20 Oct 2017 21:09:19 GMT
Into the blue http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/into-the-blue Where I live, unlike many places in the world, it's a rare phenomenon to see jets high up in the sky. Today, I saw several. And the sky itself seemed to beckon more than usual on this day. Thinking of you, L&J.

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/into-the-blue Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:42:07 GMT
You are ahead by a century http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/you-are-ahead-by-a-century Gord Downie died today. He was 53 years old. The same age as my own husband. 

A part of Canada died with him.

Rest in Peace. Thanks for the music, and for bringing meaning to what it is to be a Canadian.

...the constellations

revealed themselves

one star at a time

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/you-are-ahead-by-a-century Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:19:56 GMT
After the storm http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/after-the-storm  

After the storm

 

Fickle autumn

Season of swinging contradictions

Battle front.

King Summer will make his final stand.

Sometimes regaining lost ground,

In a delicious, futile sortie of golden sunshine.

 

Devious Winter mounts a covert, insidious assault,

A nocturnal raid of sweeping gales, icy rain.

The world awakens naked and bare,

Suddenly bereft of its colourful finery,

Revealed knobbly-legged, skeletal.

Left to mourn its own protracted, inevitable death.

Regretting the riotous orgy of oranges and reds;

The colourful masquerade melts into memory.

Regard now the sorry, stripped-down self,

Stark grey-brown, petrified,

Imprisoned under a billowing, steely, intransigent sky,

Pregnant with icy crystals,

Its ally, the taunting, conquering, restless north wind.

 

The conquered landscape retreats

Into somnolent submission

Until

The first sleepy snowdrop foot soldiers

Are summoned

Through the strawlike grass and leaf litter

By an urgent sun

Who clamours:

It is time to rebuild the kingdom.

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/after-the-storm Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:00:00 GMT
(not) #me too http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/-not-me-too First of all...As I did for a post last week, I want to reiterate that this blog is my own little space on the Internet, and only a tiny handful of people know or care that it exists. This allows me to express my thoughts and creations as a true journal, one in which -besides posting a daily photo or group of photos -  I can at times expose my inner self and inscribe my deep, personal reflections. This is one such occasion. These are simply my own thoughts and reactions and aren't intended to be doctrinal or persuasive. I'm writing as if assuming nobody will read it.

Secondly, to put this in context, an eminent Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, was recently exposed for many years of egregious sexual misconduct toward a long laundry list of female celebrities who until just now felt too frightened for their own careers to come forward with their secrets and accusations. After the ensuing sh*tstorm in the media, a hashtag was born #me too. Women were asked to share this hashtag on social media if they had ever been assaulted, abused or harassed. The idea was that the various social networks would be flooded with this hashtag, and it would stand as a testament of defiance and solidarity.

A friend of mine who has long been an advocate for equal rights for all, and for reparations in the face of past iniquities, wrote a long treatise praising the #me too hashtag and the women in his circles who shared it, commenting that he was shocked by the sheer number of women who joined in. 

I felt a response simmering within me, and I pushed down the urge to reply, instead going out for a run and later, for a dog walk. However, during those two intervals away from the computer, I found that my mind, rather than letting go of the angst, built up instead a conversation about it, and at that point I determined that the only way to feel some peace would be to say my piece. So here it is...

I’ve had fingers hovering over the keyboard several times, then thought the better of it and stopped. I’ve returned, compelled to express my thoughts on this. Your defence of women’s rights and especially of their right to be heard is not in question, far from it. What I do find difficult to align with is the me too campaign, and this for two reasons. The first is that this history of abuse, harassment and assault is a fact of life for most women. In fact, there are very few who haven’t been subject to it, to a graver or lesser degree, by the time they’ve lived a couple of decades. I have experienced all three: abuse, harassment and assault. If the subject comes up in conversation with female friends — which is not often — I discover that there is a solidarity, a sisterhood of silent victims. But many of us consciously choose not to wear this on our sleeve. Not necessarily out of shame, but because that’s what we need to do in order to survive and move on. Dredging it back up, putting it out there for everyone to see, is not what works for our own personal path. So for every me too, there may be that many more silent voices who just don’t want to go there, out of self-preservation or fear or whatever.

Secondly, social media seems to be trending toward a sort of sensationalistic, boy-who-cried-wolf aura, one which facilitates both bandwagon-jumping and a false sense of implication. Typing the words me too, or for that matter sharing links, adding hashtags…what does that actually accomplish? It takes very little effort, and it seems that the only thing gained is a sense of —I don’t want to say smugness, but perhaps self-satisfaction — for having done one’s part. No. All you’ve done is sat at a keyboard and validated your appartenance to or your endorsement of an idea or a trend. And you’ve not reached beyond your own social circle of friends, who likely are already aligned with you anyway. Sorry, but it rings hollow. 

Earlier this year, I went and stood at the grave of the person who, decades ago now, sexually assaulted me and my sister overandoveragain, when I was just 7 and she was 5. I tried to find forgiveness. But most of all I wanted to show him the woman that I became, and the fact that he did not win. So yeah. Me too.

 

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/-not-me-too Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:48:47 GMT
Lookout http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/lookout Normally the lake would be the star of the show, but on this day she played a supporting role to the gorgeous late-day, weather-changing sky.

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/lookout Sun, 15 Oct 2017 23:11:04 GMT
Beautiful goodbye http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/beautiful-goodbye Lines Written In The Days of Growing Darkness

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the 
world descends 

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don't say 
it's easy, but 
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world 
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

-Mary Oliver

 

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/beautiful-goodbye Sat, 14 Oct 2017 21:39:01 GMT
B/W miscellany http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/b/w-miscellany

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/b/w-miscellany Fri, 13 Oct 2017 21:45:27 GMT
more from the weekend http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/more-from-the-weekend

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/more-from-the-weekend Thu, 12 Oct 2017 20:25:06 GMT
And now for something completely different http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/and-now-for-something-completely-different Portrait photography is really not my thing. Well people portraits. Dog portraits...I'm all over that. People on the other hand - and especially kids - are so not my bailiwick. That said, I did wedding photography for a couple of summers and it went fairly well. The downside was that the experience was so tiring and intense that I found myself averse to even picking up a camera for my own pleasure. So these days I do the odd portrait session, all by word of mouth, and it is enough to keep my skills on point without running the risk of burnout. Plus, being able to pick and choose whom I work with is certainly a key ingredient in making good pictures, in my opinion anyway.

These pictures are from a Thanksgiving session with a nearby family. We've been carrying on this tradition for three years now. This year we had four generations, including some relatives, five young children (including an infant), three dogs, assorted chickens, ponies and horses. It's organized chaos, and the kids set the tone. The people are both lovely and genuine, so the picture taking feels organic and relaxed.

I'll be sharing a few more of these as the week continues.

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/and-now-for-something-completely-different Wed, 11 Oct 2017 21:40:21 GMT
And they called it puppy love http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/and-they-called-it-puppy-love Two little girls, as enchanted with the puppy as I was with them...

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/and-they-called-it-puppy-love Tue, 10 Oct 2017 21:29:43 GMT
pumpkinfest http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/pumpkinfest I was asked to capture scenes and moments at our village's annual Pumpkinfest, an entirely volunteer-driven and free-to-the-public event that seems to grow more popular each year - this was the fifth edition. It was also the first time that rain has sullied the forecast, however it didn't deter the visitors, and the drizzle was light and intermittent, and the temperatures were on the warm side. So here is the highlight reel.

 

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/pumpkinfest Mon, 09 Oct 2017 21:27:02 GMT
Ned http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/ned As I mentioned in my previous post, yesterday was a very busy day, with lots of photography occasioned by 1) a friend's new puppy (closing the circle begun here) ; 2) our village's fifth annual Pumpkinfest, which I was asked to document; and 3) a Thanksgiving family photo session that is becoming a running tradition - this year makes three in a row with this family : 4 generations, including 5 kids under 6 years old, plus assorted dogs and ponies. They are a very genuine, laid-back and photogenic group, so that helps.

I have hundreds of photos on the short list to be edited, and having spent all of today doing just that, I'd say that I am halfway through. 

So let's begin with Ned. He's 8 weeks old, and he only just came home a couple of days ago. It's a great, big wonderful world for this little Great Pyrenees-Saint Bernard cross.

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/ned Sun, 08 Oct 2017 22:18:43 GMT
busy day http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/busy-day but still time for play.

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/busy-day Sat, 07 Oct 2017 22:24:18 GMT
They're heeerrrrre... http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/theyre-heeerrrrre They're coming...they're here.

With their designer handbags, SUVs and candy-coloured sports cars, latte in one hand, phone in the other, carefully accessorized children in tow.

It's Thanksgiving weekend and the Summer People are back for one last arrogant hurrah before boarding up their cottages, turning the keys over to the hired-help caretakers, and Porsching their way back to the city to get on with their important lives, until next May calls them back here.

I've spent four full-time years up here, and I admit that with each new winter, I become more misanthropic and more reclusive. Six months of snow will do that to you. But even before becoming a year round resident I've never identified with the monied crowd that summers here. I don't resent them so much as I resent their lack of appreciation for the peace and quiet of nature, which they not only do not notice, but actively trample over. 

When Tuesday morning comes, I will breathe a sigh of relief. Between now and then, you'll find me deep within my turtle-shell...

 

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/theyre-heeerrrrre Fri, 06 Oct 2017 21:49:28 GMT
Paddle your own canoe http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/paddle-your-own-canoe

 

Voyager upon life's sea, 
To yourself be true, 
And whatever your lot may be, 
Paddle your own canoe.

 

Never, though the winds may rave,
Falter or look back; 
But upon the darkest wave 
Leave a shining track. 
Paddle your own canoe.

Nobly dare the wildest storm, 
Stem the hardest gale,
Brave of heart and strong of arm 
You will never fail.

When the world is cold and dark,
Keep your aim in view; 
And toward the beacon work,
Paddle your own canoe. 

Would you crush the giant wrong, 
In the world's free fight? 
With a spirit brave and strong, 
Battle for the right.

And to break the chains that bind
The many to the few
To enfranchise slavish mind,
Paddle your own canoe.

Nothing great is lightly won, 
Nothing won is lost, 
Every good deed, nobly done, 
Will repay the cost.

Leave to Heaven, in humble trust, 
All you will to do:
But if succeed, you must
Paddle your own canoe.

--Sarah T Bolton

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/paddle-your-own-canoe Thu, 05 Oct 2017 21:06:23 GMT
Come on, mum! http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/come-on-mum Perhaps dogs do have a sense of time, a knowledge that life is short, and time is to be savoured.

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/come-on-mum Wed, 04 Oct 2017 21:54:55 GMT
butterfly leggings http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/butterfly-leggings The nonsensical title really isn't as silly as it seems. Today was a balm to yesterday's turmoil. I woke up this morning to a warm, bright sun that called irresistibly, come out to play. So I did. I donned my butterfly leggings and ran through the autumn landscape, feeling a summer breeze. I played with my dogs. I photographed shadows. I painted a watercolour and posted it to a friend.

Curatives. Though I know that they are only temporary, their value is no less precious, and their impact no less palpable.

 

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paula.a.banks@gmail.com (Catchlight Canada) http://www.paulabanks.ca/blog/2017/10/butterfly-leggings Tue, 03 Oct 2017 22:18:37 GMT