Category: Arts and Creativity

arts: music, visual art, artistic expression and creativity of all sorts.

Two poems for Steven

Some of you have asked about the poems I read for Steven’s final service, so here they are in print.

As some have remarked, it’s ironic that the poem of welcome from 2002 seems more complete now in 2020 when Steven has departed. Only now do we feel how fully welcome he was and is.

In my poem of farewell, I was reflecting on the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part, and the transience of all that we know, including Steven’s time with us, and I wanted to pay tribute to Steven’s annual sermons on science, which ranged from microscopic to galactic in their perspective. So Unitarian in their outlook! I had recently been reading about gamma ray bursts, one received reportedly from a source 12.8 billion light years away from earth, and so the oldest phenomenon humans have detected so far.

A long and interesting journey indeed! The great miracle, the great mystery of which we are a living part, and to which Steven helped us bear witness.

I wrote a second poem of farewell for Steven, too, which may be part of the printed package that was given to him. It’s a bit more complicated so I didn’t read it for the farewell service, but I may post it here sometime in the future. It’s a discussion of farewell, so long, and goodbye and has a particular slant on why “g’b’y” might be the right thing for us to say to Steven, which is what I said at the end of this farewell poem– “G’b’y Steven!”

(The featured image is a detail from a 1989 artwork by long-time UCV member, the late Daphne Naegele, titled “Many suns do not penetrate the darkness”.)

A poem of welcome

on the occasion of Reverend Doctor Steven Epperson’s installation as Parish Minister at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, 13 October 2002.

 

The welcome we give today is not the welcome we will give tomorrow
for the Guest tomorrow will be known more deeply
and our welcome will be more complete.

Each day our welcome will be larger
and deeper than the day before
and never finished in its giving.

 

A poem of farewell

on the occasion of Reverend Doctor Steven Epperson’s departure as Parish Minister from the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, 21 June 2020.

 

Our time together
has reached its end.
Cosmos has shifted
and still does just what it wants
and still incorporates us.

And if comets or gamma-ray bursts
had eyes and poetic sensibilities,
what would they tell us
about their long and
interesting journeys?

G’b’y Steven!

Theatre Friends – share your reviews and recommendations

Paula and Mary invite you to a weekly theatre discussion on zoom – Mondays @ 4pm.

Sign in at https://ucv.im/theatre  You’ll need the regular connect and engage password. Ask Mary for it if you don’t know it. ucvconnect@gmail.com

Mary also has set up a private facebook group called “Theatre Friends” – theatrefriendsmary If you have a connection with UCV and/or Mary, you’ll be approved for membership after you answer the member questions and agree to rules.

Hoping to help us all take advantage of the amazing theatre available online at this time, and post-pandemic share theatre reviews and information and perhaps even a theatre project together.

This weekly discussion grew out of a book and video discussion, so we may throw in a bit about what we’re reading and films we’re watching as well. Hope to see you there!

Sponsored by Connect & Engage team, Mary Bennett, chair.

Women’s Collage group

Covid Collage and Cocktail Party

Mary Bennett is setting up a collage-by-zoom gathering for women followed by cocktail hour and “potluck” dinner

Register here: https://vancouver.breezechms.com/form/covidcollage to receive zoom link instructions.

Date: Saturday May 30 3-5 pm for collage; 5-6; sharing your collages over cocktails; 6-7: dinner with more conversation possibly about covid cooking tips

Several of us who have used “soul collage (r)” techniques will share our experiences and some of our favorite cards with you from 3-3:30 pm. If you want to work in that format, you’ll need 5″ x 8″ backing paper. For collage, many magazine or calendar images, scissors and glue are necessary. A 5×8 view finder is helpful (cardboard with a cutout that size).

Some of us use the cards and envelopes for sealing/”framing”. You can order here.

https://www.hanfordmead.com/catalog/soulcollage%C2%AE-products (not essential)

This is an opportunity for women to gather for creative play and self-exploration using collage. After brief introductions/check-in, we work quietly at our own pace and then before closing share a bit about what we were working on and what it means to us.

Numbers will be limited and the hope is to find women who’d like to do this on a regular basis so we form and deepen our connections with each other as we get to know each other through our art projects.

Scissors, glue sticks, paper and images all available – Mary can arrange a box full if you want to pick up. Calendars are especially lovely.

Please RSVP to Mary maryinvancouver@gmail.com

Supported by UCV’s Arts Committee.

More about collage:

Definition: collage (n.)

form of abstract art in which photos, newspaper clippings, found objects, etc., are glued onto a surface, 1919 (Wyndham Lewis), from French collage “a pasting,” from Old French coller “to glue,” from Greek kolla “glue,” a word of uncertain origin, perhaps Pre-Greek.

Some formats and approaches

SoulCollage(R) is a method for creating images on a 5″ x 8″ surface.

Artist Trading Cards are traded among people and are 2.5 x 3.5

Art Journal Collages

(Just google any of these phrases or “collage fine art” to find interesting information. You’ll find myriad videos on youtube as well.)

If you’d like to be part of a women’s group that shares the coordination of these gatherings on a monthly basis contact Mary maryinvancouver@gmail.com.

Leadership rotates: When it’s your turn, you come early and stay late to set-up and cleanup; send out a reminder to the group. Optional: If you want to propose a theme or a special project you can, or just have a “do your own thing” session.

If you’d like to be on a wait list if the group opens, complete this form.

Here’s some info you may find interesting:

SoulCollage®

If you’re interested in SoulCollage®, you can find some videos on youtube to provide an introduction.

This is a nice four-minute introductory video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QygfSxYerwg

This one is a good how-to Step by Step video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PscsoVlOihA

This shows how to use the viewfinder, marking the points of the corners for cutting.

Among the final embellishments which are often not done, there’s a suggestion to outline the edges of the pasted on images with a metallic paint sharpie.

It’s only visual. There’s (imho) annoying loud music, so just turn off the audio.

Discover and discuss LGBTQ+ themed films

by Debra Sutherland

UCV GSA (Genders and Sexualities Alliance) Film Discussion Group

You are invited to our next Zoom meeting on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:15 pm on zoom

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/v5Qqduqupj8iFyUp2_WeCrvz-_U2meqnFQ

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Our UCV GSA met via Zoom earlier this month and enjoyed a lively, interesting and informative session reviewing and recommending wide-ranging films and Netflix series.  I have summarized the films mentioned with the hope that at least one of the series or films will intrigue or interest you, and that you will join us at our next meeting.

Please Like Me is a very clever, well-acted, highly-rated, award-winning Australian comedy/dramedy series that premiered on Netflix in 2013 and continued on for four seasons.   Please Like Me follows Josh, a twenty-something student who’s just been dumped by his girlfriend because he’s gay but hasn’t realized it until then. It is also about so much more than gay relationships – it is about family and friend relationships – and their relationships in turn, and mental health too (it’s not who you might think).  The series was created by stand-up comic Josh Thomas who has mined his own life experiences to full advantage.  Some GSA members were already enthusiastic, happy fans while some like me, had never heard of the show.  I am happy to report that I too am now an enthusiastic and happy fan and also that it is possible to binge watch the whole series in fairly brisk fashion as the number and length of the episodes are relatively short.  I laughed out loud a lot – up until the end of Season 3 anyway, but interestingly the appeal of the series waned for me in Season 4.  So I think Thomas was wise to end the series even as his most loyal and die-hard fans clamoured for more.

Happily, we fans of Please Like Me now have Season One of the new series Feel Good (Netflix, 2020) to enjoy.  It too is a very clever, well-acted, highly-rated, brisk semi-autobiographical comedy-drama set in Britain but featuring Canadian stand-up comic Mae Martin as she/they navigate her/their relationship with a previously straight British woman whose inability to come out of the closet causes deep pain; and then there are the complications of Mae’s addiction struggles.  Think it can’t possibly be funny, think again!  Here is just one of the many stellar reviews, this one from the New Zealand Herald:  “Feel Good’s six episodes (still the perfect series length) strike an extremely watchable balance between intensity and levity, the two often blurring together to create some sublime moments of television”.  Needless to say, I am really enjoying the series!

A film we discussed, that couldn’t possibly be more different than the Please Like Me and Feel Good series, is the Spanish film, Elisa & Marcela (2019), also available on Netflix. It is the fictionalized account of the fascinating and remarkable true story of a very determined Spanish lesbian couple, who, having been lovers for fifteen years, fooled (out of necessity) a priest into marrying them in 1901. The marriage was never annulled and thus remains in the record books as Spain’s first-ever same-sex marriage!  Written and directed by the famed and prolific Isabel Coixet and shot in black and white with some lovely and beautiful art house touches (a bit of a unfortunate flop though, when applied to the sex scenes) the film was nominated for several European awards. The critics, however, have not been kind to this movie and I reluctantly concur.  I did feel drawn in for the first third of the movie and then less so along the way (except for brief moments) although the ending did pull me back in as well.  I think the movie is worth a watch in spite of its flaws and shortcomings – I may even watch it again!  It is a tough and tender story that, as noted by one critic, “deserves an audience but also, and sadly, a story that deserves a stronger film”.

Other films were also briefly introduced and likely to come up for discussion at our upcoming meeting.  Unorthodox (2020) is a new Netflix four-part mini-series that follows Esty, a young woman who flees her marriage and her ultra-Orthodox Hasidic New York community for Berlin.  The series, based on Deborah Feldman’s 2012 memoir, then alternates between Esti’s new life in Berlin and the one she left behind, The reviews are very positive and I enjoyed part one and I look forward to watching the rest of the miniseries.

Pain and Glory (2019) is the latest film of highly acclaimed, award-winning and ultra-prolific (37 films) Spanish director and icon Pedro Almodovar. The film follows Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas), a successful director, now in physical decline, as he grapples with his past, and with loss, memory and meaning.  Almodovar has gone back and forth over whether or not Pain and Glory is autobiographical but the film is said to be immensely personal and also one of his best works.  Pain and Glory is reviewed very highly favourably by a host of critics and I am looking forward to seeing the film – it is not on Netflix as of yet, but likely can be found on a pay for viewing platform…even I may yet find it on itunes if I ever figure out my smart TV!

Professor Marsden and the Wonder Women (2017) is the story of psychologist Marston and his polyamourous relationship with his wife and their mistress, both of whom inspired his creation of the superheroine, Wonder Woman.  Sounds interesting to me.  It is available on itunes and again, I hope to access it soon!

Carrington (1995) is a biographical film, starring Emma Thompson and Jonathan Pryce, about the life of British painter Dora Carrington and her unusual relationship with writer Lytton Strachey and others in the Bloomsbury group.  A member also recommended the book Bloomsbury Pie by Regina Mahler that chronicles the story of the Bloomsbury boom.

Last Tango in Halifax is the much praised BBC One comedy-drama series, started in 2012 with Series 5 just airing this January – they must be doing a lot right!  The series is lauded for its focus on and treatment of its two septuagenarian lead characters as well as for the inclusion of LGBT themes.  The series is available through iplayer.

Finally, and notably, a few of us were also able to watch the movie Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall (2017) on Netflix that the Out on Screen organization had set up on Netflix Party (some of us couldn’t quite figure out this digital extension but we watched anyway, without the sidebar chat).  It is a joyful, moving (there’s some tough stuff too) and inspiring documentary of an amazing, multi-talented and creative young queer black artist as he launches his first full scale original musical stage tour “Straight Outta Oz”.  He had already made a well earned big name for himself as a Youtube artist and American Idol contestant, and he is now a Broadway star as well!

Hope to see you at our next Zoom meeting, first Wednesday at 7:15!

Your GSA invites you to a Netflix party – Thursday April 16 7 pm

Netflix Watch Party: ‘Behind The Curtain: Todrick Hall’

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6171960/

Several of us (Debra,Kiersten and Mary) on the UCV Genders and Sexualities Alliance will be online watching this film.

We may be able to have the chat just for our group and friends.

Here’s the information from the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.

You’re invited to the Vancouver Queer Film Festival’s first online Watch Party, happening Thursday, April 16th at 7PM. Connect with us, and each other as we come together to watch ‘Behind The Curtain: Todrick Hall’.

This feature-length documentary screened at VQFF 2017, and we’re so excited to experience it again with you (from the safety of our homes). ‘Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall’ is a fiercely fun and inspiring behind the scenes look into Hall’s journey producing music, a visual album and musical stage tour in a heart-stopping production schedule of mere months.

To join our Watch Party, follow the link below to get your free ticket. We’ll send you a link to the screening by 6:50 pm on Thursday, April 16th. We’re using the newly created ‘Netflix Party’ Google Chrome extension that allows users to synchronize viewing with friends and chat while watching together. You will need a Netflix account and the Google Chrome browser to watch with us and join the conversation.

Get your FREE ticket

VQFF Artistic Director, Anoushka Ratnarajah will be online to take note of any questions you have during the screening, and hosting a follow up Q&A live on our Instagram the following day, Friday April 17th at 6 PM.

Poems by Canadian women – share a favorite and reflect on others

by Debra Sutherland

A warm and welcoming invitation to a reflective, restorative, poetry-focused Feminist Book Club Zoom meeting Sunday, April 12; 4:00 pm local time. Click here for event: https://vancouverunitarians.ca/events/feminist-books-poetry/

The UU Feminist Book Club was launched in the spring of 2019 by Jo-Anne Elder, an accomplished writer, poet, editor, educator and translator, who makes her home in New Brunswick. This initiative unites book -loving feminist Unitarian members (and friends) across Canada, via Zoom and Google groups. The group membership though stretching from coast to coast is still small and personal. The Zoom meetings are scheduled for the second Sunday of every month, so the next meeting is this Sunday, April 12th, and you all are invited! Short notice for sure and a significant family and religious time but since we are all staying home, a good number of us necessarily separated from our families, it might still work for some of you. The Zoom link is provided below and will meet at 4:00 pm Vancouver time.

This Sunday, given the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, Jo-Anne has suggested we use the time to talk, read/listen to poetry and ask reflective questions, rather than discuss a book selection. She has invited us to bring our favourite poems by women (preferably Canadian women) about spring, hope, liberation or other themes that may hearten us as we go through this difficult time. Sounds very nurturing and sustaining to me! So I am all in, and it would be very nice to see a few more local faces as well!

I was first introduced to the feminist book club a year ago by Mary Bennett, and it was also my first introduction to Zoom. For those of you who may not yet have found your way onto Zoom, I want to say that I found the Zoom platform easy to access, even though and even at the best of times, I am technically challenged! So hopefully you will not let your lack of technical prowess keep you away. You only need to download the Zoom application to your computer or Ipad or Smartphone, and then simply click on the link below; and the group leader, Jo-Anne Elder, will do any of the harder stuff! On this note, thank you to our local technical leaders too – I so admire your expertise, skills and dedication. And this one’s especially for you Mary Bennett!

Books that have been read and discussed in the Feminist Book club to date include a wide range of genres, including award winning fiction – The Red Word by Sarah Henstra, Women Talking by Miriam Toews, and That Time I Loved You by Carrianne Leung; poignant, powerful and poetic memoir – Heart Berries byTherese Mailhot; informative and interesting non-fiction – Ten Thousand Roses: The Making of a Feminist Revolution by Judy Rebick; academic – Women’s Ways of Knowing by Belenky et al; indigenous feminist philosophy – I am Woman by Lee Maracle; a feminist essay collection – Shrewed: A Wry and Closely Observed Look at the Lives of Women and Girls by Elizabeth Renzetti; and classics – The Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro and The Bell by Iris Murdoch; and to round all that out, the psychoanalytic and feminine psychology books of Marion Woodman. Something for everyone I would say!

So with all of this by way of introduction to the UU Feminist Book Club let me again say that I look forward to seeing both returning and new locals at the Feminist Book Club Zoom meeting this Sunday, April 12th at 4:00. And if you can’t fit it in this Sunday then it would be equally lovely to see you on Zoom for the May 10th meeting.

Some links

http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/country/Canada/women/Canadian_poets.html

April Event contact Mary at ucvconnect@gmail.com to receive link and access.

All Ages Book and Video Sharing Online Group

by Paula Vander

Did your heart do a little gasp when you heard the libraries were closed? Did the locked door of your own library, with all those lonely books behind it, convince you that we were really and truly locked down?

If you are someone who loves to read, you will enjoy the book sharing zoom meetings. You will find your peeps.

Everyone shares a bit about the books they are reading and sometimes films they have seen on Netflix too. This way you can start to assemble a good dream list of books to take out when we finally, finally can get back into our libraries!


from Mary: Bruce and Phaedra are regulars, as are Paula and myself. We welcome others of all ages.

Bruce helped Phaedra put her book review on a video.

If you love kids and young adult books, please have one ready to share according to who’s on the call.

You can also ask some questions or for recommendations.

This past week I asked for some discussion related to Jane Eyre so I’m ready to watch the National Theatre broadcast. I got a great context-setting and additional reading (or re-reading) of various 19th century novels. I’ve now posted a request for Middlemarch on my Buy Nothing Group. Confession: Although I owned a copy and it was required reading, I no longer have it and (oops) never did finish reading it.

 

Coffeehouse Connections

Every Saturday in April at 3 pm Pacific, CUC is hosting Coffeehouse Connections.
Details and register here: https://cuc.ca/events/cuc-coffee-house-connections/1586628000/1586633400/
Join the events on Zoom:  https://bit.ly/39WqDOj
April 18 – Music circle
April 25 – Storytelling
Here’s a description of the first one.
Join Tony Turner for a UU Music Circle: a way to connect and spend some time together on Sunday, Mar 29 at 3 p.m. (Pacific); we’ll gather for about an hour to an hour and a half via Zoom.

Listeners and musicians are welcome. To contribute your musical skills, please fill in this short survey so that the co-hosts (CUC staff and Tony Turner) have an idea of who’s appearing. There will be about 8-10 performances/songs/numbers. Those who don’t get a slot this time to appear for the next Music Circle.
If you can’t be part of our circle, but know someone else who’d like to contribute please forward this link, https://forms.gle/g3KSRddAGAfMnnb9A, so they can sign up. 
Spread the word, and we’ll see you on Sunday with your instrument, or favourite beverage and snack!
Facilitated by CUC Staff.
View other CUC events here: https://cuc.ca/events-calendar/

Art Exhibition – March and April

Landscapes by Dennis Brown

An exhibition of oil paintings based on the traditional plein-air method of painting directly from life

March 1 to April 30, 2020 – in the Sanctuary and Fireside Room

see also the important note on the Art Exhibitions page

More about the artist at his website

Dennis Brown is a Vancouver-based painter who studied art at the University of British Columbia, Emily Carr College of Art and Design, and the Vancouver Academy of Art. Many of Dennis Brown’s paintings are held in private collections across Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia.

featured image: Dennis Brown with one of his paintings

Indoor Labyrinth Walking in Meditation Room

We now have custody of an indoor labyrinth that fits perfectly in our meditation room. The plan is to have it out in the meditation room every 1st Tuesday for walking before circle dance and at the break.

Seven women who were part of the Women’s Spirituality Celebration and, along with a dozen or more others, met and walked it together in January. A discussion ensued that people would like the chance to walk it more often and share it with others as well..

The 10′ x 12′ canvas labyrinth was created by Barbara Bickel while on an artist residency on Toronto Island.

Barbara was, with Mary Bennett, and others part of a planning team for an annual Women’s Spirituality Celebration held at UBC Vancouver School of Theology.While the group hasn’t hosted an event in recent years, there are “circles of circles” of women who continue to connect in various ways, often around a labyrinth walk, shared food and conversation.

Barbara created it for the WSC and has wanted it to be available for borrowing by women who wish to use it for an event.

If you have a connection to Women’s Spirituality Celebration or a Unitarian congregation, you can arrange to borrow it from Mary Bennett.

We plan to have an open labyrinth walk every 1st Tuesday from 6 to 7 pm prior to circle dancing in the hall. Mary will book space and ensure the meditation room is open by ten to 6. Women involved with WSC will take turns laying out the labyrinth, welcoming new people and putting the labyrinth back after the walk.

We have a labyrinth facebook group. 

There are also two outdoor labyrinths on the Unitarian Centre site.

Go to http://vancouverunitarians.ca/labyrinth to learn more.

Contact Mary through unitarianlabyrinth@gmail.com if you wish to arrange to borrow the indoor labyrinth.