March opens the gate for spring so that we can walk through it with the first spring flowers and honor the uniqueness of every woman, their mission and awareness of the feminine power.
Flowers open to the sun as if in spite the still cool air and soil, and breezy, chilly winds. They’ve come long ways and survived the lack of light and warmth in winter.
Much longer days and the bright and daring sun beams allow seeing everything in fresh and strong colors.
We give birth to new plans, nurture brave ideas and get excited with fresh thoughts.
It is so wonderful to head out looking for unexpected success and brave solutions! Nothing compares to the feeling when we take ourselves by hand, get outdoors and join the dance of sunlight patches on the sidewalk!
Spring is in the air, and March comes with a firm promise: “Soon, very soon, every path will take you straight to the blossoming gardens and sprouting grasses and blooms!” You cannot even miss it!
We should appreciate every gift we receive from the spring.
Let us feel young and daring once again! Let us enjoy the blossoming season and walk fearlessly and with determination towards our new goals!
It is no coincidence we celebrate International Women’s Day in March, as soon as our boldest and bravest dreams wake up after the long sleepy winter. Who else, if not women dare everything?
This day has been always my most favorite spring celebration. I’m very happy to be in Latvia at this moment. We do not associate this day that much with political issues in Latvian families, and we do simply celebrate women for all the great qualities they have and for all the great things women achieve.
I can leave all the sad issues in the past and look forward to a new beginning. Love never dies, not even when the person we loved has gone.
These flowers tell me about the future. Tulips in my vase are from my daughter and her husband. Exactly in the red color I adore.
We do not need much to feel loved and respected, especially, if our heart is confident that love never ends and big part of it dwells in our soul.
Flowers in pictures are my room plants. They, too, feel love and care. The more I care, the more beautiful their blossoms regardless of any obstacles and setbacks.
Since the International Woman’s Day March 8, resonates with Me too and Time’s up movements in North America recently, this day has become more visible and more important by now.
It wasn’t actually this way before. I have been writing March 8 articles every year, and they quite often didn’t get much response. I believe it is because the day as such did not feel very important for many women or they associated it only with socialism and political movements, thus, it wasn’t widely popular.
While general articles mention North American and British suffragist movements as origin of this day, it is not entirely true. It is quite visible that the contribution of women fighters for female equality, such as Clara Zetkin, Inessa Armand, Alexandra Kollontai, the first soviet woman ambassador, and Nadezhda Krupskaya, Soviet Union’s Deputy Minister of Education and women’s rights advocate has actually not been acknowledged globally. I would think it is because they were all socialists, to some extent representing communism, and it is assumed that nothing good came out of all this movement and their personal fights. They actually addressed issues such as sexuality, abortion, marriage, divorce, morality, sexual relations between genders, family relationships, motherhood and role of mother, getting rid of male dominance in any area of life and physical abuse about 100 years ago in Russia and Western Europe at a time when nobody dared even to speak out about these issues. One has to remember that the state of education wasn’t really the same what it is right now, in 2018. Only the richest women would be able to obtain good education and it was rare they would have important political and executive positions, hence woman’s role was mostly understood as the one of a family member and mother.
The United Nations began celebrating International Woman’s Day on March 8 only in 1975.
This day was celebrated always in former Soviet Union as far as I can remember, and I am 60 this year. To me and many soviet era women from former soviet republics this day felt as one of the most wonderful days in the entire year. White and pink tulips, bright yellow daffodils and mimosa, as well as any early spring flowers were given to every woman. It was always celebration of a woman. This tradition continues in the independent Republic of Latvia, and it still goes very strongly.
What are the achievements due to the highly recognized role of a woman during the soviet and post-soviet era? There are actually many, although, we do not want to admit that. First of all, it was free education for everybody from the nursery school to the University. I had only excellent grades also while studying at the University, so, the government actually paid me monthly which was a huge financial aid. That means that the higher education was not only free, but also promoted in any possible way. The female dominance in higher education was absurd. I was studying foreign languages, and among students of many departments there were just very few male students with about 90% being female. This sounds crazy, and so it was. Male students would be choosing the Technical University and similar establishments, but still at a much lesser rate.
The aspect that was definitely promoted was female participation, equality and recognition of female achievements. It went way beyond that.
The period after the World War II was dominated by women in Latvia. First of all, there were more women who survived the war, and secondly, more women were well-educated. It went way too far in regard that women lost their female side and became work heroes: woman, the tractor driver and heavy machinery operator, the “rifle woman”, woman, the chair of an industrial plant who deals exclusively with work matters, denies make-up and fashion, denies any weaknesses and puts their political and social role above anything.
The scientific sector is dominated by women in Latvia: it is at 51% which is the highest rating among all European Union countries. It is not surprising, because traditionally and historically women have always been at the top due to excellent education, devotion and intelligence in Latvia. I mean, while living in Latvia I never felt any restrictions, any discrimination to me as a woman. It was, in fact, the opposite: starting with elementary school and ending with University, my success was always much acknowledged and I was always sitting in the first row when students were receiving yearly awards for state competitions in essay writing, geography, math, physics, foreign languages and visual art. Latvian women have also always been socially very active. It is pretty well-known that the Canadian Latvian Vaira Vike-Freiberga became a president of the Latvian Republic not that long ago.
The list of women high-achievers in Latvia would be very long and large. I suppose the roots and origins of female dominance in such countries as Latvia is somewhat historically and traditionally related to our life style and way of thinking. Latvian women have been and still are extremely independent and mentally strong.
I do miss a lot of that Latvian free spirit here in Canada. I’ve become invisible and I do not enjoy the social recognition I had back there. Well, I am kind of newcomer to Canada also, and I have been here for only 14 years yet. Ones efforts become much diluted in such a big place like Canada, and I feel that anything I do goes unnoticed to a big extent.
Well, this day is referred to in Latvia as simply Women’s Day, and it is celebrated in every family, at any workplace, at every school and at every office. It is a beautiful tradition which comes with spring flowers and feeling that spring and woman are synonyms.
This is a contribution to all women who are trying to be and feel equal in any walk of life. You certainly deserve all the most beautiful spring flowers that exist!
As we stroll through the sky which is actually alive
With the speed that is not approachable even in sleep, even in dream
We do not know what is going to happen the next minute.
How would we know about the next year?
This is an endless flight which might end abruptly at the destiny’s door.
Between grasps of air some face reminds you that there actually was something.
Long ago. Far away.
Was that you setting up the alarm which never went off?
And so, we are flying without the warning system.
Without suggestions. Without instructions.
This flight has no stops.
We literally circle the sky until somebody gets moody or tired.
That’s when the next flood or ice age starts.
It would be unfair to just circle in the sky without ever learning anything.
So, what’s the lesson my dear?
Life isn’t what we think about it
Life is all the things what it does to us.
After extremely tough weeks of all kinds of health concerns and issues, after some sleepless nights and a very disturbing feeling of hopelessness, I am returning with a summary of thoughts about things which did not want to leave me alone.
I started an initiative to raise some money, but it got interrupted by different matters, including the lack of internet when construction workers cut off our cable. I’m not thrilled knowing that the next year might start off on the wrong foot with some delayed treatment. I haven’t had any chance to really try or sell anything this year, so, hopefully, you can help spread the word. I do appreciate any purchase of any creation on the art website.
I arrived to Canada in 2004. I did not know what to expect, but I was very impressed by greatness of many things, and everything felt to me huge. I mean everything. Latvia where I came from is a small country, and, therefore, the endless wide roads, the high-rise buildings, the downtown Toronto with its busy streets and, especially, the size of any province was so different from what I was used to.
Well, time flew absurdly fast then, and I got married in October 30th of the same year. It’s very amazing that it is my daughter’s birthday on this day, too, which I hadn’t even realized when we made all arrangements. We stayed in Niagara Falls in a newlywed suite which had number 3010 on the door. Something else, or what?
Well, we got married in The Small Wedding Chapel in Niagara Falls. My family was in Latvia, so, my fiancé decided not to invite his family also, just to be fair to each other. Very tactful, I’d say. Therefore we headed out to Niagara Falls the day before wedding. The weather was mild and sunny during the day, although, it was the end of October. These pictures were taken by the numerous by-passers who all kept congratulating us, so, it felt wonderful actually.
I cannot believe it’s been 13 years. The flow of time is very different from what it was back then. The best part is that my daughter is 38 today and we celebrate the 13th wedding anniversary. So much fun together (over the internet because she is in Latvia).
Everything worked out quite well. My husband has proved himself to be the best, most loving and most honest person ever and he is still the same excellent man who I met back then. He has had a lot of patience and understanding in the situations when my health really gave up. When we are saying “…in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part” at the wedding, we rarely can be aware of what is ahead in reality. It has not been all that smooth, but, thankfully, we are managing everything.
We got married in Niagara Falls
Happy me, well, we tried to take each others pictures first, and then the by-passers helped
This is us 13 years ago
While we are still very young we believe that nothing really changes as we get older, except it is a larger number. We assume we will have the same ideas and the same attitude, and the same capability when executing different things. That is so wrong! I just now have started to understand how my parents felt at older age, and I am very lucky to have my daughter as my best friend because my top energy levels matched time of her being young and very energetic and passionate.
We are a lot smarter. Life teaches us if we are willing to pay attention and to learn the lesson. We find out that some ideas were simply silly and that the world isn’t there to please us and make miraculously our wishes come true without any effort. We have learnt that lots of things require fighting for them and that path can take a lot of turns, too. It’s never as if going from point A to point B. There are always obstacles and problems, and all kinds of disturbances.
The most important things for a family are love, trust and respect. If any of these are missing, marriage is going to have cracks. The most important thing for an individual is the mental and physical health. While I have a lot of brain power, excellent memory and very strong willpower, the physical side is somewhat suffering. Well, I hope the future is friendly and has some better things for me and us.
Being an older white, legal immigrant in Canada is not quite the same as being a refugee. Refugees are treated very well here and receive extreme support. I haven’t received any smallest or tiniest support whatsoever. My only support has come from my husband so far, and I am happy and grateful for that. Other than that, my expectations did not come true: I wasn’t met too friendly wherever I turned to in Canada, and I haven’t made too many friends locally, as well. Realistically, I was already 46 when I relocated to Canada; so, it’s not the same as when one is 16 or even 26. I have turned from a very social person (I worked at publishing houses, high schools and colleges in Latvia, it was work with and among people) to a very isolated person. My lack of health has contributed to that also, a lot actually, but still, I did not expect such ignorance from the local community and people. It has been as if approaching some unbreakable brick wall: there is very little interest about what I do and offer. I suppose one has way better chances if they have classmates, schoolmates, University time friends, childhood friends and obviously relatives in the country they work and live.
Well, I have only my husband.
Cheers to our 13 wonderful years together! I want to thank my husband and God for this great time and I certainly believe that the best times are still ahead of us.
P. S. I have to apologize to fellow bloggers for their kind and numerous comments and likes to previous posts, as well, as thank you to all who keep following my art site https://inesepogagallery.com/ I will approve everything and I will return all likes as soon as get a bit better and all my stuff is sorted out. That won’t be today because it is our wedding anniversary. Thanks to everybody!
The New Year has walked across the globe by now. Although, it is just a date, a reference mark along the way, we meet the January 1st as if it is a new beginning, a new way of life, a new hope and a new happiness which awaits just behind the next bend. Or does it?
I look around, and I am surprised how I have gotten done so many things. I cannot sometimes believe I did that because there were so many days in the last year I was not that productive. I certainly hope the New Year comes with soothing feelings of calm and adds some pleasure onto the daily menu.
Many years ago, a Latvian poet wrote some sad lines: “When the pain will stop, when it will end completely, everything else will end, as well.” Pain is a sign that we are alive. It is a signal to pay attention.
I’m not talking about physical pain only which can be so strong that nothing more exists, I’m talking about life that runs away like sand in an hourglass. Lost time, lost opportunities and lost days. So many. I will have to change that and turn every single day into enjoyable one.
Well, I am hopeful because the hope is always there: the next day will be much better, the next month will be much easier, the next year will be much nicer to me. It should be. It better be. Or otherwise what? Nothing. It’s about time I return to things that make me happy.
As a young kid I had to walk to school for quite a distance every morning. I hated mornings because I was usually reading all night, and it was extremely difficult to get up. We used to live on a high hill. As I walked, and sometimes the weather was just really nasty, I could see another hill, far away. That hill always seemed to be sunny when it was windy, cold and rainy or snowy where I was. I have no explanation for that, but the sun just loved the distant hill. I often thought: I’m going to get to this other hill. I’m going to live my life on that sunny hill. Years passed by, but the other hill remained in quite a distance. I moved to a place from another side of planet across the ocean. I left that hill there, in Latvia. I don’t even know if it is visible anymore because any landscape changes a lot over 50 years. I am still on the way to that hill. Am I any closer? Maybe. I just know I’m not on it, I haven’t reached the point where I want to be, to live, to stand, to exist yet. Will I ever? Does anybody ever have it all? The truth is: we get something and we pay a lot for it. We sometimes pay more than we ever imagined was possible.
The truth about anything that doesn’t kill us and makes us stronger is only in that regard that we know we are not giving up that easily now. Is it necessary to become stronger this way? Not at all. So much energy goes to waste which could be used for way more rewarding things, things that actually make one’s life relevant and significant.
It was sunny during the day. That might be a good sign. A sunny year? How wonderful that would be!
Wishing everybody to avoid unnecessary struggles and to reach your sunny hill whatever way you take in 2017!
I know they won’t be able to withstand the big waves and the stormy winds. I keep building them regardless. Lots and lots of marvelously shaped wonders made out of zillion sand crystals. Castles of pure sand.
I know very clearly, and it is so obvious that such buildings are for a moment and they won’t last. They never do. Why to bother? Why to put in so much time in something evanescent that only passes away in the moment it is created and is unable to survive? Did I think this would be an exception? Did I believe that our dreams can magically turn sand into gold? Steel? Glass? Concrete? Wood? I must have been really silly believing in the magic of imagination. I must have lost the thin line between daydreaming and reality.
I build them all day. Long rows of beautiful and tall sand castles. I get up in the morning; pack up my pain and depression so they can enviously stare at my creations. When the weather is smooth like a silk scarf and the sun just sends down the first beams to explore the coastline, I am ready to get to my never-ending work: I am focused, determined and extremely self-conscious. I don’t need any plans, I don’t care about schedules. I always hope this day is going to be better than the previous one. In fact, it never is. My castles are fine. Materials and place are wrong. If it only was some other place. If I only had something stronger for my castles. So the night sets in, waves rise and they level down my creations. When I look at the same place next morning, all I can see is an empty sandy coast. No sign of anything from the day before.
Well, it has come to the point when I have to make a decision. I have two bad choices to consider. Doing nothing is not a good choice and doing something might worsen the current situation. It is as if I am standing at the crossroads and neither one of four roads promises to end in a good destination. Or do they? There might be something hidden behind the hills, there might be a good news waiting. Meanwhile, the days have been quiet and fairly empty. Foggy, meaningless and painful. The only thing to hold on has been castles built of sand. Fragile, unsafe and only for a short moment standing. They cannot become a shelter. They cannot save anybody from the storm. Why to bother? Why?
I would say there is always still hope even with a hopeless intention and an impossible purpose.
Some people are definitely more intact than others, and I am referring to people who have experienced severe mental or physical injuries and traumas. Some have inherited or developed stronger defense mechanisms; therefore, they can withstand bad relapsing conditions and depression triggering events easier. I think our mental strength gets also affected with any physical trauma. I am not one of those people who write blogs about their struggles and suffering. I know that sharing a bad condition brings sort of relief and can possibly show the way out to others. It’s just possibly, because there are no two 100% identical cases, there are just similarities, maybes and huge inter-and intra-individual variations. However, as bad as my conditions and pain might be, I do not want to allow these disorders and pain to identify me. I just refuse to be somebody who always suffers since that’s not what I am here for. I am here to protest, to oppose, to help, to teach and share some facts and my discoveries.
Nevertheless, it’s been 3 very tough years. Again. I already had once 3 very tough years after I left the hospital which had become my home for almost a year. It’s very interesting how before the accident I didn’t even know what a simple headache was. After the accident, I learned everything about hospitals, pre-and post-treatments, medicines, their side effects and I discovered billions of new small bits about the human body and the ways it functions or dysfunctions. So far, I have spent 30 years studying everything from depressive and cognitive disorders to anything related to type I diabetes, heart and vascular, kidney, liver, lung and digestive diseases, and I am paying special attention to the brain activity and anything which affects it. While I can fairly well assess my own disorders, I cannot cure them on my own. Apart from being hard to tolerate, pain is also exhausting and drains me out of energy. It is capable of doing this to the point when I am almost always asleep. Pain is a bad and obtrusive companion: I wake up with it, I go to sleep with it, I have my lunch with it and it seems to be always around.
Those of you, who live with chronic pain for lengthy periods of time, probably are aware that pain makes us more vulnerable, more sensitive, more open to depression and desperation. Whatever somebody would say, whenever the pain attacks, we have to experience it on our own. If you are extremely sensitive to any chemicals and medicines as I am, you are aware how they make one sick even at doses which would be considered tiny and mild. So, that’s the issue, I am trying to be stronger than pain without much of medications. I would take them only when it is absolutely, completely intolerable. Even in these cases, I’m using only 200 mg or 400 mg Ibuprofen or Advil. Nothing stronger, nothing which affects the brain function and interaction of brain chemicals. I take pills rarely, as rarely as only possible. Instead, I am crying, tossing around on a couch and feeling how my willpower leaves me. Why? I don’t want to damage more than inevitable my kidneys, my liver and get ulcers, bleeding or holes in the stomach which can happen with prolonged use of potent pain relief medications. Unfortunately, when we have to rely on OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) covered care and treatments, the waiting times are insane. It can take about 6 months to see the specialist. In my case, it took 3 years to try getting something done. I am going to have a surgery very soon. I am absolutely scared because the results are not very predictable. In fact, they are much unknown, but since there aren’t plenty of choices, surgery seems to be the best option.
I do anything which I can, which I can at the moment. I certainly hope to return to normal life. I would love to have normal nice summers and winters again; I would love to go out here and there, to have some vacation, to see and meet people outside this place, to do anything which most people can do without any problem. Well, I hope to be there someday soon.
I also disagree with those who are convinced: once you let the past go you are like brand new and ready for a fresh start. How about the past not letting you go? This accident happened 24 years ago and that’s when I got quite a few new acquaintances: lots of pain, depressive episodes because I wasn’t able to cope with life as before, so on and so on. Whenever we are just fixed up after bad mental or physical traumas which happened in the past, we will never be the same. We will have anxieties and fear of so many things which were unknown before the trauma. We will be patched up and sewn together, but never again without cracks and scars. These scars might be invisible to others, but they are always there. Fears and worries are sneaking up on us whether in a dream or in reality.
Before your hand starts writing you are sorry (in case you decided to read this update since I was so bad, I couldn’t post anything for quite a while and most likely I’ve lost all followers), I would love to say I don’t want somebody to be sorry. It’s ok not to be sorry. I am a fighter, I always have been. I would appreciate much more you went to the gallery and art blog and checked out my Fine Art America link on the right side and the art for sale on the art blog. Ironically, when we are in the least favorable state and condition to make some money, we need the financial support the most.
The other thing which I am doing to get my mind off is my backyard and plants as you can see above. I have put something in the soil, just like always, and yams are absolutely experimental for me this year. Not much happening with painting, but the bits will be published on the gallery blog assuming I get to this before the surgery.