Stories begin to tell themselves over the years. Here I have gathered pieces to tell you the story of my Mother and a piece of land she bought with my Father back in 1965, a year before I was born. Over the years it has become more difficult for her physically and financially. The foundation of the old house began to shift and with it its walls until things fall apart. In this work I explore physical, financial and emotional shifts as well as the persistence of the human spirit to continue to struggle for a future beyond our years.
Of course I am a Mad Hatter … of sorts … and I like to tell tall tales … I wear many hats … character sketches … self portraits and exploration … and so here … and now … I gaze and reflect over the years … many steps … how I have transformed and taken on personas … exploring … Live Like Water … and now Introduce the retrospective … a rear view mirror and windshield …
Some of my Fine Art prints inspired by my Live Like Water Retreat located in the beautiful Easter Townships of Quebec. I work and walk this land over and over and with each season discover more of its beauty. I hope these images also inspire you. I have some these cards printed and for sale with some nice teas. Follow the link to Live Like Water and Enjoy
I met Caroline Oullette of the La petite Fiole at the East Bolton Farmers Market when I was selling my teas. I wanted to explore Healing and Shamanism and Wildcrafting a theme that resonated with both of us.
Recently I stumbled upon an Experimental Folk group called Heilung. Their sounds and dress inspired me. Do explore this group if you have a chance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heilung
Anyways, I hope you enjoy the series as much as I enjoyed exploring this theme … lets all take a little time to heal our spiritual wounds.
And Please do check out Caroline’s natural products and services! https://www.lapetitefiole.com/
I recently had the pleasure to spend the day in Ottawa. Of course my first stop was to find the famous 5 and to share a good cup of tea. When I got to the Hill were I used to perform my duties as a Grenadier Guard all was quiet. Seems my girls were moved down the road. And so with my favorite tea pot I quickly dashed off. It was a short steep over and we of course enjoyed a good cup of tea … what can I say this years spring harvest was delightful!
After a spot of tea I was off toward the National Gallery of Canada. A first for me. And what a pleasure it was. Such an inspiring space to enjoy art. So if ever you are in the neighborhood do spend some time at the Gallery. The permanent collection is wonderful and don’t forget the Canadian Photography Institute. Here are a few images from my day in Ottawa.
It was both strange and familiar arriving in Taipei for the first time … the smells, and sounds and sights all mixed with jet lag which lasted for a good 4 day … as a result I wondered about the streets at times odd times … it was an interesting experience … here are some of those moments … enjoy this first draft as I rethink the colors and experiences … stay tuned …
Live Like Water presents the Great Tea Steeping a journey to Taiwan to source some great teas! It is my pleasure to present to you this photo essay, a collection of self portraits on location while visiting Taiwan this spring. Enjoy the tea trail and be sure to visit http://www.livelikewater.com to get your fresh and tasty teas!
Every so often, if we are lucky, we meet dynamic and wise people like Haruko Takahashi. Our fates crossed when she needed identification photos. She had such a great time in the studio she kept telling everyone around her “you should bring your family” take pictures in the studio! Soon after that Haruko invited me to visit her on 17 East of the Montreal General Hospital, an invitation I gladly accepted. Haruko has no known family and she bonded with the staff and they in return bonded with her. Haruko just was and she shared her wisdom and educated thoughts … her presence and made its mark. When I was there we had a great chat and wonderful experience. A few days later she died. I do believe in fate and that we met people for a reason … its just up to us to be aware to see and understand why they are in our lives. For me as a portrait photographer meeting Haruko was an intense encounter and learning of her sudden death was very shocking and left a mark on me … quite un-expectected and painful … the human hart is the only organ that keeps breaking … and we go on …
These are the last portraits of who I was introduced to as Haruko Takahashi. I do believe in fate. Thank You Haruko for being there and reaching out and touching us all. I wish your soul a happy journey home. With lots of love Michael Cichon
This past summer Mom and I were very happy to be introducing the community to Live Like Water Teas at the East Bolton Farmer’s Market … and boy was it fun! … well, we did make it fun … East Bolton and its neighboring community is truly amazing … not to mention all the people who visit! The was such an Amazing energy … vibrant and fun … thanks to all who participated at our Saturday Event … Thanks being there … happy times with an extraordinary energy and spirit … Mom and I really hope to see you all in the upcoming year! In the mean time enjoy these moments that Mom and I captured throughout the East Bolton Farmers Market this summer … and of course if you need more green tea do visit www.livelikewater.com or contact me.
Michael your Teaman
This Easter I present a collection of images from 4 Catholic Churches here in Montreal. This photo essay is a tribute to 3 very special people: Father Paul Pomkoski, Father Paul Geraghty, and Father Gerry Westphal. Over the years I have come to know and photograph these special teachers. They have all helped to inspire and guide me along my journey. They were also very patient allowing me to document them at work. As a result I have become the Medical Photographer at the Montreal General Hospital. Thank You all, especially Sister Helen Kilimnik who made some important introductions. And so, I present my Easter Dedication … with a special emphasis on the warmth of how we all come together in community, and how much the church means to us all. Enjoy … especially the last picture which is a food arrangement for all the Slavic people out there!
- Contact info:
- Fr. Paul Geraghty Parochial Administrator – St. Anthony of Padua Parish (514) 932-7597
Fr. Gerald Westphal Chaplain – Newman Centre McGill University (514) 398-4106 or (514) 398-4107
Fr. Paul Pomkoski – Parochial Administrator – St. Brendan Parish – St. Aloysius Parish (514) 351-3281 http://catholicmontreal.ca/item/pomkoski-fr-paul/
Well certain products are really household names … at least in our household … Mom and I like to work in the woods … and the Live Like Water Retreat gives us our fair share of outdoor physical fun … and yes we enjoy the labor that is involved … but at the end of the day we are happy Robax and a hot bath can be had … and of course then we’re Back at it Again! So here is a series of photo’s I came up with to illustrate this concept … Enjoy! Cheers Michael
2017 was a year of re-seeing, re-visiting, back tracking and of course photographing. And so. A train took me past Pickering and Richmond Hill as I made my way up to Owen Sound. According to the ticket agent she said I was going to Lala Land! Well I would have it no other way. A great visit with my friends Eric and Karen and of course (Sage and Abby). A perfect day was had … lazy paddling in a canoe in the Sound … watching the clouds … taking the time to talk to a good friend … perfect …. perfect I tell you! And so you don’t need any pictures of perfect! You do? Well wait! I am not ready to show you perfect. So this journey will be begin en route to Brantford.
And so the journey to see my aunt and family in Brantford, Ontario. A city I remember from my youth and teenager when my parents would drive down on holidays. Having an older cousins always meant early introductions, and different, “advanced” perspectives on life. Standing in front of my aunts house I could see how we once milled about. The ghosts were still there. My memories. I could still see where my father ran a race with his nephew down the street in front of mt aunts house. I relived scenes I captured so long ago … It was a magical house where our family gathered and celebrated and mourned.
This re-encounter took me to the streets, around the buildings, by the tracks and by strange people. I walked about, and spoke to a few souls. This is a tough town. Trust no one. The town cops are corrupt. Evil is every where … I walked and walked some more … photographing buildings, and forms of interest … and it so happened I saw something. It caught my eye. And so I began snapping away. Click Click Click … another position and more clicks … and then I look up and noticed two Police Officers standing by their Black and White Patrol car. They were staring at me. Ok so I’m not in Montreal, and to some this may seem strange! So I walked over and say Good Afternoon. Blank Expression. Visiting my aunt for a couple of days. Walking about. Photographing what I remember. Memory lane. Oh came a smile. Would you guys pose for a portrait? No? I didn’t think so. Ok You take care and enjoy the day … and I walked off to take more pictures, all the while thinking “taking pictures of what I remember? Memory lane? what Kind of youth did I have in the city? About 15 minutes later they drove by while I was photographing. We waved to one another like old friends!
All that to say one really gets a feel and vibe while on the street … different places, different people, and different inter relationship with their environment … now add our filters … mine stained with the memory of a foreign adolescent … and now a foreign adult passing through … and some of the most interesting moments were not captured live on so here are some fragmented moments of this short trip into Ontario … Enjoy
Very recently it dawned upon me that Winter Solstice has arrived. The darkest day and with it the day’s getting longer! I always appreciate the light. It illuminates life! And so I offer these pictures:my day from 8.30 to 4.30!. Walking to work I saw some interesting light and photographed it. At lunch, more light and some recent developments in the building next to the Montreal General Hospital, a building which has slumbered for many years … And then early evening: my favorite “Magritte” time of day. Leaving work and walking to the metro I capture these additional images. A beautiful day of seeing and feeling which I now share with you. Enjoy! Michael
No two eyes see the same thing … I have examined re examined the Royal Victoria Hospital where I worked before the move to the Glen Site. Each day I saw the faces and corridors in a fresh light … our hospital was an extraordinary series of inter connected buildings and inter relationships. In this series of photographs I have chosen to focus on our work environment devoid of people, but in such a way you can still feel a human presence … our presence … we who worked and died there. It is our dwelling place no more … except in memory.
This post is a tribute to my two colleagues and friends Howard Naud and Richard Thomas. These two young men who worked in the Receiving Dept of the Royal Victoria Hospital died recently at the Glen site within 2 weeks of each other. Neither got a chance to retire in the traditional sense of the the word. Howard was an honest and sensitive man; his kindness was felt by all who knew him. And, Richard Thomas was a real live wire! Always joking and telling funny stories; they echo in our ears still. These guys were full of life and they shared their energy with all of us. I was lucky to have worked with them and got a chance to take their portraits in the final days of the Royal Victoria Hospital. And during Howard’s last hours, I was there with him and his devoted and loving wife Yanny. Death, even when expected is always a surprise. As a photographer I witness life, death and everything in between. I have always felt it was my duty to record and share the world we live in. With that in mind, I want to introduce you all to these two incredible men of the Royal Victoria Hospital’s Receiving Department. And so I invite you all to step around back of the Royal Victoria Hospital. Enter through the back. The Receiving Door; walk down the corridor and see the faces we saw and knew. Howard and Richard, thank you for being there! You were a big part of us. We The Royal Victoria Hospital Love and Miss You Both. Rest Well my brothers. Love Michael
With so much love I present this photo essay and tribute to my Mom. Happy Birthday! Cto Lat (100 years) To a woman who is an inspiration and comfort to so many … and an absolute GAZ! Thank you mom for all you have taught me so much about life and photography … and so I offer this collection of images spanning from 2005 to 2017 (First Draft)… Enjoy!
Well, on Thursday June 21st my usual lunch hour walk was arrested … It happened to be Aboriginal Day and there was an event in the PK Subban Atrium at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. I was working that day as the Pediatric Medical Photographer, and walking by for my lunch hour walk I was entranced by the speaker who was Nakuset, the Executive Director of the Native Woman’s Shelter of Montreal. Her words struck: the stories and experiences she shared concerning Aboriginal People in the health care system were very powerful. Nakuset is powerful and passionate speaker. What was to follow was healing music from the Buffalo Hat Singers (if I’m not mistaken) performed with such passion and compassion that it really struck a emotional chord with me; it was their voices that penetrated and resounded deep. The healing properties and the rhythm of the healing drum echoed our own healing hearts. The healing ritual which they performed invited people to take a pinch of Tabaco and drop it on the surface of the drum as they performed the healing ritual. I felt it was such a necessary ritual to take place within our healing environment. I was so glad I stayed and record this magical event. As I listened my own emotions came through my eye’s. At times it was hard for me to hold my camera. I cried and continued to capture this wonderful and powerful ceremony. By the way a very special Clown came to visit, and that of course was Dr. FiFi and her friend! No healing ceremony would be complete with out these Good Healing Vibes!
Well Josie, my mom, aka Grandma Dynamite, won the East Bolton Town Hall Lottery … She got to adopt a Bee Hive … and the experience that goes along with it … and so I have been lucky to explore and photograph these amazing bee’s. As a result this photo essay … A very Big thank you to Alain Dery and Alexandre for their wonderful patience and expertise! I never thought I would find myself sitting so close in front of an active Bee Hive with my camera and flash … the fun continues as I continue to experiment and keep getting closer. Stay tuned for more of this honey sweet story of our Bolton Bee’s…
And here is the update! Honey Harvesting Party! This was an amazing experience, a time when you meet the other people who adopted a Bee Hive this summer and we all participate in extracting the honey. And the best part we learn the tastes … the actual tastes from all corners of our community. We share experiences and give each other support; I know if it wasn’t for Alain Dery and his passion and expertise I never would have ventured into this fascinating world … and so I get to share my harvest … this story and these pictures … enjoy! And if you are lucky we may have some truly organic honey for you! Ps these occasions bring out the real talent … music to our ears!
Call me Ishmael but walking around the harbor in Busan has always been a real pleasure for me, I I have spent many of nights/mornings in this part of town … usually in the company of my Korean Brother Lee Jae Yong … the textures are still there but walls are going up … the separation … a little sad… somehow I still did find some holes in the fence … the rabbit hold to my old memories … and the characters who still live there ..
It was an honor to finally meet Korean Master Potter Toyayo. His pottery was introduced to me through my Korean Tea & Pottery connection in Pusan, South Korea. I imported a few tea cups and immediately fell in love with them. They were so light and crisp; the edges rough with a sophisticated texture; infused with refined culture. But that’s my impression! You will have to discover your own experience. His cups are such a pleasure to hold and drink from; especially a first flush green tea! Korean Master Potter Toyayo, like the earth tones that he wears, is such a down to earth and gentle man. These days his work is growing in popularity, especially in Japan where he recently had a show. This timing of this visit coincided perfectly with the latest firing his wood kiln. Now understand with heat fluctuations on average 60% of the pottery survives! And this firing was very, very successful. Here are some pictures from our visit. Enjoy.
I was introduced to this special lady in a most wonderful way and that was in her restaurant which she has been running for over 40 years. She is cherished by many poets and artists for her famous Pajeon (Korean pizza they call it, but the name doesn’t do it justice). She made us the great fresh seafood Pajeon and served us a bowl of great home made Makgeolli, also called Dong Dong Jew; a mild rice wine. This was worth the trip I tell you! You have to understand this was one of my favorite beverages while I was living in South Korea. I even made a pilgrimage where some of the best stuff is made. When I returned to Canada, I would also try my hand at making it for myself. Not so easy. The first time I used the wrong rice and made more of a cement which you had to use a spoon! Anyways …