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
Today being Good Friday in our Easter calendar I have decided to post a collection of Good Friday & Easter images. A special nod to my beloved Aunt Sister Helen who introduced me to 3 very special people: Father Paul Geraghty, Father Gerry Westphal and Father Paul Pomkoski. Over the years I have come to know and photograph these special men for various projects. They have helped to inspire and guide me. And so I present these pictures; my Easter Dedication … and if you find yourself so inclined do try to attend mass at any of the following parishes:
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
Parochial Administrator – St. Aloysius Parish (514) 351-3281
Fr. Paul Pomkoski Parochial Administrator St. Brendan Parish http://catholicmontreal.ca/item/pomkoski-fr-paul/
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
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!
Yes once upon a time I was a Polish Folk Dancer and toured with many groups. In my mother’s archives I found these photo’s. I would like to share these with those who were in the group. I do not know all the faces who were in the photo so if you can add a name please do … lets fill in the historical gaps …. The last picture is the one I took of the current Polish Saint Mary’s Fold Dance group in 2016 … the tradition continues …
How fitting the new year and new post begin with this story … of a journey to the past, my past, to take inventory so that new beginnings can manifest themselves. It was 2004, Nov, when I packed up my Chinatown Tea Shop and moved back to Montreal. The whole building complex that was home to my Tea Shop is no longer. Vancouver’s old Chinatown is changing, however, for now, Angelo Tosi the Italian food whole sale store is still there. Also Andrew for Gain Wah, a Chinese Restaurant I used to frequent is also open. This has really been a significant re-visit. An amazing 7 day trip revisiting friends and places and getting the opportunity to rephotographing them all these years later. Here is a selection of the different portraits I produced while in BC. I thank all who allowed me to stick the camera in front of my face to capture these points in time. Ella, who loved my suitcase, Carole and Keith from the Poplar Studio, Tom from Tom’s East Vin Brewing (who by the way has some of the most beautiful North Window light), Angelo Tosi in many ways my mentor in business, Andrew Leung of Gain Wah making sure I got my fix of crispy pork and of course Mr. P a good friend and researcher of manufactured landscapes … Thank you all my friends, especially for the much need insight and perspective in my time of mid life inventory. Tune into the individual shoots as I post them. More to come
We are always thankful especially when we are working on the Live Like Water Retreat in East Bolton. It is a magical place for both my mom and myself. Here are some pictures from our Thanks Giving Weekend. If you have a chance do get out of town and into the country side to enjoy the fall colors. Nature does have healing properties!
Well I usually don’t photograph concerts, and to be honest don’t get out too much, that’s because I am in bed by 9 or 10 on most evening. So to be sure this was an exception and gave me the excuse to practice high iso/low lighting situations. The Sadies ( http://thesadies.net/ ) are new to me and the few songs I heard before the concert did strike me. Their concert was very pleasing and I was happy to have been there, way past my bed time. The whole show started with guest Charlotte Cornfield ( http://charlottecornfield.com/ ) and her band mate, followed by Will Mclelland ( http://www.theminted.ca/ ) who read from his fresh novel the Minted. Li’l Andy ( http://www.lilandy.net/ ) and his band members were next and took thing up a few notches with their energetic set, getting us ready for the Sadies who really rocked the place. A good time was had by all. Thank you all for the music and the enjoyment. Cheers Michael
This event was quite a last minute surprise, seems no one wants to invite the medical photographers to photograph PR events … come on guy’s we’re not that “Cartesian” ! …well maybe to some extent. As many of you know during lunch I usually walk about the neighborhood and photograph the world around me. This lunch time was special. P.K.Subban was going to give a talk in the Atrium named in his honor. This was interesting. I don’t watch sports and have only heard about this man P.K.Subban. I know I know … that’s just me … I have enough projects to distract me … Anyways here is my lunch time story of what I saw from the sidelines. Enjoy Cheers.
This afternoon was very well spent at a BBQ event for the M.S.O.P.A (Montreal School of Performing Arts). If you haven’t tried acting this is the place to do it and Josa Maule is your go to person. This was a very pleasant afternoon spent amongst creative and friendly people; real people! Next year is their 25th anniversary … but sure to come out and have fun and eat great Jerk Chicken which Josa prepared! Here are the pictures I took during this event.
To quote Josa website:” Celebrating 24 years Josa Maule’s School of Performing Arts (MSOPA) annual BBQ is a great opportunity to network with other artist in the industry, meet new friends and help raise funds for their on going film / theatre projects, and MSOPA community outreach program, working with Children at Risk and Mental illness. MSOPA has remained an instrumental part of Montreal’s growing Acting Community. We thank you for your continued support and contributions; we look forward to meeting you at our event.
For further information, please contact Josa Maule at: (514) 483-5526 or e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you again for supporting MSOPA.”
I dedicate this post to Howard Naud one of the organizers of the Montreal Otakuthon event. For the past few years he has been convincing me to come and take pictures at the event and every year I was busy or out of town. Also I knew and still know nothing about the characters and the event. This year I said I would make the attempt to go, and had a model who would pose for me and of course Howard would be there; but on the day I was to go both said they would not be able to attend! My security blanket taken away. I was about to cancel myself, but decided to lighten the bag of photography gear I had prepared, which was still too heavy, and forced myself out the door. Here is the edited result, which was no easy feat. I am so very thankful to all the participants who graciously posed for me, your creativity and energy was absolutely amazing! I thank everybody who came to this event and all those who helped make it happen whether I saw you or not you were all part of this amazing experience. Deep bows of gratitude! Cheers Michael (ps to those of you who don’t see your picture here write to me and I will send it your way … there were so many great shots which had to be edited out)
A journalist without the dead line is historian, and the truth is I am more of a historian … I take time to process and post … and ponder in between. Through a Dawson College Entrepreneur program I got a chance to see and hear Jimmy Donal “jimbo” Wales the co-founder and promoter of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia give a talk. Our seats where way up high and it was interesting to see all the 3-4 photojournalists down below working … essentially being paid to do a job I would love to get a chance to do…Anyways I did have my camera and decided to try and get in a few shots from the balcony … I even got Michel Leblanc the president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal introducing and greeting Jimmy. It was an interesting evening and quite inspirational. A special Thank You to Madeleine Bazerghi for all she has done to procure the tickets for this amazing evening. Cheers.
Just a few pictures taken during lunch at the Glen’s Employee’s day Lunch. Even Marc Graneau the Member of Parliament for the riding of Westmount—Ville-Marie since 2008 was there to speak. It was a lovely afternoon and it was very nice to see so many smiling faces that I knew from years gone by…Cheers to you all!
This Christmas our family (my nieces and nephew) traveled to the Maison Jesus-Marie in Longueuil Quebec to sing for the elderly nuns who live there in residence. Many were teachers and highly esteemed in their respective fields. It was a special time in the spirit of giving and sharing one’s time. The sisters were overjoyed, especially interacting with the younger children who at one point handed out finger puppets and candies! At a couple of points during the recital those in the choir joined those in the audience and asked them to dance in whatever capacity they were able. In some cases they were wheeled in the wheelchairs as they moved their arms and sang. It was an incredible sight to behold…to hear the voices come together in community and see the smiling faces. These are the pictures I took during this special event.
If only they told me
Right from the beginning
“they die you know
to whom you attach your fondness
and they are even harder to detach
from your heart and mind”
we should be reminded daily
told over and over
like the warnings
on cigarette packages
love is addictive
causes emotional attacks on the heart
for which there is no cure
comes with crisis
when we bury these loves
and they don’t decompose
in our lifetime.
These lips I kiss
Form after form
Somehow taste very familiar
Who is this evasive woman I seek?
So I can recite my lines
And engage in dialogue
And when I find
Her form full
That she cannot accommodate my content
Off I go searching
For another form
To fill with words
Who writes this script?
Let me have a word with him
I need a cue
Tell me once and for all
To whom am I to speak
Confess these words of the heart
Who are we casting for the part?
I’m tired of rehearsing.
LIKE A SPIDAR
I’ve unwrapped you
Like a spider does a fly
Taking advantage of the translucent web
That I’ve set
Between the moon and desire.
But now I sit in the middle
And call out
“Hey fly, won’t you come to me?
So I can eat you?”
It’s an offering that I want
So like an honest spider
I guess I will starve.
Many years ago I made a couple of pilgrimages to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s grave. In this series I only posted one photograph of his grave and a variety other pictures. Recently a good Russian friend of mine sent me this quote fromt he Brother’s Karamazov and so I would like to repost it here; as well as one of my favorite quotes The Idiot about living each minute to the fullest. Enjoy.
“You see, stupid as I am, I still keep thinking about it, I keep thinking, every once in a while, of course, not all the time. Surely it’s impossible, I think, that the devils will forget to drag me down to their place with their hooks when I die. And then I think: hooks? Where do they get them? What are they made of? Iron? Where do they forge them? Have they got some kind of factory down there? You know, in the monastery the monks probably believe there’s a ceiling in hell, for instance. Now me, I’m ready to believe in hell, only there shouldn’t be any ceiling; that would be, as it were, more refined, more enlightened, more Lutheran, in other words. Does it really make any difference–with a ceiling or without a ceiling? But that’s what the damned question is all about! Because if there’s no ceiling, then there are no hooks. And if there are no hooks, the whole thing falls apart, which, again, is unlikely, because then who will drag me down with hooks, because if they don’t drag me down, what then, and where is there any justice in the world? Il faudrait les inventer, those hooks, just for me, for me alone. Because you have no idea, Alyosha, what a stinker I am…!”
“No, there are no hooks there,” Alyosha said quietly and seriously, studying his father.”Yes, yes. Only shadows of hooks. I know, I know.”–The Brothers Karamazov (tr Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)
Fyodor Dostoevsky’s,The Idiot
Part one chapter 5
Translated by: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
First Vintage Classics edition July 2003
“He was dying at the age of twenty-seven, healthy and strong; bidding farewell to his comrades, … There was a was a church nearby, and the top of the cathedral with its gilded dome shone in the bright sun. He remembered gazing with terrible fixity at that dome and the rays shinning from it: it seemed to him that those rays were his new nature and in three minutes he would somehow merge with them…The ignorance of and loathing for this new thing that would be and would come presently were terrible; yet he said nothing was more oppressive than for him than the constant thought: “What if I were not to die! What if life were given back to me – what infinity! And it would all be mine! Then I’d turn each I’d turn each minute into a whole age, lose nothing, I’d reckon up every minute separately, I’d let nothing be wasted! He said that in the end this thought turned into such anger in him that he wished they would hurry up and shoot him.” (P.60-1)
I dedicate this post to Tom and East Vin in East Vancouver. Because I can’t make wine in his shop…which I’d love (to death) I end up choosing affordable red wines at the SAQ and yes I am aware how much provincial tax I pay per bottle…In the future…very near future this must change…even if Tom does not move back east… Why don’t they (the government) just club us and rob us out right…very soon we Canadians will be making Afghanistan wine Soviet style…Tank break line fluid filtered though burnt toast into container of fermenting fruit…shaken and not stirred! Don’t forget old East Bulgarian Tooth paste from the old Soviet Block days…if you still have a secret stash do share…because we can’t live in the civilized west anymore…not at the prices they charge! Make your own wine and if you’re in Vancouver Go see Tom At East Vin!
I saw Yegor Dyachkov and Jonathan Crow perform at Mc Gill’s Pollack hall. I remember Shostakovitch was on the program; my reason for going. It was a pleasure to hear them. Unfortunately, I only had my point and shoot camera, and of course a flash would have been inappropriate. However, I was able to capture these photographs of the performance. If you ever have an opportunity to hear these musicians I encourage you to do so, they are wonderful.