Friday, September 28, 2012

Blog Guelph: Taking Flight

A fleeting image and a beautiful poem for all today.

Best wishes,

-Downtown Lynn

beautiful as jewels
see the swallowed
coins, dozens
of sunken wishes nesting
like tiny golden eggs
in the garbage

and inside the skeleton
of an ancient bird, my heart
a twisted map with
whole continents
cut out

-Shannon Bramer-

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blog Guelph: Love Is A Bridge

A question of love by J. Saper
A question of love, a photo by J. Saper on Flickr.

No it's not Valentines, but it is a good time to think about love. I was inspired by the responses Carolyn Riddell was receiving to her request for quotes on love for her project the ‘Love Lift’ which happens this Saturday at MacStew. I was pushed to think about it a little more. 

It means so many different things to different people at different times. Impossible to paint into a corner, defiant of clear borders, and tenuous, volatile, deep, oceanic, or subdued, soft, shored - love remains a bridge. "Love is a bridge over the sea of change" (Sri Sathya Sai Baba). It's a bridge we must cross continually in our human existence. Sometimes it’s crazy high, sometimes you fall to your knees over the dark river in crossing - but you are always walking across love's bridges. Every single day.

There was a quote posted by someone that went "and ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation" (Kahlil Gibran). How true and how devastating. 

What can we do to better measure our love for the people in our lives - and even the planet, our animals, and our community? We can start by stopping; by dropping the games. Topple your kingdom of pawns and dukes. Go on, get off the squares and out into the emotional world.

Chess is an endgame even when you're winning. 

The other thing I think we can do is to stop using the word "love" so liberally. For god's sake, I hear it all the time and it means nothing. It means nothing because it is unaccompanied by action, by responsibility.

If you want to say you love someone or that you are a lover, you better damn well start by doing something to earn that position. Love is commitment and if you walk away from commitments,
you are not a lover; you are a player. This goes for social action and community life too. If you love your community, you should not rely on others to protect and grow it. Your love makes you committed.

Having said all this, my own experience is that love can be sort of a dangerous crossing. Sometimes you can love too much. It can be hard to step away, to come off that bridge to the next journey.

But you must.

The one thing about those bridges is that you can never go back over the same one twice. You have to go forward.

"There is no remedy for love but to love more." Thoreau was a wise man. 

Love is the only thing that makes our lives valuable. So we must go on, seeking new bridges, holding out our hands to the tides and winds, accepting change, allowing hurt, knowing pain, finding old strength new, holding ourselves up even in the vulnerability of storms.

Many of you may know I'm organizing a LOVE-IN on Saturday. And I'm not just tossing that word around - I really mean it. I believe in my responsibility to artistic and creative freedom and hope you do. I hope you can come and show that your love means something. That it's not just talk. That it's not just chess…

But that you are coming to cross this bridge with me.

~Aidan M.D. Ware

~Thanks to my beautiful LOVE-IN team: Carolyn Riddell, Shannon Kingsbury, Valerie Senyk, and Pearl Van Geest.

Blog Guelph: Love Is A Bridge..

Love, Love, Love... by fishwithme55
Love, Love, Love..., a photo by fishwithme55 on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Love Is A Bridge

Blog Guelph: Love Is A Bridge

Bird Love by JohnnyBallgame
Bird Love, a photo by JohnnyBallgame on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Love Is A Bridge

I Love Art by Drew_Skis
I Love Art, a photo by Drew_Skis on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Love Is A Bridge

Love Your Mom by Drew_Skis
Love Your Mom, a photo by Drew_Skis on Flickr.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blog Guelph: Hush

Morning Trail by Alan Norsworthy
Morning Trail, a photo by Alan Norsworthy on Flickr.

Hush, enjoy the silence.

Take the road less traveled.

Embrace the day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blog Guelph: guelPhonography

Guelph Civic Musuem by kim/ber
Guelph Civic Musuem, a photo by kim/ber on Flickr.

We're just three days away from the opening of Guelph's first mobile photography exhibit.

The opening reception for "guelPhonography" is Friday, September 28 from 7-9 p.m. at Guelph Civic Museum, and I hope you'll be able to join us! Experience beautiful, interesting and uniquely Guelph photos shot on phones by the people of Guelph.

The exhibit, which runs until November 19,  features the top 30 photos selected by Guelphonography organizers. The top 3 will be announced at the reception.


Blog Guelph: guelPhonography

First in line by kim/ber
First in line, a photo by kim/ber on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: guelPhonography

Dairy Bush by kim/ber
Dairy Bush, a photo by kim/ber on Flickr.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Blog Guelph: Autumn's Here

Happy Monday!

I woke up this morning with a little bit of frost on the car. A sure sign of the season changing.

Autumn is in full swing, with the gorgeous colours and wonderful harvest foods. The corn fields are coming down, and pumpkins and gourds are popping up everywhere.

I'm starting to crave hearty soups and chili's, as well as the wonderful pie and apple crisp that help define the season.

I hope you all get out today, and breathe in the crisp Autumn air. Enjoy it!

See you all next week,


Blog Guelph: Autumn's Here

End Of Summer by Krista Kruger
End Of Summer, a photo by Krista Kruger on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Autumn's Here

Red by Alan Norsworthy
Red, a photo by Alan Norsworthy on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Autumn's Here

Blog Guelph: Autumn's Here

P9214596 by rubberschmuckie
P9214596, a photo by rubberschmuckie on Flickr.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blog Guelph: Big Picture

Moth 02, originally uploaded by John Q6.
Ahoy Mateys,

Evidently I'm a day late and a dollar short on International Pirates Day. Truth be told, they were never truly my heroes anyway.

But this?
Well this perspective, this BIG picture is what I'm a fan of.

Behold your Gem of the Day.

-Downtown Lynn

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blog Guelph: Democracy Is Not A Nuisance

Satisfied Fans by peterkelly
Satisfied Fans, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Many of you may have seen the articles in the Guelph Tribune and the Guelph Mercury about the nuisance bylaw City staff are proposing. You can actually read the draft yourself here 
(it’s buried at the bottom of many reports).

I read through it and wanted to share the pieces I feel are the most important and should be actionable by the public. First, I was struck by their proposed definition of a Nuisance Party which includes 
“disorderly conduct”and “loud music."

 “...No person shall sponsor, conduct, continue, host, create, attend, allow, cause or permit a Nuisance Party.”

This is where we get into some tricky territory. So no person shall sponsors, conduct, continue, host, create, attend, cause or permit “loud music” or “disorderly conduct”?

Disorderly conduct.  I can name many instances when protests changed this world. How about the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa? The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia which lead to the Communist party relinquishing control of the country? The March on Washington when the fight for African-American civil rights saw 300,000 stand up and share their voice before Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his speech? How about the Stonewall Riots, one of the most significant movements for gay rights, which saw the openly gay patrons of the Stonewall Inn fight back against the anti-homosexual police raids that took place in New York City?

And talking about protest and loud music, what about Woodstock?

According to Guelph, these historic moments should never have taken place because they should have been considered “Nuisance Parties.”

I understand the need to protect our community but it should never be at the expense of democratic rights and public voice. The lines of interpretation here are too broad.

As we prepare for Culture Days next week, I’m thinking about the amazing projects set to take place in Guelph. I’m thinking about my own project, the LOVE-IN, which is a peaceful advocacy of arts and culture. In the 60s Love-Ins and Sit-Ins were protest movements. And in a way, I am protesting - advocating the fact that Canada’s culture should reflect its Charter. Our Rights and Freedoms are clearly written. We have the right to peaceful assembly. We have the right to freedom of speech. We have the right to express our ideas – through music, art, through gathering together and through sharing broadly.

Sometimes the order that exists needs to be disordered, questioned. Humanity’s quest for love and freedom demands this.

And yes, there is a safety issue here. And it's not about protecting the City, it's about protecting the community from those who would introduce the possibility of censorship as legislation.

Democracy is not a nuisance.

~ Aidan M.D. Ware

Blog Guelph: Democracy Is Not A Nuisance

Iju Vudu by peterkelly
Iju Vudu, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Democracy Is Not A Nuisance

Hillside Draws To A Close by peterkelly
Hillside Draws To A Close, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Democracy Is Not A Nuisance

Kick/Splash by peterkelly
Kick/Splash, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Democracy Is Not A Nuisance

night lights (and music) by vw-busman
night lights (and music), a photo by vw-busman on Flickr.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blog Guelph: Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Lost by ICT_photo
Lost, a photo by ICT_photo on Flickr.

Good Wednesday To You,

Its midweek, perhaps you feel stuck in the middle of a stressful work week. Allow yourself some giggle time while you gaze at these rather jocular images by Ian Thomas. He has a great sense of humor and creativity. Haven't we all thought at some point, 'I have this great concept for a joke, but...'. Well, lucky for us, Ian follows through and goes to some great lengths to get his desired result.

If these have made you giggle or even better, laugh out loud, then remember that somebody wisely said "laughter is the best medicine". There are 33 clever images produced by Ian, check them out.

Have a brilliant day!
Bunny Safari

Blog Guelph: Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Blog Guelph: Laughter Is the Best Medicine

When Eggs Have Nightmares by ICT_photo
When Eggs Have Nightmares, a photo by ICT_photo on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Jail Break by ICT_photo
Jail Break, a photo by ICT_photo on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Blog Guelph: Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Ninja Sushi by ICT_photo
Ninja Sushi, a photo by ICT_photo on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Caramilk Goons by ICT_photo
Caramilk Goons, a photo by ICT_photo on Flickr.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blog Guelph: Zooming in on birds

Turkey vulture 1 by rubberschmuckie
Turkey vulture 1, a photo by rubberschmuckie on Flickr

Mobile photography is my thing, but sometimes i wish i had a huge honking zoom so i could get decent shots of cool and creepy birds.

I'm particularly fascinated by great blue herons and hooded mergansers because i rarely see them... and when i do, i'm either on a bus, in a car, or on the wrong side of the river. The one and only time i got close to a heron, i tripped on some wire hidden in long grass and missed my chance at what might have been a semi-decent shot.

Turkey vultures - which both intrigue and repulse me - are always out of range. 

I have yet to see an owl.  

So hats off to guelph's bird photographers... glad they share their great photos!


Blog Guelph: Zooming in on birds

Hooded Merganser 1 by Natures Caretaker
Hooded Merganser 1, a photo by Natures Caretaker on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Zooming in on birds

takeoff2 by Kent Ferguson Photography
takeoff2, a photo by Kent Ferguson Photography on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Zooming in on birds

Barred Owl Guelph,On by C Law.
Barred Owl Guelph,On, a photo by C Law. on Flickr.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Blog Guelph: Sunflower

Sunflower by Bruce Shapka
Sunflower, a photo by Bruce Shapka on Flickr.

Happy Monday Blog Guelph!

My summer hiatus has drawn to a close, and it is time to get the creative juices flowing again.

Thank goodness for the cool September nights. There is something so refreshing and wonderfully tell tale about them. Especially after the hot dry summer we endured.

It seems I want to stay awake longer, and edit pictures longer in the chilled air. I want to enjoy every moment of it that I can.


Blog Guelph: Weary Droop

Weary Droop by BunnySafari
Weary Droop, a photo by BunnySafari on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Sad leaves

Sad leaves by crisscrossgirl
Sad leaves, a photo by crisscrossgirl on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Tiger Boys Airshow .. What the F.....

Blog Guelph: Window Flowers

Window Flowers by peterkelly
Window Flowers, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blog Guelph: Sparkle & Shine

Macondo Books, originally uploaded by Bruce Shapka.
Good dark day out there,

As I reflect on downtown Guelph, I am amazed at the things and the people that make it sparkle and shine.

Here's a veritable grab bag of just that.

-Downtown Lynn

Blog Guelph: Sparkle & Shine

Masonic Centre, originally uploaded by Bruce Shapka.

Blog Guelph: Sparkle & Shine

Sunset Saturday night, originally uploaded by kim/ber.

Blog Guelph: Sparkle & Shine

Blog Guelph: Sparkle & Shine

Splash, originally uploaded by Bruce Shapka.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blog Guelph: Guelph - Home, Bank, Or Bedroom?

(Day 55) Looking at the skyline, behind the fence. by Aidan M.D. Ware

So which is it? 

I’ll go first. Guelph is my home.

That means a few things. It’s the place where I work and live. Where I know my neighbours, watch out for my friends, enjoy the city. It means that I care about this community and have a responsibility to look out for it. As do all who call it home.

But there are those who don’t see it that way. For some people Guelph is their bank. And by this I mean they are using this community to earn money and that’s all they care about. These people often don’t even live here but have jobs in Guelph. Others live here but plan to retire somewhere else so they don’t care what happens to the city in the meantime. They’ll be out of here in a few years anyway.

And then there are those for whom Guelph is neither home nor bank, but for whom it is the bedroom. They sleep here but work elsewhere for various reasons. There is an increasing trend around this type of citizen as you may have noticed – “minutes from the Go Train” is a popular statement being thrown around by developers. 

As you know, I was a vocal dissenter when it came to the high rise question, and I remain very concerned by the direction Guelph is being lead in. The marketing of this city is being driven by those last two types of people – the Bank and Bedroom people. What about the people who call it Home; the people who do not stand to gain by high rises and an influx of an additional 40,000 people in less than a decade? In fact we, the people who call it Home, lose don’t we?

Less jobs, less skyline, less space, less uniqueness. In fact the only things that there will be more of are crowds and taxes. That is our reality. 

And more McCorporations.

The Places to Grow Strategy is really about homogenization. In the end, it’s an overt demonstration of capitalism in the throws of failure. It’s a short-term answer to a very long-term problem. But it will fail. Why is this?  Because capitalism relies on innovation and creativity. You can not make everything the same or you will ultimately lose your retention, your integrity, and your survival. It’s physics really. It comes down to the science of nature – diversity ensures survival and prosperity.

Overnight Guelph is being marketed as yet another bedroom community for Toronto. The 18-storey Tricar condominium is supposed to herald in the golden age for retailers and restore our downtown to glory as all the middle class Toronto-employed condo dwellers are going to be herded into the streets for eating and shopping. 

But did anyone walk down Macdonell last Saturday morning? I’d never seen it so filthy and it was 9:30am in the morning on Market day. Is this the experience they're expected to pay upwards of half a million dollars for?

What is wrong with this picture? What’s wrong with it is that there is no creative plan for Guelph’s long-term survival.

I asked a city representative why we did not ask for creative compromise before adopting the Places to Grow Plan. I also asked them why we had to go along with it in the first place. Their answer was that they did not know.

There is a presumption somewhere that we would be penalized financially. But I’m not sure anyone bothered to check. 

And don’t you think if we went to the government with our own plan, with a creative vision for ourselves they would have to listen? Would they not then recognize that we have a special community – one that appreciates its history, respects the feelings of its citizens, acts like a family, and one that values ingenuity and diversification?

It was an opportunity to blaze a new trail, to set an example for innovative leadership. But it did not happen.

Home. A fragile word. 

~ Aidan M.D. Ware

Blog Guelph: Guelph - Home, Bank, Or Bedroom?

Blog Guelph: Guelph - Home, Bank, Or Bedroom?

Bank by Bruce Shapka
Bank, a photo by Bruce Shapka on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Guelph - Home, Bank, Or Bedroom?

Pillow Party by peterkelly
Pillow Party, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blog Guelph: Metamorphosis

Autumn_2 by ICT_photo
Autumn_2, a photo by ICT_photo on Flickr.

Good Morning!

I am one who tends to hang onto summer til the bitter end. I feel energized and inspired when walking in a green, lush forest. Spotting brightly coloured leaves falling from the canopy reminds me to prepare for the inevitable. I am learning to embrace the metamorphosis of the summer season.

Notice the beauty at ground level. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Have a grand day!
Bunny Safari

Blog Guelph: Metamorphosis

After the Rain by John Q6
After the Rain, a photo by John Q6 on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Metamorphosis

Yellow by Sadie Currie
Yellow, a photo by Sadie Currie on Flickr.

For more great Guelph photos, try these links:

Downtown Guelph, University of Guelph, The Guelph Hillside Festival or The Guelph Lake Conservation Area.

On the other hand, you may be curious about what the City of Guelph looked like last October or maybe Spring.

Indeed you may be the type that would love to wade through our deep and refreshing archives. There are over 5,000 terrific Guelph photos, taken by a growing tribe of fantastic photographers, currently available for your viewing pleasure. Check out the Blog Guelph archives located 'back up there' and appropriately titled: Blog Guelph Archives.