Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blog Guelph: Cheers

Morning Dove in the Snow by Corbeau du Nord

Isn't Christmas in Guelph great?

Well, I've had a great time here. So much to be thankful for. So many things to be enjoyed in our city.

My holiday began on Winter Solstice with an exceptionally moving performance of song, poetry, and dance by Guelph's mystical Ondine Chorus. It was a powerful experience that united over 100 people for a spiritual journey that bridged the dark and the light. Formal thanks to Guelph's fabulous Shannon Kingsbury and Sue Smith for such a gift.

Solstice seemed to portend many more wonderful things. From a fantastic dinner at Buon Gusto, Guelph's newest restaurant which inhabits our beloved historic Gummer building, to cooking an unbelievable capon that I acquired at Paisley Fine Foods, to discovering the most incredible soap from the Dead Sea at the Stone Store, to serving the world's best Asiago cheese from Market Fresh, to enjoying cast iron seared Rowe Farm eggs and bacon. Yes, it's been a great holiday.

But it was really interesting to see Guelph post-Christmas. I'm a huge supporter of our unique shops downtown but my visitors were surprised when no one was actually open on the biggest day for retailers in the year - Boxing Day. The only place to get a coffee was the Joint Cafe and as far as shopping goes, the only store open was IF... But IF was of course, fantastic, with line-ups that started early and went on all day. My boots are gorgeous.

And of course, no holiday is complete without some shiny bits. Shakti is all I have to say.

I know Christmas isn't all about shopping, but it sure is fun! 

Guelph has so much to offer. I love it. I'm grateful for the company of family and friends, but I'm also grateful for the company of such a great community. 

Peace and Love.

~ Aidan M.D. Ware

Blog Guelph: Cheers

enigma by digitalambitions/ Valerie Hogg
enigma, a photo by digitalambitions/ Valerie Hogg on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Cheers

snowing & blowing by lizlio
snowing & blowing, a photo by lizlio on Flickr.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Blog Guelph: I Feel Fine

After the Light, originally uploaded by Memotions.

I know, I know, I should be seizing the opportunity to wax on about the End of The World So Say The Mayans today, but really people, are there not enough cute facebook posts and twitter feeds to entertain?

I love it.
It's November that grabs my maudlin soul.
But Solstice?
This is my kind of celebration.
That extra little slice of darkness is magical and striking given the knowledge that the very next day we know the light will shift.
There is so much more relevance to Solstice, of course, but I choose to see it simply.
The darkness before the light.

Here's hoping that Chief Teresa Spence can see the light, and soon.
Idle No More.

So be it.

-Downtown Lynn

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Blog Guelph: Soulstice

Burning leaf by Amy Bailey
Burning leaf, a photo by Amy Bailey on Flickr.

We are at the brink of the darkest day of the year. I don't know about everyone else, but I've felt like I was at the bottom of a deep well lately- and constantly looking up, trying to see the sky. Trying to find the light.

And although I've had specific things go wrong lately, it's been just a general sense of stress over the larger meaning of things in life that has caused me mostly to feel this way. I wonder about the big picture, the future... I feel sensitive and bone raw.

And weirdly, I think it's partly about being connected actually. Connected to a larger celestial world.

The solstice is a time when the dark hours outnumber the light. It's an occasion that pushes us towards introspection. It's important. We need time to think about our choices in life, to make sure they were the right ones.

But even as we reach towards the longest night, I think we reach towards the greatest depth. It is something to embrace. It is part of our humanity.

Tomorrow at 8pm, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre will host what I think is one of the most beautiful, inspiring, and passionate events that I've ever witnessed. I am so honoured to be a part of the SOLSTICE: Songs for a Winter's Eve artists. I hope you can come.

Deep in that dark well, it has brought me back to the light.

To soulstice.

~ Aidan M.D. Ware

Blog Guelph: Soulstice

a foggy evening by spellbunny
a foggy evening, a photo by spellbunny on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Soulstice

Forgotten Stairs  by Amy Bailey
Forgotten Stairs , a photo by Amy Bailey on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Soulstice

Blog Guelph: Soulstice

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Blog Guelph: merry merry

merry merry by Flailchest
merry merry, a photo by Flailchest on Flickr.

Since this is my last pre-Christmas post I’d like to wish you a happy, fun-filled holiday and share some useful seasonal links.

Blog Guelph: merry merry

bries christmas face by xunicorn

bries christmas face, a photo by xunicorn on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: merry merry

cold glow by BleechBiPass

cold glow, a photo by BleechBiPass on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: merry merry

Untitled by thomevered

Untitled, a photo by thomevered on Flickr.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Blog Guelph: Garage Doors!

Driveway Dancers

I think it’s pretty safe to say that this driveway and garage door arty farty scene could only be in Guelph, what with our happening Contemporary Dance Festival and innovative arts community. I wonder if other cities get together in their residential areas.

Do driveways and garage doors in Markham or say Kitchener have mini beer tents set up to celebrate their festivals?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blog Guelph: When the Shadows Fall

December 25th, 2006 by JohnnyBallgame
December 25th, 2006, a photo by JohnnyBallgame on Flickr.

When the shadows of night fall, there is a kind of nakedness to our lives.

We can dream more freely as we step away from the hard outlines of the daylight world, we can love more deeply in the darkness as we mask our bodies in emotion rather than in clothes. 

We can understand and know things. Say the things we mean to each other, in thought and maybe in life.

As we head to work in darkness, and head home in darkness, we should remember that while darkness is a saturate cast of shadows, it is also a stunning constellation of lights.

~ Aidan M.D. Ware

Blog Guelph: When the Shadows Fall

A journey I walk alone by NaturesEssence
A journey I walk alone, a photo by NaturesEssence on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: When the Shadows Fall

night forest by NaturesEssence
night forest, a photo by NaturesEssence on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: When the Shadows Fall

Blog Guelph: When the Shadows Fall

nite train by Flailchest
nite train, a photo by Flailchest on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: When the Shadows Fall

V.M.2a by Flailchest
V.M.2a, a photo by Flailchest on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: When the Shadow Falls

speed river by Flailchest
speed river, a photo by Flailchest on Flickr.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blog Guelph: Beauty In the Mist

It is a one hit wonder on this the last time for the 12-12-12 date on your calender.

Makes me all misty eyed it does.

Have a grand day!
Bunny Safari

Friday, December 07, 2012

Blog Guelph: This Could Be Our Reward

CARDEN STREET SUNRISE, originally uploaded by TonyGuelph.

Despite moments of vague humbugishness, I do experience some powerful moments of peace in the blur that is December. All the more now that my life has slowed somewhat, and I've been able to take it back.

But as much as quietude regained is an immeasurable gift, the cliched joy and goodwill amongst (wo)men is palpable out there, and it feels good.

True friends, a glass of cheer, racing towards years end - all make for a rich life too.

Here's your one shot wonder today.

-Downtown Lynn

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Blog Guelph: 1 in 4 Women

At Rest by peterkelly
At Rest, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Today is National Remembrance & Action Day on Violence Against Women – a day that marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal who were killed because they were women.

You know, it’s a shocking and a terrible statistic: 1 in 4 women will experience violence by a spouse or boyfriend in their lifetime.

What is even more devastating is that on average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. On any given day in Canada more than 3,000 women are living in emergency shelters to escape domestic violence.

This is terrible; it is so deeply wrong.

We all know women (or perhaps even ourselves) who are in, or have been in, abusive situations; relationships that are violent and just as often, psychologically and emotionally abusive. These women are all around us. In unexpected places at all levels of society and many times we don’t know anything is wrong.  1 in every 4.


It’s a strange thing to think you can love someone who hurts you. But I think women are really good at blaming themselves, thinking they deserve it, believing that they really aren't good enough, smart enough, or attractive enough for their partner. 

In my own life, I've learned that love will never come from a man that ignores you, withholds from you, disregards your emotions, disappears, denies you praise, disrespects you in any way, tries to control you, or ever touches you in any way other than in affection.

Never, never is it acceptable for a man to lay a hand on a woman in aggression, anger, control, or violence. Never.

Please ladies, be sure you watch for the warning signs of abuse early in your relationships. According to the Red Flag Campaign and the Guelph Wellington Women in Crisis  some of the important early red flags are: someone with substance abuse, they may have a quick temper,  they may not show up for dates or disappear for days, they may cheat on you or have lots of partners/affairs/women, they may ignore you (especially in public), they don’t show interest in your opinions or feelings, they’re physically rough with you, they may try to take your money or use you, they may tell you you’re stupid or put you down, or they may even tell you how to dress or act. These are the earliest signs to watch for in a relationship – if you see any of them, and I mean any of them, high-tail it away.

If you are ever in need of help in any way, contact the Guelph Wellington Women in Crisis organization.

And gentlemen, please look out for our women.  Always.

1 in 4 should be 0 in 1,000,000.

~ Aidan M.D Ware

Blog Guelph: 1 in 4 Women

Wallflower by peterkelly
Wallflower, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: 1 in 4 Women

Gaze by peterkelly
Gaze, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: 1 in 4 Women

Fresh Start by peterkelly
Fresh Start, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Blog Guelph: It's Not Over Til Its Over

When there was snow... by kim/ber
When there was snow..., a photo by kim/ber on Flickr.

Good Morning,

That cold, icy wind is back. You can't escape winter forever. Nice try.

Have a warm day!
Bunny Safari

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Blog Guelph: Ice crystals

Frosty frame by crisscrossgirl

Frosty frame, a photo by crisscrossgirl on Flickr.

Lovin' the frosty photos taken by crisscrossgirl on the weekend. 

Can always count on hoar to provide great photo ops and on Guelph's talented photographers to show us their best shots.


Blog Guelph: Ice crystals

Frosty fence by crisscrossgirl

Frosty fence, a photo by crisscrossgirl on Flickr.

Blog Guelph: Ice crystals

Frozen leaves by crisscrossgirl

Frozen leaves, a photo by crisscrossgirl 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.