Running in snow with the red ball
Marker and coloured pencil on bond paper
3 x 5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011
I was born in Windsor, Ontario, something that would have
been easy to forget if both of my children hadn't decided
to go to university there. I left when I was four to move
to the giant metropolis of Ottawa, and moved from that
cultural hub to Toronto -- where despite travels, and short
stays elsewhere I've made my primary home as an adult.
View of Detroit through the front doors of our hotel.
It occurred to me yesterday visiting my son in Windsor,
that he and his brother will have spent the same number
of years as I did there by the time Sam finishes school
next year -- four years.
Sam is studying acting and we visited to watch him in the
play No Exit by Sartre. I know I'm a biased parent,
but he was good, excellent even, and so were his classmates.
View of the GM building in Detroit from our hotel bedroom window.
The white on the river is ice.
In fact the whole trip was a treat -- the long drives, the break
from routine and work (although both Steven and I worked
before the play), and our hotel room facing out onto the
river with Detroit not even a hop, skip and jump away.
Then it was sheer delight to watch Sam acting his part
When I was a child Detroit was Windsor's downtown. It
was no big deal to cross the border, and my mother routinely
took us over to the big stores there to buy our clothes.
My father worked at Ford. The relationship between
the two cities was easy and natural. Things have changed
massively, but Windsor and Detroit are focal points for trade
back and forth between the two countries, as witnessed by
the constant line of trucks going both ways on the Ambassador bridge.
We also visited the Art Gallery of Windsor yesterday, which
is a gorgeous architectural structure with magnificent soaring
spaces, and lookouts in the shape of a ship's prow built entirely
of high windows. And an extra bonus is the fabulous restaurant.
always felt such an affinity with Americans. I was born at the
southernmost tip of Canada. We were spiritually neither here, nor
there. The river at some points is a few blocks wide. We were driving
along Riverside drive yesterday, and a lovely church
on one side of the water was echoed in the same warm russet
brick on the other side. Without instruction either side could be
either side. And that's an important thing to know. Perhaps that's
why I feel that we are all one. That doesn't mean I don't see
what's wrong with both of our countries, or that I don't feel
Canadian. It means that I am conscious, and no doubt this began
at birth, that the world is much smaller than we think.
So that was my Thursday. I taught so early this morning that I
still feel exhausted. The drawing tonight is a small sketch I
found of Zoey running through snow. We are in the center
of a blackout in our part of the city. But somehow our little
street has been exempt from the trouble. High winds have
knocked out power lines after a day so warm, balmy and
drenched in light all day, that my cats were getting spring
fever and complaining heartily about their indoor cat status.
Now it's cold and the wind is whipping down
branches, taking debris off building sites, and cutting out power.
Time for bed.