I awoke the first morning, Sunday, and thought about how long to stay. How long is not an imposition? I thought leaving Tuesday would be a good. When I told Beth that I thought I’d leave on Tuesday, she said she hoped I’d stay longer. Nice… 🙂
After a homey breakfast, Dan continued working on his project, and Beth, Sherman and I walked downtown to the Winnipeg Art Gallery. I wanted to see a show of Inuit Sculpture. The exhibit of historical sculpture was closed. There was a musical event in the same gallery.


From the museums collection. The creation of humans when woman and man were created and entered the world from under the Devine Raven’s wing.
However, there was a show of Oviloo Tunnillie: A Woman’s Story in Stone. She was the first active and well known female stone sculptor of the Inuit. Sculpting was men’s work. However, her father was a sculptor. She grew up around and with stone. The show includes her first sculpture and pieces from all of her phases of development through 2014, the year she died.
As a young girl, with her finger in her mouth. Uncertain…
A powerful woman shaman.
Moments of grief and deep reflection.
Link to her page on the WAG site: http://wag.ca/art/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/display,exhibition/182/oviloo-tunnillie-a-woman-s-story-in-stone
Also there was a disturbing exhibit: Qua’yuk tchi’gae’win.
In the US we did this too. Australia too. We are so arrogant. So certain that our tribe is the only one that lives with love, beauty and honor. We are so willing to dismiss that which is different. So willing to kill it.
Here’s how this happens:
I grew up with an angry, controlling mother. (Could have been father, culture, or…?) It’s how I learned to deal with differences in opinion, perception, feeling and belief. In was my primary emotional state, along with disgust. I tried my best to control this beast. Mostly by removing myself from interacting with life, as interactions would produce this anger and disgust.
I’d been in therapy to deal with and understand this anger at 20. Some progress was made, but the “demon” still had a home. A few years later, an incident happened with my first wife, Linda. I have no recall of what triggered the anger. But the scene is still vivid. There’s an intense battle going on. It feels like a battle for survival. I’d been meditating for 3-4 years at this point and had recently listened to a talk by Toni Packer, my Zen teacher on anger. It was a way of seeing that I’d not encountered before. One of the inner role of anger. What’s it’s purpose? What’s the mechanism?
Turns out it’s a control strategy. Inner and outer. Something happens. The initial inner reaction of sensations, thoughts and emotions is one that my image of myself can’t allow to come into awareness. It is in total contradiction to the image I have crafted to think and feel good about myself and then to project this image to other people so they will also think and feel good with and about me. There are people who create this is a way that they don’t care what other people think or feel about them. It’s another way of hiding from, to avoid seeing and feeling what’s actually happening subjectively.
If this image and good feeling comes to an end, my world, my concept and feeling that has crafted this image will die. “I” will die.
So, I move from what I can’t control, which is this inner movement. I have no control over my thoughts and feelings. They just happen whether I “want” them to or not. I move to where there is at least a possibly of control, the outer world. If I can get you to act in a way that doesn’t cause this upwelling of anger and disgust, then I won’t have to feel it. I’ll try to control you. To create fear of me in you. You are now responsible for my anger. You now are the one who causes me to be angry. If you only didn’t act or say or… fill in the blank… then I wouldn’t feel this anger.
So, Linda and I are having an argument. That’s my story. In actual fact, I don’t remember if Linda was having and argument. I was certainly having an argument. I was right. My survival depended on my being right. My voice is raising in volume and tone. And, POP! I’m witnessing the whole scene. The mind/body of Wyn are moving, talking, feeling. But this awareness is just seeing it happen as it is. No attempt to manage the flow of events.
Wyn is manipulating the situation. In order to be right. In order to be survive, he has to wound this person who is responsible for what he is feeling and how he is acting. He is going to deliver a targeted verbal blow. He’s going to say one of those things that he knows will hurt Linda. He looks to the “shelf” where these items have been stored to choose the right one. And, the shelf is empty! He’s stunned. Where are my weapons? The urge to do damage is still present. He looks around for something to strike her with. Glancing at the objects in the room. Chairs, lamps, books… POP! Another level of awareness arises. The whole dance comes in total clarity. The movement from the initial experience of fear, through the experience of “this cannot be”, to the externalization, to the attempt to control the “cause” of the fear and discomfort and something’s wrong here, to the escalating violence in the control.
The spell begins to dissolve. It still has some momentum. There is still a feeling of wanting to hit Linda. I pick up a pillow. The scene turns to humor. The energy that builds in the body during this kind of inner survival fight takes time to dissipate. Humor and laughter do this quickly.
That was the last time this kind of rage has visited this mind/body. The last time that desire to hurt another has come to visit. There is still upset. There is still occasional defensiveness. There is still occasional need to be right. When they visit, they are whispers of what was there that day and they leave quickly.
Until I really “saw” the whole movement of this energy, it had a place to live. After being fully seen and experienced, it’s home had been destroyed. Another thread in the fabric of my family legacy had been pulled and found to be without substance.
Years later, remembering this ground shift, I realized that I’d been privileged to see into the workings of how “murders of passion” happen. And, why most people murdered are killed by someone they know who gets trapped in this vortex.
Now, back to the museum…
From the show blurb:
In Anishnaabemowin, qua’yuk tchi’gae’win means “the honour of righting a wrong.” Winding its way through three levels of the Gallery, Qua’yuk tchi’gae’win: Making Good acknowledges the residential school legacy and colonial trauma, but also reveals an enduring strength, resilience, and courage through art. In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, this exhibit shares experiences of Indigenous and intergenerational survivors from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, as well as intercultural perspectives for a broader Canadian narrative.
Link to their page on WAG site: http://wag.ca/art/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/display,exhibition/190/qua-yuk-tchi-gae-win-making-good
Another exhibit I enjoyed is Winnipeg painter Karel Funk. Not too impressed by the poster. But seeing the paintings in person. OMG! The detail and depth are stunning. Was intrigued also by his idea theme of the impersonal way we go through our lives in our current cities.
From the show blurb:
Winnipeg’s own Karel Funk is known for his mesmerizing portraits of lone figures. As the largest and first true survey of his work, this retrospective brings together paintings from across North America.


Link to his page on WAG site: http://wag.ca/art/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/display,exhibition/181/karel-funk
We also walked by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Amazing architecture. Didn’t go in. From what I heard it is an all day journey. Next trip.

Link: https://humanrights.ca/home
After dinner we watched a movie I really liked, “About Time.” The men of this family have the ability to travel back in time to change events to get life right. The ability to have Do Overs. How cool would that be? There’s one scene where the male lead goes back and changes something for someone else. Something his father warns him against. It totally changes his timeline. An interesting look at the impact of our choices. Of how simple, seemingly innocuous things have huge future impacts. Each moment is a point that continues to expand. Gazillions of points expanding and overlapping and interoperating and interpenetrating and…
It brought back a few moments in life that were huge changes in direction. That would have eliminated any reference to the life I’m currently in. Multiple universes, anyone? Where all these alternative lines are playing out?
One of these involved Beth. I was in New Hampshire making pots. We were not in touch very often at this point. One of my points had expanded into discovering what it meant to be a potter. She was married with a young daughter. I’m not sure if she was living in Canada at this point or not. She was having a difficult time in her marriage. She called and asked if she and her daughter could come to NH. My body can still remember the flood of sensations during that call. Every cell was screaming, YES! And there was some other presence there that said, “No. I think it’d be better if you stayed and tried to work it out with your husband.”
I don’t know where that came from. There was definitely some self-interest at play. I was embarrassed by the situation I lived in. My pottery mentor had turned out to be bi-polar (not a term in use at that time — the early 70’s), and very difficult during his manic phases. But that wasn’t what was speaking in that moment. After the call I was devastated. A great sadness for weeks. And I was stunned by being and acting inside of what felt to be “what life wanted” and not “what I wanted”.
After the movie I realized that nothing familiar would be present if that other timeline had been chosen. The biggest… neither of my kids would be here.
That was an amazing realization. How the mind gets tangled in fixing past problems, or replaying past events and fixing them, without realizing that ANY change to the way it happened would give us a totally different life. Everything had to happen exactly the way it happened for NOW to be. For THIS now, to be.
I lived many decades not liking this now much. But now… THIS NOW is awesome. I’m in love with being in love with being alive. And this would not be without every prior link in the chain being exactly as it was. EXACTLY as it was. The good, the bad, the ugly. All my deceitful, manipulating, loving, helpful, stupid, brilliant… on and on… moments. Knowing and understanding all these notes is the score of this enjoyment. This wonder.
Amen! And good night!