As the COVID19 related lock-down becomes a reality in Ontario, Canada, we tried to develop some more creative ways to engage.We remembered previous times when we were in such situations to isolate, did some readings from our home library and went for a ride after dinner.
REMEMBERING LIBYA 2011
Last time I went through this type of experience- was in Tripoli-2011-February to August, when the mobility was limited. Our family was in Sweiqi Malta.
One incident which I remember from that period is when Sahil came back from school- St.Edward’s Cottonera, and cried
“ Why did you not tell that situation in Libya is so bad that people will start praying for them? Today, our class prayed for Robert’s uncle, who is in Libya.”
Mamta tried to answer to her best possible, and asked whether he told the class that his father too was in Libya. Sahil said, though he did not tell anyone, he silently prayed for his father.
This time is different as we are in Ontario, Canada and this is a biological emergency, and all the population is advised to distance, isolate.
ART -UNCERTAINTY DEPICTIONS- THE FLIGHT OF LOT AND HIS FAMILY
I went to the Halton area for scanning. There is uncertainty, and no one really knows the answers. It is said to be the worst crises ever faced, by humanity and many world leaders, ranging from PM of Canada-Justin Trudeau and PM of India- Narendra Modi have expressed concern.
One of my strategies is making sketch studies of paintings and seeing the history behind these paintings. Art Gallery of Ontario has helped going more in-depth into art movements . In the last quarter of 2019, we had seen the paintings of Peter Paul Rubens in a special exhibition.
In the day time, I made a sketch study of The Flight of Lot and his family from Sodom 1613-15, concentrating on the figure of Lot and the daughter just behind him, and also drew the hand of the guiding angel who is in front of Lot.
The Biblical theme of Lot-was source for paintings and moralizing undertones during the Counter-Reformation. The story of Lot was often used as a symbol to renounce carnal pleasures and to preserve one’s soul for eternal life. Most painters-including Rubens- often chose to depict Lot and his daughters eating and drinking in a cave, as it afforded painters with an excuse to depict sensual female nudity. In that biblical passage, Lot’s daughters, afraid that they are the last humans on earth, intoxicate their father with wine to lie with him in an attempt to produce progeny.(Source-Carolyn Mensing essay-in Early Rubens-edited by Sasha Suda and Kirk Nichel)
A LATE NIGHT RIDE THROUGH MISSISSAUGA
We drove past the Celebration square area, went to Mr.India Grocer , the Father Michael Goetz memorial school and then past Ovation where we used to stay for four years-2012-2016. As a family on the move, we have seen four continents- and this phase of past eight years saw the children go through from secondary school through high school to University.
While talking during these rides we connected with our past years and phases of life.
Thinking question- If you had to relive a past five year phase of your life, which would it be, and what would you do differently.
In a weekend which is said to be crucial in the fight against COVID19, we looked at some notes from yesteryears-how a child of 11 saw Libya from Malta, now he sees Ontario and the world, through the prism of an engineering student of Ryerson.
The home library has evolved. In the Mediterranean region- I had started collecting history of art books (2007). Now going in-depth into the workings of Counter Reformation has been a time to reconnect the dots in a different way.
Five year phase thinking helped us see the different dynamics, remember some people who walked the journeys with us and how their lives shaped up. In this phase- writing a letter to a loved one who passed away, has been an exercise which has helped. I remembered my father telling of the time of partition and independence in 1947-48 and the Delhi of that period.