WAT’S UP – Adam Sawatsky

Expect the unexpected

After the seagull flew past, I actually heard a “splat.” Its gooey gift plummeted through the air with a “ssssss” and made contact all over me with a “plat.”

My initial reaction was disgust and annoyance. Until I remembered advice from the Executive Director of the Vancouver Island School of Art.

Wendy Welch had suggested that my walk to work be, “a time to use your imagination and engage in reverie.” Before the avian offering, instead of walking in wonder, I was checking emails.

Welch’s journey to her job focuses on “things that might be different from the last time I walked.” She notices the casually creative: the way fallen pinecones arrange themselves on the ground, or the patterns that remain on pavement after wet leaves blow away. Even litter will prompt her to imagine the story that led to a coffee cup being discarded.

Welch says a thoughtful commute begins with three steps:

• Take a breath (“so deep you can taste the salt in the air”).

• Keep your head up.

• Observe.

Walking thoughtfully wouldn’t have stopped that seagull, but my reaction to it may have changed.

Welch says being attentive not only makes your life more interesting, but it also reminds you to appreciate the possibilities of the unexpected.

Whether you’re walking to work or beginning a creative process, “you’re always taking a risk that things might not turn out. But you need to go on.”

Once, she accidentally spilled something on her artwork. Instead of getting frustrated and stopping the process, she worked with the mistake. It took her in an unexpected direction and resulted in a more creative final product.

Now I see that bird bombing as a catalyst for turning the boring into the bountiful. My walk from the parking lot has been transformed from a series of thoughtless steps into a daily opportunity to experience an ever-changing collection of colours, sounds and smells.

Adam Sawatsky reports on arts & lifestyle weekdays

on CTV News Vancouver Island with Hudson Mack.

On weekends he hosts Eye on the Arts on CFAX 1070.

 

 

Just Posted

Catch the Motown sound on stage in Oak Bay

Dave Dunnet Community Theatre hosting Motown Magic on Oct. 3

Scottish flavours abound at the McPherson during Skerryvore’s return

Acclaimed Celtic rock fusion band here Oct. 6; whisky tasting, acoustic pre-show added

REVIEW: The Children not depressing, despite nuclear fallout theme

Belfry Theatre production well acted; story asks important questions, writes Sheila Martindale

VICTORIA SYMPHONY: Classical masterpieces help welcome autumn

Virtuoso violinist, pianist to perform triumphant works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven

MATHIEU POIRIER: Winterbrau a feast for dark beer lovers

Canoe’s popular annual celebration of winter brews expanding to two days, Nov. 9-10

Shambhala named best music festival in North America

Shambhala Music Festival is held at the Salmo River Ranch in B.C.

Set your alarm! Night Shift Halloween tix on sale Friday morning

Royal BC Museum’s adult-only costume event expected to sell out quickly

Canadian author Graeme Gibson, partner of Margaret Atwood, dies at age 85

Gibson remembered for putting his words into action for both cultural and environmental causes

Trailer released for Jason Momoa TV series filmed on Vancouver Island

‘See’ will debut on Apple’s new streaming service on Nov.1

Victoria bookstore looking to earn a place in the record books

Russell Books still collecting Guiness World Records books from public for massive tower

Eddie Money, ‘Two Tickets to Paradise’ singer, dies at 70

The rock star recently announced he had stage 4 esophageal cancer

Cross-cultural flamenco production tells personal story through dance, music

Indian, Spanish influences seen in Nritya, coming Sept. 26 to Glenlyon Norfolk School theatre

$9.8 million announced for B.C. arts groups by province

BC Arts Council to distribute 394 grants across more than 50 communities

Best of the 2019 Victoria Fringe Festival revisited

Wonder how others felt about Fringe shows you saw? Find the Pick of the Fringe winners here

Most Read