When we went to The Carrot, a coffee shop on Alberta Avenue that is run be volunteers who are interested in the ARTS within this community, we also stopped off at the Artist in Residence Centre which, along with an Art Gallery also promoted art classes for the disabled. In these paticular pieces, the FABRIC OF LIFE exhibit weaves in art work from various participants creating a wonderfully diverse grouping of mulitple points of view(of life).I never questioned why Jean Vanier’s person was so important to me, as whatever he wrote about, just seemed to fit. (like a catcher’s mitt; hand in glove). “Do not throw roses over the wall, climb over the wall, get dirty and soiled and feel the pain of another; only then will you know true Joy”.
I knew this phrase, as I had attributed it to Stephen. He was always climbing walls and feeling other people’s pain, as a physician who loved getting down and dirty and listening and all that stuff…
And then I met Catherine and Richard, and I knew that I had been introduced into a place that created a renewed awareness in me; a place that I had certainly been to…but not for a very long time.
I asked Catherine, as we watched the disabled people at NAIT work out for Special Olympics or just attend for swim instruction, “What did Jean Vanier get out of working with the disabled, these people with disabilities??
Without blinking, she just said matter of factly….”He learned WHAT THEY ALREADY KNOW…he was privy to a new-found joy, love of life, humor, laughing at oneself. We all have disabilities, we just hide them better, they aren’t so visible.When one’s discrepencies are in full view…no extra energy goes into hiding…what you see, is what you get. Then there is extra time and energy to explore life with the firm conviction that just living life is worth the journey.
So as Catherine and I shared this time together, we also walked across the HIGHLEVEL BRIDGE in remembrance of my father who had walked this route every day of his working life to The Edmonton Journal and her grandfather, Justice Harold Wilson, who had walked this route every day of his working life , to the Alberta Legislature Buliding.