Mats & Pats – Evolve

It looks like I have been pretty lame on posting for awhile. My apologies. So lame that i didn’t even post of one of the most important exhibitions I have had to date.

Perhaps I will make a different post for that and keep this one as it was meant to be.

I was asked to write a story about myself for this website for people over 50, yep, that’s me. And thought I would share it with you here.
Mats and Pats – Evolve

Please feel free to leave comments on the site or share. Thanks

A year later Update:
This came up as a Face Book memory today . . . but i see a year later the link is dead. Here is a copy of my musings.
***
I’m turning 55 at the end of this year. What?! When and how did I get here? I remember back as a 12 year old talking to my friends about the year 2000, having a hard time imagining that I would be 36 at the millennium! Wow, that seemed old then . . . but now I remember things I did at 36 and it seems like a long time ago. I sure don’t consider myself old . . . inside, my heart, soul and mind I still feel like the 21 year old who drove into Vancouver in 1984. A fresh out of the prairie (Saskatchewan) boy moving to the big city, I had asked for a transfer with my job at Kinney Shoes and within 3 weeks, they had an opening in Vancouver. I would be leaving the small village I grew up in, to sell shoes in Pacific Centre, in the heart of Metropolis Vancouver. I still remember the moments driving into the city at rush hour like it was yesterday. I paid my grandmother $500 for the little, baby blue Mercury Comet and I filled it with all my belongings. My belongings consisted of clothes, stereo and music. What more would a 21 year old have from the prairies. I remember waving goodbye to my mom as she stood with the screen door open and said “You’ll be back.” Those words right there, were a challenge for me. I wanted to prove her wrong and indeed, I never looked back. Once driving into the city I instantly knew that THIS is where I belonged.

Fast forward to 2017 – this city is nothing like it was back in 1984 and neither am I for that matter. I guess there is change in everything. No one tells you about all life’s hurdles we have to get through while trying to make your own journey. I lost one of my best school friends to AIDS at 25, I lost my grandparents and most recently, lost my father. This was a huge turning point in my life. Losing a parent is something you think about but never can really imagine what it feels like until the final curtain is drawn. I applaud my father for his bravery and the love that he showed for his family in his final weeks. With the inevitable end of my father’s life, inside my heart changed. It became bigger, softer, warmer . . . more aware of what’s really important in life. My way of thinking changed . . . forgiveness came easier, a new calm entered my life. My emotional self opened up and showed my vulnerabilities. I found truth in the person that I had become. I found myself reaching out to strangers, to help, to smile, to listen. At the same time, I felt very alone, isolated, sad, crippled. I was surrounded by illness, death, filled with pain and loss through most of the year and in a very dark place at times. Was it a test, to see how I could deal with what the universe lay down in front of me.
Dissolving relationships, different paths, new journeys, hope, disappointment, birth, death, connections, re-connections, disconnections, growth, sadness, despair, peace . . . these are some things I dealt with through the year. Probably not much different than many others did through their year. After all — we are all human. I am thankful for all the small things and intimate moments I experienced. Through all of this I came face to face with my own mortality. Realizing that no one can escape death – we must learn to live life. Accept each moment as a treasure given to us in this very bumpy ride called life. Growing old can be scary – we need to step out of our little boxes and our comfort zones to try and live our best lives. In a world of chaos, technology and a fear based society . . . this is where human connections are most important. People get forgotten and left behind to feel alone. We must embrace and face our mortality but if you’ve got nothing else to look forward to in life – nothing to work toward, no purpose other than to keep on living – then death’s all you’re going to see. Define your purpose and put it to good use. The rough times are not over for any of us – but it is how you come away from these experiences is where you will experience growth and receive the answers you have been waiting for.

I have a tattoo on my arm, EVOLVE . . . reminds me that life will continue to evolve , letting me continue to learn & grow. Another tattoo in Japanese on my forearm, meaning FOREVER YOUNG – reminds me to stay young in my heart and thoughts forever. My father taught me this in life – he stayed Forever Young until his very last breath and I shall continue on my journey with the same philosophy.
Robert Charles – Artographer
http://www.alifeintheday.ca

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