Monday, July 6, 2009

Sheltering Form

In 2004, I was invited to join a committee in Cobourg, whose ultimate goal was to place a visual display in a public park. This visual display was to honour all victims/survivors of abuse. It would give people a place for quiet meditation, while also providing a space for local groups to hold vigils and/or other events. We also hoped in bringing this visual display to fruition, we would be helping to bring more awareness to the issues that feed abuse, keeping the cycle alive.

The name of this committee was to be called TAAP (The Abuse Awareness Project). In 2006, the city of Cobourg, donated a beautiful piece of land, on the eastern tip of Victoria Park, directly across from the Lioness Pavillion. In September 2006, we blessed the space, naming it the Gathering Place.

Throughout the last 5 years, our small committee grew smaller and suffered many heartaches. Two weeks before our blessing of the Gathering Place, on September 1, 2006, our dear friend and fellow member, Barb Buller passed away suddenly. As much as we all struggled to go on, we always knew she was with us, giving us the strength we needed. And whenever things got really tough and we had to pull ourselves back up again, it was often Barb who kept us going.

It's funny how things work out and work out they did.

It started when Janice Newson, our committee backbone as I like to call her, contacted Frances Gage to ask her advice. Without going into all the details, in the end, Frances Gage generously offered to donate a sculpture that she calls "Sheltering Form".

During the time that "Sheltering Form" was in the process of being created, we (the remaining members of TAAP), were invited to Frances' workshop to get our hands in there, scraping, forming and bonding. What I will always appreciate the most from this was the opportunity to get to know an incredible, beautiful, gentle woman who has worlds of experience to share.

Not long after our unveiling on Jue 20th, 2009, my husband Barry, also a TAAP supporter since 2006, was googling for media on our event. Sadly all he found was a blog from an obnoxious neanderthal who obviously has many misogynistic beliefs. I chose to ignore it as I've learned in life that ignoramuses really are not worth my energy.

What saddened me though was finding out later that the Cobourg Star printed this rubbish. And not only did they print this rubbish but not one of the many letters that were sent to defend Frances Gage's honour were printed. How sad when the Cobourg Star gives room for a misogynistic slug to bully a woman who cannot even understand the cruelty of such comments, let alone know how to respond to them. But then that's what bully's do, isn't it?

The more I learned about who this slug was, the more I'm happy I did not respond to the rubbish, or even name it. I feel it's had enough media attention, thanks to the Cobourg Star.

This life is short enough. My friend Barb taught me that. And in the end, I want to know that I contributed to something worthwhile and that I've made some truly amazing friends along the way. Not that I've sat on my butt, doing nothing while criticizing the efforts of those who did.

Sheltering really is a big hug and I'm truly grateful to have been a part of this.