The full painting and thoughts on the new year.

New Year’s eve and day took place in Ottawa this year. I hear it happened in other places too, but that is where I found it this time around. Last year it was in Hamilton, and the year before that, in Oakville. Each new year makes its debut in a different place – lucky I’ve always managed to be in the right place at the right time to catch it! What would happen otherwise? Would I be in limbo? Maybe I’d become unstuck in time like Billy Pilgrim, and would wake up one morning beside the ocean under the grey sky in my striped hand-me-down sweater as a four-year-old again. And then I’d blink my eyes and suddenly be running down a hill in a forest at night, and I’d wonder where I am and why I’m running, so I’d turn around to see what I’m running from, and there would be a huge moose right behind me, and I’d realize that I’m back in Algonquin Park and would stumble down the hill in surprise. When I’d collect myself and stand up again, I’d find myself on a strange planet in a giant glass bubble with some frightened movie star, surrounded by weird lookin’ dudes with their eyes on their hands, and I’d be inhabiting version of my body that I’m not familiar with yet. Surely that’s how it would go. And I’d go on jumping back and forth like that, having a really confusing but fun time. And when I find myself back in 2012 along the way, maybe things will be different for me than they are now, because I would have known to invest in Google back in 2004, and I’d be able to afford my own chicken farm with a huge art studio and a pet pig named Newton.

Man, if I really could go back, if just for a moment, to some earlier point in time to tell myself something, what would it be?  Invest in Google? Invent some thing called Facebook before that Zuckerberg kid does and make millions? …Naw. I think I’d tell myself not to worry so much; to not worry about what goes on in the outside so much and just make art – let whatever’s in my head out.  To not censor myself, to let my freak flag fly a little higher. Hey there little Candace, you’re better than you think you are.  Oh yeah, and seeing as we’ve got another minute here together, invest in Google.

What would you tell the eight-year-old version of yourself now if you could? I think we all still carry that version of ourselves around inside us – it’s the part of us that knows things a little more instinctively, and that takes things to heart when we’re criticized. We can probably still tell ourselves that very Something that needs to be said.

May 2012 be the year you hear your own wisdom and give your inner eight-year-old a hug.


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