Water, water everywhere....
PORTAL 52 - Week 16: “Water, water everywhere….”
“Water is the driving force of all nature.”
~Leonardo da Vinci
“Water is a powerful portal. It provides life and the comforts of daily living as easily as it carries us to the chaos of destruction.”
Today is May 23, 2018. It is Week 21, yet here I am posting Week 16. This image of a barrel wave explains, in part, why I have fallen so far behind with posting my weekly paintings and updating my blog.
On April 18th, my in-laws noticed that water was seeping into the basement of their home in Nanton, Alberta, the home they’d built together 40 years ago. It was alarming enough to make this discovery, but even more so to find that the water continued to seep in as fast as we could suck it out. We couldn't figure out where the water was coming from. There was an unusually large amount of snow-fall this winter, so we thought perhaps the water table had risen with the warmer temperatures melting the snow, yet no other basements on the relatively level street were affected. The flow continued over the next 36 hours despite all the efforts of family and friends, who lent wet-vacs, fans and their back-breaking labour. One neighbour even used his snow blower to move the mounds of snow off the ground within a 25-foot perimeter of the house, to no avail. As it turned out, there was a leak in the water main directly in front of their house, thus explaining the perpetual flow. Once the mystery of the source of water was solved, and the repair made, life could proceed as normal, right? Wrong! It was only the start of the chaos.
Five weeks later and we are still in the midst of rehabilitation; some linoleum that had to be removed was found to have asbestos, so special air quality monitoring and tenting had to be set up; insurance companies, assessors, town staff, demolition and restoration specialists are involved; numerous fans and dehumidifiers ran non-stop for a week, and caused electrical circuits to trip repeatedly; all of their possessions from the basement are scattered throughout the rest of the house and garage…
However, the truly amazing thing about all of this is the realization that we are so very fortunate! It could have been so much worse, as we have been reminded in the news almost daily. There are parts of the world ravaged by far more devastating flood waters. After experiencing the damaging effects of the great flood of 2013 in Calgary, High River and other parts of southern Alberta, we experienced again how much an event like this can galvanize the efforts of people and pull them together to work toward a common goal.
Water is a very much a portal, one that we often take for granted. True, water flow will always take the path of least resistance, and when it gets into places we expect to stay dry, it can be incredibly destructive. Water is also life-sustaining, necessary, restorative and fun. We use it every day to cook, clean, and drink. I love visits to the ocean and long soaks in my bath tub. I also used water to create this image of a barrel wave, another type of portal. Then, I used it to clean up my paint brushes, and prepare my canvas for the next portal painting.