In Love and Light

Oak Bay War Memorial, James Saull, Mother Peace, Uplands Park

Mother Peace
The Oak Bay War Memorial. Uplands Park, Victoria, B.C.
James Saull, sculptor.
(P. Ferguson image, April 2020)

“Everything Starts With Light”.
Ara Güler
Photojournalist. The Eye of Istanbul.

 Dearest Mother Peace,

I passed your way this morning to climb an old friend…Mt. Tolmie…to see this city…to visit a solitary tree near to its crest. A bonfire here once signaled an ending…for miles around all were made aware, from its flame, of a peace so yearned for.

Fog this day has claimed our abundance of water between lands. It lies heavy atop deep blue stillness. Within this density of storied mist, it is as if all that has once been, passes once more this way. Standing as distant witness to this gift…awareness…my heart steadies as I sip within the vision.

Looking eastwards from Mt. Tolmie.

Fog this day…all that has once been, passes once more this way.
(P. Ferguson image, April 2020)

Perhaps you have heard, the Bourdon bell sounded at Notre Dame? A year to the day of its fiery plight, testament to Our Lady’s survival and to those of the front-line during our current engagement with the darkness. An invisible wrath, the darkness slips into the crevices, worming its way on its diet of calamity.

But with this day my path has brought light amidst the tremors. At my place of learning, words written upon a walkway, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”. Leonard Cohen has spoken, a gift from an anonymous student. Cohen – poet, songwriter and ordained Buddhist monk, whose Dharma name Jikan (Silence) aligns with my penchant for stillness…More words from Cohen’s anthem will echo with the Bourdon bell…though not so silent there is peace from the tintinnabulation.

Solitary tree near the crest of M. Tolmie.

Solitary tree close to the crest of Mt. Tolmie.
Near this place a bonfire once signaled peace.
(P. Ferguson image, April 2020)

Below the crest, I gaze upon my solitary tree and am reminded of a previous light, of another day, when amongst pages of remembrance, a simple drawing with few words – candle, poppy, “in love and light”, heart. (Glenn & Nikki, Belgie, War Graves Visitor’s Book, Larch Wood Railway Cutting Cemetery). My seeking path is contented this day bringing observations together… having wondered many times what will bring connection to these discoveries. All the while I continue with my encounters choosing when to find the shutter. The process is reaffirming…all the while an open eye to the light…I continue to walk.

In closing, my dearest Mother Peace…upon your vigil continue…your eyes upon them. Hold them close within your arms. Repeat their names as nearby water lies still and unbroken, swept with whitecaps or covered in the mist of all that has passed. Somewhere, in the mists of time, a distant bell signals as stillness is sought upon the trail.

In love and light…I remain…

“Ring the bells that still can ring”.
(Leonard Cohen, Anthem, 1992)

In Love and Light. By Glenn and Nikki.

In love and light.
Thanks to Glenn and Nikki…a piece of the trail continues to shine.
(P. Ferguson image, September 2017)

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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