April 2007


The other day I was speaking on the telephone with my 40 year old daughter, about this and that, and something I had been meaning to ask her came up in the conversation.

What would she say, if asked, that I , as her mother, had taught her? What “pearls of wisdom” had I imparted to her on her journey from child to adult? Without hesitation, she said two things sprang to mind and she taught both of them all the time, to her high school students.

The first, she said, was to always apologize to anyone with whom you had a falling out or a misunderstanding. Even if you feel the other person is in the wrong or that you do not believe you have done or said anything wrong, but there is tension between you, don’t let it stand, but be the first to apologize. Not necessarily to say “I’m sorry I was wrong ” but do at least say “I’m sorry I’ve upset you.” Or something similar.

Well yes, this has always been my philosophy and I’ve practised it faithfully, as necessary. I think that all would agree that this is a positive lesson to have passed along. So I was pleased with that one.

The second thing, she said, was that every time you get an opportunity to give input or feedback you should do so. Always fill in the comment section on any form when asked. Take every occasion offered to make your opinion heard. This one took me back me a little, but it is something I always do. It just surprised me that she would have been so impressed by this.

Then I asked her if there was any lesson her father had passed along to her. Of course there was and it really made me laugh. Her father, a university professor, always told her that a student should take every moment of the time allotted for an exam and it would be foolish to leave early.

When I got off the phone, I went to tell my husband what she had said about his “pearl of wisdom” and he started to lecture me about it. “It’s true,” he said earnestly, even after having retired 8 years ago. I’m afraid he didn’t see the humour in it, but I sure did. Especially when I started to get the lecture as well.

So there you have it folks, in a nutshell, the sum total of the wisdom imparted by the parental unit of this family, to the daughter at least. I’ll have to ask my son what his answer would be.

The other day I was speaking on the telephone with my 40 year old daughter, about this and that, and something I had been meaning to ask her came up in the conversation.

What would she say, if asked, that I , as her mother, had taught her? What “pearls of wisdom” had I imparted to her on her journey from child to adult? Without hesitation, she said two things sprang to mind and she taught both of them all the time, to her high school students.

The first, she said, was to always apologize to anyone with whom you had a falling out or a misunderstanding. Even if you feel the other person is in the wrong or that you do not believe you have done or said anything wrong, but there is tension between you, don’t let it stand, but be the first to apologize. Not necessarily to say “I’m sorry I was wrong ” but do at least say “I’m sorry I’ve upset you.” Or something similar.

Well yes, this has always been my philosophy and I’ve practised it faithfully, as necessary. I think that all would agree that this is a positive lesson to have passed along. So I was pleased with that one.

The second thing, she said, was that every time you get an opportunity to give input or feedback you should do so. Always fill in the comment section on any form when asked. Take every occasion offered to make your opinion heard. This one took me back me a little, but it is something I always do. It just surprised me that she would have been so impressed by this.

Then I asked her if there was any lesson her father had passed along to her. Of course there was and it really made me laugh. Her father, a university professor, always told her that a student should take every moment of the time allotted for an exam and it would be foolish to leave early.

When I got off the phone, I went to tell my husband what she had said about his “pearl of wisdom” and he started to lecture me about it. “It’s true,” he said earnestly, even after having retired 8 years ago. I’m afraid he didn’t see the humour in it, but I sure did. Especially when I started to get the lecture as well.

So there you have it folks, in a nutshell, the sum total of the wisdom imparted by the parental unit of this family, to the daughter at least. I’ll have to ask my son what his answer would be.

I’m late posting because I drew a blank on this topic. But looking at some other photos and going again through my limited files (only had the digital camera for a few months), I decided to put this photo up.


This is a bronze grouping at a well known lookout point in Vancouver. As you can see it is a lifesize group, having its photo taken in front of the panoramic view. Opposite, about 8 feet away, is the bronze photographer, camera at eye level and with his hand out to stop the passersby walking into the picture.

So many people walk around the corner and say sorry, as if they are real people. A very amusing local statue, and very unique, therefore I assume qualifies as rare.

I’m late posting because I drew a blank on this topic. But looking at some other photos and going again through my limited files (only had the digital camera for a few months), I decided to put this photo up.


This is a bronze grouping at a well known lookout point in Vancouver. As you can see it is a lifesize group, having its photo taken in front of the panoramic view. Opposite, about 8 feet away, is the bronze photographer, camera at eye level and with his hand out to stop the passersby walking into the picture.

So many people walk around the corner and say sorry, as if they are real people. A very amusing local statue, and very unique, therefore I assume qualifies as rare.

What, you haven’t heard of this opera? The one which tells the story of Carl Jung’s disintegrating marriage and his interaction with Pilgrim, a patient in his clinic in Zurich? What rock have you been hiding under, my friend?

Well you haven’t heard of it because its first public performance will be at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, seen above, in March 2008. It’s part of the celebration of the University of British Columbia’s centenary and the 10th Anniversary of the Chan.

Yesterday afternoon, at Cecil Green Park, I had the pleasure of attending a preview performance, consisting of excerpts and readings. The singers were four young students from the Opera program at UBC and present were fifty or so members of the Faculty Women’s Club.

I want to tell you the delightful story of how this opera came about. Canadian composer, Lloyd Burritt, who was present and related the story himself, retired in 1999 from his “day job”, teaching high school music and theatre. All his friends asked the hyperactive Burritt what he was going to do and he answered, “I’m going to write an opera.” He went into a book store and asked the store owner, which, of all the books in the store, would she choose, if she were going to write an opera. He said, without hesitation she picked up the book, Pilgrim, by celebrated Canadian author, Timothy Findley. She also told him that he would never get it right.
Of course, he accepted the challenge. After careful study of the book, he wrote two arias, using Findley’s own words and sent them to him and next thing he had obtained the rights to the book. And so the opera was born. He recognized that he needed a librettist and two different ones have been involved, with the last, Don Mowatt, also present yesterday.

Findley’s book tells the story of Pilgrim, a person who has lived many lives, both as a woman and as a man. He decides to try to end this cycle once and for all, but after a suicide attempt he is taken to the clinic near Zurich where Carl Jung works. The book tells the stories of many of Pilgrim’s past lives, which Jung discovers through his journals. It also tells of Jung’s interaction with Pilgrim and other patients, as well as the disintegration of Jung’s marriage to his wife Emma, because of his love affair with a former patient, now therapist at the clinic.

The story has been much changed for the opera, since a two hour time frame demands a very different treatment. It concentrates more on Jung, with his disintegrating marriage, and the interaction of Jung and Pilgrim who appears at first as a dream figure to Jung. But later he becomes alive and interacts with the other patients and doctors at the clinic. There is a struggle between Jung and Pilgrim as Jung tries to help him but finally Pilgrim escapes and dies and Jung is left to begin again the work of healing his patients.

Well that all sounds very interesting. But let me tell you about the performance yesterday. Basically they are trying to raise money for this staging of the opera. $300,000, in fact. So they have put together a series of dialogues from the opera, which were acted by Don Mowatt, the librettist and actor, along with Carolyn Finlay, another actor. These were interspersed with the arias, sung yesterday by the four young singers. Now the two young women and two young men may still be students, although one is a master’s student, but they have incredible voices and sang very professionally. The performance took place in the two storeyed living room of Cecil Green Park, on campus, and they were singing full power, with the audience no more than 6 to 10 feet away. I can tell you that it sent shivers down my spine to hear them. Accompanied only by a pianist, these young people gave a stunning performance and when they sang a quartet together, it brought tears to my eyes.

The singers, along with the composer, the librettist and the accompanist joined us for afternoon tea in the dining room afterwards and we had the opportunity to speak with them, which was a delight for us. Their enthusiasm about the project is very infectious. There is a collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry and the Institute of Mental Health who together have organized a three-part lecture series, featuring leading Jungian analyst Marion Woodman and other renowned speakers, which will take place next year during the performance week. The hope is to stimulate discussions about psychiatry and mental health and raise awareness of these issues in society.

Three internationally known Canadian opera singers, Judith Forst, John Avey and Roelof Oostwoud, have been engaged to sing the leading rolls, with UBC Opera ensemble filling out the other rolls. I think that I will definitely be attending one of these performances and I was persuaded yesterday, by the wonderful experience, to become a “Friend of The Dream Healer”, by making a donation to help stage this very interesting venture.
What, you haven’t heard of this opera? The one which tells the story of Carl Jung’s disintegrating marriage and his interaction with Pilgrim, a patient in his clinic in Zurich? What rock have you been hiding under, my friend?

Well you haven’t heard of it because its first public performance will be at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, seen above, in March 2008. It’s part of the celebration of the University of British Columbia’s centenary and the 10th Anniversary of the Chan.

Yesterday afternoon, at Cecil Green Park, I had the pleasure of attending a preview performance, consisting of excerpts and readings. The singers were four young students from the Opera program at UBC and present were fifty or so members of the Faculty Women’s Club.

I want to tell you the delightful story of how this opera came about. Canadian composer, Lloyd Burritt, who was present and related the story himself, retired in 1999 from his “day job”, teaching high school music and theatre. All his friends asked the hyperactive Burritt what he was going to do and he answered, “I’m going to write an opera.” He went into a book store and asked the store owner, which, of all the books in the store, would she choose, if she were going to write an opera. He said, without hesitation she picked up the book, Pilgrim, by celebrated Canadian author, Timothy Findley. She also told him that he would never get it right.
Of course, he accepted the challenge. After careful study of the book, he wrote two arias, using Findley’s own words and sent them to him and next thing he had obtained the rights to the book. And so the opera was born. He recognized that he needed a librettist and two different ones have been involved, with the last, Don Mowatt, also present yesterday.

Findley’s book tells the story of Pilgrim, a person who has lived many lives, both as a woman and as a man. He decides to try to end this cycle once and for all, but after a suicide attempt he is taken to the clinic near Zurich where Carl Jung works. The book tells the stories of many of Pilgrim’s past lives, which Jung discovers through his journals. It also tells of Jung’s interaction with Pilgrim and other patients, as well as the disintegration of Jung’s marriage to his wife Emma, because of his love affair with a former patient, now therapist at the clinic.

The story has been much changed for the opera, since a two hour time frame demands a very different treatment. It concentrates more on Jung, with his disintegrating marriage, and the interaction of Jung and Pilgrim who appears at first as a dream figure to Jung. But later he becomes alive and interacts with the other patients and doctors at the clinic. There is a struggle between Jung and Pilgrim as Jung tries to help him but finally Pilgrim escapes and dies and Jung is left to begin again the work of healing his patients.

Well that all sounds very interesting. But let me tell you about the performance yesterday. Basically they are trying to raise money for this staging of the opera. $300,000, in fact. So they have put together a series of dialogues from the opera, which were acted by Don Mowatt, the librettist and actor, along with Carolyn Finlay, another actor. These were interspersed with the arias, sung yesterday by the four young singers. Now the two young women and two young men may still be students, although one is a master’s student, but they have incredible voices and sang very professionally. The performance took place in the two storeyed living room of Cecil Green Park, on campus, and they were singing full power, with the audience no more than 6 to 10 feet away. I can tell you that it sent shivers down my spine to hear them. Accompanied only by a pianist, these young people gave a stunning performance and when they sang a quartet together, it brought tears to my eyes.

The singers, along with the composer, the librettist and the accompanist joined us for afternoon tea in the dining room afterwards and we had the opportunity to speak with them, which was a delight for us. Their enthusiasm about the project is very infectious. There is a collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry and the Institute of Mental Health who together have organized a three-part lecture series, featuring leading Jungian analyst Marion Woodman and other renowned speakers, which will take place next year during the performance week. The hope is to stimulate discussions about psychiatry and mental health and raise awareness of these issues in society.

Three internationally known Canadian opera singers, Judith Forst, John Avey and Roelof Oostwoud, have been engaged to sing the leading rolls, with UBC Opera ensemble filling out the other rolls. I think that I will definitely be attending one of these performances and I was persuaded yesterday, by the wonderful experience, to become a “Friend of The Dream Healer”, by making a donation to help stage this very interesting venture.
I just want to say thank you so much to all the people who replied to my cry for help with the latest “technical difficulties”. I have cut and pasted all the applicable comments and emails into the Word file on this topic and I actually understand quite a bit of it and will explore all the suggestions later. I have managed to unlock the image uploading option to blogger. (Well maybe it just happened coincidentally, who can tell?) I want to thank Sarabeth especially since she gave me very clear and concise instructions for resizing in Paint and also for good suggestions for overcoming the uploading problems.

I have to tell you, quite ashamedly, that the reason I could not see how to resize in the photo software programs, which I already have on my computer, was that I did not have a file in place. As everyone but me already knows the relevant options are grey until you have an image to work on! I assumed it was because I had an inferior version which came with some hardware or other I had bought.

Well as I always say, these things are sent to make us humble when we get too big for our boots. Another of my sayings is that I hope to learn something new every day and yesterday I learned quite a few new things. Once I was working with a young pharmacist who knew my theory that a good day at work was when you learned at least one new thing. It was ten o’clock in the morning and we had just discovered something new to both of us. She said, “Can we go home now?” Good try!

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