Thursday, April 13, 2017

You must look...

Look.  See.
photo credit thehipdotcom
Perhaps you saw the headline, Master's Style Green Jacket Bought for $5.00 and sold for $139,000 USD.  It's a mystery.  How did a 1950's Masters-style jacket from Augusta National Golf Club end up in a Toronto thrift shop? 

The plot thickens... the original owner's name was carefully cut from the inside lapel which adds to the intrigue.  The imagination is sparked; colours, textures, emotions, wonder  flood the brain. The authenticity of the jacket has been confirmed by the famed Georgia club yet the original owner remains anonymous.This ugly green jacket, this insignificant blip in sports history, this cotton nothing has intrigued the golf world.

One saw the beauty, others saw ugly.

The headline story reminds me of my late uncle Bernard.

Bernard was an amateur art collector with a sharp eye for art and an even sharper pencil for negotiation. While shopping with his brother at a Winnipeg thrift shop in the 1960’s he came across a small oil painting. An insignificant, dirty, old, nothing of a painting. 

He looked closer.  He moved to the sunlight and his heart skipped a beat. He smiled and he choked a muffled tear.

The letters emerged through the dirt of time...

maurice cullen

Group of Seven, Anne of Green Gables, You Are Ahead By a Century, Acadian Driftwood, Wanda Koop, Maurice Cullen... 

The quintessential Canadian eureka moment.  

Bernard and his brother pooled their resources and paid $5 for this Canadian Masterwork which, in 2005, sold for $200,000.  

The mystery remains and adds to the intrigue. How did this iconic piece of Canadian history, this Canadian beauty almost come to oblivion in a Winnipeg thrift shop?  

It was salvaged by Bernard, a person who saw the beauty where others saw dirt and insignificance.

When we run we can choose to see sunrise or  darkness.  We can choose to see beauty or dirt. We can run with negativity or passion. It's our choice.

Choose wisely my friends, and proceed with passion. If you choose to see beauty you must first look.

I choose to run with the Jos, the Meems, the Tims, the Scots, the Davids, the Melissas, the Darcies, the Stepahnies, the Junels, the Connies, the Scotts, the Carlys, the Sandies, the Natiliess  of the world... and many others who see beauty where others frown and judge. 

We choose light over darkness.

We choose positive energy over negative.

At the moment of sunrise where it's mostly dark save a sliver of light on the horizon, some see the darkness, some see the light.  

Today a grade 9 student at a Winnipeg school chose to end his life. I saw the aftermath. We failed him.  We did not look. He saw despair.  He chose darkness.

It's a good day to be alive.

We are ahead by a century.