13 Mar Treasured.
Sunday, March 13, 2022.
Greetings of peace and love to my wonderful family, friends, and guests!
Blue and Yellow.
If you live in the Merrill, Wisconsin USA, you would see the Matthias Building lit in the colors of Ukraine. The top floor lights every evening in blue; the street level shines in yellow. The building itself has known wartime uses. Built in 1923 for the progressive use as an automobile dealership and repair shop, it was later purchased by the city of Merrill. During the second world war, it became the fallout shelter and armory. With thick concrete floors and masonry walls, its construction lends itself to tanks and heavy machinery.
During the years as a technical school, there had been a shooting range in its basement!
The recent Russian invasion of the Ukraine calls out to that part of the building’s history. In an artistic sense and with homage to the countless souls wrapped in wartimes, to me, the building needed to shine in the colors of our neighbor. Art always can be an expression of the common identity of many people and also a representation of diversity.
The message depends upon the giver and the receiver. I have felt strongly that our world has the opportunity to enjoy itself. Winds Paradox might be located physically in northcentral Wisconsin, but the Ukraine is not that far away. The world gets closer and closer with each stride of technology and advancement in communication. Besides, my family has always joked that no matter where I go on vacation, I always run into someone I know. On a trip to San Francisco thirty years ago, I ran into a friend from Merrill! (Later, he helped me with the renovation of the building). On a family camping trip twenty years ago, I parked nose to nose at a grocery store with a long lost uncle.
With the blue and yellow lights and the building which was once a WWII fallout shelter, Winds Paradox wishes to honor those brave souls. Some of those souls are the manpower and the military who occupied this building. Yet, some are the spirits of our Ukrainian neighbors.
We are not so far apart.
The Spring Clean-up.
We have been cleaning! Late in December and January, Finnegan Construction removed the cinder block debris from the second floor. It is an amazing space! While I was in the midst of my own cleaning, I discovered what they had set aside. I do not know how, but a bathroom cleaning solution bottle had survived all these years. I just smile as I look at it. Two months later, I finally see what they found.
How they ever managed to salvage a glass bottle in perfect condition in the midst of rubble is beyond my imagination. I am just grateful at their care.
This year marks the eight year anniversary of Winds Paradox and a new period of operation. I am so excited! The path of development has not been the quickest, but it sure has been packed with lessons to learn and promised adventures!
Plus, it is almost spring in Wisconsin. The skies are not yet the deep blue of summer. They are the wonderful reflection of the mediation of winter’s white and that summer blue.
As always, I wish you the warmth of spring’s western winds. I wish you a peace as contagious as….(well, perhaps a person ought not finish that thought). I wish you art that causes you to stir and also to soothe a piece of your soul.
Mostly though, I wish you love.