One reality, our reality
Living in Northern Ontario, Canada provides me a safe environment and a nurturing atmosphere from
which I can create, but the reality that we live in certain parts of Canada is not the reality of the planet. The
decision made by others affects us globally. From the distance, I can only create my work as a testimony and
optimistic view, hoping that in the future we can turn back and see a confusing time which we overcame.
My current life in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, a culture and community that I have embraced, has welcomed
my family and me, and made me believe that in the twenty-first century the world had already turned into
a more reasonable, social, place to live. I was naively thinking that society was moving away from racism,
xenophobia, homophobia, etc. and finally giving equal rights to women and men, and in general all the
things that humanity has been fighting for over the centuries. The US elections of 2016 became a milestone
for humanity, reminding us that at least 50% of humanity still believes that is ok to have prejudices and
discriminations. People all over the planet are divided into two groups: the ones like me who believe that
change is possible and that humanity could live life in a more harmonious place and the ones that continue
to discriminate, live life with hate, and egotistically close the doors to a more enduring harmonious society.
Sadly, I have seen videos on social media of groups of people gathering together to openly speak about
“white supremacy” and they believe that this is all right. We are witnessing the toleration of poor vocabulary
addressing women. We are living at a historical moment where all the scientists agree that an immediate
action to protect the ecosystem is needed and industries worldwide keep growing in the wrong direction,
polluting, and destroying our planet.
Social media has also provided daily communication to see random events all over the planet. As an animal
lover, I tended to follow what people share about animals, how smart they are and how much we can still
learn from them. Recently a video from June 20th, 2017 captured my attention: a whale in Skye came to
shore to die. The article was published by Colin Fernandez, a science correspondent for the Daily Mail.
The fire department pushed the whale back into the sea, but it came back. The whale was sick and dying.
Then they decided to shoot it. Scientist at the University of Bergen were horrified by what they discovered
inside the Cuvier’s beaked whale. An autopsy took place on the whale and it was discovered that over four
kilograms of carrier bags were tangled in the intestines and stomach of this wild mammal. The animal,
probably with enormous gut pain and knowing that it was dying, was also coming to shore to give testimony
of its dying conditions. Perhaps some people will justify this behaviour as a natural manifestation of a wild
animal, but the way I see it is that this animal was trying to tell us that what we are doing is contaminating
the planet. Ignorance can make us do terrible things. When I first moved to Kirkland Lake, after the first
winter, spring came and noises coming from between the roof and the ceiling of our old house began to
occur. We noticed that there was a hole on the outside wall and the squirrels were using this small hole to
go into our ceiling. As Spring advanced, we noticed that the squirrels would go out during the day, because
there were not sounds coming from the ceiling. So, I waited for one day to see all the squirrels going out
and closed the hole. Later in the afternoon the squirrels came back to the house and were very disturbed,
climbing on the outside wall, going up and down, and drawing our attention. I was sure all the squirrels
were out. My spouse went out to scare the squirrels away and the animals persisted with their call. We
didn’t want a squirrel infestation in our ceiling and we let them make their scene not knowing in reality
what they were trying to tell us. Years later, we demolished the old house and I was able to discover that
what it was in the ceiling was a robin’s nest with little chicks in it and I had plugged the hole on the wall,
not allowing the mother robin to come back to the nest. My ignorance did not allow me to think that the
squirrels were making me aware of the mistake I was making. Perhaps, we all need to listen more closely
to what nature is telling us.