Set Fire To The Rain

The war in Ukraine continues, and from the comfort of my sunroom, I still do what I can to help. Today, I am waiting on the arrival of our fourth family – two brother-in-laws, whose dream to land in Toronto, find work and lodgings, and then bring over the elder’s wife and child, proved unattainable.

The sad truth is that homeless shelters in Toronto are over-run with displaced Ukrainians. It has become a hub for human traffickers, wanting to exploit workers and vulnerable women and children. A friend reached out to me about the two men, who were living out of a car.

Small communities, like my own, are more willing to offer a hand up. A quick phone call to a local company, and I was able to secure work for both men. Now I seek to find more longterm housing, as we still have a guest in our house, so room is limited.

Room is limited, because I converted our spare room into an art studio. It has proven to be a sanctuary, attracting many who want to spend therapeutic time with me, just creating. I am reluctant to convert the space back to living quarters, but I suppose this issue will resolve itself in time.

The featured image is an acrylic I painted in response to the discovery of human trafficking in our area. All parties were successfully removed from the abusive situations, but the anger and disappointment still lingers. The song playing in my head at the time was Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain”. I decided it’s an apt title for the painting, too.

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

25 thoughts on “Set Fire To The Rain

  1. Hi VJ, your painting caught my eye in the WP reader feed and it struck me as raw and powerful before I even read the post. How you describe these situations resonates. I’m sure you have days of fatigue, anger, frustration and all human emotions in between – but I am certain because you care and you do what you can each day, these folks have an advocate they might not otherwise have. Good on you for finding ways in your community to change lives and offer hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful words. Yes, I am exhausted many days, as is my husband, and neither of us would change anything. We experience the gratitude daily. Advocate is a good word.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. VJ, all you are doing to help the refugees is so commendable. The situation must seem bleak and hopeless to so many. Why we must still have war and violence in this world….
    The painting is not only therapeutic, but quite arresting. A good piece to examine at length and ponder.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your kindness is so inspiring, VJ. And I’m really touched about the studio space – it makes me think of the wisdom that we can keep giving best when we are also sustaining ourselves. It sounds like that space does that for you – and for others!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been amazing, Wynne. One example is a 14-year-old girl, who has not made many friends here, and lives with her mom and stepfather in a tiny apartment. She comes once a week and we paint and talk, and both of us are getting so much out of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your post triggered tears…bystander gratitude? I’m not sure…but how wonderful and touching your generosity is. Your art as an accompaniment? Powerful and so very moving. Thank you. On several levels, VJ. 💕

    Liked by 2 people

  5. After I read your post, VJ, I played her song while immersing in the painting. It’s all so powerful. Too many tears for me these days, as I process what is going on in the world, and cannot believe how many people are still blind to the blatant agendas. We actually don’t need “fact checkers” to monitor it; it’s right in front of our eyes – an example is right here in your post, now too many people who were rescued end up in worse circumstances (if they depended only on the system). It’s right in front of our eyes, when we choose to see it. Hence my post yesterday, “How Much Loss?” I see that an important tool for keeping your own sanity within it is your creativity. Me too. I love the work you do, VJ, keep going….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The situation for the Ukrainian refugees and the homeless in Toronto is really difficult. Finding housing and making it work has only been successful with/for some. Thank you for the help you are doing. And I really like your art. I am learning about abstract and semi-abstract art this year and IMHO, you have created a strong and interesting piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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