ART STORY | Workshop Stories: The Power of Love

On March Break, the Art Gallery of Mississauga and the Mississauga Library System hosted TELL ME A STORY: An Art-Inspired Creative Writing Workshop for Youth. Participants, aged 10 – 19, were asked to choose from a selection of works from the AGM’s Permanent Art Collection, or the AGM’s current exhibition, Lila Lewis Irving: Con Spirito | Retrospective. The AGM provided captions for some of the works, to inspire imaginative storytelling. Participants were given 30 minutes to come up with their stories.

The inspiration for the workshop came from Chris Van Allsburg’s Chronicles of Harris Burdick, which features short stories  inspired by Van Allsburg’s illustrations and created by writers such as Stephen King and Lois Lowry. Thanks to the support of Thomas Allen Ltd, ten of the participants were also given signed copies of Chronicles of Harris Burdick or the original Mysteries of Harris Burdick.

Tom Forrestall, Tide, Ebb and Waiting (ed. 45/150)
From the Art Gallery of Mississauga’s Permanent Art Collection

Every day, at 3 pm, the car was there.
Every day, at 3 pm, the car was there.

The Power of Love
By Roha Saleemi

The sun washes over my face, the warmth seeps through my skin making me feel alive, the sound of the ocean waves crashing against the rusting wood on the pier. Birds soaring to the highest of skies amongst the clear blue skies. I hear it, her laughter, I feel the touch of her skin soft like silk, the glimmer in her eyes, her wild brown hair flowing in the wind. I was in college when I started coming to he pier after class sometimes to write, think or take in the peaceful surroundings. It was mostly vacant, besides me or sometimes a couple sharing their love holding hands. I began to see her everyday at 3, she would come by and stand at the edge of the bridge and breathe in the pleasant air, she looked like an image of freedom. At the start I kept my distance but I couldn’t hold back so I started talking to her. She would talk about her life plans, goals, dreams, her inspiration in life, I could listen all day. love began to grow for her, love of life, her beauty, it began to fill an empty spot in my heart. things I didn’t know I could feel, way I never thought I would think. She opened me up to a whole new world and as the days passed, our meetings became more frequent. I was never one to say what was on my mind btu it felt as if I couldn’t bear the burden of holding back this love I was carrying for her. Three months after I decided to tell her how I felt and express the incredible amount of love I had. I put on my best shirt, got a fresh bouquet of roses from the corner flower shop and headed to the pier. It was almost 4 and she still didn’t come. I started to think she wasn’t coming at all, till I looked up and saw her walking towards me wearing a white summer dress, her long hair draping her shoulders, the simple smile and a red envelope in her hand. My mind raced, my heart felt like it would explode. She didn’t say anything, just held out the envelop. I took it and opened it, in beautiful pearl coloured cursive was printed a date, time and wedding venue with the names Robert and Elizabeth at the bottom. She was to be married on July 3rd Sunday, in a month’s time. She told me I had to attend, that she would wait for me, my mouth went dry to even respond, I held back the tears as I felt the ground far beneath slip and leave me falling into an endless fall of sorrow and despair. It’s been 30 years since that day, but I haven’t found someone I loved as much as her, I come here often at 3 hoping to hear her laughter, and see her smile.

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