Chiarina Loggia

A printmaker's progress

Photo Fridays – Remembering My Dad


Coming to Canada - March 19, 1964

Coming to Canada – March 19, 1964

Today is my dad’s birthday. He would have been 81, but he passed away in 2009. I wrote about his passing and the effect it had on me in an earlier post. I still get choked up when I read it, even after so much time. But I also smile when I realize where my own life has taken me since then, to new and unexpected love and adventures. It seems my life has always been a series of adventures, beginning with that eventful trip to Canada in 1964. That’s me on the right in the picture above, looking like a little waif.

Looking at this picture I can see character traits in each of our faces that still hold true to this day: a stubborn strength in my sister on the left, a gentle intelligence in the one on my dad’s knee, a kindness exhuding from my mother, and I note she is the only one smiling, and hesitant reservation in my father. (The stranger posing in the background and the huge jugs of wine on the tables still makes me laugh.) Absent are the sister who was left behind in her grave and another yet to be born. I see this picture and I wish my mother’s arm had been around my shoulder for I  look so lost and forlorn. I wasn’t used to change and, to this day, I remember the strange taste and texture of the bread on board the Saturna, though little else except having to go on deck with life jackets in a storm. My mother tells me we were all seasick for a good part of the eight day voyage but I seem to have blocked that memory. I remember nothing of our trip to Naples to board the ship, and only a few images of the countryside while travelling by train to Montreal from Halifax. Again, I do remember our first meal at my aunt’s house when we arrived. It was chicken soup with little bow pasta. It tasted strange as well, and I couldn’t eat much. I was a very picky eater as a child. I still am, though I don’t mind strangeness nearly as much. I have lived in far too many places to let newness bother me. In fact I rather look forward to new experiences and feel restless when life becomes too monotonous.

My father never really liked change or adventure. His penurious circumstance propelled him to a new country in the hopes of a better life for himself and his family. This he achieved quite well. His courage to bring his large family to a strange new world and start fresh with no education, no skills or even language leaves me in awe, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities this opened up for me and my sisters. But my dad never really enjoyed his life in Canada. He spent his years there wishing to go back to Italy to retire. This he never managed to do for he became ill shortly before retirement and was hospitalized for the last years of his life. He did manage numerous trips back and spent a few wonderful summers there. The picture below is from his youth, riding atop his mule, Giulia. I hope somewhere, somehow, that memory of a lost youth is still alive and bringing him joy. I know the thought of it makes me smile.

Copy of dad_and_giulia - Copy-2

Dad and Giulia

A few more pictures of my father can be seen here.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend! Hug your dad if he is close. Call him if he is far away.


Author: chiaink

World travelled yet never weary, eloquent and evocative, Chiarina's artworks sing with a sensitive and sensuous spirit.

15 thoughts on “Photo Fridays – Remembering My Dad

  1. Lovely thoughts of a lovely daughter. Have a nice day!

  2. This is absolutely beautiful- Thank you for sharing your happy memories of your Dad.

  3. What a beautiful piece you have created here. I know your father is smiling at it–and you and your beauty. After reading your cited post from 2009, and rereading this post, I am so happy for you and the abbondanza you have created, as you said you would do. Yay for you. Tonight, I danced my “Sea Glass” solo partly as an homage in memory of my father, who passed away 18 months ago, a man of the sea and the earth. Peace and love to you, Chia–and to all, Chloe

    • What serendipity! I’m sure it was fabulous, would have liked to have seen it. Great title for the dance. Did you choreograph that one? You don’t have an video of you dancing by any chance?

      • Thank you. As a matter of fact, I just received a video of my performing “Sea Glass” in a concert last month. I’ve been trying to figure out whether and how to post it….Your inquiry reminds me of this, thank you :).

        I also meant to say earlier how stunning your gorgeous pools of eyes are in the photo of you as waif, I’d say sprite–same as now. xo

        • 🙂 and look forward to seeing some video. I’ve only performed once, in the Vagina Monologues, more a reading than a performance but it was both thrilling and nerve wracking to perform in front of an audience. Would do it again for sure.

          • Ooooo, maybe you can incorporate some performance into your exhibits?! Sorry. Sometimes my exuberance carries me away….however, I do love the idea of your performing with/near your work. Cheers. Xo

            • Well if you can slog through 8 minutes of me talking you can see a little bit of how I incorporated a photoshoot into my opening for a show I did here: I love to incorporate performance into an art show, whether it be music, dance or recitation. always fun to mix things up and make it special. Cheers. 🙂

              • Thanks! Looking forward to viewing. Here’s to mixing things up and making events special!

              • LOVE your video! In so many ways including: 1) getting to see your lovely self talking about and demonstrating your process; 2) your wise insights about the courageous role of the artist, the value of parents and children “taking themselves out of the picture” to be able to experience the other as a whole person and to learn about oneself; 3) viewing your work amidst admirers; 4) the cool red chair photo shoot AT YOUR OPENING!–great idea of the photographer and yours. Thank you for the inspiration, Chia. Shine on….xo

  4. Lovely post Chiarina. Very touching.

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