My Roots

I was born in 1959 on the day of the autumnal equinox, in Winnipeg, the first child to young parents of European descent. My mother had suffered the tragedies of WWII as a young girl in Germany. She told me about being rescued by American soldiers at the end of the war. It was the first time she had ever seen a black man, she said. This sticks out in my mind, I’m not sure why. I have a picture of that day in my mind, incorrect or not: I see an open army jeep, with several soldiers in it: The black man lifting my mother into his arms. Her relief, tempered with fear. The day is bright.

My mother named me Teresa after a girl she loved when they were both in an orphanage. My grandmother had to give her up for a couple years. War is so hideous. Teresa was a ray of sunshine in such a bleak period of an innocent child’s life. While I feel the name “Laura” (after my father’s name, Lawrence) would have suited me better, I am touched to my soul that my mother named me after a ray of hope. I would like to hereby tell her, before the world, that I love her, and I feel the burden of her difficult past.

My mother wanted to be a veterinarian, but being female was an obstacle to this. She always had lots of animals in the house though. I grew up with a menagerie of pets: dogs, cats, guinea pigs, budgies, canaries, a parrot, cockatiel, a tortoise (my favorite), slider turtles, Lizzy the Lizard. (Why my mother wasn’t pleased when I came home from school with a white laboratory rat, I will never understand.) I value that part of my mother which allowed so many wonderful pets in our home. I remain, to this day, a great animal lover as a result of this aspect of growing up.

I also value the opportunites for growth my mother did not have. I was able to attend university and graduated with a pre-masters in English in 1987, attended the Creative Communications program at Red River Community College later that year, and in 1992 graduated from the University of Winnipeg with an Honours degree in Psychology.

During my childhood my great loves were music and cooking. I dreamed of becoming either a singer or a chef. I taught myself to play the guitar when I was 15 and 16, but around that time, I left home, dropped out of school, and hitch-hiked across Canada. I returned to Manitoba after turning 18, finished up my highschool when I was 19, and spent many years studying and challenging myself through intellectual pursuits thereafter. When I was in my 20s I wanted to be a writer and cultivated my skills.

Aside from working as a full-time clay artist for more than 20 years, I had worked in the social services field for almost 20 years, juggling this with my art. In November, 2011 I took on a full-time position, as a reporter/photographer, with the Interlake Spectator, but quit in the spring of 2011 when I launched my own publication, Interlake Arts, Life & Leisure Magazine. I have since begun freelancing  for other Interlake newspapers, and juggle freelancing, art,  and photography.

One my visions for the future includes undertaking a novel.  I continue to ponder other projects as well. The more time-consuming art projects remain on the back burner (like life-sized statuary in clay). These may need to wait until retirement, however.

My love of all things natural, led me to study herbalism as well. Eventually “Aradia Naturals” grew out of this, adding to my already full palette of endeavors.

I view life as a tapestry: Everything I create, feel, and think, and everyone (human, animal, and plant) I love, fear, or hate, will at my end, show the truth about my life. Things I wanted to do, but didn’t, will be like loose threads in the picture. So too with those things in life that will remain unresolved.

Life is like that, you know.

There is much more to tell about Teresa Carey, but you will have to meet her to learn more.

One Response to My Roots

  1. Wow, Teresa! I didn’t realize you had such a varied background!

    Robust life experiences add depth to the stories we write. I look forward to reading more of yours.

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