Sunday, July 19, 2015

Simple Quiet

ocean wave arrives
ocean wave now receding
quiet sits my soul

Bing Futch, 'Seminole Solstice':

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Soft Touch

In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue and white;
Like sapphire, pearl,and rich embroidery.
William Shakespeare

People will ask, 'Why embroidery?' There isn't a simple answer to that, but I'll try for a few insights. It connects me to the past, keeps me in the present, yet impels me to look for ideas for the future. It is yin to the yang days I have at work. Most of all there is a wonderful tactile and visual sensuality to the process and finished product. Today I ran across a film that illustrates this wonderfully. Adriana Torres is from Argentina and embroiders under Miga de Pan (and also produces other lovely items). A filmmaker under the pseudonym  Pumping and Pumping, film, produced a gorgeous piece that captures the above perfectly.

Pumping and Pumping, film, 'Miga de Pan':

Friday, July 10, 2015

Maybe Now Your Perspective Will Change

Have a new perspective.
Joel Osteen

One of the most valuable lessons that ever came to me was when I was taking a photography course here at a local junior college. Doug was determined to make us see in new ways.  We photographed a simple object from various angles. We lay on our backs, climbed on ladders, got as close as we could, you get the idea. The lesson didn't stop there. He was old school so we got to go into a darkroom. We found out about exposure time, filters, grades of paper etc. Although the methods seemed infinite, the ultimate lesson wasn't.  It was you can take the simplest object and change how you or others will see it by changing your perspective.

It's been one of the most important life lessons I have had so far. Simple yet profound. But then isn't that true of those teachings that you retain. And how am I doing? As I wrote last night I am still very much the apprentice and I'll be there for a time to come. 

Michelle Penn, 'Maybe Now':

Thursday, July 9, 2015

When There Are Tears Just Be

Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.

Sometimes we gain lessons in life that serve us well. Today while one of our patients was doing her treatment we received a call that her husband of 61 years had died. The staff were all terrified to deal with this. Several years ago that might have been me. Working hospice and being around when people have died has taught me a bit about  just being. I approached her prepared to share the news  and found she knew. After a brief discussion it was decided to end her treatment and her family would come pick her up. I went outside where she wanted to be and asked if she wanted company or to be alone. Very much she wanted my presence. She started to talk but broke into tears. I put my arm around her and didn't say anything I just was with her. Her tears slowed after awhile and she began to speak of what was going through her. Shortly into this her family arrived, gathered her up and took her home.

The lovely thing that happened later in the day, was that her daughter took the time to call our clinic manager and tell her how touched they were by our care of her mother and to especially  thank me for the support and loving kindness I had shown. This was shared with our staff and several asked me how to handle a patient who is crying. I could only provide what I had received from my Buddhist teachers in that you don't handle someone during difficult times. When there are tears you just be. That is be present and be a witness and the rest will follow. I hope they got it. In our lives we are taught so much to do that to be is another skill entirely. I'm still very much an apprentice in this. Will I ever be a master? I don't know, but I will keep trying to learn.

Krishna Das, 'Heart As Wide As The World':

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Night Whispers


a work in progress,
lover's hands weave ardors threads
forming passions cloth

Alan Doyle, Russell Crowe, Samantha Banks, 'Lover's Hands':

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

One World

eyes kept closed
world stays in total darkness
eyes open: light

Playing for Change, 'Ripple (Song Around The World)':

Monday, July 6, 2015

Long Love Rock

Rock and Roll has no beginning and no end for it is the very pulse of life itself.
-Larry Williams

Anyone who has ever read this blog or who gets me, knows that music flows through me and keeps me going. I've been playing guitar for more years then I want to admit. Not primarily electric, but some day...I have several Luna guitars because they fit my hands so well. Any way people will ask me what type of music I love the most. No doubt, rock and roll is the winner. One of my most proud moments in life was when my nephews raided my rock collection begging for what I had...did I deny them? Are you kidding?! I also threw in a guitar or two along the way.

Some see rock and roll as dead or hopelessly old fashioned. The other day a 'youngster' in his car next to me apparently thought so as after hearing, 'The Who' that I had playing at a good volume with my windows down. He looked over at me, sneered, and put on hard core rap. I turned up the bass, gunned it and took off my rock smoking his rap. Take that green under educated pup. Seriously I have nothing against rap, but if I'm old fashioned because I love rock, I'll take the title. Cause I know like the Phoenix rising up, it is being born again and again....

Long live rock.

The Who, 'Long Live Rock':

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Concert in the Garden

It was like being in the  eye of a hurricane. You'd wake up in a concert and think, Wow, how did I  get here?
-John Lennon

The high heat we've been experiencing had a a break this am, so I went out to my garden patio to have coffee and breakfast. The wind was stirring the bells and chimes I have scattered and the birds were singing. So inspired I drew and completed my first embroidery design. When I finished that the creative juices were still flowing so I grabbed my newest dulcimer to practice and actually just play what came into mind. A bit of backtracking. The city here decided to create a bike path/park a few years ago. A segment was placed  a few feet from my patio wall. At first we were not thrilled as we were worried about some problem elements the city has been experiencing etc. That has not proved the case, as promised it is patrolled and it has become a source of people including families to use. I've come to enjoy the sounds of  life it brings. Today apparently I brought the sounds of music to the walkers. I had played several songs then stopped. I heard clapping and some one yelled 'Play more'. I climbed on a chair and peeked over the wall. About 8 people were sitting on a bench and grass listening. It lead to a discussion and showing of the dulcimer. And I did play more, so excluding my playing at work, I gave my first dulcimer concert this am. It all felt a bit surreal, but it was fun.

John Lennon, '# 9 Dream':

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Second Look

Always listen to your sixth sense, your intuition, your gut feeling and take a second look.
-Ralph Nader

Hung out today with two friends who are established artists. They took a look at the drawings I'm doing. They were encouraging. One challenged me to put out another as second looks are always good. Not to mention it gets you comfortable with sharing work.

Now  getting ready to celebrate 239 years of Independence. Feeling the freedom of finding my power. May more people celebrate having theirs.

Patti Smith, 'People Have the Power'':

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Shake yourself awake. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live with gusto. 
-Dale Carnegie

I'm off today.  Just shaking up life and challenging myself. I am deep into working on art as part of my summer artist retreat and my spirit is singing.

One of my favorite music artist's inspired me today. He stepped out of his usual comfort zone to complete a musical video...great result.

Jesse Cook, 'Shake':

Beauty Is...

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