Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cool News!!

The Portland Photo of the Week

This very cool photo, Someday, wins the Portland Photo of the Week. Jo Grishman will be enjoying a lot of coffee (or tea) thanks to this fine photo. I also wanted to include the quote from Jo's page: "What a caterpillar sees as the end of the world the butterfly sees as just the beginning".  Awesome.
Our weekly Portland photo winner scores a $20 gift certificate to a local Portland business.  Jo will receive a gift cert to one of our favorite coffee shops of all time, The Red E Cafe. The gorgeous Red E is located in North Portland and is one of the most highly esteemed coffee shops in all of Portland.  Read our review on the Portland coffee scene. There is a reason why our Portland coffee shops and coffee roasters get written up in the New York Times, folks.
Come and upload your Portland photos to the Photo Gallery for your chance to win each week.  Check back to see if your photo is selected for a spotlight in the weekly Portland blog! 


San Francisco Maker's Faire 2010

I was delighted to be a part of the Leave No Plastic Behind Project now known as Create Plenty. Since becoming a part of the project I have made a strong commitment to decreasing my use and and my family's use of plastic in our daily lives. I have made some drastic and permanent changes which make me truly feel like part of the solution. My square for the Leave No Plastic Behind project (fourth row down, third from the right) became part of a larger International Quilt Project that was accepted into the San Francisco Maker's Faire.

Thanks to Lydia, Vicky, Emily, and Jessica the International Plastic Quilt has been sewn onto vertical panels for display. It was exhibited to thousands in San Francisco Maker Faire this past weekend, some parts will be at the Lizard Lounge on June 3 for First Thursday in Portland's Pearl District. And some parts will be at the San Mateo County Fair in California during June...and...and...

Next stop...your school? Lobby? Gallery? Livingroom? It's ready to go, and in some cases a person along with it to lead workshops and presentations! Who knows where it will be next. I will possibly think of a place and arrange to display it as I did with the Rubia Quilt. Hopefully all the people that saw the Quilt or participated in creating it, will be impacted and inspired to make some permanent changes in their own daily use of plastics as well. It truly is a trickle down effect. Think of one thing that you can do to eliminate or decrease your plastic use. I now bring wax bags, that I ordered on line, to the deli counter and ask them to put my food in it instead of the plastic bag. It is an easy small change that can have a huge impact in the long run. Let your imagination run wild, get creative and imagine your own possibilities???!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Excitement Building!!!!

"In the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
~~Kahlil Gibran~~The Prophet

I just found out that Jenni will be moving to Portland to give it a trial run this summer! Then she returns to SF to begin the Bauman College Holistic Culinary Arts Program. We are so proud of her and excited to have her join the Oregon family this summer! I couldn't be happier! She might love it as much as I do and decide to relocate here and put her culinary skill to good use in our gastronomically amazing town. 

On The Earth, Riding The Earth Past The Stars

Last night I danced, the rich dance of my chosen line from the "random" cut out pieces of paper lines, aligned in a lovely configuration on the floor, with the words hidden from view. My line was, "On The Earth, Riding The Earth Past The Stars" from another wonderful Mary Oliver poem shared by Winky.  A few minutes into the dance, I realized that the lines of poems that I have been dancing and saving, will find their places on the small, white clay chair installation I am working on. I have made two more chairs in the last two days, (two and three of the numbered P.O. or post-opp chairs) and plan to make another today. The dance was once again wonderful, as the music rose in waves, peaked and then settled down to a calming meditative place. I lay, legs up the rough exposed brick wall, sweating, with my eyes closed, listening to the calming last song. I opened my eyes midway to see that I was directly under a large skylight that glowed with amazing brightness, considering it was dark and rainy outside, as it has been for many days. With my legs up the wall, my perspective was skewed in a wonderfully magical way. I felt as though I could walk my feet up the wall, as though I was walking on the ground, a brick road, and walk through the door of the skylight. It was such an amazing feeling, to sense that I could actually walk through that portal of light after dancing, riding on the earth and reach the sky, past the stars. It never ceases to amaze me, the gifts that dance continually brings into my life.

After Arguing against the Contention That Art Must Come from Discontent

"Whispering to each handhold, "I'll be back,"
I go up the cliff in the dark. One place
I loosen a rock and listen a long time
till it hits, faint in the gulf, but the rush
of the torrent almost drowns it out, and the wind --
I almost forgot the wind: it tears at your side
or it waits and then buffets; you sag outward...

I remember they said it would be hard. I scramble
by luck into a little pocket out of
the wind and begin to beat on the stones
with my scratched numb hands, rocking back and forth
in silent laughter there in the dark--
"Made it again!" Oh how I love this climb!
-- the whispering to the stones, the drag, the weight
as your muscles crack and ease on, working
right. They are back there, discontent,
waiting to be driven forth. I pound
on the earth, riding the earth past the stars:
"Made it again! Made it again!""

~~Mary Oliver~~ 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A weekend at Cannon Beach

This weekend was another amazing trip to Cannon Beach. It is my annual Mother's Day gift from Michael, staying at the incomparably beautiful Stephanie Inn. Our room faces the ocean and is just a walk out to the beach. We walk, are hypnotised by the powerful beauty of the Pacific, have daily wine tastings in their ocean front parlor, dine on incredibly prepared works of culinary art in their restaurant, sit by the fireplace, soak in the jacuzzi, and just float away into nirvana. I took this picture  from our patio overlooking the beach and Haystack Rock. We were treated to incredibly beautiful weather and an amazing sunset. Boy, life is good and I am so lucky to have Michael and his amazing nurturing generosity in my life. He makes it all possible and sharing it with him is one of the many, many things that make my life so blessed.

The Right Brain Initiative First Photo Shoots

I had a blast photo documenting my first three Right Brain Initiative events. The first was the unveiling of two fabulous murals that the students enthusiastically and proudly created with Artist in Residence Rodolfo Serna at Meriwether Lewis Elementary School. Rudolfo also invited a group of Aztec dancer performing ceremonial dances to kick off this fantastic and totally inspiring event. The unveiling coincided with the entire school's Annual Art Night. I was absolutely blown away to see the huge turnout of supportive parents, teachers and students, who all see the immense value of the arts in the school as an integral part of the holistic learning model that The Right Brain Initiative promotes.

The following week I spent two days following the teams at The World Forestry Center as they met and shared the projects the dozens of schools were involved in this year. Teachers, Principles, Art Liaisons, Artists in Residents and other people involved in the Right Brain Initiative presented the multi-media approaches they employed, with in intention of integrating the visual and performing arts into the reading, writing, science, history and other standard curriculum subjects. Selected students were evaluated before and after participating in the Visiting Artists units, to see the impact the programs had on their learning. I was overwhelmed with the extent of participation and the outcome of growth shown by the students. I did not even get to absorb the full extent of the program, since I had to hop from room to room to document the many events taking place on film. I am so excited about this program, and look forward to many more events that I can participate in with the Right Brain Initiative.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Counting My Blessings

I had the most wonderful Mother's Day! For the first time I got to spend the day with Michael and all three of my children! Wow!! I was served a wonderful meal prepared with loving hands and lots of dog drool to boot. The gifts I received were so thoughtful and wonderful, although the gift of being with four of my favorite people was present enough. In addition, on Tuesday an even greater gift was seeing my new wrist x-ray and to actually be able to see the bone beginning to fill in. Now the most perfect gift I can pray for is Adam having a positive appointment with his surgeon next week. The outcome of Adam being healed is all I could ever wish for right now. Still I count my too numerous to mention blessings! I feel so loved so who could ask for anything more!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Returning to The Dance

Last night I returned to Tuesday Night "Soul Motion: Terrain" dance. I was feeling a bit fearful to return for some strange reason. Feeling that my place with the community had somehow dissolved, that I would no longer be known? All baseless fears as usual. The moment I entered the skylight filled cork floored new dance space, I immediately felt at home. I was embraced first by Winky, and as all the familiar faces began to dance in and embrace me with comfort and a love that comes from knowing each other in a very special way, I knew that it was time to return.  We each blindly picked a line from Wild Geese by Mary Oliver to read out of sequence to the others before beginning the dance. My line was wonderful and oh so meaningful as it revealed itself to me. My line was, "love what it loves". I danced in the spirit of knowing that there is a higher power that loves me, to love what "it" loves is to love myself. I also danced the words of the others. I did have to carve out a safe space to dance while protecting my splint encased wrist, which did force me to keep my eyes open. That made me observe the other dancers a bit more and kept me from fully falling inward, but that is the dance of now, not the dance of forever. After moving to a point of sweating emotional and physical tiredness, there was stillness and Winky read the poem in it's entirety. The poem selected could not have been any more perfect. Beautiful............I can't wait to return again next Tuesday to the dance of "that day" hopefully more accepting and more in love with myself as I am, at this time, in this body, in this moment.....

Wild Geese 

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
                                                                  ~~Mary Oliver~~