Friday, February 18, 2011

JAM Photo Project

I must admit when my friend and fellow artist and visionary Eddy asked me to help head up a photography project for JAM Jewish Art Month I was conflicted because I do not identify with any religious group and tend to avoid the possible limitations that can be imposed by religious labels. For me, I most closely  identify my religious beliefs in the words of the Dalai Lama "My religion is very simple, my religion is kindness".

But I was up to the challenge. The idea behind the project is to work with 13-14 year old teens, with the objective of self discovery, of allowing their religious/spiritual identity to unfold through the photo documentary approach.

We met and tried to clarify our objectives, realizing that the objectives are still out of focus. That through the process of daily photo taking and posting them on our Flickr group, we can more clearly communicate to each other and ultimately to ourselves what our religious or spiritual place is in the world. We will meet periodically, snap away, talk about what we are discovering, what is pulling us to photograph, and maybe understand that what we are drawn to, tells us and others something about ourselves. It is an uncertain journey that is exciting. Who knows where it will end and what will come out of it? Therein lies the interest for me; the not knowing. 

We hope to create a self-published book at the end of this journey, as well as have an exhibit of some of the framed photos. I suppose this will give us all a glimpse into a sense of our identity, and it's moment to moment changing. Like the snap of a photo, a frozen moment in time. Who knows if this process will blur or focus my own spiritual sense of place?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Chair Affair 2011

The chair I am currently attempting to finish (foot willing) is a small child's rocking chair with  a Curious George theme For The Community Warehouse 5th annual Chair Affair fundraiser. It will be finished with paint of primary colors and it has a Curious George fabric pillow, arm rests and attached tote with Curious George books and a "blankie" too. Everything to make a great child reading ritual comforting and fun! The working title is Curious George and the Reading Rocking Chair.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sowing Seeds- A thought for today

"Perhaps the earth can teach us, as when everything seems dead in winter and later proves to be alive"

~Pablo Neruda~

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cloud Mountains Disappointment

I have been struggling the last few days, with the decision I had to make, whether or not I would be able to go to Cloud Mountain this coming weekend to attend a three day silent Buddhist retreat on Metta, lovingkindness. I have been in battle with myself, my mind, my body, since my foot injury, and realized this morning that going would cause more stress, more pain, more challenges, and probably make the healing process that much slower since I am supposed to stay off my foot. There are stairs to climb and uneven terrain at Cloud Mountain plus all the other navigating that I would have to do. I realized I knew my answer. I am so disappointed, angry, feeling sorry for myself and feeling cheated by injury once again. A feeling that I am a witness to life passing me by. When can I move forward with my life, and go down a road without speed bumps? I know I have to learn to accept what is, and stop wasting the anger and stress that are energy suckers. And I do know, that there will inevitably be more speed bumps ahead, regardless of which road I choose to travel down. I know there will be other retreats, and that there has to be a lesson for me to learn here. After all, isn't there always, even if I can't seem to see it through the self inflicted brain fog? So Metta..............lovingkindness..............should I need a retreat to create the opportunity to practice this on myself a little. Let the learning begin I suppose, and not wait for the next retreat. I know my "Wizard of Oz" bible tells me I have everything I need inside me already, but sometimes it feels so unreachable. What stands in the way is me. I know that, but that doesn't seem to make it any easier and I don't know why I stand in my own way. Patience and self care once again present their challenges to me. I guess I haven't "gotten it" yet. Maybe once I get it, the opportunities to practice won't be as pressing, as they will become a part of my daily living. Maybe.......... For now, I do what I can to get through this current challenge the best way I can. This morning I was reading a poem by Octavio Paz called After. It spoke to me about hope and I share it~

~ Octavio Paz ~

after chopping off all the arms that reached out to me;
after boarding up all the windows and doors;

after filling all the pits with poisoned water;
after building my house on the rock of no,
inaccessible to flattery and fear;

after cutting off my tongue and eating it;
after hurling handfuls of silence
and monosyllable of scorn at my loves;

after forgetting my name;
and the name of my birthplace;
and the name of my race;

after judging and sentencing myself
to perpetual waiting,
and perpetual loneliness, I heard
against the stones of my dungeon of syllogisms,

the humid, tender, insistent
onset of spring.