Sunday, March 20, 2011

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within." ~Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross~
  • Last night I had the extreme privilege of witnessing a dance performance choreographed by Meshi Chavez and inspired by Walt Whitman's poem "We Two Boys". It was truly one of the most amazing performances I have ever had the honor of experiencing. In a powerful yet vulnerable and truly authentic way, Meshi and Richard took the viewers on, and into, a journey that explored our sense of self in this world; where we fit in, how we struggle to stay true to ourselves, despite the constraints society puts upon us to be something other than our true selves. Meshi took a piece of his heart out, presented it to all of us to share and revealed something so rich, universal and profound, that I am forever impacted by this. I will never be the same, for having experienced this amazing evening. By experiencing last night, I also was given the gift of realizing the power and necessity of being the observer, and that was a huge awakening in light of the prior evening's frustrations for me at Reflective Dance Practice. His choreography and movement are a true gift to the art world, and I am proud to call him my friend and fellow dancer in this family community I am so blessed to be a part of, as my spiritual practice, however that shows up for me right now.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Yearning and Threshold

Then the quiet set in, outside, but not within me. I tried to engage, but found myself with my back to the "village" as Winky phrased it, of dancers, as we began to move in our own way. The idea of thinking of a village of dancers that are a part of a unit, rather than being a witness that somehow places us separate, outside the group. Last night, I felt more like a witness rather than a part of a village. 

We meditated on the idea of "Threshold". A perfect and powerful word for right now, both personally and globally. Ourselves being vertical conduits between the sky and the earth. Also our ability to be horizontal conduits to give out from ourselves to the rest of the world, especially in a time of feeling helpless to heal those who are trying to find peace and healing amidst natural disaster.

1. A piece of wood or stone placed beneath a door; a doorsill.
2. An entrance or a doorway.
3. The place or point of beginning; the outset.
4. The point that must be exceeded to begin producing a given effect or result or to elicit a response: a low threshold of pain.

For me, this brought up many things, but especially painfully resonated, as the child in me, who was constantly reminded and judged negatively, that my threshold for pain is very low, a judgement of a condition that cannot be anything different than it is (see my Living The Princess & The Pea earlier entry). 
I also meditated on the image of threshold a being a transition from one place to another, a gateway of sorts. Being on one side, yet yearning to be on the other. I meditated on yearning.

       A persistent, often wistful or melancholy desire;

prolonged unfulfilled desire or need,
desire , the feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state,
hankeringyen - a yearning for something or to do something,
pining - a feeling of deep longing,
wishfulness - an unrealistic yearning,
wistfulness - a sadly pensive longing,
nostalgia - longing for something past,
discontentdiscontentednessdiscontentment - a longing for something better than the present situation

One member of my village of dancers, met me where I was, and danced tenderly with me. He later shared that he usually feels shy dancing with others, but did not last night. Oh I know that all too well. There was a feeling of safety. Toward the end of the three hours, as I lay on the floor, legs over a stool, eyes closed, my back to the group, I was suddenly aware that my "curls" were being lightly, lovingly, danced with by one of my beloved dance partners. She playfully and tenderly interacted with me through my hair, and then danced away. At first, I did not know who it was but I got a glimpse of her as she danced away.   It turned my sadness of that moment, into pure joy and put a smile on my face, and in my heart.

At the end we gathered in a circle. We discussed this place of yearning and how we all feel this at some time, at some level. The gift is in accepting. That the yearning is a part of the living, the growing, the connecting. The lesson to be learned in all this, is how to be with that yearning, to accept it, without needing for it to be different. I suppose that, therein lies the contradiction.

As I reflect on it all this morning, I have no regrets for having gone last night. My body did hurt more afterward. My spirit felt and still feels conflicted. My heart felt better from having gone, and been with some of my favorite dancers. But, I am filled with sadness though, and am still struggling with the yearning, the learning. How do I begin to allow, surrender, accept this yearning without needing it to be any different? How? Yes, indeed, how?

Portland Neighborhood Pix Pic!

How delighted I was once again this morning to find out one of my photos "Inside a Purple World" was selected again to be featured on the Portland Neighborhood blog. Check it out! They have also posted a few of my others including one of my favorites "Let The Games Begin"- a shot of a "street fight" over a dropped "doggie box" of lunch, complete with an audience!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Portland Taiko and The Right Brain Initiative

Today I went to Oak Grove Elementary School to photography a second grade Taiko Drumming event as part of The Right Brain Initiative. Due to a last minute rescheduling glitch, only a short bit of the performance was able to be documented. The kids were having a blast and seemed to have learned so much after only practicing with the Taiko musicians four times. This picture captures a bit of the moment frozen in time for me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Finished Chair Affair Rocker!

Hooray!!! This morning I put the finishing touches on my piece that will be auctioned off at the Chair Affair this year to benefit The Community Warehouse. I am excited about my little cutie this year and it is such a coincidence that I began this chair a few months ago and the Portland Children's Museum just opened their Curious George exhibit! Is that synchronicity or what!? I hope that will make my little gem a hot ticket! Here is a glimpse of the chair I named "Curious George and The Rocking Reader Chair"

This year we are delighted that not only the previews of the over 100 artist chairs, but the events themselves, will be in the old Sak's building downtown! Please check out the warehouse website for updates on the upcoming Chair Affair previews and events, as well as to see pictures of the chairs and artists as they get posted over the next few weeks. There will be opportunities to "buy now" via paypal before the actual Chair Affair event, so check back often to see the wonderful offerings that will help raise money for an amazing charity that helps provide the basic necessities that we all sometimes take for granted, like beds, dishes and cooking utensils to families trying to get back on their feet. I am passionate about this organization and this event so join me in supporting The Community Warehouse. If you don't feel inclined to bid on   a Chair Affair chair, you can help support the warehouse by keeping them in mind when you are looking for a new home for your gently used housewares. The Warehouse happily welcomes all donations of goods!

Curious George and The Rocking Reading Chair
Your child can rock and read the day away in this comfy pillowed rocker complete with blankie and book pouch filled with Curious George books with room for more!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Feast for the Eyes

As part of Jenni's graduation gift from The Bauman Natural Chef program, I made a book chronicling her journey in pictures. I copied the pictures from her blog over the past 5 months and made them into a Blurb book. Take a look  at A Feast for the Eyes if you'd like and be prepared to have your mouth water! The food Jenni and her class created are truly a feast for the eyes.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Chair Affair 2011 is coming, grab your seat!

 The Fifth Annual Chair Affair +

GET READY for 2011 CHAIR AFFAIR+, Community Warehouse’s major fundraiser featuring over 100 “re”created chairs and other home furnishings donated by our talented and generous local artists.
This year we’ll have more ways for you to support Community Warehouse:

NEW! “Reserved Seat” dinner on Thursday, April 28 featuring the first opportunity to bid on “chairs+”, our hot seat cocktail hour, catered dinner, live auction, celebrity host, great people and plenty of fun!

RETURNING! On Friday, April 29 it's the same great party as previous years—yet even better! A chance to bid on the “chairs+”, the hot seat cocktail, cheap seats, box seats, wine, food, artists, and lots of creative ways to lend your support.

Both events help Community Warehouse help others!
Ticket sales, artists' info, chair+ photos coming soon! Last year was a sell-out so don't delay and tell your friends about the 2011 Chair Affair +! More information to follow............  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What an amazing weekend!!!

They whirlwind joy of this weekend was indescribable but I will try anyway. With fears of being snowed in on Thursday morning, the sun broke through the snow on the runway and we left on time, Oakland California bound! Jenni's graduation showcase feast was beyond delicious! It was a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach, heart and soul. The cooking classroom was transformed into The Farmstead Kitchen, decorated with memorabilia that transported us all to a simpler time in life, with simple, nutrient dense, healing foods. It was truly one of the best meals I have ever eaten! Jenni was the showcase coordinator as well as menu designer, and resident DJ! I was so incredibly proud of her. We then flew back the next day for the annual Permanente Dental Associates meeting/dinner where Michael was awarded the first annual Distinguished Dentist Award! Wow, I can't think of anyone more worthy of this award. My heart is filled with such pride and love for the great accomplishments as Jenni and Michael shined through this weekend.