words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Posts tagged “Friendship

when we walk together we never feel alone

The waves break along the distant shore, and with them come our dreams. Because … there is no one like you.


With Friends

Life in memory …
with friends
a cycle of instances
– Reggie
that touch the past
like fine strands of silk
– Bob
nothing is forgotten
alive in delicate remains
– Robert
moments really did happen
here with you
– Judy
in this life of memories
your bodies gone
– Frankie
found again in thought
visited through Spirit and Light
– Zina
your lives
my memories
together …
Friends Forever

There is a beauty in the inter-connectedness of life and experience. We remember friends who have passed away. Their spirit, their laughter, the things they shared with us … as if it was only yesterday.


Not The Kiss Your Mother Used To Give You (When She Wanted You To Leave The Room)

The city series….

Standing by the curb

So you think you’re a man….

You think you know what she is trying to tell you. Sitting by the curb with your new Trek bike. With your boys. Trying to be cool.

Looking cool … Being defiant.

Did you even listen? Is there any clue?

Baby Boy Blue

As to why she decided on … you?

Yeah I know, you think it’s because of the ball you play. Or the things you say. Just yesterday she gave you that look. When you helped her with her books. Were you listening then? When it was your hand she took. Yeah I know. It’s all about the tool of the trade. And not feeling like you’ve been made. Is it good to know? Keep the show? Or stay in the flow? Yeah, it’s a tough day and what a blow.

You sitting on the curb with your boys.

Being her toy.

But did you even know

That kiss….

Is not the kiss

Just for show….


Music For Parks And City Streets (A Day Like No Other Remix)

The city series….

Sitting by the river, standing on the corner, music for parks and city streets

The moments we find time standing still…

Music is energy …

It captures the imagination and sets the soul on fire. It frees our thoughts and liberates our dreams. It illuminates the night stars and sets the day in motion.

Music is lucid …

We dream to music. We create to music. We make love to music. It touches and caresses. It embraces our intimate space.

Music is you and I …

It gathers the crowd on a beautiful day. It sings the songs our hearts have found. It teaches and consoles. It soothes our spirit at birth and death.

Music is humanity … restored.

For you and I it was a day like no other as we walked together … dreaming and listening….

In celebration of a summer day to come. A picnic with the band The Januaries and their song Chocolate and Strawberries…

http://youtu.be/BXIc-u0rr9c


A Family Tradition … Portraits (A Family Photo Remix)

Bringing the past into the present and going forward into the future….

Donald, Miriam and Children

I am fortunate to have a large and loving family. The journey in which this series will take me can only be thought of as a joyous rite. Beautiful is the memory of all those who, as family, have shared this life experience with me. Growing up with each other, especially my cousins was quite an adventure. There were ups and downs, pranks and games. And we often spent Saturdays or Sundays together; going to the park, enjoying picnics, and coming together as a family every Thanksgiving. My cousin Miriam pictured here with her husband Donald and children is a special soul. She is loving, happy and generous. A nurse by trade. When my mother was dying of cancer, Miriam would come by virtually every morning and sit with her. Caring for my mother with empathy and a heart of gold, she demonstrated great compassion. It is without a doubt, that I owe a lot to my cousin Miriam. And it is without a doubt that I love her dearly.

Family is important. Often we are called to give support, love and guidance to our family members. We can only, with a smile in our hearts, reach down deep with a great sense of purpose and joy when called to do so.

Peace Love and Light to all the Families of the World….


Weekly Movie-Making Moments In Film: Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite

Nerds of the World Unite….

What a great film and one of the best original comedies to come along in quite some time. I’ve always loved films about high school angst, going back to those great John Hughes films of the 80’s. Not everyone can relate to a film like Napoleon Dynamite; many have found its charm to be wanting and distasteful. However, I can identify with its peculiar awkwardness, that I too shared with others in high school. And just like Napoleon, art was often my escape. It can be said that Napoleon’s nerdy demeanor is always just a moment away from giving you the side-splitting laugh you always dreamed of 🙂 – Walter Smith

http://youtu.be/H2Kh7umdOrk – Napoleon Dynamite Trailer

http://youtu.be/kr7djGY1fhA – Napoleon Dynamite Dance Scene

Synopsis: The directorial debut of filmmaker Jared Hess, who  also co-wrote the screenplay, Napoleon Dynamite is a quirky, offbeat comedy set in the small Idaho town of Preston. Jon Heder stars in the titular role, a carrot-topped oddball with a decidedly eccentric family that includes his llama-loving, dune-buggy enthusiast grandmother. The story centers on the local high school’s race for class president. Using some nontraditional means, Napoleon is determined to help his pal Pedro (Efrem Ramirez) run a winning campaign and defeat popular girl Summer (Haylie Duff). Also starring The Drew Carey Show’s Diedrich Bader, Napoleon Dynamite premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. …

Dancing to the song Forever Young

The Promise – Lyrics to the song, The Promise by When In Rome. The ending theme to Napoleon Dynamite. Enjoy the musical flashback to the 80’s.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMZL9pd4Q8M


Portrait of a Friend

memories of a friend

holds my life in place…

A friend for life and in the afterlife


Urban Contemplation 03

The city series….

Maybe Tomorrow a Better Possibility (Recovery Remix 2011)

8 a.m.

tell me the lies

say that you love me

come back to haunt me

for days without end

and nights without rest

the bittersweet siren call

the addict’s sad song

3 a.m.

This post is dedicated to a dear friend, may he rest in peace. It was his kind, centered, and wise words that showed me the way to a better tomorrow.


Just Felt Like Posting a Work of Art / a tribute to my daughter

My daughter the model and the world behind you

A photograph of my daughter who as a teen did some modeling. This was around the time I was visiting Europe and Barbados.  I wanted to post something, hence the title “Just Felt Like Posting a Work of Art”, and the first thing to come to mind was my daughter. Lady, as she was affectionately known, remains in my thoughts. I wake to her, and I fall to sleep with a dream of her. The title of the piece is “The World Behind You”. She certainly had a world full of life, beauty, and wonder in which she embraced with joy.

Rest in Peace my Lovely Daughter….


The Fun House @ Highwire Gallery: 1991 / Dreaming in Future Tense / a 2011 remix

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“Sometimes we turn the pages in the Book of Memories and come to remember the children who dream in future tense”…..

The Highwire Gallery production of The Fun House
workshop began in March 1991 at the Sayre Morris Community Center in West
Philadelphia and concluded with a performance in May. Funded by the PA Council
on the Arts, the goal was to bring together a group of children and introduce
them to the arts. Our focus would be on dance, performance, music and the visual
arts. Another important part of the workshop was for it to be a community
service, which merged different ethnic backgrounds and communities. For the
eleven girls who participated in the workshop, the hope was to inspire personal
challenges and the pursuit of their dreams. Everyone involved, the artists of
Highwire Gallery, the kids, Empress our musical director, Sandra Lynn our choreographer,
and “DADA” (Dancers Against Drug Abuse) met the challenge and worked hard to
make the program a huge success.

How do we encourage our children to dream, a dream that
inspires, enriches and motivates them to reach for the sky, and to touch just one of the millions of snowflakes that
can be found in the realm of possibilities? How do we lead them by the hand,
through the garden of hopes and dreams?

The Kids at Sandy Beach 2011

I think we do it one child at a time, one school at a time, one
project at a time, and as one community. Children love to discover, and be creative.
I strongly believe that the arts will provide them with the tools they will need for exploring their
imagination and giving birth to their dreams.

What do you feel is our children’s greatest need? What resources in our society would you like to see be provided for the well being and growth of our children? Do you believe that the arts, especially at a young age, is a vital tool for encouraging creative thinking and problem solving?

What do you think?

Select the link below for a dream-like journey into a contemporary child’s lullaby.

http://youtu.be/p3HGyXa0mjM

Winter Poem by Nikki Giovanni 

once a snowflake fell

on my brow and i loved

it so much and i kissed

it and it was happy and called its cousins

and brothers and a web

of snow engulfed me then

i reached to love them all

and i squeezed them and they became

a spring rain and i stood perfectly

still and was a flower

— Author and poet Nikki Giovanni

From “The Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni”

And last but not least in this journey of dreams…a short animation.

http://youtu.be/e-sj8_UvD2A


Impressions in Barbados 03 / Ceremony

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Impressionism is a theory or style
of painting, literature or music which aims to reflect subjective impressions
rather than objective reality.

Ceremony is defined as a formal
act or set of acts as prescribed by ritual, custom or etiquette. [sacredness or
religious rite]

There is something beautiful and magical about a ceremony. It brings people together.
During our trip to Barbados, our group participated in a very moving one. It was
an ash to sea ceremony. We found the location on the island which was noted as
being nearest to Africa. It was there that the twelve of us performed what I
will always remember as a beautiful and deep expression of love and
remembrance. Some of us said a few words in observance of the passing, and others expressed
compassion and recited poetry. And in the end there were flowers, sand, and
surf coming together to set adrift the physical presence of a loved one.

What ceremonies remain in your heart? Do you believe that ceremonies are still
important in this day and age? Tell me about a ceremony or ritual that you participated
in that changed your life, and if so why.


In the Reflective Mirror / Various Artistic Influences 01: The Park

The Park 1997

The Park 1997

Lately, I have been feeling rather nostalgic and reflective.
The essence of being an artist, or just human, I presume. Because of this there
certainly has been a sense of longing for things past, their presence
resounding in the influence of various people, periods in time, and artistic
disciplines.

Presently, while writing this post, I am listening to a 10
hour playlist I created of four unique ambient sound artists: Chihei
Hatakeyama, Alva Noto, Sawako, and Ryuichi Sakamoto, all of whom weave found
organic sound samples and electronics to produce dreamlike soundscapes. I
mention these artists because they are currently what I find compelling in new music.
I will share excerpts from reviews about
their music in future posts. This brings to mind that half a lifetime ago in
the year 1977, while driving from NYC to Philadelphia at 4am, I came across the
WXPN’s (University of PA) Starsend electronic music program. Listening to the
surreal sounds of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schultz was the start of many
journeys into experimental music and avant-garde arts in general.

All of this became a reflective thought and ideas for
posting this past week when I saw the film “Smithereens” by Susan Seidelman. I
have not seen this film in years. I remember first seeing it in the early 80’s
when it was first released in NYC. I was excited about coming across the film, and the opportunity of stepping back in time.

But I have been thinking about other influences of the past
as well. How perhaps music, film, festivals, theatre, family, friends travel, exhibits
and art etc., have conceptually developed the artistic vision I have.  I hope to explore this phenomenon in future
posts as well. For this posting, I am including a work of art from 1997. It is
one of my all time favorite collages. It is a large 42 x 48 inch composition
depicting the remaining memories of family reunions, during Fourth of July
picnics at the park and in Glenside, PA in the 1960’s. The title of the piece
is “The Park” and my first major showing of the work was in NYC at Agora Gallery
in Soho in 1997.

So I would like to introduce you, my blog buddies and
readers to “In the Reflective Mirror / Various Artistic Influences.

Let me know what you think of the various postings, and
include your creative influences that stand out and reflect your life’s
history.

And up next a musical playlist….


Race Day April 3rd 2011

Mountain biking race day at Tsali Recreational Park

Mountain biking race day at Tsali Recreational Park, North Carolina

It is Race Day

Take what life gives us

Let us meet under the great pavilion

Where the sounds of aspirations

Are heard in the ballet of bikes

It is race day

Clutching our forged carbon loves

Sinewy muscles tense with sweat

We dream the dance

The dance of the mountain

It is race day

There is life in every breath

Let us meet silently at the starting gate

The noise of wind and sky to shatter our thoughts

While colors merge

A kaleidoscope forms

A kinetic fleeing pursuing blur

Rotating wheels and quick descents

Gorges rivers trees and falls

Pick yourself back up

Your pain body calls

And look up into the crying sky

To a transformative end

Finding yourself deep inside

It is race day

Transcending our weekday life

We are here to meet in joyous celebration

The sound of Kopeland

The sound of music

Victory for one

Pleasure for all

While arms and smiles embrace

Here at Tsali North Carolina

Its sure to be

A great race


In Celebration of a Life Deeply Loved 02

An excited young "Lady" looking forward and enjoying life

In Celebration of a Life Deeply Loved 02

“I’m Free”

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free. I’m following the path God laid out for me. I took His hand when I heard him call. I turned my back and left it all. I could not stay another day, to laugh, to love, to work or play. Tasks left undone must stay that way. I found that peace at the close of the day. If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joy. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss. Ah yes, these things I too will miss. Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. My life’s been full, I savored much; Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch. Perhaps my time seemed all too brief. Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your heart and share with me. God wanted me now, He set me Free!


In Celebration of a Life Deeply Loved 01

Dionanna Lady McFadden-Smith

In Celebration of a Life Deeply Loved 01

A Rose

A long slender Rose represents my life

The Rose is sensitive, elegant, delicate…

But Vicious

Harsh to the touch

Manipulating…Deceiving

She makes you want to touch but

You may not touch

Sharp thorns protect her

The Rose is peace, love, beauty

Her red petals speak of love,

Passion, deep down feelings

The Rose needs care

Lots of care

Water, water…constantly

Soil…Rich soil nurtures her mind

Makes her beautiful

The ground is her home

Hard, solid, tough

Nature is her world

 

By

Lady McFadden

February 10th 1992


Transcending the Ambiguities of the Heart (at sea remix 2011)

Transcending the Ambiguities of the Heart (at sea remix 2011)

Transcending the Ambiguities of the Heart

Prologue from Miles Ahead / Everything But the Girl / From Life and Stolen Innocence by Walter Smith

“Life on the oceans of the world is sustained by the luck of the draw—same as on land. At times it is called, (in recent history) the ‘American Dream’—the need to discover, possess and to be miles ahead.  We find ourselves by looking beyond the impending realization, (everything but the girl) —reaching for it with fervent desperation.  At other times it’s a sighting too late and the course not taken.  Drifting for what seems like the duration of timelessness on the empty sea of lost love.  For centuries man has sailed the seven seas and oceans of the world—in search of…”

He paused, smiled and then continued, “A couple of good stories to tell a young seafarer.”


Life in Every Breath

Love and Compassion in the service of others for the post Life in Every Breath

Today I had the Honor of being of service to an individual, who over the years, I have come to love dearly.  He has some special needs, and a heart to be filled with love. It is a beautiful thing what we discover in ourselves when we help others. I felt a great sense of well-being–finding its source in the expression of love through active compassion. In Buddhism, we learn that compassion is the wish for all sentient beings to be free from suffering and its causes, and that love is the wish for all sentient beings to have happiness and its causes. Let’s find a way together to build our hearts as one instrument in the service of others.


Friends who move intrepidly through themselves are invaluable

Self portrait with dreadlocks circa: 1994

Hi Leslee,

What a remarkable blog you are contributing to us all. I am profoundly amazed at the way you have examined and expressed what we all go through i.e. the fears, the attachments, the expectations. The spiritual, artistic and philosophical understanding you possess is a joy to know and  your sharing is transforming the way, we who know you, see ourselves. The fact that you are utilizing your intuitive knowledge and your years as a Buddhist Nun in moving forward, are a tribute to the recollection of the Higher Self.

I can relate to the experience of your “going to the salon,” in order to find yourself through change. In 1997 after eight years of having dreadlocks, I remember the decision to cut them. Wow, what a defining and prolific moment that was. I was sitting there watching years of love and care, of spirit and dedication fall to the floor. It had occurred to me as well, that this was a moment where my life was changing. Moments in life are a continuum of change. Transformation is a fact.

Art has always been a vehicle and tool for change, for transforming our misunderstanding into awareness. I appreciate so well your connected sense of being to your art as it mirrors my own.  To have a friend who moves intrepidly through herself is invaluable.

Thanks for the great post and namaste.

Walter


In memory of Robert Wulbrecht / a distinguished Highwire Artist

Robert working on translucent screens in preparation for the 19 American Artist exhibit in Berkgerk, Deventer in the Netherlands.

This post is dedicated to the memory of an artist that I came to know quite well during our stint as members of Highwire Gallery.  The digital image I created here is from a photograph taken while several artists were preparing for the exhibit at the Bergkerk Gallery. There were a number of screens (I do believe three) that Robert created. When light was transmitted through the multiple screens they projected the image designed on the screens rather beautifully.  One of my fondest memories of Robert was during our show at the Black Banana in downtown Philadelphia, January 7th 1994. Robert and I and fellow artist, Marita Fitzpatrick produced mixed media paintings and drawings. I created a video montage. During the time Robert and I knew one another we talked often about the creative arts, and its meaning and impact on our society.

Robert will be missed.  His Spirit infused with love for life and art passed on from this plane of existence a few years back.

An alternative look at Robert in the process of creating the piece


First thoughts to my friend Leslee

The View
The View

The View from our mind

Hi Leslee,
What a powerful vehicle blogging will be for you. You are insightful and thoughtful in your perspectives on mindfulness. I will enjoy gaining wisdom from you and sharing my thoughts with you as well. While reading your first blog, I sat quietly for a moment and pondered on the pursuit of being one with our lives in all its fullness. It can be challenging to let go of our fears and attachments, however the journey and the enlightenment found therein is the most important thing.

Thanks again, and I hope our communication about ideas, art and life grow.

Your friend in Spirit and Love

Namaste
Walter