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
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.
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
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
And up next a musical playlist….
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
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
A long slender Rose represents my life
The Rose is sensitive, elegant, delicate…
Harsh to the touch
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
Soil…Rich soil nurtures her mind
Makes her beautiful
The ground is her home
Hard, solid, tough
Nature is her world
February 10th 1992
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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