Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sleeping in is good

This normally bustling city of 3.5 million, in Salvador, Brazil, is slow to stir this morning, as the empty streets, free of traffic and vendors, yield to the sounds of eager roosters and exotic birds, fast at work, without the encumbrance of the Christmas Eve celebrations from the night before. The leisurely rousing of the populace is due to the late night celebrations each family traditionally shares after midnight, when finger foods, cocktails, dinner and desserts have all been served and love, well wishes and gifts have been exchanged. The littlest ones go to bed first, still in eager anticipation of "Papai Noel's" expectant visit through the night, where they will awake to find the most special of gifts, this morning.

The non-traditional climate and late night timing of the holiday, for me, does not impede the joy and wonder of this experience, especially when children are involved. Sharing this evening with Karina Sena's family meant the world to us, as we tapped into the global moment of peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

The sense of wonder and joy are aspects of life that have become harder to illicit in the jaded eyes of older folks, yet are oftentimes sparked when revisited through the eyes of the young. The innocence of a child's perspective, lack of knowledge yet intuitive reactions to things, are gifts we can still enjoy, by remembering not to assume outcomes in advance, to appreciate "what is" rather than expecting something else, giving without wanting in return, and loving one another just because it feels good.

We can seek to be guileless by staying in the moment and not always looking for things that suit our egos rather than our needs, and by not placing ourselves before others when essentially what's good for them is good for us. In fact, this holiday reminds us to consider others more than our part by giving and be thankful for what we we can blissfully sleep in late, from time to matter when or where we are on the planet.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cool evening turns to hot night

The turn to cooler evenings made for a pleasant outing to Amistad Center for Art and Culture Fall Gala at the Atheneum Hartford Museum in Hartford CT last Saturday, Oct 26th. The event entitled “Dancing in the Streets” honored Martha Reeves, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who turned that song, and others, into a national anthem during the rhythm and blues heyday of the Motown years. Adding another layer of excellence to the evening, the august fraternity known as the BoulĂ©, who were honored for their commitment to the community. As guests of the gracious couple, Pamela McKoin and Dr Larry Morse, we were feted among an illustrious group of supporters in the art filled main hall in grand style. Olivia White and Greg Deavens hosted the event, which also had in attendance the Chief curator of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum, Robin Jaffe Frank and her husband Robert, Lana Woods, Susan D. Toliver and Stephan Perry, and Cornell Wright, Robin Bell-Stevens, Alice Dear and a host of acknowledged artists and patrons of the arts, among others. As the evening warmed up we retreated to a art lined blue lit gallery for Martha Reeves “calling out” renditions of her hits, from Dancing in the Streets to Heat Wave!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

If you think the shutdown of the government doesn’t affect you, think again. Especially if this shutdown spans for more than a week the ripple effect of it on your life and business will be felt. Whether it is directly through the growth and expansion of your company’s business practices, through the lack regulatory actions many corporations must hew to or through the purchasers of your products or services, you will feel it. Funding for your ventures and those of your consumers will be severely hampered by a governmental engine ground to a halt. Though the “Affordable Care Act” has been propped up as the shill, for which, this drama was to unfold, it was nothing more than the cloak the thief wore in the night, to rob you of your security. We all bear responsibility for allowing it to happen by not paying closer attention to the unfolding efforts at a governmental coup d’etat that now undermine our very existence, as we know it. A Pollyanna-ish desire for everything to resolve itself is nothing more than wishful thinking and is like saying Hurricane Sandy was a rainstorm and it would be okay in the morning. The consistent lack of apportionment by the congress has been a consistent effort to leave the country bereft of financial backup when this moment hit. No budget means that very little will be funded because there has been no provisions for it. From the export of products to the import of materials, from the regulatory labyrinth that corporations must navigate to move forward, to the expansion of educational funding, we will find ourselves stymied by shutdown bureaus, furloughed workers and unfunded initiatives. Our only chance of righting the ship (like the Costa Concordia), will take a long and concerted effort to overthrow the many obstacles that have risen up to block true democracy from working. We must break the gerrymandered practice of sustained immunity from electoral defeat for extremist in government and must overturn political funding by special interest that allows anonymous unlimited purchasing of anarchists to rampage the halls of local and federal congresses. If you have been too busy to write your congressman in support of protest, now would be the time to take that step. Don’t continue to sit and wait for someone else to do what only you can do. The next TV show, fashion show, art show, sales show, conference, vacation or theatrical performance can wait. Your congressman needs to hear from you for your help and/or disapproval. NBC News: A government shutdown and what it could look like Please share your thoughts and ideas on what you feel can be done.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Blessings abound

Oftentimes when something as wonderful as the opening night of my annual art show on the Vineyard occurs, I would quickly say, "I am lucky." However, my dear friend, Regina Darby, would correct me and say, "You are blessed." It took me a moment to see the distinction she had been trying to make for me. To be lucky is to fall upon a happenstance whose re-occurrence would be unlikely, at best. To be blessed is to have conferring positive energy pervade your life. The latter was in evidence in the many smiles, hugs, kisses and well wishes and acquisitions, that filled the gallery on Saturday night. Friends can from near and far to be there, whether on vacation or for the night. The admiration for the new work propels me to take up the new direction with gusto, and so I can feel the paint brushes calling me even now. Below is some of the blessings that showed up at the opening.
Curlee Holton and familyHarold Becks and friendBrenda, Nick, Fred, Dick

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Clearing the way

A warm breeze of love and well wishes for my birthday, blew my way yesterday, rolling in a feeling of support and appreciation, for a life of efforts that continues to do its best, on the breath of those very voices and more. Friends, family, colleagues, artists and students took time to say they care in many ways, including the unspoken feelings of many more in the process. There, with an air of enthusiasm and celebration, was the ever effervescent Joe Steele, making the day as special as possible, with the consummate assistance of the dear Dr. Ezeze in tow. The celebration was a clearing for the next step, an epochal moment, that set the stage for a future fulfilled on efforts made. The transition to Martha's Vineyard, and the show ahead on August 17th, and the many aspects of things that have consumed my time and attention, over the summer, is the next step into the future. It is funny how much can accumulate to do at the same time when a deadline looms over your consciousness, making the easy seem complicated and the mundane seem unwieldy. However, my normal tendency to carry all the disparate parts in my head has been compiled into a master accomplishment list at the behest on my "Counselor Extraordinaire" Jelani Bandele, who was in attendance last night. Since my consultancy sessions with her began six months ago, new insights in my skills and new methods of creating opportunity have become evident in a way that has always eluded me. Using my natural talent to draw have always been my fall back position when the need to move forward becomes necessary. However, the areas of growth and expansion that could really benefit are oftentimes left unattended by me in hopes that "manna from heaven" would intercede on my behalf and initiate new opportunities. Sometimes these opportunities require a direct involvement from me far beyond the wishing and hoping that oftentimes masquerades as initiative. The master accomplishment list set my birthday, July 29th, as a major completion point on various projects, and things are working out as such, given space for a clearing. In this space, creativity has room to grow, ideas have a place to be shared and opportunity has time to unfold. The annual milestone always marks a time for me to determine if I remain physically on par with my past or how much I have yielded from last year's vigor. Though the energy and stamina has taken a hit new ways of seeing has expanded, and that's a good thing for me now.