Tuesday, November 28, 2006

New Orleans feedback

Adela sent this slide show link from the New York Times Magazine. Do take a look.

She also sent a link for an Alice Walker article from We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Light in a Time of Darkness (The New Press) and it's about giving yourself a break, a "pause."

She says, "And we find ourselves required to stop, to sit down, to reflect. This is the time of "the pause," the universal place of stopping. The universal moment of reflection." Want to read more? Take a look at the article!

Thank you Adela!

Beth Newman wrote that she had that cab ride while in New Orleans and "was mortified, transformed and so incredibly deeply moved. For hose who never left the Hilton, one would never know New Orleans wasn't doing 'so well!'."

Thank you, Beth.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

"There is a field. I'll meet you there."

In order to be here now I need to do something with being there then. So I re-work the collage from yesterday, adding plant life and candles, a little altar of sorrow for all of it.

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase "each other" doesn't make any sense."

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi - 13th century

Friday, November 24, 2006

Back from New Orleans

I'm back and yet somehow, I don't feel quite settled in. It's a very difficult thing to see, so much devastation, so much lost. The art therapy conference was good. Lots of good papers and ideas, so here are some links for you.

Bessel van der Kolk gave the keynote, and you can find lots of good papers here:


I attended a few talks on mourning rituals and art and from Robert Morrissey I got a reference to what looks like an excellent book:
Passed On: African American Mourning Stories by Karla FC Holloway

If you are interested in creating alters, desconsos,retablos, and other kinds of memorials and mourning art see:
Scroll down to Mexican Mission Ornaments.

And there are more ideas on this website:

And if you thought New Orleans is completely back, ask a cab driver to take you on a short tour of the lower 9th ward. Ask him to tell you the story. Ask him if he knows where to get a boot-legged copy of Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke" and let him know that the world still cares what happens on the Gulf Coast and in the 9th ward.

If you can't do those things then go to this website and take a look.
It really doesn't look too much different now from how it looked this past summer.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Heading down to NOLA

My bags are packed full of puppets, dolls, books and zines.

Hope to learn lots at the American Art Therapy Conference in New Orleans. The topic of the conference is "rebuilding community." A person might drown in the tears of such a topic in such a location.

I'll be teaching a full day course on puppet making, running a supervision class on puppetry with Matthew Bernier and giving a paper on the work I did with Susan Anand this past summer, on the Gulf Coast. I only hope I can communicate the delight and joy that work brought to me, the wonderful experience of making new friends, and the amazing fortitude that is asked of people on the coast!

I'll be back soon.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Listening to Rain

Rain collage by Lani

I've been listening to the sounds of rain and crystal bell/bowls on a variety of CD's from a variety of sources. Very interesting research.

Holoscyn says their sounds induce the brain wave patterns of deep meditation. Users experience the same classic developmental and evolutionary mileposts as in a traditional meditation practice, but in an accelerated time-frame. Their neuro-audio technology produces many desirable cognitive, emotional, and spiritual states.

Jim Peters of the University of Texas did an analysis of the Holosync sounds which you can read here. He's quite happy with the analysis and seems very supportive of the Holosync program provided you have the money for it. The advantage to Holosync is all the support that comes with their program, but you can read his very informative report for yourself.

Binaural-Beats.com has a variety of CD's that use specially generated sounds to alter your brainwaves. They have one that reportedly helps your brain release endorphins, enkephalins, endogenous opiates, and serotonin. They have another for meditation and one specifically for headaches. This company explains what frequencies each CD utilizes and what these frequencies do as far as what is released in the brain. Very interesting reading I must say.

The Meditation Solution explains the Binaural Beat as the introduction of a different frequency sine wave into each ear using stereo headphones. Your brain begins to resonate to the difference between the two frequencies. As the two frequencies go in and out of phase with each other, a binaural beat is created in the brain which corresponds to this phasing of the two sine waves. The brain will resonate to this Binaural Beat causing the brain waves to become entrained to that beat.

Grasshopper.com has some free downloads to listen to. The first is Brain Flex and if you scroll down you will find a second one called Digital Espresso. They say it has been found to reliably increase energy and motivation. I tried it and I must say I did feel a boost of energy. They also have a CD through cafe press which you can find on their web page in the Products box. It's called BioRecharge.

Immrama Institue also carries these CD's designed to reduce stress and anxiety through brainwave technology. Immrama is originally Gaelic for a journey of self-discovery, a voyage of exploration. Lots of information here.

Me, I love the sound of rain and crystal bell/bowls, and all of the other stuff? Well, I'll keep you posted.