Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ordinary Magic

Collage by Lani with layers and photoshop brush from Jerry Jones, a very generous artist!!!

In “Number Our Days”, anthropologist Barbara Myerhoff decided to study the elders of her own cultural heritage, Jewish elders in a retirement community in California. She discovered that although their funds were very limited and they rarely got to see their children or grandchildren, they could create joy out of next to nothing, by creating ceremony, by paying attention, and by finding meaning and significance. The elders were in possession of a philosophers’ stone, Myerhoff felt. Through this secret of attention, they were able to turn the “base metals” of their existence into the “gold” of a life valued. One of the elders said to her, ‘“I think this attitude you are talking about, paying such attention to life, is what we mean by ‘a heart of wisdom’... In the psalm it says, ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may get us a heart of wisdom’”’(p.231).

So here's to getting a heart of wisdom and creating joy out of next to nothing... and finding ordinary magic on a morning walk with the boys.
Bruzzi posing for the camera.  Layers in all the images are from Jerry Jones.

We found some magical things in the forest, a little memorial perched on a bolder.

And here's a little pagoda bird house, also in the forest.

Someone had decorated a pine tree with Christmas ornaments and they are worn and weathered now.

The boys find it enchanting too.  But really it is a simple, ordinary magic; this enchantment we feel when we pay attention to the world around us!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Prayer by Leenda K
Prayer a photo by Leenda K on Flickr.
Here's a beautiful image, thought, prayer from Leenda K! Visit her flckr page and leave a message for her!
And here's the link for the Red Cross with money going directly to Japan. They need so much!
 collage by lani

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Spring Tour is About to Begin

Collage by Lani, vehicle from Spunky Junkie, textures from SkeletalMess Kim Klassen, and FlyPaper Textures.  

This year's spring tour includes New York City, workshops for both NYU and the School of Visual Arts, on resilience, well-being, and art.  At NYU we will be creating resilience narratives, making puppets, and creating worlds and cultures for those puppets.   At the School of Visual Arts we will be discussing "14 Secrets of Successful Aging or How to Live a Happy Artist's Life Right Now!" along with some resilience promoting art making.   This is probably one of my favorite things to do, talk with artists and art therapists about how to live a happy, resilient artist's life right now.  The thing I like about the topic is how it grows and evolves, and how much more of a happy, resilient artist's life I am having the more I study it.  In addition to NYC I will be visiting Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, and Springfield College, in Springfield, Massachusetts for more workshops on resilience, well-being, and living a happy artist's life.  

Here's a lovely quote from Eric Fromm, tucked away in Maslow's (1959) New Knowledge in Human Values.
Well-being I would describe as the ability to be creative, to be aware, and to respond; to be independent and fully active, and by this very fact to be one with the world. To be concerned with being, not with having; to experience joy in the very act of living--and to consider living creatively as the only meaning of life.
                                                New Knowledge in Human Values, p. 163

Hope to see you on this road to resilience and well-being!  If you are planning on being in any of these workshops, please feel free to contact me for more information.  You can download syllabus and some helpful articles here:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Playing with my Flypaper Textures

A very damp, foggy, cold day today here in Nova Scotia!  Dank really, so I thought why not try out the wonderful tutorial from Flypaper Textures  February 16, 2011.  What fun.  Perfect for the subject matter and perfect for the day!  Thanks Paul and Jill!!!
Prospero loves this weather...
It's shows off his dreadlocks so nicely, lol!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Do you know about Seth Godin's new book?

Collage by Lani, Inspired by Maggie Taylor, texture from from FlyPaper Textures.

"What would our world look like if more people started projects, made a ruckus, and took risks?"
Seth Godin

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any."
Alice Walker

“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”

Albert Einstein
I got the Kindle version of Poke the Box and just starting it has given me some amazing creative ideas.  I totally recommend this book for anyone wanting to make a ruckus, claim their power, and find new levels of thinking.  Seth also has a workbook to go along with the book!