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I’m So Tired

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Is your spirit spinning in a dusty whirlpool of disgusting news? I keep thinking I can walk my way out of it, like after the election.

But this requires marching.

Attempting to write my way out, like after the Newtown shootings, I wrote an uplifting piece that tapped into a story connecting 1967 with 2017 – about my mother, my daughter and me – united in a mission to protect women’s rights. I planned to publish that today.

But the sweetness of the moment got tossed aside by recent events.

Trying hard not to let outrage rule my life, I will organize, resist and march. Because I love this country.

But today, I am dispirited and whirling. It’s going to be a long four years, and I’m already so tired of…

Image via nataliehsc, Etsy

It’s Only Rock and Roll

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Had an interesting discussion last night with my brother about the packaging and personality of music — the lost art of album covers and lyric inserts.

My brother is in the music biz. Along with partner, Chuck Leavell — The Rolling Stone’s legendary keyboardist — he’s created irocku, a website that provides online rock music lessons.

We talked about how we’ve wholeheartedly embraced digital music, but cannot remember the words to current songs. Could it be age, or that we don’t watch music videos? We agreed that it was most likely because we read album covers and inserts.

We looked at music differently.

The covers of The Beatles White Album and James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James, are indelibly inked in my music memory. The late 1960’s and early ’70’s were chaotic, full of friction and heady introspection. All the coming of age stuff — that moment in time when life changes forever.

This excellent video critiques the intersection of culture, music, art — and its changes:

What’s your most memorable album cover?

The Poetry of Ikebana

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I watched this short video about Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, three times.

Years ago, when I was a teacher, I met a poet, Skip, who insisted children read poems three times to unlock the meaning. He asked them to experience a poem these three ways:

– Read it silently.
– Read it aloud, focusing on the sound of the poem — listening for rhyme and rhythm.
– Read the poem aloud, again, as if it is a blooming flower.

Ikebana is more than the creative expression of putting flowers in a container. It’s a disciplined Japanese art form that brings nature and humanity together. Steeped in the philosophy that being close to nature provides relaxation, the living branches, leaves, grasses, moss and seedpods produce natural shapes and graceful lines.

“In Japan, flower arrangements are used as decorations on a level with paintings and other art objects … The remarkably high development of floral art in Japan can be attributed to the Japanese love of nature. People in all countries appreciate natural beauty, but in Japan, the appreciation amounts almost to a religion.” ~ Ikebana International

Like poetry, watching this video three times made it bloom for me.

Spring is a tender time. There’s a youthful vibe in the changes and order of nature as life pops. What’s blooming for you?

Photo: Shutterstock

Adapt, Meddle, Adjust

When Dorothy clicked her ruby red slippers and said, “There’s no place like home,” she longed for the place that held all her favorite things, favorite people – her world.

So how do you create a home?

This New York Times house tour of the home of interior designer, assemblage artist (!), Faye Toogood answers:

“I like to combine the precious and the raw,” Organic tinkering comes out her need to “adapt, meddle or adjust” the objects in her home.

All that attentive rearranging is well composed – neither minimalist nor overdone. “I love things that are really old but look modern.” Home.

Future Engineers

“More than a princess. We are the champions.

This GoldieBlox musical manifesto featuring little girls with big voices and an even bigger mission made me smile. How about you?