Friday, July 31, 2009

The First Challenge - Favorite Visual Piece of Art

My challenge: Pick one of your favorite pieces of visual art. Post It. Explore and discuss what exactly about it moves you & then discuss your life in comparison to this work. do you try to live in a way that moves others the way this piece of art moves you? In what ways do you succeed or fail @ doing so?

I am straying away from photography as my visual piece of art of choice only because there is so much that I love and I explore that often. But a painting I often do not dissect.

My first inclination was to post this beautiful painting that I saw at Eddie's Attic in Atlanta- however Maura reminded me of the painting that I am constantly drawn to in the art museum and I realized that it has more staying power in my life. I've been in love with this painting for many years. Now my challenge is to discover why.

Meet Cupid and Psyche - a painting done by Jacques Louis David.
So here it is. A painting of lovers. The God of Love and a woman so beautiful she threatened the eternal beauty, Venus, herself.

As the story of Cupid and Psyche goes he marries her but she is not to see him. He comes to her every evening and slides away every morning at dawn.

This painting captures a dawn where cupid finds himself pinned by wing underneath Psyche in the early morning light.

A predicament he acknowledges in his smirk.

What draws me to the piece. The way the bed looks like a stage with curtains drawn open. The sneak peak we get into the moment of this love's life at dawn. The deep maroon of the velvet, the softness of her sleep. The bow parted from his grip. His failed exit.

This is the trusted moment before she suspects there is a need to mistrust him. This is the moment when their love is still pure. Nothing is lost. The predicament is innocent and rooted from a night of their love, not her failure or a failure between them.

Would I immediately draw ties between this painting and my life? No. Can I? Yes.

I try with everything in me to smirk my way through the predicaments that life throws my way. I feel like the more we can laugh at ourselves the better off we are. And, a smirk in a time of hardship is always more self-empowering than a look of distress (however I will say that I am certainly not above those either).

I would love to be a representation of this moment. Pure love. Predicament with ease.
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As a separate thought - Don't you think that this moment captured is one of the most valuable we can have as humans? The sleep of pure, untainted love. The days and hours where love offers nothing besides blissful exhaustion and comforted thoughts. They turn the rest of the world silent and in those moments nothing else distracts or exists because the reality is plenty.




Amazing Photo That I Did Not Take


Fred
Originally uploaded by Steve took it
I saw this photograph and had to share it here with you - it's wonderful...and I hope one day to capture something so amazing on my own. I wonder what kind of lens this was? I need to learn more about my camera. I'm craving.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Friday Shootout - Outdoor Food

Outdoor Happy Hour at one of Cleveland's treasures - The Great Lakes Brewing Company. We made it up there for Christmas in July to sample the Year's First public Christmas Ale on tap. It's dark, delicious and in this season 8% alcohol by content - or so that's what we were told anyways. Needless to say by the middle of my third I was feeling pretty "good". Enjoy a night of eating outdoors with me in Cleveland.








Quiet

I've been feeling rather quiet this week.

In lieu of forcing words that aren't ripe enough to come out I thought I'd share some photographs from Catawba in Ohio with you. Enjoy.




Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Early Morning Dance of Birds



The birds are gathered in flocks veining from the tide to 200 ft inland. When I try to disrupt their gathering they do the same dance every time.

One bird rises and then they all follow, swooping into line - a crescendo beat of wings. Half the flock heads over water and the other half inland, completing arches that meet and land simultaneously 100 ft away from where they were and where I now stand.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beating the Bleus


It is said over and over again (and most often taken with a grain of salt as we try to push through one event in life to get to the next), but it’s true – “the beauty resides in taking notice of the little things.”

I was with Serenity last night. After dinner she was taking time to teach me a little bit of the Spanish and French she’s learned at the ripe old age of 6. She pushes the words out with a cute little accent and a burst of confidence that makes them sound just so.

Me, on the other hand, well I’m completely hopeless. And that was enough to end my night on just the right note that it has carried me happily into today, buffering my attitude towards the small challenges I’ve run into already this morning.

The notion of me being unable to tell her what my favorite color was in Spanish without jumbling the syllables or accidentally sneaking in a French “bleu” had her tickled.

“Okay, just say it one more time Mamie,” she was giggling. “You keep saying it in French when we are speaking Spanish.

So I’d say it again…exaggerating my mistakes for the sake of prolonging her laughter.

I watched her face carefully while she was laughing. And the whole time I drove home I was thinking, “that is what life is about, really noticing the moment.”

And because I did really notice, I can still see her laughter in my mind. I’m smiling just thinking about it.

It was one of the prettiest things I’ve ever witnessed.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Who's Who and What does Who Want

Hey guys.

So here's what I'm trying to do...

I want to know who's stopping by the site and what types of posts you like to read.

I always going to write the things that come to my head...but if I know that there are topics people really like to explore I'll keep a eye and ear out for things that inspire me in their direction.

Plus, it's always nice to see where support is coming from and outside of my follower list - I really have no idea who stops by.

Leave me a comment if you will. You don't have to be a member or register or anything...just comment as anonymous and leave your name. Only if you want of course :)

Cheers and happy hump day!

Life is good - More Inspiration from the Road

I'm still really digging my license plate inspirations.

It's not as easy to get the photos while driving as you'd think - I'm dangerous in hot pursuit. Sometimes it's worth it though.

Cheers to the people who inspire me during my every drive.

LIFE IS GOOD!

So is the book Animal Vegetable Miracle. It's like listening to food porn on my way to and from work every day.

Vegetables are amazing. There's so much I didn't know. Makes me a bit sad that I never took the time to start my garden this year. Maybe next. Maybe next.

Did you know that it takes 3 years from when you plant an asparagus plant before you can harvest a crop and that you only have one day to harvest a chute before you are too late?? Chew on that for a while.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Homeless, but at home in Cleveland

Maura and I took a day to play tourists in our own city this weekend. We parked near St. Johns, the church that I love downtown, and in close proximity to the library, Cleveland's true hidden treasure.

I'm working on entries into a photo contest so we were really allowing ourselves to be visually absorbed into what Cleveland has to offer.

During our self-guided tour the clouds looked exaggeratedly poofed full of air. Surreal and cartoonish.
The sky was bright with sun. The breeze was cleansing. It really could not have been a more perfect day for taking photos - or for just being at peace in the place we call home.

While walking past Mall B, the greenscape with a clear view of Cleveland's solitary windmill, I witnessed a moving act of kindness.

There was a gentleman laying on the lawn, I assume he was homeless as he had his things all near him and a sheet covering his head. Yes, he was alive. Behind him there was a group of individuals gathered socially. As I was watching a woman walked over near the man and placed a brown bag lunch next to him. She didn't wake him, just softly placed the bag at his side.

I was so moved while watching it that I didn't snap the photo when I should have - during her act of generosity. I did snap away afterwards trying not disrupt the peaceful moment that had just occurred in front of me, however the pictures don't do the moment justice.

Seeing this reminded me that there are distinctly aware people in the world - people that step outside of their moment to see what is going on around them. And beyond that they do something to make it better. Those are the type of people that can and will change the world - they already are in small ways all of the time.

Find that type of kindness within you. Give even when you are not asked to give. Love people. Realize that we all start out the same and little things along the way deliver us to where we end up. Sometimes they are within our control, sometimes they are not. It doesn't matter. Do what you can to make life easier for other people. We are all in this together and we really do have to take care of one another. Especially when we are blessed to have the opportunity to do so.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Be the Book

I don't often find that quote alone is worthy of an entire blog post...but this one is. I'm reading Erica Jong's memoir, a book I picked up randomly the other day.

I'm enjoying it immensely.

She's got this quote at the beginning. Enjoy.

"When I was little, my ambition was to grow up to be a book. Not a writer. People can be killed like ants. Writers are not hard to kill either. But not books. However systematically you try to destroy them, there is always a chance that a copy will survive and continue to enjoy a shelf-life in some corner of an out-of-the-way library somewhere, in Reykjavik, Valladolid, or Vancouver." - Amos Oz

Thick and Sticky

I have a craving for words that sit thick and sticky on the tongue. The mellowing sounds that transcend language. Words that taste like coffee, red wines, and rich desserts.

For those are the universal sounds of love - and I want to taste every syllable.

Fearless

The biggest favor anyone could ever do passion is to stand in its way, threaten it's existence.

That's when conviction defies all else, becomes its strongest.

We begin to fight for something & against something all at once.

And in that fight we display the strength of human emotion.

We let the world know what we are willing to do to keep what we want.

We become fearless...powerful.

Photo by Nick

Friday Shootout - Yard Objects

Nothing like a little ceremonious couch jumping before letting the neighborhood folks come over and secondhand our couch.

We cried a little when we said goodbye to this piece of furniture, but it was time for a clean out. We at least had to make it fun. I'm still feeling heavy just looking at it. Some things in our lives carry memories. This couch did me good. It held me and and the people that I care about over many years.

Enjoy this non-traditional yard decor.



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gone away from me


One day we end up existing in a world empty of many of the faces, voices & hands that led us on our way.

It’s how good we look at them, hear them & hold them when we have them that determines how hard we cry in their absence & also how much we remember…once upon a time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Flip FLOP


I'm wearing a dress today. This may seem like a big old "so, what," but the truth is up until this year I never wore a dress voluntarily. I'm more of a jean and t-shirt kind of gal - at best a black pant kind of gal. I've always said that I felt a little bit like my beloved Bea Arthur in costume when I tried to dress it up even a little bit.

But, I must admit, I've found this tiny inner craving for girlyness, bare legs, and accentuating the positives.

I want a slew of sundresses to spin around in. What in the world has come over me?

But on to why I'm here. I bought these lil flip flops from old navy.


Although they are cuter than the average flip - overall they are a flop. Every seven steps I have to re-put on my shoes. No joke. I walk right out of them.

To get any more than seven steps I have to flex my foot and march with high feet, but even that ridiculous gait only gets me about 15 steps before I'm barefoot again.

Say "NO" to the toe-strap.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Call it what you want baby...

“Boobies?” The giggle of a six year old sounded. “Why do you call them boobies?”

“Ummmm I don’t really know why. I guess because I thought it sounded better than “Pom Poms,” I replied.

Pom Poms is the word the boy in the kindergarten class used to refer to breasts, or as they remain in Kindergarten – “nipples”.

“You can just keep calling them nipples,” we concluded.

“Maybe it should be areolas,” Maura added.

This was on Sunday.

On Monday, Maura had a halter monitor prescribed so she was sentenced to a 48 hour stint shower-free.

“Don’t worry, you can use wipes to wash you ‘hoohaa’,” I assured her. “And you can use soap under your arms.”

“Hoohaa? That brings me back to the boobies conversation from yesterday,” Maura came back at me.

“Yeah I guess it does, but what did you want me to say labia?” I questioned.

“Or vagina.” Maura chimed.

“Why don’t you just cover the whole area and say perineum?” Maura’s mom wisely rebutted.

So that got us talking about Oprah and the Vajayjay and the many other affectionate terms we give to the human anatomy.

A good friend of mine taught her young daughter to call privates “wanglers and squaddlers” for boys and girls respectively. It stuck. I always got a laugh when I heard her saying it. Though I admit if I threw either term out in random conversation no one would have any idea what I was referring to.

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So…what do you think?

Is it wrong to teach kids about the body with nicknames for their private parts?

Are words like “wangler,” “boy parts,” and “pee pee” more or less taboo than the technical “penis”?

Should we correct them as they assign less technical names to the parts of the body?

When does it start to matter?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bluegrass Kitchen Photos

Have a seat. Take a load off your feet. Whet your palate and relax.




Gypsy Livin - A Bluegrass Moment in Charleston West Virginia

"I’m not coming back. I’m going to sell peaches roadside." I joked in the car. I was at total and complete peace.

Last week I got a taste of gypsy living. We went from Ohio to Charlotte to Hilton Head to Atlanta to Decatur, back to Hilton Head to Savannah, and back again to Hilton Head – only to depart there for good and head to Charleston and then back home.

I love life on the road. It’s such an adventure, especially when you take the time to do and see all of the little things out there.

As we traveled I was able to finish the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society book and digest in whole Jody Picoult’s Handle With Care.

Good reading always pushes me towards wanting to write. So, I jotted down little notes in the car of things I wanted to share here. And, in time, I will.

But for today...

I want to mention a charmed little place that we stopped at in Charleston. We had been on the road home for 12 hours, driving for about 8 of them when we entered Charleston. We needed dinner and decided to slow the trip down even more and explore a new place. We pulled in east of the downtown area and immediately noticed a little place with artwork on the walls and a certain appeal to it. However, it wasn't surrounded by the most reassuring buildings so we decided to press on and explore more of the area. We decided on a little cafĂ© with live music, but when we got inside we realized that all they had were meat filled sandwiches and coffee. We asked people inside for some recommendations on good veggie eats and were directed right back to the place that we first saw – The Bluegrass Kitchen.

If you are ever in Charleston WV you have to stop by this place. Maura and I agreed that we had just experienced the best veggie burgers to date. The ambiance is lovely. The people are friendly. The entire experience left a great taste in our mouths, literally. I could taste hints of garlic even the next day (a positive in my book) - although it never overpowered the dish.

Bluegrass Kitchen - check them out. Go if you can. Let me know what you think.

Tonight I'll post some pictures that I took inside the place. It was enchanting to me.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Friday Shootout - Texture - 13 Hours Away From Home

All these photos are taken in my temporary town for the week...Hilton Head Island.








And there's always got to be some food shots! There are some days when nothing is prettier.




Anyone care to venture a guess on what this LOVELY texture is??

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Knock knock knock on wood.

There are so many times in life where I think that it is impossible to stop my head from chewing over thoughts. Chewing them up into little fragments of themselves. A microanalysis of every moment.

Yet somehow here my mind has been completely silent. Completely and blissfully silent.

I am just enjoying myself.

It's been overcast this week with rain on and off. When I looked at the forecast I almost sulked and then today walking back up to the room I realize it has been a blessing. Usually a July beach week is scorching hot. So much so that I end up walking from the beach back to the condo to cool off once ever twenty minutes or so. With the overcast skies I have been able to stay outside all day and just relax.

Last night was perfect too. I was leaning back having my hair braided by Maura and brushed by Marissa (my 7 year old cousin) for an extended period of time. In the middle of the pampering I dozed off. When I woke up Marissa was still running a comb through my hair. I danced between awake and asleep listening to her asking everyone if they had clips. When I woke up this is how I found her. (The pillow you see is where I fell asleep!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A road trip on a road trip - Atlanta Bound


Yesterday we left Hilton Head at noon to head to Atlanta, Georgia. Maura had prearranged an open mic night at Eddie's Attic in Decatur and I had a couple of friends that I wanted to see.

After a five hour drive we stopped at Christina's gorgeous apartment for all of 15 minutes and then headed straight to the music.

Over the course of the night there were what I estimate to be 20 performers. Everyone got two songs each and and the end of the night three of those performers were selected to play a third song.



Maura was among the three selected - a much deserved moment in the spotlight. There is no comparison to having seen it live, however once we get home I'm going to try to download the last song she sang that evening and post it here for you. They gave her a recording of it for being a finalist.

After the show we went to a cafe in Atlanta that served up the best gnocci and crepes. Not a bad snack for after midnight. (Oinky Oinky Us.)

Check Maura out at www.myspace.com/maurarogersmusic