I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker.
With each breath a wave can be seen to ascend and descend through the body. The inspiratory wave begins deep in the abdomen with a backward movement of the pelvis. This allows the belly to expand outward. The wave then moves upward as the rest of the body expands. The head moves very slightly forward to suck in the air while the nostrils dilate or the mouth opens. The expiratory wave begins in the upper part of the body and moves downward: the head drops back, the chest and abdomen collapse, and the pelvis rocks forward.
Breathing easily and fully is one of the basic pleasures of being alive.
― Alexander Lowen, The Voice of the Body
I needed my life as a springboard for my fiction. I have to have something solid under my feet when I write. I’m not a fantasist. I bounce up and down on the diving board, and I go into the water of fiction. But I’ve got to begin in life so I can pump life into it throughout.
I think, in storytelling, people want to see triumph, and so it’s usually nice to start with failure and see someone somehow rise above it. People like to see people try. And they like to see people fail for comedy, and they like to see people succeed for the drama and emotion.
But I must get back into the world of my creative mind: otherwise, in the world of pies & shin beef, I die. The great vampire cook extracts the nourishment & I grow fat on the corruption of matter, mere mindless matter. I must be lean & write & make worlds beside this to live in.
―Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Monday, March 4, 1957
During Hurricane Harvey our home flooded for the third time, this time with a staggering amount of water… the high watermark stood at 56″. That’s 4’8″. Enough water to come up to my eye level. Thankfully we were long evacuated at that point, and were able to remove many precious items. Our grand piano flipped over, crushing the television and landing upside down on the other side of the room, the lid floating down the hallway. We are tired of flooding. The silver lining is that we will be able to move on this time.
To add to the pain of losing a home, which we were somewhat prepared for after the previous floods, my beloved work home, the Wortham Center, where I have performed in the chorus for Houston Grand Opera for 12 years, was rendered inoperable for the entire season. During past floods, it had been a place of normalcy for me. Now I found myself without the stable work environment that had steadied me in the past. Difficulties loomed. In the midst of all of this a miracle happened, and continues to happen.
Here is a link to the NBC News spot that covers the opening of the Houston Grand Opera season in the brand new Resilience Theater in George R. Brown Convention Center. I was happy to speak about my beloved company and to share the roller coaster ride we have been experiencing since Hurricane Harvey.
I am so proud of Houston Grand Opera and so touched by the generosity they have shown me at a time when they, too, were homeless. This generosity shines in the kindness of donors who sent money to staff families flooded out of their homes and in the dogged persistence that refused to give up a season. Be inspired!!
2016 was a tough year around our house. It started off with some wonderful synkronicitigatherings and a lot of promise. Then our house flooded with two feet of water in April. My mother was very ill and our beloved cat, Lisa Sasabuki, died. The daily quotes and pictures helped keep me going, and several of you have shared that they helped you, too. I am so glad. These are the ten quotes that received the most views over the past year. Thank you! I’ll release an additional list of my personal favorites very soon.
Things are improving here, and we have a renewed sense of how valuable it is to spend time with those we love and how futile it is to waste time with that which is insincere and unloving. I am excited for this new cup full of time we are receiving and wish you all the best in 2017!
Please click on the author’s name to view the quote.
It often feels like a tremendous amount of work is required to get an idea moving forward, like pushing a train uphill. But at a certain point, the thing takes on its own momentum, and takes unexpected turns. So it’s that feeling of holding on, rather than pushing it, that is the most exciting thing. It’s that need to occasionally bounce off the walls, letting anything happen for any reason, and having nothing to guide you that is the joy.
The soul grows into lovely habits as easily as into ugly ones, and the moment a life begins to blossom into beautiful words and deeds, that moment a new standard of conduct is established, and your eager neighbors look to you for a continuous manifestation of the good cheer, the sympathy, the ready wit, the comradeship, or the inspiration, you once showed yourself capable of. Bear figs for a season or two, and the world outside the orchard is very unwilling you should bear thistles.
Nature is a great source of inspiration for creatives of all types. Lina Cofán takes a whimsical look at cacti.
Lina Cofán was working as a performance and theater based artist in Berlin when she decided to move back to Spain and pursue an interest in ceramic sculpture. The majority of her pieces are plants, specifically cacti. Cacti come in a wealth of textures and shades of green to which Cofán adds her imagination and skill. The result is simply enchanting.
Cofán’s creations are life size, rendered with playful ridges in glowing greens that delight the eye. From barrel shaped to tall saguaro, from prickly pear to pincushion, these quirky cacti have an astonishing amount of personality.
Please check out Lina Cofán’s website. I hope to see and learn more about this talented artist in the future.