Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Reunion in Berkeley: part II: Art

once again i am left dumbfounded by blogger's incomprehensible nuances. i didn't write this in this all-caps font, and now cannot change it, try as i may. in my "preview" it does not show up wonky, then when i publish it it is all amiss. apologies and curses! shoo! i will try to change it; this abomination must not stand!

Sri Tarasita performing her Green Tara piece in Devotion 2008.

While I was and wasn't eating I had the opportunity and pleasure of soaking in art in so many forms: the expression inherent in the Bay Area ~ the hyper-style of San Francisco ~ tattoos, hipster fashion (love it and hate it), all the murals, public sculpture and the overflowingness of front-yard-garden-meets-art, and easy freaxpression (I like that) that I have come to consider the norm (which is actually not the norm. but should be.). My TT and her way of dressing and adorning herself, and of course SuperKate and her signature style. Staying in the Shochat house I was floored once again by the sheer art of the place - the architecture for one, the paint and decor, but mainly the awesomely prolific amount of art created by Ashley. Thought-provoking, playful, and/or beautiful. Collages and paintings on every wall. Add to that art of the organic variety in the form of abundant mature gardens. If you consider that yoga is an artwork of discipline and form, this woman's life is all art.
And then there was the dance, the reason we came together in the first place. Rich kaleidoscopic weaving and patterning of ancient language, at once sensual, maternal, sisterly, and spiritual. Pretty. And beautiful.
Piled on top of that, I have last night's vocal recital here in Sac of sweet Arlene and her fellow students. Which reminds me of the abundant and inspiring guitar and vocal play during Miles's birthday bash a few weeks ago. Then finding old friend and fellow cast-member Shrine's website all over again (wooow). AND witnessing the resurgence of lovely Woo's artistic musings.!
In all my obsession about our upcoming move, Permaculture, primitive living and re-skilling, goat-herding and sheep shearing, pre-agrarian life and eating (I have been quite the nerd lately..)(almost left out beekeeping and seaweed harvesting!), I feel as if Art has bowled me over ~ hip-bumped me into a tailspin with all of its tattooed and bejeweled heart-gushing expression.
It has led me to wondering: where has my art gone?
Loved ones will not let me get regretful or wistful about this (haha I have tried. ;-). I have been reminded more than once that a life led mindfully is in itself artistic. And I agree. Bringing food to the table is in its essence creative. And writing is a creative act. Certainly parenting is an all-important constant act of in-the-moment creation. But the food I prepare is mainly humble daily meals, and is not always, ahem, inspired (especially lately. boy have i been uninspired in the cooking department lately. yeesh.). The writing I do is quite cerebral for the most part. And as much as I 100% love being a full-time mommy, I don't believe a woman's personal creative life ends when her child's life begins; on the contrary ~ you can't model how to live a full life unless you actually have a life!

Perhaps life's ebb and flow requires that certain aspects of our many-faceted natures take the spotlight at certain times while others wait in shadow. And, as it is a cyclical journey, the tide turns so that other gifts and passions may express themselves again if we allow for it. This is what I'm hoping today. In spite of, or maybe even because of the Bigness that our upcoming Big Change is demanding of us, I am feeling a longing, a lustful tear-stained calling from my inner Artist, who has been resting, recovering and healing. Quite impractical. Not at all pragmatic. Just as we are dragging the moving boxes back up from the storage room to be filled yet again so soon, I am urgently seeking a canvas on which to collage, and have set aside ~ several days in a row ~ time in front of the mirror devoted in earnest to dance.

Inside the program for Arlene's recital, the director, James C. Glica-Hernandez writes, "Learning to sing is a very personal process... [Students of voice] must overcome their fears and find their willingness to allow the sound of their voices pass their hearts to share that sound with others." I feel as if my heart is welling up with so much, I must open my mouth or else explode!

This incantation which was shared by a sister really knocked me over with its imagery. I told her if it were oil, I would bathe in it. Let it fuse with my own skin. It is my prayer now.

A Prayer for Calling Up Song
by Angela Galik
Rise, music, out of the Earth!
I feel it below me and just beyond this world.
A cavern full of sound, a storm trapped beneath a mountain
howls at the edge of my throat.
I burn to let it sing through me!
Rise up, music, in me and devour me--
When I open my mouth I want a rainbow cloud to come out
that covers my body from sight, and wipes away my face
so that the song does not go by my name.
And from this cloud as thunder and lightning, fierce and ecstatic,
crackling, roaring, drumming, brilliantly radiant,
deep as the oldest stone,
comes the music of the ageless universe, renewing itself,
the infinite, revealing and creating self.
Oh spirit I beg that you fill me
and that you erase me!
Unhinge my jaw and open my mouth as wide as a serpent's
and let flow out from me the flood that presses against my heart
from beyond--music of the Other World,
voices of thousands of beings expanding together into each note.
They who sang us into existence are singing our next age now,
and their song can lift us--and make us ready.
Oh Goddess, these songs are straining inside of me
like wild angels!
When this music comes into the world,
it will fill us and change us,
we will understand the right way to live
and begin out lives anew,
this time doing what we were meant to be doing
all along. Our hearts will be tuned to a true note
and we will learn how to praise, and never cease praising.
We will know what to do to care for our precious world,
and harmony and beauty will be the air that we breathe,
and the ocean we all swim in will be love.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Reunion in Berkeley: part I

I've decided to split this into two parts, as I have a whole bunch of food photos, yet the second half of this essay took on a life of its own. ;-)

Hello! I'm back here in Sacramento after having spent several days in Berkeley with my dear friend TT while she and our other dear friend SuperKate took part in a bellydance performance. And although I'm weaning back down from espresso, I'm sipping on some right now, and have about a billion and two things bouncing around in my head and heart.
One thing that is floating around in there is this:
Totally random, I know, but: that's me! I forgot. So I guess this post will be about what I took away from my stay in Berkeley after moving away nine months ago.

First off, is that my time living in Berkeley really was, officially, All About the Food. Revisiting there for almost a week, I had reunions to attend ~ at all my favorite restaurants. I said hello-and-I-miss-you to Saul's, Guerilla, Bette's, Venus, Tacubaya, Corso and Cafe Rouge, and then Mission Beach Cafe and Magnolia in the city (sweet jesus! i really ate at all of those places! no wonder i feel like drinking dandelion root tea and eating salads for a month!). And of course my beloved Three Stone Hearth ~ although deeply rooted in food and food knowledge (the beginning, source, and school for the nutritional and cooking knowledge I practice today), the people there are who tie me to it. And I cannot forget the birthday party we were honored to attend in celebration of Austin. It was the most sophisticated gourmet well-orchestrated potluck I will ever attend ~ but then how can I be surprised considering the birthday boy who held the conductor's baton! Yes; the week was a tour-de-force of gustatory delight (and geez were we right about moving from there being a boon for our budget!)! (aha i am connecting that espresso may be a leading cause of parenthetical asides..!)
Some highlights caught on film. A true quality eating experience must include good company. I'm so lucky.
plate of housemade pickles at Magnolia. the grapes were pickled with tea leaves.
ker-mis-chief at Magnolia

Anjali totally cracked-out from a very rare, very decadent cupcake at Uncle Austin's birthday party
beef marrow at Cafe Rouge ~ oh yes, we did!

Mission Beach Cafe
Austin posing at Cafe Rouge so I could get a secret shot of Troy's and my "Berkeley synchronicity": that dude with the dreads. ;-D
hot chocolate and Mohammed Ali at Guerilla Cafe
with the excellent and sweet cooks in the background, gorgonzola custard on a bed of arugula with roasted cherries and peck at Corso ~ phenomenal!!
Mexican cafe at Tacubaya
the best tortillas in town, dipped in egg yolk, at Tacubaya

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Savoring: a Breath in the Midst of Busy

I've invited my old favorite stimulant back into my life for the moment after an almost six-month hiatus: espresso. Because I'm BUSY! I went from having page-upon-page of blank calendar weeks to having too much to keep up with! 
I have so much I want to share with you - stories, photos, epiphanies and synchronicity, Big Change, but for now I'm still running. (And damn it the laptop still needs some TLC by a genius, so computer work is greatly slowed.)

So I'll leave this space with a soothing Moment to savor: Sharing juicy-ripe cherries with my little sweetie on our front porch on the first official hot day of summer we have had here in Sacramento. 
Gratefully I was not multi-tasking; I was right there right then.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Images from Lumbini Gardens

I at least wanted to share some images with you, until I can get back here to tell you more about our recent trip to Lumbini Gardens in Baja California Sur, Mexico. For now, I'm preparing for another trip. This time to Oregon. Weeee!
Lumbini's brand new, gorgeous and huge palapa!
Anjali, Troy, and Miles return from a midday strollLumbini henna!
Lumbini henna
Other direction.
La Ribera beach, just a mile or so from the property
La Ribera beach at sunset.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011