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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cocoa Beach Sunrise

Have been away from here for awhile! First Hawaii, then Cocoa Beach, then has all been quite wonderful, but I am longing to return to my art this next week. Here is a photo of a fabulous sunrise I witnessed while in Florida. It is one of about 40!!

What stays with me from Cocoa Beach: the tastes of great seafood, finding lots of seashells, witnessing the Atlantis Shuttle launch, the sound of the ocean, the feel of sand beneath my feet, the hilarious sandpipers who run back and forth with the water, and lots of laughter.

My studio is a big mess, and I'm debating whether to ignore it and just dive in, or take the time to organize and tidy up. I'm thinkin my art hunger will compel me to do the first!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Reflections on Kauai #3

Here's a photo of a fisherman casting his net. I saw this from the balcony of our room; he was right below us. I was so surprised to see that the fishermen use the "old ways" of fishing. I thought about how this little island has such a rich heritage and how hard they try to maintain that heritage.

Even the hula dancers surprised me. I suppose I was under the stereotyped impression of what their dancing would be like, and I was fortunately wrong. The hula is so graceful! It reminded me of ballet in its movements. And although I didn't know what each movement meant, I did know that there WAS meaning behind each one. I learned from one dancer that it takes many many years to become a master, or teacher. She had been dancing since age 7, and at about age 30, she still was not qualified to be a teacher. Again, that rich heritage.

And the music! I just fell in love with the unique rhythms of Hawaiian music. I bought 2 CD's while there. On the label of one, which is a compilation of the best throughout history, it talks about how Hawaiians need to celebrate their music because of its uniqueness. There is no music that is uniquely Connecticut's or uniquely Tennessee's. But Hawaii does have its own music. And that fact should be a source of pride.

So what does all this pride in heritage teach me? I guess it's that I need to be more aware of the rest of the world. Technology has brought us here, on the mainland, many advantages. And we are so quick to grasp for more, forgetting where we've come from. And forgetting that not everyone in the world lives as we do. Or has the same values that we do. It sounds trite, but now that I've experienced it, it has more meaning for me. It's opened my eyes so to speak. Sure, we see on TV and in movies about how others live around the world. But to be immersed in another culture and another environment is an awakening.

It awakes our spirits in recognizing that we are all connected, even though different. We truly are one, whether we recognize it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we embrace it or not.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Reflections on Kauai #2

(Written 10/21/09): Wednesday Sunrise

I am sitting on the balcony of our oceanfront room. The bird songs called me from my bed....a hint of mango color in the morning sky and a blurry mist out on the water....the ocean provokes feelings of POWER and MAJESTY....of vastness and humility.....the sounds churn up my being as though my body is responding to the energy that crashes on shore. My soul recognizes something here. Something central and basic to us all.

(Written today): What is that central and basic thing? A connection to the water? If so, it is a connection that is physical. The waves, mimicking my breath--in and out. The rushing sound, as though it has something important to impart. I could sit and stare and listen for long periods of time, just soaking it in. It is peace. It is contentment. It is a feeling that, no matter what, I can connect with God and experience this peace. It requires solitude. It requires need. But the promise is ever present.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Reflections on Kauai #1

Just returned last week from our 8 days in Hawaii, on the Garden Isle of Kauai. We were there to attend a wedding, but had plenty of time to explore the island. My head is still swimming with images of this beautiful isle, and the beautiful Hawaiian music that I fell in love with. Here's one such image that intrigues me. It was taken in Princeville, which is on the northern coast of the island. We ate at a restaurant there, where I saw this palm tree with an orchid growing out of it! I don't know if this is common, but the concept stays with me.

It seems like a bit of delicate beauty, surviving on the rough tree trunk. Such a complete contrast of color, texture, and weight. And yet it also seems to be a parasitic relationship. Does the tree benefit from this plant? It doesn't seem likely, unless it simply enjoys the companionship. And then you have the mountains in the distance, acting as a frame for the entire composition. Again, a huge contrast in size and color. I saw so many beautiful colors in the tropical flowers there. Immersed in colors, textures, and sounds, was I.

There is definitely something about this experience that is going to show itself in my art. I'm not sure how, but I do know that here--in this blog--is the place to explore it. So I will continue to reflect on these images, and see where it takes me.