Category Archives: work

Nurturing Creativity

Standard

You know, you don’t have to spend a ton of money in order to do something creative each day, and I think that it’s very important to do something….anything that is creative, each and every day.  We are teaching this lesson to Ingrid, who  often goes out with me for duo photo shoots.

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 12.42.03 PM

The object is to stroll down Division Street in Portland, and to photograph every letter of the alphabet sequentially.  These photos are then sold, via Ingrid’s own Amazon account, and are used by collage (and other) artists in their work.  While it’s nice that Ingrid can earn a little pocket money, the more important lesson for her is the art of looking.  This exercise makes her look closely at things, and to really examine and think about them.  This sign was a good example.  She read every word of it, and we had a great talk about it along our way.

Each letter forms its own complete composition.  We discuss things like color, shape, form, edges and other aspects of the design so that Ingrid can get a better overall picture of what the project is about.  She does really well, too!

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 12.59.11 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.00.06 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.00.55 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.02.44 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.03.52 PM

It usually takes us around 2 hours to capture the entire alphabet.  There are some tough letters, such as “Q” that can be difficult to find.  We also have a rule that once a letter is photographed from a specific window, one can’t photgraph that same letter from the same window again, so this adds more of a challenge.   I got her this little Pentax camera for Christmas.  She’s so proud of it, and takes very good care of it.

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.05.55 PM

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.07.07 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.08.01 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.08.59 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.09.48 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.11.02 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.32.12 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.12.11 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.13.02 PM

Sometimes the letters come out fuzzy and out of focus….but that’s ok, too.

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.13.56 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.15.02 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.15.54 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.16.56 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.18.22 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.19.22 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.20.27 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.21.24 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.22.25 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.23.21 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.24.06 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.25.00 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.25.54 PM

Ta-Daaaaaaaaa!  If you are an artist and would like to use any of the photos in this post only, please feel free.  These photos are not up to our usual high standards, but some of the images are nice.  (I particularly liked the composition of the letter “B”.)

 

Good People Don’t Defend a Bad Man

Standard

Good People Don’t Defend A Bad Man

At times in this life it can be a challenge to figure out who the bad people are, but sometimes they help you.

Sometimes they do the work for you.

Sometimes with their every vulgar, bitter word from their mouth, they testify to their personal malignancy and they make it easy to identify them.

Generally speaking, there are things that good people do and things good people don’t do.

Good people don’t refer to entire countries as “shitholes”—most notably countries that have given birth to our very humanity; ones that for hundreds of years have been colonized and poached and mined of their riches by powerful white men; countries whose people have been enslaved and sold and forced to come and build your country. 

Good people by any measurement we might use—simply don’t say such things.

Of course good people also don’t say they could grab women by the genitalia, either.
They don’t defend racists and nazis and call them “fine people,” days after murdering a young girl and terrorizing an American city.
They don’t brag about their penis size during debates, or suggest protestors at campaign rallies should be roughed up, or crack jokes about captured war heroes, or make fun of the physically disabled.
They don’t.

Good people don’t tweet anti-Muslim rhetoric in the moments immediately following a bombing in order to bolster a position.
They don’t leave American territories filled with brown skinned people without power for months upon months, after publicly ridiculing their public servants and questioning their people’s resolve.
They don’t erase protections for the water and the air, for the elderly, the terminally ill, the LGBTQ.
They don’t take away healthcare from the sick and the poor without an alternative.
They don’t gouge the working poor and shelter the wealthy.
They don’t abuse their unrivaled platform to Twitter-bait world leaders and to taunt private citizens.

Good people don’t prey upon the vulnerable, they don’t leverage their power to bully dissenters, and they don’t campaign for sexual predators.

But this President is simply not a good human being, and there’s simply no way around this truth.

He is the ugliest personification of the Ugly American, which is why, as long as he is here and as long as he represents this nation, we will be a fractured mess and a global embarrassment. He will be the ever lowering bar of our legacy in the world.

And what is painfully obvious in these moments, isn’t simply that the person alleging to lead this country is a terrible human being—it is that anyone left still defending him, applauding him, justifying him, amening him, probably is too.

At this point, the only reason left to support this President, is that he reflects your hateful heart; he shares your contempt of people of color, your hostility toward outsiders, your ignorant bigotry, your feeling of supremacy.

A white President calling countries filled with people of color shitholes, is so far beyond the pale, so beneath decency, and so blatantly racist that it shouldn’t merit conversation. It should be universally condemned. Humanity should be in agreement in abhorring it.

And yet today (like so many other seemingly rock bottom days in the past twelve months) they will be out there: white people claiming to be good people and Christian people, who will make excuses for him or debate his motives or diminish the damage.

They will dig their heels in to explain away or to defend, what at the end of the day is simply a bad human being saying the things that bad human beings say because their hearts harbor very bad things.

No, good people don’t call countries filled with beautiful, creative, loving men and women shitholes.

And good people don’t defend people who do.

You’re going to have to make a choice here.

 

Order John’s book, ‘A Bigger Table’ here

And I’ll Stand By You, Too….

Standard

Life in the Fast Lane

Standard
Life in the Fast Lane

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”
—William Blake—

1writing

Life has really begun to ramp up for me here in Portland.  As I near the end of the term, I find myself getting less and less sleep as I toil into the wee hours of the dawn in a fervid  attempt to finish up my final paper and the term.  This one is a bear….a minimum of 30 pages, and involved performing an assessment of a major corporation, analysis of the data and then an action plan for strategies and interventions.  Suffice it to say, I have learned much in this course, but I’m ready for it to be over!  I still have to prepare responses for the class discussion by tomorrow night, and to do the same for the forensics class.  Then….it will all be over.  I will have about a week off, and then I will begin the final journey with my thesis/capstone course.  10 weeks after that, I will graduate.  Feels great…but I’m beat!

On the work front, I am still writing the Chinese fashion catalog.  It is very time consuming, so I switch from project to project, ever inching toward the light at the end of the tunnel.  Love is what propels me forward.  I am in love….and that gives me a good reason to do everything that I do.  Love gives me purpose and energy….and it makes me happy.

1stacy shannon

This Saturday, my friend, Shannon Kringen, (artist, model and television personality) will be driving down from Seattle to attend a Wayne Dyer seminar with me.  The day-long seminar will provide an opportunity to free oneself, now and forever, from the chains surrounding limited, often self-sabotaging thinking and:

  •  Let go of that ego-dominated, controlling part of the persona
  •  Become free from pervasive, ego-driven thoughts
  •  Cleanse one’s self- perception
  •  Come to feel, know, and rely on the divinely-connected self

The philosophy behind it is this.  Every one of us has both a personal self as well as an impersonal aspect to our being. The personal self, or personality, is being directed at all times by the mind and the five senses.

1dyer

This  day-long seminar is an opportunity to free oneself from the emotional ties that bind…to become more creative and emotionally free. In order to awaken to this fact one must get away from the consciousness of  the body and intellect, that enslave us all.  The seminar intends to teach us to  feel our infinite impersonal self within and come to know and rely upon it at all times. “From the perspective of the infinite, it is obvious that the individual self ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT EXIST.” This is a truth that the personality, with it’s ever dominating ego presence cannot and will not tolerate.

The seminar will include a  presentation from Anita Moorjani, who had a momentous experience of truly understanding the title of this seminar I AM LIGHT, wherein she came face to face with her omnipresent impersonal self in the Light, and was miraculously healed of a ravaging cancer that had left her in a coma. Her book, Dying To Be Me (also an Online Course) is now considered to be a classic in contemporary spiritual literature.  Anita will speak on the power of forgiveness as a tool for coming to live each day from a place of divine love and living in the light.

So….I am looking forward to this.  It will provide a nice way for me to ease into this next stage of my life.  I feel happy and positive and eagerly look forward to it.

Meanwhile….back on the ranch….

Today, I will begin a new Deryn Mentock jewelry class.  This one is called BoHo Bliss.  It isn’t too late to register, if any of you are interested.  Just click THIS LINK to sign up.  Deryn makes very cool jewelry.  I love her style, and have managed to use her techniques to discover my own voice in the jewelry making realm.  Every single piece of jewelry I have made using Deryn’s techniques (adjusted to be my own) has sold almost immediately.  Her work is beautiful.  She is a beautiful soul, and her classes are fun.  She is a fantastic teacher.

1boho

So…for now, this is all.  It’s enough. Right?  🙂  I am off to finish up that paper….and to start my first lesson with Deryn.  (This is the third class I’ve taken from her.)  But first, it’s time to go for a puppy walk…..

Have a great day, everyone.