Thursday, February 28, 2013

Layla




Eric Clapton said today that he is going to tour until he’s 70 and then stop.  That is remarkable in so many ways, it shows that the road can call you for oh so long and then one day it just stops and you want to find peace and tranquility.  Something tells me though that the road will still call him even with his best intentions maybe not so far like Europe or Asia but maybe New York and California? 
Once you are a journeyman you are always a journeyman. It’s kind of like an itch you can’t stop scratching I would imagine.  You might really want to chuck it all and become an organic farmer but in the end perhaps there are some that are meant to be 9 to 5ers and some that are meant to be dreamers.

Clapton also personifies the man who has found his genre, the blues has allowed him to keep his career thriving and moving upward as the blues are so conducive to a beautiful aging voice.  It is far more forgiving than say Bon Jovi singing Living on a Prayer (and I love Bon Jovi by the way).  The older a voice gets the sexier it makes the blues.  Listen to Buddy Guy or John Lee Hooker or Albert King.  As they got older their voices aged and their guitar playing just got better and better, a great combination.

I’ve shared Layla which is my favorite Clapton song; I just love the slower bluesy version of it.  I hope he keeps singing it well into his 80’s and 90’s and I hope someday to be traveling somewhere and see him sing it live as I like to think I have a bit of a journey woman in me too.
 


Friday, February 22, 2013

Only Human

January 13, 2013 and February 22, 2013


Because I have outed myself as a hand embroidery artist and a writer I have been feeling quite down on myself lately because I have not figured out how to make a living doing what I love, berating myself for not working and writing my blog more.  For a while to me anyway it seemed I was more interested in the pie than anything else so much though I thought of changing my blog to a food blog. 

But when you move to a quiet little town in the middle of the winter you have to invent places to go to see people and what better way than eating, so a couple of weeks ago I decided to stop eating my way through Cambridge and start working.  That made it easier and also harder because than I had to produce something. 

I work so much better with music blaring in my eardrums but my inner critic wanted me to figure myself out so I sometimes labored and I do mean labored through my work thinking I was stuck so far in the mud I would never get out.  What can I say I’m a mere mortal wishing I were a super hero?  I went back to a social network to offer my opinions on world issues and I hand embroidered.

I sometimes forget how painstakingly slow hand embroidery can be as a medium but as you can see I’ve gotten a lot done in the last month.  It surprised me to see how much I have done on the piece (it is 18 x 11 after all) along with a hand embroidered wheel hand, a peacock , a tote bag and a handful of hearts for the church who welcomed me with a lovely gift basket for future gift bags. 

I’ve also been handling my issues, trying to make peace with myself and getting used to being a divorced woman living alone for the first time in her life.  And I’m happy to say that even though there are still issues, there still is a bit of chaos and I’m still not quite used to being alone I’m getting better and stronger every day.  I am a work in progress.  

Human is a song by the Human League here is a video.


 
Keep on stitching.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Feed the Children

I was on Beliefnet this morning and  in answering a post I realized that the issue of poverty really starts with the cycle of poverty we hear so much about.  It is said that nothing about poverty ever changes and in a way that is correct, because we as a society look at people who live in poverty as somehow less than and somehow they brought their own troubles upon themselves by not working and not being productive members of society.  It's garbage but still it's out there.

Many times it is because of a lack of education, a lack of nutrition, a lack of a good role model.  Adults can usually take care of themselves unless they have gotten tired of trying to figure out how and have given up.  Children however are not responsible for their parents sins.  But somehow if they live in a poverty stricken neighborhood they pay for it anyway.  All over the United States schools are cutting funding for the arts and sports, before school programs and after school programs.  Sometimes these programs are the only thing that keeps a child off the street, sometimes an ability and aptitude for music or baseball is the only way out of these neighborhoods.  And yet they are always the first to go.

In this new age time we live in, it is important to remember that we are all connected and that a child starving in Chicago is just as important as a child thriving on Long Island.  They are our future and they all deserve a chance.  That starving child could be the person who writes a book about starvation or finds a cure for cancer.  They may end up being the next Michael Jordan and inspire people to move their bodies and be healthier.  Or Picasso, or Mozart, or Jay Z.  With a good education and a meal they can be anything.

It's time for us to stop looking at taxes as a way to bludgeon politicians and time to request that our money be spent more wisely. Instead of bailing out wealthy banks too big to fail who continue to give their workers huge bonuses they don't deserve for a job well done, we should give the money to our school system and perhaps change the cycle of poverty for one child at a time. 

It's a simple, common sense approach that may make the need for social justice and poverty disappear, not completely but perhaps a little bit.  Teach the Children well and feed them well what a concept, parents have been doing it forever. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bluebird

Still on the Long and Winding Road, wanted a few bluebirds of happiness with me so I added them to the piece.  I've made a commitment to make this the main piece I'm working on since I seem to lose myself in it. I've also made a commitment to the blog to update it every so often even if I am still quite blocked.

The journey to a new life starts with a single step, at the moment all I can step onto is the Long and Winding Road which hopefully will lead me to where ever my dreams lie.  I'm a bit more unsure about my path than I was a few months ago.  I seem to be more obsessed with food and feeding people than I am about anything else(not sure if that is good or bad) but it is what it is.  By the way if you are up near Cambridge you must go to Bensons and have a piece of pie made from scratch or the 5 year old aged Gouda from the food coop on Main Street.  To die for.

I found this cool song by Buffalo Springfield called very appropriately Blackbird. Very long but quite cool.  Here's the video.  Have a great day

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Musician

Passion


Watching the Grammys last night I was struck by how much one has to give up to do something they love, nobody embodies that more than the musician who spends years on the road away from their families and their things and the people they love to provide us with music that soothes our soul and becomes the soundtrack we live our lives to.

 Even the overnight success doesn’t get there by picking up an instrument and playing, there are years of practice and growth and learning.  There are years of leaving their parents, their spouses and their children.  Some are lucky and they get to do it in luxury but for the most part it is a path filled with traveling across the country and the world dealing with drunken people at 2 in the morning.  It is the emptiness of coming home to an empty hotel room or giving into the all too available vices which probably add to the loneliness and heartache.  And yet they do it, day after day, year after year.  They love their music so much as to give up their very lives and their homes and become vagabonds only to entertain us.

It’s easy to watch the Grammys and see the beautiful Adele in a dress that maybe we wouldn’t have in our own closet and criticize her taste in dresses, but it is impossible to imagine the heartache and courage that goes behind putting that dress on, putting herself and her beautiful talents our there for the world to see.
Actors make movies and that is a difficult life filled with sacrifice also but only the musician lives with the words, the music, and the loneliness that comes from being successful.  They usually start out writing songs in their rooms, listening to music, strumming their guitars and trying to recreate it or create something fresh and innovative.  Then they have to have it produced and put out into the world and then comes the final indignity.   All over the world there are judges deciding whether that work is worth $11.99.  In these days there are so many ways to pirate music that even the meager sum the artist receives from each piece of art is smaller and smaller and it is harder and harder to keep their dreams alive.  But yet the musician from the violinist in the subway to the Grammy award winning artist does it day after day only to please us, the audience.

So the next time you decide whether it is worth it to spend $100.00 to buy a concert ticket or $11.99 to buy a CD think of all the blood, sweat and tears that go behind that artist and gladly spend it, I certainly will.  Congratulations to every artist who won yesterday and keeps making our soundtracks.  We appreciate it really we do.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Smokestack Lightning

A new tote for Valley Artisans Market


It’s been quite a week, opening myself up to life again that is.  I went to the love Art in the Public Eye event in Glens Falls on Thursday.  There was a band and good food provided by Samantha’s CafĂ© and beautiful, beautiful art.  I met a lovely mosaic artist who inspired me to get back to work, a lovely woman who is making a beginning making scarves and baby blankets which reminds me of my roots, and a lovely photographer who made me look at the ordinary in an extraordinary way.  A new beginning inspired by art, a call to remember the things I know I love and maybe open up to a few new ways to express myself.

Friday I went down to Albany to work the telephones at WAMC fund drive.  Public radio is really the only place where some can find those subjects and music that can’t be found anywhere else.  It was so much fun, the food was great and it felt wonderful to be doing something helpful for the arts.  I met some really great people and to be honest I didn’t really want to go but am super glad I did.

Last night I went to the Blues and Brews fund raiser for Hubbard Hall.  It was a blast; Smokestack Lightning was the highlight of the night.  It was originally done by Howlin Wolf and it was covered beautifully by the Roadside Blues Band.  The food was great(homemade chili and cornbread and a bean salad to die for),  a charming 70 year old Australian whose wife was back in Australia was my concert companion(a date without a date, a great first night out for a gun shy divorcee) and a cup of hot cocoa and  snowball to top the night off.   I don’t know if it was the music, the dancing, the people or the walk home alone at 10:30 feeling perfectly safe but for the first time since I moved to my new apartment it felt like home.  The whole week felt like home.    If you’d like to hear Smokestack Lightning here is a link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvUZhAZTdOk

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Just Embroidery

Some days all we can do is try.  I am trying some tote bags today.  This is the morning view, the afternoon view is a little bit better but not yet there yet so I'll share it when it's finished.

Sometimes in life we have to go back to our version of comfort food, hand embroidery and crackers and cheese are my comfort food of the moment.  Embroidering is still one of the only things that can get me out of my head and into the vortex(or that moment of illusive peace in which all the answers of the universe come clearly into view, I'm still waiting for that one).

I wish I could say I have an answer for what I want to be when I grow up(yes I am aware I am already a grown up) but I don't.  For the last 21 years I've been a mother and everything else in my life revolved around that one job.  Now I'm divorced, living by myself for the first time, contemplating a future filled with uncertainty and I can't even focus on embroidery my other love.  Should I get a crappy job just to get a crappy job?  No I don't think so.  Should I go back to school and study something useful?  Yes probably but what?  Should I just give into the muse and embroider?  That answer is easy yes, it would be good for a self proclaimed hand embroidery artist to embroider art but nagging doubts and uncertainty have clouded that too. 

But at this moment, in this lifetime a little peace sounds so inviting and hand embroidery is peace to me. So off to embroider and hopefully I will at least find a finished project and a little peace. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tying up Loose Ends

I finished both these pieces over the weekend, the top is a piece for the Valley Artisans Market wheels show and the second is lovely scarf which looks so much better in person.  I have to go take a photography class one of these days.

It seems I am tying up loose ends in my personal life too as my divorce is final and I have to make some decisions in my life.   I still don't really know which end is up but I've  decided to keep on working and hoping that the answers will come. I still haven't really figured out a way to make my dreams come true, but if I don't work towards them they never will.  I've taken some really solid steps in moving forward but no clear direction is taking hold which means I have to kind of leave this one up to God and just keep on taking some sort of action every day.I have to have faith that the answer and some peace of mind will come along sooner or later. 

I'm still in the process of letting go, when you live your entire life being taken care of and taking care of others you really leave yourself at a disadvantage.  I know what others want me to do and I know how to take care of others.  That I know, but how to best take care of myself not so much.  So this blog and my life will be under construction.  Hopefully I can make it interesting. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Working

This is an unframed peacock for an upcoming show. 

I am working again, pretty much every single day. I"m still having a bit of an issue writing but that seems to be getting a little better too.  At the moment I am working on a piece for the Valley Artisans Market Wheel Show and hope to finish that today.  I set a goal of yesterday and somehow fell a little short.  But goals are there for a reason so today is another day.

I'm trying to give myself a break, my beloved dog just died.  My marriage is over and I have to figure out the answers to many questions in my life.  Sometimes there are just too many questions so I've decided all I can do is work and write and hope for the best.  I'm looking for a job but I really have no idea what kind of job I wish to do other than being an artist and a writer(and an indian chief).  I want to go back to school but then again what for?  When you have been a mother for 21 years with a little retail on the side your life is not exactly brimming with possibilities, but you know what I'm still young enough and smart enough that I will eventually figure out the meaning of my life.

In the meantime I'll share whatever there is to share and I'll let life happen and maybe the answers will come to me while I'm busy doing the things that I love.  One thing I do know is life is too short to sit around worrying about tomorrow when today is at hand.  Have a great day.