Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Here's to Spring and Renewal

Greetings, I guess it has been awhile since I last wrote, this month has just raced by for me. I enjoyed a week in Florida. First I just love to fly. It is so awesome to have a different point of view high above the craziness of our human existence. It is so amazing to be up in the clouds looking down. Guess I still kind of have that God image I was taught as a child, with God looking down at us from the clouds, so now I’m in the clouds , looking down, too. How cool is that. Anyway, that is my child wonder thing, which makes me love flying. It is one of our modern miracles that is pretty cool. It took days of travel to get here by car and in a few hours I can be back on the east coast by plane. The hard part about that was the time change, I never did really adjust.

The main reason for my trip was to go to a Unitarian Universalist Conference in Orlando titled “Heal the World and Heal Yourself”.  It was a very inspiring Social Justice Conference with a new and different point of view. Sometimes we need to take a fresh looking at the social issues we are passionate about to find better solutions. I guess what I am to really say to all of you is I hope you find social issues that you are passionate about and lead a hand. We are all in this together really, it is one world, and it does need our help. I will share some of the websites of the keynote speakers from the conference, you might like to check them out and see if they expand your point of view. Canadian author and activist in Vancouver, B.C., Bruce Alexander (not .com but .ca). David Cobb- Move to Amend and Sister Patric Siemen, author and Prof.for the Rights of Nature: Earth Jurisprudence,

After the conference I drove down to Sarasota and visited my friend, Mary. I had a nice visit with her and fun to see her new house.  One evening we went to Fiesta Keys Beach for the sunset drumming. It is a really fun thing to do, a large crowd gathers on the beach at sunset making a big open circle where some people drum and others dance in the center of the circle, there is an instant community celebrating the setting of the sun over the Gulf. The visit felt to short as visits often do.  Now I’m back enjoying the Pacific and our sunsets. We are having a cool spring while the mid west is still getting snow. So, with light jacket in hand I feel very lucky. 

Today is art with the children and out to lunch. Then next week we drive 500 miles down Baja to go whale watching.  Other news, I am enjoying my art. I have started painting on wooden canvas I bought at the art store is San Diego and keeping a sketchbook journal.  Funny I made my students kept a sketchbook journal, drawing in it everyday, but I haven’t in years. I was reminded about keeping a sketchbook journal in an art magazine I read on the plane and I thought what a good idea….and laughed at myself.  So, my “new” activities are not so new, but time to dust them off and try them out, again. So, here is to Spring and renewal!

Sun raise above the clouds

Sun set at Fiesta Keys Beach

Break time at the conference

Monday, February 4, 2013

Experiencing San Diego

Flight pattern over hotel

Friday we had pleasant drive and border crossing with dinner in the sidewalk cafe in San Diego’s  Little Italy. Yum. We had an excellent pizza, and enjoyed the people watching.  We had checked into a nearby hotel. So Alma could be at the airport at 5:00am Saturday morning.  San Diego Airport is right by downtown and the harbor which makes for fun walking adventures. The cruise ships also, dock there and there is an area known as Little Italy with abundance of Italian restaurants. After dinner we walked on down the street to a art gallery. There was a large portrait on the side of the building to advertise the show. I got a photo of that.  What I didn’t really get was the artist’s name. The whole show was images of the young women’s face overlaid with other images. It was both beautiful  as well as disturbing to see a face larger than life decorated, not like face paint or a mask, but with thematic and realistic images. In the artist statement she said her work was about her identity. She was South Korean and American. She was raised and educated in South Korea and now lived in the US. The subject of our identity is an interesting one to contemplate and is often the subject for creative self portraits.  It was fun to be out on a spring evening strolling a lovely part of San Diego. It certainly gave us a feeling of well being and privilege. I know this has become a common theme in my writing, the privilege I so took for granted being an American.  It is just such a contrast going from Baja to San Diego that I can’t help but feel it.

Art Exhibit we went to.

San Diego Harbor with Cruise Ship
Alma left at 4:30am and I enjoyed the leisure of no morning pet demands, so did some writing until dawn and then off to an early breakfast and another walked around Little Italy. It turned out to be a really fun morning. I started out taking photos on my way to the cafe I had spotted the night before. Then found there was a Saturday market. It was just coming to life as I got there. It opens at 8:00am So, I stroll through and chatted with people. Great fun that everyone spoke English…I forgot how much fun it is to just chat with strangers. I would have loved to buy a ton of produce to bring home, but not sure how well it would all travel across the border. I did buy a few things, a most unusual fruit called cherimoya, it’s Guatemalan name. I have since researched it and found out that it grows in tropical areas all over the world and goes by many names. The vendor has a heritage farm outside of San Diego where they grow many fruits. I had never seen cherimoya before. The vendor selling it said it sweet and tasty kind of like a banana. I figure you have to try something new every once in a while and decided I buy one.  It sure doesn’t look very yummy. See photo. I read that it is also, called custard apple, which is what the texture is like, custard. It was sweet and tasty. I’m glad I tried it. Next I met a recycle artist. She makes the most interesting little planters and things from plastic bottles and tooth paste tubes.  We had a nice chat. So, fun to be early at the market, people had finished set up, but not many costumers so you can have interesting conversations. Then it was down the street to the art store. What an array of things we can buy… is like being a kid in a candy store for me. I did get the few things I needed.  There was a customer in front of me at the cash register. He was buying a ton of paint supplies. So, it was a bit of a wait. I found out he was visiting from China and felt the same way about an art store, he was purchasing supplies to bring home to his students.  I didn’t ask, but wondered what will happen at customs. I think about things like that now days having to go through US and Mexican Customs so often.
Well, I am starting to feel like an artist….what fun! Life is good! Enjoy the photos and check out the ones I put on FB.
Chirimoya or Sugar Apple
Artist showing her recycled plastic bottles

Saturday Market