This awe-inspiring video made my day. I was mesmerized by the slo-mo rain of fire and hypnotic music. What a universe we live in!
Beyond the inescapable awe of contemplating such a life-giving solar furnace in action, and it’s profound beauty, I see a visualization of the creative spirit. There is something inside us, something powerful, seething, churning and growing, that eventually has to burst forth.
This engine of spirit, this passion to create burns within all of us, and emerges when we flow with spirit and create from the heart. How awesome is that? You are made of star stuff. You are magic.
My dad Peter Henkel (1929-2001) was always a trickster: a rebellious kid, a young man with a reckless streak. A real romantic, he fell in love with my mother the moment they met. They both loved the whole ‘Roaring Twenties’ era and so when I was about three bought a 1930 Chris Craft speedboat to restore. That boat became an obsession, a family treasure and finally a business when we moved to Harsens Island and bought a marina. A lively community of classic boats grew up around my dad. He was instrumental in the antique runabout revival, restoring, showing, selling and building replicas of classic speedboats.
Boats Gone By is a song written by two friends (music by Lynn Hollyfield, lyric by Carol Burbank) For a few years I kept a boat here on the Potomac River, one of his replicas. The sound, the vibration, the smell of varnish and motor oil, the throaty sound of a big marine engine: whenever I was in that boat I felt him there with me. When the time came to sell the boat I felt another wave of grief.
the river tends the memory of every ship that sailed the ones that skimmed the surface and the ones that failed. your father’s and his father’s and your brother’s and your hands are rippled with the trails of boats gone by long gone by
It makes me cry every time. In that beautiful way, where I glimpse how deep my heart might be. The line about my hands, the lines in my skin like the moving waves, is just so poignant and profound. My hands and feet look like my mother’s, my father’s. Ripples through time.
Thank you, Dad, for the incredible gifts you gave me: my senses of adventure and direction, my logical mind, my twisted sense of humor, even my thinning hair!
Have you ever been re-united with a piece of music, after such a long time that it makes you feeeel things?
Wednesday night I went to hear two musical heros (both Canadian!) at Wolf Trap, the splendid outdoor performance venue in Virginia. We sprawled under a clear blue sky (while it poured down rain at home!)
k.d.lang and Jane Siberry played to an enthusiastic crowd of fans. We had lawn tickets, so sprawled out and wined and dined as the shadows grew long.
k.d. will always have a place in my heart. Her disc Ingenue kept me going during the last weeks of my mothers life, and the first months without her. “Constant Craving” revived my longing for life in that darkening October. When all went gray and cold her voice stirred something wild and deep in my blood. She called me back to life.
Maybe a great magnet pulls all souls toward truth or maybe it is life itself gives wisdom to its youth Constant craving, has always been, has always been.
I loved watching her cavort with her band and flirt with the front row fangirls. She can croon, she can belt it out, and man can she hold a note! The rockin’ version of Craving was worth the price of admission, I was dancing on the grass.
Jane’s music takes me back even further. I can’t remember remember how I found her, through my ex, maybe, or on WICB Ithaca College radio, but I had Speckless Sky on vinyl, and over the years as I’ve purged the record collection, hoping to get them digitized, I’v ehung onto that one, seeing as it was never on iTunes or CD as far as I could tell. Now, you can download Jane’s early works for free, or make a love offering if you like.
I want to write something down I want to sing a song or paint something lie down and fade away or get up and get away
Play One More Colour
Something about her wandering, peculiar songs touches the right nerve. I remember The Taxi Ride just completely broke me when I’d listen to it.
Did you call me? It’s only the trees outside flailing. It’s only the sirens that are wailing.
Jane played a very short set and we were disappointed, because she was wonderfully quirky and elegant and sweet, wearing a beautiful gown. But she came back in mid-show to duet with k.d. on Calling All Angels. That song, that song.
Everyday I gaze upon the sunset with such love, and intensity Its almost as if you could finally crack the code and finally understand what this all means
Play Calling All Angels
My dear, dear friend Grace recorded this song on her album My Life, at a time when her brother was was dying from Parkinson’s, a disease she shares with him. This is music that cracks open your heart and heals you.
I want to introduce you to one of my clients, someone who’s passion, faith and creativity is dedicated to the children of Metropolitan DC.
Reverend Delores Roberts is the founder and director of Zoe Life Ministries, a non-profit organization devoted to improving the lives and education of disadvantaged kids. Starting in her home community of Capitol Heights, MD, Rev. Roberts has created literacy and arts programs for kids of all ages. Her tireless commitment to her work is inspiring, and her creativity is evident in everything she does.
Reverend Delores is a people-person. She works with kids of all ages and does it from the heart, every moment. A recent post on her blog describes meeting an angel at Staples! The Reverend inspires her kids to read, write, draw, dance and sing, and it’s been very inspiring for me to watch her work her special magic.
But learning to edit a web site and publish her own blog was really challenging to her at first. I am so proud of her persistance and accomplishment on the revitalized Zoe Life Ministries website we set up together.
Now Rev. Delores keeps a blog about her projects and community events, as well as encouraging discussion of the issues that challenge our children every day.
This Friday, Zoe Life Ministries is celebrating ten years of inspiring programs that lift up “the least, the last and the lost.” The Tenth Anniversary Fundraising Gala and Zoe Awards promises to be another special event with special performances by Zoe Kids, Awards honoring members who have brought life to the community, a delicious feast and more.
I’d like to invite you to come along and support this amazing organization. I know schedules are full and budgets are tight, but I would for you to be there, or at least make a donation to Rev. Delores’ work.
Here’s how you can join the celebration:
Tickets for the Gala are $50 for adults and $20 for children under 12. Tax deductible donations of any size are welcome. Call Zoe Life Ministries at 301/350-0688, email email@example.com, and/or send a donation to 910-Applewood St, Capitol Hgts,MD 20743.
Friday morning I was groggily opening the Washington Post Weekend section and flipping though the music articles. I noticed a story about a Baltimore band I’ve recently been listening to, Lower Dens.
I was intrigued by the tale of a woman who had pursued her art as a folk singer-songwriter and come to realize it wasn’t working, and she needed to let it go. As someone who has struggled , given up, launched again, been bitterly disappointed, given up, then launched again so many times in my art-life, I really felt for her. It’s a painful place to be.
But read on: Jana Hunter left her folkie touring behind, yet still tinkered with music. After a few experimental collaborations she formed Lower Dens. Hunter says:
“It was the first time that I had a band of my own, and [I] discovered that after putting some work into the beat writing, that I really enjoyed playing music, whereas before I had not ever enjoyed touring at all,” says the Texas-born Hunter, 32. “And, yeah, these guys, we work well together. . . . I decided that I would like to write more songs if they’d be willing to continue playing with me.”
I’m noticing that Hunter went from a solo career to a collaborative one. As an introvert who has often been confounded by how much solitude is too much, I’m having a bit of renaissance in this area myself. Imagine a team of creatives with a similar passion for certain goals, who’s skills complement each others’, working toward something bigger and more impactful that anything I could create alone. I had a job interview this week, the first in many years, if ever, where such a team felt possible.
But the very best treat of this significant article for me is Jana Hunter’s final quote:
It’s all about being “shamelessly self-confident,” Hunter says, “just kind of looking into the art of your existence and accepting that in order to really contribute anything to this world you have to believe you are entitled to that responsibility.”
I’ve known for years that I needed more self-confidence. But how to get it? People and books have glib advice, but I’ve never found much traction in years of effort. But something about this statement, where she conflates confidence and creativity, existence and contribution, entitlement and responsibility, seems to wrap the mystery together in a way that I am getting it.
I AM a creative, and I want to give. It’s essential to my existence that I continue to create whether it pays me or not. We artists ARE entitled, we’ve been given certain gifts. That gives us a responsibility to move into the world with our art. In order to sustain ourselves, we have to feed the spirit that keeps us moving. We have to have confidence to act despite the lack of validation, signposts, or paychecks.