Friday, September 30, 2011

87 Steps

87 steps
(that’s how far it was from my cottage to the beach)

i sit down
look out across the lake
what was a dark veil
breaks open
and the light sneaks out
i’m catapulted
in a raw crescendo
to the edge of being
and the brink of tears

 for life
for time
for humanity
for those who have walked before
and for those who have yet to walk
for this moment.....

 my soul feels full
ready to burst forth
into a cascade
of iridescent bubbles
or a blast of fireworks
words and emotions pour forth
bubbling up and
foaming over the brim

did you ever have an experience that feels defining?  like in a particular moment your life has been leading up to this point?  and like forever afterward things will refer back to that point?  and like in that moment everything is there.  nothing is lacking.  and your heart feels physically full.  like it might just burst.  and like you want to keep repeating that moment, but you know it’s impossible.  and then your heart aches because it’s beautiful and terrible all at the same time.  probably not doing justice here with words because there are none.  but just hoping maybe you can relate on some level....

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Creativity Unleashed!!

photo mosaic

i have lots to say about my recent trip to michigan….  and i’m going to start here.  my purpose was 3-fold:  i wanted to reconnect with family and friends, spend some quality time at lake michigan and get a good dose of the amazing experience that is artprize.  of the 3, i think artprize got a little shortchanged, but then it’s tough to fit everything in in just 5 short days!  with 1,582 entries (from 41 countries) in 164 different venues, i really felt i only touched on the very tip of the iceberg.

4 seasons

fooling around with my brother

 i did see enough to get a flavor for things, though, and to be thoroughly impressed with what i saw.  i wrote about artprize last year (2nd annual) here and it is growing.  over 400,000 visitors last year (including lots of kids and students!) …  it is a complete, massive whole-city adventure that is completely unique and is putting the city of grand rapids (where i grew up) on the map.  

giant praying mantis

whimsical paper mache piece

 as you walk around the city and into some of the venues, you cannot help but be impressed by the level of diversity and creativity.  (where do these people get their ideas???) some of the entries are gi-normous, even building-sized.

building mosaic

wall-sized "power of women" drip painting

 or took ridiculous amounts of time to produce…..

gorgeous, gigantic piece produced entirely with ballpoint pen

giant belt made of belts

 or are made of incredibly interesting materials.

like bb's

or toothpicks

or postage stamps 

or leaves


some of the pieces were interactive.....

and many of the artists were on hand to discuss their pieces

 all i can say is that i love artprize and hope that it will be around for a long, long time!!

grand rapids

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lake Michigan

it’s always been one of my favorite places and by the time you read this i should be there!  growing up, it was THE place to go.  to cut classes (hey, i only did that a few times!).  to go camping with the girls.  to troll for summer parties.  and best of all, to go for a romantic beach walk or bonfire with a hot date.

the dunes

dune rides

for years we made a pilgrimage of sorts all the way across the country in our motorhome.  after spending time with family, we took off for the northern lake towns.  petosky.  frankfort.  charlevoix.  so in love with these places (in the summer, of course!)

Little Sable Point Lighthouse

 now i usually make the trip by myself.    every time i visit my family and friends in michigan i figure i’ll be able to spend some time at the lake… but somehow it rarely happens.  so i decided to do things a little differently this year.  instead of moving from place to place and living out of a suitcase, i’m renting a little cottage on a bluff right above the lake!  that way folks can come out and visit me at “my place”.   i think it’s going to be a fun time!!

painting by my dad

p.s. not expecting much sunshine while i'm there, so my pics likely won't look like these!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Big Trees

I never tire of gaping up at the Big Trees,
Head tilted back, jaw dropping open
In a silent or audible “Wow”,
Eyes journeying up, up, higher up
The soldier-boy still, straight trunk
To where the gently swaying top
Lightly featherdusts the blue beyond.

These stately grandfathers seem
Genetically unrelated to
Their spindly younger relatives,
In a class by themselves,
Quiet gentle giants
Unfazed by generations of
The scurried comings and goings
Of awed admirers,
 In which club I claim for myself
Permanent membership.

For I hope I never lose the
Breathtaking thrill I experience
Each time I have the blessed opportunity
To raise my eyes heavenward
In pursuit of the top of a Big Tree

(Loeb State Park, OR and Redwoods National Park, CA 8/2011)