Who do I think I am?

I saw the fantastic and inspiring documnetary called Who Does She Think She Is? at the MAG. WOW! I really liked that the event also included childcare. It is hard to be a mom and an artist, and certainly a wife.

When I was a little girl, when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up — I would always answer a singer and and artist. When I was a little older, maybe 8 or so, I got a camera. I just took snapshots, and eventually portraits of my dolls. At some point my ideas changed and I thought it would be cool to be a chemist or something — but I was not cut out for chemistry, judging by my grades.

Singing was another option. I loved singing since I was little rocking out to the songs on the ’70s in my mom’s car. As a teen I joined chorus and briefly did some song writing and perfroming with my friends. We had big dreams, but as I try to tell my stepdaughter, it doesn’t always work out the way you planned. So you make alternative plans. I was in photo classes in high school and learned how to use video equiptment on our in-house TV game show Beep Buzz.

Although I still enjoy music, I mostly sing in the car. My passions did change to photography (and other artisctic mediums after college) and television. For many years I had a great spurt of energy for photography. All before having a cool TV job (and using my creative drive there) and having kids in my life.

I can’t really blame the kids, though. Yeah, they take up your time and much energy but their innocense as children is incredibly inspiring. I do blame my job and the fact that working on the web and using my creativity THAT way is what has drained me of my personal creativity. I give it to my company. And I also blame my body. It isn’t what it used to be. It’s old, broken, and weak. Possibly sick as well. And just ordinary life. We have so much to do today. Everyday. Grocery shopping, doctor appointments, etc… well you know what I mean.

So for now I will just write when I’m inspired and show you my older photos until I can get around to doing something else.

Duran Duran and the Art of Spirituality

When I was a teen in the 1980s, I was madly in love with every member of the band, Duran Duran. I idolized them and idealized them. I wanted to BE them. My friends and I even tried to do the band thing, we just couldn’t commit. Frankly, I couldn’t play an instrument. I could write, however.

I would spend most of my days from age 13 to 16 writing songs emulating their style as well as many others of the time. I truly became a sort of scholar when it came to Duran Duran and the lyrics written mostly by the lead singer Simon Le Bon. In the late 70s, early 80s, Simon really used words to paint a picture and create an atmosphere. They weren’t “Oh I love you baby, oh yeah” type things. It was more poetic, more shimmery in my mind. I’ve never experienced songs like that before. So I bought TONS of songbooks to read every word the man wrote. I couldn’t figure out what half of it was about.

After a while, I realized that it just didn’t matter.  I took words and made my own “landscapes”. I wrote odd “poems” or stories that were one paragraph long. I  wanted to see what kinds of words I could use in a song. I experimented. I challenged myself with this art. (I still have a notebook with my writings in it. I gave it to my stepdaughter, as she is now a teen writing her own songs.)

In a way, I guess some of that word-smithing opened my eyes to many things in the world. I grew up in the country with not much for Art or Culture. I wanted to get out of there so badly so I could see what the world was like. One of the notes from Sing Blue Silver that Simon wrote that sticks in me was about Kundalini and the union of snake. Yep, that song. Years later, when I started Kundalini Yoga, I knew exactly what the guru was talking about! I’d know this for decades! When I find that notebook, perhaps I’ll post something to give an example of what I wrote.

I just ran across two posts about Simon just today, which inspired today’s post.

The first was for a song he is singing on called: Simple Joys by Beautiful Small Machines (How cool is that?!)

The second is an awesome reading by Simon of his chapter from a book called The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas

I had no idea that long ago that a pop band could be such an inspiration to me even after I grew up.

Meditation Walk

I went to a very peaceful and informative meditation retreat at the Unitarian Universalist church today. The  2 ladies were very sweet, and had perfect voices for meditation! They seemed so at peace when they talked about the Buddhist teachings. I thought I was out of my element, at first, but slowly they opened up and we found out that they are also still fighting their thoughts just like everyone else. I’d never had women teachers for this type of practice before.

One of the meditation styles they showed us was a walking mediation. I’m somewhat familiar with walking in silence from an all day retreat at the Zen Center. This was different. They asked us to walk around in silence for 10 minutes. We could walk in the room, out in the church or, as I did, out in the church garden.

What a lovely day! I admit it was hard not to think surrounded by the huge trees and still green foliage underneath. I decided that one of my next photographic projects was to come back and find some of those simple joys I’d seen on my walk. Hopefully, I can keep that little promise I made myself – and the garden.