Archives for category: Photography

I woke up in a great mood this morning and lay in bed looking out of the window for an hour before finally getting up.

The image of a small row boat in the middle of the ocean appeared in my mind. A boat so small it is able to surf the waves, big and small, in ways a larger one could not. The world, with all of its relationships, jobs, worries, politics, borders, diseases, religions, love, hate, Beauty, confusion, laughter, joy, and sorrow are the waves, while I am the boat.

2017 has taught me to ride the waves and to find my own equilibrium; a lesson I know will continue to be useful in the years to come. It has been a good, strange, funny and bizarre year, has kept me on my toes, and repeatedly shown me that once I let go and trust, I will always be guided to the next right thing.

I ended the day watching a most spectacular sunset on Santa Monica Beach with my friend, and the surfers and the sailboats.

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Yesterday I had nothing to do. No errands, appointments, work, nothing. So, I packed a bag with water, a few weird protein and granola bars I had taken from craft service, Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird,” and, after putting the mix CD the director of my last show made for the whole crew in my car’s CD player, headed north on the 101.

Knowing the bars wouldn’t get me through the day, I stopped at my new favorite place, The Topanga Table in Topanga Canyon. I love this restaurant! Nestled just off the road, it smells like camping when you sit on the patio. I had the breakfast burrito but could have ordered anything on the menu and will be back for their biscuits and jam. Like, maybe today.

After lunch I continued south on Topanga until I dead ended at the Pacific Ocean/Pacific Coast Highway, where I turned right and headed north.

The CD was a mix of dark Americana and eventually I switched to my own combo of Cat Stevens, Bob Marley, and The Head and the Heart.

I drove until I hit a fog bank somewhere towards Ventura County and turned around to go to my second favorite place, Neptune’s Net.

Though not yet hungry for fish and chips, I parked and watched the surfers below, before driving back towards Zuma to walk its length as the sun set. The tide was out, making for an extra wide path.

I arrived home with sandy feet, sunburnt legs, and so much gratitude for my life, my day, the ocean, our planet, great food, birds, music, and that little voice inside of us that, if we listen, will remind us how to nourish and care for ourselves.
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As they do, this week went from “great” to “get me out of here” overnight.  And, so, I got out; out of my apartment, city, and head and into the desert and the awesome Desert X art show.  Desert X consists of 14 installation art pieces in the desert between Whitewater, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, all the way east to Coachella.  And, being the Thursday after the Coachella music festival, I avoided both traffic and crowds and had much of the area almost to myself, a small miracle anywhere in Southern California.

I left LA at 9 this morning and headed to the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs to pick up a map of Desert X. Arranged like a scavenger hunt, the maps give you the addresses, intersections or GPS coordinates of each installation but it’s up to you which you want to see and how you do it.  And, since getting in my car with good music, my camera, and the goal of finding something interesting and/or beautiful to look at is basically my favorite thing in the world, this hunt was a dream.

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After leaving the Ace, I headed for the Palm Springs Art Museum and Jeffrey Gibson’s tall piece in the Sculpture Garden. It was underwhelming and I quickly left for Rancho Mirage and Sunnyland. Little did I know that Sunnyland is a famed retreat for Presidents and other important people and is where former President Obama presented the Chinese President with a carved redwood bench in 2013 (I sat on it).

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There, I saw Lita Albuquerque’s (nice last name Burqueños!) piece titled Earth.

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From Sunnyland I headed to Palm Desert and Claudia Comte’s Curves and Zigzags. It hurt my eyes to look at from afar, strobing and giving me a bit of vertigo, but in a good way!

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But, the highlight of the day turned out to be Doug Aitken’s Mirage. Located on a hill in Palm Springs, in a residential subdivision where, judging by the no parking signs, the neighbors didn’t seem happy about the crowds flooding into their neighborhood. Models, hipsters, and fellow Instagramers were just beginning to descend, but I got there fifteen minutes before their 3:30 opening time and was able to avoid some of the masses. It was the coolest. A house made completely out of mirrors, inside and out, reflecting all.

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Sometimes all it takes is a good scavenger art hunt, or day trip, to both get you out of your head and to get your own creative juices flowing once again.

Back in LA now and all is good.

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When the fabric of society begins to unravel, it will be the artists, poets, thinkers, and dreamers who sew those strips into some new, as of yet unimagined, patchwork quilt. It’s happening now. Creativity and Resistance are becoming, or maybe always have been, intrinsically linked and will only become more so moving forward. 

More to come soon…

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I am writing once again from a cruising altitude of 30,000+ feet, on my way back to LA from Washington D.C.  How to sum up the electric energy of the past weekend? Well… it felt truly amazing and inspiring, creative and cooperative, loving and inclusive. I feel incredibly blessed to have been a part of the Women’s March on January 21st and to have seen our nation’s capital at its most capitally by arriving the night before the Inaguration. 

Exiting the deserted Metro on January 20th, just after noon, we were greeted by an onslaught of red hats. But, the sea dissipated quickly and the National Mall was actually quite empty. 

The next morning was anything but. 


Thinking we had given ourselves plenty of time by starting for the Metro at 8:30, hoards of men, women, and children were already packed into full cars and stations. As we rose to ground level, a sea of pink hats stretched as far as we could see. 

And so began nine hours of camaraderie, sharing, walking, not drinking water so we wouldn’t have to use the nonexistent bathrooms, people watching, and marching. 

Tiny hands, tiny feet, all you do is tweet, tweet, tweet. 


So, now what? 

Back home, how do we turn enthusiasm into sustained action, rather than curling up in a ball as everything we love about this country is dismantled before our eyes? 

Make it fun, somehow. Four years is a long time and if resisting starts to feel like drudgery, it won’t sustain. Find a community, create beauty and use humor, take breaks, and use the slow and steady approach. The signs at the women’s march were amazing, clever, and funny. Hundreds of thousands of people sat at their kitchen tables in the days leading up to the march with glue, markers, and paper and created signs which are now being sent to museums around the world. Many thousands of others sat in yarn shops knitting pink pussy hats. Use your hands to ground you. 

Resist, resist, resist. 

I stand with healthcare for all, reproductive rights, LGBT equality, Black Lives Matter, immigrants of all faiths and nationalities, Earth, science, art, children, Standing Rock, the rogue national park’s service, beauty, love, creativity, The National Endowment for the Arts, journalists, generosity, intellect, curiosity, joy, fun, NPR and PBS, books, the world, and love. It will always trump fear. Even if it doesn’t look like it at the moment. 

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If only I could convey with words the smell of piñon smoke, sound of geese flying overhead, and cold kiss of snowflakes on cheeks.  The softness of wet earth under muddy boots and bright, red willows. Winter in Northern New Mexico. 

Sunrise

By Mary Oliver

You can

die for it–

an idea,

or the world. People
have done so,

brilliantly,

letting

their small bodies be bound
to the stake,

creating

an unforgettable

fury of light. But
this morning,

climbing the familiar hills

in the familiar

fabric of dawn, I thought
of China,

and India

and Europe, and I thought

how the sun
blazes

for everyone just

so joyfully

as it rises
under the lashes

of my own eyes, and I thought

I am so many!

What is my name?
What is the name

of the deep breath I would take

over and over

for all of us? Call it
whatever you want, it is

happiness, it is another one

of the ways to enter

fire.


Happy Winter Solstice!

 

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Election Day 2016