Sunday, May 31, 2009

Watching the Dance---Life as Improv

Life just happens, whether we step up to direct it or just improvise minute by minute. Have you heard about Improv Everywhere? Based in New York City, this group of out-of-the-box comedians creates scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Begun in August of 2001 as the brainchild of Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 80 missions involving thousands of undercover agents/actors. Several of their spectaculars are circulating the globe on the Internet and inspired similar groups in major cities worldwide.

On April Fool's Day this year, they staged The Best Funeral Ever, fooling thousands of people into thinking that Todd had lost his judgment and done something horrible. Take a look at the video and judge for yourself. Everyone in the video is an actor. There was no funeral and no family. 30 Improv Everywhere agents found a random funeral in the obituary section of the newspaper for a man who had very few surviving relatives. Then they showed up to his funeral to send the man to his maker in awesome style instead of lonely anonymity that often is the fate of the elderly. I can't help but believe that the old man would have been delighted. Check it out. Life as improv. Death as improv. Incredible!

Visit their site when you need a lift. They've orchestrated a Cellphone Symphony, a Human Mirror and a No Pants Subway Ride to name some of my favorites. Go to: It beats most of the drivel that floods our email boxes.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Eyes Have It

If you want to know how the person in front of you really feels about you, take a good look at what happens with the pupil of her/his eyes. The eyes are the mirror of the soul. Take care of your eyes with gentleness. Here are some famous quotes about eyes… enjoy!

"There is a road from the eye to heart that does not go through the intellect." G. K. Chesterton

"The eyes are not responsible when the mind does the seeing." Publilius Syrus "The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"No eyes that have seen beauty ever lose their sight." Jean Toomer "Weak eyes are fondest of glittering objects." Thomas Carlyle

"The eyes have one language everywhere." George Herbert "The eye is the jewel of the body." Henry David Thoreau

"The eye sees a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination awake." Leonardo da Vinci

"He had but one eye and the pocket of prejudice runs in favor of two." Charles Dickens "A wanton eye is a messenger of an unchaste heart." Saint Aurelius Augustine

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." Henri Bergson

And finally, from Groucho Marx ,the man whose bushy, gesturing eyebrows are as famous as his comedy, "Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What's all this about Pluto?

First off, I am not and astrologer. However, I'm hearing a lot of buzz going around about the planetary energy of Pluto entering our lives and what to expect as that plays out. From what I am hearing, it is not a pretty picture.

"Big changes," said one friend. Just look at what's happened to the banks!"

Curious about all of this, I found a piece on the Internet that tells me, "Pluto’s transformative power comes as a release of the old in order to survive. It often forces us to surrender that which we have most valued. And, Pluto doesn’t take “NO” for an answer. Pluto is working to transform and evolve us, not just personally, but collectively; and, because of the long periods of its transit, it works slowly and thoroughly."

I just made a card about the Black Madonna, another "big energy" player. I think I need to learn more about these two forces. It looks like change is in the wind, and forewarned is forearmed. Time to "get down and dirty" if the real transformation is going to happen.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Being Peace...

Hmmph! It looks to be so easy, this "inner peace" thing. Some of my friends seem to find it easy to slip into peaceful meditation. I hear it's about practice. Practice?

For now, creating these collages creates a kind of peaceful, focused energy in me as I carefully choose my images, try them out on my computer canvas, arrange and manipulate them to achieve the desired effect.

Linus seems to have the concept. I think it may come naturally to him. Purrr-r-r-rrrr.

Ah! Peace. Om-m-m--mmmmm.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Gifts of the Black Madonna

The Black Madonna calls us to our depths, to living spiritually and radically on this planet and not superficially and unthinkingly and oblivious to the grace that has begotten us in so many ways.

The Black Madonna also calls us to Grieve. She is the sorrowful mother, the mother who weeps tears for the suffering in the universe, the suffering in the world, the brokenness of our very vulnerable hearts. She embraces us like a tender mother, for compassion is her special gift to the world. She invites us to enter into our grief and name it and be there to learn what suffering has to teach us. Creativity cannot happen, birthing cannot happen, unless the grieving heart is paid attention to. Only by passing through grief can creativity burst forth anew. Grieving is an emptying, it is making the womb open again for new birth to happen.

The Black Madonna also calls us to Celebrate and to Dance. While she weeps tears for the world, as the sorrowful mother, she does not wallow in her grief, or stay there forever. Rather, she is a joyful mother, a mother happy to have being and to have shared it with so many other creatures. She expects joy in return. Celebration of life and its pleasures lie at the core of her reason for being. She expects us to take joy in her many pleasures, joy in her fruits. Sophia or Wisdom in the Scriptures sings to this element of pleasure and eros, deep and passionate love of life and all its gifts.