While cleaning my desk today…

I found this Main Street photo of my hometown in Burke, South Dakota. I wanted to create a parallel universe of sorts, playing with the way our memories fade and shift.

This photo was taken way before my time. However, because of family stories and photographs, it’s somehow familiar to me…even with a vintage wallpaper sky and a black and white tiled road. I didn’t get too far in my cleaning and sorting project. Oh well, the mess will still be there tomorrow.

TED in New Orleans

November 1st-3rd I had the privilege of attending the TEDwomen’s conference in New Orleans.  I have yet to distill the stories I heard into something easily shareable.  I will eventually though.  However, after the conference ended Friday at noon, and I had lunch with new friends, I had to shift hotels and…

when I walked into the Catahoula Hotel I was so instantly smitten.

This courtyard space at the Catahoula will be where I go in my head when I get dental work done or just want to escape.  It so spoke to me.  My room was really funky.  The staff was great.  There was a rooftop deck and bar.  The coffee was delicious.

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When I woke up the morning after the conference something funny happened.  If you listen to TED talks, which I highly recommend you do, you will get this.

I woke up speaking TED. 

My first thoughts when I woke up were, “Twenty-eight years ago, I was searching for something I did not understand and landed in the hippie hills of Vermont.  How could I, a small town girl from conservative, southern South Dakota believe that the lefty enclave of Burlington, Vermont would be where I would find my husband, my tribe and myself.  How could I…”

And it just kept going on like this.  I couldn’t stop thinking in TED speak.  I cracked myself up.  After hearing those remarkable stories for three days, one right after another, the cadence of the talks became a part of me.  I don’t speak TED anymore—just in case you were wondering.

There are some links below to TED talks.  You can find something to spark you on any subject in the universe—oh, and also the link to the hotel if you are planning a trip to New Orleans.

http://www.catahoulahotel.com/

2600 talks to stir your curiosity: TED talks

Sometimes I need to think…

much smaller.

My thoughts are way too macro right now.

Today, I’m choosing to go micro in my thinking.

I believe my brain will thank me for the respite…even if it’s fleeting.

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I added red.

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I’m ready for a new wall to work on.  That was fun.

“unhinged”

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I know I am posting a lot about this show, but it feels like such a departure for me and I’m really proud of the work.  If it’s too much for you, I get it.  No hard feelings. Have a good Saturday!

Lisa sig

using some stuff i found around the studio today.

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Thank you Jim Jarmusch. What a world you created.

My husband and I watched an amazing film yesterday.

Jim Jarmusch’s 2013 Film “Only Lovers Left Alive”

I am not usually a big vampire fan, however, Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, John Hurt, Mia Wasikowska are truly a few of the coolest vampires ever on screen. 

I loved this movie on so many levels—storytelling, acting, set design (made me swoon), soundtrack, travel (Detroit and Tangiers primarily), fashion and emotion.  Just amazing.  I grabbed a few photos from IMDB to give you a sense of the film.  I also included a few of my own images that show why this film spoke to me so much.  Here’s to inspiration…wherever it comes from.

SOUNDTRACK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdAjo0_EQkk

TRAILER: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1714915/ tangier-morocco-in-only-lovers-left-alive

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Abandoned Farmhouse Hunting in South Dakota

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I was in South Dakota for my 30 year high school reunion this summer. My Mom and I took an afternoon and went old farmhouse hunting. I did this years ago when my twins were taking a nap in the pickup and found some extraordinary places. To me there is a certain beauty in the textures and decay, but to my mother who was a farm girl there is a real sadness in seeing these places. She could see what I could see and since I grew up kicking around the farmhouses of her youth I could see the sadness as well. My Dad assured me that with a few phones calls before I come home next time that friends of his could arrange some other tours. I hope you can see both the beauty and sorrow in these photos.

All roads lead to home/SELF

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teepee farmhouse lillibridge dakota 1966

The circular pattern of the teepee is meant to represent a mother figure. It means being balanced in the four parts that are found in the four directions of the Medicine Wheel. These four parts for humans are the spiritual, physical, emotional and mental aspects of self. I was really struck by a sculpture that represented to teepee near Lake Francis on the Missouri River when I was home for my 30 year high school reunion. I’ve learned a lot more about American Indian traditions since I left home 25 years ago. I simply wasn’t as interested or able to see the beauty in the symbols until I had some distance. Now, as a partner and mother the symbolism makes so much more sense and I want to know more.

The fire is in the center of the Medicine Wheel. That is where the meaning of the teachings comes from. This fire is about self. When you look at the Medicine Wheel, you start from self. And as you look out, you make your circle. What we do in between is our own journey. This was pretty cool to be reminded of as I saw classmates and other people I hadn’t seen for years.

I chose to layer the teepee image onto the photo from an abandoned farmhouse my Mom and I walked through Monday. When I saw these images together, they really resonated with me as an image of home, change, leaving, returning, family of origin and desire to understand self in this complicated world. It was an interesting weekend in a small town in southern South Dakota indeed.

Liz Alpert Fay

Liz Alpert Fay

http://lizalpertfay.com/PSkirtSweaterCombo.html
http://lizalpertfay.com/PAnnualRings4.html
http://lizalpertfay.com/PBurningBush.html
A few of the pieces that I couldn’t stop viewing.

Liz is the niece of a friend. Ellen sent me the link to Liz’s site yesterday and I thought about how utterly remarkable our connectivity is with the world-wide web. When I thought about how I became the recipient of this link, I had to pause a little and think about the path it traveled.

1. Life’s great stories are about taking action when you meet someone you connect with and seeing what happens.
2. I never would have seen the site if I hadn’t pursued Ellen and continued a dialogue after we met.
3. Liz seems like a remarkably interesting, grounded and purposeful artist. Inspiring.
4. WOW, this work is staggeringly lovely and complex and more people should see it and I want to share the link.

Today I am going to think about the pathways that information travels TO and FROM me. Here’s to connectivity both real and virtual!