I did a three day workshop with Elizabeth Bunsen last week. This is one of the prints I made with indigo and rust. I wanted to take my print and add the prairie influences that are speaking to me right now. I used my photographs and one of my leather pendants in one of the circular spaces on the print. I’m not sure which image I like best. They seem like very different art forms now.
If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Last Wednesday morning I went for a walk in a park in Burlington, Vermont near my home called Red Rocks. It isn’t too far from the hustle of the city but at a certain part of my walk I could hear nothing. No other walkers, no dogs barking, no traffic sounds. Nothing. I was so content walking beneath the remarkable snow laden trees. Out of the corner of my eye, about 50 feet off the path I first saw snow falling and then I witnessed two trees facing each other release their snow and snap back into place.
It was spectacular.
The quality of the sound made it feel like I was the only person on earth.
That experience reminded me of another quiet moment in my life that I will also never forget. I like to cut branches and force blossoms to have something alive in the house during the dark days of winter. When my son, Ellis was about two he and I were in our kitchen and he suddenly started wildly pointed toward the windowsill. He was so excited about what he was witnessing. I turned to see what he was pointing to and a Magnolia blossom was opening up before our eyes. It was truly a moment to be treasured.
The road photo was taken on I10 between Phoenix and Palm Springs on a trip for my son’s 15th birthday.
This bust of Elvis, a gift from my friend, Funky Frank serves as a talisman of sorts in my studio.
I woke up thinking about the joys of hitting the road. I started looking through my photos and these two jumped out at me. Somehow the bust of Elvis serving as some sort of talisman on a journey seemed really funny to me. You know on long trips how themes emerge when you’re traveling alone or with others and that one thing becomes the guiding principle of the trip? Well, three years ago a remarkable thing happened on a trip with my son.
On that 15th birthday trip there was a street fair in Palm Springs and one of the opportunities was to “Ask a Rabbi” so we did. I asked, “Rabbi, my son is turning 15 tomorrow what advice would you give him?” His answer: “Use your intellect to make your choices and your heart to give them depth.” WHAT BETTER ADVICE COULD EVER BE OFFERED TO ANYONE? I’ve come to think that “follow your heart” is bullshit. This is much better advice. A discussion about this comment became the guiding principle for our trip back to Phoenix. I let my intellect decide that my son who did not yet have his driver’s permit should get to drive through Joshua Tree National Park and let my heart beating rapidly as he approached some curves too fast give that experience some depth. Thank you Palm Springs Street Fair Rabbi.