Finding the Space

Today . . . looks to be a hard day.  After a rough week.  (My heart aches that we can't - at this stage of history - come up with solutions that make life better for ALL of us; that we can't listen and hear; that it always has to be a power grab.  That we can't seem to ever get it right.)  (And I'm done now.)

So.

I thought we could all do with . . . something beyond ourselves.  Something lovely.  And meaningful.  And purposeful.  To lighten our load -- and to find the space in our souls . . . to maybe relax for a moment.  And breathe.

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This art installation piece is called Intersections, by artist Anila Quayyum Agha.  It was the grand prize winner in both the juried and public vote categories back in Art Prize 2014.  I didn't see it then -- because the lines to see it were just too long at the time.  I always regretted it, because I kept hearing how powerful it was -- how peace-filled and magical.

I was thrilled to discover that it is back on exhibit in Grand Rapids (at the Grand Rapids Art Museum) right now -- during Art Prize 2018.  (It is not part of Art Prize.  It is simply on exhibit at the same time.)

Tom and I popped in to see it when we were in town on Tuesday . . . and - unbelievably - we were the only people in the space at that moment!

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It was such a treat . . . to be able to experience Intersections . . . privately.  Absolutely on our own.  Which made it even more amazing than it already is!

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On this heart-wrenching day . . . after a heart-breaking week . . . may you find some space, some magic, some peace . . . within yourself.

Intersections, indeed.

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If you click in to the link above (about the exhibit in Grand Rapids), you'll be able to learn more about the piece itself.  There are a few video links as well.  But to really get a feel for the story behind the piece, watch this video:

Anila Quayyum Agha: Intersections from Walley Films on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Catching Up . . . In Three Photos

We had a perfect California get-away last week.  It was ideal, really -- a quick trip with only one objective:  spend time with Erin and Keith.  No side trips.  No schedule.  No expectations.  We loved it!

Erin gave us a personal, guided tour of the LinkedIn campus when we arrived.  I have visited LinkedIn before (back when Erin was an intern), but Tom hadn't been there yet.  It's very cool to see where your kid works . . . and it's super interesting to see one of these tech companies from the inside!

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We had a lot of fun just hanging out . . . sampling California beer (so many great ones to choose from!) and eating what turned out to be a lot of amazing gourmet hamburgers.  Erin and Keith introduced us to Mochi ice cream.  (I'll just say . . . some flavors are better than others, but the texture takes some getting used to.)  And we also visited Psycho Donuts -- Silicon Valley's "gourmet donut asylum."  Great fun.

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We played a lot of games.  Erin and Keith love games and puzzles of all kinds -- everything from sophisticated video games to Uno around the dinner table -- and we were happy to play along with them.  They introduced us to a couple of new board games, we went mini golfing.  We even did an escape room, which was WAY fun.  (Basically, it was like a real-life video game where walls move and things happen when you solve the puzzles.  Very exciting!  Highly recommended for family fun.)

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We had a fabulous time.  It was so nice to just relax for a few days with Erin and Keith.  I'm so happy that Erin has a job she loves, and has settled so well into her new life with Keith in California.  
(It's just . . . so far away.  Y'know?)  
(But a great place to visit.  So there is that.)

And here's a bonus photo (because this one just kind of sums up the whole trip) . . .

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Head over to Carole's to read more Three on Thursday posts today!

 

 


Unraveled: Art Prize Edition

Tom and I spent a lovely afternoon wandering through several Art Prize venues in Grand Rapids.  (To read more about Art Prize, click here.)  As always, there were lots of very cool pieces to see . . . and a few that I thought would be perfect to highlight here on an Unraveled Wednesday.

First, there is this piece. . .

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Cacerolazo by Saskia Jorda (click the link to learn more about this powerful piece).

Red yarn.  Spilling out of pots and pans . . . and terribly hard to photograph.  (Here's another try of the red yarn with a filter.)

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This powerful piece is in the running for the public vote top prize in the installation category. 

Next, an amazing quilt. . .

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Pacific Quilt by Sarah FitzSimons (click the link to learn more).

This quilt is HUGE . . . and displayed on the floor -- which made it difficult to really see and appreciate all the detailed hand stitching involved.  (The colors represent the ocean topography, and the stitching represents the currents.)  Apparently, the artist intends it to be used as bedding!  (Personally, I think it would have been better displayed hanging -- because it was impossible to get a close view with it on the floor like that.)

Then, there was this collection of pieces. . .

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Making Mends by Mark Newport (click to learn more about these pieces).

Many of us have been jumping on the slow stitching bandwagon lately -- embracing hand-stitching and embroidery and mending -- so these pieces especially intrigued me.

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Finally, there was an incredible piece I want to share with you -- but, sadly, I don't have a photo. Oh . . . I could have taken a photo -- and it would have looked like a beautiful painting of a black panther.  But . . . it wasn't really a painting.  It was silk embroidery -- and I was just blown away!  You must click the link below to see it for yourself -- although even the artist's photos don't accurately depict the beauty of her delicate stitching.  

Black Panther by YanFang Inlow 

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It's always a treat to visit Art Prize.  You just never know what will be . . . unraveling!

 


Ms. CrankyPants

There are many things that are currently making me cranky.  Most of them are not really suitable for a blog post.  (For one reason or another.)  And some of them are already making most of you cranky, too.  (So . . . why go there.)

But this one?

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Oh, yes.  MAJOR culprit in the cranky department.

I don't blog about this, but I have rheumatoid arthritis.  Have had for . . . nearly 30 years now.  While it causes some problems for me now and again, it's mainly under control.  Which means it rarely stops me from doing what I want to be doing.  (Better living through chemistry.  And all that.)

But.

Every once in a while, some joint will flare up in a major way.  Usually, it's my knee.  Occasionally, it's my jaw.  And, most annoyingly, sometimes it's my wrist.

And you know what that means, don't you?  Yeah.  No knitting.  No stitching.  No working out.  No walking the dogs.  Minimal gardening.  Typing with one hand.  And lots of grumbling. . . 

But I can still lift my cup of coffee.  
And hold a book.  
And sit in the car while Tom drives me up to Grand Rapids for Art Prize later today.  

So life is very good, really.

(I'm just wearing my CrankyPants.)

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PS - JoJo is feeling cranky today, too.  She has an ear infection, but is on the mend.  (We're partners-in-crank.)

 

 


Public Service Announcement

Back in the deep, dark days of last winter . . . when nearly every blog post featured an amaryllis in bloom . . . many of you asked me to remind you to order bulbs when it was time in the fall.

Well . . . IT'S TIME!

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I ordered my amaryllis bulbs from White Flower Farm over the weekend.  Some of them will be shipped soon (for holiday blooming), but most of them won't be shipped until the middle of November (for dead-of-winter bloom).

Although there are plenty of places to order amaryllis bulbs (just do a quick search of The Googles if you're interested in shopping around), I highly recommend the bulbs from White Flower Farm.  They have a huge variety of lovely, easy-to-grow amaryllis -- and they perform just the way you want them to:  big, long-lasting blooms . . . when you think winter will never end.

(If you're interested in WFF bulbs, you can use this link to get to their site.  Once you click in, a pop-up window will appear with a code for a $5 coupon.)

There you have it!  My order-your-amaryllis-bulbs-now Public Service Announcement.

 


Digging Deep

Y'know, there are just times when the Overwhelm comes for a little visit.  When life just feel a little . . . heavy.  When friends are struggling, or life's realities just kind of swamp you, or you have to do this-or-that that you'd really prefer not to.  (When not being signed in when you really ARE signed in and can't leave comments on friends' blogs is your Last Straw  . . . )

That's when I know I need to dig a little deeper.  
Turn things around.
Listen to what's already there . . .  in my heart.

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A gratitude list is usually a good place to start . . .

  • the smell of rain in the morning
  • a cool breeze through the open window
  • a cup of coffee
  • dogs at my side
  • an old pair of flip flops that perfectly conform to the shape of my feet

And, suddenly, the day seems brighter.  
Manageable.  
It's those simple things, really, that turn away the Overwhelm.  
Digging deeper . . .  opens the path for a fresh new day.  
(Because, really.  How can old flip flops not turn the tide?)

Happy Friday, my friends.  It's going to be a good day.


Mushrooms Everywhere

It has been really rainy this summer up north -- and especially in the last month or so.  The lake level is higher now that it was earlier this summer (which never happens).  The mosquitoes are out of control.  And there are mushrooms growing everywhere in the woods.

Here are three mushrooms that I found particularly impressive this week . . . 

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I love the colors and shapes and textures of the mushrooms.  (The mosquitoes?  Not so much.)

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Be sure to pop over to Carole's today . . . for more Three on Thursday fun.