"Here’s the real truth. We’re made for the ebb and flow. Just like the ocean. Just like the cycles of the moon. Just like the movement from dark to light to dark again. We were born to shift and be selfish and howl and get messy. We were made to create beauty and to make crazy love and to find the bliss right at the center of our raw, aching parts. That’s the heart of life, the center of the paradox. And it often says, to hell with balance, because balance keeps us safe. What if we halt the chase for this impossibly esoteric notion of balance and give ourselves to something a lot more earthy and true and real?
It’s all about the moments. Moments for pure creation. Moments of uninhibited sex. Moments of the sweetest mother-baby love. Of pissed-the-fuck-off anger. And of come-here-right-now lust. Of falling head over heels in love with the world. Of feeling like the ground is going to give way beneath our feet. Of feeling free and wild and true, and of feeling chained and constrained and too heavy to get out of bed..."
Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That's its balance.
~ Osho (Indian spiritual teacher)
"Become better at loving through your own lessons learned, and wrap your arms and legs around the reality that love is work with explosively pleasurable results."
Two reservations just opened for this Saturdays renewal workshop with Dr. Bonnie Comfort. Please let me know ASAP if you would like to reserve a spot in this exciting event:
12:45 ~ gate opens
12:45 ~ gate opens
1:00 - 4:30 ~ Writing for Your Life
Dr. Bonnie Comfort is a psychologist who has been in clinical practice for many years. She is the author of memoir, short stories, and the novel "Denial" published by Simon & Schuster. Note from Bonnie: "This is not a workshop in writing. It does not matter whether you have writing talent, can make pretty sentences or whether the writing is good by some objective standard. This is writing for you designed to access deep parts of yourself that remain dormant during your every day busy life. You don't need to share this writing with anyone. It is for you alone. If you wish to share it, we will welcome the confidential sharing of it but there is absolutely no need to do so and no judgment if you do not. We will be writing about very personal things and you may or may not want to reveal them to anyone."
$45 check or cash only
$45 check or cash only
Go, little book,
out of this house and into the world,
carriage made of paper rolling towards town
bearing a single passenger
beyond the reach of this jittery pen
and far from the desk and the nosy gooseneck lamp.
It is time to decamp,
put on a jacket and venture outside,
time to be regarded by other eyes,
bound to be held in foreign hands.
So off you go, infants of the brain,
with a wave and some bits of fatherly advice:
stay out as late as you like,
don't bother to call or write,
and talk to as many strangers as you can.
~ Billy Collins
“My primary interest has always been the attempt to understand and deepen experience by bringing it into words. Poetry, for me, is an instrument of investigation and a mode of perception, a way of knowing and feeling both self and world … I am interested in poems that find a clarity without simplicity; in a way of thinking and speaking that does not exclude complexity but also does not obscure; in poems that know the world in many ways at once—heart, mind, voice, and body.”
For What Binds Us
There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they've been set down—
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.
And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
than the simple, untested surface before.
There's a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,
as all flesh,
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest—
And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.
~ Jane Hirshfield
2013 has been such a powerful year for me and for many of you as well. As our Stretch Appeal community continues to grow, I am inspired by the breakthroughs I have witnessed ~ from 40+ lost pounds for several of you ~ to huge mental shifts ~ to spiritually breaking through old patterns that no longer serve. Each week when I share my three Stretch Appeal practices, I feel physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually blessed, Thank YOU for joining me on the journey. Which is expanding in 2014 ... I am growing my riverside Saturday renewal workshop schedule. These workshops are taught by experts in their field who I believe are fantastic teachers. Each workshop is designed to encourage personal growth and emotional expansion at an affordable price. I encourage you to try a workshop and am offering one more awesome opportunity to you in 2013 with Dr. Bonnie Comfort (see below). As well, I will be teaching Stretch Appeal throughout the holiday season (see below) and as always, if you prefer to work one on one, I am available for private confidence coaching.
Workshops are on Saturdays between 1:00 - 4:30. On all workshop Saturdays, Stretch Appeal ~ soft ~ is offered from 11:30 - 12:30. You can participate in either or both by appointment only. For more information or to secure your reservation: 1. Laureredmond@mac.com 2. text or call 503-780-4964 3. twitter.com/LaureAppeal 4. www.facebook.com/pages/Stretch-Appeal/199184610115223
1. Writing for Your Life
with Dr. Bonnie Comfort
Bonnie is a psychologist who has been in clinical practice for many years. She is the author of memoir, short stories, and the novel "Denial" published by Simon & Schuster.
Note from Bonnie:
"This is not a workshop in writing. It does not matter whether you have writing talent, can make pretty sentences or whether the writing is good by some objective standard. This is writing for you designed to access deep parts of yourself that remain dormant during your every day busy life. You don't need to share this writing with anyone. It is for you alone. If you wish to share it, we will welcome the confidential sharing of it but there is absolutely no need to do so and no judgment if you do not. We will be writing about very personal things and you may or may not want to reveal them to anyone."
1:00 - 4:30
Full Day Special - $55 - includes: Stretch Appeal ~ soft + Workshop
2. Awake in the New Year
Setting Mindful Intentions for the new year ~ this gathering is a GIFT (free) from me to you and will be more of a celebration than a workshop ~ reservations are required!
I will be offering Stretch Appeal ~ soft from 11:30 - 12:30 ($15)
The celebration ceremony begins at 1:00.
3. Improv for Life with Barb Tint
In this workshop you will learn about: Recognizing and receiving offers, increasing possibilities, maximizing collaboration and surrendering attachment, some of the core dimensions of improvisation. Using experiential activities, we will be working with processes you can apply to all aspects of your life. This workshop guarantees to be inspirational and fun. Performing not required!
Barbara Tint, PhD is a Professor of Conflict Resolution, mediator, organizational trainer, licensed psychotherapist and improviser. She facilitates trainings such as these all over the world and is convinced that Improv is the most transformational and joyful modality on the planet.
1:00 - 4:30
Full Day Special - $65 - includes: Stretch Appeal ~ soft + Workshop
2013 Stretch Appeal Schedule:
Active practice is offered every Tuesday/Thursday from 12:30 - 1:30 at BodyVox www.bodyvox.com/
No reservations or dance experience is necessary ~ everyone is joyfully welcome!
I will be teaching this Tuesday, 11/26/13
Thanksgiving Thursday ~ NO practice
YES I will be teaching on 12/24, 12/26, 12/31, 1/2 (I invite you to bring your children, relatives, visiting friends & neighbors :-))
Soft practice is offered every Saturday from 12:30 - 1:30 at my riverside dojo.
Reservations ARE required, dance experience is not ~ everyone is joyfully welcome!
Yes I will be teaching during all holiday weekends.
As I continue to expand my riverside workshop schedule, I am thrilled to offer more Improv for Life sessions with Barb Tint (next one: 1/25/14). Improvisational theatre, often called Improv is a form of theatre where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed. In its purest form, the words, action, story and characters are created collaboratively by the players as the improvisation unfolds in present time, without an already prepared written script.
Ai Vuong explains why Improv will give you the best mindset for life, whether you are on stage or not:
"Improvisation will teach you to improv life. Life is rough sometimes with these walls, barriers and judgments we've set for ourselves. The improvisation mindset will strip it all away and teach you to embrace life's truths, absurdities, and realities. The lessons are simple -- so utterly simple, that they're deceptive and the most difficult to achieve.
1. Listen: I mean, really listen. Active listening. To the person who is talking. Don't be in your head about what you should say next, because then you're going to miss something really important.
2. Agree, and add something: contribute. Lay on another brick to the foundation you're all building together. Everyone is part of the moment, and everyone contributes in a positive manner.
3. Know that it's there ... and then it's gone: this moment has never happened before, and it'll never happen again -- and so the moment is truly unique and special.
4. And thus, be present: knowing that the moment is singular, it forces you to quiet everything else in your mind and be present. Vigilant. Focused. There's no time to analyze or over-analyze. There's just time to be.
5. No judgment: anything goes, anything can happen. The crazier it is, the more you push forward. Life is crazy, and when you place judgment on yourself or others, you build walls. Break them down and be in awe of what can happen.
6. Support each other: there's no individual; it is about the group. When the group succeeds, you succeed. Take away the ego, and together build something awesome.
7. Follow the fear: it seems like the simplest thing in the world, but the scariest and most difficult of all. You just have to gulp and jump right in.
8. Be yourself: somehow, in this space, it's the safest place to be. No judgment and all support. All you have to do is bring yourself -- not scripted characters nor rehearsed lines. No falsities here.
9. Simplify, seek truth and grow: at the end, it's all about the relationships you build. Human connection is the foundation of it all. Improvisation cultivates the growth mindset and takes you to new adventures."
Learn Improv skills and experience the rewards!
(currently accepting reservations for Barb's 1/25/14 workshop)
As a Confidence Coach I am honored to guide/direct others towards a more fulfilling, honest, brave, happy life. For everyone, including me, it's a process, a journey, some days easier, some days excruciatingly harder, but at the end of each day is you living with you. If there is one thing I have learned coaching others these last 30 years, it's the importance of getting to know who you really are and living your life from this unique, authentic place and voice. As Gandhi said, "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." Many people live their lives looking for approval from others in order to feel whole or to try to fit in. Unfortunately this is like selling your precious life on ebay and ultimately causes more pain than pleasure. When you stop directing your life from the perspective of pleasing others (this includes your parents & children), your life will become rich, rewarding and eventually balanced and fulfilling, but most important ~ it will be YOUR life, not someone else's and the love you receive will be in direct proportion to the love you give.
"I need a place where I can shout and weep. I have to be a Spanish savage at some time of the day. I record here the hysteria life causes in me. The overflow of an undisciplined extravagance. To hell with taste and art, with all contractions and polishings. Here I shout, I dance, I weep, I gnash my teeth, I go mad — all by myself, in bad English, in chaos. It will keep me sane for the world and for art."
~ Anais Nin 10/27/33' (writing about her diary)
For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
~ Steve Jobs
On Sunday morning, I rose early. I had decided the night before to go to the ocean, so I slipped a book and a bottle of water into a sack and caught a ride to Rockaway Beach. It felt like a significant date, but I failed to conjure anything specific. The beach was empty, and, with the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy looming, the quiet sea seemed to embody the contradictory truth of nature. I stood there for a while, tracing the path of a low-flying plane, when I received a text message from my daughter, Jesse. Lou Reed was dead. I flinched and took a deep breath. I had seen him with his wife, Laurie, in the city recently, and I’d sensed that he was ill. A weariness shadowed her customary brightness. When Lou said goodbye, his dark eyes seemed to contain an infinite and benevolent sadness.
I met Lou at Max’s Kansas City in 1970. The Velvet Underground played two sets a night for several weeks that summer. The critic and scholar Donald Lyons was shocked that I had never seen them, and he escorted me upstairs for the second set of their first night. I loved to dance, and you could dance for hours to the music of the Velvet Underground. A dissonant surf doo-wop drone allowing you to move very fast or very slow. It was my late and revelatory introduction to “Sister Ray.”
Within a few years, in that same room upstairs at Max’s, Lenny Kaye, Richard Sohl, and I presented our own land of a thousand dances. Lou would often stop by to see what we were up to. A complicated man, he encouraged our efforts, then turned and provoked me like a Machiavellian schoolboy. I would try to steer clear of him, but, catlike, he would suddenly reappear, and disarm me with some Delmore Schwartz line about love or courage. I didn’t understand his erratic behavior or the intensity of his moods, which shifted, like his speech patterns, from speedy to laconic. But I understood his devotion to poetry and the transporting quality of his performances. He had black eyes, black T-shirt, pale skin. He was curious, sometimes suspicious, a voracious reader, and a sonic explorer. An obscure guitar pedal was for him another kind of poem. He was our connection to the infamous air of the Factory. He had made Edie Sedgwick dance. Andy Warhol whispered in his ear. Lou brought the sensibilities of art and literature into his music. He was our generation’s New York poet, championing its misfits as Whitman had championed its workingman and Lorca its persecuted.
As my band evolved and covered his songs, Lou bestowed his blessings. Toward the end of the seventies, I was preparing to leave the city for Detroit when I bumped into him by the elevator in the old Gramercy Park Hotel. I was carrying a book of poems by Rupert Brooke. He took the book out of my hand and we looked at the poet’s photograph together. So beautiful, he said, so sad. It was a moment of complete peace.
As news of Lou’s death spread, a rippling sensation mounted, then burst, filling the atmosphere with hyperkinetic energy. Scores of messages found their way to me. A call from Sam Shepard, driving a truck through Kentucky. A modest Japanese photographer sending a text from Tokyo—“I am crying.”
As I mourned by the sea, two images came to mind, watermarking the paper- colored sky. The first was the face of his wife, Laurie. She was his mirror; in her eyes you can see his kindness, sincerity, and empathy. The second was the “great big clipper ship” that he longed to board, from the lyrics of his masterpiece, “Heroin.” I envisioned it waiting for him beneath the constellation formed by the souls of the poets he so wished to join. Before I slept, I searched for the significance of the date—October 27th—and found it to be the birthday of both Dylan Thomas and Sylvia Plath. Lou had chosen the perfect day to set sail—the day of poets, on Sunday morning, the world behind him.
~ Patti Smith
I met Lou in Munich, not New York. It was 1992, and we were both playing in John Zorn's Kristallnacht festival commemorating the Night of Broken Glass in 1938, which marked the beginning of the Holocaust. I remember looking at the rattled expressions on the customs officials' faces as a constant stream of Zorn's musicians came through customs all wearing bright red RHYTHM AND JEWS! T-shirts.
John wanted us all to meet one another and play with one another, as opposed to the usual "move-'em-in-and-out" festival mode. That was why Lou asked me to read something with his band. I did, and it was loud and intense and lots of fun. After the show, Lou said, "You did that exactly the way I do it!" Why he needed me to do what he could easily do was unclear, but this was definitely meant as a compliment.
I liked him right away, but I was surprised he didn't have an English accent. For some reason I thought the Velvet Underground were British, and I had only a vague idea what they did. (I know, I know.) I was from a different world. And all the worlds in New York around then – the fashion world, the art world, the literary world, the rock world, the financial world – were pretty provincial. Somewhat disdainful. Not yet wired together.
As it turned out, Lou and I didn't live far from each other in New York, and after the festival Lou suggested getting together. I think he liked it when I said, "Yes! Absolutely! I'm on tour, but when I get back – let's see, about four months from now – let's definitely get together." This went on for a while, and finally he asked if I wanted to go to the Audio Engineering Society Convention. I said I was going anyway and would meet him in Microphones. The AES Convention is the greatest and biggest place to geek out on new equipment, and we spent a happy afternoon looking at amps and cables and shop-talking electronics. I had no idea this was meant to be a date, but when we went for coffee after that, he said, "Would you like to see a movie?" Sure. "And then after that, dinner?" OK. "And then we can take a walk?" "Um . . ." From then on we were never really apart.
Lou and I played music together, became best friends and then soul mates, traveled, listened to and criticized each other's work, studied things together (butterfly hunting, meditation, kayaking). We made up ridiculous jokes; stopped smoking 20 times; fought; learned to hold our breath underwater; went to Africa; sang opera in elevators; made friends with unlikely people; followed each other on tour when we could; got a sweet piano-playing dog; shared a house that was separate from our own places; protected and loved each other. We were always seeing a lot of art and music and plays and shows, and I watched as he loved and appreciated other artists and musicians. He was always so generous. He knew how hard it was to do. We loved our life in the West Village and our friends; and in all, we did the best we could do.
Like many couples, we each constructed ways to be – strategies, and sometimes compromises, that would enable us to be part of a pair. Sometimes we lost a bit more than we were able to give, or gave up way too much, or felt abandoned. Sometimes we got really angry. But even when I was mad, I was never bored. We learned to forgive each other. And somehow, for 21 years, we tangled our minds and hearts together.
It was spring in 2008 when I was walking down a road in California feeling sorry for myself and talking on my cell with Lou. "There are so many things I've never done that I wanted to do," I said.
"You know, I never learned German, I never studied physics, I never got married."
"Why don't we get married?" he asked. "I'll meet you halfway. I'll come to Colorado. How about tomorrow?"
"Um – don't you think tomorrow is too soon?"
"No, I don't."
~ Laurie Anderson
"A Shadow Wedding is an intimate ritual held before a regular "light" wedding in which all difficult material between the couple is welcomed. It provides a consecrated place for partners to give voice to their darker sides, along with any doubts and fears about committing to lifelong partnership. Through the process of creating and participating in a Shadow Wedding, partners choose one another with eyes wide open, seeing both the beautiful and the ugly in their beloved."
Jessica Benson, Marriage & Family Therapist and Jim Benson, Sex & Relationship Coach for men led themselves through their own Shadow Wedding in 2010. They've since become inspired to share this powerful work with others.
"In explaining why red enhances sexual appeal, researchers reach back to the world of lower-order animals, where rich displays of red tend to promote sexual success. The reasoning behind this relationship differs for males and females. Female animals display their biological readiness for mating with vivid patches of red on their genitals, chest, and face. As females approach ovulation, their elevated estrogen levels promote blood flow, which in turn reddens their skin. Like lower-order animals, women experience reddening of their skin as they approach ovulation, and whenever they're sexually excited or aroused. It's no coincidence then, that femmes fatales in Jezebel, Dial M for Murder, and A Streetcar Named Desire wear red dresses, and Nathaniel Hawthorne's Hester Prynne was forced to advertise her adulterous past by wearing a scarlet letter. ... Meanwhile, a red heart signifies the romance of Valentine's Day, and red-light-district workers wear red lipstick and rouge to encourage business."
~ Adam Alter
Vulnerability is the only authentic state. Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty. Don’t mask or deny your vulnerability: it is your greatest asset. Be vulnerable: quake and shake in your boots with it. The new goodness that is coming to you, in the form of people, situations, and things can only come to you when you are vulnerable, i.e. open.
~ Stephen Russell
(image: Cynthia Zordich, 'Vulnerability')
(image: Cynthia Zordich, 'Vulnerability')
New Smyrna Beach, FL –– During the month of November, Arts on Douglas presents New Paintings, a solo exhibition featuring a collection of mixed media paintings by St. Augustine artist, Beau Redmond. The exhibition will be on view from November 2, 2013 through November 30, 2013 with an opening reception on Saturday, November 2 from 4-7 pm, and an artist talk on Friday, November 15 at 11am. Both events are free and open to the public.
Beau Redmond is an artist known for his southern landscapes and mixed media paintings of the New York financial district that incorporate texts and images from the pages of Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the New Yorker. Over the years, Redmond developed an interest in pursuing new themes and stylistics. Redmond’s solo exhibition, New Paintings, is the result of that pursuit, demonstrating the skill, maturity, and confidence of an artist that has secured his reputation as a professional artist. In addition to the Lincolnville and New York financial district series, the exhibition contains an array of sentimental and figurative paintings.
Much of Redmond’s body of work has been devoted to exploring the concept of place. At times, Redmond explores the concept of place through objects. For example, in the mixed media painting Tabasco, a bottle of hot sauce embodies the essence of New Orleans and its rich cultural traditions when juxtaposed with various newspaper headlines and advertisements. For Redmond, place can be defined as a site or sight, but it is always affective, tactile, visual, textual, and inhabited. "Living in St. Augustine for almost 20 years has given me an additional aesthetic boost, with the charm of the Old City, reminiscent of my New Orleans roots, and the vanishing scene of Lincolnville. These images of live oaks, nineteenth-century architecture and “everyday” people give me an opportunity to work with the sensual qualities of paint and glazing techniques" explains Redmond. Despite the specificity of place or subject matter, Redmond’s paintings are immediately recognizable and resonate with viewers. Indeed, viewers need not be explicitly aware of the intimate connection Redmond has with his subject matter in order to appreciate the clarity and perception of his visual representations.
“In the past, much of my work was firmly grounded in a sense of place. More recently, I have been interested in incorporating figurative elements in my paintings” explains the artist. Redmond’s figurative work often draws inspiration from art history or memories. “The source for Mom and Dad 1928 was a family photograph taken years ago with my mother’s Brownie camera. The sepia tone image on the dog-eared, 4.5 x 4.5 inch print inspired this interpretation on canvas with the paint colors derived from memories.” In The Reader, viewers will recognize the reference to Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s portrait Young Girl Reading. Redmond playfully modernizes the 18th century canonical image of a young girl reading by replacing the light source and object of the young girl’s attention. In Redmond’s revision, the book is replaced by an electronic reading device that illuminates the subject with a cool blue-green glow. While Redmond’s upgraded portrait is imbued with humor, that humor is never irreverent.
A native of New Orleans, Beau Redmond graduated with honors from Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, with dual majors in Economics and Fine Art. Redmond began his banking career at the Bank of New Orleans and his final corporate years at theCommercial Bank and Trust Company. Redmond continued to paint while working in the financial industry, and in 1968 and 1969 had successful exhibitions at the Downtown Gallery, in the French Quarter of New Orleans. In 1980 Redmond departed from the corporate world and began a new career as a full-time painter. His work is internationally known and his paintings can be found in many private, corporate and public collections. Redmond is in the permanent collection of the New Orleans Jazz Museum; Gulf Coast Museum in Largo, Florida; the Alabama Business Hall of Fame, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; the Alabama Capitol Complex, Montgomery; and the St. Augustine Art Association. He now resides in St. Augustine, Florida.
Opening reception: Saturday, November 2, 4 - 7pm
Exhibition dates: November 2-30, 2013
Artist Talk: Friday, November 15, 11am
The opening reception and gallery talk are free and open to the public.
A Hundred Bolts of Satin
have to lose
and the mind
all the way back.
to have been
to have been
life: a crate of
a dozen dozen
bolts of satin—
have to lose
and the mind
all the way back.
to have been
to have been
life: a crate of
a dozen dozen
bolts of satin—