Sublime Refuse, Toxic Splendor

March 26, 2013 § 2 Comments

Thrown out in the garbage and never to be seen again! Dumped outside and down the drain!

I love the feeling of getting rid of unwanted refuse. Even if with a little nagging guilt, I feel free and clean with the illusion of its disappearance . . . .

But even though I can’t say that — I love the term — the Waste Hierarchy’s precept, “Reduce Reuse Recycle,” has been my mantra, I still try to do my best in this regard.

The thing is that this fleeting feeling of “good riddance” alleviates my anxiety about the perhaps irreversible human destruction of the world because, for a brief moment, I allow myself to forget about it.

My escapism not being sufficient, I have been trying to find other “feel good” ways of dealing with the burden of helplessness and to preserve my optimism.

In terms of instant gratification, scientific research and predictions have not helped much so far, but art on the other hand has been a good source of comfort.

So here are three pieces that not only do the job but are also wonderful examples of human ingenuity and artistic ability to see beauty in our trash:

(Click on images to find out more about the artists)

Gowanus canal. Photograph by William Miller

Gowanus canal. Photograph by William Miller

By El Anatsui. Brooklyn Museum of Art

By El Anatsui. Brooklyn Museum of Art

Orchestra of Recycled Instruments. Paraguay

Orchestra of Recycled Instruments. Paraguay


Time To Go For My Walk

January 20, 2013 § 1 Comment

About two and a half years ago I decided to go for a walk. On a beautiful late-summer morning I walked for about three miles, a loop that went from my house through various neighborhoods in my town and along a golf course and playing fields. I was alone and it was early morning, so peaceful and quiet. I loved it so much that I decided to do the same walk the next day, again two days later and eventually up to 6 days a week, rain, shine or freezing cold. Always the same loop, rarely the same hour of the day but most often alone.


It has not been boring even once. I think, look, hear, breathe. I give myself  time to do these basic activities, which I would forget to do when caught up in the fast flow of a normal busy life.


Along that same path, I have noticed the change of season, not with my calendar or the school schedule, but with the birds’ and insects’ behavior, the plants and wildlife of the pond by the road, and of course the same flowers, bushes and trees I see day after day.


I have often lost sense of time, deep in my thoughts, either surprised to be back at my house so soon or to have felt out of touch for so long.

I have processed major events and minor annoyances. I have cried without control about my father dying, I have subdued my worries, detangled or loosened complicated knots in the fabric of my family’s dynamics, and breathed through impatience and frustration.


I have paused and smiled at a beautiful sky, shivered with joy under a brief dowpour in July, wondered about a bird’s call, felt drunk with deep breaths of crystalline arctic air and marveled over the beauty of an old elm, leafless against a white sky.IMG_1040

I have dreamed about traveling, starting a new life after my youngest child leaves the house, or what it will be like to be a grandmother one day. I have fantasized about my kids’ exploits, future successes, amazing feats, even my daughters’ wedding dresses — because I could do so in private with boundless imagination and unlimited possibilities.


I have daydreamed.


I have discovered that, for a moment, I can step out of a life where my senses get so overstimulated they become numb, where  my soul is fed only by shallow sensations, into one that fulfills my needs for meaning, wonder, truth, creativity and grace.


At first I thought it was a luxury to have time for a walk. Then I discovered it’s a necessity to make time for this walk.

I Saw This In NYC

April 22, 2012 § 3 Comments

Looking is one of my favorite things to do and New York City never disappoints me in that regard. I have a visual feast pretty much every time I walk around the City.

This one happened last week in Chelsea over less than an hour and a two block area.

The following pictures were taken with my iphone.

A Beautiful Way To Start 2012

January 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

For me the last 2 weeks of the year are often times brimming with sensory moments of all kinds. From listening to choirs, tasting delicacies, watching fireworks, displays and decorations, holding hands, sharing smiles and opening gifts.

I felt particularly fortunate this time. So I would like to share some of these gifts with you.

I liked this clip Snow Globe Los Angeles. Because it echoed my longing for quiet, illuminated and warm feelings.The beautiful voices heard on the The St Olaf  Christmas Festival filled my heart with spirituality and joy.

The delicate and whimsical designs of frost on my window added magic and wonder,  decorating my house with some of nature’s awesome ornaments.

This beautiful calendar made by my beloved and talented sister in law Lillebi Habans and who paints these most exquisite and beautiful images. What a sweet gift!

There were lots more of these perfect moments and many cannot be simply transmitted thought my posting. But all of them gave me inspiration and creative energy to start this New Year 2012 beautifully.

My hope is to express them in my posts in the next 12 months and share with you.

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