A global guide to LIVING CREATIVELY

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday 3

From a book dealing with the history of photography and the impact it has had on society, to enchanting terrariums to close-up photographs from nature - today's end of the week recommendations:
Prestel Books, Photography-Then Whole Story,
edited by Juliet Hacking
For more information: Cool Hunting
Crooked Nest terrariums
'Malva Sylvestris' image © Rob Kesseler - Microscopic nature
captured by photographer, Rob Kesseler - for more info:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jan Frazier

The sudden awakening of Jan Frazier
"No matter what was going on, fun or hard or neutral, I felt something quiet but constant running beneath it, apart from it. That something had the quality of other, of being outside the flow of familiar life. It was quiet; still, it felt more substantial than whatever was going on in the familiar realm."   Jan Frazier 
"Now there's a man with an open mind - you can feel the breeze from here!" Groucho Marx
The quotes above are much the same. While Groucho Marx intended to make us laugh, inside his remark is a profound truth. Spaciousness is much like a fresh breeze of energy flowing into the now. An open mind is a mind that isn't constantly thinking, judging, labeling. An open mind is empty, ready to accept everything. This is freedom.
Last year, I read The Power of Now and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. I read both books long ago and they sat on my shelves for years. This time, I not only read, but practiced from them. Something inside of me shifted with each passing day.
That fall, while in Santa Barbara, I visited the Vedanta Temple bookshop and not intending to purchase anything, one book stood out from the rest - When Fear Falls Away - The Story of a Sudden Awakening, by Jan Frazier.

Jan Frazier
I read passages, here and there, and knew I was reading the story of a woman's immediate shift into enlightenment. It read much like  an instruction book by way of another's experience.
Up until then, I thought of enlightenment as something grand, special - only for those who stayed in ashrams, for those who studied important spiritual writings for many years, for those who were taken under the wing of a guru. However, as I continued reading, I discovered not only a special writer, communicating her journey with poetic phrases, but, a very ordinary person, as well. By ordinary, I refer to one who is married, has children, a dog - one who teaches, writes and deals with all the same issues of daily life we all encounter.
Jan Frazier went from woman with cancer to woman who changed so profoundly that illness was viewed from another perspective - detached, impersonal. She stepped away from her familiar self and transitioned into an aware state. And in this new state, fear departed - entirely.
Ms. Frazier writes, "Something happened today that I never would have thought possible. I went for my mammogram and wasn't terrified. Really, the significant thing came last night. I was lying in bed, thinking ahead to today, dreading the trip to Jamaica Plain. Anticipating the hyperventilating in the waiting room, the hideous anxiety. I was lying there thinking about all this, when all of a sudden I had this thought to say a little prayer, to ask for help. I said, Could I maybe do this tomorrow without being terrified?" And she continues in another paragraph, "But the moment I had that thought, I felt something happen, like something physical was lifted off of me. I felt dancing around my head, as if somebody were whirling around me in circles, clapping hands, laughing. Rejoicing."
Jan Frazier has, seamlessly, experienced this state of expanded awareness from that point. It holds and has the same strength and consistency as it did from the beginning. In her words, it "hasn't grown dull".
On page 188, Ms. Frazier writes, "The liberated state is a real thing. It is available to you. Simply acknowledging that, and living daily with that possibility, could increase your awareness of its presence within you."
And this brings me to her second book, The Freedom of Being at ease with what is. Written years later, this book teaches us how we can also enter into awareness. With the same gentle words, the same poetic prose, we are told to be still, to let go of effort, knowledge, to cease "being at the mercy of your mind."
So, if you feel there is something more to life and you are brave enough to explore and experiment - to follow your heart, non-stop, these books are a must-read. They will, if nothing else, give you another perspective on your life.
However, you might crawl into bed one night as that familiar you, and wake up in the morning, changed forever.
Jan Frazier website
Redwheel Weiser Books
Amazon - to read excerpts from, When Fear Falls Away - the Story of a Sudden Awakening
Amazon - to read excerpts from The Freedom of Being at ease with what is
A reading from Jan Frazier's, When Fear Falls Away - The Story of a Sudden Awakening - Advaita333 YouTube

Friday, September 21, 2012


Space Shuttle Endeavour
It flew directly over our home - then on to Griffith Park Observatory and the Hollywood sign, before returning - lifting us up into enthusiasm - the sound of jet engines roaring as it passed overhead. Magnificent!

The space shuttle Endeavour atop NASA's
modified 747 carrier soars northward over
Rosamond Dry Lakejust east of the town of
Rosamond as it begins itsTour of California
on the last leg of itsfinal ferry flight on
Sept. 21, 2012.(NASA / Jim Ross)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Climate Change

Bill McKibben
Please take time to read Mr. McKibben's artilce in Rolling Stone magazIne - same title as this posting.
Then visit 350.org to learn more about what you can do. What is 350?

350 means safety from the climate crisis.
To preserve our planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 392 parts per million ("ppm")to below 350 ppm. But 350 is more than a number—it's a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.
At 350.org, we're building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis and push for policies that will put the world on track to get to 350 ppm.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Artist, Eric Cahan

Artist, Eric Cahan
Two Mile Hallow, NY
Sunset 7:22pm
Today, as much as when I was a child, I enjoy looking up into the lucid blue of the sky or at white billowy clouds as they change form. That mystical knowing of a thing without defining it and the child-like wonder it evokes may be felt in the photography of New York artist, Eric Cahan.
The Dunes, Amagansette, NY
Sunset 6:47pm
Mr. Cahan describes his work as defined by light, with a nod toward James Turrell (Light and Space Movement), Mark Rothko, Morris Lewis (Color Field painters) and minimalism,  - where sublime light is the revelation. This series also brings to mind the paintings of Georgia O'keeffe and Agnes Pelton - for the surreal luminosity displayed in their imagery (see below).
Pacific Heights, San Francisco, CA
Sunrise 6:35am
According to Mr. Cahan, "My mission is to capture light. Light is the true subject of this series: its constant mystery, the way it shifts and colors everything around it in nature."
Sea Cliff, San Francisco, CA
Sunrise 6:57am

Bridgehampton, NY
Sunset 7:48pm
While on location, the artist captures these exquisite images at either sunrise or sunset - usually near water. Very little digital manipulation is used in this series of photographs. Instead, the artist chooses self-made colored resin filters, placing them in front of the camera lens - to produce the desired color results. Four different cameras may be used to produce each image and each is titled with the time and location at conception - as a visual journal or memory.
Georgica Beach, NY
Sunrise 6:18am
In this way, both photographer and viewer experience a moment in time, felt as eternal. Mr. Cahan states, "My work is meant to capture a moment in nature, asking and empowering the viewer to be fully present, involved, and uplifted. I want the viewer to be drawn in and be completely absorbed by, rather than separate from that fleeting moment in time."
All Artwork Printed by Griffin Editions

For more information:
Eric Cahan website & Facebook
Eric Firestone Gallery
M+B Gallery
(L) Georgia O'Keeffe
Light Coming on the Plains III (1917)
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
(R) Agnes Pelton
Star Gazer, 1928, O/on canvas
30x18", Private Collection

Friday, September 7, 2012

Art of Speech Making

President Bill Clinton has been referred to as an eloquent orator. This morning I came across an article titled, FYI: Why is Bill Clinton So Good at Speaking to a Crowd? by Rebecca Boyle (Popsci, 9/7/12). Speaking creatively is one label I've not included within T2F. So, follow this link to find out why President Clinton is acknowledged as a great speaker: Popsci

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Thanks, Mother Nature!
Sunset, Santa Barbara, CA - September 3, 2012

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