Tag Archives: 10×10 Pittsfield

What’s inspiring me now

I spent a good part of my day working on possible collages for Alchemy Initiative’s  upcoming 10×10 exhibition in Pittsfield. (In between two glorious ice-skating sessions on a lovely pond and then Queechy Lake!)

The exhibit opens on February 16th, from 5-6 pm followed by performances and other events. You can find more info about the 10×10 Festival here.

I was invited, along with a number of other women ages 10-100 to create a work of art that answers the following question:

‘What are the 10 things that inspire you most at this decade of your life?’.

From these inspirations, each girl/woman will create a piece of artwork. The visual exhibit, curated by the amazing Diane Firtell, will read like a timeline of inspiration. Beginning as you enter at one side of Y Bar is the work of young artists under age 10. The artwork and lists of what inspires the artists continue around the room, where it ends with the artwork of women aged 90 to 100. I am so excited to be in this exhibit with some of my favorite Berkshire County women including  Amelia Wood, Jordan Skowron, Rebecca Weinman, Laurie Coyle, Sophia Lee, Gabrielle Senza, Melanie Mowinski, Suzi Banks Baum, Karen Arp-Sandel, Nina Silver, Diane Sullivan, Diane Firtell, and Roselle Chartock, to name a few. I can’t wait to see what everyone makes

So today. I reviewed my list of inspirations, and started to play around with materials. My final compositions will not illustrate these inspirations, instead, will be inspired by it. My list:

  1. Little dots=pathways, words, memories, ideas of journey
  2. Circles=widening/narrowing
  3. Trees=relationship of tree dense space/treeless space to poverty, hunger, wealth
  4. Rilke
  5. Color=juxtaposed with black and white
  6. Standing up for what is right
  7. Mindfulness, meditation, prayer, intention
  8. Repetition, pattern
  9. Overconsumption throughout our society
  10. Slowing down, aging, changing priorities

I have two possibilities at the moment. I’m certain that these will change in the next couple of days and that a third one will be thrown in the mix as an option. The orange/green one with the figure holding the orb will definitely have some text added in–hopefully one of my more favorite lines of Rilke’s. The other may lose the white circles, but the figure and the infrared center pivots will definitely stay. What is your favorite so far?

10x10Collage1 10x10Collage2


…and everything matters.

Right now I am contemplating Ten Things that Inspire me right now for work that will be in an exhibit as part of Pittsfield’s 10x1o Festival in February.

Rilke continues to inspire me. He is one of my ten things.

Ten things, first brainstorm

Ten things, first brainstorm

I first encountered Rilke when I was in college. Someone loaned me a copy of Letters to a Young Poet. And then someone gave me a copy a few years later. I’m not exactly sure who, or when, I just know that I have a copy of it and I reread it from time to time. (Thank you mystery person out there in the world!)

But it wasn’t until I went to Tasmania to visit my friend Peter Adams that I started to read his poetry. Peter suggested I get the Joanna Macy translation. Macy is slowly sliding into first place in my latest role model list. She is an environmental activist, author, scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology, and apparently an expert translator. She partnered with Anita Barrows to translate a number of Rilke’s works, and then spent a good amount of time going through all that work, harvesting out sections and compiling them into this wonderful daily reflection, A Year with Rilke.

What is interesting me most though, is her work The Great TurningThe Great Turning is a name for the essential adventure of our time: the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization. As a member of the first world I need to be part of this Great Turning–to turn to practices that will help create a more livable world, a world that includes clean air and water, food and shelter, access to energy. We in the first world know how to do all of this. The question is how to go about sharing this knowledge and helping others around the globe. Four guidelines in the Great Turning remind me of what I want to keep on doing in my own life, as much as possible.

  • Come from gratitude.
  • Don’t be afraid of the dark.
  • Dare to vision.
  • Roll up your sleeves.

Go HERE for more info on how she envisions each of these.

Earlier this week, A Year with Rilke, had the following advice on January 18th, from Letters to a young Poet, Worpswede, July 16, 1903:

The tasks that have been entrusted to us are often difficult. Almost everything that matters is difficult and everything matters.

I have many tasks in front of me, the things that help me make meaning in my life. Sometimes they stress me out, make me a little crazy, and stretch me to do things that are uncomfortable, difficult or challenging. But ultimately, it is these things, these things that matter that ultimately make a difference to the quality of my life, my family’s lives, my student’s lives, and the many random people in the world that I meet. Sometimes they don’t make me happy, but ultimately they help me make a difference in the world and meaning in my life. If this is the best I can do, than it’s gotta be pretty good.

Right now I am trying to figure out what to do for February 14th and ONE BILLION RISING. It will involve something at PRESS and creating a printed inspired poster/card for the kick-off 10×10 event/One Billion Rising event my sister-in-love Nina is coordinating at Spice Dragon. Let this and other things stretch me this year.

What are you going to do that matters this year?