“How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss and all was said.” Victor Hugo
This was meant to be a quick post and a brief one at that… but serendipity has it way of steering us to things that matter more than our human desire to get it over and done with. Today, I woke up feeling deeply perturbed by the pain and sadness in our world; the sadness that comes knocking on our doors unexpectedly and the seemingly thoughtless ways we inflict it on each other… I’m not sure which event prompted my discomfort: Was it the story of the service for the little 9 year old caught in the gunfire? Was it the stark white solemn silence I felt looking at the mounds of snow outside? Or was it something innocuous like the shift in planets and the fact that my twins lamented that, with this new discovery, they were no longer Sagittarians but some new fangled sign called Ophiuchus!
Apparently this new zodiac sign has tilted the configuration of the standard 12 to now include a 13th… You know, the number 13, which is not typically considered a lucky number… So here comes Ophiuchus I mused, and logged on to update this post and send it on its merry way… but as I said before, serendipity was insisting that I log on to Twitter and scan the conversation; not join it. I logged on and soon enough, my eyes drifted to a post by a twitter friend @escapeintolife and I followed him home. I soon found an amazing site that I encourage you to visit; EscapeIntoLife.com
EscapeIntoLife.com is an online arts journal that features art reviews, poetry, essays, literally tons of art, and is dedicated to the memory of its brilliant, creative and deeply reflective founder; Christopher R. Al-Aswad. When I stumbled upon this feast for the eyes, heart, mind and soul, I was immediately drawn to beautiful pieces in both the written word and visual presentations. The site is an incredibly heartwarming tribute to Chris’s memory and it also showcases some of his work. Chris Al-Aswad, son of highly regarded Chicago based artist, Rosalind Al-Aswad, passed away in July 2010 and I know you will be touched and impressed by the body of work and loyal friendships he left behind.
Some of the offerings I enjoyed today were: presentations of the creative works, art and videos, of the following artists; Sean Scully – The Inner Meaning of Abstraction; Artist Watch via Works by Istvan Sandorfi; Artist Watch via Works by Victor Castillo and a provocative fictional piece by Twitter friend Annie Q Syed - A Sketch of Truth
From Chris’s collection of artistic work, I read parts of his Blog of Innocence: Scenes from a Novel of Life and, I hope they won’t mind, I couldn’t help but share one of his poems below… Do visit the site and support them creatively and with a donation to keep it running.
The Pleasures are Fleeting by Chris Al-Aswad via EscapeIntoLife.com
the pleasures are fleeting,
on some days you’re wondering
if they even exist
but in the slow station
of all our lives, a moment of being
comes and goes, lingers for awhile
out of a plateau, pleasures rise
this wondrous hot spring
fills you with momentary delight
and even the thoughts you are thinking
echo with reason and brilliance
and even the coffee tastes incredibly rich
so you want more of the experience
and less of the waiting, I suggest
a simple remedy, I suggest
breathing, maybe taking a break with me
on the pier, we’ll sit and listen to
the waves crash
As I was about to log off, I stumbled across a tweet from Chris Anderson. He is head of the innovative company TED; they offer brilliant, riveting, thought shifting talks by remarkable people, and offer them free to the world to enjoy. @TedChris‘s tweet was a heart wrenching reminder of his beautiful, smart and loving daughter Zoe whom he lost, on December 28, 2010, to carbon monoxide. As a parent, my heart went out to the family and when I saw the pictures shared in Zoe’s’ memory; she was such a vibrant and happy soul, I wept.
In honor of her memory, Chris and family have created an environmental fundraiser via the Sapling Foundation that I encourage you to read and contribute to. A Zoe Anderson Memorial facebook page has also been created to honor this bright and enthusiastic young woman’s life and memory. She was 24.
My deepest condolences and prayers for light , love and healing go out to both the Al-Aswad and the Anderson families…
To close, I have added a Robert Frost poem that would have been the only original addition to this post… Hug your loved ones, live life fully, and be grateful for the gift of a long life. Your thoughts?
DUST OF SNOW by Robert Lee Frost
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.
Positive Motivation Tip: Cherish the moments in the winter as if summer will never come… Each moment counts.
- Meet Ophiuchus, new zodiac sign (seattlepi.com)
- TED Talk: How YouTube is Driving Innovation (Chris Anderson)
- Beautiful Self-Portraits by a 17-Year-Old (20 photos) (mymodernmet.com)
PHOTO CREDITS: From my personal collection