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This weekend it was 55(!) degrees in Providence.  M and I gave the Oscars a nonchalant cool kid chin tip by seeing The Big Short at The Avon Saturday night and The (far more enjoyable) Theory of Everything on Sunday.  Between showings there were warm beverages and downcity walks and cracks for letting in light.  We admired murals and I thought about art in its many mediums, and I wondered about appreciation and its affect on a piece of work.  I considered the old “if a tree falls in the woods” theory, and wondered if it applies to the creation of art.  If an artist works alone, in the dark, producing a masterpiece, does it still result in significance?  Left wholly unshared, does art still hold weight?

I also thought about the Leonard Cohen lyrics and the cracks in everything that let light in.  As I looked up and studied the negative space between buildings in the Financial District, I realized that it is this space that allows the buildings to shine.  It is the space between two structures through which the light beams.  In this presumed emptiness, all purpose is found, and without it, functionality would cease.  So this space, these cracks, the unpunctuated time that exists in all of us, are a crucial part of the creation process.  They give us room to enter and exit, to see ourselves through windows, from the inside and out, and to exist in those alleys and streets between.  These spaces are where we able to step back, to share, to admire, and to grow.

With these spaces, we build up.


photo of me by Michael Collins.


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I must sound like a broken record at this point, but I have to admit…the winter blues are hitting me exxxxtra hard these days.  I’m (still) cleaning out and rearranging my apartment, and the lack of serenity at home has been making my brain feel all scrambled up.  Does anyone else relate inner peace to outside surroundings?  I decided to escape the house for some relaxation to start this busy week…FullSizeRender 28

On Monday night, MW and I attended a group meditation at Better Off.  This pretty little space is dedicated to reducing dependence on technology and relocating the lost art of human experience through reflection and the creation of real artifacts.  Cell phones locked away in a special safe for the full “uncoupling” experience (though I’m not sure I’m attached enough to my phone to require such deliberate separation tactics- but that’s a topic for another post), we nestled into a circle of simple chairs and together the small group practiced mindful meditation.  We were guided through a slow scan of the body, lead with gentle cues centered around an awareness of our physical presence in the space.

Paying such close attention to the sensations of my idle body was a completely new experience for me.  Being such an active person, it’s rare that I actually acknowledge the feeling of dormancy.  What a concept.  Cars zipping down Broadway and happy Grange-goers stumbling past, I felt myself detaching from the constant cycle of thoughts bouncing in my mind and instead truly observing the moment.  I am here.  This is now.  My right foot feels achy, my hands feel heavy, my heart feels steady.  Intentional and calm for once, my breath keeps it all churning.  It’s the only thing changing, my body remains still and the air moves in, through, and out as something different, transformed by my “inactive” body’s rather remarkable routine.  The whole experience was completely restorative.  So, in the spirit of the Better Off mission, some creative and tech-free artifacts I’m enjoying this week…

these paintbrushesDSC07538…because MW and I finally get to start our watercoloring class tonight, and also they fit so perfectly in this pouch (a repurposed cheese knife sheath from a special someone).

this coffee table crateIMG_7277…because it’s packed with a constant rotation of candles and books and inspirational goodness.

this stack of doiliesDSC07555…because February crafts. (!)

this tiny pillowDSC07561…because I knew Jacob would appreciate the artsy joke.  Heh heh.

this bedside setupDSC07514…because it feels fresh and February-appropriate (dead flowers and all).

this garlandDSC07529 (1)…because T and I made it 3 years ago at Mudsy’s and it tugs at the heartstrings (please excuse that awful pun).


first two photos via Better Off.

creative courage

creative courage

The most important thing I have learned this year is that creativity takes courage.  Choreographers harness their inspiration to compose a piece, but it is up to the dancers to interpret the steps and turn them into something that will ignite the audience.  Doing this requires becoming vulnerable, taking a risk, and displaying emotion- the ultimate illustration of courage.

a hard day’s night

There’s something inspirational about peeking into other people’s workspaces.  I love seeing how people surround themselves in creativity and clutter in order to induce a productive work session.  I’ve always wanted a special work studio in my own home- but then again creating a home ballet studio (think sprung marley floors, floor-to-ceiling mirrors and wooden bars) is decidedly more difficult.  What do you include in your workspace?

Feeling Crafty?

What is it about a blizzard that makes me crave a good DIY project?  For whatever reason, the idea of being snowed-in with a surplus of craft supplies and some warm hot chocolate gets me positively giddy!  As if the blanket of fluffy white snow surrounding my apartment and the early morning Seven Stars run weren’t enough, this list of creativity tips has left me totally inspired.  Craft party time!  (yes, I know how lame I sound).

{coconut macaroon & hot chocolate }