Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

6 ways to peace

free your mind from worry

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.
Corrie ten Bloom

Worry is a misuse of the imagination.
Dan Zadra

If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.
Dalai Lama XIV

live simply

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
Hans Hofmann

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.
E.F. Schumacher

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.
Robert Louis Stevenson

give more

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
Maya Angelou

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Winston Churchill

be grateful

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.
Eckhart Tolle

If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.
Meister Eckhart

be kind

Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.
Bob Kerrey

We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness
Charlie Chaplin

The best portion of a good man’s life. His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.
William Wordsworth


The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
W.B. Yeats

Kids think with their brains cracked wide open; becoming an adult, I’ve decided, is only a slow sewing shut.
Jodi Picault

Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.
Walt Whitman

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I have always considered the connection between a player and his or her instrument to be a sacred thing. What I had never considered was that the instrument itself could be sacred space. In a 2009 print campaign for the Chamber Orchestra of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Art Director Bjoern Ewers captured the insides of instruments, revealing the hidden landscapes within.

Inside of Guitar

The resulting photos blew my mind. I created stained glass for places of worship most of my life, and am convinced that the stunning architecture and play of light inside these instruments definitely qualifies as sanctuary. The interiors appear larger than life, with each instrument conveying a different emotion and sense of space. With music being the universal language, the architecture of a stringed instrument would make a stunning inter-faith chapel!

Inside of Stand Up Bass

For inspiration, art director Bjorn Ewers showed his clients an old photograph of New York’s Grand Central Station in which light pours through the highest windows in wide streams.

Grand Central Station

Through macro photographs taken inside the cramped spaces of instruments, the inner workings of a violin, guitar, bass, flute, and pipe organ appear vast and spacious, almost as if you could walk around inside them. While the softly lit interior of the violin exudes tranquillity, the staggered pipes of the organ are reminiscent of a skyline in a bustling metropolitan city.

Inside of Violin

Inside of Wind nstrument

Pipe Organ

Pipe Organ from above

So next time you are holding your guitar (or any instrument) in your arms, close your eyes and think about the space inside. Imagine yourself there. What an amazing sanctuary to contemplate the music uniquely yours to express, the songs uniquely yours to sing!

CLIENT: Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker
AGENCY: Scholz & Friends Berlin
PHOTOGRAPHER: Mierswa-Kluska

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Meet Paul Villinski, a New York City artist with a lifelong concern for environmental issues whose work “frequently repurposes discarded materials, effecting surprising and poetic transformations.”

What first grabbed my heartstrings were his sculptures fabricated from two musical instruments. Their intrinsically beautiful shapes were taken to new heights by butterflies snipped from crushed beer cans from the streets of New York. Villiniski muses that “every one of them was once raised to someone’s lips.” It is a wonderful exercise to wonder who all these diverse people were who drank from these cans that were ultimately united in this transcendent art.

"Fable" 2011, Cello, found aluminum cans, soot, wire


"Rise" 2011, Electric guitar, found aluminum cans, soot, wire

"Rise" detail

“The butterflies operate symbolically, : metamorphosing littered beer cans into flocks of butterflies mirrors the act of transformation and rebirth that butterflies symbolize across all cultures” (the artist) The second pieces that caught my eye were also related to music….this time old vinyl records that were transfigured into birds and butterflies…not only stunning imagery but reminding us of how music has the power to make us soar.

My Back Pages, 2008, vinyl LP records,turntable, wire

"My Back Pages" detail

“Butterflies seem impossible. How can these ridiculously delicate creatures, apparently blown about by the merest breath of wind, actually fly many thousands of miles to migrate? How is it that an innate, intergenerational GPS guides them year after year to the same tree? Are we more like them than we suspect, or could we be?” (the artist)

"Diaspora" 2010, album covers, turntable, vinyl LPs, wire

"Diaspora" detail

I love the shadows that these images form as much as I love the actual art. My next favorite pieces were the ones created from found gloves because they reminded me of our Luna tribe….each unique from many walks of life, yet still connected.

In the poetic and hopeful words of the artist ” Lost gloves? The city is full of them. Having read this, you will see them everywhere. Do they stand in for the people who wore them? Instantly you wonder: whose was this – their sex and age and body type – their laugh? What work was done? You begin to construct entire identities, for the gloves are replete with memory, with personal history. They are almost the hands themselves, in ways even more telling.
Gloves from all ages, classes, occupations, races. Gloves from all walks. Here everyone wears gloves and loses them. Collected over the years and into artworks they make an informal census, a demographic of detritus.
They have qualities we fear coming to know: carelessly left behind, forgotten or discarded, weathered, damaged, exhausted and worn through, run over by life, homeless. Lost and found. So I bring them into the studio and into pieces and give them homes, with the others.
Some of the pieces are constructed from found work gloves only. These have a patina of the work performed while worn. They are freighted with untold hours of labor. To this I add my own labor.
The gloves are collected from the streets daily. The pieces are obsessively handmade. Entwined. Handstitched. They are about handwork and restoration and connectedness. Once they lie melancholic, now they are hopeful.”

"Lift" 1995, found work gloves,belts, hand stiching, steel armature

"Lift" detail

"Coat for Lonely"1996, found gloves, safety pins, steel stand

"Coat for Lonely" detail

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I wrote about Jill Bolte Taylor in my personal blog. Jill is a neuroanatomist who suffered a massive stroke on the left side of her brain in 1996. “She observed her own mind completely deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life, all within the space of four brief hours. In her book My Stroke of Insight , Taylor shares her unique perspective on the brain and its capacity for recovery, and the sense of omniscient understanding she gained from this unusual and inspiring voyage out of the abyss of a wounded brain.” (from her book) For this reason, I sent her a Luna Phoenix guitar.
In this amazing “Ode to the Brain”, Jill joins Carl Sagan, Robert Winston, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Bill Nye, and Oliver Sacks in celebrating the human brain. The material sampled for this video comes from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED Talk, Vilayanur Ramachandran’s TED Talk, Bill Nye’s Brain episode, BBC’s “The Human Body”, Oliver Sachs’ TED Talk, Discovery Channel’s “Human Body: Pushing the Limits”, and more.

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Though it’s in French, it’s worth watching the “making of” this short video, which comes up as an option, for the visuals. No digital tricks….all powered by analog candle light! Enjoy!

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Christmas, with it’s proximity to New Year, is a time of deep reflection. Lennon poses a potent question in “Happy Christmas”; “Another year over, and what have you done?” What you’ve done doesn’t have to be a big thing to be significant…..it just has to involve getting beyond yourself and committing the small random acts of kindness and beauty that make the world go round. So take this moment to think of one small thing you can do today to lift someone’s spirit…..and do it! Do it now!
Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year !!!!!!!

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The words in the title of this post are lyrics from the song “Love Radiates Around” by the Roches. This short video is an example of a life being lived by these words in action. Worth the watch!

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