June 29, 2013

Peace In Nature

Well, at this very time next week, I'll be on a summer road trip that will take me through the New England region and as far north as Acadia National Park in Maine. With Acadia's hundreds of miles of winding trails that lead to sights like picturesque mountaintops, secluded lakes, and cliff-lined rocky shores, this is one journey that has got me very excited; both photography and hiking are activities that I love to do. Every picture that I've ever seen of the area has been magnificent and I'm really looking forward to getting out there with my camera.

In order to condition myself for the vast expanses of Acadia, I've been walking everyday at lunchtime through the series of nature trails that Stony Brook University has on its grounds. In the last two weeks, I've come across a few things in the woods that I never expected to see, such as an albino earwig and a round spiderweb (when I say round, I don't mean circular, I mean ball-shaped; spherical). This morning, to keep up with my cardiovascular workouts in nature, I filled my backpack with water bottles and drove over to Sweetbriar Nature Preserve to have a more extensive hike. I encountered lots of box turtles in the wild and quite a few rescued animals that are kept on the premises, which include Screech Owls, Peregrine Falcons, and a few Red-Tailed Hawks. I stayed at Sweetbriar for about two hours. It was beautiful.

Tomorrow, I'm thinking about going to Caleb Smith State Park for an even longer hike. As I usually like to bring a musical instrument with me into the forest, I've already packed an alto recorder in my bag. This weekend, may your joys be as plentiful as the leaves that adorn the trees. Love & light...

"I will speak
of the glorious honor of thy majesty,
and of thy wondrous works."

~Psalm  145:5


June 25, 2013

Oh, What a Rush!

Well, this Saturday saw the opening event for the second season at the Avant Garden Poetry Amphitheatre. Along with the regular patrons, a couple of Bare Bones Theater Group alumni were in attendance to share their words and music during the open mic. I though it very nice that they showed up. Our main performer, Barbara Branca, gave an upbeat, environmentally-themed show. It was a delightful time and the evening's weather was warm, clear, and beautiful. I really enjoyed it. And, speaking of poetry, one of the coolest things that I heard this week came from my friend Jorge in Mexico. It seems that he likes to climb up to his rooftop on starry nights with a chair in hand and read the works of Edgar Allan Poe. When I heard that, I got such a great mental image -- Poe's writings on the rooftop under the stars! Wow! How cool is that? I asked him immediately if I could share his story here and he said that I could and joked that he would waive his "mention me in your blog" fee for me. Ha! Thanks Jorge!

On Sunday evening, I hopped aboard the party bus with a few friends to go to the Rush concert. We had a great tailgating time in the Jones Beach parking lot, eating buckets of chicken while trying to dodge some nearby thrown footballs that had gone astray. It was an awesome concert, though, as sometimes happens at outdoor venues, the Atlantic winds definitely wreaked havoc on the overall sound. It started to drizzle at the end, but, by that time, the audience was singing along with every word of the Rush classics and no one minded. Begin the day with a friendly voice, a companion unobtrusive. Yeah, you know the songs. This week, may you experience something so breathtaking that it makes your heart thump like Neil Peart's bass drum. Love & light...

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 
gentleness and self-control."

~Galatians 5:22


June 21, 2013

Hooray for Summer!

Happy First Day of Summer! I'm so glad when this time of year comes around. The feeling in the air is fresh and there are always so many great things to do. This Saturday, I'll be hosting the first art party at the Avant Garden Poetry Amphitheatre for this season. I've been really looking forward to having these events again. Last night, I got together with featured performer, Barbara Ann Branca, to discuss the details of her show. I always encourage the people who perform here to get as creative as they want with their ideas and Barbara has quite a few good ones. Some amazing props too.

This week, I also made my first trip to the beach. It felt wonderful to wade into the water again and feel the waves foaming against my legs. Someone had built a beautiful sandcastle down by the water's edge. I was very impressed with it as I've never had good sandcastle making skills. On the horizon, I could make out the outlines of sailboats and fishing boats. Someone zoomed by on a jet ski; it looked like an absolute blast and something that I'd love to try someday.

On top of that, a friend called me with an extra ticket to the Rush concert at Jones Beach on Sunday evening. Yes, I think it's safe to say that this first weekend of summer 2013 is going to be a exceptional one. May the music of a summer breeze caress your cheek like a lyrical kiss. Love & light...

"Rejoice in the Lord always.
I will say it again:

~Philippians 4:4


June 8, 2013


After seeing an online advertisement earlier in the week that looked really great, I had planned to attend the New Jersey Renaissance Faire today (I really like the whole medieval theme), but, unfortunately, Tropical Storm Andrea lingered here through the morning. So, instead of spending the day in the mud with knights and jesters, I decided to pull out the most artsy-fartsy shirt in my wardrobe and pass the muggy afternoon indoors at the Nassau County Museum of Art. The exhibit on display at this time is called "AB-EX/RE-CON" or Abstract Expressionism Reconsidered.

As the museum's brochure explains, in "reconsidering" this artistic movement, the showcase attempts to celebrate some of popular artists of the time while also taking a closer look at some of the lesser known painters of the post-war era. I very much enjoyed browsing through the galleries of these non-representational images, some of which are very large and take up entire walls. Mostly created during the late 40s through the 60s, these paintings are colorful, lively, and quite fascinating. I really drew a lot of inspiration from this exhibit. While I was there, a lot of cool ideas kept popping into my head, lines of poetry and such.

Fritz Bultman
Blue Triptych

Jon Schueler
Small Painting #3

Joseph Fiore

Hans Hofmann
Black Form

Milton Resnick
Much Like

Stan Brodsky
Tuscan Series #11

Rita Rogers
Untitled (No. 0006)

Michael Loew
The Beginning

Conrad Marca-Relli

Leonard Nelson
The Empty Bed

One other highlight of the exhibit that I found very interesting is a Hans Namuth film from 1950 that shows Jackson Pollock at work on some pieces and describing his creative process. As the movie was set on a loop, I sat on the bench and watched it a few times. AB-EX/RE-CON will be on display through June 16. May your week ahead be a work of art! Love & light...

"May the God of hope fill you
with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit
you may abound in hope."

~Romans 15:13


June 5, 2013

Poetry Place, Patchogue

Whew! Saturday's Fundraiser Gala at the Poetry Place in Patchogue finally completed the string of three different performances that I had scheduled for within the month. It was really a challenge for me to prepare such a diverse batch of material at one time. I was working on nuances and memorizing lines right down to the very last minutes. I feel stretched out artistically, though quite happy with the fact that I was able to do it all without any sort of hiccup. It really shows me that I am capable of a lot. Now, I can relax for a moment, though I have to admit that I'm already thinking about some themes for upcoming performances. I have a few good ones in mind.

The Poetry Place is a nice venue. The Gala was well attended and featured a full afternoon of poets and musicians performing their arts both indoors and outside among the trees. Also, there was a big barbeque. Someone even brought a basket of locally-grown strawberries; one taste and it was instantly summertime on my palate. (*NOTE - If anyone is still living with the notion that food somehow represents prurience, please read this. Strawberries are strawberries.) It was really an enjoyable, inspiring day. Here are a few photographs that were taken by my friend, Marquis McCheever. Enjoy. Cheers!

"O taste and see that the Lord is good:
blessed is the man that trusteth in him."

~Psalm 34:8