Monthly Archives: August 2014

blueberry crumb cake

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Blueberries are local and abundant. The weather had finally cooled enough to allow for some baking without causing the paint to peel in the kitchen from the heat of an oven.

I’ve baked many things in my time, but nothing has been quite as dreamy as this cake.

Perfect lightness to the cake.
Delicious crumbliness to the topping.
The blueberries throughout adding just the right amount of delight to the palate.

Mmmm… highly recommended.

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small art 8.16.14

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Experiments in green.

One of my co-conspirators of the Facebook group I am co-admin on suggested we do a virtual art journal swap. We decided that each month a different colour would be featured and that those who wanted to participate could share the fruits of their labour by posting photos of our collectively created art in a group album.

I’d already started playing with green a little (with yesterday’s small art posting) and this one is today’s result.

If nothing else, at least it’s getting me to play in my sketchbook again. That’s always a good thing.

the barron

StoreyTalk_web[with Barron in L.A. at the Bert Green Gallery]

I don’t think that there is an artist who has inspired me more than Barron Storey. I am not alone in this.

There isn’t much that I envy of others, except, perhaps, to have been in one of his classrooms while he was teaching at The California College of the Arts. I am a public college fine art school drop out.

Too late now, I’m afraid, for all of that. I’m self-taught, mostly, and it’s through practice that I’ve become remotely proficient. Through much trial and failure. I suppose that could be said of most anything, in my case – lots of trials; lots of failures.

BarronSig_web[inscription in my Life After Black book, images excerpted from his visual journals]

In the midst of all of those, though, are the wild successes. Things that I’ve made that I can hardly believe came from my hands. Pieces I’ve written that I barely recognize as having been borne of my mind. But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

I think artists (ALL artists… writers, painters, actors, circus performers, musicians, sculptors, mimes, burlesque dancers, opera singers…) are speaking their truths, expressing what society so desperately needs to hear but seldom voices.

That is our purpose.

morning pages

What is humanity doing? Where have we gone terribly wrong?

The news flattens me, daily.

Robin Williams’ suicide.

The plight of the Yazidi, annihilated by a terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The Yazidi aren’t the only ones dying in droves at their hands. Or those dying at the hands of the Militia operating there. I often wonder what kind of a religion can so effectively remove empathy and compassion from the hearts of its followers, and rationality from their minds.

I read an in-depth article on Edward Snowden published by Wired magazine. It was fascinating to read about how in the name of security and self-protection, the basic rights of so many civilians are being violated on an ongoing and daily basis (and there is apparently no monitoring mechanism in place to keep the honest people, monitoring the honest, honest).

I read about the latest happenings in Ferguson and what feels like a shift in what is viewed as fundamental human rights, sides being taken and so far from meeting somewhere in the middle that it feels like pre-MLK era mindset.

I think about the situation in the Ukraine, and wonder how someone could think that plundering a tube of mascara from the luggage of the downed Malaysian flight would be a good, ethical, thing to do. Who would want to use someone else’s used mascara anyway? The depravity goes on an on.

If I were god (if there was a god and I could step into god’s shoes for even a moment) I’d wonder where my children (if in fact we were in some way, directly or indirectly, the offspring of such a creator) had gone wrong, or more importantly, I would question what kind of parent I was, and where I’d failed with my parenting.

Clearly all of the various religious writings and all of the institutions upon which they are based, have somehow failed humanity. I think, perhaps, that humanity has essentially failed itself.

Have we not learned anything, over the many millennia that we have inhabited this green and blue dot?

My heart breaks. I want to keep the faith. I want to believe in humanity’s capacity for great and wondrous and beautiful things.

But daily my heart sinks. I turn to the little things that make me smile, like my writing or making little bits of art, or a walk around the inlet right by my neighbourhood – surrounded by green, with feet rhythmically pounding the dirt trails. I feel a little better, even if worry flares up about the tons of nuked water from the coast of Japan flooding the Pacific ocean and somehow affecting (in a way which we have yet to adequately determine) the ecosystem we rely upon and of which we are by our presence within it an integral part.

Then I get THIS in my inbox.

The sentiments oddly reflect my own.

The paralysis of concern combined with the inability to know what empowered action to take is a weighty one. What DO we do when we feel disengaged and downright helpless?

Maybe taking small, measurable but consistent, steps is a place to start. Maybe it all starts at home, in our backyards, and maybe, given time, the effects will ripple out wide enough to effect global change.

And to quote something from Jim Carrey’s commencement speech he gave earlier this year:

“Take a chance on faith — not religion, but faith. Not hope, but faith. I don’t believe in hope. Hope is a beggar. Hope walks through the fire. Faith leaps over it.”

Adriane xo

a poem-ish

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Summer.
We’re at the height of its fiery heat,
though by the wheel’s turning we are already into the descent.
A banana tree in the back yard has grown by feet this past week alone,
one of the billowy leaves looking like a tired sojourner,
leaning heavily on the balcony railing for support.
Even the mosquitos are too wilted to mill as we wait for the sun to sink below the horizon; none come out now.
I’ve been reading the same page of my book over again without retaining a word.
I’ll try again later. Right now something cold and wet sounds good;
raspberry lemonade blended with trays of ice, swirled with some freshly cut strawberries, perhaps.
I will not complain about the heat, even as I stand in front of the fan with lifted shirt;
the air inside is so warm that standing anywhere feels as though one were in a bath without any steam.
But the glasses aren’t sweating – everything is dry, a little parched.
In a few months I’ll be lamenting the lack of warmth and aridity and sunshine;
for now I’ll bask in it, then, even if it hurts.