Pandemic Road: Art and Compassion

Back in the good old days.….by which I mean the days before Covid 19.…I had two creative works accepted into different exhibitions around Houston. Originally there were going to be opening receptions with wine and hors d’oeuvres, patrons of the arts and various creative types. Alas, that was not to be. However, in this new day of virtual gatherings, the receptions and the exhibitions have been moved online.

The first of these is Compassion, a collaboration between Women in the Visual and Literary Arts (WiVLA) and the Holocaust Museum Houston. In this project pairs of visual artists and writers teamed up to bring forth their vision of compassion. I was chosen as one of the writers and I worked with visual artist, Josena Arquieta. Her painting is called Listen, which is a companion to my essay, It’s Time To Listen. The picture you see here is the exhibition book. You can see this exhibit by going to WiVLA.org and clicking on the exhibit link. If you want to see our work or purchase the book, you can go either to WiVLA.org or you can go to the website for the Holocaust Museum Houston. The online exhibition doesn’t always give the full text of the poems or essays. For the full literary version, you need to purchase one of the books.

My other exhibition, titled The Art of Attention, was a juried exhibition of art produced by students and teachers at the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University. This is a work of art that I made while taking a class in collage from instructor Ellen Orseck. You can see the entire virtual exhibit at https://glasscock.rice.edu/sites/default/files/F20_CLE_Student_Art_Exhibit.pdf

Meanwhile, back here in my private oasis known as Halloweensville, my good friend Skellington has come to visit for a few days. He’s pictured below in his black traveling cloak. We’ve had several leisurely dinners out on the patio, because the weather has finally started feeling ever so slightly like fall. He travels the neighborhood at night to visit the other skeletons in the neighborhood. Below is a picture of one of my neighbors who likes to wave at people and other skeletons.

Between all of the virtual art and Halloween, I love this time of year!

Until next week.….

The Light Road

So what’s the first thing a writer does after spending four days in a writing intensive at the Spectrum Center? Well, of course, I went to see a movie about a writer. Little Women proved to be a great way to spend a Tuesday afternoon in January. Yes, I went to the first showing of the day. Yes, everyone else in the audience had grey hair just like me. There was one woman in there who didn’t look old enough to be there with the retirement crowd, but she must have taken the day off work. We let her in anyway. It has never been overly crowded at the 12:15 pm showing on a Tuesday.

In the movie, Jo March is played by Saoirse Ronan. Another brilliant performance. Loved the scenes where she was on the screen with Meryl Streep. Two incredibly talented actors! Can’t believe the Director, Greta Gerwig, wasn’t nominated for an Oscar.

I also noticed that Jo spent much of the movie writing late at night by candlelight. Today I write in a modern home with electricity and air conditioning and such. I also don’t have to write by hand and keep my handwriting neat enough to be read by my publisher. I think I might be spoiled?

Coincidence. After the movie my Dear Friend and I went to buy some light bulbs. Have you bought light bulbs lately? Used to be when you needed a light bulb, you went to the store and bought a light bulb. There weren’t that many choices. Now there are whole stores dedicated to light bulbs. Compact fluorescent? LED? I don’t know! I just want to be able to see what I’m doing and not fall down. I don’t want to have to write by candlelight, because I’m pretty sure my eyes are not as good as Louisa May Alcott’s eyes. It was very helpful to have the assistance of an Electrical Engineer with a PhD to help me with my choices. He even installed them later that evening.

My brain was so taxed after the trip to the light bulb store, Dear Friend and I headed straight to my favorite restaurant for relaxation and solace. Yes, of course I mean Houston’s on Kirby. What is my favorite meal you may ask? A veggie burger with a side of Cole slaw and a Vodka Martini. The veggie burgers at Houston’s are the absolute best in the city. Then when I am half-way through the martini, a server showed up with a lovely chilled glass to freshen my drink. The lights were low and the booth was comfy. What’s not to love?

If you haven’t seen the movie, Little Women? Go. Now. It’s been nominated for a bunch of Oscars.

If you’ve never had a meal at Houston’s, what are you waiting for? It’s okay if you don’t care for veggie burgers. They offer a wealth of meats on their menu. You can’t go wrong.

One final note: Save the Date! On June 11th plan on attending the Holocaust Museum Houston. An exhibition called Compassion will open. There will be 25 works of art and 25 essays/poems from members of the Women In The Visual and Literary Arts (Wivla). I am fortunate to be one of the writers contributing to this wonderful exhibition.

Until next week.…..