January 2, 2018
I trust this blog is finding you in the midst of holiday activities. I hope you're enjoying every moment-the cooking, the shopping, writing cards, going to parties, dressing up, singing holiday music, visiting friends and family, attending church services, etc.
Do so safely! There are a lot of really stressed drivers out there, never mind when they are texting! You may have even seen yours truly, sitting at a busy intersection, waiting for the stop sign to turn green, while hundreds of angry people honked at me.
Hey, I was just thinking…… This year, my custom made cards arrived with an error- the "8" on the 2018 on the border of my card had been cropped off. It looked like a backwards 3. Of course, in myexcitement to look at them immediately at the post office, I tore apart the shipping box it came in, making the subsequent return shipment a little tricky. Initially I was quite upset that my cards would go out late this year- it was the first time in 2 decades that I really was going to be on time!! I put it all in perspective: didn't I have fun creating them? Weren't the recipents going to get them before 2019? Aren't there so many other terrible things to freak out over, if I wanted to? Yes! See the card here- my nativity set is from Ireland, the star fruit is from a tree in my yard, that little heart-shell I just happened to find that day, and yes, the ocean is 20 minutes from my home. Paradise.
Here's what I've been up to: in June, I left a FT job as a Recreation Coordinator for an Assisted Living Community in Boca Raton. As much as I loved the residents, I had no free time to practice, write, create, and live as an artist. The commute was about 50 miles a day. I have been letting the pendulum swing back-as you know, it will go to the other extreme, before settling to the center. So, there was a period of no work, no leads….but a lot of down time to read, write, practice, and create. During this time, I have been privileged to work with Dr. Richard Schron, an artist and writer. He and I are collaborating with 2 talented filmmakers, Jennifer Lett and Adrian Ferguson of 3RC Media, to film Dr. Schron's life's work in a documentary that features his writing, poetry, and sculptures. Shooting started this week and the project will be completed in late spring. I can't wait to share it with you.
As some of you know, I have been compelled to work with palm husks and fronds of all different sizes. I find their forms to be so strikingly beautiful and feminine. There is something about finding one on the side of the road, dirty and broken, bringing it home, cleaning it, and transforming it into a beautiful art piece; it is a process, a journey that allows me to enter into a meditative state. I set up a table in my back yard and work for hours in the sun, listening to jazz on my little Sony wireless receiver. The hurricane in September devastated a lot of trees and foliage in the area, but I was able to pick up and store many great pieces that fell. I'm sure the DPW was happy to let me clean up! My landlord is a good sport, to let me keep them a small shed in the yard. During the process of working on these pieces, I visualized a curriculum to help woman with histories of sexual abuse. I am calling my program "Palms Together", and I'm excited to apply for some grants. It is the perfect synergy of my background in education, my life experiences, and my creative path. It is an answer to one of my persistent questions, "Why Am I Here?" If any of you reading this has experience in writing grants….HELP! Thank you!
I am currently in rehearsal with two fantastic musicians, Freddie Gasparini (bass, keyboard, vocals) and Michael Wollman (percussionist). It's not always fun to play alone!! We just couldn't come up with the right name for our trio. Somehow, we ended up being "The Anne Smith Trio". Nothing wrong with plain vanilla, I guess! They will be sitting in with me again at my regular Thursday night at Cinque Terre, Jan. 4th. Please come and unwind from the holiday rush! It's such a great place to do that-plenty of parking, spacious, relaxed and good food, too!
I'm on my second reading of Michael Singer's book, "The Untethered Soul". If anyone is "untethered" right now, it's me, having removed myself from the mainstream of 9-5 and basically living a sort of reclusive lifestyle, many of my days spent in silence, working in the back yard, writing, reflecting, or practicing keyboard. I still find that my earthly, physical concerns will insert themselves into the middle of a soulful experience with snide reminders that the rent is due, my car needs to be serviced and that palm husks belong in the yard waste, not in an art museum. I'm learning not to listen as much. I'm knowing that my inner being, my soul, is seeking expression through these daily activities, and to deny that process is to deny myself LIFE. I'm learning to accept help from people who want me to succeed. I'm learning that pride is not a virtue, and I am truly grateful for angels in my life. I am grateful to my friends and family who are supportive and understanding of this temporary retreat.
As 2017 draws to a close, I can honestly say that I am BEYOND thrilled to welcome in 2018. We're all in this cosmic soup together, my friends, and it's been tasting bitter this year, but I'm not worried. I have great faith in our ability to add the right ingredients.
Not too much, not too little…"There's a new world coming, and it's just around the bend." Cass Elliot
Until Next Time-xxxooo Annie