Anne Smith :: Blog for May 2012


Hello, Everybody!

We're well into May…and thundershowers in Florida. As I write, lightning forks flash in the dark, rolling clouds, alternating with intermittent downpours.
Pardon me for not writing an April blog. I have been possessed with pods. Not i-pods, but tree pods that grow here in abundance from some kind of locust tree.

I find them fascinating and despite the curious stares of my neighbors, have been harvesting them. Some are small and flat, but most are curved or twisted, and up to 24" in length. When they dry, they are hard as wood. Following a wild prompting from my Muse, I put a coat of shellac on the pods and covered them with broken pieces from the motherboard of my old computer, added some beads, feathers, strips of music manuscript…..they look ancient, but futuristic at the same time. I don't know just exactly what it is I'm trying to say. Something about the intelligence of nature? Man's futile attempts to control nature with technology? On one piece I used a dollar bill laced through a broken piece of the pod, and glued some keys from my old computer's keypad: "Shift Control 4-$." On another piece, I used "Enter-Home". I like to imagine that a future civilization found our computers, obsolete by then, and used them to create talismans for their tribes.

A few summers ago, the same "wild-thing" took over my mind, only it was clothing and fashion. At that time, I felt almost out of control, as if the ideas were not coming from me, but through me. I would stay up until 4am, experimenting, lost in a zone.

I went along with my ideas and executed them, all the while telling myself, "This is crazy. I'm a musician and a teacher, not a fashion designer." Even though I was being approached by interested people in the fashion industry when I wore some of my designs out in public, I would demur, mumbling something like, "I just do this for fun. My real job is teaching Music." As if I were ashamed of my results, because I'd never studied fashion or design. Friends, what I have come to realize is that those "crazy" ideas are gifts of inspiration from The Divine. They are not just for kicks. They are answers to prayers for creative solutions to financial or emotional dilemmas. I've also come to realize that life can be a wild ride, if you are aware of your inner voice and have the courage to follow its guidance. Don't tell yourself what you are not. You ARE anyone that your imagination allows you to be. We are all here to learn how to become. Don't limit yourself! Do I sound like someone who has a milestone birthday just around the corner? Yup.
This time, I am taking my artistic experience to the next level; which means having the pods photographed professionally, putting a portfolio together, and approaching some galleries or upscale boutiques. What do I have to lose?

I've been going to a few blues jams in Ft. Lauderdale….there are some great musicians here and thanks to Charlie Boyer and his fantastic online source, Jazz & Blues Florida, I have endless opportunities to network and enjoy a variety of performers. Lately, around the house, I've been pulling out old Billie Holiday charts and some of the lesser known standards….ie, "Last Night When We Were Young", heartbreaking lyrics, gorgeous melody(and freaking difficult chord progressions, if you ask me!).
Marc is on a cycling trip in Italy; he just called me from a teeny-tiny little village near Pisa. He sounded a little forlorn, having seen only 10 people today, 1 of whom spoke "a little English", but was enthusiastic about spending the day in Florence tomorrow. It sure is quiet here, without him! I'll have to push myself to shellac all the pods that I stored in the freezer while he is away. A tired and hungry cyclist won't want to come home to such an unappetizing sight, but I wanted to make sure that any little parasites wouldn't survive inside my art! For now, Pod-Girl Rules!

Until Next Time, xoxoxAnnie

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