Thursday, September 26, 2019

Best and Brightest

It really was the most beautiful day to go to the beach — temperature at 86° a luxurious warm, no wind and nary a trace of fog.  The sun so brilliant, it shattered all records of illuminated grandeur.

A visit with Rebecca Didomenico is always to the brim with inspiration. We walked the walk and talked the talk about art and imagination and how to best represent.

In the deep of night I turned to her gift of her latest book Flying Inside Paper, 60 poems and images, published on the occasion of her 60th birthday to celebrate her 60 years of creative life. And wouldn’t ya know, as it happened, the pages fell open to the most moving of reflections about her mother Ann Stephens who I had the great good fortune to befriend for some 30 years.

Noticing is The Only Witness of Memory Left 

Did anyone notice the moon? 
It’s glorious, she said, with more than enough light 
pouring out of her eyes.
Even though, lately 
her eyes are devoid of anything 
remotely luminous 
not to mention glorious.
Now she sits at the table, 
not eating, not making connections 
to the words coming out of our mouths.
Every once in a while, 
she spells a random word out loud,
as if to make it belong to the conversation in her mind.

And I know how she feels: 
how sometimes 
the words fall short of their meanings 
And how they seem to be bumper cars 
colliding in the cover of night.

And I think about how my husband used to say,
If I hear one more time 
how that plum tree is the most beautiful tree in the world 
Or this restaurant is the best one she’s ever eaten at,
I will scream. 
And I say, think about the alternative;
sitting there for eternity with a bitter old woman 
who can’t hold the splendor in anything. 
And because, sometimes 
my husband has an uncharacteristic ability 
to surprise you with his talent for learning, 
He turns to her,
The half of his face next to mine in darkness,
and says, I notice, dear,
What would we be without her!
(meaning, of course, my mother 
and the moon simultaneously),

and our Alleluia, Glory be to God!
And to all of us here, still able to witness, 

I whisper inside.


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Coastal Clean Up Day 2019

Clementine marched and held her sign high at the Global Climate Strike in San Francisco on Friday then put her words into action with her brother Aloysius on Saturday with us on Drakes Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore.

It was a glorious day for climate in action — gentle waves, soft ocean breezes, the perfect shoes-off temperature to wiggle toes in the sand.

We like to say Coastal Clean Up Day is our Christmas, our Yom Kipper, our Ramadan, our Dewali, too. It is the day we join with others in an international effort to do what we do on a regular basis. Our religious fervor for the planet is expressed in the concept of halakha, meaning the walk the walk or take the path sometimes translated as law, which guides many aspects of daily life.

Slather on that sunscreen, grab your collecting bags, don your Pick Me Up Bag and come-on, let’s get going. 

After a check-in at the table set by docents from the Point Reyes National Seashore Association, the kids were primed by the display of plastic caps and David Liittschwager's pic of the stomach contents of a Laysan Albatross. Yes, their wingspan is twelve feet!

We are on the case to collect plastic. Come-on, let's get going. 

But this time of year, the nadir of the plastic seasonal cycle, is not prime time for collecting.
Some particpants complained about the dearth so instead of Coastal Clean Up Day in September we propose a day where celebrants of the sea go to the edge and bow to the mighty forces of the ocean. Our vote is to have coastal clean-up in April when the Winter/Spring currents bring the plastic in. The north flowing Humboldt Current brings debris out to the Gyre in Summer/Fall. Maybe the Fall event should be Beach Appreciation Day! 

Although there was scant plastic there were plenty of other reasons to be at the beach. On the lookout, the deep search was on — a tide line dig for sandcrabs, Pacific Mole Crabs.

A delicious reward for a fine day at the beach — a Water Buffalo milk gelato cone, a soft serve swirl of salted caramel and vanilla.

From the newswire: 
Tens of thousands of Californians turned out to take part in the 35th California Coastal Cleanup Day, the state’s largest annual volunteer event, organized by the California Coastal Commission.

They gathered hundreds of tons of trash at beaches, shorelines and inland waterways, cleaning up at over 1,000 sites in 55 of California’s 58 counties -- the largest collection of sites in the cleanup’s history. Cleanups took place up and down the coast, from the Oregon to Mexico border, and as far inland as Lake Tahoe. California’s event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup organized by Ocean Conservancy.

With 75% of the cleanup sites reporting,

the statewide count stands at 59,772 volunteers.

Those volunteers picked up 469,100 pounds of trash
and an additional 33,611 pounds of recyclable materials,
for a total of 402,710 pounds or 251 tons.

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Plastic Garbage Project

The Plastic Garbage Project just keeps on keeping on.
Now to the Americas.
In Uruguay until October 18.

Nurdle, nurdle, who can find the nurdle? 
These girls continue to search.
Our nurdles from Kehoe Beach continue to confound.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Eco Echo

Eco Echo: Unnatural Selection

Exhibitions by San Francisco Bay Area artists on the subject of global and local ecologies

Artists: Anne Beck, Barbara Boissevain, Ginger Burrell, Judith Selby Lang, Richard Lang, Kent Manske, Michelle Wilson, Nanette Wylde

Exhibition Statement

We live in a time of heightened ecological awareness and denial. Climate change, environmental degradation, species extinction, bio-engineering, and genetic modifications are just a few of the issues in which actions, decisions and consequences are engaging our social and political conversations. 

Ecology also refers to a sort of housekeeping--the manner and nature with which environments are cared for. Technology and the increased scale of our actions has resulted in ecological effects which transcend physical borders, often causing individual entities to lose control of the care and quality of their physical existence; and providing others opportunities for both care taking and/or exploitation. 

Our understanding of ecological issues is tied to the wonder and magnificence of science; the scope and reach of which has permeated our existence. Science continues to discover, uncover and invent phenomena beyond common comprehension, often inserting these into our personal lives without our knowledge, consent, or well-being as priorities.The scientific paradigm provides many positive outcomes yet these often include harmful and sometimes unacknowledged negative effects. Monoculture, medical interventions, genetically modified foods, robotics, and pharmaceuticals are obvious examples. These concerns encircle our planet, and with each minute movement, create waves of concern and delight--echos which reverberate in the lives, if not the minds, of earth's inhabitants. 

Eco Echo: Unnatural Selection presents an array of artists who respond to aspects of our ecological environment in unexpected and diverse ways. Each artist is grappling with some ecological concern, creating echos which are celebratory, poignant, beautiful, complex, and provide opportunity for audience examination and reflection.

Exhibition History

Gallery Route One, September 13 - October 20, 2019
Point Reyes, California
pdf Gallery Guide for Eco Echo at Gallery Route One

ARTLab at Cubberly, September 15 - 23, 2018
Eco Echo: Art and Environment Laboratory
with a CoLABorative screen printing event, offered free during the opening reception, a Kokedama hanging art garden workshop, and more!

WORKS/San José, March 3 - April 15, 2018
pdf Gallery Guide for Eco Echo at WORKS San José

Sunday, September 1, 2019

FraU Magazine

There were deep bows and formalities when the editor, writer and photographer from FraU, a Japanese fashion magazine for working women, arrived at Rancho D. They were here to spend a day documenting our project for the September issue Change the Ocean that would feature us and our Art From Drifted Waste. We talked for hours while the photogrpaher roamed the place taking hundreds of photographs, then we headed to the beach for more.

私たちが利用しているビニール袋、ストロー、ドリンクカップなどのプラスチック製品の多くは使い捨てられ、やがて海へ漂流します。この海に流れ出たプラスチックごみが与える影響は……? 具体的な数字とともに紐解いていくと「他人ごとではない」 と思うはず。

Google translates: 
Attractions [1]
How is the sea now? 
Many of the plastic products we use, such as plastic bags, straws and drink cups, are disposable and eventually drift to the sea. What is the impact of plastic waste flowing into this sea? □ When you unravel with specific numbers, you should think “not everybody else”.