Thursday, August 14, 2008

Boston In the Rain

A rainy Monday typically isn't what you want for the first day of vacation. But, that's what we got anyway. After moping about the house for the better part of the day I finally threw some clothes into a backpack and told everyone to get their shoes on because we were heading into Boston for the night.

In all the years I've lived in Massachusetts (my entire life, in fact) not once have I spent the night in a hotel in Boston. Sure, we've gone into the city plenty of times and often stayed until the wee hours of the morning, but we've never checked into a hotel to do it.

After an uneventful ride on the T we disembarked in the North End and walked the few blocks to the Bulfinch Hotel

From there it was just a hop, skip and a jump through the drizzle to
Faneuil Hall, a great place to grab a bite while wandering around people watching or kiosk shopping while listening to street musicians or watching an impromptu magic show.

Along the way to and from Faneuil Hall we walked through the Holocast Memorial. It is profoundly moving and serves as a reminder of what was and what could be again if we are not careful.

Being in the city is always an adventure and every time we go there it makes me wonder why we don't do it more often. The street musicians, the old buildings, the North End pastry, the steaming hot clam chowder and even the T are all things that get me jazzed (to be totally honest, it's mostly the pastry and the clam chowder). And, being able to spend the night in a fancy hotel just made the experience even better.

Taking our son to the
New England Aquarium for the first time was definitely the crowning moment. Where else can you see a 3-D shark movie on a 65 ft. screen, watch penquins take a shower or pet sting rays and sharks?

Boston in the rain isn't a bad way to start a vacation. In fact, it was a great way to start one. Especially since it was spur of the moment but fell together as if we'd planned to do it all along.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Spiritual Side

I'm not a religious person, but I have a deeply spiritual side. I believe that religion and spirituality are two separate things and that one can be a spiritual person without being a religious one and vice versa. I know not everyone thinks the way I do, but my beliefs are just that: my beliefs. What others believe is entirely up to them. It's not for me to judge, just as I expect to not be judged by others. Granted, this isn't always the case because people DO judge. I've found that deeply spiritual people tend to be less judgmental than some of the others and the ones who can't be wouldn't care for what anyone else has to say anyways so why give them any thought?

I have several areas in my home and yard devoted to my spiritual side. Little altars created from things that I find sacred and meaningful. Not dictated by any one belief system, but by what I have come to believe in. The newest of these spiritual areas was created by my son and me. We choose the location together, assembled it together and enjoy it together. What better way to celebrate spirituality than to share the beauty of nature with someone you love?
I find doing that a great blessing. A gift of love. From me to my son, my son to me and from both of us to the Goddess Above.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Found Object Art

I love making art out of found objects. In fact, I have no need to "Go Green" (the catch-phrase of the decade!) because I've been green all my life. Since I was a child I've liked nothing better than creating something new out of a treasure I've picked up. My adult life as an artist is no different.

I recently created a wind sculpture for the yard out of articles salvaged from the dump and ones I had on hand. An old bicycle wheel with the rubber tire removed, the metal blades from a huge, old fan that came with our house, the ornamental bits from some metal fencing and a few cans of spray paint provided all I needed to turn an old bird house pole into a cool, new work of art.

I love looking out my windows and seeing the tire frame and fan blades spin in the wind. Every time I see it I get a thrill from knowing that I created it and figured out how to assemble it so it would work.

Next time you're at the local dump, salvage yard or simply out for a stroll see what treasures you can find to convert into a work of art. There's nothing like salvaging the old in order to create something new.