What do an actor, a writer, a journalist, and a computer programmer have in common? And what are they doing in Washington, D.C., in the year 2038? Or in India in 1992? Or in Brooklyn in 1939? This lively novel by Peter Ferko follows the four main characters as they traverse time and place, creating alternate futures for themselves, each other, and society. We know that the smallest action (or thought) can have huge consequences—but do we really know it? Incarnation deals with all the “big” issues—desire, work, politics, creativity, and, ultimately, life and death–but it’s threaded with huge doses of humor, compassion, and optimism. Enjoy the ride!
From Bad News to Actual Happiness
The current news is challenging us. It seems that every day bad things are happening, and that every month disasters are striking. We live in a constant state of Orange Alert — the U.S. Homeland Security designation for a high threat level. That this level of challenge is stressful goes without saying.
When I was in elementary school, we were required to follow “current events,” to stay up on the news of the day so we could become informed members of society. Doing that today can be a full-time job and keep you on twitter all day and night. Then you have to parse the real news from the fake news, identify the spin to see what the facts are, and find out if there’s any “there” there.
To say nothing of trying to fix what is wrong in the world.
How do you find real happiness within this disaster? Continue reading “From Bad News to Actual Happiness”
I studied mostly liberal and applied arts in school, as an undergrad at Georgetown University and as an art and music student at various community colleges and at Catholic University. But I technically majored in Economics at Georgetown, and I have always had my pet theories on how to make things work better. One of my current favorite podcasts, Pod Save America, raised the question of what can we really do given the current situation with today’s economy and political climate. I am glad to offer the following for debate. Continue reading “My Manifesto”
Review of Yoga for Artists, by Joel Adas
I truly enjoyed reading Yoga for Artists. As a painter who has practiced yoga in the past, it spoke to me on many levels. With an economy of words and simple but eloquent illustrations, Peter Ferko outlined what a thoughtful, individualized yoga practice might be. The fact that it is more than a workout or a routine but rather a complete practice tailored uniquely to each person was a revelation to me. As a result of reading “Yoga For Artists”, I am strongly considering searching for a teacher who embodies many of the wonderful attributes to be found in this book.
The Genius of Leonard Cohen, In an Email
“I wanted to stand with those who clearly see G-d’s holy broken world for what it is, and still find the courage or the heart to praise it. You don’t always get what you want. You’re not always up for the challenge. But in this case — it was given to me. For which I am deeply grateful.” From Leon Wieseltier’s Op-Ed in the New York Times
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These are the five stages of grief, using one commonly cited psychological model.
It’s no secret that I would be disappointed with the outcome of the 2016 election. I have been mindful, this post-election morning, of those five stages cycling through my head, heart, and body.
I know a lot of you hung great hopes on this election. As you go through today and the coming months, remember that you, too, will cycle through these feelings. Each stage will pass, and likely come up again, to pass again.
Yoga philosophy, as presented in the Bhagavad Gita recommends that we strive to understanding that the drama of life is much smaller than the wholeness that we comprise. This leads us to realize that we shouldn’t look to the drama for our happiness, but to our wholeness. This can be done through selfless work, the explicit pursuit of wisdom, meditation, and then, letting go of the results of our efforts.
Relying on getting what you want to bring you happiness is the fuel of the drama of life. It’s what makes us put an unbalanced amount of attention on the winning and losing. Not the fight, not the work, not the discernment — these are all the good acts of life, living in each moment. The attachment to a particular outcome, desire, or abhorence of another, repulsion, will always ultimately lead to dissatisfaction. Things, events, relationships, officials, everything comes and goes.
So we continue our work. Democrats noted that love trumps hate and that we’re better together. Those principles are still true, even on the day you don’t get what you want. So be a vehicle for love. Aim to live together. It will be hard work. The beauty of the process is that this work brings you love and togetherness.
You may not hear me now. You may find it triggers anger, or depression, or whichever stage you’re in. Allow yourself the chance to heal, and recognize when you are cycling back into one of the five stages of grief. But when you get to acceptance, do your best to move on, to connect with your wholeness. Winning and losing comes from the outside; contentment comes from within.
I just discovered this bass player-slash-conceptual artist. Where have I been?!?! I adore the pairing with the tabla rhythms from Manjunath. Wow. The final moments of the video show MonoNeon’s art manifesto. Good stuff.
Newsletter June 9,2016
See my latest missive for lots of fun!
The First Lady
I was a Bernie Sanders supporter.
He ran an amazing campaign. Sanders pulled the Democratic discourse to the left, where it belongs. I hope he continues to do that, and that his supporters find ways to keep Hillary tacking that way. The easiest is by voting in more progressives in down-ticket races, so she is not as hamstrung as Obama was. A Democratic Congress plus a Democratic President is necessary now. This is why you need to get to the polls in November and vote in Democrats at all levels, including HRC. This is what Sanders’ revolution calls for next.
Continue reading “The First Lady”
It all boils down to this
We tend to get very complicated. We live in the era of specialization. We think in terms of expertise. This kind of thinking tempts us to hope that there’s a special, expert, complicated magic bullet that will bring us what we want. And there are a lot of people who offer to sell us such a magic bullet. Almost always, the sales job emphasizes impossible things: eternal youth, great success, unheard-of prosperity, flawless health, better looks, waif-like weight, control.
Yoga proposes an alternative to all that. Continue reading “It all boils down to this”