Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Voice Leaves Its Echo...

What a refreshing experience for those who attended the spoken word poetry event at the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande last weekend! Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye of Project Voice performed to enthusuastic crowd and standing ovation and did workshops to capacity classes at La Perla del Mar.
The art form of Spoken Word Poetry is very new , but fast becoming a movement because of its growing popularity among high school and college age people.  It is NOT hum drum poetry, a monotonous flow of rhyming words or prose, or boring in any way.
Some people expected that the evening was going to be just that, maybe tolerable, but most likely dull.   I overheard some people arriving to the performance saying, "I will give it a few minutes, but if I start nodding or snoring, let's think about leaving", or, "At least I'll get a nap."  Were those people surprised!   The dynamic of the poetry, the impact of so much in few words was something they will never forget.  Within the first two or three words of Phil and Sarah's first poem, mouths in the audience were dropping, whispers of "Oh my GOSH!" or gasping were heard expressing almost disbelief at what was happening on stage.  The level of attention and desire for more only grew over the next hour.  Everyone in the crowd was not thinking of anyplace else they would rather be but right there, and right then.  They felt like part of the stories. They wanted to learn to to use this new voice to tell their own story.  "How do they do that?" was heard by many.

This is a new voice, a new "prophet", as someone called it, for a new generation.  Each of us has it inside of us waiting to be discovered and called upon, with courage, humor, attention to craftsmanship of expressing the things that are important to us.  Hopefully, the movement will continue and workshops will be more frequent and available.   Hopefully we can add a new, very meaningful and true way of communicating beyond the comfort of our slang, our abbreviated grammar, our texting that is will bring people together to share experiences, solve problems and inspire compassion.

Before they left, SLO gave them a moment of surprise at Bubble Gum Alley...

 Thank you Project Voice.

Friday, January 6, 2012

PAIR OF SKATES Northern Minnesota

The summer memories are of warmth of the sun, all trees, crops and flowers green and in bloom.  I can hear the giggles of the sisters as they must have played outdoors.... Eileen, Leone, Gladys, Eldeen, Gwen...

When winter came, the laughter, singing, and fun came indoors.  Emma encouraged them to use the attic and the girls turned it into their skating arena.  It would be below zero outside, but the sisters would fill that attic with activity and imagination. 
 There was one pair of skates. the kind with the skate key to adjust for size. That meant that because they had to share the skates, one sister would crank the adjustment down to fit her smaller foot, and the other could easily loosen up the fit for her larger foot.  They proudly pose here in this photo... hands on their hips, like fashion models... Eileen so admiringly holding her big sister, Leone's hand.  Tall and lanky, Leone adored her sisters and even sharing the pair of skates.  Being the typical pre teen young lady, she shyly would pose her skate less foot behind the one with the skate, looking so poised and graceful, like a princess, as she role modeled for young Eileen.

On the Farm 1920's Minnesota