The News Tribune logo

Saturday, April 16, 2011

As A Song Says - One Of My FAVORITE Things!

Above all : The bright, well-lit, energy filled and cheery walls of Craft City & Craft City Cafe, 35415 21st Avenue SW in Federal Way, WA provide an optimum setting to celebrate the a friend's special birthday, have coffee with long-lost friends, to meet fellow craft enthusiasts and a healing and hospitable haven away from home to jump start your personal creativity! For questions, classes, hours, etc. call (253)517-9206.
Photos copyright 2011 by Mizu Sugimura.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Love Roars Like A Lion

One thing is for sure. Our children are precious. They are worth the ups and downs of communication gone wrong, hours missing them, worrying about them, worrying with them....what would have become for me if my mother and my grandmother had worked so very, very hard to make sure I had a warm, safe place to live, food to eat, and a loving shoulder for me to rest my weary head on day after day.

Our children are precious and I am privileged day after day to see teachers, staff persons, and moms and dads and uncles and aunts and grandpops and grandmoms and alumni and alumnae and women and men come out for games and plays and community service events...and quietly working as volunteers in the mailroom, on the school phones...all doing what they can to make Bellarmine High School a wonderful place to grow intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.

Here, like at other private and public schools, love roars like a lion

Saturday, April 15, folks are coming together in Bellarmine's new gymnasium to enjoy each other's company and to bid on so many beautiful articles donated by families and friends who not only say that they love our children but choose to share their resources to support Bellarmine's administrators, teachers, staff, and volunteers continue to provide loving service to our wonderful young people.

Check out the decorations on the head table.

Check out some of the articles donated for the auction.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Raven Dances In Cedar

Artist arrives,
paint spattered,
caressed patina
on an easel
she lets go
an easel she

Backgrounds prepared,
light, twilight and fire
for Words & Music to
light upon, bird on a wire.

Raven come from
cedar treetops,

brushes preening

three portraits,

poets Anita Boyle,
James Bertolino,
Cheryl Wheeler,
called back
for another show.

Lines in the fire, lines upon water and air,
lines of an earthy audience reflected.
Wheeler there in the round,
supported, surrounded.
Raven paints with light,
like sunset and sunrise,

never the same show twice.

Poets who speak
their words beyond
quiet voice on page
are brave,
as words might
on blue air
of twilight.

"I liked that they spoke
with no trickery,"
coyote union man.
"Sweeter than chocolate
covered pomegranate seeds,"
sparkly-eyed woman.

Gentle are words
a couple may share,
brave when they cast

them into the air.

Collide together
a Queen of Hearts,
and a finger-wavin',
cruisin' near sixty.

While the world seems bound
for Hell in a Hand-Cart,
she found our Pacific Northwest
in gentle rain
we pour
our hearts,

She pours taste
of her
new song,
two verses,

she pulled
into it

moment of time


Artist painted Artist
across sunset paper,
brushes fanned ember
and softened her lines,
lines that were
softened by
rain in Portland,
warmed by
worn and faithful
friends, there at
the farthest shore.

Wheeler's likeness
headed east
to Montana,
while the real deal
wheeled north,
cruisin' near sixty.

Raven dances in cedar,
three portraits of light

and the night's magic
had pleased her.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tom Kimmel

Have you a sweet and mean addiction to words and music?

Have you ever had a friend visit you inside a stranger?

Have you always believed in signs and trusted mystics you’ve met along the way?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, then perhaps you can understand what it meant to me, to spend an evening with singer, songwriter, and poet Tom Kimmel. He was an incredible start, Friday March 25th for this year’s Words & Music series at Jerry and Pam Libstaff’s beautiful home in Vaughn. Tom read from his book of poems “The Sweetest & The Meanest” (peppering-in a few new ones) and performed from his vast catalogue of songs. You may not know him by name, but I can guarantee you’ve heard one of his songs in movies, on television or by other artists, somewhere, sometime.

Raised early in Alabama, Tom Kimmel is most definitely a Nashville Cat (plays clean as country water) with hawk’s nose and bright, far-seeing eyes. Here was someone who had been to the well, fallen down and forgiven everyone (most of the time) in order to get back to that same well. His voice (oh honey!) is southern autumn, swayin’ a tale sweet and woodsy enough to charm his audience out of their all and everythings. It made me wax tender towards him when he spoke of his, “feeling a generation click forward” with his father’s death, a year previous, finding himself now a “middle-aged, mortal man.” Made me feel his understanding. I liked that his writing showed a ready ear for the rhythmic humour abounding in folks’ natural conversation. Indeed, all my favourite writers are able to appear and disappear in their observation of unique human voices, and universal human movement through those voices. See now, I don’t usually talk like this…but that’s the kind of effect Tom Kimmel has on a body!

Tom’s speaking voice and emanating spirit as his eyes touched mine, brought a beloved old friend to mind and heart; this aura brought him into the room with such sudden recognition, such a shot of endearing pain that my eyes shone, brimmed and spilled. Call me crazy, but it’s not the first time I’ve learned of a friend’s passing by being visited through a stranger. I told him how much he reminded me of my friend, when I bought a copy of “The Sweetest & The Meanest” in the first break. Tom was completely present within our conversation and immediately hugged me, as if he felt my longing. In every conversation I watched him have with members of his audience, there was that same genuine connection. A person who understands the ratio of mouth to ears is a rare and necessary jewel. His poems are like that too, present and kind in a spirit-whittled way.

After reading through the misty twilight and taking a working break, Tom picked up his guitar and began to bring us into a deep-soaking spring night. His voice has such beautiful tone, pulsing with vibrato and smoked around the edges by decades of working use. It expanded one moment, then pulled in for the sweetest quiet point of a tune the next. His medicine began to work on me immediately and harmonies pulled from my guts to his melodies, even when I didn’t know the songs. Tom Kimmel was as familiar as every friend gathered around instruments over the many years, many miles and, oh so many songs on this musical, magical road.

Each performer at House Concerts talks for a moment about feeling it a slight ‘come down’ from bigger circuits, but then reveals a core teaching of common link to all circles, a passion for the work and for people who make up an audience, waiting to breathe with their own stories, people wanting to follow melodies or fill in harmonies. Be it the magic of Carnegie Hall and larger collective unconscious, or magic of a comfortable living room in paradise and smaller, intimate connections, a performer needs an audience to make the alchemy happen, and takes something precious with them each time, from every different venue.

Tom did three sets in all, two of them a carousel of songs, stories and readings, riding up and down upon that guitar of dark flowers. What he left us still ripples, especially through our Watermark Writers group; we find ourselves slipping into gentle southern cadence when we read his poems, or try to write about him. Some were inspired to write songs, stories, chapters and verses, some to speak the truth of their hearts. Tweed Meyer was inspired within her Folk Art…Musical Folk, that is, and Tom Kimmel’s colourful serving of Love. All of us received something precious that stays behind, though he is many performances (and prayer beads counted) further down the line by now. It lets us take a bit more time and kindness with one another. It pulls us to listen, laugh, cry, love and learn, pulls us to create and share. The lyric phrase I keep hearing on everyone’s lips was Tom Kimmel’s kiss goodbye, as he sang, “…no one gets to Heaven, if anyone else is left behind…”

Simple yes, but so profound for many of us middle-aged mortal beings, looking for a sign that there will be more music, more words and more art in our Third Acts. It’s as necessary as breathing and believing, for all of us.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rainy Afternoons Spent Comfortably Curled Up With Books by Michael York

Overcast and rainy days in the South Sound are perfect days when time permits to grab a handy paperback or hardback and commune with a book. Yup. And while these days we can enjoy this art form via Nook, Kindle or a handy I-Phone or I-Touch, I've always had a special place in my heart for the three-dimensional model with well-worn or crisp yellow, cream or white paper pages.

The last few days have been spent with actor and author Michael York, whom I was introduced as a middle school student when watching him put his personal stamp onscreen to the character of fiery tempered Tybalt, in Franco Zeffirelli's enchanting and exquisitely lyrical production of Romeo And Juliet (1968).

Two volumes of the handful he has so successfully published have been happily tackled -
his 1991 autobiography Accidentally on Purpose and more relatively recently published 2006 narrative "Are My Blinkers Showing?" - Adventures in Filmmaking in the New Russia both of which I'm delighted to recommend.

Like reading a good old fashioned letter, regardless of authorship it's a pleasure to peruse through well-written tomes as these, but doubly so a visit with such an intelligent, well-read, veteran traveler, Oxford graduate, world observer, respected star of stage, television and silver screen who has not only earned but is entirely deserving of all his bonafide blue ribbon celebrity credentials.

This weeks outing with York reminds me of equally pleasant idylls in years past in the company of some of his fellow thespians such as Kirk The Ragman's Son (1999) ; My Stroke of Luck (2002) Douglas and the late Alec Blessings in Disguise (1985) Guinness, the first two of a larger group of talented others who come immediately to my mind.

And while I would freely admit in more recent times flipping through the pages of books purporting to be from the pens of both contemporary and self-professed members of celebrity, the most pleasantly enjoyed and relished reading hours I have spent have been devoted to tales told by performers such as York and his two aforementioned colleagues listed above, whose bookish endeavors always ensure a memorable and satisfying interlude.