Sunday, September 30, 2007

Nature




"Every now and again take a good look at something not made with hands

—a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream.

There will come to you wisdom and patience and solace and,

above all, the assurance that you are not alone in the world."


Sidney Lovett

Finding Love and Peace right here


After your death, when most of you for the first time realize what life here is all about, you will begin to see that your life here is almost nothing but the sum total of every choice you have made during every moment of your life. Your thoughts, which you are responsible for, are as real as your deeds. You will begin to realize that every word and every deed affects your life and has also touched thousands of lives.

We run after values that, at death, become zero. At the end of your life, nobody asks you how many degrees you have, or how many mansions you built, or how many Rolls Royces you could afford. That’s what dying patients teach you.

Dying is nothing to fear. It can be the most wonderful experience of your life. It all depends on how you have lived.

If you live each day of your life right, then you have nothing to fear …

Throughout life, we get clues that remind us of the direction we are supposed to be headed … if you stay focused, then you learn your lessons.

There is no joy without hardship. If not for death, would we appreciate life? If not for hate, would we know the ultimate goal is love? … At these moments you can either hold on to negativity and look for blame, or you can choose to heal and keep on loving.

When you learn your lessons, the pain goes away.

When we have passed the tests we are sent to Earth to learn, we are allowed to graduate. We are allowed to shed our body, which imprisons our souls …

We make progress in society only if we stop cursing and complaining about its shortcomings and have the courage to do something about them.

Those who learned to know death, rather than to fear and fight it, become our teachers about life.

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose....

You will not grow if you sit in a beautiful flower garden, but you will grow if you are sick, if you are in pain, if you experience losses, and if you do not put your head in the sand, but take the pain as a gift to you with a very, very specific purpose.

It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.

Death is simply a shedding of the physical body like the butterfly shedding its cocoon. It is a transition to a higher state of consciousness where you continue to perceive, to understand, to laugh, and to be able to grow.

For those who seek to understand it, death is a highly creative force. The highest spiritual values of life can originate from the thought and study of death.

I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death.

There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.

The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.


Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their carvings.

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose.

There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


Saturday, September 29, 2007



The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. --Joseph Campbell


Did you like Mira's posting on cliques?? I was really proud of her...she went on a field trip at school and a girl she has known since 2nd grade won't talk to her now because she thinks she is more popular than Mira. Mira doesn't have much tolerance for that kind of stuff I guess.
I am proud of her...........Love, Michele

In Odd Girl Out Rachel Simmons attempts to contextualize and explain the many indirect ways school aged girls express anger. Simmons spent a year interviewing women and girls about their experiences with bullying, and what Simmons calls alternative aggressions; the gossiping, rumor spreading, alliance building and silent treatments girls use to express negative feelings toward one another.

Simmons posits that our society does not allow girls direct access to conflict. From a young age they are taught to be “good.” Unlike boys who are allowed to be openly rough, rowdy, and competitive, “good girls” learn to be passive, Odd Girl OUt by Rachel Simmonsaccommodating, nice to everyone, and to never ever get into fights if any description. They also learn that they are defined by their relationships. These potential wives, mothers, and teachers realize early on that their proximity to specific people is what gives them their value and identity. In our younger years our friends make up our world. This is particularly true of girls who often view social isolation as the worst form of punishment. Without friends to define them they are nothing. The desire to be “good” combined with the desire to maintain perfect friendships leads girls to express their feelings of anger and hurt in the covert and often cruel form of alternative aggressions.

This book offers so much food for thought. I found Simmons discussion of abusive friendships particularly compelling. Girls on the whole are more likely to bully close friends than strangers or acquaintances. Over night best friends can become worst enemies, one friend relentlessly bullying the other for reasons unknown to the victim. However, the victim often tries to preserve the abusive friendship even at the cost of her own confidence and self-esteem. She is willing to make those sacrifices in order to avoid social isolation. Reading accounts of girls trapped in these friendships, I was shocked at how much the bullied girls sound like battered women. Their justifications for remaining in these obviously dangerous relationships echo those given by victims of spousal abuse: (s)he apologized and said it would never happen again, (s)he didn’t mean what (s)he said, (s)he’s nice to me sometimes. They blame themselves, assuming they must have done something awful to warrant such abuse. Simmons recognizes this parallel and worries that by teaching girls to care more about what other people think of them than how they feel about themselves makes them more susceptible to violence.

In the final chapter Simmons offers suggestions on how teachers, parents, and schools in general can support victims of alternative aggressions. Parents are encouraged to listen and soothe children rather than blame them or offer advice. Teachers are asked to learn how to identify alternative aggressions and to make sure the children in their classroom know that such behavior will not be tolerated. She implores schools to write specific policy concerning alternative aggressions and to be consistent in enforcing it. While I have my doubts about how effective the aforementioned plan of attack would be in practice, Simmons ideas are certainly worth considering.

As a victim of relentless childhood bullying myself I found comfort and understanding in Simmons words. Her research gave me a social context in which to view my days of junior high school torment and would highly recommend it to anyone who is dealing or has dealt with bullying.

Bullying should not have to be an unavoidable part of growing up. Alternative aggressions can destroy a young girl’s confidence, self-esteem, and even shatter her identity. Once you’re done with Odd Girl Out you will feel just as strongly as the author that we must do something to stem the tide of girl bullying before all our daughters suffer permanant damage.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Hunger for Love

There is hunger for ordinary bread,
and there is hunger for love, for kindness,
for thoughtfulness, and this is the great poverty
that makes people suffer so much.
--Mother Teresa


Did you know that our brains are wired to connect with others???
click on the link below to read the book review. Love, Michele
Good relationships act like vitamins and bad ones, like poison. According to Goleman, we "catch" other people's emotions like we catch a cold and toxic relationships cause us to send out hormones that impact biological systems from the heart to our immune cells.
http://tinyurl.com/yskfzf

Mira on Cliques




I'm going to lay it down and speak my mind:
I dance to live, and live to dance. why walk when you can dance I always say.
and NO we are not frilly fufu girls in tutus.
if dance were easy, everyone would be doing it. Never ask me to do a dance move,
its lame and dancers hate it.
my friends are my life, so dont mess.
I love to listen to music. my ipod is filled with songs that i like, not because they are "in".
so I dont care what you think. if you want to try and change me,
think again sweetie. I am who I am
and sorry if I'm not good enough.
I cannot stand drama. We all pretty much get caught up in sometime but whats the point? makingothers miserable is a waste of time.
so don't even go there with me.
I also hate that there is a hirearchy at school. Popular, Geek, Skater, Preppy, seriously who decides if your "good enough"?
I dont care if I'm good enough or not.
I just want to be liked and not thought of as stuck up.
Your popularity ends the second you graduate, so get a life and stop thinking you are better than others, because your not.
- Mira

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dedication of Merit


Namaste!!!
My parents just left for another month this morning.
They are going on an Asian cruise with two of my mom's brother's, and one of her sisters
and all of their spouses. They are going to China, Taiwan, Japan, Hong-Kong, Vietnam....etc.
I am so glad that they can enjoy retirement and enjoy each other.
Below is a dedication of merit that I learned from Cyndi Lee on her Om Yoga Dvd.
It is beautiful and I try to recite it at least twice every day.
Hope you enjoy it....and maybe will want to recite it too.
The world needs more positive energy!!!
Love,
Michele




May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering
May all beings never be parted from freedom's true joy
May all beings dwell in equanimity, free from attachment and aversion

one love

That's all nonviolence is - organized love.
--Joan Baez

check out the link below!...how beautiful!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqH4a9fp7kU

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

On Being an Artist



I love the above picture that Macy made. She loves doing artwork. I see her struggle in art at school sometimes. She came home in the second grade and said her art teacher told her that her trees did not look like trees and told her to draw here trees shaped like a "y". Macy was really put out about that. She told me that she liked the way her trees looked and did not like the way her art teacher told her to make trees.
Have a great day.
hope you like the quote below.
Love,
Michele



When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at a college -- that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?"
--Howard Ikemoto

The Compliment Man


Rob Brezny wrote this:
Washington, D.C.'s most renowned vagrant

never begs for money.
Instead, he hangs around the streets all day and

doles out praise and flattery to passers-by.
He calls himself Compliment

Man. "Those are beautiful shoes you're wearing,"
he may say as you walk
by, or
"The two of you look great together"
if you're with a friend.


Kinda cool!!!!....ehhhh?read below also. Love, Michele






When my daughter was in Washington DC doing her residency at Georgetown we me an incredible icon of DC known as “Compliment Man.” He is an infamous character who lives on the streets of DC and is known for complimenting every person who walks by. He finds something nice to say to every human that walks by. I wonder what the world would be like if we all took a lesson from Compliment Man. He is not rich or powerful in the usual ways we Americans think about “rich and powerful,” but he is rich and very powerful in his rich message he brings to all of us. No matter what life throws at you, respond with a positive message. Send love and possibility into the world instead of fear and separation. I was walking into Starbucks the other day having a rough morning of things going sideways. I just knew a venti latte would restore the balance to my day. As I got out of the car I dropped my keys and other events led me to another stage of frustration. As I was heading for the front door in a flurry, I heard a gentle voice say, “You are looking nice today mam, I hope you are having a blessed day. I am having a magnificent day of blessings, just one right after another.” This man was sitting in a Dartmouth sweatshirt, teeth missing and disheveled. He had a smile as big as Montana on his precious face and reminded me of Compliment Man. He got me smiling and in a flash, I was feeling blessed by him and the world. I have seen him at Starbucks several times since then and I now look for him every time. I look forward to the kind motivating words that emerge from his gentle heart. Thanks Dartmouth Man. You are one of my blessings in this dynamic life.

POSTED BY Kathleen
link:
http://tinyurl.com/37y73c


Nice article about him Here: http://tinyurl.com/3ah3ez

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On Connectedness

Loneliness
Is
An island
In
The middle
Of
A sea of people
--R.R. (age 11)


Health Through Friendship:
According to research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.,
having close friends you can count on has far-reaching benefits
for your physical and mental health.
A strong social network can be critical to helping you through
the stress of tough times, whether you've
had a bad day at work or a year filled with loss or chronic illness.
Dr. Edward T. Creagan is a cancer specialist at the Mayo Clinic
and the author of "How Not to Be My Patient:
A Physician’s Secrets for Staying Healthy and Surviving any Diagnosis."
He says a prescription of friendship can go a long way toward a healthy future.
“Mounting evidence from sociologists, psychologists
and medical researchers suggests that strong social support
-- I like the term 'connectedness' -- can help a person live longer,” he said.
click on the link below to read more!!!
http://tinyurl.com/359svz

Monday, September 24, 2007

On Being Alive


We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about. --Joseph Campbell

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Do You Realize?


http://www.gretchenmusic.com/dyr/index.html
click on link above

Do You Realize?:

"Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face? That we're floating in space? That happiness makes you cry?" So begins an unusual music video, shot with $3000, a plastic crown, a used video camera and a diverse handful of Los Angelans. Do You Realize? was released with no art work, no band, and no press release. Singer Gretchen Lieberum created this hauntingly beautiful, thought-provoking cover of a song.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Things that make me smile :)









The Last Lecture




Pausch, an active member of the community, co-founded the university's Entertainment Technology Center and directed the development of Alice, free software that teaches high school and college students about computer programming. He was diagnosed last year with pancreatic cancer, giving him an average five-year survival rate of just 4 percent.

At the time, his wife, Jai, was caring for their infant daughter, Chloe, who is now 1 year old. They have two sons, Logan and Dylan, ages 3 and 5.

Doctors removed Pausch's gallbladder, portions of his stomach and pancreas and several feet of his small intestine to increase his survival odds to 15 percent. He enrolled in an experimental treatment offered in Houston that combined chemotherapy with radiation, boosting the five-year odds to 45 percent.

He developed a Web site to inform people about his progress, and on Aug. 26 posted a bittersweet message: Although he felt the best he had in months and was able to play rigorously with his children, the grueling treatments didn't kill the cancer. Doctors believe he has three to six months to live.

"We cried for a few minutes, then said, 'OK, what's the best game plan from here?' " Pausch said.

His wife's family lives in Norfolk, Va., so they spent the past several weeks moving there. Dylan recently started kindergarten.


Beloved Professor delivers "Last Lecture" http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=5788




They had come to see him give what was billed as his "last lecture." This is a common title for talks on college campuses today. Schools such as Stanford and the University of Alabama have mounted "Last Lecture Series," in which top professors are asked to think deeply about what matters to them and to give hypothetical final talks. For the audience, the question to be mulled is this: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance?

--
At Carnegie Mellon, however, Dr. Pausch's speech was more than just an academic exercise. The 46-year-old father of three has pancreatic cancer and expects to live for just a few months. His lecture, using images on a giant screen, turned out to be a rollicking and riveting journey through the lessons of his life.

He began by showing his CT scans, revealing 10 tumors on his liver. But after that, he talked about living. If anyone expected him to be morose, he said, "I'm sorry to disappoint you." He then dropped to the floor and did one-handed push ups.

Some of his advice:

"Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things."
He encouraged us to be patient with others. "Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you." After showing photos of his childhood bedroom, decorated with mathematical notations he'd drawn on the walls, he said: "If your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let 'em do it."
--

Dr. Pausch's speech was taped so his children, ages 5, 2 and 1, can watch it when they're older. His last words in his last lecture were simple: "This was for my kids." Then those of us in the audience rose for one last standing ovation

He is concentrating now on creating videos for his children. With his oldest son, 5-year-old Dylan, Dr. Pausch went on a recent trip to Disney World and to swim with dolphins, thinking Dylan may be the only child who will have strong direct memories of him.

His wife and children, he said, "mean everything to me. They give a purpose to life and a depth of joy that no job [and I've had some of the most awesome jobs in the world] can begin to provide.

"I hope my wife is able to remarry down the line. And I hope they will remember me as a man who loved them, and did everything he could for them."

To see some of his speech, click below...or just cut and paste it. Jim Kelly sent me this link...it is really good!!

http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=5788

Thursday, September 20, 2007

THE JOY OF KINDNESS




The Connection Between Kindness and Power

Understanding kindness means accepting our personal power.
If you see your place in the universe, really see it, you will not
be struck by your insignificance. Rather, you will be awed
by your…power to build and contribute.

--ROBERT J. FUREY, THE JOY OF KINDNESS

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Broken open

Macy drew this picture of a dragon fly...and I love it.- Michele


The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. --Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Illumination

My parents took a picture of this guy when they were in Africa...
I think he has a blue butt?
......neon blue!!! Hope you like the quote below!

love, Michele



It doesn't matter how long we may have been stuck in a sense of our limitations.
If we go into a darkened room and turn on the light,
it doesn't matter if the room has been dark for a day, a week,
or ten thousand years - we turn on the light and it is illuminated.
Once we control our capacity for love and happiness,
the light has been turned on.

--Sharon Salzberg

Woof!!!






Bil-Jac had an open house on Sunday to celebrate the opening of the new building they built for their office space. They flew in some VERY IMPORTANT doggies to help celebrate.
See if you recognize any of them. I guess they get their own seat on the airplane when they fly.
I would like to be on that flight!!!
Our friend, Jim Kelly, is one of the owners of the the company........thank you Jim for making the world a better place!!!
Peace and Love,
Michele

Monday, September 17, 2007

Reason, Season or Lifetime

Marko age 4 at Jacob's field.


Thank you Whether you are a Reason, Season or Lifetime
My friend Lynn Houghtaling sent me this. Love, Michele


People come into your life for a reason,
a season or a lifetime.
When you know which one it is,
you will know what to do for that person.


When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need
you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty,
to provide you with guidance and support,
to aid you physically, emotionally
or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your
part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to
bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must
realize is that our need has been met,
our desire fulfilled,
their work is done.
What you needed to learn from each other is completed
and now it is time to move on.



Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to
share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.


LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,
things you must build
upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept
the lesson, love the person and
put what you have learned to use in all
other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind
but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life, whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Being Real

This is a picture of my very special friend, Reed Monroe. He was like 84 years old in the this picture and I was 18. I met him at McDonald's when I was 16. I worked there for 2 years from the age 16 to 18. It didn't take them long at McDonald's to put me in the lobby as the hostess.
I guess because I loved to talk to people (I sucked at filling orders) and that is what I did out there in the lobby....cleaned up after others and blabbed to them. I used to meet the most interesting people in the lobby. All kinds of people because the restaurant was located right off of I-71.
Anyway, above is my friend Reed that I met in the lobby. He used to come in every night for dinner and we really got to know each other. Soon after, he would write down my schedule on a matchbook and would come for all of his meals whenever I was working. He was a very lonely man who rented a room from this lady that he never talked to . He had no kids and his wife left him when he was like 40 years old. He was retired for many years after I met him and worked for fun at the Sharon Country Club......a private golfing country club where women were not allowed entrance. I used to tell him that was very degrading to women.
He used to bring me these huge cookies from there......like a dozen at a time.
They were so good.
Anyway, during the 2 years of him eating dinner there (he ate least 3-4 evenings per week,) we became very good friends. We would go out to dinner sometimes....he would never let me treat. Sometimes he would meet my parents and I out for brunch on Sundays.
He got to even know my girlfriends. He had a mutual birthday with my friend Sherri, December 18th. He would even send her a birthday card every year. He even took me and my girlfriends out to dinner.....one time it was like 8 of my friends and Reed. HE was just a really sweet and caring person who was very lonely.
When I resigned from McDonald's just after I graduated from high school and went to work at the Auditor's office for the summer before I went to college, we continued our friendship.
He would pick me up at the court house and we would go to lunch or sometimes I would take him home and fix him lunch at my house. Everyday we ate lunch together, he would Always would bring me a quart of strawberries.....I loved strawberries. He used to buy us auto lotto tickets every week too.....we were always going to be millionaires together.
Anyway, when I went away to college, he wrote me weekly and sent me the most beautiful cards. I would go out to dinner with him during holiday breaks and during the summer months. but during my sophomore year of college he got really sick with an exacerbation of rheumatoid arthritis. He ended up moving to Kentucky to live near a niece that could help him. We kept in touch less and less and his handwriting got really hard to read.
Then one day during the spring of 1988, I was getting ready to work night shift, and I got a call from his niece that Reed had passed away.
I will never forget him......he was a very special person in my life. One day, about six or seven years ago after going out to dinner for my mom's birthday, we stopped into my old McDonald's to all get an ice cream cone. I asked if I could give the kids a tour of the place. since it was empty on a Saturday night, they gave us a tour. They told us that they were ripping down that building and a new one was almost completed and would open.......guess when...... Wed. December 18th.
I just got the chills from head to toe.....that was Reed's birthday. I know there are no coincidences in this world .......only mysteries..........and I love to be in AHHHHHH of all the mysteries.

Hope you like the quote below.
love,
Michele

Generally, by the time you are Real,
most of your hair has been loved off,
and your eyes drop out
and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.
But these things don’t matter at all,
because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly,
except to people who don’t understand.
— Margery Williams,

The Velveteen Rabbit

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Live with intention

Macy took this picture of Mark and Marko at Omega this summer.
Love,
Michele

LIVE with intention.
Walk to the EDGE.
LISTEN hard.
Practice WELLNESS.
PLAY with abandon.
LAUGH.
CHOOSE with no regret.
Continue to LEARN.
APPRECIATE your friends.
Do what you LOVE.
LOVE as if this is all there is.


-- Author:Mary Anne Radmacher

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Transformation



Mark made these pictures....the frames are made out of his childhood picnic table.
I tell him that he is lucky he married me because not every woman would welcome these pictures in their living room.
have a great day. hope you like the quote below.

love,
Michele




I have yet to meet a single person from our culture,
no matter what his or her educational background, IQ,
and specific training, who had powerful transpersonal experiences
and continues to subscribe to the materialistic monism of Western science.
- Albert Einstein

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thought

Meet Charles......this is Mira's cartoon character that she invented a few years ago.
Charles has many expressions. Last year she made a whole poster board of his many expressions.
This is happy Charles.




Thought, I love thought.
But not the juggling and twisting of already existent ideas.
I despise that self-important game.
Thought is the welling up of unknown life into consciousness,
Thought is the testing of statements on the touchstone of consciousness,
Thought is gazing onto the face of life, and reading what can be read,
Thought is pondering over experience, and coming to conclusion.
Thought is not a trick, or an exercise, or a set of dodges,
Thought is a man in his wholeness, wholly attending.
D.H. Lawrence

Thursday, September 13, 2007

ask the questions that have no answers

Dead show.....see Joan Osborn and Bob Dylan?
and of course Bobby's sexy legs....and Phil looking so handsome!!!



Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
--Wendell Berry

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So True!

Mark made this...I thought it was pretty cool.



"...Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know."
-Pema Chodron


I just wish there wasn't so much for me to have to learn. just kidding....I know everything is unfolding just as it should....but sometimes I forget!!!
Michele

COOL CLEVELAND



http://coolcleveland.com/index.php?n=Main.IngeniousMarkkKuhar

*
Markk Kuhar of deep cleveland pressPreserving d.a. levy and Cle's poetic historiography
You could walk right past Markk Kuhar on the street and miss him. You'd never know he’s one of the most tireless poetry and writing advocates in the entire city if you weren't looking for him. He doesn’t carry himself with that quotient of "hip sophistication" that some artists and writers do; he’s a straight-shooter. The keeper of Cleveland’s poetic and literary flame sports a black shirt, black boots, a shaved head, a great sense of humor, sharp insight... and no pretenses. Like everything he’s involved in, he lets his work speak for him.
Kuhar is responsible for deep cleveland press, llc, a boutique publishing house he operates to perpetuate “post-industrial literary culture & other types of cosmic enterprise in the service of the arts.” He operates the d.a. levy center for progressive poetics, “which exists to perpetuate the legacy” of the famed Cleveland artist, publisher and cultural icon, responsible for the city’s "mimeograph revolution" poets. He works with the Poets and Writers League of Greater Cleveland and edits their Ohio Writer Magazine – a bi-monthly repository with a calendar of literary activities and writing opportunities throughout the state. He runs a monthly deep cleveland poetry hour event in Strongsville, is a business-to-business trade press editor by trade, a visual artist, and is the custodian of record for the famed Cleveland poetry anthologies called ArtCrimes – the brainchild of writer/editor Steven B. Smith. And believe it or not, Kuhar has even more literary projects in the pipeline.
When does he sleep? Eat? Chill out? Search us. He’s everywhere. And if you’ve attended a poetry or literary event in town, odds are Kuhar was responsible for it, a part of it, behind the organization of it, written about it, or, at very least, most certainly in attendance. He sat down with Cool Cleveland Managing Editor at Visible Voice Books in Tremont recently to talk about the flurry of it all, chapter by chapter:
On the monthly deep cleveland poetry hour:Kuhar calls the evening of live poetry, spoken word, “recitations, incantations, and general sublime idiocy” that he founded in 2002 “a really good event that fills a void. There was nothing going on in the southwest quadrant of the city and the idea was originally to look for an independent bookstore to offer it at.” With nothing to fit the bill in that area, Kuhar approached the manager of the Borders in Strongsville with an idea: how about a monthly event that featured poets reading works of all varieties, and an open mic for writer newbies looking for an outlet off the printed page or screen? The folks at Borders were surprisingly “positive and very cooperative,” said Kuhar, and in no time, the event was a staple of the area. The event is now officially sponsored by Borders and the Molly Gallery in Strongsville.
“The store manager [at Borders] was all for it… they did have a couple requests, to keep the bad words and the volume to a minimum. And once we started, all these great people showed up – Dan Smith Joanne Cornelius, Jennifer Napier, Terry Provost, Miles Budimir. I mean, all these great people. Joshua Gage, who is now running the event for deep cleveland, was living in Pepper Pike at the time for God’s sake!” Kuhar laughs. “I had no idea why he’d drive that long. The intent was to gather a little community around the Borders readings; it was nice to see the [writing] community come out from all over the place. I was a bit skeptical if we would be able to generate enough interest with the event, but it has survived and thrived, which is great, and draws from all over.”
The timing of the event couldn’t have been better, either. The deep cleveland hour ended up partially filling a larger void as well – one left when the Classic Cleveland Poetry Slam, run by poet Michael Salinger on the third Sunday of each month at the Beachland Ballroom – ceased operations. Though components of each event are very different, the critical elements of featured poets and an open mic are the same. Encouraging new and unknown writers to deliver their work among more established ones is another similarity. Kuhar is “proud” of what the deep cleveland poetry hour has accomplished.
The deep cleveland poetry hour hits Borders Bookstore at 17200 Royalton Rd. in Strongsville on the second Friday night of each month. This month's edition, which hits Friday, September 14, features poet Cat Valente and a slate of others. The words fly starting at 8:30PM; call 440-846-1144 for directions and visit http://www.deepcleveland.com/borders.html for details.
On deep cleveland press:Kuhar relates on the deep cleveland website that the small-press publishing function of the organization was “formed to serve the literary and cultural community of Greater Cleveland as a publisher of local and regional poetry books and chapbooks and nonfiction special-interest books.” The press also publishes poetry anthologies with a "partners-in-profit" good-karma business model - a portion of proceeds donated to WCPN 90.3 FM; The Cleveland Foodbank; and the Poets & Writers League of Greater Cleveland. Kuhar’s press has released works by Joshua Gage, Miles Budimir, Ray McNiece, Terry Provost and many of the other “usual suspects” who have been featured during deep cleveland poetry hour events.
“I extended the deep cleveland franchise with small press publishing to help get a lot of really talented writers get their stuff published,” Kuhar relates. The decisions on what gets published really come down to the who and what inspires him.
“[R]elationships are a part of it, but by the same token, the people attracted to deep cleveland think the same way and bring the same energy to it. We’re not really doing iambic pentameter or rhyming journal entries,” he adds with a laugh. “There’s none of that going on these are all great writers work hard see a lot get out and work hard at their craft and translate it into really good work. It’s great to have opportunity to work with those people, and to get their word out to other people in print, but that has less to do with me, really, because they’re all extremely talented individuals on their own.”
For a complete list of books, published works and chapbooks through deep cleveland press, visit http://www.deepcleveland.com/deepclevelandbooks.html.
On d.a. levy and the mimeograph revolution:The creative fortitude of d.a levy “looms large” over Cleveland – even long after the poet and pioneering alternative press operator died in 1968. Darryl Allan Levy may have lived on the near west side, but his spirit lives within and without the city... and lives on in Kuhar's work. The poet is Kuhar’s main focus with the d.a. levy center for progressive poetics' levy's legend continues to inspire and inform Cleveland’s literary population. Kuhar and other accomplices work to offer symposiums and regular events to honor his work and cult-like following.
Kuhar and a slew of other authors were a part of the recent literary event called ukanhavyrfuckincitibak (or, “you can have your fucking city back”) at Art House. Bottom Dog Press and Mac's Backs co-hosted a reading of levy’s works to celebrate the release of two new books related to his legacy. levy grew up down the street from Art House on Denison in Cleveland's Old Brooklyn neighborhood. It’s just one of many celebrations that Kuhar has been a part of.
The latest? As part of The Art Gallery at Cleveland State University's exhibition The Ineffable Object -- featuring works of conceptual art and material evidence of aesthetic thoughts and ideas -- there will be a poetry reading celebrating levy, whose artwork is included in the exhibition. It hits Wednesday, September 19th at 7:30PM. The gallery is located at 2307 Chester Ave. The reading will be hosted by Kuhar, with other featured readers and an open mic. http://www.csuohio.edu/artgallery.
On bringing poetry to the forefront in Cleveland:It’s something that has been discussed a lot back and forth amongst the poetry and prose crowd, especially through the online newsgroup ClevelandPoetics: what can these talented writers do to command greater attention in the larger literary scene in Cleveland? It’s certainly a thought that crosses Kuhar’s mind often.
“This is but one small part of the whole picture – and we tend to be very biased about the wish for added attention of the media and the public at large – but it’s because we think it’s important for us,” says Kuhar. “If you’re a poet in Cleveland, it is a very serious vocation and you tend to take it very seriously. The general public at large doesn’t always tend to think of it that way, so there’s probably a disconnect there."
With the hope and dream that the public at large will take poetry and prose as seriously as the writers themselves do, Kuhar says bridging that gap will require people on both sides to “engage in a much larger way, like they do with fiction and nonfiction. We tend to be the last stop on the train line for people who like literature,” he adds. “For those of us who consider it the first stop, that can be a frustration. But it's on us as poets to solve through collaboration.”
With poetry readings all over town (through the revered Cleveland State University poetry center, the great small venue gigs, and coordinated efforts by Salinger and his work with younger poets) there’s a lot of great talent to showcase. But in the end, it’s all about exposure.
“The people who come to hear poets are mostly, well, poets and friends of poets. How can we get fresh ears from the public at large? I think it is going to take a totally different approach, if we decide that the writing, publishing and performing of [poetry and prose] are the three key things for us. We’re going to have to link up with other organizations and types of art in a more coordinated manner. If we can get a piece of the art crowd, and the music crowd, and find some way to sort of merge our efforts with what they are doing, that’s where we’ll be successful as a group.”
On collaboration:Asked why there was no large poetry component in events like Ingenuity or Sparx Gallery Hop, Kuhar says “that was a failure on part because we [aren't] dialed into it. For an event [like Ingenuity] that has artists, technology and community as its primary elements, we would have had a captive audience. There may be other opportunities there, which we will have to stay ahead of. We tried to get a little piece of the Tri-C JazzFest at one point too, but [that] fell through the cracks.
“There has been some integrating with the music scene, which has been helpful. Ray McNiece merged talents with band Tongue in Groove, and he morphs into the poet while he’s doing his thing and people there for the music get the benefit of that. Drumplay worked with Daniel Thompson, which I think helped deliver him to a larger audience. And he worked with Jim Miller of the jimiller band,” Kuhar adds.
“We will work to continue to find the ways to broaden the exposure, and that situation will improve, but we can’t realistically expect large crowds to come and hear poetry on its own, because like I was saying, the average lit fan is just not wired to do that. We’ll always have the readings I mentioned, as well as the ones out at Mac’s Backs, the KSU Kent branch, Literary Cafe, Trinity Cathedral… and when the new people do show up, that’s always going to be really rewarding.”
On ArtCrimes:And then there’s the matter of ArtCrimes. Kuhar inherited the venerable “who’s who in Cleveland poetry and literature” series from Smith, who created and curated it. Smith left Cleveland with his wife Kathy Ireland Smith during the last year. Smith’s ArtCrimes anthologies spanned 20 years and 21 editions. When Smith decided to leave the city, “He gave them all to me to sell,” Kuhar says with a smile. “He said, ‘You’re the man that’s gonna handle it!’ and he gave me 20 boxes worth of those poetry anthologies. Dave [Ferrante, owner of Visible Voice] said he wants to get some of those up on his shelves.”
If you haven’t experienced ArtCrimes, you are missing the quintessential cult classic journal of the region – a blunderbuss of independent thoughts and ideas from the pens of current and former Clevelanders. The limited edition lit/art publication during the mid-1980s and came to an end with last year’s final (and in some ways, most impressive) missive, Duck & Cover. Since that time, Kuhar has thought about reviving the dormant series, but the time has to be right. “Steve told me that he’s done putting them together, but said if I ever want to revive ArtCrimes to go ahead and do it. We may do that at some point through deep cleveland press, but we are booked with projects through next year, so ArtCrimes needs to rest on its laurels for now.”
ArtCrimes features work from writers Charles Bukowski and the late poet laureate Daniel Thompson through Cleveland’s present day writers; their insights will rock your world. All 21 volumes of ArtCrimes are available through deep cleveland press, and are discounted when sales are bundled. And once they’re out of print, they’re gone forever. For details, visit http://www.deepcleveland.com/artcrimes.html.
On what’s on tap for Kuhar and deep cleveland:Kuhar has several other projects percolating. Booked through all of 2008 for new deep cleveland publishing titles, he’s helming a compilation called three-chord poems: the poetry of rock & roll, releasing a controversial book called the why and later: an anthology of poems about rape & sexual abuse edited by Carly Sachs and offering poetry books by Daniel Gallik, Matt Estvanic, Anna Ruiz, and Jack McGuane, poet laureate of Lakewood. A work of fiction by Kate Vogl and collection of writings and drawings by the late Sarah Tomm are also scheduled for release.
He’s particularly intrigued by the KSU grad Sachs’ book. “It’s a topic that a lot of publishers just wouldn’t touch,” Kuhar says. “It’s something people don’t want to talk about and to some people, if you do talk about [rape], you’re almost being exploitive. But she sat down and talked to me about it, and I told her if she believed in it, deep cleveland would [publish] it and donate percentage to rape crisis centers.” As for McGuane’s offing, Kuhar is similary charged up. “He never put out a book and he is over 80 years old. That book had to happen.”
Kuhar’s also working on a kid’s poetry project to help children write poems, and on the locally-focused clevelandpoetryarchive.com -- an up-and-coming web presence with writer/author Nina Freedlander Gibans. The former experience is “phenomenal,” Kuhar says. “You’d be amazed at the profound things these kids at the 4th and 5th grade level have to say. Their minds are just jumping with ideas and thoughts. We do writing exercises, but there are. I don’t care if they’re [using] iambic pentameter, haiku, limerick, or whatever, all the rules are gone. I am interested in words coming out and I don’t care if they make sense. Magic springs from that place.”
The latter project is still in the early zygotic stage, with Gibans, Kuhar and others working toward a comprehensive repository of all Cleveland poetry and prose. “When you go to this website, once it’s launched, any poet that ever released book, chapbook, was self-published, in small press, anything – if you have released something in Cleveland and we can find a record of it, we’re gonna put it on the website,” he says. “It will be the ultimate historical record and a great educational tool.”
Kuhar on Cleveland’s scene:“The two things I want readers to know, is that the Cleveland poetry scene has a lot of talented spoken word artists poets they know how to put words energy thought feeling into what they do, great talent pool out there," Kuhar finalizes. "That, and that Cleveland is very accessible to writers and poets. Poets are the conscience of the people, at least that’s the way I look at it. A lot of what people have to say in their poetry is full of strong feelings and might crystallize opinions and beliefs and feelings for others. There’s a lot of mutual co-mingling that goes on there, and it can be powerful and rewarding experience. And your barrier to entry in this scene is not very huge.
“There’s a nurturing of new folks and a lot of positive affirmation by going to poetry and writing events. I’ve heard people say that a lot of poetry things they go to in New York and Chicago are not really participatory, and if you go, be prepared not to read yourself. Cleveland is not that way at all. It’s not necessarily a big happy family, because even families have disagreements, but you can get into the scene if you want it and you’re serious about your craft and you'll be welcomed. In the end, everyone wants to know their words count, and here in Cleveland, you find out right away that they do.”
Interview and Photo by Cool Cleveland Managing Editor Peter Chakerian peterATcoolcleveland.com

Why I Sit





Hello, I loved this article below by this man that used to be a CEO of a company and was caught up in the material world.....felt like he sold his soul but he learned to soften and go within. (kinda like that song Jerry Garcia sings:
From day to day
Just letting it ride
You get so far away
From how it feels inside
You can't let go
'Cause you're afraid to fall
But the day may come
When you can't feel at all)
Anyway, this man's reasons for meditating are similar to mine. Through meditation, I am learning to let go, to follow my heart and to trust what I do feel in my heart. Today, I went over to my friend, Sue Rudo's house. Sue is a breast cancer survivor. She is so easy to be with because she knows what is truly important in life. She is so "real." We did some artwork together. She is taking a water color class. I was telling her some thing that I learned about myself in this water color class I took at Omega.........and that was that I needed to let go more. My instructor , Ann, told us to just have fun playing in the medium of watercolors. I found myself wanting to draw or paint something "concrete." not wanting to just go "free form." It was like I needed this safety net to protect me from what I was about to release on the paper. Sitting in Silence helps me let go of my fears..........helps me to just let go and let my true spirit guide me. Anyway, above is the picture that I painted with Sue today. It is suppose to be a humming bird......I was going to say something negative about my picture but that would be being self critical and I am going to let that go................anyway,What a fun day.
What a beautiful friend I have in Sue.
read below!!!!
Love, Michele







Why I Sit

--Paul Fleischman


This morning, the first thing I did was to sit for an hour.
I have done that regularly for twenty years, and
have spent many evenings, days and weeks doing the same.

I would like to know myself.
It is remarkable that while ordinarily we spend most of our lives studying,
contemplating, observing and manipulating the world around us,
the structured gaze of the thoughtful mind is so rarely turned inwards.
This avoidance must measure some anxiety, reluctance or fear.

Most of our lives are spent in externally oriented functions
that distract from self-observation. This relentless, obsessive
drive persists independently of survival needs such as food and warmth,
and even of pleasure. Second to second,
we couple ourselves to sights , tastes, words, motions
or electronic stimuli, until we fall dead.
It is striking how many ordinary activities,
from smoking a pipe to watching sunsets,
veer towards, but ultimately avoid,
sustained attention to the reality of our own life.

Sitting helps me overcome my deepest fears.
I become freer to live from my heart and to face the consequences,
but also to reap the rewards of this authenticity.
Much of what I called pain was really loneliness and fear.
It passes, dissolves, with that observation.
The vibrations of my body are humming the song that can be heard
only when dawn and dusk are simultaneous, instantaneous, continuous.
I feel that a burst of stern effort is a small price to pay to hear
this inner music- fertile music from the heart of life itself.

I sit to anchor and organise my life around my heart and mind,
and to radiate out to others what I find. Though I shake in strong winds,
I return to this basic way of living. The easy, soothing comfort
and deep relaxation that accompany intense awareness in stillness,
peel my life like an onion to deeper layers of truth,
which in turn are scoured and soothed until the next layer opens.
I sit to discipline my life by what is clear, simple, self-fulfilling
and universal in my heart. There is no end to this job.
I have failed to really live many days of my life,
but I dive again and again into the plain
guidance of self-containment and loving receipt.
I sit to find and express simple human love and common decency.

--Paul Fleischman


What I want to know is..................... are you kind??

GD Channel on Sirius Satellite Radio


Channel 32 Baby.
All Dead music 24/7.
It is a beautiful thing!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Love


Above is a picture from the fair of Mira, Mira's fuzzy boyfriend, Macy and Marko.
hope you like the quote below. Love, Michele

Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels,
simply by pouring out love.
Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy.
-Sai BaBa

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Real Issues

Macy took this picture at Omega too......I love this picture and the quote below.
Love,
Michele

Western laziness consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity, so that there is no time at all to confront the real issues
-Sogyal Rinpoche

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Don't Go Back To Sleep!

You like my art??
I love the poem below, it speaks to me.
Even though the divine guides me and gives
me direction.....I often fear acting on it because I don't
know exactly how it could work......so I tend to distract myself
and not listen with various things such as the internet or drama in
my life........when I really sit down and meditate, or play my harp or
do some yoga or go for a walk....my heart speaks to me and my heart always knows
the truth......my ego doesn't though and it is so darn easy to "go back to sleep."
read below.
Peace and Love,
Michele



Today, like every other day,
we wake up empty
and frightened.
Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
-Rumi


translated by John Moyne and Coleman Barks

I am Poem by Mira







I Am Poem

By
Mira


I am unique and special.

I wonder what high school will be like.

I hear my friends talking all around me.

I see my favorite color on my binder.

I want an awesome hot pink laptop.

I am unique and special.



I pretend that I like chores.

I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be.

I touch the warm earth below me.

I worry that I am not safe sometimes.

I cry when something happens to someone I love.

I am unique and special.



I understand that I am not a little kid anymore.

I say that people should all get along.

I dream that someday I can be a teacher.

I try to get good grades.

I hope for world peace some day.

I am unique and special.


Once In Awhile You Get Shown The Light In The Strangest Of Places If You Look At It Right!!!!

This is a picture of a friend Mark and I made at a Greatful Dead show a few years ago...I think it was actually in Columbus on Aug. 9th...the anniversay of Jerry's death....... Anyway, his name is Roger Downs. He is a very cool guy. below is a picture of his artwork that he donated to his hometown and a brief article about him and a link to his my space. thanks for shining your light Roger and making the world a better place!!!!


Roger has been invariably fascinated with all things mechanical from his earliest experiences on his grandfather’s farm, working in his father’s cabinet shop and in the U.S. Army Engineers. He is inspired by his love for classic cars, trucks and motorcycles. He is also a musician. Roger enjoys playing many different styles of music being a skilled drummer and percussionist. As a drummer, Roger has developed not only custom drum stands, but a line of chimes based on found objects.
His love of nature is evident in many of his pieces, but as Roger notes “no sculpture can ever beat natures design”.
An affinity for camping, especially in the Hocking Hills area has allowed Roger to expand his spirituality like “a walk in the woods”.
Roger’s work has been shown in numerous shows and festivals across Ohio where he has won several awards.
Roger currently resides in Greenfield with fellow artist Debbie Powell and numerous pets.
To inquire about or purchase Rogers “Industrial Strength Art” visit (cool song on their by Roger too) :
http://www.myspace.com/industrialstrengthart



Statements

"Don't give up on your dreams." The sculpture in Chillicothe took five years to build. I moved, ask anyone, no easy task, twice! Through life and death and all kinds of changes I kept plugging away. All progress is forward progress. Accept the support of others.

Specialties

Creating functional art from discarded metal.

Inspirations

Alexander Calder is just one of the many artists I find inspiring but I am most inspired by nature. Living in a rural area allows me to be inspired visually by trees, bugs, etc, but I also see the seasons a little more intensely; for example in February we had an ice storm. I was amazed walking through our wooded property covered in 1/2" of ice. As I create things I try to remember shapes of shadows during sunsets, weird branches, etc. Duplicating my memory gives enough freedom to express my imagination.