Literary Wilderness


Had I not seen the Sun
I could have borne the shade
But Light a newer Wilderness
My Wilderness has made ~Emily Dickinson

LITERARY: (adj.) of, relating to, or having the characteristics of humane learning or literature; bookish; of or relating to books. WILDERNESS: (n.) an area essentially undisturbed by human activity together with its naturally developed life community; an empty or pathless area or region obsolete; wild or uncultivated state; a confusing multitude or mass: an indefinitely great number or quantity; a bewildering situation.

Aging Creatively

CameronIt’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond by Julia Cameron, 2016.

Twenty-five years ago Julia Cameron wrote the now iconic book on creativity that inspired millions called “The Artist’s Way.” It spelled out, in a step-by-step fashion, what a person could do to recover and exercise their creativity. Often referred to as the bridge because it allowed people to move from the shore of their constrictions and fears to the promised land of deeply fulfilling creativity. The Artist’s Way has been used by people of all ages, and her newest book, “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again” -the distillate of a quarter century’s teaching, is an attempt to answer, “What next?” for students who are embarking on their “second act'” Cameron suggests that retirement can, in fact, be the most rich, fulfilling, and creative time in life.

Addressing the common problems facing the newly retired: too much time, lack of structure, excitement about the future coupled with a palpable fear of the unknown, and ironically, while they have more time to be creative, they are often reluctant or intimidated by the creative process. Cameron shows readers how cultivating their creative selves can help them navigate this new terrain. Within these pages readers will discover new artistic pursuits and passions to fill their days and nurture their souls, through the practice of a simple set of tools -like Morning Pages, Artist Dates & Solo Walks, that, used in combination, will trigger a creative rebirth. In this fun, step-by-step, 12-week course you can create a more inspired and authentic life by exploring your creative dreams, wishes, and desires, because it’s never too late to begin again.

Silk Road Ensemble


Documentary The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble, is the latest film from the creators of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom, which follows members of the Silk Road Ensemble as they gather in locations across the world, exploring the ways art can both preserve traditions and shape cultural evolution. Changing the world through music. In select theaters now. #artinaction

Trailer for The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, 2016, Presented by the Silk Road Project in association with Participant Media, The Orchard & HBO.

Blending performance footage, personal interviews, and archival film, director Morgan Neville and producer Caitrin Rogers focus on the personal journeys of a small group of the Silk Road Ensemble mainstays: Kinan Azmeh (Syria), Kayhan Kalhor (Iran), Yo-Yo Ma (France/United States), Wu Man (China), and Cristina Pato (Spain), to chronicle passion, talent, and sacrifice. Through these moving individual stories, the filmmakers paint a vivid portrait of a bold musical experiment and a global search for the ties that bind. #powerofmusic


Companion Album, The new album from Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, “Sing Me Home,” is a deeply moving global tribute to the ‘music of home.’ It features guest artists Abigail Washburn, Bill Frisell, Gregory Porter, Lisa Fischer, Rhiannon Giddens, and Sarah Jarosz.


Inspired by the exchange of ideas and traditions along the historical Silk Road, cellist Yo-Yo Ma established Silkroad in 1998 to explore how the arts can advance global understanding. Silkroad works to connect the world through the arts, focusing its efforts in three areas: musical performance, learning programs, and cultural entrepreneurship.

Since 2000, the musicians of the Silk Road Ensemble have been central to Silkroad’s mission. Under the artistic direction of Yo-Yo Ma and representing a global array of cultures, the Ensemble models new forms of cultural exchange through performances, workshops, and residencies. The artists of the Ensemble draw on the rich tapestry of traditions from around the world that make up our many-layered contemporary identities, weaving together the foreign and familiar to create a new musical language.

If you want to change the world, you have to make a little noise. Join them.

Transitional Object


The Roof Garden Commission: Cornelia Parker, Transitional Object (PsychoBarn), 2016, Installation view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A large-scale sculpture by acclaimed English artist Cornelia Parker, inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper and by two emblems of American architecture -the classic Red barn and the Bates family’s sinister mansion from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho, “Transitional Object,” whose title borrows a psychological term for things like stuffed animals, security blankets, and such, comprises the fourth annual installation of site-specific works commissioned for The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden.

Nearly 30 feet high, the sculpture is fabricated from a deconstructed Red barn and seems at first to be a genuine house, but is in fact a scaled-down structure consisting of two facades propped up from behind with scaffolding. Simultaneously authentic and illusory, Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) evokes the psychological associations embedded in architectural spaces. It is set atop The Met, high above Central Park -providing an unusual contrast to the Manhattan skyline. Parker has modestly called her sculpture, which is visible from pathways in Central Park, “an incongruous object.” “Combining a deliciously subversive mix of inferences, ranging from innocent domesticity to horror, from the authenticity of landscape to the artifice of a film set, Cornelia’s installation expresses perfectly her ability to transform clichés to beguile both eye and mind” says The Met’s British curator Beatrice Galilee. On view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York through 31 October, 2016.


For some years, sculptor & installation artist Cornelia Parker’s work has been concerned with formalizing things beyond our control, containing the volatile and making it into something that is quiet and contemplative like the ‘eye of the storm.’ Through a combination of visual and verbal allusions her work triggers cultural metaphors and personal associations which allow the viewer to witness the transformation of the most ordinary objects into something compelling and extraordinary.

Backyard Bliss


From relaxing in the hammock or one-of-a-kind tent to barbecuing or gardening, your yard becomes a sanctuary in Summer. Every year as warmer temperatures arrive, I make several homemade projects and products for Summer including a Natural Bug Spray. If you want to avoid toxic commercial insect repellents with chemicals like DEET, and like do-it-yourself projects, here’s a great recipe that uses essential oils, which are highly effective. In addition to keeping away bugs, it also helps kill bacteria and nourish your skin. And unlike conventional brands, it smells amazing. #bugsbegone


  • 1 ounce bottle with atomizer
  • 1/4 ounce witch hazel
  • 3 drops thyme essential oil
  • 6 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3/4 ounces water


Pour witch hazel & essential oils in bottle, shake, and top off with water. Screw on atomizer and shake again. Spray directly onto skin or clothing, using caution to avoid eye area. Keep the bugs away naturally!

Garden Tip: Plant insect repelling herbs in your yard. I grow Lavender, Thyme, Mint, Lemon Balm & Catnip near the patio and use these fresh plants as bug repellent. You can crush the leaves and rub them into your skin in a pinch.

Strawberry Moon


Summer Solstice June 20th, 2016 Coincides With A Rare Full Strawberry Moon In Sagittarius. This Combination Hasn’t Taken Place In The Northern Hemisphere Since The Summer of Love in 1967. The Joining of Sun and Moon. Once In A Lifetime Special.

It actually has nothing to do with its color or how sweet it will look, but when the full moon rises in the sky on Monday, stargazers will be looking at a celestial object known as the “Strawberry Moon.” That’s the nickname given to the full moon in the month of June, which this year happens to coincide with the official start of Summer. Known as the Summer Solstice, it will be the longest day of sunlight in the United States and other places in the northern hemisphere. On the southern side of the globe, June 20th will be the shortest day of the year, so it’s their Winter Solstice.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac Native tribes that settled in what is now the United States created nicknames for each month’s full moon to help them keep track of the seasons occurrences because they coincided with their harvesting and planting times. For June, the tribes referred to the full moon as the Strawberry Moon because June was the prime month for strawberries to be harvested. Some folks, however, have a different nickname for the June full moon. In Europe, it’s referred to as the “Rose Moon,” and some cultures call it the “Hot Moon” because it usually arrives when the heat of Summer begins.

Lilac Love


“If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.” ~Audra Foveo

Lilacs and Sunshine. What a beautiful sight and scent to usher in the unofficial start to Summer. When you plant a Lilac in your garden you are choosing a shrub that is part of this country’s history. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both recorded Lilacs in bloom in their gardens. Although Lilacs are part of New Englnd’s heritage, they are not native here. Of the 20-plus species of Lilacs, two derive from Europe and the others are from Asia. The common Lilac ‘Syringa Vulgaris’ originated in eastern Europe. This species and hybrids of it were so frequently grown and selected by French nurserymen that France became synonymous with fine Lilacs; we know them today as “French hybrids.”

Two of the most popular choices for the contemporary landscape are Syringa Patula ‘Miss Kim’ and S. Meyeri ‘Palibin.’ The compact, later flowering ‘Miss Kim’ is noted for its intense fragrance, and the neat growth habit of ‘Palibin’ fits well in the modern garden. Lilacs span a rainbow of colors, from rich Reds, Blues, and Purples to romantic Pinks, Whites, Mauve, and the delicate Yellow of ‘Primrose.’ #NewEnglandtradition #smellslikesunshine

Sangha Cinema


2016 Lion’s Roar & BuddhaFest Online Film Festival

Lion’s Roar has partnered with BuddhaFest for a special opportunity to see Buddhism and art brought skillfully together through cinema, with an on-line film festival June 13th ~ July 24th 2016. Six compelling films will be featured, ranging from the dramatic feature “For the Coyotes” to the beautiful documentary on Kazuaki Tanahashi “Painting Peace.” In addition, there will be six first-release dharma talks by accomplished teachers recorded specifically for the festival from some of Lion’s Roar’s favorite teachers, including: Roshi Joan Halifax, Tara BrachDzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Sharon SalzbergEthan Nichtern and more. Festival ticket holders will have access to all six films and talks, on demand, for the duration of the festival period.

Trade Secrets

Trade Secrets

Trade Secrets annual two-day philanthropic garden event in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut is May 14-15th, 2016. A Mecca for plant lovers and those who covet garden-themed antiques featuring over five dozen specialty nurseries and best-known antiques dealers from the Northeast. Garden enthusiasts travel from across the country for this legendary rite of Spring event. Martha Stewart has it on her calendar, do you?

Trade Secrets_01

The beautiful 600-acre Lion Rock Farm in Sharon Connecticut with its manicured gardens and panoramic views, is the site of the first day’s spectacular Rare Plant & Garden Antiques Sale. The event has haute/humble roots. It began 15 years ago at world-renowned interior designer, author and garden expert Bunny Williams’ home in Falls Village Connecticut, and has evolved into the signature fundraiser for Women’s Support Services of the Northwest Corner of Connecticut, nearby Massachusetts and New York.

On Sunday, May 15th you can enjoy an opportunity to take four self-guided inspiring and Extraordinary Garden Tours in the area: the rarely visited home garden of eclectic landscape|interior designer & antiques dealer Michael Trapp; and take in tastemaker designer Carolyne Roehm’s outrageously elegant 59-acre retreat in Sharon called “Weatherstone” with its extensive plantings; the landscape architecture farmland and barns at Old Farm Nursery -with a kitchen garden, formal garden, secret garden and lush perennial borders; and renowned designer Bunny Williams’ & husband John Rosselli’s exquisite Falls Village property, with its Adirondack pool pavilion, orchard, parterre, and cutting gardens.


Bunny Williamss Estate in Falls Village Connecticut has become a New England icon thanks to her beautiful best-selling books “An Affair With a House” & “On Garden Style,” and by graciously opening her home to garden tours over the years.


Bunny’s Gardens are laid out in the same manner as her impeccable interiors, with scale, balance, and a sense of intimacy. For the garden just beyond the main house, it meant leaning into classical symmetry -matching boxwood terraces and towering hedges, pairs of ornamental sculptures, to create the feeling of an enveloping outdoor room.


A garden should look like it has developed over time. At Old Farm Nursery in Lakeville Connecticut, husband and wife team Judy & Patrick Murphy certainly get lush nostalgic landscaping with an inventive hand, right, with inviting antique barn entryway with stacked rock bed, black metal flowerbed, border clematis climbers and lattice side fence. The flowers look like they have been there for years, waiting to greet you.


Designer Carolyne Roehm’s ultimate canvas is her beloved retreat called “Weatherstone” tucked in a pastoral corner of Connecticut. Rebuilt after 1999, the house took all its architectural guidance from the original 1765 Georgian house. There she’s created a beacon of neoclassical architectural true to the era that inspired it. It’s surrounded with 59 acres of provincial land and ponds, wrapped with parterre gardens -those geometric gardens you might have seen in Versailles.


From Roehm’s third book which she has devoted to her passionate partnership with nature, “At Home In The Garden” she equates gardening with love. “As with amour, a garden is a place you venture into with hope, energy, excitement, enchantment, and the greatest of expectations. Both require a leap of faith, a desire to switch off the rational mind and let fantasy take over, a willingness to be flexible, and a knack for improvisation.” But there’s also the other side, she adds, “as many desolating moments as exultant ones, as much mixed communication as connection. Love and the garden require sacrifice, patience, perseverance, ruthlessness, and not a little cunning.”

At the Saturday event, Trade Secrets is hosting a book signing to celebrate six new garden books. These include “Outstanding American Gardens; A Celebration -25 Years of the Garden Conservancy” by Page Dickey & Marion Brenner; “At Home in the Garden” by Carolyne Roehm; “The Art of Gardening: Design Inspiration and Innovative Planting Techniques” from Chanticleer; “The Rooftop Growing Guide” by Annie Novak; “The Plant Lover’s Guide to Magnolias” by Andrew Bunting; and “Garden Revolution” by Thomas Christopher.


Outstanding American Gardens: A Celebration by Paige Dickey & Marion Brenner, Hardcover, 272 pgs, 2015.

The Garden Conservancy celebrated its 25th anniversary with this beautifully illustrated book that documents a selection of the outstanding public and private gardens it has worked with since its founding in 1989. The book showcases eight gardens the conservancy has helped preserve and 43 of the more than 3,000 private gardens across the country that have been opened to the public through its Open Days Program. The private gardens cover a wide variety of regions, habitats, designs, and plants, from early Spring through Autumn. Featured private gardens include Panayoti Kelaidis’s rock garden in Denver, Colorado; Deborah Whigham and Gary Ratway’s collection of native and Mediterranean plants and earth walls in Albion, California; and James David’s imaginative mix of heat-tolerant plants, rills, and pools in Austin, Texas, and designer Andrea Filippone‘s stunning rustic chic garden in Pottersville, New Jersey.

Sacred Feminine


This Mother’s Day, let’s contemplate the force beyond mom, the power of the feminine that gives life and that is life -that needs to be approached with respect and even awe. The Sacred Feminine. The Divine Mother in all of us. There is Divinity within each of us, and within the forces that move through and around us. We are all sparks of the Divine. As with all living things, there is a feminine and masculine element to this Divinity. Mother’s Day was originally viewed as a sacred holiday honoring the Divine Feminine Principle. We can choose to restore the more sacred aspect of Mother’s Day by honoring the Divine Feminine that exists in all of us. The place to begin, as always, is within yourself. Mother’s Day is truly for everyone.