Bowls for Change

SHE knew it wasn't exactly where she belonged. But her daughter had a friend who asked if she would PLEASE take part in the Stalling's Second Annual Art Festival. SHE knew she was rusty and out of shape for HOT outdoor shows; had precious little art to display; was concerned by how much hard labor outdoor shows were; and so she thought and thought, decided and undecided, hummed and hawed. Finally it came down  to this:  helping in some small way a new friend with her ENORMOUS UNDERTAKING for the community. 

But two years between art shows is a LONG LONG LONG time.
So she cleaned up all her show gear; you know the HEAVY white tents  with the musty smell; checked to see if everything was STILL in the cracking blue plastic bins  needed for set up; and at the last minute remembered lending out her cash box,
receipt books, all that necessary paraphernalia.  But determination was now in charge.

Each day she checked the weather report: hot, hotter, hottest. Well she could HOPE for a booth space under some leafy tree. Her wonderful son-by-marriage, Hunter and her husband, Howard, helped with the weighty tent, bins and paintings. Cheerfully they stayed  until it was ready to go !

Her concerns slowly vanished, she was actually excited, as she sat in high anticipation for the first visitors to pass by.  Art Fest was now open for visitors.

She WAITED. She WAITED some more as did her fellow vendors. Curiosity became more curiouser, "Where were the floodgates of visitors?" Peeking outside the white walls of her "hotter by the minute tent" she finally viewed what was REALLY SURROUNDING her. 

On the hillside where the cool shade trees grow.....a colorful, moving, circus field of FREE amusement rides, shamble-y looking game booths like Pitch a Penny, and vendors with hot sausages doused in spicy mustard and oily onions, BBQ (remember she lives in the south), lemonade jugs and tiny ice cream carts.



Her mind went back to a time of swinging higher than the tippy top leaves...such freedom.

A day when outdoor ART was something tangible to take home.


Carousels plum-ful of roosters, ostriches, lions and tigers waiting a giddy, happy rider..... waiting for the golden ring.

Yummy amusement park food where the hotter it became the longer the lines. 

Hiking high to have seconds of flying down a pink slide.  This was the REAL purpose of the Second Annual Art Fest. FREE rides for ALL CHILDREN!!!

As the day grew hotter, longer, and her face became red as a tomato, her cute daughter came to spell her off so that she could VISIT....

The Italian Ice vendor. He patiently served up delicious ices ALL DAY LONG. She went twice: mango and blueberry vanilla.

Across from her booth was Bowls for Change. All day long she watched these adorable teenagers approach strangers about their painted bowls.

Anna, Rachel and Lydia  have it RIGHT! Giving service at a young age, finding their niche to help those who need a hand up.

The sisters have formed a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading awareness and raising money for hunger and clean water relief.

They paint colorful, wonderful designs on white bowls. These are sold for $8.00. All of the money goes to projects in poverty stricken countries. So far this year they have earned $700.00 one bowl at a time.

Despite a hot, hot day, is this COOL or what?

Now she knew why attending this art fest was the right decision.  Free rides for all children. And meeting three amazing young women trying to make a difference one bowl at a time.  
Visit the Tabor sisters at www.bowlsforchange.blogspot.com

You may also contact them at:

If you have clean, white bowls or cups and would like to donate them, they would be happy to receive your offering.

EAT PRAY LOVE

My daughter and I went to see the movie, Eat, Pray and Love, after reading  Elizabeth Gilbert's book. Last year I attended the Washington Cathedral's speakers program to enjoy Elizabeth Gilbert share her thoughts, reflections and life AFTER the book was published. Elizabeth was very enlightening and entertaining.    

The movie opens with breath-taking, ethereal vistas of terraced rice fields.

 The beautifully shot film transported  me back to Bali. We were very fortunate to  spend time with the people of Bali.  Our favorite village of Ubud was where Eat, Pray and Love was filmed. Serendipitously, as we closed our stay in Ubud, Julia Roberts was just arriving to film the movie.

While sitting in the theater, brewing in the back of my mind was doing three separate photo essays very very loosely based on the theme of Eat, Pray and Love. This is the first and I start with "Pray." It is a JOY to share glimpses into the devotional practices, which are seamlessly woven into every waking hour of the very open-hearted Balinese people.




The Balinese temple- a sacred space- deities honored with rituals and offerings.




Quietly tucked away moments to worship in silence.
Spiritual footprints of devotional prayers.

The Holiness of water

Villagers dressed in best clothing, cleansed, prepared to present offerings to the Temple.
May our World know moments of Peace, Contentment and Equality of Life.

I AM FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES, PRETTY ........

Poof and the Bubble Fairy floated back into my life!!! 

    BUBBLE STORY ONE

Let's return to Charleston, South Carolina, where Bubble Fairies work over time.
They must fly as fast as hummingbirds, they are everywhere.

We all LOVE LOVE LOVE Charleston. My goodness it could take way too many days to share all the "'fun-ness" of Historic Charleston. Sooo let's just follow the Bubble Fairy's trail.

Things were really Burbling, Gurgling, Splashing and Frothing at the fountain along the boardwalk.

If I hadn't been carrying a bulging backpack, wearing high top PURPLE converse shoes and a Big Mama of a Camera, I would have run in and joined the fun.  Doesn't it make you want to truly be a KID again?

We adults get so "weighed" down with things. Where is the BUBBLENESS in our lives?

We will leave the BUBBLE FAIRIES to their good kind of mischief.



Bubble Story Two
 
Did you know that Bubble Fairies can deliver Mail?  In the early dawn hours outside on our porch was a tiny brown box, all wrapped up very tight in cellophane tape, the color of bubbles, of course.

It had been delivered on behalf of our very dear friend and sculptor, Tamara Stickler.  
This would be no ordinary present coming from Tamara, especially delivered by Fairy Express.
First let's read her VIP letter:

Dear Sharon and Funny Bunnies,
I am sending you this very playful-Bubble Fairy to look after and make certain she stays out of trouble! She has been playing all sorts of PRANKS up here in Maryland, behind my condo, with the construction workers and their enormous equipment.

And so the story goes.



You see the Construction Crews are building new houses and so they TORE down the WOODS and FILLED in the WETLANDS where she used to play with her Whisp and Animal Friends.  The rolling STREAM where her beautiful BUBBLES gurgled over the stones is "POOF" gone. Losing her beloved stream was the last "bubble" so to speak. As a result she became bored and turned her bubble making talents on the UNFORTUNATE humans and their CONSTRUCTION VEHICLES.


For the last six months, the men working in the ruined Wetlands and plowed over Bubbling Stream, have had mysterious BUBBLES in their TUMMIES, making them HIC-UP and BURP day and night!

Their vehicles are for some reason,( known only to this Bubble Fairy and Myself) spouting BUBBLES out of their exhaust tubes!

The construction workers have been getting angry and there has been talk of trying to catch the BUBBLE FAIRY that is causing so much trouble. I thought I would like to start a FPRP (Fairy Protection Relocation Program) 

The enclosed Bubble Fairy of whom I write, asked me if I could help her get to North Carolina, where they appreciate Bubble Fairies, immensely. 

I can't tell you her name, fairies ONLY impart their names to VERY SPECIAL FRIENDS, but I am certain one of your  FUNNY BUNNIES could learn her name in no time.

And this is what was inside the box wrapped in cellophane.

Hello, Thank You, Good-Bye!

 

One of the privileges of having a blog site: one can introduce to friends and readers some one of extraordinary talent, good will, boundless energy and curiosity  Such is my dear friend, Ellen Williams.

I met Ellen a number of years ago when we both lived in the
Washington, DC area. It took one short visit to recognize a soul-sister.

 And we have never looked back. Although we have both moved residencies twice since meeting, the telephone and internet keep us bound together like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Ellen is an open-hearted nomad, who travels freely, intellectually, physically, spiritually  and creatively.

Ellen has a strong background academically, from PhD. to just completing ESL training.

 She has travelled the world on a shoe-string.

There are very few art forms she hasn't tried her hand at from metal welding to Japanese pen and ink.
A few years ago Ellen participataed in a large women's art exhibit. Her unique hand sewn kimonos lined the walls. They were simply marvelous, creative, innovative and each kimono told a chapter in her life.

Please meet Ellen. I recall at the time asking her to pose in one of her beautiful kimonos she had created. She graciously accepted.




A number of years have passed since this exhibit. Ellen has pursued many more artistic projects, docent work at the Smithsonian, and between all of her interests, there is time for travel. She is fearless and undaunted by anything she puts her heart, hand and talent to.


And so it is with great happiness and pleasure that I introduce her latest project. 

Hello, Thank You, Good-Bye
Modern Adventures in an Ancient World
written by Aloha Williams (pen name)

If there is a doorway beckoning, Ellen flies through it like a hummingbird darting here and there, tasting from this and that dainty blossom, choosing the sweetest nectar of life.

Hello, Thank You, Good-Bye is armchair traveling at its best--simply jump into any chapter, pick and choose, but by the end you will have quickly read the entire book and perhaps more than once.


Each chapter reflects a time, culture and rhythm from which she opens all of her senses to the language, sounds, music; the aromas of place, people; the routine, the exotic accumulated from the myriads of cultures that populate this Earth.  She is intrepid, fully curious, inquisitive, alert and happy to literally fly on-a-dime. Hers is not the world of luxury hotels, five star restaurants and exotic tours.


Ellen travels with her eyes, ears and heart wide open. We slipped into a church while religious services were being held. Everyone stood. The room was dark except for the hundreds of dancing flames on lit candles and the smell of wax scenting the air.  The women all wore head scarves. A choir provided the melody, voices blending so harmoniously that we didn’t miss the organ. Every face reflected a devout piety. A feeling of peace attended the service.


One joins her at the table as she dines.  Did you know that that Borsht, beet soup, was not a Russian dish but Ukrainian? We ate this delicious red soup with potatoes and cabbage topped with a dollop of white sour cream. The bread accompanying it was full-bodied and tasty. For dessert we drank hot, white chocolate.


Ultimately one opens their mind and heart as she opens hers.   Earlier in the day…I had found and purchased a lovely Koran in Arabic, bound in faux leather with gold lettering. At the dinner I was showing everyone at the table my bound book…..the waiter was mesmerized looking at my book. In broken English, he asked, ‘Do you like this book?’ I replied, ‘Yes but I cannot read Arabic.’  He repeated, ‘It is a good book it is a good book.’ He seemed pleased that I owned my own Koran…it was a graphic reminder to revere all scriptures!


With Ellen the illusion of separation from the world is split open. Hers is NOT a world of exclusion, separateness, division, right or wrong.   She  expresses this in a visceral and tangible way, that WE ARE ALL THE SAME. And therein rests the strength of this book.



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