The Reality of the Moment

January 27, 2023

I am my grandfather’s granddaughter, although I didn’t know him. He believed in checks and balances, as do I.

My mother didn’t really know him, except that she wanted to entertain him her whole life when she was with him – because she so infrequently saw him.,,

…and following in the family footsteps of living life to “the mostest,’ in “a big way,”-  knowing family, friends and strangers, paradoxically, almost from the same kind of a distance…

…far away, but close.

We’re all human beings, made up of our own individualities, formed from birth to death.

It’s not good to make assumptions about anyone. Especially ourselves.

We are all changing from moment to moment. We want to capture in words or images or music or actions, what applies to the moment, to what is real. When in true reality, we can’t begin to, without letting go – while at the same time, bringing back from the past, new conceptualizations of what has happened.

It’s such a short life, but with such mind-boggling possibilities. Our Universe dictates what narrow human thought cannot touch. And yet miracles happen and the enlightenment of living  – with all and for all – somehow, can open a new horizon.

The concept of nothingness becomes everything-ness. Without judgment, life happens.

A three-year old and an eighty-year old, side-by-side, both learning from each other without judgment, with just wonder and appreciation for the reality of the moment, each in his and her own way.

Departure

January 27, 2023

Departure

I have an old body and am feeling it, but have not departed from the kids’ artwork.

Ten years of it, in files, if I can find the files.

Ten years of Internet help in safe-guarding first names of kids, art teachers and schools in Camden, New Jersey, so that I can repost it all on Facebook. It never gets old!!!

I cannot depart from creativity – my own and others – from three to one hundred years old.

Inspired by DT in 2019

October 23, 2022

It’s depressing, at age 100
with nobody to talk to.
I remember my mother saying
“There’s nobody left.”
I wanted to say
“Well how about me?”
Now at her same age,
I understand.
I read something
in one of my messy files
(written 10 years ago)
when i was only 90 –
and it sounded so “youthful.”
Age is a state of mind –
judgment is too!
I feel, at my ripe old age that
I should be smart enough
to be President of the U.S.
especially with D.Trump there today!
But no – all I know now is
how to fill the bird feeder and how
to feed my 10 cats and 2 dogs and
that’s enough.
I’m happy and they are too –
and that’s enough!

Inspired by DT in 2019

October 23, 2022

Lily Inazu

June 1, 2022

Foster Grandparents by Kevin Riordan

May 30, 2022
https://www.facebook.com/1251118323/posts/pfbid0Y8R75yMEwSdCANeAJffFgPiuxmhAuYtkm8BDmQf2EyYhUXet2bV9k5k3LUoWGxJvl/

AGTS – Art Goes to School and Reproductions of Art

April 13, 2022

Back in the classroom again with AGTS. We have 20 large reproductions (22″x28″) of 3,000 years of fine art to show to elementary school classes (K through 5th grade).https://images.app.goo.gl/AsvYqtVGNUtG6FBW8

Volunteer AGTS members and school art teachers encourage students to “interact” with the paintings and sculpture – everything from a King Tut Mask (1300 BC) to a Jane Golden mural painting on a building in Philadelphia.

My 2nd grade class compared a Chinese painting by Su Hanchen (1160) of children with a dog and a Winslow Homer (1873) painting of boys and a kitten.

Also they compared a painting of Caravaggio (1604) of Mary with a halo, holding Jesus with the Goya painting (1787) with a kind-of background halo lighting of the boy “Manuel.”

Also they compared an Aelbert Cuyp painting (1635) of “Children and a Cow” with Jane Golden’s “Peace Wall.” (1994)

What a terrific program AGTS is – reaching over 165,000 kids in schools in the Delaware Valley.

It brings into the art room, which is surrounded by the kids own 2022 artwork, expressions of creativity across the centuries.

https://images.app.goo.gl/78YgaYJAwsVXxgeL6

https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fworcester.emuseum.com%2Fobjects%2F17192%2Fboys-and-kitten&data=04%7C01%7C%7C83e1ccc61f6e438bbe1308da1d7b8bd3%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637854713719334448%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&sdata=PBCnvFZ4vyZgi1uDh9qMl6tAqHAJi0q0%2F4AT1zIErsw%3D&reserved=0

https://images.app.goo.gl/DnbxVaBiwXS45cBP8

https://images.app.goo.gl/7LiGimqBd6xHYRbT9

https://g.co/kgs/dtYoGE

Thirty Minute History

March 22, 2022

Thirty Minute History

How do you share your History with a group of strangers in a half an hour?

That’s what I was asked to do at the Kroc Community Center Women’s Ministry on March 10, 2022.

A good experience for someone who hasn’t done much of that. How to narrow down a lifetime to an unknown audience of men and women whose only shared history is “place” – sitting together for a particular moment in time.

I shared what I’m most proud of during my 35 years in Camden: my non-profit organization “Art Aware.”

I brought in large murals of Camden City elementary school student artwork and four prayers, written large – so the 25 attendees could recite them together if they chose to do so. The Kroc Center is run by The Salvation Army so prayers were in order.

Actually my talk was based around a children’s story “Tar Beach”  – a quilt and a book  by African American artist, Faith Ringgold. It and my Art Aware program are all about being creative. “Anyone can fly, all you need is somewhere to go that you can’t get to any other way…” – except through “creativity!”

I pointed out the stark contrast of Cassie Louise Lightfoot teaching her baby brother how to fly and the prayer (I still say today) that my father taught me as a child.

A combination of dependence on self and dependence on God.

Next on the oversized newsprint pad on the easel were the words to a hymn “Spirit of Life” which connected creativity, faith and gratitude for life – ending with the words “roots hold me close, wings set me free.”

My audience didn’t know, it because I had only 30 minutes, but I had described three quarters of my life:  1) flying in unchartered territory 2) following other people’s directives 3) trying to determine who I was myself – with soooo many successful roll models.

The fourth prayer was a meditation – a check on ego: “Caught in a self-centered dream…”. The last line: “Each moment, life as it is, compassion’s way.”

I brought in many books for kids and more examples of kids’ artwork, which embodied much of my own history.

I sit in gratitude now, two weeks later, for having to prepare for this thirty minute talk…for making me realize how my hyphenated life wasn’t so scattered after all…that the connecting tissue of it all was “children”…and to appreciate their creativity and the adult need to both foster  “compassion” for all ages and for the whole world!  

Here were the meditations:

1) “Anyone can fly. All you need is somewhere to go that you can’t get to any other way and the next thing you know, you’re flying among the stars.”  By Faith Ringgold  

2) “Oh Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore thee. Enlighten me, guide and strengthen me, tell me what I must do. Give me your orders. I promise to submit to all that you ask of me and to accept whatever you desire to happen to me. Only please let me know they holy will.” By my father, Ed Pfeiffer

3) “Spirit of Life, come unto me. Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion. Blow in the wind. Rise in the sea. Move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice. Roots hold me close. Wings set me free. Spirit of life, come to me, come to me.” By Carolyn McDade

4) “Caught in a self-centered dream, only suffering. Holding to self-centered thought, exactly the dream. Life as it is – the only teacher. Being just this moment, compassion’s way.  By Joko Beck

Manhattan, Modacius* and ZCP**

February 23, 2022

Zen, Zoom, Manhattan, Modcious*

Walking down the street past my elementary school located across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
…sixty years later, walking down the street past Sacred Heart elementary school located near Camden Fireworks Art Gallery,
…continuity…
Sitting in the Zendo or on Zoom…
…continuity… is important.
For some, it’s family.
For me, it’s a connection to life as it is …
…being the only teacher … just this moment.

Thank you Pat George ❤

  • *Modacious(mostdangerouscityinUS)
  • ** ZCP Zen Center of Philadelphia

Art Aware Video

February 1, 2022