Archive for April, 2017

Camden & Philadelphia: Seats of Beauty

April 16, 2017


Beauty will save us – Monseigneur Michael Doyle’s mantra. I believe it and moved here because of it.

Walking my dogs this Easter morning in Liney Ditch Park – there because of Michael./ Taking kids to Philadelphia Orchestra concerts – possible because of AAUW (American Association of American Women./ Thirty years later, yesterday, Holy Thursday, going to Philadelphia Curtis Institute Graduate Concert, possible because of Sharon Vogel./ Sharon playing classical music in her elementary school classroom, possible because of #1 Sharp Public School./ Creative writing classes – learning what makes inspiring cinema – possible because of Rutgers University. / Walls plastered with kids’ artwork, next to reproductions of famous paintings, there because of Kroc Center./ Also on walls, Chinese and Japanese characters. After school students learning by osmosis, possible because of me and Hillary Jones.

Mahatma Gandhi wrote:  “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

Area residents emerse themselves in clean water pools, there because of the Salvation Army.

I’m lucky to live in a place of beauty, there because it will save all of us.

Murals of Children’s Artwork Are Inspiration

April 10, 2017


We have just finished a writing workshop led by published author, Anndee Hockman.

Under her direction, each and every one of us Camdenites wrote a “masterpiece” (my opinion) – which the Camden City Department of Senior Services will share with the public later.

This is the room at the Ferry Avenue library where we meet. We were surrounded by murals of children’s artwork that spurred us on.

Here’s a 2004 piece I wrote about a Japanese-American artist friend of mine relating to creativity:

What I want for Camden kids, (and all people really) is for them to realize that they’re their own beautiful persons (like each leaf on my Honey Locust tree) responding to what is. And one way for them to do that is to do art and keep doing it and doing it, the way Toshiko Takaezu does.