September 8th, 2014
|12:01 am - The Power of Three - Part III|
Part 3 (here are Part 1 & Part 2) of three days of posting three positive things:
Thing the First: Helping Others. One of the most beautiful things we have the capacity for is compassion, and the real treasure is in taking the next step from compassion by turning it into tangible help for others ~ either through hands-on help, or by enabling others to do the helping.
I was at a raptor center the other day where they rehabilitate injured birds, and for those whom can't be released, provide dedicated, long-term care. Walking through the pathways, visiting with and reading about the individual birds, I noticed one that's been in residence since 1986 ~ so they're in it for the long haul. Not only that, but the birds all seem very well cared for, are fully attentive & look great. One time a raven there surprised me by mimicking my vocalizations with perfect-pitch after I started talking to it! Hearing your voice come out of a raven's beak? ~pure magic~
Whether it's raptors, bats, oceans, the homeless, the disaster-stricken, or even just a neighbor who could use some company or a surprise gift of dinner being brought over, find something you care about, and figure out a way to turn that care into a verb. It doesn't have to be a big, popular cause & your help/time/effort/donation doesn't need to be huge to matter. Think back to when someone's said a kind word out of the blue, extended an unexpected gesture of kindness, or took the time to listen and be there for you, and how much that meant, the difference it made... We all have the capacity to do this for something or someone else.
Thing the Second: Vegetarianism. *Caveat: I don't judge others for not being vegetarian, much like I don't judge negatively for having a different spiritual practice. This is simply what's right for me, and a few thoughts behind it.
In 1986, I decided to be vegetarian. The fact that I'd recently bought The Smiths' "Meat is Murder" surely wasn't coincidental, combined with the fact I'd been thinking about what food was before being turned into oft-unrecognizable "products". That day, my mom said I'd die young due to malnutrition. Well, it's 28 years later and this is a natural part of who I am. I see all creatures as part of the same Earth-family, and don't personally view them as "food" or have any desire to take their life when there are countless other easily attainable & deliciously sustaining options available. When I first became vegetarian, there were cravings I sometimes had and there weren't yet any substitutes. No "craving" was worth another's life to me so I ignored it and moved on. Since then, loads of basically identical tasting veggie alternatives have come out, so there's never a reason to feel anything's lacking (& the original cravings have been replaced with new favourites) :)
In the animal world creatures kill others for food (they don't have handy grocery stores & farmers markets <-- click the link to find ones local to you), but they do it in a way where they for the most part take only what they need. Generally, their behaviours can be naturally sustained and balance out. Raising animals in cramped, inhumane factory farms is neither humane, nor naturally sustainable (causing growth hormones & antibiotics to be used in bulk), and long-line fishing clears sea life from whole swaths of ocean in a way that takes the lives of unfathomable amounts of "byproduct/undesired" sea life beyond the targeted catch. It's simply not the same as some fisherman off the coast of Sicily casting his net to catch enough for his family to use that day. One is sustainable, the other wreaks havoc on the vital balance of an ecosystem. It's unlikely the entire human race will ever become vegetarian, but I'm glad I did, and ~maybe~ for each person who does, there will be that much less of a demand for mass-produced "meat" and that much more focus on organic, plant-based, nutrient rich foods. For those who aren't vegetarian or vegan, it's still possible to help the big picture by being conscientious about what you're eating, where it comes from, and the conditions under which it was raised (this is also true for clothing and anything else we buy). We all demonstrate power through what we choose to consume, to show what we do not, and what we *do* support.
Thing the Third: Supporting the Creative Arts in all its many forms. For this artist, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of a certain premiere collection's black catalogue of clothing designs going out into the world with hand-tattered ribbons, with ornately handwritten silver writing on black linen envelopes and postage stamps with paintings of Japanese cranes (a symbol of longevity). My hope was that those pages would wing their way to other souls around the world ~ giving a glimpse into another time & place, and showing how beauty could come out of a place where most saw only darkness. I never considered that 20 years later this would still be my vocation, but looking back on the heart and soul that was poured into every detail, it makes sense. That said, all the passion, vision, and dedication in the world might not have meant much if there weren't others to actively help support that vision by making sure these creations could continue to be made & find loving homes. It's been such an honour and heart-joy to see these offerings go on to be worn for some of the most special occasions in people's lives, as well as to simply make the every day a bit more personal & enchanting.
To this day, I'm so grateful for each order. In 1994 we celebrated with nachos every time one arrived in the mail (probably a good thing we curtailed that practice)! I mean it sincerely when I say each and every one of you are so appreciated. I wish I could do a collage with *everyone* who's shown support through the years, but here are a few photos I quickly cobbled together of some of our wonderful customers (who are often friends, which means so much!). You are all so inspiring, lift my spirit, and oftentimes, keep me going by providing a tangible reason to keep creating. This isn't just how it is for me, but for any independent artist/creator/musician/writer/designer/photographer/etc... Enjoying the work online is also *of course* appreciated, but if you really enjoy and value a person's art/craft and want to see them continue to make more of it, give them a reason to when/if you can ~ since humans have this $ thing that other animals don't require, artists can't pay their bills on "likes" alone ;) (Speaking of which, my friend Elisa/Visioluxus has a Patreon and I'd love to see her getting some more patrons :) Thank you! (Edit: I just found out Elisa's having to close her Patreon due to needing to dedicate time to a family medical issue.)
We have a raptor centre in our village (it may be small, but it does have everything!) Clive, who runs it, brought some of the birds to our Wine Circle meeting and it was fascinating. Some of the birds were in a terrible condition when they were either brought in injured, or rescued, but they look so well now, it's clear that birds of prey are his reason for living; he loves those birds!
I totally agree about vegetarianism. If anyone ever asks me about it (or requires me to justify it in many cases ;p) I tend to cite the reasons in your second paragraph about factory farming and unsustainable fishing etc, but I also very much agree with the first paragraph and don't see animals as food; they are living things (with a lot more complicated emotions than most people give them credit for) and I think it's immoral to take their life for the sake of a snack!
Supporting the arts is very rewarding. As a side line I recently finished a copywriting job for Aaron's company writing 100 biographies for the University of the Arts London (all the major art colleges recently came together under one umbrella, so that comprises the London School of Fashion, Central St Martins, Royal College of Art etc). They selected the best students from the last few years, so these are some truly talented young designers, who are now signed up to the Fashion Innovation Agency (http://www.fialondon.com/
) which is an amazing launchpad to get going in the industry. As a project I gave it a lot more time and effort than the money was worth, but I could see the talent and drive these kids have and worked hard for them. I ordered a scarf from one designer, and he sent me a lovely hand-written note thanking me for the order :)
|Date:||September 22nd, 2014 04:58 am (UTC)|| |
Ooh, when I come out and visit with you sometime, we'll have to go there and visit the raptors!
With vegetarianism, your father's comment about the chickens will always come to mind. I've actually shared that one a few times when people don't quite understand the parameters of being vegetarian ;)
Wow, that does sound like an incredible opportunity for those designers! It's always so heartening when the arts (and the *artists*) are supported and encouraged like that. Ultimately, art in its many forms ends up telling the story of our shared history, and it's so much more significant than some think. It can be an appreciation, a rebellion, a movement... (Hmm, I'm thinking if/when we go to France together again sometime, we should bring some blank canvases/journals/art supplies and do some creating en plein air!)
That would be awesome!
The FIA is a really amazing scheme, and must be so helpful for the designers. As well as the introduction and promotion aspect of it there are practical workshops to help in areas like how to run a business and how to market yourself. They also have bursaries available to help students with financial problems and each year one student is given a prize worth £20,000, and the services of a business mentor, to get them started.
It would be lovely to head back to France. I like the idea of outdoor painting; I'm not very good at it, but the act of creating something, even if it's not great, is still very rewarding.
That pic of Neil with the banana is killing me.
|Date:||September 8th, 2014 01:50 pm (UTC)|| |
I always knew there was something special about that man :D
|Date:||September 8th, 2014 01:52 pm (UTC)|| |
You are utterly killing me w/ these gorgeous and beautifully thought-out posts! You are a treasure indeed .... and you look all of 12 years old in that pic in the vegetarian section! Thank goodness you didn't perish of malnutrition, lol <3
|Date:||September 22nd, 2014 04:42 am (UTC)|| |
Thank you for being the original instigator for the posts (I think it was you who posted, and then tagged Jilli, etc...). These gave an unexpected, but welcome opportunity to really consider some "everyday" things that play a huge role in my life, not to mention forcing me to dust off the ol' lj a bit :)
|Date:||September 22nd, 2014 12:29 pm (UTC)|| |
making sure you see this::
The Casting Couch is open!
So, you think you've got what it takes to make it in Hollywood? If you do, we’re gonna make you a star! Just have your people call our people at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do lunch.
Be sure to tell us up front about your special talent. Are you a Band, DJ, Designer, Artist or Speaker? Be sure to include that in the subject field. Then include everything we need to know in the email (or links to it):
Bands: A brief bio describing your history, where you've played, styles and influences etc. At least 3 original songs for us to listen to. Photos and website links.
DJs: A brief bio describing your history, where you've played, club nights you've run, styles and influences etc. At least 2 playlists, or recorded sets if you want to dazzle us with your mad skillz.
Designers: Your name and company’s name. Links to your website or work galleries. Four photos that best represent your work. The theme or inspiration for the pieces you will be showing at Convergence 21. (Our theme is "Dead Stars", designers collections with nods to Hollywood glamour or rock n roll elements in design would be preferred but you do not have to be totally on theme to participate”.
Artists: A brief bio describing your history and your work. Images of your work and links to websites.
Speakers/Panel proposals: A brief bio detailing your qualifications and a description of what you would like to do, what would be required of us to make it happen, how long it would take, and what sort of audience involvement you are hoping for.
Finally, be sure to tell us how you will promote Convergence 21 to your fans and following and in your area. Special consideration will be given based on your ability to promote. Submissions that align with our theme will also be given special consideration, but it's not required Submissions are open now and will remain open until November 15 2014. Selected Bands, DJs, Artists Designers and Speakers will be notified by December 15 2014.
i found a really delightful vegan pasta recipe with an "alfredo" sauce of avocado, lemon, and basil that is to die for. Next time you're here i'll make it. :)
i can't imagine ever going back to eating meat. it seems so weird and foreign.
|Date:||September 8th, 2014 10:45 pm (UTC)|| |
girl, post the recipe in your lj so I can make it at home!
Oh my gosh, there's a picture of me in there! Shucks!! :-)
Everybody looks so beautiful, and you're beautiful too. Thank you for sharing yourself with the world ♥
|Date:||September 15th, 2014 04:01 pm (UTC)|| |
I had the same moment of squee!! <3
Such a beautiful post, and the delightful photos of a few of the people who have loved and supported your work over the years -- joyful, appreciative, thoughtful, and kind, just like you are, Kambriel :)
(Also, I just saw the "Il Sommo Poeta" pictures of Neil on your Etsy shop -- the wrap is gorgeous, and he looks amazing! Those are some of my favorite photos I've seen of him in recent years . . . and your beautiful work suits him very well, as always.)
*big loving hugs*
-- A <3
P.S. Very much all for non-vegetarians making sustainable choices -- while I am an omnivore, I just got into a long and passionate discussion regarding sustainable fishing and the ups and downs of fish farming, and what needs to be done to ensure a healthy wild population, and to avoid the tragedies of "bycatch" and habitat destruction. It's important to be aware of what you eat and where it came from, and to support sustainable practices in agriculture, farming, and fishing.
|Date:||September 22nd, 2014 04:49 am (UTC)|| |
I love that photo of you in Whitby. It really seemed to capture one of those life moments where everything's exactly as it should be :)
You're ~so~ kind... I adore you.
I'm so glad you enjoyed the Neil photos! I still haven't posted those (or any of the fun stories behind them) here or anywhere else yet, so at some point, I really should. I've got some fun/sweet out-takes from that day too!
|Date:||September 22nd, 2014 04:35 am (UTC)|| |
I love those photos ~ everything came together so beautifully :)
Thank *you* for being part of this world!
|Date:||September 9th, 2014 04:13 am (UTC)|| |
thank you so much for being around and making our beautiful wedding clothes which i appreciate more and more as time goes by. i was so caught up in the windstorm that was wedding planning that i actually didn't get a chance to even appreciate how beautiful a dress you made me out of that material i sent you.
|Date:||September 22nd, 2014 04:33 am (UTC)|| |
It was such an honour ~ especially knowing how many years you'd been holding on to that material, waiting for its day to come. Thank you so much for entrusting me with that ~ it really looked like an amazing, celebratory (multi-day) ceremony!
I have been a fan of your journal/works for so long. Have you ever considered publishing an autobiography/picture book of your life and work? I would love it!
|Date:||September 22nd, 2014 04:31 am (UTC)|| |
2014 actually marks the 20th anniversary of our first catalogue being released, so it's definitely something that's been on my mind. An autobiography might be a little too surreal, but a photo compendium with some stories, memories, etc... is something I've given a lot of thought to, and even started compiling some things for. So ~ short answer is yes, this will likely happen someday!
I'm glad to hear that! I think it would be beautiful. :)