Sunday, June 26, 2011


A few weeks ago, Ben, Brian and I were in our old neighborhood and wandered into the NYC Festival of Young Artists and Leaders.  Even the misty drizzle couldn't dampen how wonderful the event was  with a variety of stages spanning East 4th Street from First to Second Avenue.  There were teen rock bands, poetry readings, dance performances and musicians.  There were also lots of tables promoting programs throughout the city for teens interesting in any area of design, visual and performing arts.

I felt sad to be away from this overload of culture. This vibe is a natural setting for Ben. Of course, he and Brian spent a hunk of time at Rivington Guitars which was on the same block as the festival. Ben put his creative talents to work playing a beautiful vintage guitar from what he (and my husband) consider the sacred 1970's. He then attempted to perform the miracle of having my husband buy it.  Sorry Ben -- your TONY award will have to wait.

While I was wandering around I caught a performance by ARTFARM .  They are an incredible theatrical group out of Middletown, Connecticut that combines performance with a commitment to simple living, social justice and environmental sustainability. They performed Circus for a Fragile Planet - and it was masterfully done. I highly encourage people to invite them to your schools or communities. It is well worth it. Their circus set design and music was out of sight. So simple and yet spectacular in its ability to help the actors and circus performers draw in their audience to examine the most pressing environmental issues of the day in a way that is vibrant and creative.

Ben's summer vacation officially started on Thursday.  He has two months of summer fun ahead of him. It will take that long for Brian and I to fully recuperate from seventh grade and to brace ourselves for eighth....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Make a Joyful Noise....

So you might have noticed that my son's adolescence has been holding me hostage for the last several months. Between the overload of hormones and homework, my husband and I shed tears of joy when the school year finally came to an end on Friday.
Could some kind soul please tell me when adolescence ends? Is it 14? 15? (gulp) 16? I don't know if I have the emotional, physical and needless to say, intellectual stamina to make it through three more years of this.
I am all for an integrated curriculum but having my son do an essay, keynote, video montage and POEM on the interdependent relationship between China and the U.S. as seen through an economic lense is pushing it a little too far.
Thank goodness I now have a garden to escape to on the weekends. Pulling weeds, watering and planting is so satisfying after hand to hand combat with a 13 year old son who is three inches taller than I am.
The above photo is a close up of one of the peonies growing in my garden. Make no mistake, I inherited 80% of these flowers from the past property owners. The white and pink peonies are gorgeous. I think they are the sexiest flowers I've ever seen. They are so voluptuous that their stems buckle under the weight of their round multi-layered bloom.  After two weeks or so, they slowly implode and the pedals fall to the ground.

One treasure I share with Ben is driving up to CT on our own to meet his dad at the house. Ben dons his ipod and eventually starts singing in full voice along to music I cannot hear. I love how he feels free enough to sing in front of me in this way. In "real life", he is too shy to sing much. He weaves in and out of a melody, sometimes a bit off tune, lyrics dropped, sometimes the lead singer, sometimes the background. Make a joyful noise unto the that's one line in the Bible I agree with.

Enjoy the late spring!