Yoko Ono at MOMA

White Chess SetI didn’t really care that you entered through the gift shop. It gave me a chance to get my shopping out of the way. I bought a Surrender To Peace button. Isn’t that the truth. Its there inside all the time. We exert so much energy resisting that inevitable act. There was a bunch of stupid stuff on sale as well. Special editions of dishes, that kind of thing. Hey, I surrender to peace.

I like Yoko. I have always liked Yoko. I am about Yoko’s age. I got introduced to her and Fluxus when she got involved with John Lennon. Some might call her work threadbare. I call it transparent.

Some might call it stupid. I call it simple. Some might call it precious. I call it etherial. And so on. I like Yoko Ono.

The first thing you notice when you go in is the fresh green Apple. It is amazing to think that is howApple records got its logo. Then you think about Apple Computers Then you wish you didn’t know that there is a celebrity child named Apple. And then you are on the floor in a college apartment watching that Apple going round and round the turnstile. Right about there your heart breaks; later you surrender to peace.

Ono is about ideas not things. The ideas she is about are love, peace, authenticity, possibility, optimism. Some of the ideas are small and sweet. Some are cosmic. Some are variations on a theme. Like Morning Piece (renamed Peace, 2015), 1967. This has been restaged with its new name at 7 venues in honor of this show. Originally dedicated to George Macunias who was in financial difficulty, instructions are given so that any artist can reconstitute it and sell the little bottles with promises of sunrises attached. Not the thing; ideas that contain the thing. Remember Marcel Duchamp’s bottle of New York air; made for the patron, Arensburg. In more recent developments, it comes with breakfast. Surrender to peace. Here is Duchamp’s great idea of art as editing;selection. I will always love it. It is always new. I have used it myself.

When ideas like Half Room are realized, the result is shocking—in a very good way. Here is a room where all the contents and furnishings is cut in half. IF this exists then anything is possible—even world peace. Fluxus – the art of becoming.

I gave my copy of Grapefruit to a not so serious boyfriend in the early1970’s. I hope he still has it because its now its fetching piles of money on Alibris. Anyways its reprinted. Maybe some young Fluxoids would like to realize some of the pieces on You Tube. But its almost as much fun to think about them. Apparently the origin of the title is from a story that Ono wrote in the 1950’s for her school paper. They have it at the exhibit. I read the story but I still don’t get it.

There are so many ingenious pieces in the show; the White Chess Set with both sides in white is just genius. Players must stop playing and look at each other. You know the drill. Surrender to peace.

Close with Imagine in Strawberry Fields in Central Park.

Yoko Ono at MOMA

I didn’t really care that you entered through the gift shop. It gave me a chance to get my shopping out of the way. I bought a Surrender To Peace button. Isn’t that the truth. Its there inside all the time. We exert so much energy resisting that inevitable act. There was a bunch of stupid stuff on sale as well. Special editions of dishes, that kind of thing. Hey, I surrender to peace.

I like Yoko. I have always liked Yoko. I am about Yoko’s age. I got introduced to her and Fluxus when she got involved with John Lennon. Some might call her work threadbare. I call it transparent.

Some might call it stupid. I call it simple. Some might call it precious. I call it etherial. And so on. I like Yoko Ono.

The first thing you notice when you go in is the fresh green Apple. It is amazing to think that is howApple records got its logo. Then you think about Apple Computers Then you wish you didn’t know that there is a celebrity child named Apple. And then you are on the floor in a college apartment watching that Apple going round and round the turnstile. Right about there your heart breaks; later you surrender to peace.

Ono is about ideas not things. The ideas she is about are love, peace, authenticity, possibility, optimism. Some of the ideas are small and sweet. Some are cosmic. Some are variations on a theme. Like Morning Piece (renamed Peace, 2015), 1967. This has been restaged with its new name at 7 venues in honor of this show. Originally dedicated to George Macunias who was in financial difficulty, instructions are given so that any artist can reconstitute it and sell the little bottles with promises of sunrises attached. Not the thing; ideas that contain the thing. Remember Marcel Duchamp’s bottle of New York air; made for the patron, Arensburg. In more recent developments, it comes with breakfast. Surrender to peace. Here is Duchamp’s great idea of art as editing;selection. I will always love it. It is always new. I have used it myself.

When ideas like Half Room are realized, the result is shocking—in a very good way. Here is a room where all the contents and furnishings is cut in half. IF this exists then anything is possible—even world peace. Fluxus – the art of becoming.

I gave my copy of Grapefruit to a not so serious boyfriend in the early1970’s. I hope he still has it because its now its fetching piles of money on Alibris. Anyways its reprinted. Maybe some young Fluxoids would like to realize some of the pieces on You Tube. But its almost as much fun to think about them. Apparently the origin of the title is from a story that Ono wrote in the 1950’s for her school paper. They have it at the exhibit. I read the story but I still don’t get it.

There are so many ingenious pieces in the show; the White Chess Set with both sides in white is just genius. Players must stop playing and look at each other. You know the drill. Surrender to peace.

Close with Imagine in Strawberry Fields in Central Park.

Yoko Ono at MOMA

I didn’t really care that you entered through the gift shop. It gave me a chance to get my shopping out of the way. I bought a Surrender To Peace button. Isn’t that the truth. Its there inside all the time. We exert so much energy resisting that inevitable act. There was a bunch of stupid stuff on sale as well. Special editions of dishes, that kind of thing. Hey, I surrender to peace.

I like Yoko. I have always liked Yoko. I am about Yoko’s age. I got introduced to her and Fluxus when she got involved with John Lennon. Some might call her work threadbare. I call it transparent.
Some might call it stupid. I call it simple. Some might call it precious. I call it etherial. And so on. I like Yoko Ono.

The first thing you notice when you go in is the fresh green Apple. It is amazing to think that is howApple records got its logo. Then you think about Apple Computers Then you wish you didn’t know that there is a celebrity child named Apple. And then you are on the floor in a college apartment watching that Apple going round and round the turnstile. Right about there your heart breaks; later you surrender to peace.

Ono is about ideas not things. The ideas she is about are love, peace, authenticity, possibility, optimism. Some of the ideas are small and sweet. Some are cosmic. Some are variations on a theme. Like Morning Piece (renamed Peace, 2015), 1967. This has been restaged with its new name at 7 venues in honor of this show. Originally dedicated to George Macunias who was in financial difficulty, instructions are given so that any artist can reconstitute it and sell the little bottles with promises of sunrises attached. Not the thing; ideas that contain the thing. Remember Marcel Duchamp’s bottle of New York air; made for the patron, Arensburg. In more recent developments, it comes with breakfast. Surrender to peace. Here is Duchamp’s great idea of art as editing;selection. I will always love it. It is always new. I have used it myself.

When ideas like Half Room are realized, the result is shocking—in a very good way. Here is a room where all the contents and furnishings is cut in half. IF this exists then anything is possible—even world peace. Fluxus – the art of becoming.

I gave my copy of Grapefruit to a not so serious boyfriend in the early1970’s. I hope he still has it because its now its fetching piles of money on Alibris. Anyways its reprinted. Maybe some young Fluxoids would like to realize some of the pieces on You Tube. But its almost as much fun to think about them. Apparently the origin of the title is from a story that Ono wrote in the 1950’s for her school paper. They have it at the exhibit. I read the story but I still don’t get it.

There are so many ingenious pieces in the show; the White Chess Set with both sides in white is just genius. Players must stop playing and look at each other. You know the drill. Surrender to peace.

Close with Imagine in Strawberry Fields in Central Park.

Not tired!

 

A friend asked about how to approach retirement.    Somehow I think that question is deeper than handing in the required paperwork and setting up a direct deposit account.    I think that question is about spiritually preparing for suddenly encountering a new phase in one’spuzzle life.   Lets face it.   No matter how many dreams you have and how wise your investments have been… No matter how much you love your kids and grandkids; you are being told by the world that once considered you a professional worthy of a paycheck that noone will miss you too much if you put out to pasture.   In fact, here is a severance package to ease the way. Its a shock. You don’t feel old. Yet there it is.

So lets break it up into  pieces.

What are you retiring from? Not your family or friends. Not your address (at least, not yet). Not your likes and dislikes. Not your clothes. Not those 10 extra pounds (if, only). That all stays the same. All of that is most of who you are. So, aside from the money thing which I am really not qualified to discuss, its primarily just two things. A place to go to on a regular basis that is not home and a fixed role in society. Just two things. Staying engaged and stimulated. Staying alert and active. How ever you want to slice it, its just two pieces.

A place to go might be a volunteer gig or a pt job. It might be tutoring. It might be something completely different. Depends how far you want to go to the gig? They have Peace Corps for that.

Me? I’ve always wanted to volunteer on an archaelogical dig. That is in my future. Writing about it on this blog is my present. The me that is not defined by a social role. The me who is not up for sentencing in the court of perfection. You are going to be gone a long long time. Now is the time to make every minute count. What are you afraid of? What is the worse that could happen? What is the best? Visualize. What can you do to overcome your discomfort? There really is no more time for that. Its ok to feel good. Could it really be that good!  Do it.  Don’t think about it.

SPLASH!

I was at the Metropolitan Museum when this tourist fell into the pool at the Temple of Dendur. Splash!

 

 

 

Jump in.

A long time ago someone  told me to follow my fears and there I would find myself. I understand that now.

Now is now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The First Bouquet

A Bindi Bulb Bouquet

Seemapuri Bindi Bulbs

 

Rolando Politi at  Armando Perez Garden

Rolando Politi at Armando Perez Garden

The first bouquet goes to Rolando Politi.  Rolando is an artist of a certain age.   He worships trash.  I have known him for decades.   His motto is “Recycle and Pray.”   That is the name of his blog as well.        Recycle and Pray

Some of the things he has made are gorgeous blooms out of discarded metal cans.  He has placed these along chain link fences in our neighborhood.

mandir working

Kabad Se Jugad

The women of Seemapuri, a town on the outskirts of New Delhi have put alot of faith in trash.   They spend their lives picking through it;  trying to accumulate  enough value to buy food for the evening meal.

  They sponsored Rolando to come to Seemapuri  to  teach them how to transform trash into beauty.   Our bouquet is made from discarded lightbulbs and discarded bindi dots and assorted plastica.

The All Womens Waste Workers Co-Op are marketing their beautiful creations to the public.   Below are some examples of  their work.

They have a  website.  Kabad se jugad     But for various reasons lost in translation, these can be had only through Rolando.   One flower is a reasonable $30.00.  This includes shipping and handling.    You don’t need to pay until the order is received and you are happy with it.
To order contact Rolando at  recycleandpray@gmail.com
Of course they are looking for bulk orders and big publicity.   This  post might help.
If you want to know more about the situation with waste workers in India  check out this site:  WIEGO .

You Can’t Jump Into the Same River Twice

River of Flowers

Hericlitus said that. Its about time that marches on and drops over the horizon.
The sun rises on a different world. You may not be in it.
So imagine my delight yesterday at the Doctor’s office when in conversation he said something about me being 66. For some reason I had been thinking that I was 68, going on 69 in fact. Now I’m only going on 67. He said, “See, I gave you two extra years!” What a gift!

Thanks doc. Now what is to be done with this time that is flowing through the hourglass. I think writing this is a good use.

I am subscribed to another blog on WordPress. Bucket List Publications http://bucketlistpublications.org/
This is a travel blog that I came across when I was titling this thing.
It goes to show how different bucket lists can be. Mine are mostly internal although I love to travel. I have some spots on my list. Machhu Picu for one, but that is starting to morph into a prolonged journey. Need to work on that. Right now I am more interested in pursuing audio stuff. Working on the blog. I get 5 minutes at an all female poetry reading tonight. I say thank you.

What I Learned In School

P1050108For the last few months I have been engaged in a Middle School tutoring program developed by an Ivy League School of Education and executed in the New York City Public Schools. The program develops small reading groups called “book clubs” in after school programs.   I was called a “literacy tutor.” I had two book clubs of of four 6th graders which met 5 days a week for one hour each.   Students were selected through their reading scores-not the worst, not the best—all below grade level.

Most of the children in both groups were girls. I had one boy in each group for most of the time.

At the age of 11/12, I have to say– it was like herding cats.   Cats that talk back. And twerk.   And then ask if you believe in Santa Claus. One girl asked me if I was white. I said no. Next time I’ll say I used to be.

The program is very exact, with so many minutes for a beginning activity or recap, vocabulary (sometimes the word wasn’t in the dictionary they gave us) ; and then some time for independent reading. During this time the idea is to work with each child separately.   Its about 10 minutes of undivided attention per child. Finally, the rest of the time is for group discussion. The plan is to develop cognitive abilities. To be able to discuss situations and characters in the book and their implications. Its a great program and needed. I found the kids to be sensitive, aware, intelligent. And also inarticulate.

Each group had one totally motivated student, 2 who could get interested if I could made it worth their while and one who was hell-bent on, well lets just say hell-bent.   No need to go into detail. Bottom line.  I couldn’t concentrate on the one-to-one part or basically anything else because I was busy with what they call “classroom management”.

Class room management is an art. We were trained in the use of a book called “Teach Like a Champion” which is very innovative and excellent. In this particular instance it didn’t work out so good and they are reevaluating the program. I would like to work with those techniques again in another setting. Then there was the whole bribery system. Stickers. Spirit Dollars. You gotta believe! I did witness a book club actually functioning in another school and it was a beautiful sight to see.

The most fun I had was when I taught them air quotes. Mostly what I got out of the experience was a new appreciation of how language grows. It does not matter how something is spelled. What matters is the idea being expressed. Same goes for grammar. Yo. Yo. Yo.

Of course having such individualized interpretations, makes translation impossible, not to mention contracts and such—just sayin that it was an idea that had never entered my mind.   It was kind of liberating.

On the other hand. I am convinced of the value of the controversial Common Core standards. They measure thinking and articulation from the students. Exactly the skills the book clubs focus on building. These are skills which children need to become fully realized humans as well as for any trained job they might aspire to. There’s a time and a place for everything.

As for the New York City schools….I don’t know enough to criticize. Professional teachers I interacted with were caring and sincere. They just knew different things from me and sometimes had different standards.   Which brings me back to what I learned.  That communication is more important than grammar or spelling.  Just not for everything.

One of my students told me that New York was becoming a Black and Latino city. I can’t disagree.

Volunteering, especially helping others to gain skills that they will  use to improve their lives  is tremendously rewarding.

Below find links to some volunteering opportunities in education for children and adults.

http://www.volunteermatch.org

http://www.literacypartners.org

http://www.allforgood.org/

http://www.unitedway.org/

Sex and the Single Septuagenarian

sexRecently there was a court case in Coralville, Iowa.  A married woman whose husband lived outside the nursing home.  Her lover lived in the home.   He was 78. She was 87.  She had Alzheimer’s.  He had dementia.  He was dying of cancer.  Both had children.

They were discovered en flagrante in her room, sitting on her bed–talking.  They were naked from the waist down.  Her Alzheimer’s manifested itself in extreme aggressiveness and agitation.  She was calling him by her husband’s name.   But she seemed happy.    The nursing home did not have a problem with any of this.

The nursing home notified both families. At the time, they had no probem either.  Neither moved their parents.   Then it happened again. They were in the man’s room.   She hit the staff as they broke it up.  They gave him drugs to curb his sexual appetite.  The nursing home did not notify the state authorities.

When it was discovered during a record audit in 2010, the Administrator and Director of Nursing were fired and the nursing home was fined.  The man was forced to find a new residence.   In 2011, the woman’s family decided to sue.   The case was settled in 2012. The Director of Nursing lost her license over it.

According to Bloomberg.com, 38.5 % of men and and 16.7 % of women between the ages of 75-85 are sexually active.   Along with the idea that just a few women must be having multiple men,  additional issues have been raised.   Some of the sexually active have Alzheimer’s.   Some of them are in nursing homes.

This could be us in the not too distant future.

I used to think that me and my friends would all end up at a place called the Rock and Roll Nursing Home.   Like Rock and Roll High School, only in wheelchairs.  I never thought about having a boyfriend there.  Or a husband.   And now that I am thinking about it, I can’t believe there are going to be any problems.   Since when did the age of consent have a downside?

At this time, only New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Colorado have laws in place protecting conjugal activities between unmarried adults in nursing homes. 18 other states protect the rights of married people to private visits. Guess the “The Notebook” took place in one of them.

The rest of the states follow the current federal guidelines.  There is a bill of rights for nursing home residents.   Privacy is mentioned; the details relate more to keeping personal belongings.   Figures.

There is a center for medicare and medicaid services (CMS) deep inside our goverment.  They are the ones who set the standards.  They are the ones who forced the Coralville home to evict the man.   There is a similar agency in the Veteran’s  Administration.

The issue in Coralville was the woman’s ability to give consent.  Eventually,  it was determined that she had given consent.

It is unknown as to whether she consented to her family’s lawsuit.

The two main groups advocating for nursing home residents are:

Friends of Residents of Long Term Care

Foundation for Aiding the Elderly

Neither has specifically addressed sexual expression.  But they do emphasize self-determination.

On the bright side, there is one woman who has been thinking about this for a while.   Her name is Joan Price.   She has written two books on the subject and recently edited a book of erotic fiction called “Ageless Erotica”.

“Talkin’ ’bout my generation”–The Who