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Posts Tagged ‘concord’

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Mary Ann alerted me to a local art show co-curated by her artist friend Holly Harrison. I will be visiting this exhibit more than once — it’s a beautiful assemblage of artworks that incorporate words, and there’s a lot to read.

Included in the show “Inhabiting Words” are two needlework pieces by Liz Shepherd that I think will interest blogger KerryCan, given her recent post about a woman who stitched information for her citizenship test into a sampler. (Read it here.)

KerryCan wrote that the citizenship project “was created by artist Aram Han Sifuentes. Sifuentes, from South Korea, prepared for her own US citizenship test by embroidering a sampler of 100 questions and answers typical of the test questions, questions like, ‘What did Susan B. Anthony do?’ ‘Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?’ ‘What is the capital of your state?’ ” I think I should suggest this to a certain Cambodian ESL student who sews.

In Liz Shepherd’s creation for the Concord Center for the Visual Arts show, the topic is religion and its sometimes unintended consequences. Here she stitches ruminations by the late Christopher Hitchens.

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Well, we’re home and adjusting to the time change more easily than when we traveled east. Meanwhile, it occurs to me that I have a bunch of New England photos from both before and after our trip that I want to share. I call the first one “There Will Be Grapes.”

The yellow and white tulips have since died off, but the yard they graced has a floral display that keeps on giving.

My three shadow pictures feature the North Bridge in Concord, Mass., a wildly exuberant dogwood, and a vase of spring flowers.

Two antique child vehicles are on the porch of a home furnishings store.

The life forms by Korean sculptor Jaeok Lee at the Concord Center for the Visual Arts completely captivated me. The artist has written about making the tiny cabinet objects while experiencing health challenges that kept her from other projects.

“The healing quality of nature also motivates my work,” Lee says. “A few years ago, I developed an illness that doctors could not diagnose. While going through various diagnostic tests, since I did not have much energy, I started working with very small objects.

“I would go out to my garden for inspiration and would start to pinch small forms of seeds, pods, berries and flowers. Over the course of one year, I made thousands of small pieces that filled a Chinese medicine cabinet that I bought from an antique shop a few years ago.

“I named the project ‘Making my own medicine.’ The simple act of pinching the forms has been a healing experience that gave me enormous hope for my recovery.”

More at her website, here.

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Photo: Military Friends Foundation
Joining the Tough Ruck marathon means carrying a heavy load for 26.2 miles to raise money for the fallen and injured and their families. Acknowledged by the Boston Marathon.

I was out for my ordinary walk on Saturday when I soon realized I was accidentally in the way of a new kind of marathoner: soldiers carrying heavy rucksacks on their backs. They were pushing hard as they were at mile 25 of a 26.2-mile marathon.

The signs saying “Tough Ruck” didn’t tell me much, so when I got home, I looked on Google to see what this was all about.

From the website: “We are a group of military and civilians whose sole purpose is to Ruck in honor and in memory of our Fallen Service Members, Police, Firefighters and EMTs, while raising funds to support military families in times of need.

“We will walk a 26.2 mile course with our Rucks.  Military Friends Foundation is proud to announce the continuation of our partnership with the Boston Athletic Association, the National Park Service and the Old Manse for 2017.

“On April 15, 2013, the Tough Ruck members were at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and joined the first responders to help those that were injured by the horrific blasts. They truly exemplify the best of what our Nation is. …

“Each year Ruckers are awarded the first of the official Boston Marathon Medals and receive recognition from the Boston Athletic Association.

“Tough Ruck participants are made up of any member of the Armed Forces currently serving, Veterans, First Responders, or Civilians. This extends across borders and is an open invite to our allied brothers and sisters around the world.
Regardless of a Rucker’s branch of service, rank, or position, each Rucker is a person who has volunteered to band together and do something to honor our Fallen Soldiers. …

“Ruckers push themselves and are an exemplar of drive, determination, and motivation. We ask each Rucker to push him or herself to their max potential and NEVER GIVE UP. Ruckers leave all egos, negative attitudes, and apathy at the start line. You are a member of a team. …

“When you register you will be asked to select one of three a divisions.  Ruck sacks will be weighed in prior to the start time and immediately after crossing the finish line.  You will NOT be permitted to ruck if your ruck sack does not weigh in at a minimum of 15 pounds.

“Military Division – Open to all active military and veterans and retirees.  Each Rucker will wear a: blouse, trousers, safety belt, regulation issued boots, and a ruck/assault pack/regulation pack issued by branch of service.  The minimum weight in the military division is 35 pounds.

“Heavy Weight Division – Ruckers in the heavy weight division will carry a minimum of 35 pounds at weigh in and at the finish line.

“Light Weight Division – Ruckers in the light weight division will carry a minimum of 15 pounds at weigh in and at the finish line.”

I didn’t realize something was up until I heard people clapping and cheering them on outside the Colonial Inn. I love the symbolism of sharing a heavy burden.

Read more here.

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My latest photo round-up includes several from family members plus examples of my own fascination with shadows and light.

The first picture is from Erik’s mother in Sweden. I love that a Swedish gingerbread house was rendered in red board-and-batten style. Next is a funny sign about Norwegians that my husband shot in Concord. Then we have Suzanne’s photo of proto-skiers and another funny sign, this time in Vermont.

The old barn is next to the Ralph Waldo Emerson homestead. The house being torn down is the haunted one I have described before. Tearing it down revealed that it was actually haunted by a raccoon.

The six light-and-shadow photos depict a stuffed animal in bright sunlight, our front gate after a recent storm, Plato’s Idea/Form of a trash can and recycling bin, three green windows, chairs in the pocket park, and a surprising pattern of light on a window blind.

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Photos with meaning. Well, maybe not all these photos have meaning. Some exist for their own sakes.

The first, from my backyard, captures two things I love — fall colors and shadows. The second shows the Concord River flowing through Minuteman Park; the third, shadows on the monument at the North Bridge.

The restaurant with the kitchen facing the street is a delightful new entrant to the celebrated Providence restaurant scene. It’s on Westminster Street and is called Bao Bao.

The winged creature on a Boston building looks like a gryphon to me. Do correct me if I’m wrong. Next is a rhino outside the Museum of Fine Arts museum school. That’s followed by the amazing cloister of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and an illuminated manuscript from a current exhibit in the new wing.

Finally, I couldn’t capture the whole Leonard Cohen lyric on the sidewalk in Wayland Square — would have had to stand in a busy street at rush hour. But it’s from his song “Anthem” —

“Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.”

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Among the sights I’ve wanted to photograph in the last few weeks is a sculpture outside the Umbrella Community Arts Center. It invites you to look through and focus on an aspect of the view.

Next up, the old house where Ephraim Bull developed the Concord Grape. Another sign there told me that there was a “Sale Pending.”

My friend Meredith is a featured artist at Concord Art’s new juried show. She has done several treatments of her fica plant, but the one in the show is a lovely collage of painted paper.

I recently discovered on a morning walk that the Providence Preservation Society has generously opened its multilevel garden to the public during certain hours of the day. What a peaceful place to just sit and think! Not far away is the What Cheer Garage (I like the name). Across Providence, you can discover a fine-looking hen on the wall of Olga’s Cup and Saucer, and a street art stencil recommending Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil.

I also like the alley alongside the Providence Performing Arts Center and a hilly street that looks more like Europe than New England.

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Photo: Boston Globe
Al Filipov died on Sept. 11. He was on the plane from Boston.

After September 11, 2001, good works sprouted around the country, launched by people from all walks of life who were determined that goodness should have the last say.  The Huffington Post collected a bunch of these initiatives for one anniversary of the tragedy, here, but you can find examples in nearly every community.

In Concord, Al Filipov, who was on one of the planes, is honored in several ways, including by the Filipov Peace and Justice Forum.

Al’s son, Boston Globe reporter David Filipov, once recalled his father as “engineer, inventor, sailor, deacon, coach, husband, dad, raconteur.” The Filipov forum website adds that he was a painter and a human rights activist, noting,

“He sought out the best in people and cared passionately about the world in its beauty and pain. He earnestly believed in the power of an individual to make a difference in the world.”

The 2016 Al Filipov Peace & Justice Forum will take place on September 25 at the Trinity Congregational Church on Walden Street in Concord. Representatives from the Parents Circle-Families Forum are the featured guests. The Parents Circle is made up of bereaved Palestinian and Israeli families that have come together to support “peace, reconciliation and tolerance.”

As one member says in the video below, people from different sides of a conflict need to get to know one another as individuals and share commonalities in order to let go of “being right” all the time instead of creating peace. Otherwise any future agreement is just a cease fire.

The presentation will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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