Blog

March 26, 2020

A quick update and an interesting insight about life in the age of COVID-19

My goodness, how does 3 months go by with no activity on this site!  My creative projects have been minimal these past few months.  I finally wrote down the music for Echoes, which was a challenge because the rhythm was so syncopated.  BUT, it is done. Yea.  I have started a new collage, but haven’t been motivated to complete it yet. So be it.

Most of my time this year has been spent on physical health, with daily yoga classes and long walks, and spiritual development – reading, contemplating, meditating, journaling, praying… All this, I’m sure, has enabled me to ride the COVID-19 wave with relative ease and only mild discomfort and inconvenience — so far.  I don’t know anyone who has the virus — so far.  I pray for my friends who are on the medical front lines in hospitals.  I pray for my friends who have compromised immune systems because of cancer.  All are okay for the moment. Thank God.

But, as we now are in our second official week of “social distancing,” and as the initial period of shock, adjustment, and acceptance of the new normal sets in, I am starting to feel the pinch.  The pinch of not being able to go to yoga classes or my group gatherings for shared meditation and fellowship.  Or to see my family, to spend time with friends, to enjoy nature, public spaces, and the usual entertainments.  To get my hair cut!  The routines have been rattled.  Even grocery shopping, something I always enjoyed because of the beautiful bounty, now brings me sadness, as I witness so many important items are either unavailable or under purchase limits. I palpably feel the anxiety of others in the air.  And I wonder, is the packaging tainted?  Did the people who touched this food have the virus?  Is it “safe?”

No parties, no celebrations, no weddings, no sports, no gatherings of any kind, not even funerals!  We can no longer be within 6 feet of another person without fearing they will do us harm, or worse, we will harm them!

This new reality is starting to blow my mind.

All the simple pleasures in life, that every human being has always enjoyed and been able to enjoy without conscious thought, and regardless of socioeconomic status, nationality, gender, religious affiliation, etc., are now being denied everyone.  I think it is safe to say that no generation in the history of humanity has ever experienced, collectively, such deprivation of human contact and the freedom to come and go as we like. We are literally in this new normal together.

My insight is this:  I am astounded by the power and privilege of human fellowship!  The opportunity to be connected with other people is actually the greatest gift of life, and until now, we have been free to enjoy this gift without measure.  I now awaken to the awesomeness of this simple but profound truth.  How did I not realize it before???

My question is this: Will we ever again take for granted the opportunity to be with our fellow human beings, enjoy each other’s company, and celebrate life together?

I am so grateful for my human connections. May I never take these simple pleasures for granted AGAIN!  Thanks to all of you for being part of my world. 💖🎁

 

 

December 19, 2019

 

Echoes

OMG, it has been almost a year since my last blog post.  I can’t believe how 2019 has flown by, with (sadly) so little productivity to mark the time passed.

It has been a year of substantial focus on health, fitness, and meditation practices with like-minded souls.  These activities have improved my well-being a great deal, so I guess I can somewhat rationalize the drop-off in artistic expression.  [Somewhat].

I hope I haven’t lost your interest during my sabbatical…

Despite the apparent inactivity, I actually have been working on a new piano tune for many months, and it is finally ready to share with you. The initial theme emerged in early spring, but for whatever reason, this piece has been painfully slow in coming; the most reluctant composition I have ever created.   The various themes emerged in a trickle, and they took forever to cohere in any comprehensible way.  I think I was able to finish this piece only because I couldn’t bear the idea of going into the new year with it lingering undone. So I WILLED it to come together!

What can I say about Echoes?  I’m not sure how I feel about it.  I like the melodious riffs and variations on themes.  I like the underlying chordal progressions, because they aren’t cookie cutter.  I like that there is a different relationship between the notes.  Notes are held in suspension; they linger. Silence wants to be heard.  The musical current chose to flow in this way.  That surprised me.  Maybe it’s a metaphor for my increased appreciation and desire for silence in life!

With my interest in developing more complexity in composition, I explored some unique sound combinations and chord progressions, which I realize may not resonate for all ears!  So, please feel free to let me know if this does NOT sound pleasant to you.  I’m curious to know.  Truly.

My goal for 2020 is to reconnect more substantially with artistic expression and share more regularly on my web site.  So stay tuned, have a Happy New Year!  May the new year bring us all joy, peace, and political sanity!

 

 

January 30, 2019

chamuel final no borderHello!  I wanted to share this latest collage with you.  It symbolizes a seraphim, which is the highest order of angels who reside closest to God. They praise Him passionately and unceasingly. I named this image “Chamuel” in honor of the Archangel that was introduced to me in a meditation class last Sunday.  Chamuel brings peace, love, forgiveness, compassion, faith, and trust. His color is pink.

I found this description on the internet:

Kabbalah says that the famous archangel Chamuel leads the seraphim. The Torah records a vision that the prophet Isaiah had of seraphim angels near God in heaven: “Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’” (Isaiah 6:2-3).

There are lots of images of seraphim on the internet, and  this is my own adaptation of their beautiful light.

Have a great day, and stay warm!

 

January 22, 2019

The Conversation

At long last, the piece I have been working on for months has come together!  I am creating a new structure with this composition.  The two “voices” are in different time signatures.  The first is 6/8 time and the second is 4/4 time.  It is harmonious to me, but may not suit your ear! In any event, the motive behind this piece was to juxtapose two musical themes, each with its own personality, and create a conversation between them.  Are the themes in opposition, in harmony?  Regardless, the 4/4 voice has the last word…

Smiley Face

Would love to hear your feedback!

Jill

January 15, 2019

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything.  Happy New Year!  The holidays were busy, and then there was the protracted cold that didn’t want to go away….so, I haven’t done much art the past few months.  I have a new collage in progress.  The pieces were cut out months ago.  It is waiting [patiently?] to be glued together.  Maybe I’ll finish it in the next few weeks…  But first, I want to complete the latest song I’ve been working on for the past few months.  The ideas have emerged so slowly, but now there is momentum to bring them together and I’m basically just waiting for a proper ending to present itself!  As soon as it’s done, I’ll post here and on my piano page.

I made a few small collages (12″ x 12″) for Christmas presents.  They are reinterpretations of two earlier collages I did:  The Flower of Life and The Seal of Melchizedek.  I attach here for your viewing pleasure.  Will also post them on my Gallery page.

flower of life redux
Flower of Life
melchizedek redux
Seal of Melchizedek

That’s my update since the last post.  Hopefully, with the holidays over I’ll become a bit more prolific and be a more regular blogger!

Best wishes to all in 2019!
Jill.

 

 

October 4, 2018

The Quest

A new song hot off the presses!  As always, I cringe a little at the imperfections in my playing, but hopefully these baubles won’t be too recognizable to others!  This piece is a bit more complex than previous compositions.  The fingering is more challenging, as well.  So, I feel it is an accomplishment in that regard.  I do regret, somewhat, the “tinniness” of the electronic piano sound, but the trade-off is the ability to record.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

September 22, 2018

Hello All!

I wanted to let you know, in case you are local and want something fun to do, I will be participating again in the Autumn Goddess Retreat Festival in Valley Forge this Saturday, September 29, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.  It will be at the Freedoms Foundation on Valley Forge Road, very close to the park.  My table will be inside the main building this year, which will be nice if the weather decides to be inclement. It was SO windy and cold last year! Admission is $5.00.  For details on activities, vendors, etc., here is the web site: Festival.

I will have holiday cards for sale. [details on these designs in June 6, 2018 Blog]:

A boxed set of 8 cards with envelopes (2 cards of each design in the same color palette) will be $20.00.  I’ll also have note cards available from last year at a reduced price:  2 for $5.00/5 for $10.00/or box of all 8 designs for $15.  In addition, I made some coasters using my mandala designs.  They will be available for $5.00 each or a set of 4 for $15.00.

Hope to see you there!

By the way – in the coming weeks I will update my “shop” page so that the holiday cards will be available for purchase online, as well. Stay tuned!