Mindscraps: The Dizzy Donkey Dance

Lately, I feel as if I’m caught up in a never-ending game of pin the tail on the donkey…

The nearly non-existent trickle of income is my blindfold. Short on funds, the hunt for a decent wage is a constant distraction from my true goals. I can’t seem to see past the “no cash” dilemma. So I focus on trying to make ends meet, instead of focusing on what my heart calls me to do. And that’s the irony. The more I allow myself to stray away from my true heart’s desires… the less success I find. The more I give away my time, energy and talents to outside aims, the more I find them used, abused and under-valued. I’m so eager to help. But in my eagerness, I’m learning, that “take advantage” seems to be the law of the land. I must be more wary of where I decide to invest. Lately, it feels as if my “investments” have only been sucking me dry.

It is the mysterious adventure of life that is constantly spinning me, whirling me, sending me in somersaults. I LOVE it. I LOVE the commotion. I LOVE the thrill. I LOVE her, life. But, at times, when I come up for air, I end up dizzy and confused. I know what’s written upon my heart… but which way was it that I needed to go? Which way is forward and which way is backward again? What step is the right step toward achieving my goals?

The hope? Despite the blindfold and the dizzy dance, the donkey – representative of the longings of my heart – is still there, whether I see her or not. Grasping at capital can momentarily obscure my vision. Life and her wondrous, thrilling adventure can disorient me. Yet, nothing can rob me of what lies upon my heart.

So, with the naivety of a child, I still believe and I will still try… to pin that tail on the donkey!

A quiet moment with myself: Let the dizziness clear. Realize the blindfold is a blessing in disguise. Use not the eyes of illusion to make out the way, but the inner eye of faith, wisdom and intuition.
Continue reading “Mindscraps: The Dizzy Donkey Dance”

Energy Buzz…

ArteAntigua.comRight now, I feel like the energizer bunny jacked up on Kaffee Fernando‘s infamous Black Fernando: strong black coffee with a shot of espresso.

So much to share… so let’s roll!

On the first of October, I was struck with a “most brilliant idea” to start a project that fully delves into the local art scene. But, although at the moment of inspiration I felt like the idea was brand new, truth is, it isn’t. In Barcelona I was constantly surrounding myself with art and ended up starting The Chroma Collective. This project has stalled a little, but as ideas have been leaping out of my head I’m ready to start stoking that fire again. I just need to get the others that are involved re-inspired. Yikes… I’m already getting off track. Again in Honduras, I began talking with local business owners about starting a much-needed cultural art center. But, while those involved were properly inspired, they weren’t really acting. Phooey. Now, I’ve logged more than 4 months in this second visit to Guatemala and I’ve come right back around to, you guessed it, art. Can we say: calling!

Bueno… this time the project is charging FULL STEAM AHEAD. I would like to introduce you all to ArteAntigua.com: La Antigua’s one-stop web portal for all things art!

Art is an obsession in La Antigua Guatemala. Galleries crammed with bold and expressive creations are found around every corner. Cobbled streets teem with local artists painting romantic cityscapes of LAG’s quintessentially colonial architecture, inescapable volcanoes and alluring ruins. Jewelry and jade spill from storefront windows. Local Maya artisan markets are brimming with hand-woven, rainbow-colored goods.

Amidst this profoundly ornate bizarre, ArteAntigua unfuddles the befuddling and reveals the best of Antigua Guatemala’s dynamic realm of art. We delve into the constant hubbub of creation to bring you the inside scoop of LAG’s thriving art culture.

Our vision is to offer an all-encompassing portal into La Antigua’s art scene and develop sustainable support for its continued growth and development.

And boy does La Antigua’s art scene need development. There are AMAZING exhibitions and cultural events going on here nearly EVERY DAY. But, only two institutions Cooperación España and El Sitío are properly publishing what the have scheduled. The rest is just haphazard, pass-flyers-out-the-day-of-and-hope-people-show-up promotional nonsense. And, even still, these two organizations are promoting only in Spanish. With La Antigua emerging as a world-renowned vacation hot spot, with the non-stop flow of English-speaking tourists, PLUS with the huge ex-pat culture here (much of whom still struggle with Spanish after logging years in country) it’s quite ridiculous there isn’t more literature about what’s going on in ENGLISH. Until now… hence ArteAntigua.com. Furthermore, even the large, impressive galleries are sorely disappointing when it comes to presenting their art. You walk through rooms upon rooms of most affecting art only to end up wondering who’s art you’ve fallen in love with. There’s no information!!

So when the idea hit… the website and the first posts was up THAT VERY SAME NIGHT. In LESS than one week without any proper promotion the site had 602 pageloads and 234 unique visitors. We’re still working on getting through week two. But, the hits keep growing!! Not to mention I’m already rubbing elbows with the country’s most-renowned artists. It helps that my roommates are artists themselves. (Still need to write about my new home!!)

Pues… the vision for ArteAntigua.com is a grand one. First, become THE resource for art information in La Antigua Guatemala. Second, sell art found in La Antigua worldwide from our web portal. Third, institute a yearly scholarship for local, talented, yet budding artists who lack the means to promote their work, granting them their first exhibition. Fourth, initiate the ONE festival that this city is missing: Art Walk!!! Five, use the sight as a springboard for the impressively inspiring and grand visions of the local artists. Six… well, that’s a start!

More news: Latest batch of stories out for Revue Magazine…

Exploring a Hidden Gem

The Woman Behind the Crusader

The Guardians of Las Gravileas

I’ll be exhibiting photographs for the first time here in La Antigua in November as part of a collective exhibition with the Antigua Photography Club.

I’m helping out with a small promotional video for a most inspiring organization here in Antigua… all volunteer. More on that soon!

Just meet a Swiss geological engineer today who gave me yet another idea for a cool activity to incorporate into ArteAntigua. I’ll keep it hush hush for now until it gets going though. Very inspiring young man though!

Found a new, extremely committed running buddy to begin proper training for races and eventually a marathon again. FINALLY!! We’ll also eventually be developing that into a project meant to help support poor kids who want to become more dedicated athletes.

And of course, I still have TheCocoaProject.org. That project is even bigger than the rest and will take more financial investment upfront. So right now, it’s currently in the research phase. I’ve begun posting what I find in my research in blogs though. So if you’re interested in learning cool things about chocolate and the cacao biz… check it out!!

ESAP keeps pushing back the date for their event that I’m involved with (as Director of Photography), so that’s plodding along. But, it’s coming slowly but surely.

What else… ?? About a million things! But that’s a good start for now…

And for those so inspired… any support of these projects is welcome! Particularly, ArteAntigua.com. This one is already having much success and I think I’ll be able to use it to drive the other projects.

Prisoners of Chocolate

End Human Trafficking blog at Change.orgDark chocolate is favorite treat of mine. It’s disappointing to read that if I indulge in the the creamy and bitter treat I just might be contributing to abusive child labor in Africa. Read an excerpt from the End Human Trafficking blog on Change.org:

What do you think is the secret ingredient of a Hershey bar? Sugar, milk, or cocoa? What about the slave labor of thousands of children? Across Western Africa, and especially in the Ivory Coast, children are held in slavery and exploitative labor situations. And it’s all in the name of chocolate produced by the world’s leading corporations.

Children enslaved and abused in the cocoa industry are made to work excruciatingly long days, and are often beaten if they try and leave or refuse to work. Many have been forced to pick cocoa with open wounds, or covered in their own excrement. The cocoa farms of the Ivory Coast where some of the worst cases of child slavery and labor exploitation have been found are also the world’s largest supplier of cocoa, making up 40% of the global market. The Hershey Company, on their website, specifically mentions sourcing cocoa from the Ivory Coast and Western Africa.

Click here to view the entire article.