It all started with one shelf of spices and Middle Eastern goods. The need for Middle Eastern products in Albuquerque is what inspired the Aggad family to open Cafe Istanbul. Originally from Palestine, the Aggad’s moved to Columbus, Ohio before making their way to Albuquerque. Since the market’s opening, Cafe Istanbul has been an important part of the community. Customers have shown tremendous support to the Aggad family by bringing them flowers, thank you cards and hugs. “It’s really a blessing,” cafe owner Itadel Aggad said. “We are really blessed to know that people come and they care. We share stories, we share laughs, we share hugs in hard times like Trump’s (election). People would come and say ‘Can I have a hug?’ It means the world. Anytime you communicate with people, it’s the best feeling…and it makes you feel good that they are happy.”
We ventured to another time, where people were one with the clay. Entering the classroom was to know that nothing else would exist for seven hours. Just you, your hands and mind wrestling with the clay.
The struggle was real, and it was beautiful.
We made tea when our hands could no longer understand the signals from our weary minds and when the body was too exhausted from spiraling, wedging and throwing the clay.
We’d sit outside on the wooden benches drinking slowly and breathing even slower to try and attempt it once again.
Here we all were, each with a quiet fight all our own.
I grew frustrated.
I cursed at the clay in my mind and thought, ” how do my hands and mind keep missing one another?” Like star crossed lovers never to kiss. So close, yet so far.
And she told us of Japan. Artist in residence for three months, when all she thought every morning as she cast her sheets aside, gazing out to the grey shackled rooftops-“No, I’m not home I’m still in Japan. Way too early to begin to craft something so fragile. So earthly.”
And we all marveled at her stories, and her wisdom. She breathed art, and Arita porcelain and spoke wonders of the ceramist who taught her everything she knew. Now here we all were attempting the very same craft that takes two years to master in Japan. Naively attempting to do it all in just two weeks.
I felt broken each morning.
Not wanting to get up. The silica had taken its toll on my back, hands, fingers and forearms.
“Not again.” I thought. But the beauty in the struggle was too wonderful. I had to beat it. I had to make something. I had to keep creating. Fighting to do at least something. Anything. My hands grew desperate. Only finding solace in her words…
“Art is a process not only a thing.”
And thats the crux of it isn’t it? As artists in the Western world we are defined by the number of pieces we create. By a finished product.
Yet, here was something so pure, so true, so innocent setting me free.
“Art is a process not only a thing.”
There’s beauty in learning. There’s beauty in the struggle. Growth as artists only happens as you learn new things. Taking different snippets of the various arts there are and mixing them all together to become an entity, an aura all your own.
Yes, I was impatient. But I learned not only from the clay but from the many talented colleagues around me. Colleagues that taught me patiently different aspects of creating, so patiently as I was on the verge of tears.
We humbly made tea for one another, and fed one another. Each afternoon we’d all take a break and listen to each others stories and our instructors oracles of Japan. Of the grey roof tops, the beauty of community, China on the Park and breakdowns at Narita airport.
We sipped our tea, immersed in the clay on our shoes. Growing more as artists-if I dare call myself one-and cheering one another on, even when our pieces were warping into other worldly things.
My hands will not be the same after this class, my muscles, my creative process, my mind.
There’s an honesty, an immersion that happens when you all are in one same creative spirit.
Go out and DO. Do something that you wouldn’t typically do. Because its only stagnant things that die. I may be far from pleased with my finished pieces, but this time it wasn’t about the outcome it was about the process.
All my love,
My niece turned 1! And I finally got around to editing my favorite takes! Isn’t she a cutie patootie! Am so blessed to watch her grow, and learn so much everyday. And it’s so wonderful to see all the love she brings not only to my brother and my sister in law but to my mother and father. They are smitten, and all I can say there’s nothing like grandparent’s love. So enjoy pictures of the cutest baby in the whole wide world! She had a very Minnie birthday party!
Stumbled upon old photos from my time being a nanny in Australia. I miss these boys and family so much. I remember spending weekends with them. Their mom would make us breakfast in the morning, and we’d talk about God and life. We’d set clothes out to dry on the clothesline in the springtime while the smell of Jasmine sifted through the Aussie air. The floorboards would creek with charm and so much love from all the love it experienced within its four walls. The sun would stream in through the kitchen windows basking the house in a warm afternoon glow. We would make Earl Grey tea with milk and it was serenity, love in its purest form, and goodness of people that are now oceans and memories away. I will never forget them, and will carry them in my heart ever so fondly. Miss you Boyd family. Sending you love. Wherever you may be now.
“I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
― Malala Yousafzai
These past few days housesitting has been a silent and quiet repose. I attempted to minimize Netflix, T.V., and internet and enjoy the tranquility and the sounds around me-from the silent breathing of three dogs, Buddy munching on grass, the laundry going and the sound of washing dishes-all these sounds a circadian rhythm of life. Solitude and quietude go a long way, and it’s not bad when you have the love of three fur balls.
Happy Holidays friends,
and may 2017 be better and brighter and may all our dreams come true.
For my Multimedia and Communication project I decided to take a look at behind the scenes of Los Poblanos Inn and Organic Farm kitchen crew, led by the talented head chef Jonathan Perno. Los Poblanos holds a firm belief in sustainability and keeping it local. Not only is there food exquisite but their property is equally charming. This story was also featured on an online gallery in still photos on the Daily Lobo (http://www.dailylobo.com/gallery/photoissue-localgrown) and The Daily Lobo Photo Issue for Fall 2016 (https://issuu.com/conceptionssw/docs/nm_daily_lobo_12_08_16_photo_issue)
So have a look at my first multimedia project consisting of stills, video, music and audio.
I hope you enjoy it, just as much as I did being there and putting it all together.