trumps with races underneath (1)

I just wrote a post on The Huffington Post. You may think at first glance that it is about politics. It’s not. It’s actually about so much more than that. It is about art, diversity, and the psychology of a person’s sense of self.

Read it here: Art, Diversity and the Human Race

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Focus on Peace

by Kee Kee on April 4, 2016

in Arkansas,Healers,Inspiration,NYC

 

focus on peaceI found myself in a Hollywood tattoo parlor six days after four airplanes were hijacked, two crashing into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one in a Pennsylvania field. During the devastating chaos that first week following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, nothing made sense. Nothing, that is, except to get inked with a peace symbol. My tattoo symbolizes for me both world peace and inner-peace, both things that during that horrific week in 2001 seemed virtually unattainable. Nine years later, my dog Yoda and I embarked on a five-month Seeking Shama road trip around the United States. Shama means “inner peace” in Sanskrit, and my quest through my travels was to find what brings me shama. Needless to say, peace has been a big theme in my life.

Last week my boyfriend and I were invited to spend Easter brunch in New York City with Starr and Art, the curandera and shaman whom I met in Hot Springs, Arkansas during our road trip. I spent a month with them in 2010/2011, and as a result they have become some of my favorite people in the world. They were in town for the New Life Expo and the brunch was at the home of their friend Nancy Burson, a brilliant artist/photographer probably best known for creating the age-enhanced face morphing photography that the FBI uses to find missing people. When I meet people through Starr and Art, they are bound to immediately make their way into my heart. That’s because Starr and Art know interesting, kind, gentle, compassionate people – people just like them. I knew the moment that Nancy opened her door and welcomed us into her home that she is one of those people.

Soon after I arrived Starr grabbed the hands of both Nancy and me and took us into Nancy’s studio so I could see her artwork. Nancy’s art is stunning, and she has some pieces she is working on that are filled with colorful creative light. I can’t wait until she unleashes them onto the world. However there was one simple unassuming framed print on the wall to which I was inexplicably drawn. The background was white, and in slightly out of focus grey text, were the words Focus On Peace. From the moment we walked into the studio my eyes kept looking up at it, bringing me billowing mushrooms of emotion.

It turns out that Nancy’s “Focus On Peace” was a public art project she created for the first anniversary of September 11th. In partnership with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in collaboration with Creative Time, this campaign distributed 30,000 postcards and close to 7,000 posters inscribed with the message “Focus on Peace.” The campaign was extraordinary and was meant to be a tool for healing and hope.

Nancy’s artist statement summarizes her intention with creating a work that consists of three unassuming yet very important words:

“What we see outside ourselves is a projection of what lies within. By asking people to “Focus on Peace,” we are asking them to focus on their own personal peace within, as well as the concept of world peace. There can never be peace until we have peace within ourselves. Therefore, real peace consists of all the pieces.”

Seeing how the message smacked me in the heart, Nancy signed a poster for me and gave it to me as a parting gift. It’s being framed and I’ll be hanging it in a prominent place in our house so that I see its message every day. Just like my tattoo, “Focus on Peace” will serve as a daily reminder of both inner peace and world peace. Because as Nancy says, there can never be world peace until we have peace within ourselves.

 

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I’m Removing my Invisibility Cloak Because Life is Better With Friends

March 27, 2016

I have a super hero power that I invoke when Yoda and I road trip: I luxuriate in being invisible. No one knows me, so we sit and people watch for hours without interruption, without that maddening and foolish little voice in my head that fears judgment for having walked outside with my hair slung […]

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An Open Letter to the New Year

January 12, 2016

Dear 2016, Last night Yoda and I were walking alone in the dark. Dark as in pitch black. Our driveway is about ¼ mile long gravel path, so trekking to the road and back has become our evening ritual. We are in the woods so there are no street lights. The only light was a narrow […]

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Yoda and the Stairs (a/k/a Change. Is. Hard.)

December 31, 2015

In 2009, when I lived in Los Angeles, my friend Angela and I decided to enroll our dogs in agility classes. Angela’s dog Henry is a Bichon mix and has the fine motor skills of a stunt dog. Yoda, being part boxer, has the muscular physique of an athlete. Angela and I were convinced our […]

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Being Chicken of Chickens

October 18, 2015

Life has an interesting way of forcing us to face our fears. It’s terrifying to face them, but it’s also wholly liberating once you have done so. The past five years of my life have involved near constant facing of fears: driving around the U.S. with my dog, moving across country to a state where […]

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Why Are Dogs So Happy?

September 5, 2015

  One of my happiest places on earth is at my parents’ lake house in rural Wisconsin. I can say without doubt that it is one of Yoda’s most beloved spots too, which is why I’m so lucky that we have been able to road trip here so I can work remotely for the month of […]

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The Huffington Post – Wisconsin’s Sunflowers

August 6, 2015

Sunflowers are quite possibly the world’s cheeriest flower. With their large vibrant yellow petals, they look much like a bright smiling sun. Feeling blue? Then perhaps you should consider standing in a field of ½ million sunflowers. It’s like injecting yourself with an oversized dose of optimism. You can do just that at Sunflower Days […]

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A Cowgirl in the Thunderstorm

August 5, 2015

I believe the Universe is constantly sending us signs. Signs to guide us, and signs to help us understand. All too often however, we have so much noise with the activity of our everyday lives that we don’t see those signs. That’s one of the reasons I love road tripping so much – the stillness of […]

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On The Road Again

July 25, 2015

Working as a filmmaker and writer, and having insatiable wanderlust, I’m pretty blessed that I am able to work from anywhere. There is no better way to escape the Texas August triple digits than to work from my parents’ rural Wisconsin lake house. This will be the fifth consecutive summer that I’ve managed to pull […]

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