THIS, THAT, AND ROSES

ROSES

LA’s winter rains have brought a bounty of spring flowers. Pasadena is known for its roses to begin with, but they are outdoing themselves this year. You’ll be driving along and see them cascading off walls, around fountains, over fences. This “nothing special” stand, trellised along an ordinary office building, capture some of the there-for-the-taking […]

MONTECITO’S CENTER FOR SPIRITUAL RENEWAL

MONTECITO

The Center for Spiritual Renewal in Montecito is part of the compound on El Bosque Road that includes the adjacent and commonly-owned non-profit retreat center, La Casa de Maria. El Bosque means “woodlands” and the 26-acre grounds are studded with towering live oaks and other gorgeous old-growth trees. Footpaths meander through citrus orchards, an organic […]

THE RAWNESS OF INTIMACY

ALTADENA CREST TRAIL

From Fr. Ron Rolheiser’s column this week, entitled “Our Resistance to Love:” “Sensitive people, on the other hand, struggle with the rawness of intimacy because genuine intimacy, like heaven, is not something that can be glibly or easily achieved. It’s a life-long struggle, a give and take with many setbacks, a revealing and a hiding, […]

THE LITTLE PRINCE

LITTLE PRINCE

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900—1944) was an aviator and writer whose fable Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) is the fourth most-translated and one of the highest-selling books in the history of publishing. Saint-Exupéry was born in Lyon, France to an aristocratic, if impoverished, Catholic family. His first airplane ride was reputedly during the summer of […]

FEAR OF MISSING OUT: THE ANTELOPE VALLEY POPPY RESERVE ON AN OFF-YEAR

ANTELOPE VALLEY POPPY RESERVE

The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, located 15 miles west of Lancaster, is an 1800-acre State Reserve “located on California’s most consistent poppy-bearing land.” On April 2, the website’s “Bloom Status” noted “The season appears to have ended early, as last month’s rains came too late to sustain the bloom that had barely started.” Or as […]

WHERE CHANCE MEETS NECESSITY: THE BOXES OF JOSEPH CORNELL

JOSEPH CORNELL

Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) was eccentric and reclusive and went about NYC and environs collecting little bits and pieces of things: shells, old diaries, album covers. He felt there were certain objects that belonged together that had been separated, possibly by decades, and made otherworldly, magical assemblage boxes that purported to re-unite them. This idea of […]

THE OTHERWORLDLY PHOTOGRAPHY OF JOHN CHIARA

“Sierra at Edison” (2012 , chromogenic photograph on Kodak Professional Endura Metallic paper) © John Chiara 2014.8.4 (Credit: The J. Paul Getty Museum/John Chiara)

“There are worlds within worlds in Coahoma County.” I first encountered the work of San Franciso-based photographer John Chiara at a current exhibition at the Getty: “Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography.” Chiara’s cameras are old-school: a box with a lens. They’re also huge. He makes them himself and transports them on a custom-made flatbed trailer. […]

WAR IS A FORCE THAT GIVES US MEANING

CHRIS HEDGES

I urge you to check out the writings and youtubes of journalist Chris Hedges. A good place to start is War Is A Force that Gives Us Meaning. Some excerpts: “Patriotism, often a thinly veiled form of collective self-worship, celebrates our goodness, our ideals, our mercy and bemoans the perfidiousness of those who hate us. […]