Since I had to postpone my travels, I started taking this new extended time here as a gift, enjoying the plot twists and changes both inside and around me. I learnt this new art over time… and it really is paying back!
Celebrating has proved to be a great way to make it through the uncertainty of these months, and to make the best of things, times and sharing. It creates a space to see the bright side, or maybe to …create it. It makes life better.
A good opportunity for celebrating came about a week ago, for my quarantine artist mate Brie Schettle’s birthday!
I took it as a chance to bring people together -in lockdown-friendly ways- and enjoy the day, both for Brie, and myself. It was so good to have someone and something to take care of!
Everybody from our lovely community of neighbors helped, and it once more gave me the feeling of how much these people have been looking out for us.
From Peggy and Matt, Clay and Addy we had a double kayak to use during the morning. The weather joined the fun and we had a lovely sunny time on the river, with otters, seals, eagles showing up everywhere. These pictures come from the trip.
Then it was time for a cake parade: instead of calling up the neighbors to the campus, Brie had the idea of bringing the cakes to them!
Peggy also gave me some decorations to use, and they went into a small set up in the Maveety Courtyard, in the Sitka Campus. The parade started there with Tamara Jennings from the Sitka Staff, then Brie and I moved towards the Cascade Head Condos and then further up on Sitka’s road. It was a very nice parade!
I personally had a real fairy tale experience on our first stop, thanks to Carrena, one of our full-time artistic neighbors, who has the most amazing porch in the world! She put special feeders on it, and Hummingbirds of all sorts and colors go there to eat! We spent some time with them flying all around us…It was such an incredible treat that I won’t forget!
These creatures are known for drinking flower nectar using their tiny long beaks, and can be found only in the Americas. They have the most unique style of flying and amazing colors! Here is a glimpse of them (they are very fast!).
I also met the cutest winged habitants of the forest -I completely fell in love with the Grey Jays. I think they might soon appear on this blog in watercolors… They are gentle and beautiful, and they are frequent visitors to Carrena’s Porch too. I really felt like “Altea in Wonderland” there 🙂 Thank you Carrena!
Then we joined Elizabeth and Henry down the road for more cake and a good chat. They have been a great support in the last weeks, Henry sending to the Campus his delicious pastries, Elizabeth helping in every possible way!
It was a great time, of good fun and lovely people! Happy birthday to Brie, and thanks to our super neighbors that made the day a treat for both of us!
Brie is now updating her website with all the amazing work she created during the residency: here you can discover more about it!
In the last days I have been working on my LongStoryShort, and I am happy to say it is finished! Below you find the final video: it contains the whole story read by me in English, plus a page of fun artistic-ecologic activities to do with your kids after listening to the story, and finally a small note for the grown-ups, about the aim of this project.
A small sound note: in the last days, the little squirrels in the spruces around our houses have started to play and chase each other, making their special squiquiquiquiquiquiqui verses…you will hear them in the video, shot right in our courtyard, with Brie at the camera!
Another lovely occasion to share and celebrate came yesterday night, when I was asked to join a family of neighbors to play some music together. I had missed playing music with others so much, and I realized it just as we started improvising. There’s nothing like a good jam!!
It ended up being the funniest impro session, where everybody tried and play every possible instrument. I found myself playing the ukulele at the end! The deepest thanks to Clay and Addy for taking up the challenge of trying something new, and make up music together. We had some good fun!
Earlier in the same day Bob Langan -Facility Manager from the Sitka Center, passed by: He proposed me to use one little trick of mine to entertain Cole, a young guest who was accompanying his father Chris on Campus. So, Cole and Chris discovered the “Lamella”, an ancient north-Italian instrument used to imitate the birds! I learnt to play it in the past year and a half, thanks a kind Chioccolatore from Veneto. It was so great to share it! After listening, Chris heard some birds singing and said, “now it sounds like they are talking!” Which was exactly what I aim for, to give new listening perspectives… It made me so happy!
These lovely happenings gave me the chance to celebrate a special part of my work, that part I have been missing the most lately: performing and playing with others. It was like a coming back home, and I loved it!
Talking of coming-backs, it looks like I am actually going back to Italy in the beginning of June. The flights are holding, and I am getting ready for the trip. Things are starting to open up again in the Old World, and I am taking this departure as a new adventure!
I have some cool creative plans for this summer, and I will share them here soon… But first, I’ll enjoy my last week in this paradise I call home.
A couple days ago during a walk down to the river I met Jane Boyden, one of the founders of the Sitka Center. Together with her husband Frank, they imagined and started this incredible visionary place in 1970. I remember myself one year ago, wondering about these magic people having such a great idea and project, wishing that some day I would be part of it.
That wish came true and it has been so much more than I could ever imagine! Meeting Jane and thanking her in person felt like completing a circle, a cycle. It made me so happy. I celebrate this, too, with all my heart.
I wish lovely days to you all, may you celebrate what you have around and inside and enjoy the bright sides!