Join me on Women’s Voices at 7:00 PM Pacific Time on Monday, October 10 on KZYX for an interview with Jean Hegland, author of Windfalls, a novel about motherhood, and Into the Forest, “a voice and a vision that will haunt our dreams of the future as powerfully as The Handmaid’s Tale.” Jean Hegland lives near Healdsburg, California on 55 acres of second growth forest with her husband and three children. She presents at many writer’s conferences, including the recent Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference this past summer. Ms. Hegland has had a long association with Calyx Press, a feminist publishing company based in Corvallis, Oregon. She has loved books, reading, and writing from a young age, and is very proud of her many students who have grown into successful writers. I’m looking forward to an intimate conversation with this author, who” treasures the hours spent at her desk engaged in the work and play of understanding what it means to be human…awash in language, images, ideas, and emotions.”
Thinking of My Dad on Memorial Day Tuesday, May 31 2011
My Dad died peacefully on Wednesday., May 18. I heard about it from my cousin on Thursday. He made arrangements for his cremation and burial at the VA cemetery in Portland and requested that there be no service. My dear friend Maria said to me, “You have always had a relationship with your father, even in his absence”, which is somehow true. His absence has always been very large in my life. I do remember loving him as a child and in spite of everything I’ve continued to love him all along. As a child, he was never unkind to me, and of course I did not realize in childhood that he would later drop out of two families. I guess we’ll never really be able to understand everything about a life. I’ve had many emotions since his death, and I’m glad I decided to go see him in the last couple of years.
Even though we are not having a memorial, I made a little altar at home with a vase of Rhododendron, ubiquitous in our home state of Oregon, and beautiful in its prehistoric tenacity, rosemary for remembrance, a string of Danish flags, candles, and some childhood photographs of Dad and his siblings. Many of his childhood photos were lost when my log house burned down in the 1970s.
Things turned out differently than I might have wished, but he was once a beloved mother’s son, and that mother was my loving Farmor (father’s mother in Danish). So I honor the memory of those days for him and for her. We all begin life as innocent children, and no matter what choices he made, I find forgiveness in my heart for my father, and know that he is now at peace. Although it may sound strange to some, I feel that our connection may become stronger now. There is a song that my friend sings by the poet Rumi, and some of the lines are:
Women’s Voices Interview May 16: Filmmakers Dayna Goldfine and Jen McGowan Monday, May 16 2011
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Tune in to Women’s Voices at 7:00 PM Pacific Time on KZYX Monday May 16 for an interview with two filmmakers, Emmy award winning Dayna Goldfine, and Jen McGowan who will screen films at the upcoming Mendocino Film Festival June 3-5. I’ve just taped an interview with Dayna, who has, with her husband Dan Geller, been making documentary films for more than 25 years, including Ballets Russes (available on Netflix, by the way) and Isadora Duncan: Movement from the Soul as well as several other award winning documentaries. Something Ventured, the Geller/Goldfine film to be shown at 2 PM Saturday, June 4 at the festival, is a fascinating, quirky weaving of the stories of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs from the 1950s to the 1970s, and follows their stories into the present, with insightful, revealing, and often funny interviews. In spite of egos, personalities, and enormous risk, the people in these films intrepidly created companies like Apple, Cisco Systems, Atari, Genentech and other icons of our day. This film is fascinating and fast paced – and one of the reasons I love the documentary form. Can hardly wait to see more of their films.
Both women will be part of a panel discussion on Saturday at 11 AM at the festival: Women Behind the Camera, discussing the role of documentary and narrative women directors in the industry. Jen McGowan, who began her career in acting at NYU, will screen a short narrative film, Touch, as part of the Short Films program, screening Friday and Sunday. I’m looking forward to speaking with Jen, and learning about her plans for her first feature film.
Memories are Made of This Tuesday, May 3 2011
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At a restaurant in Nice recently I came upon this photo of Audrey Hepburn in the toilette, no less. So I placed a rose on her photo and snapped the shot. You can find beauty in the oddest places, and Audrey Hepburn has been a blogging icon since my friend Mary Elizabeth and I started using her image in our work blog from time to time, inspired by the story I once heard about her only allowing herself one piece of chocolate cake a year. i just had my second piece of Molten Chocolate Cake at a restaurant in Nice last night, albeit mercifully small in the French style and served with refreshing Tangerine Sorbet. I had tried it first at Isle Sur le Sorgue on Easter Sunday. Ah well, when in Rome as they say. Now I find myself nearing the end of the vacation. Too quickly it has passed as all good things do. And yet I’m feeling grateful to have been able to spend this time in France after so long, and with family. As we get older it becomes more important to treasure the moments we have with each other. In retrospect, we do treasure moments, but then we call it memory. The trick is to be present to the moments and feel the joy and connection we have with each other while it is happening; sometimes easy to forget in our day-to-day lives. That’s what I like about seeing new places and having new experiences. It’s like a kaleidescope of present time and memories in the making all jumbled together. The eyes are capturing everything to record and remember the richness of life that’s occuring in present time. Comme c’est extraordinare!
La Vie en France Wednesday, Apr 27 2011
Stayed in Nice a few days and then took to the road in a little Renault for a quick tour of Provence, including Aix en Provence, Isle Sur la Sorgue, Arles, and Cassis. My sister-in-law Jane was crazy about the market at Isle Sur la Sorgue, and I was crazy about the pre-Easter bonfire and candle ceremony starting at 10 PM at a church just one block from our Hotel Cardinal.
Le Jour du Depart! Monday, Apr 18 2011
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It’s official at last. The best Monday in a long time. It’s the first day of my trip to Europe, after a mere 30-year delay. I’ll be meeting my brother and his wife Jane there. They’ve been renting an apartment in Nice for several months, welcoming numerous guests (location, location, location), and it sounds as though they’ve been having a wonderful time. I’m taking my computer and am planning to chronicle my adventures by practicing my blogging skills. Why not? If a picture is worth a thousand words, then surely some words AND pictures will help me remember the trip. Funny how I don’t really get excited until the last minute. I even slept well last night, a rarity for an insomniac like me. I woke up for a minute, but listened to Gangaji on my iPhone and she seems to be my miracle tranquilizer.
So I’m packed and ready…just need to navigate the road to the San Francisco airport (an adventure in itself) and drop the car at the park and fly, and of course there’s the long flight across the U.S. and the Atlantic. If I remember that every step is part of the adventure, perhaps I can keep my equilibrium even with the indignities of modern travel. It will be lovely to see Nice again.
Is it Love? Women’s Voices February 14 Monday, Feb 14 2011
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Sometimes Valentine’s Day is not just hearts and flowers. It can be a reminder that romantic love is sometimes elusive. But what’s love without love songs? Sometimes the saddest songs open our hearts. So whether you are happy, sad, or just like to listen to cool music, join me on Women’s Voices this Valentine’s Day, streaming live on KZYX at 7:00 PM PST for a hot night of love songs. From pop to electronica to country and classic jazz, we’ll listen to some groovy girl singers.
I discovered Duffy when I watched An Education (nice little film, by the way), and that led to an exploration of a few singers in the pop genre whom I may not have discovered otherwise. I love Corinne Bailey Rae’s sweet voice, and the contrast to Duffy’s rough edged sound. I snuck in some Nina Simone, Lucinda Williams, and we’ll finish the night with Adele. The Grammy’s are in the news lately, and it’s fun to listen to modern young singers along with some other favorites. Let’s mix it up this Monday night.