On our way from Selma AL to Vicksburg MS, we were connected by email to John in Clarksdale MS. We suggested meeting for coffee the next day, but he invited us to come by faster so that we could join him and friends in a canoe on the might Mississippi, the very next morning. So we took a right turn before Vicksburg, and found ourselves heading north on Highway 61. Somewhere en-route, among half-flooded fields and tempting diverging dirt-roads, we got to Leland – which turned out to be the birthplace of Jim Henson and where he grew up playing in the streams with his best friend, Kermit. We stopped for a quick visit at the “Birthplace of Kermit The Frog Museum” and symbolically parked ankle-deep in a muddy bog created by a broken pipe. The museum is full of the joy of creation, as well as Muppets galore. Stephanie, the beautiful soul in charge, joined the Heart Community and before we even left had already placed her heart with the Frog for Whom It Is Named, the fabulous and ever-green Kermit. We moved on, Clarksdale beckoned.
For the first time on this journey, we returned to a place. On our stay here a couple of weeks prior – at our presentation in the Temple, in fact – a connection was made. It was this connection that brought us back to Chattanooga, to the Willy Wonka-esque Creative Discovery Museum. On the first day, scores of guests were invited to become active participants in the project, getting yarn hearts to go and mark their spots of significance with. We asked each participant to describe what this Museum meant to them, in one word. On the second day, we returned and created a mural encompassing these words, in the form of a crossword puzzle centered around a phrase. Be here now. A phrase that not just symbolizes the essence of this mural, a tangible art manifestation of life passing a specific place at a specific time, but also the base notion of the entire Mind the Heart! mission to promote and induce mindfulness. Be present. Be aware. Be. It’s also a summation of the most wondrous part of being a child – a state of mind of being in the now, completely engrossed in what you do/build/play with/imagine. We couldn’t envision a more perfect setting and context for all of the above.
Our second day of walking-working in this excellent city. Among our findings – a baby tree that had apparently just been delivered by stork, vines clinging, vines that have let go, and the scalp of a pumpkin.
Having been snuffed by the Knoxville teachers, we soon landed in beautiful Chattanooga, cradled by mountains and percolating with genuine creative spirit. A friend in Indianapolis connected us to our host here, a superb & gentle & generous soul, who took us in and also took the time to show us around and introduced us to anyone and everyone.
About a week earlier, we had made a rather dramatic detour – instead of continuing south from Savannah to Florida, we had crossed The Carolinas and The Smoky Mountains into Tennessee – all for a handwritten sheet of paper with the names and emails of two teachers in Knoxville. When we embarked we had emailed them, and later also wrote to the Savannah teacher who had sent us their way, but we never did receive a reply from any of the three. But as the saying goes, and we live by it, all for the best. We felt grateful for this thread as it had led to several incredible serendipitous encounters and experiences. And now that we were here, in Tennessee, we decided to pick up some other threads that were given to us months ago and head on to Chattanooga and Indianapolis. So now, on the way to Chattanooga, we made one symbolic stop and left our heart in Knoxville.
We arrived in fair Savannah on a beautiful afternoon. We had been connected to a teacher at the Savannah Country Day School, a connection that blossomed into an 8:30am (!) assembly with the entire school the next day, followed by another class. But that was tomorrow. So as a gentle wind caressed the clouds in the blue sky and the Spanish Moss in the trees, we went out & abouting.
Ahoy Decatur, Atlanta and all! This Saturday afternoon you’re invited to become an active part of Mind the Heart Project and share your spots of significance with the world. From 1pm-5pm at the Decatur City Square (under the shade of the trees), we will be giving out 100 hearts for you to put out there. If you’re not sure what that means, check out this page of the ever-growing Heart Community. And there’s more! Within a week’s time, your photos and stories will be exhibited at the Decatur Arts Alliance, in an exhibition opening October 6th at 6pm. So come one, come all, tell your friends and neighbors and family, and help us spread this message of mindfulness – “Everywhere means something to someone at some point, so walk around with open eyes and an open heart”. Feel free to contact us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
So – Saturday, September 30th, 1pm-5-pm, Decatur City Square. Be at the square or be square.
Special thanks to Core Dance, Decatur Arts Alliance, the City of Decatur and the Israeli Consulates in Atlanta & NY.
Somewhere in North Carolina, rumbling along in an invigorated Woody the Van, we received a cryptic text message from a marvelous man we had met a few days earlier in DC. “you need to go to elsewhere”. All lower-case, nothing more. While we were racking our brains to decipher this, to even decipher what we’re supposed to decipher, a second text arrived. Elsewhere, it turned out, was a place in Greensboro NC. A magical place run by a magical person, that we just had to visit and meet. So to Elsewhere we went, arriving for dinner and staying the night. It IS a magical place, full to the brim of history and of stuff and of historical stuff. All colors and toys and… stuff. Where objects that have lain dormant for decades are now reborn again and again and again through art. Where collaborative processes take on whole new meanings, on a space/time axis completely of their own.
go to elsewhere: http://www.goelsewhere.org/
Oh New York City, what a canvas you are!
A day of wandering with our wonderful friend (and personal guide) Anat.
This was a long and fruitful day in which we spotted endless street corners, peeling doorways, crumbling brick walls and other urban textures.
Among the beauty and neglect of Bushwick we bumped into the inspiring and prolific street artist, Sara Erenthal. Sara joined our wandering path and shared her favorite spots. All and all it was a good day.
On the way to Woodstock NY,
right at the intersection where a right turn from a winding country road
leads off to a narrower and windier country road, this abandoned shed beckoned.
Screeching cicadas above in the treetops, serene and still pond at our feet,
merciless kamikaze mosquitoes everywhere in-between.
So how does Serendipity lead us on this one year journey?
Lessons in intentional randomness.
The leading force of our project is serendipity, which means the places we go and people we meet are not planned
but rather are conjured through initiating random yet meaningful interaction with people we meet on the road.
In turn they send us to that place we must see, thing we must eat, cousin we must meet if we happen to be in…
We put ourselves in the hands of lady luck, let ourselves be bounced in the great pinball machine of life
and commit to a 24/7 artistic process inspired by all this.
Prologue: We went to Boston to meet the sister of a dear friend for breakfast
and ended up staying at her place for the night.
On the second day, we accompanied her for a concert she played at an assisted-living home.
As she wrapped up her gig, she surprisingly introduced us and the project to the elderly congregation
and a brief Mind the Heart presentation and Q&A commenced.
Afterwards, a few amazing and truly inspiring old ladies approached, in turns, to dive deeper into this.
One asked if we were Buddhists. Another suggested we should go to Woodstock NY and meet Marc at City Hall.
So to Woodstock we drove (through Worcester, to meet a couple of Buddhists,
only as we arrived unannounced at the temple door on the weekend, it turned out that they’re all the way in Denmark).
Now, it turns out that Woodstock does not have a City Hall. Instead, after some searching,
we found a couple of wooden huts/offices at the end of a climbing road on the edge of a forest.
We went into the second of those in search of Marc. Marc wasn’t there, but Bill was.
Bill was weary at first of these two strange artists who have come wandering into his office but warmed up quickly,
told some stories of the wonders and quirks of the town and even recommended spots where we could sort-of-legally park overnight.
We gave Bill a heart.
Epilogue: Marc was actually in the first office-hut. Marc also got a heart.
Turns out that Marc doesn’t really know the elderly lady who sent us from Boston.
Also turns out that Bill is the Mayor (in Woodstock it’s actually: Supervisor) of Woodstock.
The city is a living organism of which we are a part, influencing and being influenced simultaneously. It is not just an urban grid, but a network of life that inhabits a given space – buildings, people, air, pollution, roads, cars, pavements, footsteps.
Nature is a living organism of which we are a part, influencing and being influenced simultaneously. It is not just a patch of land, but a habitat in which life moves around, stands still, lives – ants, leaves, wind, grass, hooves, wings, clouds.
We headed south to Boston for a breakfast rendezvous with the (wondrous) sister of a dear (and wondrous) friend from back home and ended up staying a couple of nights at her place. Her hospitality facilitated numerous chance encounters and leads for our journey – from a radiant English Literature Professor to an awe-inspiring Palestinian peace activist to a very elderly but extremely sharp art critique to a Buddhist temple and eventually to the Mayor/Supervisor’s office in Woodstock NY, where that particular thread tapered off. Some of these people and stories you can already see on other posts on this blog or on the ever-growing Community Hearts page. The others will probably join in the future. But back to the Boston sister. Behind the house there is small garden, a serene and simple place where some plants are grown intentionally and others burst from the compost infused ground. As we prepared to get back on the road, our host and the garden gifted us with an offering of mint, basil and grapevine leaves that have vastly improved our culinary experiences in the days since.
We are grateful to both.
Off the recommendation of a girl from Boston whom we met at the edge of a peninsula in NH
and with a mistaken assumption that we could get breakfast here,
we arrived at this cool fermentation joint in Portland ME serving a plethora of tasty fermented liquid concoctions.
A few Saturday morning beverages later, but unconnected to that fact, we offered the guy at the bar to create a wall-piece for them.
be longing. belonging.
This is what we felt here. At that moment we felt this was just about the place, the vibe, the communal sense of it.
But looking back and writing this, I wonder if it’s not also about the two of us,
flying far from home, always staying connected to our source but always carrying on, putting faith in letting go,
belonging to the longing for the interactions and creations, always new but all connected to the one great source
from which all is drawn.
Driving in search for breakfast, somewhere in the White Mountains region,
an abandoned piano called us from the side of the road.
A quick U-turn and we heeded its call, stopping at a deserted shop-plaza and lot.
It was a beautiful thing, still, even with its guts laid bare for the mountain winds and rains.
Hesitantly we pressed a key and were startled by a loud and clear note that pierced the morning silence
and sailed across the empty lot, onto the road, onward.
A few more notes and we were off on our way, but we left our heart there
as a quiet companion to the unheard music of the piano’s soul.
You are all invited to Come take part in a worldwide public-art project!
Starting this week in Portsmouth, NH –
This Friday 28th July, at Prescott Park Arts Festival, 4pm-6pm (right before the concert)
and a following exhibition opening at 3S Gallery on August 7th, 5pm.
Scroll down to find the details
– – – – –
see more at: mindtheheart.org/hearts
and reserve your heart at: email@example.com
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Still just touching down on this side of the ocean and preparing for Friday’s event,
we took a few hours to wander and happened upon an abandoned boat by an abandoned pier and an intimate,
wind swept shore that revealed the first perfect spots for a heart…
To participate, meet us at the park and get a yarn-heart. With this heart you also get a simple, fun and mindful mission: to venture outside with an open mind, wandering eyes and a curious heart and look for spots of beauty in your neighborhood.
After you choose the spot for your heart – take a photo of it in the location and send it to us along with a couple of sentences explaining the significance of the spot. Any reason is a good and valid reason –
be it the place where you first kissed or a spot with an interesting texture.
This Friday at Prescott Park, we will also take your photo along with your heart.
On August 7th, an exhibition will open at 3S Gallery, presenting your images and texts
(which will also appear on the project’s website and social media).
The exhibition forms a multifaceted display of perspectives that highlight points of beauty and importance as experienced through the eyes and souls of one’s neighbors.
On the shore of one of numerous heavenly isles
off the Maine coast, off the main road,
beside a building scorched by fire so as to resemble a black-scaled dragon,
lays a gloriously white vessel in eternal battle with a raging vegetation sea.
We’re happy and excited to announce a new phase of Mind the Heart:
Starting with this pilot event in Tel Aviv and continuing in the USA until August 2018,
we are inviting people we meet to actively partake in this project, put a heart out there
and promote mindfulness to the present, to our surroundings, to nature, to our neighbors.
Throughout this year, we will hand out thousands upon thousands of the little, red yarn hearts to people we meet.
Each will go and put this heart out there, in a spot that is significant to them for any reason.
Check out the Heart Community tab on our website to keep up with the ever growing archive of this spots of significance,
of these stories and moments, of these amazing people.
Our pilot event, in collaboration with Beit Tami and the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality,
took place on May 3rd and culminated in a physical exhibition opening on May 14th in Beit Tami.
You can see many more photos and texts here:
In late November 2016, a great fire raged across the streets and woods of Haifa.
It was supposed to be winter but the air was dry and very windy. Not one drop of rain to hush the burning hisses,
no moistness to dampen the red tongues wildly licking wood and concrete alike.
The opening night of my new solo exhibition was a week away, which obviously meant
a complete mad house in our apartment… (9-foot long paintings piling up on the floor,
sculpture parts resting on the kitchen table, wet paint and brushes on every shelve).
At the time, not knowing how the story is going to unfold, I wrote in a FB post –
“We’ve prepared an emergency bag, in case the fire spreads and we will be forced to evacuate.
Not much went into this bag and what didn’t is an entire world of memories and significance that’ll be left behind.
We’ve calculated how much we can cram into our tiny old car next to one dog, two cats and two humans.
Against the formidable forces of nature, one is required to find focus and choose…”
Thanks to the hundreds of firefighters and to Lady Fortune,
the fire was extinguished before it reached our neighborhood.
Still, it made us think, and it made us choose. We chose life and not much more.
The rest was just stuff. Oh so precious and important, but stuff nonetheless.
Last week we went back to the parts of town that were devastated and burnt.
Here too, it was apparent that Nature has made a choice.
Green sprouted here and there. Flower beds among the blackened branches.
Death creating life anew.
Out & about in Haifa.
A Facebook follower whose mother had just passed away
asked if we could place a heart at the mother’s house, in her memory.
It was our privilege.
Out & about in Haifa.
Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, Haifa has a history spanning more than 3,000 years,
all originated down by the seaside, by the port. This area today is a mishmash of modern, old and ancient;
of active commerce, culture, food and education but also of abandonment and decay.
It’s weird how the city’s center seems to drift further and further away,
opting for newer, blander neighborhoods and businesses
while in many ways leaving behind its oldest structures, in essence its heart and soul.
Our first artistic expedition in our new city.
Moving to Haifa after 15 years in Tel Aviv was surprisingly not dramatic,
and has felt more like the natural course of things.
The two cities are vastly different.
Haifa is laid back and somewhat dormant, whereas Tel Aviv is the hub of activity.
Haifa is green and wild and mountainous, while Tel Aviv is flat and somewhat arid.
And Haifa is multicultural, in a way that no other place in Israel can match.
Muslims, Jews, Christians, Bahá’ís, each group composed of people from a multitude of nations,
all just live here.
There’s a term in Hebrew, “dual existence”, which aims to describe
a somewhat Utopian future where Jews and Arabs live, side by side.
There is no dual existence in Haifa.
Here it is mutual existence, not side by side but simply together.
Out & about in Neve Zedek, Tel Aviv.
Out & about around Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv.
Like any commercial boulevard, anywhere in the modern world,
Ibn Gabirol St. is a constant bombardment of your senses. It’s more than just colors, sounds and smells. Anywhere you look, you are being sold something. From the shops and cafes to the billboards and the sides of buses.
Unless you are actively shopping at this exact time, the natural reaction is a dimming of the senses, a blurring of the outside reality, to grant yourself some peace. These dimmed hours accumulate over a month, a year, a lifetime.
Our small installations aim to be tiny havens for the senses, spots to which your eyes can flee, where no one is pitching you anything. Spots that remind you and hopefully aid you to stay present and in the present.