Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Meeting Prague

My first Czech beer, Krusovice

Do you have a list of places you long to visit? My wish list is lengthy and constantly growing. I love to travel and have made it a priority for my sixties. Prague was near the top of my list and this month the dream became reality.

I am quite comfortable traveling alone. The journey itself is company enough. In the past I have struggled with jet lag on my first day or two after flying east. I discovered a wonderful remedy for it in the Isabella Catalog,  Dr. Singha's Travel Tonic. So I arrived in Prague feeling alert and refreshed. After checking into my hotel in Mala Strana (Lesser Town) I walked down to Stare Mesto (Old Town), about a thirty minute walk. The square is probably the most heavily tourist laden place in Prague. I chose an outdoor table and settled in for some journaling, people watching and traditional Czech food and beer. The Czech Republic is well known for their beer and I was not disappointed with this one. I remained there through the gloaming, just beautiful. The square is surrounded by old churches and their lighted towers were dramatic against the night sky.

The public transportation system is excellent in Prague. I traveled by tram as opposed to subway so I could see as much of the city as possible. Most people in Prague speak some English so it was easy to find help as needed. Czech children begin English instruction in second grade and French in fourth.

On my first full day I visited Petrin Tower, a smaller size replica of the Eiffel Tower. I climbed the 299 steps for a 360 degree view of the city. 

Petrin Tower

It was a beautiful clear day. I could see the Vltava River, Prague Castle, and in the distance the mountains in Germany.

Prague Castle, Vltava River, Mala Strana, Petrin Park

After one day I was enchanted with Prague. The city was just beginning to reveal her secrets and I was pleased that I had another week to explore and experience her. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Creating Time

I've recently discovered ArtellaLand, an online community for creators of all kinds. The site owner, Marney Makridakis, has a new book Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life. How could I not be intrigued by a title like that?

At first, I could not figure this girl out. She seems to want to tweak all important words to suit her purpose. For example, Artella is created from art and telling. She gives ARTsignments, talks about calendures, and projects her theory of wellativity! My spell check is going crazy here!

But after reading, digesting might be a better term or maybe processing, her book, I can tell you what she is about. She is about fun and gratitude and living life to the fullest with those you love. She is about creating art and stories to see within and share without.

This book is gorgeous, colorful, art filled, activity rich, and thought provoking.

Here's how she explains Creating Time:

...there is an amazing power held by each of us to imagine, create, and completely reshape the way we experience time. For too long we have been servants of time when in fact, time can and should serve us. We can drop all the archaic views and limitations of time that have held us back from fully embracing the wild beautiful truth: time is not a defined line; it is instead a vibrant, completely moldable, layered, multi-faceted work of art that is in your hands to create and design, each and every day.

I engaged deeply with the chapter Kronos and Kairos, Greek words for two ways of experiencing time. Kronos is linear time, chronology, the time of clocks and calendars. Kairos is numinous, spiritual, circular time. When I am deep into my writing or deep into joy, I am in Kairos. Meditation and being with people I love is Kairos. Creating is Kairos. And in those moments, time is very elastic. Sometimes an hour seems like a moment, sometimes a moment an hour. When I am in Kronos, I am very aware of time, schedules must be kept, obligations met, productivity documented. I prefer Kairos but know Kronos has a place.

As a writer, I do not often create visual art. I love to zentangle, to collage, to work with fiber but these were side activities, squeezed in at odd moments. The beauty of this book is that it has provided a bridge to creating visual art as part of my Kairos time, spiraling me more deeply into my creativity.  And that is a huge gift. Thank you Marney!