Thursday, March 29, 2012

Glad tidings

I thought a lot today, about people who shine a light wherever they go.

They leave a room feeling brighter then when they arrived.

I like to avoid the other kind...the ones who leave bits of their own bitter pain as reminders that they have been near.

Spreading light is a beautiful thing.

Happy people, do it naturally.

My gorgeous friend Colleen, better known as Bardot, once got a Saturday morning job delivering flowers!

It paid very little but for Bardot arriving on somebody's doorstep with flowers, was worth more then money could buy.

Imagine doing something that makes others happy each day.

Like the 'balloon troopers' at Geronimo, Jirhan 'Jihanimo' Zancirli, began her business delivering beautiful, bright balloons all over Seattle.

'The Balloon Girl', as Jihanimo is known, traversed the city, arriving on her yellow 1974 French moped with balloons for a lucky recipient tied to her bike.

Today you can pop into her downtown Los Angeles store or order on line.

Andrea Galvani creates exquisite art with the help of balloons.

And my favorite Mormon, well person really, the glorious Nie Nie releases a bunch of balloons at every family birthday!

Maybe not such a good idea, considering the island of plastic the size of Texas floating off the coasts of America.

Geronimo will credit you for your deflated balloons, and pass them onto public school classrooms to be reused in the art room!

That way the light goes even further...

xxx elle

For sharing...

Welcome Morning

There is joy
in all:
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning
 in the chapel of eggs I cook
each morning,
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
each morning,
in the spoon and the chair
that cry "hello there, Anne"
each morning,
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup, upon
each morning.

All this is G-od,
right here in my pea-green house
each morning
and I mean,
though often forget, to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.

So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this G-od, this laughter of the morning
lest it go unspoken.

The Joy that isn't shared, I've heard,
dies young.

- Anne Sexton -

(found on,
image by Anka Zhuravleva)

xxx elle

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

For Eva this Passover,

 I was going to share some thoughts of my own with you this Passover.

I love this festival, despite the Matzah!

I love the cleaning of my home, performed in slow reflection, all the while knowing that transformation is most possible at this time of year.

I love knowing that we are able to liberate ourselves from whatever we are in bondage to; relationships, addictions, behaviors or ideas...

This Passover is different.

And instead I give you the words of Chava (Eva) Sandler of Toulouse to guide you...

"My heart is broken. I am unable to speak. There are no ways for me to express the great and all-consuming pain resulting from the murder of my dear husband Rabbi Jonathan and our sons, Aryeh and Gavriel, and of Miriam Monsonego, daughter of the dedicated principal of Ozar Hatorah and his wife, Rabbi Yaakov and Mrs Monsonego.

May no one ever have to endure such pain and suffering.

Because so many of you, my cherished brothers and sisters in France and around the world, are asking what you can do on my behalf, on behalf of my daughter Liora and on behalf of the souls of my husband and children, I feel that, difficult as it may be, it is encumbant upon me to answer your entreaties.

My husband's life was dedicated to teaching Torah. We moved back to the country of his birth to help young people learn about the beauty of Torah. He was truly a good man, loving, giving and selfless, always searching for ways in which to reveal the goodness in others.

He and I raised Aryeh and Gavriel to live the ways of Torah. Who would have known how short would be their time on this earth, how short would be the time I would be with them as their mother?

I don't know how my husband's parents and sister will find the consolation and strength to carry on, but I know that the ways of G-d are good and He will reveal the path and give us the strength to continue. I know that their holy souls will remain with us forever, and I know that very soon the time will come when we will be together again with the coming of the Moshiach.

I wholeheartedly believe in the verse' The L-ord has given, and the L-ord has taken away, blessed be the Name of the L-ord." I thank the Almighty for the privilege, short though it was, of raising my children together with my husband. Now the Almighty wants them back with Him.

To all those who wish to bring consolation to our family and contentment to the souls of the departed: Let's continue their lives on this earth.

Parents, please kiss your children. Tell them how much you love them, and how dear it is to your heart that they be living examples of our Torah, imbued with the fear of Heaven and with love of their fellow man.

Please increase your study of Torah, whether on your own or with your family and friends. Help others who may find study difficult to achieve alone.

The holiday of Passover is approaching. Please invite another person into your homes so that all have a place at a Seder to celebrate the holiday of our freedom.

Please bring more light into the world by kindling the Sabbath candles this and every Friday night..."

"The spirit of the Jewish people can never be extinguished; it's connection with Torah and it's commandments can never be destroyed.

May it be G-d's will that from this moment on, we will all only know happiness.

I send my heartfelt condolences to the Mosonego family for the loss of their daughter Miriam, and I pray for the recovery of Aharon ben Leah, who was injured in the attack.

Thank you for your support and love,

Chava (Eva) Sandler."

xxx elle

one sunny evening...

This years Indaba at The Convention Center was so overcrowded with small cramped stands, and large cramped people that I paid it only the most hasty visit, and left early but not before purchasing half a dozen of these ingenious consol solar jars.

The small Led battery is quickly charged in sunlight and with each exposure delivers almost 6 free hours of gentle light.

Just enough to add a marvelous glow to an outdoor dinner table, or to lead guests along a garden path in the darkness of night.

Not yet enough light to make homework possible at night for one of the many thousands of South African children who live with little or no electricity, but we are almost there.

Buy them at one of Consol's retail stores and spread a little sunshine

xxx elle

The Chance Muse strikes again!

The Chance Muse came to visit one glorious summer's day.

All was still.

As if the Muse herself, had ordered the errant wind to abate.

I had been meaning to get round to a little tale of the cottage.

Had been meaning to introduce her to you now that she is fully grown...

And then that Chance Muse was at the door, and from her 'Poppin's' bag, amidst the gifts and niceties, she drew out her camera like a wizards sword, and nothing missed her artist's eye.

Not the vintage paintings and photos above the 18 drawer dresser,

Nor my makeshift sink, concocted to last the holidays but impossible to let go!

The Chance Muse loved the old museum, as my builder christened it when I fretted about altering the cottage's original charm. 'Elle' he would reassure me, 'you'll always have the museum.'

No nick knack went unnoticed.

No detail unappreciated.

The Chance Muse loved the' fruits' of our labour!

Go here now, and find yourself inspired ...

xxx elle

This is my life...Lisa

These last few weeks, with the passing of beautiful Lisa Melman, I have thought a lot about my 'other life' as a young aspiring actress studying Dramatic Art at Wits University in the early 1980's.

And as I have read the many tributes to Lisa by fellow Wits students, most of whom I cannot recollect, I am left with a kind of terrible nostalgia.

I walked away so easily from that world, a world that I had yearned for even as a child... and I think that easy resignation is something that has marked my life ever since. I can't even remember the girl that once thought the world a stage, who dyed her hair blue and played Dj on Voice of Wits. I think her wit, and theatrical  flamboyancy might well repel the woman that I am now, and yet there is something so wistful and poignant about 'what might have been'. 'What might have been', doesn't really exist of course, and I have no illusions about what made it so simple to walk away.

When I voiced my 'regret' to my daughter, Erin she was suitably aghast, chastising me for my foolishness, reflecting on the sheer loveliness that is my little life, and yet..

Go here now, and hear Les Lisa sing...for all of us.

xxx elle