Posted in Art, Exhibitions

Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night

Culturespaces creates a multi-sensory experience through a new digital exhibition in the Atelier des Lumières showcasing the life and works of Vincent van Gogh.

Photo: © Culturespaces / S. Lloyd

Posted in Art, Traditions

Flights of Fancy

Celebrating the Year of the Pig
Posted in Inspiration, Poetry

As we grow old

Senator Murray Sinclair’s
poem on growing older.
There is something so precious about slowing down and being present.
Age is not wasted on the elderly.

Photo by Joel & Jasmin Førestbird on Unsplash

Mizana Gheezhik (Sen. Murray Sinclair)

As we grow old
the ground we walk on
rises up
so that,
as each of those few moments
left to us
pass by
and we grow old
and hair turns greyer still
we move a bit more slowly.
At such a speed,
we can see around us
more of life today
and feel we understand 
the present 
for we have lived
among the weeds
and trees,
from which it came.
And we have much we want
and need
to say.
But, sometimes,
no one asks

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Posted in A Day in a Life

“I’m not a morning person.”

Excelsior Post

As someone who’s spent nearly all of the waking years of my life with the deep understanding thatI’m not a morning person… let me be the first to say waking up early has always been an uphill f*cking battle. When I wake up, my eyes tend to have about 20 years of crust sealing them shut, and my voice has been witnessed going 7 octaves lower, possibly summoning demons against whomever decided that 5am is a good time to ask me questions about my day. Just ask my husband.

When I say that I’ve been this way my whole life, you can also ask my grandmother, who can attest to me sleeping the morning away as a child and having to rip the sheets off me in order to stir me from what was a near impenetrable slumber. All this, to say: I know that there are some people…

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Posted in Inspiration, Music

Spotlight: David’s Harp Foundation

About David’s Harp Video

David’s Harp is making a real difference in the lives of youth in the San Diego area. I first saw this non-profit on the Today Show and was so inspired I knew I had to spotlight this organization on ContagiousBlog.

David’s Harp mentors youth through a musical platform and empowers them to find their voice and tap into their creative energies. In addition to providing a safe environment to explore, create and grow, David’s Harp also supports students in academic achievement. They offer tutoring to help students maintain their grades in order to participate in the program.

Real life mentors look like people who are willing to share their ups and their downs, their successes and their failures, so that young people can really learn from that…here mentorship is 100% the goal and music is just the platform.

Brandon Steppe, Today Show Segment, 2/18/2019
Brandon Steppe, founder of David’s Harp Foundation, giving a TedX Talk

While running a non-profit foundation where at-risk teens trade good grades for time in a professional-grade recording studio, Brandon Steppe discovered bold transparency as a necessary ingredient for earning trust, engaging in real conversations, and building successful mentoring relationships. He also realized two things, that hip-hop music is the perfect metaphor for mentorship, and perfect power is actually found in weakness. Brandon Steppe is a transformative force in the lives of “at-risk” and homeless teens in his hometown of San Diego, California. As the founder of The David’s Harp Foundation, Brandon provides these youth an artistic escape from their often challenging life situations. As Executive Director, Brandon has overseen the organization’s growth from his father’s garage in Southeast San Diego, to a state-of-the-art studio facility located in Downtown San Diego’s East Village community. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. – (TedX Talks Summary, accessed on 2/18/2019.)

Posted in Books

New Podcast: Sam Lipsyte


Sam Lipsyte is the author of the story collections Venus Drive and The Fun Parts and four novels: HarkThe AskThe Subject Steve, and Home Land, which was a New York Times Notable Book and received the first annual Believer Book Award. He is also the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship.

Hark Cover ImageSam was in the store last week for an event with his newest novel, Hark, which is centered around an unwitting mindfulness guru and the phenomenon he initiates.

In an America convulsed by political upheaval, cultural discord, environmental collapse, and spiritual confusion, many folks are searching for peace, salvation, and—perhaps most immediately—just a little damn focus. Enter Hark Morner, an unwitting guru whose technique of “Mental Archery”—a combination of mindfulness, mythology, fake history, yoga, and, well, archery—is set to captivate the masses and raise him to near-messiah status. It’s a role he never asked for…

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Posted in Music

Hold Back the River

James Bay is an English singer-songwriter. Hold Back the River was released in 2014 and has been certified platinum. It’s a really great song…  

Keith Urban’s Parallel Line