There are just about two weeks left to see China’s Terracotta Warriors on display at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Luckily, I’ve already gone and seen them.
About the warriors, from the website:
“First unearthed in 1974, the underground burial complex of the First Emperor is a revelation for the ages, an astonishing discovery on par with Egypt’s mummies and elaborate tombs. Contemporary observers continue to be enthralled by his legacy, and it is through this ongoing interest that the First Emperor did indeed achieve immortality. This exhibition includes ten figures—a representative sample of the actual army, which is estimated to include more than 7,000 life-sized figures and over 10,000 weapons.”
I do have to say that I went on a really busy evening and it was kind of disorienting to try to see such large-scale majestic art when there was such chaos and such a party atmosphere around it but they were still really amazing pieces to see in person.
A couple of weeks ago I shared my photos from How Weirde Street Fair. But there was one photo I forgot to share:
The guy who had this dog was making a fortune getting donations from people who wanted to take the dog’s picture. Perhaps I should get a dog and make the festival rounds for extra cash!
When I took this photo it was just intended to be a picture of two pairs of feet. When I was looking through my pictures later as thumbnails I couldn’t tell what it was because I was seeking the space between the feet as a person and was thinking it was some art shot I’d taken at some point. Do you see the body (head that the top between the first set of legs, arms between the two sets of legs, body between the second set of boots)?
This is what my beautiful city looks like when you look at it from the top of Twin Peaks, which is right outside of San Francisco’s historic Castro district. I do love my city for so many reasons!
I mentioned this already on my crochet blog but in case you don’t follow that one I thought I’d share my excitement that I got into the grad school program I applied for and will be starting my three year Masters Degree in the fall.
About My Grad Program
I am going to be attending a small Masters Program in counseling that is truly unique. It integrates a variety of different approaches including a blend of Eastern spirituality with Western medicine to help students learn a holistic approach to counseling. The core belief of the program is essentially that you need to completely understand yourself in order to be able to help others, something that I wholeheartedly agree with. This basically means that I’ll get to spend the next three years immersed in self-development, experiential learning and mental health knowledge exploration. I am so excited!!!
I could have gone with a traditional program that had regular classes with a variety of students throughout the years. However, I chose to attend an intensive weekend version of the program which means that there are twenty of us who will be working together over the course of the three years. We will attend intensive week-long retreats each summer and long weekends together once per month. We will all be together for every class for the duration of the program. I think this is an excellent way to really challenge myself and I look forward to seeing what good and bad things it brings up for me. I also think the combination of intensive weekends with less frequency in the classroom is perfect for my style of self-directed learning.
It’s About the Education, Not the Degree
The truth is that I’m not 100% certain that I want to be a counselor. Pscyhology is something that I’ve always been interested in and I can see a lifestyle where becoming a private practice counselor part-time could be satisfying to me and helpful to others. But I’m not placing any expectations on the career path that will come out of this program. What I’m really interested in is deeply immersing myself in the experience. I believe in the value of self-exploration and I think that this amazing program is going to offer me a unique opportunity to use different approaches within a supportive network to learn more and more about myself. I hope that it will make me a more compassionate, more helpful, more well-rounded person also but I’m truly open to seeing what it does for me without placing a lot of judgments on what I think it should do for me. This is the first time I’ve really, truly approached a college degree this way even though it’s something I wish I’d done sooner so it’s something I’m excited about as well and something that I think reflects both my own growth over the years and the fact that this is likely the right program for me right now.
Here are some various photos that I haven’t yet shared on this blog. These are mostly things I did share about before on the blog but only uploaded some of the photos from and didn’t share these specific ones yet. Enjoy these snippets into my life!
What I looked like as I turned 33 years old:
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge:
Fruit, fresh and dried:
Rainy Easter in Dolores Park:
Palace of Fine Arts:
Inside Castro Theater and Architecture in the Neighborhood:
I recently got caught in the rain at Dolores Park while waiting for someone so I decided to wait it out at a nearby restaurant. Namu Gaji is right across the street so I went there. I’d never been there before and it was interesting to check it out.
It’s described on the website as: “A family run place. New Korean American (NKA) cuisine is humble, innovative and personal
while keeping tradition close to heart. The menu is inspired by the weekly harvests from our
farm and the finest local bounty.”
I had a really great pot of tea and tried some orange wine that I didn’t really like but I think after trying a few different kinds that I just really don’t care for orange wine in general so I don’t blame them for that. I got some chicken wings that were the special of the day but I actually kind of wish I’d tried something more traditional that they offer and that I’ve never tried before such as their gamja fries, korean street tacos or bibim. The reason I didn’t try any of those is because they all feature kimchee and I really don’t like kimchee. Oh well.
Animals at the farm area outside of the Castello di Amorosa vineyard and castle in Napa Valley.
The goat and the sheep were really large size for those animals. The bird is apparently an emu; I always thought those were huge but I guess they have small breeds as well. The other bird is some kind of rooster that I swear looked like it was wearing a blonde wig.
Last week I went to the official book launch and reading of Crafting Calm by Maggie Oman Shannon. It was at a lovely little West Portal bookstore, had a sweet crowd and is a book worth checking out if you’ve experienced the benefit of crafting which I obviously have as I shared in my book, Crochet Saved My Life.
Maggie Oman Shannon is a minister who has authored five other books researching different aspects of cross-cultural spirituality. In this book she moves into the first person and shares how she herself has used crafting to deepen her spiritual life. She also shares the stories of a bunch of other crafters who have done the same thing. Crafting, healing and storytelling in one book … that’s right up my alley!
The West Portal bookshop is actually this San Francisco author’s home bookstore so she was able to bring in a bunch of her own craft projects for us to check out and she shared the stories behind them, many of which are stories in the book. Her publisher was there as were members of her church plus some of us who just love crafts and reading.
Some of the things she mentioned in her talk that I want to highlight:
- Maggie emphasizes that you don’t have to be proficient at crafts or even moderately technically skilled at them to get creative benefits from them. It’s about the process, not the product. I so agree! I will add the caveat, though, that I think that while you shouldn’t focus on your technical skills or compare yourself to other crafters I do think that there is immense benefit in constantly pushing your own creative boundaries and stretching yourself and your craft skills.
- Vision boards help. I’ve never actually made one but I can totally see how taking the time to focus on an intention would encourage you to do what you need to do to make that thing happen. I’m thinking about doing something similar myself now.
- There is power in the simple act of creating. It can even be an activist statement, “I will create in the face of destruction; I will see beauty in the face of disaster!”
Maggie just has a really peaceful air about her and you can tell that the time that she devotes to her combined creative and spiritual life has given her deep inner strength. I enjoyed seeing that.
Maggie opened up the conversation for other people to share their own craft experiences. Sometimes I love to talk about my book and experiences and sometimes I’m more in a listening mood than a sharing mood. This was a listening mood kind of day for me so I didn’t share but I did enjoy hearing what people had to say about how crafting had helped them.
What you see here: Greek Food from Estia in North Beach, naughty cookie from Hot Cookie in the Castro, bagel from Noah’s Bagels, popsicle eaten at Palace of Fine Arts, fruits and veggies with various dips at home, dessert from Sugar Cafe, potato pancakes with applesauce and sour cream from Dave’s Diner, oatmeal and fruit and scrambled eggs at home, brown butter ice cream from Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous in Dogpatch, apples and dried fruit with cinnamon sugar toast at home, candy! and a bug in my coffee. Nope, didn’t consume that last one – asked for a fresh cup!