Monthly Archives: February 2010

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Much of what I have thought about in terms of being a 'green bubbie' is about finding our passions, working on them, and revealing them. Getting to the point in life where you want to connect and make those connections meaningful- because you finally realize that "Time is life" so make it count.

I 've always wanted to be an artist. Well, I've always had what others have called talent. My definition of 'talent' is having the guts to try things- art, music dance. So I am now trying my hand and my mind and connecting them to my spiritual quests to produce 'art work' What I have come to realize is that "going public" with what is deep inside us, gives us an energy boost that can actually reach the 'other'
So, take the time to write out your own ARTIST STATEMENT, and share it, here's mine, along with a description of a collage I have entered in a show.

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Ruthie Feldman, also known as Dr. Ruth Pinkenson Feldman, “The Green Bubbie,” is an internationally recognized expert in Jewish Early Childhood Education. A self-taught watercolorist, Ruth has begun to study fine art collage. Her lifelong interests in studying Jewish texts and interpretation has led her to seek new media and new means for innovative expression of the deep wisdom in Jewish thought. A believer in the creative powers of each of us to seek meaning, and to find modes of expression that enable us to communicate with one another, Ruth has turned to abstract expressionism in her paintings and layered meanings in her collage work. She is constantly intrigued with the interpretations viewers bring to her works.

ARTIST STATEMENT

The Aleph-Bet has captured my imagination. Once I began thinking about the project, I wanted to explore the Torah’s description of the giving of the Tablets of the Ten Commandments--the letters could be seen from different directions; each was carved through the stone with a fiery force, the midrashic idea of an artistry beyond human capability. I was content to depict, in a mobile form, the idea of the letters rotating.

When I thought about the letter “Daled” I first thought about the many words that begin with that letter, and how the word in Hebrew, Delet (meaning “door”), seemed to offer a pictorial symbol--the letter itself as a door (opening). So I began to work on the concept of “the door to a Jewish home,” with a Mezuzah on the doorpost itself.

Much of my fascination with nature, and my efforts to include elements of the natural world in my artwork, brought me to the word Desheh (meaning “field”). I was intrigued by the “inside-outside” paradigm of a doorway (to the inside) and a field (outside).

I went back to my initial thoughts about the giving of the Torah at Sinai. The image of the “field”/desheh began to merge with the idea that, while there was lightning and thunder at the top of the mountain, the mountain itself was beautiful, with flowers and a fence keeping the people at a safe distance from the Divine Presence.

I hope that the finished piece captures the intrigue of inside/outside, of field and of home. I hope that the imagination of the viewer is piqued by the turning “Daled,” to see how the letters of the Torah come to life not in a fiery force on a mountain top, but as we bring them into our homes.

“My Daled” is my effort to combine these thoughts: one, the Hebrew words Delet (“door”) and Desheh (“field”), and two, the force and holiness of the Aleph-Bet. Just as they could penetrate stone, so too can they penetrate our lives.

Many people ask about being a Green Bubbie- what's with the green?
Well as I have said, you don't need to have your own children ( or grandchildren) to be a green bubbie- Use local "sprouts" - they need not be your own! Get it?
You may think that the 'green revolution' is today's version of the sixties- But, you'd be wrong.
Maybe you think you are too old to be green, after all, we are the generation whose children learned the 'mantra' from Kermit- that, "It's not easy being Green"
Well, it is easier now, than then. Think of nature's rule, if it's green, it's alive! and growing- and that can apply to you too. If you are 'green' these days, you too are alive and growing, viable, flexible.
And when it comes to sustaining the earth- well, let's take great care of it- and not to be too gruesome, it gives new meaning to the notion of 'home land'
Just because today's youth have taken ownership of the 'green revolution' it doesn't mean it isn't for all of us. It is. If your bubbie loves the garden, the kinderlach will love it too. So branch out and invite the local sprouts into your garden and into your life.
You are not imagining that the world is less 'natural' woodsy and open than you remember from your own youth. It's true. Neither suburbia or the urban landscape provide the trees for climbing or the woods for exploring or the creeks for jumping over that you may remember from your own youth. THIS IS IMPORTANT- Children need to learn what the earth was suppose to be like before it was paved over (remember Joni MItchell's parking lot?)
So, even if you don't garden, tell stories of what it was like when you went to camp, to 'camp' and not to learn computers or water skiing. Tell the local sprouts what is was/is like to walk in the Forest, And take - or at least suggest that time be spent wandering in your local arboretum.
You have probably more information about trees, greens and gardens in your memory than today's young children have in their neighborhoods- so take them 'out'
and remember, unless you are a banana, you are never too old to turn green

Every 'bubbie' is unique.

Just to review, a 'green bubbie' is an energy efficient model of grand
parenting for the new millennium. You don't need to have your own children, or grandchildren.
You nurture the sprouts, wherever you are. Use local children, they need not be your own!
Now, having said that, why even bother to be a 'bubbie' if you don't have offspring. Well let's face it, the world needs all of the unconditional love we can muster if we want to sustain the human race, along with the earth! If you want children to sustain the earth, let them learn to garden, and learn that the people they love most, also love the earth. We show our love for the children, by transmitting our responsibility for taking care of the earth, sharing our understanding of how God's world is supposed to work, and living the life, walking the walk.
Now to get back to 'branding' Every 'bubbie' in whatever cultural context needs her specialty.
Choose a cookie, cake or even a soup, and begin identifying it as your own. As in "Newman;s Own"
Choose a name for yourself. For instance, I could be 'bubbie feldman' or "bubbie Ruth" or "Mommom" Granny Snow obviously comes to mind at the moment, You know you have a name, when 'other people' not limited to your own family begin to use it
Being a Green Bubbie, is a concept. It is a relationship you can set in motion, at any age or stage of your life, You can even try it at a distance, You can call yourself "Auntie Mame" or Anti-Oakly, or whatever you like, The key is to 'branch out' and plant the idea of a caring, nurturing relationship in as many hearts and minds as you see fit.
This is a relationship built on passion about life, transmitting skills, values, stories and culture.
While 'bubbie' is a term for a Jewish grandmother, you may find you are one, even if you aren't Jewish! Unconditional love has a universal appeal, and we are building relationships, its about bridges, not boundaries.
Now, if you happen to be Jewish, Purim is coming, so think about sending "Mishloach Manot"- gifts of Hamantashen and other sweet treats to someone who might least expect a gift from you!
And this is a perfect time in the snow to browse the recipes in your cupboard, or on Google, and find the one that you can identify with - make it your own. And start making what you love.
I am currently trying to master the 'raspberry-chocolate chip cookie'
Remember, regardless of what (else) you think your legacy might be someday, if your cookies are great, they'll be remembered!
Brand Yourself- be yourself, and share yourself, lovingly.

January is the time the Seed Catalogs arrive in the mail. These winter months are a terrific time to hone your skills as a 'green bubbie.' If you want to sustain the earth, or your family, your culture, religion, or whatever, teach young children lovingly. Young children respond not only to the person who loves them, but they tend to love what that loving adult loves as well. So, if you love the earth, or your garden, share that love with the children in your life- you will reap more than a harvest!

TRY THIS: If you have grandchildren of your own, or young children you know- where ever they are, send them Seed Catalogs. First of all, young children love to get mail- and particularly mail with their own name on it. Seed catalogues are FREE. Target your sending to children as young as 2 years, who may have visited your garden. Or send them to children of any age who may have expressed an interest in gardening, or even just 'foodies'
For the VERY YOUNG (18 months to 8 years) Encourage the children to 'read' the catalogs, and find their favorite foods. Ask them over the phone, or when you visit, to show you their favorite
flowers, the best looking tomatoes or the strangest looking vegetables. Even two year olds can point to favorite foods. Let children tear or cut out the incredible pictures to collage or create a garden plan depending on their skill level. Children love cutting up entire catalogs and then sorting by color, flower, vegetables they love or hate.
ORDER SEEDS- Order seeds for your own garden. Order a child's favorite- even one packet of seeds in the mail can endear a child to a season of gardening. Do you remember, or can you imagine the delight of seeing the first green shoot emerging from a sunflower seed? Start it indoors, in several containers, and move them outside when the weather is warm. You don't have to be a maven in crop rotation to plant a few sunflower seeds- and this little episode can start you on your way to being a very green bubbie. Think about all the follow up phone calls with your young garden friends. Even the one way conversations with children to young to talk, where you ask if they have watered the seed, and following up as the shoots emerge. Inviting children near and far into the planning stages of your own garden, fuels their imagination and interest, and gives them a stake in the process.
So think of a child- a relative, a neighbor, a grand niece or nephew, you never know who will get the gardening bug with you, and who will benefit from your love, your attention and the fruits of your labour.
I have listed just 3 out of many, many Seed Catalogs- study them, share them, order the seeds, and plant them!
SeedsforChange, Burpee, Landreth Seed Catalog, just google 'seed catalogs' plant and enjoy!