The moss drapes the trees, rocks and bushes like a dark spell from yesteryear. Donning a warm cap, I make my way into the enchanted forest, no sound except the distant call of ocean birds. Tread lightly down the Hobbit trail......
Is it the earth growing exponentially, or myself becoming smaller the deeper I go? Strange magic here in the twisted branches and diminishing light.
Seashells are juxtaposed into unnatural shapes, perhaps a hidden message. I ponder the meaning before carrying on down into the earth. The sound of the ocean is closer now, much louder than before.....
The foreboding strangeness of the Hobbit trail is to hide the pure beauty awaiting those that brave it's mysticism. The truth is in the sand, on the high crag rocks and in the ocean waves of winter.
Following my theme this year of seeing more acoustic concert performances, I find myself in the quaint and charming section of Portland, Oregon known as Alberta.
No cookie cutter housing districts here, only individuality and freedom of artistic expression. In the safety of this lies the Alberta Rose Theatre, and a performance by folk singer/songwriter Mason Jennings.
I'd be surprised if the theatre itself held more than two hundred people, if that. I was lucky enough to be second row center. Whether Mason was strumming guitar, playing piano, or jamming on his harmonica, his simple yet infectious melodies and amazing lyrics kept us all captivated.
My favorite track of the evening would have to be a new song called "TheWilderness". Enjoy.
I get off the Interstate as quickly as possible to avoid the New York toll roads. Within minutes the landscape transforms into rolling hills intertwined with snowdrifts of varying heights. Here towns aren't called towns, they are villages.
Villages lost in time, in an area known as the Finger Lakes.
Villages established in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Buildings that hold stories of hard working men and women, raising families, farms and fearing God.
Today many of the structures still remain, although uninhabited. The peeling paint and splintered wood tell stories of their own however. I stand in the bitter winter wind to listen.
I hear the musical calling of those early settlers of this land, feel their strength and triumphant spirit. A connection of the human condition to explore, wonder and question.....
Step One :
See a new album out on iTunes, download songs, fall in love.
Step Two :
Realize the album was just made days ago, search to see if band is still touring.
Step Three :
Find a show you can go to, get a ticket, book travel.
Step Four :
Wake up in Buffalo. Use GPS to navigate car through Finger Lakes country to college town of Ithaca.
Step Five :
Fall in love with Ithaca, find theater, locate place close by for drinks and food before show. Be blown away by awesome restaurant choices on the same street as theater, and none are crowded or over priced. Enjoy sushi and sapporo.
Step Six :
Go to show, fall in love with the theater.
Step Seven :
Fall in love with the simplicity of the stage set, the acoustics, and the amazing harmonies of a group called Band of Horses.
Step Eight :
Relish every second of this amazing night. Enjoy one of many highlights from the acoustic show, " The Funeral".
The film festival was a three day event, showcasing a number of different films each night. Last night had nine films that were shown. The purpose of the festival is to inspire creativity, love of the outdoors, and respect for the environment.
All nine films had quite the impact, but I would like to highlight four of my favorites, for different reasons.
Woah!!! I've heard about wing suit flying before, but this film showcases the man that literally got this sport off the ground. What they attempt to do in China will get your heart pumping like nothing else....
I've always wanted to explore the region of Patagonia in Chile. This film shows what corrupt government and Big Business are trying to do in building dams in Patagonia, killing the rivers and natural beauty in this special part of the world, and how the people of Chile are fighting to prevent it from happening....
These are films that truly inspire and motivate. If the festival is coming to a town near you, I highly recommend it.