Creative Arts and Healing
SPRING AGAIN!!! 
Can you believe it? We've gone from the russet leaves of fall (my last entry) to the lush green eden of spring in Tallahassee. I lived through winter, Im sure of it -- lived through my daughter's 24th birthday, Chanukah, Christmas, New Year's, my January birthday, my 25th wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day, but apparently I didn't stop to write about any of it.
Oh yes, also lived through Alana's trip to India over the holidays to study eco-housing in preparation for her masters thesis in architecture. In no time at all she will graduate, just as I graduated at age 24 with my masters in education...

Suffering through a springtime cold, for the first time in ages, i lollygag around reading old New York Times book reviews, thinking about which book of mine i should focus on next, or how to find an agent, or whether gardening is enough of an accomplishment. Back in the women's prison with a new class, i never tire of first meeting my students knowing how close, how intimate, we shall be by the end of the course, seeing their eyes light up when they "get" that we're all "equal under the law of the pen" that this is not a writing contest, and that each of us has something of value to share. It seems so obvious to me; we've all lived, suffered, rejoiced, made mistakes, atoned for them, enjoyed a good meal, wished for love, had our dreams, put one foot in front of the other as we made our own unique path. And now it's time, high time we could say, to write about it, to recall and deliver to the world our own human literature.

Ok, I'm a crusader for lifestories, for haiku poetry, I'm a crusader for "everyone has something to say and deserves to be heard." I've made it my life's calling, my life's
passion, my life's joy to write and invite others to do so. I don't care if I'm a household word, just let there be many words, let their be huge democracies of words, huge encyclopedias of the human experience set in ink... on real pages, PLEASE, a book one can hold, as close as a lover, letting the pages riffle in the wind, spilling a rosy drop of tomato on it, what the heck, or a tear. Let the books be loved, read again, passed on to others, rediscovered, reprinted, and adored by readers everywhere, writers everywhere.

So sayeth Ka.

And inbetween my crusading, how i love my flowers, my vegetables, my bouquets all over the house, my e-mail exchanges, my cat Georgie, whose purr rumbles as he plumps down on my lap, a hefty loaf of pumpkin fur, how i love the sunshine and rain, the yellow butterflies of spring, the buzzing bees, the tiny new green leaves, the wind in the chimes.
I love reaching out to my anonymous and welcome readers, saying "I'm back, I'm still
alive, I'm still writing" and glad of it.

May spring gladden our hearts, make us want to romp in the clover, plant seeds that will blossom and fruit, as we sow now what we most wish to harvest... may it be peace

A coupla spring haiku


Too many flowers
for just one woman to count
let the bees do it

Cat cannot decide
this garden bed or that one
for its daily snooze

Birds write brand new songs
for the springtime hit parade
treetop broadcasting


xo
katya




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AH, THE RUSSET LEAVES 
Ah, the russet leaves let me know autumn is in high gear, at the apex of its charm here in tallahassee. at twilight their soft hues blend with the last calls of the birds, both giving testimony to the beauty of november - saying "hush" "day is done" and a moment of
peace, a respite from wondering or worrying or even hoping, just watching the wisps of charcoal and pink float across the sky.

And, i'm celebrating the arrival of my latest book: The Wheel of Belonging (The Faith Columns and Sermons of Ka) -- another assurance that i will live on, through words on paper, and photographs, i will live on if humankind decides to continue reading books, which i prayerfully wish to be true, don't you?

It's such a clutchable little book, just the right size and heft to pick up and fall into,
and the photo of me, at 27 on the front cover, matched by one of me at 67 on the back cover, is oh so tender, knowing four decades of life happened in the interim, life which is condensed into black ink and philosophy to share with the masses, or with, at the least, my humble group of pilgrim pioneers, you who now peruse these words.

I've started another semester at the women's prison, teaching a new group of students who are finding out that there's no way to fail this class, no way to "write wrong" or to "think wrong", no reason to be anything but who they are, telling their stories, their hurts, joys, memories, redeeming themselves from the fact of their incarceration. And as Bo Lozoff the new age prison reformer and author once put it "We're all doing time". But at least we, who are not behind bars, can bathe in private. At least we can prepare our own food. At least we can hold our children (or grandchildren) in our arms.

And finishing up my class at the senior retirement community -- with a LifeStories Review, with leaf art on the cover, in honor of the season. It is going on 30 years now that I have
taught these classes and put out these anthologies. Dust in the wind? Or seeds for luscious blossoms and fruit? Does it matter? If it doesn't matter, what does?

So i philosophize, as night draws near, and Tom and i prepare to put on "going out" clothes to see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, not a cheerful play by any means. But the human condition
is so varied, is so rich and complex -- our pain and our liberation from pain.

May we all crunch through crisp colorful leaves, and listen to the geese honk as they head for the nearest pond; may we glory in these mellow days before the onset of true chilling winter (for those who live in northern climes). Let us celebrate Thanksgiving --that we are here, still here, riding the wave of Time together, as the scarlet and gold trees whisper their mournful and uplifting melodies.

Perhaps we prepare to close the book of this year with a gentle gesture, but not too soon, please. Let fall's golden lantern cast its beam a little further yet...


Katya








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ALMOST AUTUMN! 
ALMOST AUTUMN!!!

In Florida, Autumn is a tease, and what a tease! Here is a poem I wrote on Sept 2


THE FIRST FALL AIR

The first fall air is like
nothing else
At first you can’t
believe it
you think it’s a trick of the soul
during a long hot summer
but no
you felt it
you feel it
you swing the window open
wider
the coolness wafts forward
caressing every part of you
the birds sing
giddily of gladness
you can almost imagine
a gold leaf falling
soon
sooner
soonest
The fall air surprises you
with its lyric song
its bright messages
a suitor
who finally, when you’ve given up
shows her/his face
and you know
it’s love

KA

And now it is the 16th, and the fiery breath of afternoons of 93 (again) show up,
then sudden rain falls, and the windows can again be opened wide.

I listen to Beethoven's Ode to Joy as I'm writing this, celebrating the rebirth of the human spirit, out of the doldrums into bliss, out of sorrow into a paroxysm of hope!!!

What a parable, summer/fall/ human condition. Some days peace, some days stress,
some days monumental accomplishments, some days lethargy.

Back from Oregon, from my 50th high school reunion, from visiting beloved Haystack Rock on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, from visiting old friends from the 70's, the glory of women's liberation (cultural revolution) days. Remeeting a self that was only 17 when i graduated from Corvallis High -- now 67, and happily content with what -- woosh -- the last fifty years have brought -- and relieved to find my old classmates mellow too, and
happy to see me -- me, Nina, as I was known in those days, editor of my high school
newspaper, the "bohemian intellectual" I still am, n'est-ce pas??? We were all grateful to still be here to walk down memory lane together...

Now home to Florida, to my fall garden, upcoming classes, my newest book about to go to press! Home to a sudden urge to offer movement classes again (Reach, bend, sway, bounce, twirl, balance, leap, breathe!) Home to Haiku arising -- spontaneous, magical, words of solace and revelation. Home to the wheel of fortune, spinning, and my own place on it. Home to you, my readers, students, strangers yet to be met.

Let's touch hands as we pass --- under the leaves of gold -- while the sky becomes radiant, and wishes come true --- and the sad world is healed, and sisters and brothers
dance in the streets --- and what we declare to be true, is recognized as wisdom
and shared among the populace ---

cast your fortune now! and soon, so soon, we'll collect the prize

xo
ka


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SUMMER REPORT 
SUMMER REPORT


Dear reader –

It is now the summer of 2011, a very hot summer (as all summers are in Tallahassee) but maybe hotter this year? Seems so. One day in mid June when my old high school classmate was visiting, and I took her down to the gulf beach to swim and loll, a record temp of 105 degrees was recorded in my city. What, I wondered (I have often wondered) did people do in Florida before air conditioning? Before iced coffee? Just sit and sweat? Slow way way down? Pick at their mosquito bites? Complain or turn stoic?

Be that as it may, it IS air conditioned in my home, as I sit talking with you now. And the train whistle blows, whoo-whoo, a melancholy sound. The train is pulling freight; our local station no longer has passenger service to other towns. In fact, our Amtrak office is now a little art theater where we can see films no standard cinema would show.

I am not teaching this summer (though I begin again in the fall – back to the women’s prison and back to Westminster Oaks, (an upscale retirement community), but I am in the midst of compiling my Wheel of Belonging book of faith columns and sermons. Now, having tweaked the galleys twice, I am focusing on the graphics, to stimulate the eye and break up the text. It takes faith to know that summer will end, and that fall will come. It takes faith to believe that this hurricane season will leave the very tall trees, surrounding our home, standing upright. It takes faith that my daughter and her boyfriend will survive a four day rafting trip through a deep river gorge in a wilderness area in Montana. Life itself takes faith, does it not, or maybe just blind obedience to habit and desire.

The breeze picks up, the magnolia branches begin to toss. Is another afternoon thunderstorm at hand? Perhaps pelting rain will dash the grass and garden, ensuring lushness. The two green Adirondack chairs on the hill, no one sitting in them, wait patiently for two friends to walk up there and begin to share confidences.

I reach out to you – friends, strangers – so as to link our journeys, our travels through time, through seasons, through recessions and upswings, through natural disasters and human acts of kindness, through political strife and community concensus, through garden planting and harvesting, old friends reuniting, tactical errors, acts of insight, even genius. I honor this life of events and musings, of history and creation, bird songs, low flying clouds, leaping fish, haiku poetry, gospel choirs, sewing projects, fresh raspberries and homemade bread, and especially I welcome the chance to witness to it all before it passes away.

What does summer hold for you this year? May it be a time of sweet delight and
gentle reckonings with fate. May you sip and savor the cool drink of your choice,
read what pleases you, dance till midnight, and dote on your loved ones. Your
correspondence – via my e-mail – is always welcome, any and all musings, and ah, here come the first droplets now….

Katya, June 27, 2011








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Spring Report! 
Dear friends -- The rain has swept my newly planted garden, the cat is on the deck licking rainwater out of a flowerpot dish, the sun is laying a pale stream of gold on the still lush rye grass, the camellias are still singing rose colored songs from between damp leaves, and I turn my thoughts to rebirth, as is befitting the season.

Rebirth is a bittersweet topic, as tomorrow marks the second anniversary of my father's death. Bob Sabaroff was almost ninety and had a life of great accomplishment, adventure, friendship: architect, engineer, professor, patron of the arts, world traveler, there is nothing to mourn -- except the loss of his presence, his quirky and dependable pronouncements such as "Look with your eyes!" and "Hope springs eternal in the human breast." The latter was said with gentle mockery because he knew hope alone didn't always bring success to our endeavors, but it was said with compassion too, for humanity's lot.

As the world seems to be in revolution - across the ocean - and in America the parties who try to rule our democracy are fighting it out as to who can blame the loudest, I continue to live my life as if I am the governing hub of my little existence, my Ka-ness. I just finished up an eight week class at the women's prison, publishing an anthology of the amazing and profound writings of the inmates, that they named "Imaginations Uncovered" -- and oh what power imagination has, to free us from behind whatever bars appear to be locking us in. The women humble me with their strength, and they honor me with their sharing. The same is true for my class at a senior retirement community, where one of my students laughingly praised me for "flipping her switch" - that is, giving her creativity an outlet, something we all need.

I ponder what's next --- a new class coming up at the prison next week, a new class at the senior center in April, a trip out to Oregon in August to celebrate my 50th high school reunion -- seeing people i haven't been in touch with since i left home for college at seventeen! And more immediately, more veggies planted, more veggies harvested, more walks in the neighborhood, more work on my Wheel of Belonging book of sermons and faith columns, hopefully to be printed by June -- when my garden is reaching its peak! More Tuesday morning stints at the homeless shelter, preparing and serving food to those who have lost their jobs, their homes, but hopefully not their hopeful spirit; i count my blessings as I ladle out their casseroles, I pray for a society who counts the homeless as true members
of our planetary family.

Readers, I ask you now as I ask myself - what is being reborn today? What do we have faith in? How do we want to spend our time, our energy, our money? What words lie hidden within us waiting for expression? What evolutionary visions have we of this season, of the promise of tomorrow? Let us not forget that idealism is its own reward, so much more practical than cynicism or despair!

Write to me - share with me - dance with me - as the rain stops and the sun comes out. I praise our intimacy across whatever divides us.

Katya













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