OCCASIONAL MUSINGS AND AMUSEMENTS FROM THE OKANAGAN INSTITUTE
The Imaginative Is Possible
NUMBER 153llEARLY DECEMBER 2014
Coming In for a Wild Landing
We've taken some time to work more intently on our formative projects. Specifically, we've been organizing our most ambitious initiative to date, the Proof Creative & Learning Centre.
We've assembled a great group of organizations to share the venue with us, and an equally dedicated team of designers, builders and outfitters to help us rejuvenate the building. We have a great owner with vision and community spirit. Together, we are creating a space that will serve our interests, and make it easy for us to serve the community.
Proof is an idea, a building and an opportunity. The idea is to create a facility for creativity and learning, home to a few active organizations, to which people can come to discover and share their gifts. The building is the blank canvas which currently sits lonely and neglected at the corner of Ethel Street and Cawston Avenue just northeast of downtown, and which we will have transformed inside and out by March 2015. The opportunity is to take the idea and the building and combine them into a great good place that serves the Okanagan community in an imaginative, material and profound way.
The Institute has long dreamed of having a place to expand our programming to reach ever more members of the community with ideas and inspiration, and to showcase the growing numbers of talented and dedicated people who make up the creative community of the Okanagan. We also need a space to explore a wide range of collaborative initiatives, to provide opportunities to artists of all kinds and ages, and to develop a sustainable creative economy around culture, food and design.
The other organizations are the Society for Learning in Retirement, the Rucker Archive and the Proof Kitchen. All share a common goal of contributing unique, thoughtful and high-value services to the community.
The creative journey is about to begin and you are invited to be part of it. Please consider becoming a member of the Club for Creatives, about which see immediately below.
INTRODUCING THE PROOF CREATIVE & LEARNING CENTRE
The Club for Creatives is Here
Kelowna has long needed a place where smart and interesting people can gather to make good - if not great - things happen. Proof is that place.
The former church building at the corner of Ethel Street and Cawston Avenue in Kelowna is in the process of being transformed into the Proof Creative & Learning Centre. In the process, the former sanctuary will also be transformed, into a private club for members of the creative community, the Club for Creatives.
The Club will be a warm and inviting space, and contain bar and table seating for up to 80 people, as well as a small performance stage. There will be a comprehensive and adventurous lunch and dinner, and special event food and drink service provided by the Proof Kitchen.
Membership in the Club is limited to 200 members, with modest initiation and monthly fees, with special usage and guest privileges.
Here's some of the things we have imagined are possible at the Club for Creatives:
design a toy, conduct an experiment, meet interesting people, print a manuscript, enjoy a freshly baked pastry and a cup of coffee, invent a new product, compose a symphony, propose a solution to a problem, build a trapezoid, attend a
workshop, present a seminar on the fate of a species, show a collection of bones, show a collection of photographs of bones, participate in a ritual, make a jar of pickles, weave a wall hanging, learn to write poetry, edit a journal, construct and finish a piece of furniture, have a quiet lunch, conduct a roundtable, use a 3d printer, sculpt a face, discuss a manifesto, write a manifesto, play a game of chance, demonstrate a magic trick, start a business, start a rumour, throw a party, listen, dry wildcrafted herbs, solve a logic puzzle, observe a chemical reaction, shape an argument, conduct a review, curate an exhibition of lithographs of food, create an album of photographs, make a maquette, sing, share a harvest feast, form a group, ferment a liquid libation, foment a revolution.
Here's what it takes to become a charter member: First: You need to be creative. Tell us a bit about yourself and your current creative activities. Second: You need to pay a membership initiation fee of $100. Once we accept your membership we'll send you a link to a webpage where you can send us this fee. Once you pay, we'll add you to our membership list and send your membership card and orientation package. Third: You need to agree to pay a monthly membership fee of $20. Your credit card will be charged during the preceeding month, starting February 2015.
That's it. The membership orientation package we'll send you will detail all the rules and expectations (there are few), hours, amenities, guest privileges, and other matters. You'll also receive invitations to the pre-launch preview and launch party.
The Proof Creative & Learning Centre is an idea, a building and an opportunity for a small group of organizations who share a common goal of contributing unique, thoughtful and high-value services to the community. These organizations are - along with the Club for Creatives - the Society for Learning in Retirement, Rucker Archive, Proof Kitchen and Okanagan Institute.
Memberships invitations and requests for comment are being sent out now. Not signed up? Go to www.proofcentre.com
or send us an email today to email@example.com, to express your interest in becoming a charter member.
The Transformative Life
We start each day with so much to be grateful for. Our body is already breathing life into us, our brain has been busy in the night processing information and memories, and our physiological functions are rested and poised for the new day. We do not consciously attend to any of this but it is so.
In the same way, we can allow the outcome of how we synchronise our efforts of shifting human consciousness to a new paradigm. We must lay the groundwork in whatever field we are working in but we do not have to micro-manage the details.
To emerge as full creations fulfilling our greatest potential, we must attend to the essential non-physical aspect of ourselves. When we awaken to the true nature of reality, which does not accept dominion of individuality and disconnection, we become more attuned to the nuance of our interbeingness.
We become certain of that which we may have already felt to be true - that we are neither separate from each other nor from nature and that everything is in a perpetual state of dynamic interdependent flux. The societal and material structures around us exist on a grosser level than this.
In awakening to the global crises we are brought face to face with the certainty of our oneness. In realizing our oneness we are motivated to seek out greater connection. Awakening is an inner transformation and inner transformation requires attention to our egoless selves.
As a fundamental framework for connection we must acknowledge our spiritual natures. In experiencing ourselves through spirit we connect with a higher organizing power.
This is the force that animates all of life - all of the countless interactions that endlessly take place to drive our lives, from the awesome processing power of the human brain, to the life-giving photons reaching out to us from the sun, and the interactions of countless species forming the basis of our ecosystems.
The numerous initiatives taking place around the world are that groundwork and the fuel that will ignite their coming to prominence is attention to our common spiritual natures. From a place beyond our conscious reasoning we make choices that promote connection - perhaps something we overheard in conversation, or a fragment of a memory of something we were once introduced to spills over into our work and joins us with other complementary agendas; a relationship may be formed that advances a new story.
Whether great or small the orchestration of each new thread lies outside of ourselves. Ultimately they are evolving us as a species and bringing us to the next step on our evolutionary journey - to a place of expanded consciousness and yet greater potential. What is that potential and what indeed is the essential force that motivates life and the many activists and entrepreneurs? It is the emergence of a new way of being. We have a great and often unmet desire to love each other and to love the world around us. This is the energy that is driving the connections that are necessary for a new day to emerge.
THE WORLD IS STILL WILD AND WONDERFUL
Our Snowmaggedon Moment
When a very cold air mass flows over a warmer body of water it creates an effect known as "Arctic sea smoke." It happened last week over Okanagan Lake, when the air temperature was about -18 degrees in the Valley.
The little tornadoes - that those of us who were paying attention to this weather phenomenon noticed - appeared when moist air could be seen rising from the surface of the lake and up to the low clouds above.
For those of us who had not fled to warmer climates or huddled inside to avoid the teeth chattering cold, it was an appalling display of natures perverse influence.
Snownadoes, also called winter waterspouts, are another type of air merger. When a lake is much warmer than the air above it, trails of steam sometimes waft upward, much like steam coming from a hot cup of coffee.
On windy days, the Arctic sea smoke (which is not smoke at all) sometimes forms swirls called steam devils. When the air rises high enough, the moisture in it condenses and forms clouds. If the connection between the lake water and the cloud is made, steam devils becomes winter waterspouts - wispy funnel clouds that swirl out of the sky like swaying soda straws. Snownadoes can be several thousand feet high and stretch from a few feet to a few hundred feet wide.See it all unfold here:
By health I mean the power to live a full, adult, living, breathing life in close contact with what I love - the earth and the wonders thereof - the sea - the sun. All that we mean when we speak of the external world. A want to enter into it, to be part of it, to live in it, to learn from it, to lose all that is superficial and acquired in me and to become a conscious direct human being. I want, by understanding myself, to understand others. I want to be all that I am capable of becoming so that I may be (and here I have stopped and waited and waited and it's no good - there's only one phrase that will do) a child of the sun. About helping others, about carrying a light and so on, it seems false to say a single word. Let it be at that. A child of the sun. - Katherine Mansfield
The most recent issue of the Okanagan Institute journal Sage-ing with Creative Spirit, Grace and Gratitude is online at www.sageing.ca
A volunteer publication of the Okanagan Institute, intended as an initiative for collaboration and sharing, the journal presents the opportunity for the free exchange of wisdom gleaned from creative engagement, and is focused on honouring the transformational power of creativity. We hope that your perspective on the arts and creative engagement might also change as you read stories of Okanagan artists, experienced and emerging, who engage in art for the joy of stimulating personal and community wisdom and well-being.
A JOURNAL OF THE ARTS & AGING
"One of the strengths that sages possess, regardless of age, is a willingness to be educated by all things. Curiosity leads them to learn from all they encounter. They do not judge people or situations. When one relaxes into just being, everything can nourish and stimulate. For those who embrace life as a sage-ing experience, things come to them from the world and from the events in their lives. By taking time and giving attention to creatively respond to what might at first seem ordinary and not deserving of notice, life ripens with significance and meaning."