cuba dreams…art and soul

friends,

soon there will be a dawning day in habana, when the celebration of other cultures comes to the island of cuba, and its people open more to others through–ahhh, art!

 

a street in old habana

a street in old habana

art taps the very soul of the human spirit. what better way to open up the minds and hearts of the cuban people, and then, in due order, the economic opportunities of the country–than to celebrate something so wildly different from what each of us experiences everyday.  this is art in its purest, most supreme form. what better way to be “arty” and “soulful” in habana than to celebrate what artists there, and everywhere, continue to do as long as human beings exist on Earth–make glorious, meaningful, emotional art.  in a city known for its former elegance but now struggling to just get by, cuban art celebrates what can’t be spoken (aloud) about. Making art is so different than speaking politics, or having opinions. Art is pure and simple magic–sometimes filled with silliness, or seemingly meaningless things, blown-up costumes, insane characters, weird happenings, hopefully lots of good cheer if not unique ideas–or else realistically somber.  but either way, art provides an opportunity to have some much needed release, and fun!

Green costumes for the parade! Dance! Kiss! Celebrate!

Art is to get outside one-self. Dance! Kiss! Celebrate! Open Up!

the warm and soulful art culture of cuba is alive and well, even though there is also an element of the stern revolutionary-regime wherever you turn in habana.

the military monument dedicated to the revolution of cuba
the military monument dedicated to the revolution of cuba
monument to fidel and che's boat, plane, etc. used to take over batista in '59

monument to fidel and che's boat, plane, etc. used to take over batista in '59

i thoroughly believe that cuba will open up to the world by the efforts of its artists, and the magically subliminal effects of art.

So many artists thrive in cuba! It stunned me to see so much talent for such a small island.

everywhere you look is art in habana!

everywhere you look is art in habana!

 creativity taps the energy within the human soul, and helps to release any pent-up frustrations, or…in the case of cuba…the lack of freedom. More power to the artists of the world! Like the way the iron curtain was lifted by the combined efforts of organized artists, i know, i felt it! a spiritual energy is rippling, right now in habana, infused in the huge outpouring of creativity of cuba’s artists, known and not so well known.

habana street art

habana street art

 

Our Lady of the Indies

Our Lady of the Indies

 

in the capitol building, "Lady Liberty"

in the capitol building, "Lady Liberty"

towel-sculpture made by our hotel maids

towel-sculpture made by our hotel maids

what a glorious day to be free! in my bones i sing the praises of having had the great good fortune of being born in America. God Bless America! Great Spirit Guide our new President Obama! May we, who are lucky enough to be able to live free, continue to help others gain the opportunities we are fortunate to have. Let’s continue sharing what we have with the rest of the world–through art, or through contributing to good causes, or…by simply sending our energy to those who still suffer, through the power of prayer. We are One. Believe in Love. 

reaching out to others with our freedom song

reaching out to others with our freedom song

in the Light, lordflea

We’re going to Cuba! In Spirit.

hi friend,

yes, carter my consort and i leave for Cuba on Monday, Jan. 12th, arriving in havana with as much over-the-counter medicine, powdered milk, ivory soap and ovaltine as we can carry, plus a wheelchair apiece. we’re going as volunteers with a humanitarian effort, supported by the u.s. gov’t–so don’t worry, we’re not going to get thrown in u.s. or cuban jail or get in touble of any kind. the organization that supports these efforts, for which we’ve volunteered, to help do special art projects with havana artists, among other things, is www.fundacionamistad.com ; “foundation of friendship” between u.s. concerns and the cuban people. we are not going to support the castra gov’t in any way shape or form. we’re going to help the people. the medicine we’re carrying is going directly to children who suffer from cancer. the other goods will be dispersed as needed.

i have a lot of questions about cuba, as i’m sure the rest of the world does, too. i’ll be open-minded, with wide-open eyes, and hopefully my digital camera fully charged (god, do they have electricity in our hotel, with plugs that can re-charge batteries?). all i know about cuba is from old movies and stories my mother tells me about the tropicana, where she and my dad went to dance and gamble back in baptista’s time, and other things I’ve learned from the few exiles i’ve met: in particular our sister-in-law, Carmen Bettencourt Lord, who left as a child in ’59 or ’60, and our yoga-artist friend, Tomas Sanchez. Here is one of Tomas’ paintings:

dsc000541 notice the small, insignificant figure of a person sitting by the water’s edge? in contemplation? well, that’s why fidel made trouble for tomas, telling him over twenty years ago, “make the people BIG and the landscape small. it’s the PEOPLE this revolution is about, not the land!” but tomas, a yoga meditating friend of mine (we have the same teacher), was in love with painting the landscape, and how humanity should reflect upon it to glean knowledge, peace, and guidance from an intimate relationship with it. so…fidel harassed him, and, just before tomas was to be thrown in jail, or worse, tomas managed to get off the island and defect to mexico. consequently he went to live in miami, and now resides in the hills outside san jose, costa rica, where carter and I met him. he’s sad about leaving his beloved country, as all cubanos are. his elderly father is ill and tomas has only just recently been allowed back to visit him. we’d all like to see cuba freed of the kind of iron-fisted dictatorship that decides what is for the people. but the people are starved for freedom, that’s what they are. right, tomas?

dsc00142

today tomas is free to express himself in however a fashion he wishes. his paintings sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars in all major art capitals of the world, yet he donates the proceeds of several each year to the kinds of mind-expanding organizations such as www.siddhayoga.org that have allowed him to find peace within his own being. raised as a peasant’s son in cuba, tomas is now represented by the very best gallery in new york city, the marlborough gallery, with musem shows (recently at the most beautiful modern art one I’ve ever been to, in monterey, mexico, see: www.marco.com ) and … the most evident sign of modern success … ripoff tomas sanchez’s popping up everywhere, trying to paint in his inimitably subtle, evanescent, mystical style–impossible to do, my friends. beware of when you google: tomas sanchez. you’ll find many of them. the cuban tomas, my yoga friend, is only represented by the marlborough ( www.marlboroughgallery.com ). you can find a poster for sale of his beautiful rendition of swami nityananda, an Indian saint at a reasonable price, at the bookstore of tomas’ meditation teacher: ( www.siddhayoga.org/bookstore )

tomas makes my entire Being smile:

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stay tuned for more about our trip to CUBA…we’ll be back in a week, and i’ll share pics and what i discover on our trip. meanwhile, if you want to read a blogger i’ve recently discovered, who managed to find a way to blog directly from havana, where even computers are verboten (the gov’t can’t shut her down now, because already yoani sanchez, the blogger, has won numerous awards and the outrage would be an avalanche of international proportions, if they did) please go to: www.desdecuba.com to read yoani’s blog in spanish. she’s translated into 13 languages: english address is: www.desdecuba.generationy  . WOW. the power of the blog continues to astound me.

remember to breathe, and as you do, include the sound of Om with your outbreath, and you’ll feel much better. for those of you suffering in any way (physical, mental, spiritual, or materially, with the current economic crunch) if you focus on your breath, and make the sound of Ooooommmm with your outbreath, this is the best medicine in the world. try it and see.

don’t forget: if any of you want to be included on my “lordflea alert” email, sent out whenever i make a new post (i’m pretty irregular with my posting, due to many commitments other than blogging) please write me: dearlordflea@gmail.com and ask to be put on it. i won’t give away your e address, ever. cross my lordflea heart.

in Spirit, with great love for each and every one of you,

your pal lordflea