Basil and Nikki’s Adventures
On the completion of my one week at the Print Workshop, I shipped back yet another package to Australia, including a folio of prints for exhibition at the Butter Factory Studios for the Great Southern Art Trail. Basil joined me in NYC where we began ‘Chapter 2’ of our respective journeys. After four exhausting days running around NYC – exploring the innovative and creative HIGHLINE, the Chelsea Markets, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Prospect Park, Central Park…and more, we took off upstate, picked up a rental car and stayed with friends, Suzi and Chaim in Albany (the capital of New York State). We spent a wonderful couple of nights there, sharing art and poetry and enjoying a relaxing Shabbat prior to the deeply reflective experience of Rosh Hashonah back at the Isabella Freedman Centre in Connecticut.
On route to the Centre, we went to visit an old friend of my father’s from Australia, Leon Smith and his wife Elaine, both accomplished artists, living on acres of lush rolling hills punctuated by Leon’s wonderful creations…for more on Leon, you can check his video on youtube.
Our Rosh Hashonah was ‘a first’ for both of us. We were blessed to be amongst the awesome natural surroundings and changing colours of the Fall at Isabella Freedman center, where we had the choice of two services to follow – one was a Jewish Renewal service with Rabbi Tiferet – an African American in her final year of rabbinical studies…or a more orthodox, traditional service led by Rabbi Greg Wall (also a professional jazz musician). Needless to say it was wonderful to have the diverse offerings and to share a dining room with people of all levels of jewish identity.
From the Isabella Freedman Center, we had a first WWOOFING experience at Cynthia and Stuart Rabinovitz, also in Connecticut – yes…from Jewish Renewal to Jewish Renewal! They were wonderful hosts and it was great to get our fingernails filled with soil and partake in a bit of physical activity. We had a great connection with Cynthia and Stuart – sharing our common ground with the arts environment and Jewish heritage. Once again we had another evening of creative exchange with poetry readings and sharing of artworks over a seriously delectable selection of woodfired pizzas in their hand built wood-fired oven.