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Three Fall Conversations: A New Poem

December 5, 2019

Three Fall Conversations
by Gwendolyn Alley Read more…

Scott Struman, VC Students at EP Foster Library Th. Dec. 5

December 4, 2019


This Thursday, Dec. 5, at 730pm  the Thursday night series in the EP Foster Library Topping Room (651 E. Main, Ventura) hosted by Phil Taggart features Scott Struman. During the open mic that follows, some of my Ventura College students and I will be there.

Learn more about Scott, hear some of his poems, and learning about his writing process by checking out the video above; a sample poem and short video are below..

Read more…

How’s Your Heart? Try NATURE! Take This Survey! Check Out Louv’s NEW Book!

December 3, 2019


“it’s ok for our hearts to be broken over the world,” says Joanna Macy. “What else is a heart for! There’s a great intelligence there. …Our earth is not a supply house and a sewer. It is our larger body. We breathe it. We taste it. We are it.”

What happens when we name problems, research solutions, and take action?

Sometimes in the process our hearts get broken.

And sometimes in the process our hearts get healed. Read more…

Words Have Power

December 2, 2019

Words. We all use them– inside and outside of our heads, on the page and off. Read more…

Understanding “The Mind of the Soil” — A Walk With Vincent Charlot in His Biodynamic Champagne Vineyards.

November 27, 2019

Near Mardeuil, France, biodynamic Champagne winemaker Vincent Charlot holds his most precious asset: healthy soil. To make the best champagne, Charlot says he must “understand the mind of the soil.” Biodynamic practices direct Charlot in how to listen and learn from the soil in his vineyards.



Because of intensive, widespread pesticide use, the region of Champagne may have the most polluted water in France — and the world. Charlot uses natural, organic remedies to build strength in the vines through the chalky soil. “When you have soil like this, the roots are deep,” says Charlot. “Just like a person — more balanced, less sick.”

As Charlot farms biodynamically, we safely smell and sample soils formed from marine fossils long ago. “When you taste the chalk, you can taste that the wine is born from the sea,” says Charlot. Like a sponge, chalk absorbs moisture releasing it by evapotranspiration to carry minerals from earth into grapes for flavor and texture in wine.


“When you drink the wine,” says Charlot, “you understand the soil.” If there’s more clay, there’s more fruit, more sensuality; the chalk soils have more tension. Few are invited to visit vineyards; I am fortunate to walk there with Charlot. In the US, Vincent Charlot’s biodynamic champagne ranges in price from $60-$110.


The Le Fruit de Ma Passion label represents how biodynamics integrate cycles. “When you work biodynamically, you work closely with the sun and the moon,” says Charlot. “But that’s really just the beginning of biodynamics. When you believe about the sun and the moon, the rest is more simple.”

See more pictures and read the complete article on Wine Predator.


In Beauty We Are United: On Sat. Nov. 16 Plant Trees at Hayden Preserve 9-12, Midtown Ventura Cleanup 2-4pm

November 13, 2019

In Beauty we are united,
through Beauty we pray,
with Beauty we conquer.
–Nicholas Roerich

In Beauty. Do Beauty. Be Beauty. Express your gratitude for the beauty of our planet this Saturday in Ventura by planting trees or helping clean up.


Read more…

Based on Holocaust Diaries: “Ghetto” Opens Weds. at Ventura College

November 12, 2019
Ghetto written by Joshua Sobel and directed by Nathan Cole in a Ventura College Theatre Production opens at 730pm on Weds. Nov 13 for a FREE preview in the Helen Yunker Auditorium in the VC Performing Arts Center on the Loma Vista side of the Ventura College Campus. The play continues Th. Nov. 14, 15, and 16 with tickets for $5 for students, staff, and seniors, and $15 general admission. Purchase tickets here.
SYNOPSIS: “Told through the eyes of a surviving theatre director and ventriloquist, Ghetto recounts the story of a troupe of actors and artists tasked with forming a theatre company in the Nazi occupied Jewish ghetto of Vilna, Lithuania. They are ruled by Kittel, a sadistic young commandant with a saxophone in one hand and a pistol in the other. Kittel falls for the company’s star actress and singer, who like the other performers, is on the edge of death. The performers give their hearts and talents to survive and save their fellow entertainers by creating dynamic scenes, songs, and dances that become a center of unity and solidarity for the oppressed community. A dynamic and moving account based on diaries of the Holocaust, the tale of this historic ghetto reminds us that the spirit of life — and of art — will never be destroyed, even in the face of impending annihilation.”
They warn the performance “may not be appropriate for children under the age of 12 due to adult content and the reenactment of gun violence. Please be aware it will contain smoke effects, gun sound effects, and loud noises.”
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