October 2019 Newsletter

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Everything you can imagine is real.
~ Pablo Picasso

“Butterfly Studies” was drawn by Chet Noll as part of his upcoming show “The Creative Process.” “Flowers that Fly” was written by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland. They were printed as a commemorative broadside for the 2019 Wrightwood Literary Festival at Camp Mariastella.

Flowers that Fly

by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Once, before certain plants had learned to vine, bees sprang from the feet of men, and from women, flowers. No one knows why. It was just the way things were. Perhaps eleven thousand years ago, bees stopped flying up from men’s footprints. Men, stricken with longing and loss, left to find where their bees had gone.

They wandered for ages and along the way, they came upon a cinnamon mountain that croaked and creaked anytime a cow or mare or nanny goat stepped near it. By then, men’s longing had turned to anger. Finding no bees, they blamed the flowers for their loss. Each sunset lily and gold dandelion and blue-tipped thistle and sweet foam yarrow reminded them of warm, wet earth. It reminded them that their feet no longer birthed wings. They saw, too, that the great cinnamon mountain groaned when flowers neared it. They took this to mean it was wise and holy.

They set a town at the valley and built a gate around the spiced mountain. They marked it as forbidden for women, cows, mares and nanny goats to touch. This rule governed the sacred Mount Cinnamon for seven hundred and thirty decades. In that time, flowers, too, were declared offensive, and all women and girls were ordered to enclose their feet with leather. Women couldn’t even touch cinnamon ground from mountain trees. They made their rolls and pudding and pies with gloves, and the men enjoyed hot spiced treats most evenings.

A girl of thirteen named Inona once tasted a fingerful of cinnamon. It reminded her of deep summer and distant trees and she thought she heard the mountain groan her name. She approached the mountain priests, who, by then had also sworn to never touch any female creature, and asked them a question. Most high sirs, if no lady should touch the great holy brown mountain of cinnamon, then what about the moon’s spiral light? Indeed, the mountain did let out a long, low grunt with every full moon. The priests, who up until that point had accused some chicken or mare or woman of crossing the threshold monthly, saw the child was right and set about rivering the mountain with silk before the next full moon. And while they wove and argued and tangled their silk veils, the girl Inona leapt over the gate.

She was halfway up the mountain when she ripped the leather from her feet. Flowers poured from the prints of Inona’s feet, gasping with life. Streams of magenta clovers and sunny chrysanthemums and wild lavender roses and fiery strawflowers streamed up the mountain. Indeed, rather than silk, the mountain became rivered with color.

The mountain creaked until it sounded like thousands of round rusted bells. The men dropped their silks and ran after Inona, but it was too late. She’d reached the top. This is where the land shook and tore just a sliver. Strange light rose from the mountain cut, and out flew butterflies. All the world’s butterflies. No one had ever seen such a thing before, so everyone thought they were flowers in flight. No one knows why fluttery petals of emeralds and sea foam blues and honey ambers came from that crack in the earth. This is just how it was. And from that moment on, flowers stopped growing at the feet of women. You see, one girl had given her foot-wings to the earth. Because of her, we have flowers that fly.

Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, a visiting writer for the 2019 Wrightwood Literary Festival, is a Mexican-American poet and painter inspired by folklore, myth, and plants. Her debut YA novel, Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything, will be published in 2020 by an imprint of Simon & Schuster. For more information, visit her website.

Wrightwood’s Got Winners

Congratulations to Davey Schneider (left) of Wrightwood, who won the 2019 Wrightwood’s Got Talent competition for his performance of Eric Clapton’s “Layla” during the finals on September 8th. His piano and vocal combination earned him the $1,000 Terry “Big T” DeRouen Scholarship, a demo recording contract, and a paid appearance at Music in the Pines 2020. Further congratulations to Abigail Bodell (right), who earned 2nd place in the Wrightwood’s Got Talent competition for her soulful vocal performance of “Nobody Wants You When You’re Down and Out.” The annual scholarship competition is presented by the Wrightwood Blues Society.
Congratulations to Anna DiMartino of San Diego, CA, who won the 2019 Wrightwood Poetry Slam, which was held at the Village Grind on September 28th. Her $400 prize was awarded as part of the annual Wrightwood Literary Festival. There was a tie for 2nd place between Jackleen Holton of San Diego and Daniel McGinn of Whittier.

Special Event: Gayle Dowling Meet & Greet

Join us at the Wrightwood Arts Center’s quarterly Meet & Greet on Monday, October 14, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. to honor Gayle’s many
contributions to the arts in Wrightwood. Her art will be on display, and refreshments will be served. The event free and open to the public.

Gayle Dowling grew up in a family that appreciated and loved art and music. She first received art instruction from her grandmother, Mary Lott, who studied under the well-known seascape artist Bennett Bradbury. Mary’s work was displayed at her popular art gallery in Laguna Beach. Gayle later studied drawing and watercolor in college using those skills to teach workshops to students and teachers at Jurupa Unified School District, where she taught for 20 years until her retirement in 2010. Gayle has taught for Riverside Community College and is currently teaching at “Keyboard Art School” and at her home art studio in Wrightwood.

Gayle founded The Loft in 2008 as a working art studio. The studio has evolved into a community arts education center, now known as the Wrightwood Arts Center. Her artwork has been published in Inland Empire’s Elan magazine and has been shown at a number of art galleries, art walks and coffee houses throughout Southern California. Gayle is also an accomplished musician and songwriter, often singing with her two children, Brittan and Adam.

This Month’s Events

Wrightwood Book Club
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

(Wrightwood Library, 6011 Pine St)
The book of the month will be Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz. Join in the discussion!

A Sound Bath Experience
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

(Love Roots Yoga Shala, 1329 Hwy 2, 2nd Floor )
Anahata Mousai is a sound bath trio from the Antelope Valley. The trio creates completely immersive sound experiences with the use of quartz crystal singing bowls, symphonic and planetary gongs, hertz sound frequency tubes, drums, a didgeridoo, a crystal pyramid, and many other bells and flourishes. Sound vibration can be a powerful tool for correcting blockages and imbalances within the body and mind. Come, enjoy an hour and a half of sound and relaxation, and leave feeling recharged and revitalized. $25 early bird, $35 at the door. For more information, visit the Love Roots website.

Pine Needles Quilt Guild General Meeting
6:30 p.m. (start)

(Wrightwood Community Building, 1275 Hwy 2)
General meetings of the Pine Needles Quilt Guild are open to the public the second Tuesday of each month. October’s meeting will feature guest artist Linda Anderson’s Trunk Show. For more information visit the PNQG website.

Haunted House Fundraiser
6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

(Studio K Dance Center, 11327 Oasis Rd, Piñon Hills)
Snowline Players in conjunction with the Serrano Choirs will be presenting a haunted house fundraiser. Come get your scare on! Entry is cash only and is $7 per person or $30 for families of five or more.

Full Moon Yoga
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

(Love Roots Yoga Shala, 1329 Hwy 2, 2nd Floor )
Celebrate beneath the rising Full Hunter’s Moon in the company of community. Featuring Mindful Movement, Guided Meditation, and Herbal Tea to support mind and body in the season of transition. $20. For more information on this and other classes, visit the Love Roots website.

Looking Ahead

Wrightwood Classical Concert Series Fall Concert
3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

(United Methodist Church, 1543 Barbara Street)
Featuring the Belvedere Trio. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit keyboardart.com.

Wrightwood Book Club
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

(Wrightwood Library, 6011 Pine St)
The book of the month will be Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States by Felipe Fernández-Armesto, presenting America’s Hispanic past, presented with characteristic insight and wit by one of our greatest historians. Join in the discussion!

Chet Noll’s “The Creative Process”
3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

(Wrightwood Arts Center, 6020 Park Drive, #5)

Award-winning artist and composer Chet Noll has announced a solo show, “The Creative Process” to be hosted by the Wrightwood Arts Center. Chet Noll is nationally known for his work in wood, be it butterfly sculptures or musical instruments, and for a repertoire of original music. His art has been offered at various outlets including The Huntington Library in Pasadena, the Denver Museum of Natural History and The Ahwahnee in Yosemite National Park. Chet Noll creates his work in Wrightwood, where he has lived for more than 25 years. Regarding this show Chet says, “There is no better artist than Mother Nature. I enjoy the challenge of turning wood into delicate art in motion. My goal is to capture the symmetry, graceful lines, and color found in Nature.” With this in mind, Chet patterns much of his art after wild, living species. Using still and video images, as well as augmented reality, the exhibit features Chet’s art, while making connections with the environment and nature.

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