Charms of the Week #6: Open Up

What’s been inspiring and enchanting this week?  Embracing newness….

1) Yeah, baby:

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”–Marcel Proust


“You’ve got to get crazier.”–Pina Bausch

2)  Teaching English in an ESOL program for adult immigrants:

As I posted last week, I am LOVING teaching English to my adult student from Peru.  Let me tell you, if you want to completely change your head around, try wrestling with communicating effectively when you don’t share a native tongue while you’re being exposed to a different culture.

It’s been fascinating to hold my second nature English in this new light so I can teach it effectively.  While my brain is getting a workout, I’m helping someone eager to learn.  YEE-HA!

The icing on the cake is that my heart gets warmed big time. When I looked around my table during the coffee break this week, I couldn’t help beaming.  At my table alone, people from Peru, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Bangladesh had converged to join in this difficult yet essential endeavor of communicating.

If you’ve ever visited or lived in a foreign country where folks don’t share your first language, you appreciate even more what I’m talking about.  It reminds me how heroic the human spirit can be every day. (; 860.247.3030 x108)

3) “Pina: A Film for Pina Bausch” (directed by Wim Wenders):

Untrammeled passion.  Enormous creativity.  Majestic vision.  Beauty, surprise, virtuosity. All of these are showcased in this film tribute to the late German choreographer/dancer/painter AND genius, Pina Bausch.

What’s possible if you see world through the soul, heart and eyes of boundless inventiveness and drive? Watch this movie and find out.

Although the big screen (including a 3D version) seems so important to do justice to this epic work and its creator, if you can only check out clips on youtube, do it. Gives DREAM BIG  a whole new meaning.

4) Completely scrumptious pastries and prepared foods:

The Kitchen Cafe at Billings Forge (; 860.727.8066).

This isn’t news to me.  But after I returned to The Kitchen for the umpteenth time yesterday, I had to make sure more folks know about this little-known gem tucked away on Broad Street in Hartford.

Yesterday’s take: a luscious sticky bun, a sweet and savory apple-cheddar scone, iced buttery shortbread cookies, fragrant rosemary rolls, and, yes, a curried chicken salad sandwich on rich homemade bread WITH a side of yummy lime/cilantro slaw. (What can I say?  I needed to stock up :)).

Added to the benefits of enjoying delicious, creative food at really affordable prices is the knowledge that The Kitchen also provides job training in culinary arts to area residents.  Everybody wins=magic 🙂

5) Music of Beau Jocque and the Zydeco Hi-Rollers:

Just in time for your own Mardi Gras celebration! And every other time you want to dance for joy or pour your heart out to some down-and-out blues.

If you don’t smile or tap a toe or two to their version of “Tighten Up,” I don’t know when you will.  (Right, Paula?) Come to think of it, I’m going to go hit replay on that right now for my own dance jam.


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