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Bubbe Wisdom by LouiseSilk
Unraveling the Threads of Life
Oct 19, 2010 | 122017 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Your Presence is Requested
by LouiseSilk
Jan 21, 2015 | 325 views | 2 2 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Using BubbeWisdom, I create art to inspire growth and learning that emphasizes process rather than the achievement of an outcome; moving beyond everyday triviality into a depth of spirit that enacts dignity and humility with love, humor and perspective. Louise Silk

Louise Silk:BubbeWisdom now showing at the American Jewish Museum of the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh through April 17th.

Shown here:

Hannah’s Children; 72"WX60"DX49"H; Tent made from remnants of mechitzah from Museum Of The Diaspora Protest Project circa 1994; Pillows Made From Remnants of Jacob’s Ladder Project.

Bubbe’s Memory Quilt; 85”H X 87”W; Machine Pieced and Hand Quilted Personal Materials of Memory including clothing favorites such as Sun Dog shirt, Dana Buchman vest From Eli’s Bar Mitzvah, first cashmere sweater, Lilith Fair and JJill hemp clothing, CP Shade and Panache garments. Heath’s corduroy shirt and pinstripe nightshirt. Dad’s golf hankie, navy blazer and NRM sweater logo. Mom’s 75th birthday suit, poke-a-dot dress, stripe shirt and Pieces of Memory remnants. Materials from Biblical Women projects including Erased Out Of Herstory Tee-Shirt. Billy Siegal’s molas, MaryAnn’s batiks, Israeli hand-embroidery, Indian kurta and pants. Sadye and Howie silk appliqué found by Dana at Triftique. Hand embroidered prayer. General Sisters Underwear, Childhood blanket and Nana’s afghan. Jim’s Bubbe’s 60th Birthday Schlep Tee-Shirt.

Jacob’s Ladder; 60”H X 56”W; Machine Pieced and Hand Quilted Materials of Memory from JCC Community including challah cover, logo tee-shirts, napkins, biker shirts, men’s sport shirts, baby onesie, tie-dye shirts, bedspread, table clothes, quilting fabric, chemo-cap, Mexican embroidery, African fabric, Holocaust Star and photo, rags, crocheted doily, beads, apron, painter’s pants, pajamas, upholstery materials, knitted shawl, hand-batik fabric, curtains, woman’s blouse, hexagon quilt pieces, denim jeans, men’s work shirts, men’s khaki shorts, woman’s skirt, carry bag, woman’s suit jacket.
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Judy K
January 23, 2015
I can't wait to see it! Louise was my first fabric arts/ quilt teacher years ago and now I am a member of the Quilt Company East Guild!

Love More, Cling Less
by LouiseSilk
Jan 20, 2015 | 218 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Our minds grab pleasant and flee from whatever we find objectionable. Cravings are our intense desires that become fixated on something particular. We will never, nor should we be, free of desire, but when craving ensues, it takes over and enslaves us. Trying to satisfy a craving leads to transitory pleasure with even more craving. It is a vicious never-ending cycle.

Watch yourself and see how you cling to lots of things: objects, viewpoints, routines, pleasures/pain, and status to name a few. Clinging always has a sense of strain and is never relaxed. It sucks us into chasing problematic goals and fundamentally puts us at odds with the changing nature of existence.

Try a little experiment. Pick a specific something such as a pleasant sensation or a certain insight or idea and really attempt to cling to it. Notice what clinging feels like in your body and your mind. Try to relax the clinging. Imagine whatever you've clung to as something small in a great space, such as a single stone in a vast forest. Disengage from the over-thinking, ruminating, or obsessing. Help your body relax and soften, open your hands, let your mind open, and let the clinging go. Recognize the peace and pleasure in releasing clinging and let the sense of this sink into you. Go to that peaceful place accepting whatever the result you are fundamentally okay.

With a larger view, start to investigate things you cling to and ask yourself what is the real happiness there? Notice how the mind continually looks for a reward to get, a problem to solve, or a threat to avoid: something else to cling to. Bring your attention back to the present moment, to reading this article and to your breath. As the clinging recedes, let love take with its place with kind words and a gentle touch.

As you cling less, you will lighten up, stay out of quarrels, have more compassion, put things in perspective, forgive and forget. As you let experiences flow through you without clinging to past or future, you'll feel the richness inherent in the present. We can and should feel passionate about our goals and work hard for them, but when there's no clinging, we are at peace with whatever happens as our perfectly imperfect result.

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by LouiseSilk
Jan 14, 2015 | 764 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

One smile has the power to... Calm fears. Soften stone walls. Warm a cold heart. Invite a new friend. Mimic a loving hug. Beautify the bearer. Lighten heavy loads. Promote good deeds. Brighten a gloomy day. Comfort a grieving spirit. Offer hope to the forlorn. Send a message of caring. Lift the downtrodden soul. Patch up invisible wounds. Weaken the hold of misery. Act as medicine for suffering. Attract the companionship of angels. Fulfill the human need for recognition. Who knew changing the world would prove so simple? — Richelle E. Goodrich

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The Families of Pittsburgh
by LouiseSilk
Jan 13, 2015 | 376 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

My mom has been on my mind lately. First off, it was her yartzeit. Second, she figures prominently in the exhibit I will be installing at the American Jewish Museum tomorrow. But as always, when someone is around, they show up in the most unexpected places and this time it was in the Heinz History Center Archives new website www.jewishfamilieshistory.org. They have done a monumental job organizing information on all of the Jewish families that have donated information to the archives. I did this when I moved out of my house in 2001. And here she is my mom, Sadye Barniker, pictured on her University of Pittsburgh ID as a proud member of the Shapiro Family.  

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Time To Step Up
by LouiseSilk
Jan 08, 2015 | 464 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
With this cold weather, you can still get some exercise supporting National Take the Stairs Day sponsored by the USA Stair Climbing Association. I’ve always been a fan of taking the stairs as shown in this past blog with lots of ways for you to step it up.
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Women Continue To Pay The Price
by LouiseSilk
Jan 06, 2015 | 303 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

According to the Guttmacher Institute During the 2014 state legislative session, lawmakers introduced 335 provisions aimed at restricting access to abortion. By the end of the year, 15 states had enacted 26 new abortion restrictions. Including these new provisions, states adopted 231 new abortion restrictions since the 2010 midterm elections swept abortion opponents into power in state capitals across the country.

While abortion foes are waging relentless assaults on rights at the federal level, supporters in the Senate have successfully blocked them from moving forward. Prochoice lawmakers Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), along with 30 original cosponsors in the Senate and 58 in the House, introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act, the first major proactive abortion rights legislation to be introduced in Congress in many years. The bill would invalidate TRAP laws and overturn restrictions on medication abortion that make it more difficult for women to access early abortion.

No matter the politics, women continue to need and deserve quality and compassionate healthcare alternatives.

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Taken From the Hospital Lobby- ARE YOU NORMAL?
by LouiseSilk
Jan 02, 2015 | 492 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

How to Become Normal When You’re Not and How to Stay Normal When You Are.


1.     Life is difficult.

2.     Perception is reality.

3.     Change is the toughest thing a human being can do.

4.     You can never change another human being; you can only change yourself. Once you change, they change, but you cannot change them.

5.     I am responsible for everything I do and say. I am not responsible for your response.

6.     The future and the past are seldom as good or as bad as we anticipate or remember.

7.     Nobody has a squeaky-clean psyche.

8.     The only thing that lasts forever is…Now.

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Practicing Peace in Times of War
by LouiseSilk
Dec 30, 2014 | 447 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Both of books currently loaded onto my phone are about war: Karen Armstrong’s Fields of Blood and Pema Chodron’s Practicing Peace in Times of War.

Karen Armstrong has gotten a lot of press on her book. This latest one has lots of interesting comments. Her central theme is that religion isn’t the cause of violence but instead inspire many different actions. It’s societal stratification and political power brought about by the development of agriculture and then industrialization that began and perpetuate the cycle of subjugation and violence we see today.

Karen Armstrong: We are always talking about the importance of democracy. But I think in our perilously divided world, we need global democracy, where all people's voices are heard, not just those of the rich and the powerful.

Pema Chodren: When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You're able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And, you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.

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The Purpose
by LouiseSilk
Dec 24, 2014 | 648 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
The Purpose of all physical manifestation is to untie the knots that keep us separate. The path of the spirit is filled with paradox: We exist in a limited, temporary form, and from that form we try to see eternity. Yet the secret within the secret is that every existent thing is saying Hosanna. This Hosanna is not aimed at anything; it is just spoken, the way the wind just blows because it is the nature of the wind to blow. To praise and bless is the deepest mature of all things in the manifest world.

How can you get to this state? Love your body''s sensations; its quirks and aches and blocks and movements; its feelings, its textures, its hot and its cold. If you do this, you will begin to untie yourself. The cords around your heart will fall away. You will see that you are your own gift, the one you have been waiting for.

The Instruction Manual for Receiving God by Jason Shulman; page 127
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Chag Ha Banot The Festival of the Daughters
by LouiseSilk
Dec 18, 2014 | 497 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

On the new moon of Tevet, the seventh night of Chanukah, Monday night, our family will reclaim and celebrate Chag Ha Banot, The Festival of the Daughters with this Women’s Chanukah candle lighting ceremony:

We will use the feminine form of the prayers:

Traditional- Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu Melech Ha'olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu lehadlik ner shel Chanukah.

Feminine- Berucha Aht Yah Mekor Hahayim asher kidshatnu bemitzvoteyha vetzivatnu lehadlik ner shel Hanukah.

Praised are You, Source of Life, who makes us holy through Your commandments and commands us to light the Chanukah candles.

Traditional- Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu Melech Ha'olam she'asah nisim l'imoteynu vela'avotenu bayamim hahem bazman hazeh.

Feminine form- Berucha Aht Yah Mekor Hahayim she'astah nisim le'imoteynu vela'avoteynu bayamim hahem bazman hazeh.

Praised are You, Source of Life, Who performed miracles for our ancestors in their day at this season.

For next year- here is the shecheheyatnu recited on the first night only:

Traditional- Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu Melech Ha'olam shecheyanu ve'kiyemanu ve'higianu lazman hazeh.

Feminine- Berucha Aht Yah Mekor Hahayim shecheheyatnu vekiyematnu vehigi'atnu lazman hazeh.

Praised are You, Source of Life, Who keeps us alive, sustains us, and brings us to this moment.

We will light each candle in the honor of:

the first honoring Judith and all historical Jewish women heroes.

the second candle honoring contemporary women heroes we admire.

the third candle honoring women who teach.

the fourth candle honoring our mothers and grandmothers

the fifth candle honoring daughters and granddaughters.

the sixth candle honoring our family.

the seventh candle honoring Shekhinah, the Indwelling Feminine Presence

We will recite the Misheberach for health and well being:

May the One who blessed Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah, bless and heal us and grant us vitality and courage. May we be strengthened as the heroes of Chanukah were strengthened. May we be granted the boldness of Judah Maccabee, the fierce love of Hannah, and the bravery of Judith. Send blessing on the works of our hands and show us kindness, peace, justice, and compassion. Amen.

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