“As we are approaching the 65th Anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki, I am grateful that I have opportunity to share my journey of ‘REVENGE TO FORGIVENESS” at Lawrence Livermore (progenitor of atomic bomb) by the invitation of Livermore Peace Action Committee (Anti-Nuke organization) on August 6, 2010. And, one of dearest friends has arranged the meeting for me to speak at North Berkeley Senior Center on August 9 (at noon?) and I also have the opportunity to share my story of forgiveness with peace origami cranes and butterflies in honoring Sadako at Berkeley Public Library on August 9, at 4:00 pm through 6:30 pm.
Takashi has written one book that is currently being made into a screenplay for a feature film. He is completing his second book, based on the teaching of his father. The book Urban Samurai is focused toward youth.
Here is the link, http://vimeo.com/11295512 Takashi’s reconciling with his sister in August 2005 might be of your interest. I would like to request that you might share this link with others.
Filed under Videography
“Over 60 and Following Our Bliss”, the first film sponsored by our new Unity Film Ministry, was created in a three-week workshop this summer. Here is what its creator, Miriam Mellman, has to say about the process:
When I learned that Unity of Berkeley and filmmaker and producer Stephanie Slade from Slade Digital were offering a three-week workshop called “Let’s Make a Movie” I was guided to attend, despite the fact that I had no idea how to begin to produce a movie. I had felt a strong calling to make a film about people in their sixties and older who are following their bliss. I was fortunate to collaborate with Stephanie Slade, a creative producer and film making teacher of wide experience (http:/www.sladedigital.com).
I am honored that my film, “Over 60 and Following Our Bliss,” is the first film sponsored by the Unity Film Ministry, whose mission is to empower uplifting spiritual stories and inspire creative media that brings unity to the community.
“Over 60 and Following Our Bliss” was written, produced, edited, and premiered between June 6 and June 26, 2009. Having Unity of Berkeley as its incubator and birthplace was perfect ,since cultural creatives, artists, and people doing extraordinary work abound here.
I selected most of the first people to interview from the membership at Unity of Berkeley, including Takashi Thomas Tanemori, Hiroshima survivor and author of “Hiroshima: Bridge to Forgiveness” and Darrell Hunger, a “transformative” artist who rebuilt his home that was destroyed in the Caldecott Fire in the Oakland Hills. Other Unity of Berkeley members appearing in my film are Roberta Maisel, Dot Claire, Tawny Gold, Dennis Edds, Stephanie Slade, John Cornelius, and Reverend Dr. Patricia Keel, who blessed my film with her enthusiasm. “It is very inspiring to see how making a film that was your dream can make such a positive difference to so many people. I am looking forward to seeing more divinely guided films spring from our Unity Film Ministry.”
I also chose to interview Tom Nunn, inventor of the musical instrument called the Sonoglyph, along with his composer Allan Crossman, who were performing with the San Francisco Composer’s Chamber Orchestra the week I was filming. Dr. Michael and Jeanie Ryce, from Heartland Center in Missouri, spoke at Unity of Berkeley the day I was filming. Dr. Ryce added a special brilliance to my subject by stating, “… and by the way… that 60 line… we are here for eternity if we know our purpose and do our work!”
The over-60 population is rapidly increasing, and they say that 60 is the new 40, which is blissful to me, as I am 68. Those interviewed in my documentary are so inspirational – they open their hearts, minds, and souls and share their drive, passion, spirituality, philosophy, and art. It is a privilege to interview them, and their poignant stories have left quite an impression on me. Their bliss is contagious, and I discovered my own during the production process.
I will be reaching out to diverse communities, interviewing people from many social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. My goal is to produce not only a longer documentary film but also an ongoing half-hour series for television that will be inspirational, supportive, and educational for viewers of all ages.”
Miriam Mellman, Blissed-Out Productions
Unity Film Ministry
Unity of Berkeley
Filed under Visual Arts
I was born and raised in California and have been creating art my whole life. I received a B.A. in Industrial Design and minored in art at San Jose State University. I continued my education at the University of California, where I received my Master’s Degree in Fine Art.
S C U L P T U R E S
My sculptures are inspired by objects I come upon that seem to require being turned into works of art. I do not internally make the art, in some ways it develops itself. The process is based not on cognitive decisions, but more on a deep instinct to bring unrelated objects together into a somewhat cohesive single object. One common thread among my sculptural pieces through the years is the integration of natural forms with manmade objects that may have been distorted by events like extreme heat, collisions, or water exposure. As I compose and finish each piece, I look for ways t to combine the dissimilar elements into a cohesive whole, adding a certain color or finish accent if called for. The resulting piece can be mysterious, poetic, dynamic, and/or whimsical.
L A N D S C A P E P A I N T I N G S
I label my style of painting “vivid realism,” inspired by the sublime landscapes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the western deserts. I attempt to capture the raw, stark beauty of these places through careful observation and a precise rendering of form and color. In some paintings, the color is altered slightly to heighten the scene’s impressiveness without distorting its subtle, natural beauty. Most of the scenes are back country locations in the alpine zone, above 10,000 feet, where the peaks jut dramatically into the sky and the summer snowmelt feeds the rivers below. The images are from photographs I have taken during visits to these extraordinary places.
You can see more of my art at www.hungerstudios.com.
Filed under Writing
“When a man is living, he is soft and supple. When he is dead, he becomes hard and rigid. The soft and supple belongs to the company of the living.”
I thought of these words as I sat in the veterinary hospital, staring at my hands, desperately trying not to cry. What was wrong with my beautiful Samantha? I didnt want to lose her. She was my best friend, the only constant in a life that had lost its direction. I’d been on autopilot for so long that I hadn’t recognized that I’d been circling the same terrain over and over again.
I had become numb and unyielding; I was one of the walking dead, passionless and lifeless.
This book is about my reawakening and three wise furry friends whose innate wisdom helped me to find my way back home.
To learn more or to order Jeffra’s book, visit the website for The Tao of Mia and Leo.
Unity member Jeffra Nicholson is a former educator who has worked as an educational consultant, product manager, marketing manager, and director for several major educational publishing companies. She began writing in high school, but left the writer behind to follow a more secure path. After many false starts, Jeffra has finally relized her dream of becoming a published author.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Jeffra now lives in Oakland, California with her two insightful buddies, Mia and Leo.
Jeffra Nicholson is available for book signings, talks, and workshops. You can contact her at email@example.com.
Filed under Photography
See samples of Wynette’s work at http://wynetteweaver.dotphoto.com
Filed under The Creative Spirit
Our growing creative ministries are bringing poetry, art, design, creative writing, and other beauty into our midst. We invite you to explore the Music Program area of our site to listen to some of the incredible musicians that call Unity of Berkeley their spiritual home. More about the talented creative beings who celebrate Spirit with us will be posted soon, so please visit our website regularly.