Since he was just 6 years old, David Allen Welsh has been living on the streets and in shelters. Now 50, Welsh is still homeless, bouncing between shelters and park benches in Vancouver, Washington with only a backpack of belongings. But there is one place he always feels at home: sitting down to play a piano at a local thrift shop. Since he was young, Welsh has been able to play beautiful original melodies on the piano. He’s never had a lesson, can’t read music, and even though his fingers are badly frostbitten from years living outside in Minnesota, his performances often move onlookers to tears. ”I don’t know how to play music, but I like what I hear in my head,” Welsh says. “Sometimes I don’t even know what key I’m pushing. My eyes aren’t even open. I’m just letting the music play the music.” Click play to watch Welsh play a song called “Aerial Aquatas,” which he describes as his own version of “Amazing Grace.” You might want to grab a tissue, just in case. [YouTube via KATU]
Tag Archives: inspiration
Detroit artist Tyree Guyton had seen his beloved McDougall-Hall neighborhood transform into a poverty-stricken, crime-ridden ghost town, full of abandoned houses, garbage, and broken windows. Looking to bring a dose of bright playfulness into this increasingly hopeless place, Guyton painted giant pastel polka dots all over his grandfather’s house on Heidelberg street. His grandfather loved the home makeover, and encouraged Guyton to keep going. With the help of some eager neighborhood kids, abandoned homes and overgrown yards were turned into bright, wacky art installations, and The Heidelberg Project was born. Now spanning two blocks, the artistic takeover includes a house covered in stuffed animals (shown above), abandoned cars decked out in paint and pennies, polka dot streets, and huge sculptures constructed of found objects and repurposed trash. Pretty cool, huh? Check out more photos over at Slate.
Yoni Lefevre was tired of the way elderly people were viewed as frail, weak, and boring in society and the media, so The Netherlands-based designer came up with a way to portray senior citizens through the eyes of people who see them as dynamic characters: their grandkids. In a photo series called “Grey Power,” Lefevre turned children’s colorful drawings of their grandparents into colorful real-life scenes like the one shown above. “Children do not regard their grandparents as grey and withered, but as active human beings who add color to their lives,” she says. “Their fresh perspective can contribute towards a more nuanced and positive view on the composition of our society.” See more awesome photos from the project on Lefevre’s website. Between this and Dinovember, it’s been a great week for creative projects inspired by cute kids. [Laughing Squid]
Ami subscribes to a religion of her own creation called Spiritual Eclecticism. You are all welcome to join, by the way. Winona is a recent convert. It’s a non-denominational and free-form cult of one. The only requirement is that you regularly engage in rituals of your choosing for guidance and comfort. They can be adapted from New Age practices, religious ceremony or something funny you saw on “South Park.” The only caveat is that you feel a genuine connection with them. No need to wait for Halloween to stand out in the woods and summon the spirits of your ancestors — or whatever gets you there. In Spiritual Eclecticism, you practice your unique rituals year-round. Here are a few of our favorites to get you started. Feel free to rip them off or invent your own. It’s your world. Keep reading »
If you’re a twenty- or thirty-something, “start an art collection” probably ranks somewhere between “buy a French winery” and “become a Bond villain” on your list of cool-but-unrealistic life goals. But guess what? Contrary to popular belief, buying a beautiful piece of art is not a luxury relegated to the super-rich. It’s actually totally doable, no matter your budget or level of knowledge. I recruited Jessica Breedlove Latham and Lindsay Jordan Kretchun, co-founders of Portland’s Duplex gallery and design collective, to clear up some of the common misconceptions about buying art. After reading their thoughts on the subject, I went to a fine arts fair over the weekend and snapped up two beautiful prints and a small painting from local artists. My grand total was $70, and I guarantee you I will treasure these pieces for much, much longer than a similarly priced dress or pair of shoes. Read on to get inspired… Keep reading »
Back in 1995, Minnesota first grade teacher Barb Bratvold asked her class to make “get well” cards for a guest speaker who had fallen ill. The students loved the project so much they asked to make more cards for people who needed cheering up, and the Evansville Elementary Kindness Club was born. Since its inception, the club has met twice a week to make colorful, personalized cards for over 50,000 people in their community. “The Kindness Club is a way to teach my kids that the world isn’t all about them, there are people who are hurting” Bratvold told People. “Even though they’re only in first grade, this is a way they can make a difference.” Keep reading »
The sad truth is that body snarking may not ever end. The pressure to look a certain way may just continue to get worse. The eating disorders and thinking disorders that accompany poor body image may keep spiraling out of control. The disconnection and hatred women feel for their bodies may only grow stronger. The dehumanization, objectification, and transmogrification of the female body may continue to flourish. The way we see it, the only way to protect ourselves from this sad truth is to steel ourselves against it. We might not have grown up armed with the right tools to fight the wolf in the cereal bowl or the mean boys on the playground or the airbrushed models in magazines, but we can prepare the next generation of young women to brush these messages off and treat their bodies with kindness and respect.
Below are 10 powerful body affirmations to help young women to stay strong and love their bodies in spite of all the insidious messages to the contrary. Because in crazy, complicated times like these, “Love your body” just doesn’t cut it anymore. Share this list with the young women in your life who might need a dose of body positivity, or use it to remind yourself that all of us, and all of our bodies, deserve better.
Last week, an unnamed woman walked into a Kmart store in Auburn, Maine. Shoppers who saw her say she looked weak and tired, leaning on shelves and taking frequent breaks on her way to the layaway counter, where she told the staff she was terminally ill and wanted to do something nice before she died. Fifteen minutes later, she had paid off 16 balances for layaway bills, to the tune of $3,000. She left without being identified, but is now known as Auburn’s “Layaway Angel.” Keep reading »