Every Day Zen

If someone asks me about Zen, I inevitably refer to the book, Everyday Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck. The late Charlotte Joko Beck and her dharma heirs operate The Ordinary Mind School a non-hierarchical organization that uses an adapted Zen practice free from traditional patriarchal trappings with elements of vipassana meditation and the conscious engagementContinue reading “Every Day Zen”

The Personal Is Still Political

Don’t wait for a Gandhi, don’t wait for a King, and don’t wait for a Mandela. You are your own Mandela, you are your own Gandhi and you are your own King. Leymah Gbowee The personal is political was popularized in the late 60s by Robin Morgan in her classic book Sisterhood is Powerful. BeforeContinue reading “The Personal Is Still Political”

The New UTube

I have my own SilkQuilt channel on UTube where I have shared such memorable birthdays as my eighth, my 60th birthday schlep and my granddaughter’s first with all of my family and friends. Under the administration of Google, who has owned it since 2007, UTube recently received a very smart update. Every user has aContinue reading “The New UTube”

Fabrics Included = Many Memories

Directions:Sew together four half-square 5″ triangles for each finished 6″ block. Make 120 blocks, ten blocks times twelve blocks, for a 60″ X 80″ quilt top. Fabrics included:Rayon print vest, two JJill hemp pants suits, Heath’s pin-whale corduroy shirt, Dad’s golf hankie, Billy Siegal’s mola remnants, Slave Boy remnants, Sun Dog Shirt, Mom’s 75th cremeContinue reading “Fabrics Included = Many Memories”

Free Bubbe, Mandela, and the 99%

My almost four-year-old granddaughter is constantly asking questions about jail. In an effort to change her focus from people who are imprisoned for doing bad things, my son, Eli, informed her that her Bubbe had spent time in jail. That’s right, I, Louise Silk, Bubbe of Maya Elizabeth Silk, made the front page of theContinue reading “Free Bubbe, Mandela, and the 99%”

Whatever It Takes

This weekend I will be an artist-in-residence at Allegheny College in Meadville. Two talks, four classes, one workshop makes for a productive experience for all of us. My visit is part of The Year of Sustainable Communities at Allegheny College, a series of activities, workshops and events aimed at inspiring the campus and community toContinue reading “Whatever It Takes”

The Quilts of Gee’s Bend

In 2003, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York introduced American to the dynamic quilts created by a group of women who live in the isolated, African-American hamlet of Gee’s Bend, Ala. Gee’s Bend is located in southwest Alabama on a sliver of land five miles long and eight miles wide, a virtualContinue reading “The Quilts of Gee’s Bend”

From Anger To Affirmation

In August, I discussed the importance of creating an anger list to uncover the many repressed emotions that lead to self-sacrifice, self sabotage and self blame. Now, being so successful at list building, I find myself overflowing with spontaneous anger that often feels explosive and unregulated. Enough! I am ready for the middle way whereContinue reading “From Anger To Affirmation”


I really wish I were less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection. Billy Joel The business of an artist is a tough road fraught with multitudes of rejection. Artists have to have tough skin, not take it personally and keep searching for the right showcase for the work.Continue reading “Rejection”

The Loss of A Mother

Today, my cousins are here from California to bury their mother in our family cemetery. This is also where my parents, our grandparents and our great-grandparents are all buried. Having a family burial plot is an important part of our legacy binding us together. If we are fortunate enough to live according to nature’s cycleContinue reading “The Loss of A Mother”