Touring Highlights: Berlin

Finally downloading photos from tour…   They are a mix of my phone-taken pics, later mixed with awesome quality shots by world-class photographer Michael Rateike. ;)

BerlinBand Fistful of Stars as a trio (Rafa- guitar, JT- percussion, me- bass & accordions), had two nights and a day in Berlin before the start of our Germany tour. Two nights and a day- how tempting it was to spend it all busking on the streets (with my new teeny-tiny mini-amp!) But the idea of wandering as tourists, like kids on the streets, won out. Besides, we were soon to be on for 10 shows within 2 weeks; chillin’ time sounded good.


We spent a lot of time in the city center, and though we aimed for places on the map, we never seemed to arrive. ;) So we wandered.  I thought about taking every photo of Berlin through a window’s reflection, like I did  for our last tour in Europe (Amsterdam by Reflection)

Berlin3but, opted for just a couple instead.


Love this artist, whose gallery windows we are looking through. His art reminds me of Maurice Sendak’s ‘Where the wild things are’, but more raw.


Berlin’s center is undergoing a major facelift along the river. Everywhere you look- there are temporary hot pink water pipes transporting water to an unbroken waterfront of construction sites. At first it was like walking into someones remodel. Chaos at points; inaccessible river walks, cranes on the horizon, detours. But then, it became a game, exciting to think about what they were up to: how crazy different is Berlin going to look the next time we are here?



We just missed an accordion festival.


Highlights for me, Der Maurer: The Wall, and the Museum downtown that shows a day in the life, in so many lives~ East Germany during the Cold War. A must see- all of it.  Next year, we will spend more time here to see this truly amazing city.


Celebrating Frida: The Art of Frances Perea

Every year, I  post something around this time, to honor artist-icon Frida Kahlo and her birthday (July 6). 

aafridaBirthdayArtist: Frances Perea

Last year’s post, was about going to the Mission to see the new documentary of her years in San Francisco. I posted some of my favorite photos to commemorate her life with favorite quotes.

50a42deb5b232cade08d884ee5ce25c1The Year before- I posted a very cool video showing Frida in her world; a day in the life.


This year, I want to see Frida through artists’ eyes. So I’m asking several guest artists to talk about Frida as they see her, as they channel her~ her life’s experience and work~through and into their own art.  I’ll be posting a few artists’ work in the next week.

We begin with Frances Perea, an artist whom I discovered on Etsy (the global market place these days for art and artisan hand-crafted artworks.)  Everyday on Etsy, is a day to discover new photographers, sculptors, painters, collage artists, clothing and jewelery designers, you name it- from  all ends of the globe. And the community just keeps growing. I love seeing all countries represented, in all genres imaginable.  Crazy inspiring.

Artist Frances Perea: What I love about her work- it is bright, symbolic, colorful, meaningful, accessible coolness- the way, it seems, that Frida would have appreciated it too.


Tara: Hi Frances~ I was very happy the day I discovered your art on Etsy. Thank you this interview.  I’d like to start by asking, how you see Frida and how does she move through your work?”

Frances: “My depictions of Frida are generally fun and light-hearted. She was someone who lived life with zest after all. I think she would have found great amusement at our devotion to her. Occasionally I delve into the more serious side of Frida’s life, searching for an interpretation of her wounded heart as in my depiction called “Aqui Me Ahogo, Y Tu?”

Aqui Me Ahogo

Frances: “What inspires me most about Frida is the fierce tenacity she had for life in spite of the many difficult challenges she was faced with and had to live with. She was a living breathing work of art expressed in her dress, hair, jewelry, paintings and the way in which she opened her heart to those fortunate to have been in her circle of friends and family. She was also someone who was not afraid to speak her mind.”

Tara: I like your words “fierce tenacity”.  This is one thing I appreciate in so much art of Frida: certain features may show or symbolize a starkness or edginess- like her work- but it is so often juxtaposed in the bright colors of the Mexican culture; colors of celebration. This is what I cannot get enough of, in contemporary art that is influenced by Frida’s life.

Tara:  What is your favorite Frida Quote?

Frances: “My favorite Frida quote:

“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”

Tara:  Wow. Beautiful. What is new in your shop and in your creative endeavors soon on the horizon?

Frances: “The art I create currently featuring Frida, takes the form of paper doll collages.

Frida Doll-FrancesPereaSource

There is more to see at Frances’ Perea’s art shop here on Etsy- check her out: her evocative works are uplifting, compelling, and the prices are quite reasonable. They all make for great gifts.   


Fistful of Stars Tour: Lower Saxony, Copenhagen.


We are BACK from June tour playing cities in and around Lower Saxony (northern Germany) with new band, Fistful of Stars.

GrevenGrassFest-TaraLindaI didn’t have much service while traveling. While we passed through large cities (Berlin, Stockholm) the areas we stayed overnight were mostly rustic, so, no service or blogging. But I did post daily photo highlights, here, for 17 days of the tour- Photos are taken by amazing pro photographer Michael Rateike.

(You can LIKE this Music Page to see more music themed meanderings).

We stayed mostly in one city- driving to our 10 shows from Hasbergen, w/ friend-manager Bernie. More about him and his Pottery next. We were surrounded by wheatfields with “corn poppies” (gorgeous bright red poppies!!)  Though they look more orange in this pic, like CA poppies.


I’m in that place now between post-trip adrenaline high & sleep deprived exhaustion. Oddly, I passed out on the plane home. Not the first time ;). Ha! Turns out, I was super anemic, of all things. Not enough bratwurst i guess ;). Despite the near perfection of pressurized cabins in flight, I’m convinced that it’s not all perfect: if you have something going on with your body’s chemistry- high altitudes, above 40,000 ft, will magnify it.

Anyway- resting up & crazy happy with the World Cup now!!!!

As usual, tours inspire- so I’ll post on new projects next: writing new material to record for 3 bands!! And I’m most madly missing making things with my hands…kind of a shocker- so more jewelry this week. Can’t believe how much I missed making things with my hands…

And I miss my friends ;). Would love to hear from you here. What did I miss this month in your world? I’ll be trying to catch up with websites/blogs this week. Comment to this post to let me know where to check up on you- if not your blog. Yes- shamelessly self-promote yourself, projects, and passions! Lots of folks will see it ;).

Missing Maya~ Poem Piece from: On the Pulse of Morning

il_fullxfull.388121919_rps9from On the Pulse of Morning

By Maya Angelou

A Rock, A River, A Tree

Hosts to species long since departed,   

Marked the mastodon,

The dinosaur, who left dried tokens   

Of their sojourn here

On our planet floor,

Any broad alarm of their hastening doom   

Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,   

Come, you may stand upon my

Back and face your distant destiny,

But seek no haven in my shadow,

I will give you no hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than

The angels, have crouched too long in   

The bruising darkness

Have lain too long

Facedown in ignorance,

Your mouths spilling words

Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out to us today,   

You may stand upon me,   

But do not hide your face.


Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning” (excerpt) from On the Pulse of Morning. Copyright © 1993 by Maya Angelou. [from PoetryFoundation website: "Used by permission of Random House Audio Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc."]
Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)

If there is one thing that Maya Angelou’s poetry says to me, it is ‘Be brave. Summon your courage and keep it close. Always.’  Her words and poems paint worlds so so real, so honest- it hurts.  Like the movement of eras in the piece above, I often feel emotions on so many levels when I read her work. But her courage always has the last word- on the page, in my heart, and with a voice that says ‘child, if it can’t be real, don’t bother.”  Thank you Ms. Maya Angelou, for all the fire, courage, and bravery in your poetry and life’s work. We will miss you.

Byzantine Rings~Roman Glass, Basha Beads, Pearls

New Jewelry~ Rings!


Spent a feverish weekend experimenting with different ways to mount and set heavy glass, Roman Glass, and pearls. Love these rustic Byzantine styled mountings- adjustable and large (7+)

3-byGreyRomanBashaRing0807I’ve set Basha bead rounds, and Roman Glass discs (2000 year old glass made from broken glass pieces from the Indus Valley; 50BC-400CE with coin pearls. It takes awhile to find the right trio. I cut and file down the glass. Each piece is one-of-a-kind. A true statement piece of art and history.

I usually don’t wear large rings myself- but these deep filigree bay mounts in the old, archaic style are interesting. They were definitely a design challenge.  With the chunky size, they fit index and middle fingers. I am actually enjoying one: the Basha Bead and Roman glass are a natural pair.


Barbara Metzger  (designer of Basha Beads) saw one, and says she likes them! She has kindly picked out some of her beads to fit~ Can’t wait!!!  Meantime, I can confirm: these rings are fun to wear ;)


This is my first series, more beachy in color~ teal, aquas, blue, green, ocean hues; there are 2 left in my Three Muses Jewelry store as of this writing.  The next series will run different colors, as Basha’s beads are always changing. Barbara makes small batches, a few at a time, in her North coast Pacific studio. The colors change as her Muses visit. I’m so excited to have found a way to place them beside Roman glass and pearls; she has always said that her first inspirations were beach glass and old Roman glass.  ;)

Poet Rescues Song: Abducts Musician

Last night, I did something fun.  I played a small show, our first in Oakland, with new project “Fistful of Stars”.  We’ve played radio spots, making ready.  We go on tour next month to Europe- so it’s all coming together fast.

I’m writing lyrics now for at least 5 of our new songs, and wasn’t quiet finished with 3 of them by last night.  This is ONE fun thing about writing poetry (and one great thing about writing more often in April): As a poet, you get into the habit of seeing poetry everywhere; in couples drinking coffee, overheard conversation, positing scenarios from across the room, and just plain imagining things. And if you don’t have that gene for remembering lyrics (I don’t), or you haven’t quite finished the words-no worries: Poet-in-You will deliver, often taking you utterly over, hijacking your body, setting sail in your soul, borrowing  your lips to say things you never dreamed before ;). This is pure bliss, of course.

Last night, for one amazing song written by guitarist Rafael- that I didn’t quite finish lyrics to- I called it Mesa Song, and strung together all of the poem pieces for my one poem called “Unravel”. I read/talked the words as a single poem over the verses instead of singing. For the choruses, I sang (moaned) like the wind. Yes, Unravel- the poem pieces I haven’t yet posted all here, beyond the first because I didn’t think they were finished enough. ;)  Surprisingly, friends said that Mesa Song was their favorite of the night: it had a story they said, some mystery, and they got lost in the poem. Yay!  I promise to post another piece of Unravel for my next  poem post. Not tomorrow though- off to a Pow-wow.

So- I usually do a wrap-up post for NaPoWriMo.  I have to say, this year, I wasn’t as engaged in publicly participating as in past years. In fact, if there was one word to sum things up for me this year, it would be a verb:



 This time, I was loathe to do anything on cue. And I didn’t want to follow anyone’s prompts. Hahaha!  But I still wrote lots. AND best of all, I don’t want to stop!! And so I won’t. Yet another good rule to break.


You held us last night-

soft woods, laughter,

warm arms that offered sweet

champagne and love.  We drank it all

down, and from across the room

 I gave you a poem 

like a kiss.

taralinda c.p. 2014


Ask me
she says, and just maybe
Clouds add a shadow, thunder punctuates


Curtains blow
over a window you never opened
now only you in this room and a flower
on the ground, hers from a tree on the
wrong side of pelagic, still blooming, an island.
Bare feet shuffle sand behind a door, she
quiets her breath, wind circling soft clays
just outside the door.    You

clear your throat, feel the barometric pressure
dive, a trickle of sweat meeting the sensation that she
is closer than her breath, nearer than

across the room. A gust of memory
begins a tango, spins her, down the long hall.

No you say. No questions.

your shoes, this
dust, your restless wind-

TaraLinda c.p. 2014


Fishscale Stasis

I saw you tonight, just after sunset, plucking small scales from
sand, the Pacific rolled back as far as vast, timeless- your slate cleaned by
expanse, even the crabs withdrew in yearning, your tears glistened grey
breaching a swell, a strait, the dunes of your cheeks, hope and fog swirling

cumulus above       hurt. These are the vistas you will forget by
morning, as you place each scale like a sequin on the bare skin of your
shoulders, filling in blanks, erasing vulnerable, to become or shed, a counterbalance mended in

dreamtime, where only the fish know, pelagic ones drinking down your tears each
night, swimming into bays, spits, coves, to shed more scales to help you
cover, mend, soothe that pale membrane, the cool damp of your exposed
back, where raven’s wings have stopped     just shy of          whole, full,
metamorphosis fettered, that stasis where truth
shivers itself warm.

    Tara Linda c. 2014

il_570xN.415703459_pmyoSource: Nicolas of MyAntarctica

Stasis:  A state of stability in which all forces are equal and opposing, therefore they cancel out each other.

:a state or period of stability during which little or no evolutionary change in a lineage occurs.