Friday, December 30, 2016

Sunday, January 5, 2014



Burros are known for their strength and service, and when something seems dangerous to them they swiftly dig their heels into the ground and don't budge.  Brave New Burro courageously moves towards the challenge of bringing an uncommon creative vision to fruition with Ben Wright on tuba, Dylan Pappert on valve trombone, Peter Halter on the drums, Joel Ricci on trumpet and singer Ivy Ricci on ukulele, guitar, & bass drum.

After playing with the Taos members two winter solstices ago and then again at Larry & Sare's wedding this summer in Portland, Oregon, the Riccis knew they needed to pack south and lay down some tracks with these wildcards ASAP.  So after they finished cutting grapes in France, they drove here from the Pacific Northwest via the wilds of Idaho, Utah and Colorado to commence this brave new project.

Sometimes late1920s torch, sometimes Tucson porch, sometimes New Orleans, sometimes something straight from a dream, BNB is turning out to be no ordinary brass band.  This band is living proof of what it sounds like to heed the creative call.

BNB is in the process of recording their first collection of songs, all original material written by Ivy Ricci.  Their future is unknown, so don't miss this special sneak preview of what these guys are up to.


Joel and Ivy are refugee home-makers, hearth-huggers who have been on the road for almost 2 years!  Joel plays trumpet and guitar, Ivy plays ukulele and guitar, and they sing together as only a married duo can.

They travel with sourdough starter, heirloom seeds, and original songs.  These two have made their way to Taos to collaborate with some of the good folks here, and their harmonies and love are unstoppable.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Wisdom in Weeding

There are so many ways to weed.  Here at 3 Creeks, the home and haven of Gigi Coyle and Win Phelps, I have the charge of weeding the 'gate garden', which is planted with corn, beans, squash, and sunflowers (and maybe some rogue cilantro!).
I can choose to pick the tops of the weeds off, or dig a little with a spade to get to the root, or rake an area with gloved fingers to unearth and sift out weeds that are young enough, before they interfere with the sprouts
that have been intentionally planted.
I used to detest weeding.  I considered all little plants worthy and beautiful, and just as I welcome a full range of human emotion, I welcome all these little growing things, but that does not mean they all get to stick around.  When I weed, I bow down to the beauty and tenacity of the little buggers, but now I LOVE pulling them out, especially from the ROOT.  Not only does that give me the satisfaction of having done a weeding job that will last, it also serves as a vivacious metaphor for habits of mind.
As I weed, I engage with a subtle ritual of dismantling volunteer thoughts that interfere with the thoughts that I nurture and water so that my mind and heart may ultimately become a source and force for nourishment, just as the beans, corn, squash will eventually feed the residents here at 3 creeks.
Through the process of sitting meditation that my dear friend and partner in ridiculousness, Heather Heintz, and I practice each morning here, I have an opportunity to travel to the roots of the mental weeds that present themselves.
How do I know if it's a weed?  Don't always.  Luckily, they come back again and again.  Eventually they must make themselves clearly known for what they produce.
Happy Weeding!!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Selector Projector

The project of yoga is to become aware of the ways in which we project-to cultivate an observing mind which recognizes all things as they truly are, a precious part of the One.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Persephone's Prayers

Watching wind 
of winter
through trees
combing leaves
stirring dust 
off Ground
without sound
Half wagon
leaned on wood pile
Arranged with abandon
next to tree
with ladder 
for climbing 
for viewing 
bird's nest
after spring
after snow has 
been shaken 
from wings
Sway of trunks
to east and west
Allows for quiet 
lumbering rest
As Demeter descends
to gather her daughter
Persephone's prayers 
will be answered in

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Santa, Idaho Notes from Moscow

Joel and I have been living in teensy yet infinite Santa, Idaho with Jim and Melody Croft, homesteaders extraordinaire.  Since it has become too chilly on the uncovered nose to sleep in the tree house, we have moved into the two-story cabin that is plainly called, "The Annex".  Even though we are now between walls and a roof, I can hear the faint bugling of elks, stick crunching of deer, and coyote parties in the distance.
Life with Jim and Melody has an easy pace, even though they are constantly working.  Evenings after dark are filled with music.  Joel has been inventing paper recipes and learning to make tools.  I have been writing, making kale salads from the garden, learning to cook on a wood burning stove, helping Joel with paper making, and practicing yoga outdoors on the wooden porch of the French-Canadian neighbors down the road.
Practicing outside has changed my relationship to the the fall and to yoga itself.  I recall one cobra pose in particular in which I was lying in the grass, hands by chest, coiling in my upper back, shoulder blades moving together, and I actually felt like a cobra in the grass!!!  The golden leaves sailing to the ground all around me, the grasshoppers, crows and grouses and their callings drew my mind to the silence between their sounds.  My breath and heartbeat, muscles, thoughts and tension became like the wildlife, honest in their expression.  I listened for the teachings.
By the grace of Nancy Burtenshaw, her husband Mark, Heather Heintz and Lea Black, I get to share all that I am learning about yoga in the wilderness at Nourish Yoga in Moscow.  The hearty and gifted community here has welcomed me fully as a visiting teacher.  I am humbled by their student-ship and kindness.
More than anything, my experience of yoga recently has been one of participating in an ancient conversation that involves dance, community, and the question, "How may I best be of service?"
I feel a bridge emerging that leads from the Warrior to the Wise Woman.
I feel the presence of opposing forces forcing me to wake up.
I feel the ever-present yet unseen support of my breath and the love of my friends and family.
And more than ever, my practice is informed by Death.  The people I have loved who have left their bodies are with me to remind me to savor every sassy sip of life.
Earlier this year, my dear friend Jenn Dinaburg passed away as the result of adrenal cancer.  Jenn was a brilliant, kind, witty, beautiful, devoted student and friend.  While she was alive, I felt her love, support, creativity and struggle.  I can still hear her saying "I love you Ivy Ross!"
While we were living together in Prescott, Arizona, Jenn knew of my passion about women and body image in this world, and she introduced me to a book she had by Christina Sell, Yoga From the Inside Out.  I devoured the book and then Jenn told me that the author taught yoga in town!  The year was 2005.  I took my first yoga class with Christina Sell.  I had already been practicing yoga for 9 years, but something about the way Christina taught offered me a respect and acceptance for my own body that will be with me until I die and I will do anything I can to share that with other women.
In 2011, I moved to Tucson, Arizona to immerse myself in the teachings of Christina Sell and Darren Rhodes.  I never really meant to be a yoga teacher.  But I was swept into a rip current among friends & teachings, and there is no going back.
One year later....I am in Idaho.  I am teaching at Nourish.  One of the other teachers is talking about a memorial service she is going to, about "showering ashes".  Out of the corner of my ear I hear the name "Jenn Dinaburg".   Without knowing or planning, I have arrived in Moscow just in time for Jenn's memorial.  Jenn was a great supporter of my music.  Joel and I are playing a show in Moscow the night of her memorial.  We will be able to offer music in her honor to her friends and family.  In many ways I attribute where I am today in my life to Jenn Dinaburg.  Thank you, Jenn.
The spirit of my maternal grandmother Jean Taussig also left her body this year.  Her memorial service was today in St Louis.  Here is the poem I wrote for her in memoriam:

Goodbye Jean Ann
Lady of graceful, delicate hands.
I can hear you still, playing piano melodies for us,
See you waving a bowing stalk of asparagus,
Meet for a cup of tea after tennis?
You, Jean Ann, who had all the boys
Shoulder forward, acting coy
with your flare for drama
proud Mama
of 5 bouncing baby girls.
Singer, Mother, Maker of Sweaters,
"the bigger the audience the better"
I can hear your laughter in the sound of the rain
"Mom, Jean, Grammy, Gaine"
You wished to leave the party 
while still having fun,
In the hearts of your family,
Your spirit lives on.