Firefly Lights – 11/21

The Firefly Artists Logo

Come to our community-oriented gallery created by and for local artists at 162 Main St, Northport. We’re open Tues-Thurs 11am-6pm, Fri and Sat 11am-8pm and Sun 11am-5pm. There is ALWAYS something new on the wall, and often being created on site! Send Katie an email if you’d like to meet up down there!

Like elves themselves, Fireflies are planning all sorts of wonderful things for the Holidays. We can’t wait to share! Visit our beautiful new website, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for emerging details.

Now’s the Time! We don’t wish to rush things, but if you want to ask an artist to make something special. NOW is the time to order it! Come on in, see what strikes your fancy and ask to be put in touch with the artist!

Welcome New Firefly Diana Anton! Diana Anton’s work “reflects the process of its making,” yielding beautiful, enigmatic pieces. Check out her Website. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Better, come see at the Firefly!

Firefly Friends & Family Exhibition We reserved our beautiful upstairs Darcy Arts Center for the Fireflies for the holidays, and invited them to invite other artists to join them! Some are freshly emerging creators whom Fireflies are encouraging to get their work out there. Others are established artists whom they’ve invited in. All together, it’s marvelous!

Exhibition Date: November 12 – December 31

Reception: December 4th, 3-5pm

Masks are warmly welcomed (we have some beautiful ones for sale!) and required for those not vaccinated.

We’ve Been Nominated “LI’s Best Gallery” in the annual “Bethpage Best of LI” contest! One of our Fireflies, Kirk Larsen, has been nominated as well! You can vote for both of us – and other great local treasures – EVERY DAY between now and December 5th!

Here’s the link To VOTE for The Firefly Artists

Here’s the link To VOTE for Kirk Larsen

Jewelry Making with Rachel Kalina! Want to make a very special gift? Or do the holidays just make you want to hit something with a hammer? Perhaps both? Rachel Kalina of The Wood & Watch is here for you!!!

She can guide in stamping a phrase onto metal for a very special token, or help you commence your own full-on jewelry smithing adventure. See her work on Instagram @thewoodandwatch. Inquire further by emailing thewoodandwatch@gmail.com

We’re being honored! with a “Special Citation for a Business Award by the NYS Art Teacher’s Association (NYSATA). It’s all Beth’s fault, really, what with all she does to keep teaching teachers and advancing young artists, supporting NYSATA and so much else. Her and all those other amazing teachers we get to call our own…Grateful…

More classes, holiday events and specials are coming! Check our website and social media often!!

Synchronicity Picks: Two Ways of Knowing, Life Is Beautiful, Grow for Good

Photo by Katheryn Laible

We’ve been thinking a lot about science and spirituality lately, and how we wish those who resonate with our hearts wouldn’t so often trouble our minds with claims of or against science that just aren’t so. In turn, we wish those who like to stick to science would remember that there’s a lot we don’t fully understand,…Reiki may seem pseudosciency, but there’s legitimate science behind the healing power of touch.

It’s a challenging subject…and we are grateful to both the scientists and spiritual guides we know who help us at least begin to understand their views and clarify what our own thoughts are…

This is beautiful and touches right on that! Two Way of Knowing: Robin Wall Kimmerer On Scientific And Native American Views Of The Natural World by Leath Tonino in The Sun

As for science…as we scoured the Internet trying to better understand the science regarding masks…we stumbled across this article from Jeremy Howard, a U. of San Francisco data scientist who, together with 18 other scientists recently completed a review of available research on the subject.

It seemed really helpful. Then, we dug deeper to figure out what we were reading. This is how we discovered, The Conversation which felt refreshingly broadly and intelligently resourced… Then we read their about statement…Sounds good to us!!!

On the spiritual side, we appreciate Ambassadors of Wellness: The SOUL-U-TION Revolution Donna Martini shares her sweet, wise “Mantra Mouse,” and invites all so inclined to meditate and pray with her.

Did you know there’s a church of Rock n Roll that has long been happening for decades every Sunday morning on WBAB 102.3? You don’t have to be a Catholic to appreciate Religion and Rock hosted by Msgr Jim Vlaun

Attitude adjustments help. Katie has often said she is not, in fact, an optimist. but so often delightfully surprised by human beings giving it their best anyway, that she’s decided to support them. This recent NPR piece is making her think a little bit differently about that: Optimism: Is it a Personality Trait, Or Could People Possibly Learn It?

This was interesting: “Nick Hanauer: How Do We Begin To Reinvent Capitalism?” This is part IV in the TED Radio Hour exploration of reinvention. It features a billionaire entrepreneur who believes today’s stark inequality is a product of decades of bad economic theory. He’s still a strong proponent of capitalism, he just thinks we’ve got to start looking at it differently…

We are pleased to see Jed Morey has created something new: a Grow for Good Podcast which “introduces listeners to business leaders who have grown their companies by doing good things.”

We’re in for all the good we can get, anywhere we can find it!

Finally, here’s a great to start your week: Life is Beautiful. It’s author Hugh Hollowell is into “creating a compelling vision of a better world,” as “a writer, a farmer, a pastor, and a foster parent who loves cats” and does some consulting. Released on Mondays, this is an offering of five beautiful things to start your week.

“Because the world is beautiful, but sometimes it’s hard to notice it.”

Gifts of our Facebook Feed: Mastic Beach Ambulance Company, William Floyd School District, Northport Main St. Group, Northport-East Northport Public Library

We know these are just a few of our neighbors who’ve been giving it their best to be of service with their Social Media time. We love to hear about more!

The Mastic Beach Ambulance company has been sharing all sorts of great stuff, including their own efforts to keep Long Islanders fed, as well as tended to in emergencies.

We thought it was them generating these great profiles of local EMTs. They’re still probably the easiest place to find them, but we’ve realized it was the William Floyd School District that was soliciting and sharing them.

Now, they’ve turned to highlighting their Class of 2020.

Meanwhile, the Northport Village and Local Business Community is a model we think every downtown should follow! This group lets small businesses post their wares and how they’re offering them, as well as all sorts of information critical to the community.

Finally, WE LOVE LIBRARIES! While missing their visitors dearly, they are continuing to do wonderful things for the community. Last time, we mentioned the 3D Printer Army helping make shields for first responders. Lately, we’ve simply been loving the Facebook Feeds.

While we highly recommend following all of Long Island’s libraries, the Northport-East Northport Public Library seems to really be on a roll lately. Follow their Facebook page, scroll down through the past few weeks — it’s wonderful…

 

In Praise of Local Crafters and their Kind Consideration

Mask crafted by Firefly Michele Miroff

While it is totally not cool that ANYONE has. had to scrounge for PPE – especially essential workers, ESPECIALLY healthcare folks! – We have decided to be grateful that out of that challenge has come a beautiful, thoughtful, heartfelt art form. 

We can hardly get close enough to look each other in the eye and yet now so many crafty people have found a way to lovingly hug our faces.

And…because, on balance, masks themselves really are more courtesy than personal protection, we immediately get to pay the care forward. 

And…it’s not a bad business. They’re fairly simple to make and yet imagination is the limit. People need lots of them….

So…talk about socially conscious fashion that is form and function!

Trudy has been busily making them for family and neighbors. In our Firefly Lights, you can read about Kirk Larsen and his #maskforce #teachersgettingitdone

Did you see this article about the Luchador in Mexico?

How about this much more local bit in The Observer about The Engeman Theater?

CBSN New York shows a 95-year old Floral Park seamstress who’s part of a volunteer corp founded in Huntington “Stitched Together Long Island” that has made more than 20,000 masks for essential workers.

The Mask Mavens of Huntington is a small team of volunteers that are sewing and giving away homemade masks for free to any and all who need them.

This article in the LIBN by Bernadette Starzee is about three entrepreneurial firms who created 5,000 masks a day to sell at cost to hospitals and first responders.

This News12 Article covers a Bellmore Fashion Designer who, with her remotely-working staff, churned out 1,000 masks in one week to donate to medical personnel.

Here’s a North Fork Patch article “Iconic Sail Makers, Brewery Make Face Masks for Hospital Heroes”

To make them yourself, and get good advice on using them, here’s a good article in Popular Mechanics.

Reflecting on the Helpers, Calling to the Dreamers: If You Had a Magic Wand…

Photo: Still the Flowers Bloom by Katheryn Laible

 

We are grateful to the friend who shared this YouTube video by Probably Tomfoolery, “The Great Realisation.” It echoes a dream that we believe more than a few of us have been reflecting on…

Katie was thinking about such things a lot when she wrote How Shall We Rise? A Holiday Reflection. A few days later, she was moved again to offer In Gratitude for the Good News Makers, when the launching of Some Good News made her smile. She was glad, both that this kind of thing was taking off Nationally, and that there are so many, right here at home, whom she knows are giving it their best to create such stories.

While many of us are very occupied with the needs of the moment, many others are in a unique position to make adjustments that may help us all.

So, maybe now is a good time to do some visioning: If you had a Magic Wand — or maybe even just a few listening ears, some helping hands, thoughtful minds and a bit of faith — How would you shape our future?

Feed Your Soul

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

While we STRONGLY RECOMMEND erring on the side of science in terms of understanding how disease spreads and what we have good evidence heals, we also know a great many who (while also following Dr’s orders) find healing and overcoming a deeply personal experience that is greatly strengthened by their faith.

We have also long agreed with Dale Carnegie that prayer is much more psychologically useful than worry and — when there’s nothing else we can do — remains better than doing nothing.

Many houses of worship are closing. While we haven’t yet found a comprehensive guide to what’s now available, we have seen many of our faithful friends posting information about services that are occurring online. We encourage you to contact your own community. We will share what we come across.

We see that Donna Martini has been offering her own “Mighy Mantras” on Facebook as her contribution to helping folks find some spiritual solace.

Additionally this local “Moonful Mama” has been offering some global healing meditations as well as a little of her own Momma’s spirit regarding how we might all find opportunity in times of crisis.

While she probably wouldn’t call herself a faith healer, we do find Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings deeply soothing to our souls. Here is her Meditation on Thich Nhat Hanh’s, “How To Love” a lesson on how to grow our hearts.

For our own part, we pray that – now and always – humanity endeavors toward truth and love, best we may humbly discern our way forward, fueled by faith, dexterity and strength, with gratitude for every blessing we may count, especially to those who keep hope alive.

Peace and well-wishes to all.

Support Local Business & Community Groups

Main St, Northport

Photo of Northport Village by Katheryn Laible

This is a really tough time to be a small business or a not-for-profit organization. While everyone is rightly encouraged to stay home and keep their hands off the world, bills are still coming due and people are wondering what’s going to happen to their income.

When you see one of your most go-getting survivors of a friend seeking donations for her employer, you have to stop and think — What are we going to do for our people here?

Vision Long Island is one of our region’s strongest advocates for Main Street. They have just released their first Main Street News offering a great guide to what people can do in terms of personal initiative, resources and advocacy.

Another strong advocate for local business that has been posting good stuff on their facebook page is the Long Island Business Council.

In general, some ideas that have seemed good to us include:

  1. Buy Gift Certificates. Consider simply sending a donation to your favorite local business
  2. Realize small businesses are often better for social distancing because they tend to be less crowded. They may even have that hard to find supply!
  3. Restaurants are closing, but can still do takeout/delivery. Even for alcohol!
  4. Realize many of these places care about their own health, your health and the community more than most ever realized. Know that many local shops are going out of their way to safely keep on keeping on — Book Revue in Huntington, for example is offering curbside service and even delivery. We’ve heard report of local hair stylists all but wrapping their stylists in bubble wrap. Look up their website/social media. Even if they aren’t advertising it, call them to inquire!
  5. Special events are hugely important for organizations. Had an event cancelled? Send a donation! You can check our newsletter archives to find 100s of great local organizations
  6. Strongly consider supporting policy proposals that directly support individuals and small businesses. While they are going out of their way to come up with creative means of keeping going, there is only so much they can do,
  7. Just be kind — Especially to the cashiers, service providers and others working through this. Just. Be. Kind.