January 28, 2021


If you're new here, well howdy! Welcome to my weekly blog about Houston arts and culture, plus whatever else I wish to share from my brain. Scroll to the very bottom for more about it.

I'm having a blast doing two weekly Facebook Live chats on my Facebook page: MONDAY MEDITATION CHATS at 10am (the latest one is here) and WEDNESDAY NIGHT LIVE arts & culture chats at 9pm. Please tune in every week! And I'm happy to share that I have organized my meditation videos into a MONDAY MEDITATION CHATS playlist on my YouTube channel that you can easily pop onto and access. They're short chats about different ways to practice meditation -- I hope they'll encourage you to start or enhance your own quiet time.

For my readers looking for adult events, be sure to LIKE my GISH PICKS ADULTS Facebook page. And if you're a parent or caregiver: be sure to follow my GISH PICKS KIDS Facebook page for not only my KID PICKS but also my SUMMER CAMP PICKS.

As you read, please note that all the words in purple are linked to websites.

WHAT'S ON MY MIND THIS WEEK? I have been pondering listening recently because of an experience I had in which things blew up between my best friend and me. Things would have gone better if we had both only listened better, to ourselves and to each other.

"Generous listening" is a term coined by Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen who writes about it eloquently here and here: "I suspect that the most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. And especially if it's given from the heart."

I started looking for more words about generous listening, and found this lovely poem, "Generous Listening," by Marilyn Nelson. Says she in this excerpt:

"Who is this miracle speaking to me?
And who is this miracle listening?
What amazingness are we creating?
Out of gray matter a star spark of thought
leaps between synapses into the air,
and pours through gray matter, into my heart:
how can I not listen generously?"

And here are the words of one more poet to inspire you -- if you don't know who Amanda Gorman is: you must drop *everything* and watch her read her inauguration poem, "The Hill We Climb" (p.s. where have you been, my friend???). She also has a pandemic poem, "The Miracle of Morning," in which I love this excerpt below:

"We’ll observe how the burdens braved by humankind
Are also the moments that make us humans kind;
Let each morning find us courageous, brought closer;
Heeding the light before the fight is over.
When this ends, we’ll smile sweetly, finally seeing
In testing times, we became the best of beings."

Poetry helps us stop and listen. And listening creates miracles. We WILL get through this pandemic (and squabbles!), and when it ends -- we'll all see just how brave and wonderful we are.

LET'S CONNECT! If you are wondering wassup with me, my offerings are below. If you'd like to keep up with all my doings, please click here to get a sorta monthly newsletter from me full of info about my events and more, including my IGNITE YOUR LIFE! art project. Be sure to follow my Facebook pages too -- Gish Picks Kids and Gish Picks Adults. I'm always throwing words and pictures around somewhere!

My ARTS PICKS Spotlight️ this week is special live-and-small, candlelit classical music concerts presented by Fever, featuring a local string quartet created by the Listeso Music Group. "Candlelight: Beethoven's Best Works" is being presented tonight (Thursday, January 28) and tomorrow (Friday, January 29) and several times in March and beyond in 7pm and 9:15pm shows. Tickets sell out FAST since the audience is pandemic petite -- so hop online and get yours now. The upcoming concerts are at Citadel Houston. There are several more unique, immersive, pandemic-safe "Fever Originals" concerts so check them out and get out!

And now -- the two virtual events I am PICK-ing this week. Please note that even my VIRTUAL PICKS are always Houston-based because I am very committed to Houston arts & culture.
➡️ Virtual for ADULTS: The Houston Chamber Choir has pivoted beautifully in the pandemic! They have been presenting a full season of virtual offerings for 2020/2021 (and will continue to go digital as long as necessary) as well as a new podcast, “With One Accord,” that they started last year. This year is kicking off with a free concert, “A Time to Lift Up,” which will be released this Sunday, January 31 at noon (click here to access the livestream and the link that will be posted afterwards). The concert will be online until August 31 at noon. “To Everything a Season” is the theme for the Houston Chamber Choir season, chosen because it reminds all of us that though we are still in the midst of a strange time, it is one that will pass. And it is more important than ever to appreciate our blessings and to find joy and beauty throughout the many seasons of our lives.
To enjoy the concerts you can SUBSCRIBE, watch the FREE ones, or purchase concerts ONCE. The full season is $40, and individual concerts are $9.99 (3-day viewing limit) or $24.00/name your own price for unlimited viewing of one concert. Concerts can be viewed on your computer, television, or smartphone – depending on the setup you have. And there's one more way to connect: a Houston Chamber Choir app is coming out next month and will be available to all subscribers.
➡️ Virtual for KIDS: I am dedicated to PICK-ing only Houston-based virtual and live events, but -- hey, Galveston is close, ya'll! And this PICK is a great way to stay home while enjoying visiting cool Galveston arts and culture attractions virtually. Their annual event "Galveston Museum Day" has been expanded to a week (January 25-30) and features both virtual and in person tours. You can step beyond the island's 32 miles of surf-and-sand and visit places like the Galveston Railroad Museum (pictured) or the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA. Have fun!

HIRE ME! If you want help getting centered -- or for focusing your life -- here's how I can help (I'm available for groups too):

  • I'll be hosting monthly virtual labyrinth walks with the Spectrum Center on first Saturdays starting Saturday, February 6 from 10-11:30am. For more information and to register, click here. The walk is by donation, the suggested fee is $20.
  • Virtual Life Path Sessions; see more about those hereIt's $100/one hour and $50/30 minutes.
  • One-on-one or small group labyrinth walks or nature mandala-making sessions (or both!), all done with masks and physical distancing. The fee varies based on what we are doing.
  • Virtual meditation lessons for up to 30 minutes. I've been doing weekly Monday Meditation Chats and was interviewed on Great Day Houston about fun ways to make sounds for meditation (see that here). The fee varies based on what we are doing, and all ages are welcome.

To book me for anything, please call me at 713.492.1173 or email me. I'd love to help you find PEACE in this crazy time.

In non-pandemic times, and since I started publishing my blog in 2004, it has been a space to promote my curated list of unique live Houston area cultural events (PICKS) on the weekend for adults and kids. Because of COVID-19, those haven't happened since mid-March so I originally re-worked the format to focus on 5 Houston-based arts & culture organizations in my (Almost) Daily Dose of ARTS PICKS blog each of the NINE weeks of quarantine. You can see each edition - and read about 45 arts groups! - here.
And now I'm bringing you an ⭐️ARTS PICKS Spotlight⭐️ each week -- featuring an arts & culture space that is open -- and you'll get info about all of their activities and sometimes a video to bring them to life. Alongside that, I'll also be PICK-ing one local virtual event each for ADULTS and KIDS

I'll keep doing all of that until public events start happening again on a larger scale and I can start curating live event PICKS again.

In the meantime: please enjoy my weekly Spotlights and VIRTUAL PICKS, and please stay healthy!


Sarah Gish

P.S. If you want to IGNITE YOUR LIFE now or anytime, check out my list of "12 Ways to Ignite Your Life Daily" -- and watch the 12 videos I made about each Way here. I'm very proud of that list and my work and I hope it will help you live a fully creative life. Meditation, taking care of yourself, enjoying life, and laughing -- plus more! -- is what will get us through this global pandemic. 
Gish Creative | www.GishCreative.com