January 19, 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? First of all: HAPPY 2021, y'all! I know we are ALL thrilled that 2020 is out the door. Whew. What an insane year in so many ways we had there. I am tempted to throw in a round-up of crazy highlights, but I know you know already. My heart has been broken so many times over the raging pandemic, the racial injustices, the lack of live arts....and more.

However -- one of the gifts of last year was travelling virtually around the world and back! And I was exposed to new artists and so many new ways of creating. One of my favorite songs that became my anthem for 2020 was "The Keep Going Song" by The Bengsons. I listened to it over and over and over...I still do!

And after the pandemic pandemonium quieted down, I was able to find enjoyment in solitude and in spending more time with my family, my 2 cute dogs, and my close friends. I was inspired to write "20 Good Things About 2020" and I saw that it wasn't all bad last year.

So here we are: 2021. This year has started out seemingly to be more of the same with the election tensions, the continuing spike in Covid cases, and the riot at our nation's Capitol which not only emboldened white supremacists but it also showed us clearly (once again) that punishment in our country is meted out differently based on a person's skin color. Oh yeah, and Mercury Retrograde is on its way.

And yet, I feel HOPE. Tomorrow is the inauguration of a new duo in the White House -- and the first vice president who is a woman of color! The vaccine is rolling out around the country. We have all learned to connect in new ways and our gratitude for simple things like hugs and smiles is overwhelming. And the arts are coming back.

Yesterday was MLK Day, and I was inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s statement "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." My MONDAY MEDITATION CHAT this week (here) addresses the importance of love and light when dealing with people who think differently from us.

So, as the Bengsons sang, let's keep going...

P.S. Be sure to check out two interviews I did recently. I did a "Tuesday Talk" with NAMI Greater Houston called "Self Care in the Time of Quarantine" (see it here), and I talked on the Houston Community College's "Up to the Minute" show about nature spots in Houston -- Discovery Green, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, and Miller Outdoor Theatre (see it here, I start at 9:20).
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 the wonderful greater Houston area FARMERS MARKETS. I am a healthy gal (I'm vegan as of a year ago!) and I love to tout all the fresh produce you can get all over our city and surrounding areas so I research and always give my readers the latest info in this handy dandy list each January. There are 40 markets listed as well as a link to a pick-your-own-produce directory. Please note that not all markets are open right now due to the pandemic.

Have fun and shop safe!

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 KIDS: The 2020/2021 Inprint Cool Brains! Series presents an afternoon with three-time Newbery Honor recipient Jennifer L. Holm, sharing her new middle-grade novel The Lion of Mars. The event takes place this Sunday, January 24, 4pm via the Inprint “virtual studio” -- get your free tickets here. After her presentation, Holm will respond to video questions/messages submitted by kids and the first 20 kids will receive a free hardcover copy of the book.

The Lion of Mars tells the timely tale of how a regular kid living on Mars must save the day when a virus infects all the grown-ups in the colony. Though the novel was written pre-pandemic, Holm’s “delightful space adventure” (Kirkus) has been celebrated as “anti-isolationist at its core” (Publishers Weekly).
➡️ Virtual for ADULTS: Join Houston Center for Contemporary Craft/HCCC Curatorial Fellow María-Elisa Heg and Contemporary Handweavers of Houston President and former HCCC resident artist Molly Koehn for a short lunchtime "Craft Chat" this Thursday, January 21 from 1-1:30pm. They will focus on the exhibition Weave Houston: 71 Years of the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston and there will be a live q-and-a from viewers following a tour of the show and a conversation between the artists. The exhibition is on view through March 6; please note that the museum is currently closed due to the spike in Covid cases. Please check their website for updates on that.

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, click here -- and to register via donation (suggested amount is $20), click here.
  • 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