Author Archives: Leslie

Butterfly Book at Bird & Beckett & Stanford Bookstore

It’s spring! The flowers are blooming and the butterflies are flying. Weather is now warm enough to facilitate their flight. You did not know that butterflies require a particular warmth to be able to fly? Time for you to read THE STORY OF OUR BUTTERFLIES: MOURNING CLOAKS IN MOUNTAIN VIEW, the wonderful new book by Leslie Friedman. It is available at the Bird & Beckett Bookstore in San Francisco, the Stanford University Bookstore at Stanford, and through The Lively Foundation.  The story begins when Jonathan Clark, award winning photographer and husband of Leslie Friedman, sees a butterfly laying eggs on a pussy willow tree. Jonathan and Leslie clip the twig, keep it inside in a container with willow leaves, and then a bigger container, and then in an outdoor butterfly house. They feed the always hungry caterpillars, wait for the chrysalises to open, and then release more than 125 butterflies in nature preserves.

Book cover: front is close up of Mourning Cloak wing and back shows caterpillars on willow leaves. Photos by Jonathan Clark. The book has many full color pictures by Jonathan Clark & Leslie Friedman.

The book also explores the deep cultural ties between butterflies and humans as seen in Chinese legends, Italian operas, Shakespeare, American pop music, collectors, and artists. The amazing Appendices include the story of the caterpillar which is the insect equivalent of the Groundhog for predicting winter, the plight of the Western Monarch Butterfly, the murders of men protecting the Butterfly Biosphere in Mexico, and the destruction of private property and the National Butterfly Refuge, sacrificed for a border wall, in Texas.

Butterflies, though endangered, symbolize HOPE to many individuals and cultures from survivors of genocide to families in San Jose, CA, who supported a mural showing butterflies flying out of books on the wall of an elementary school.

Visit these bookstores! Stanford is open for browsing from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. daily and also takes orders over the web or phone. You can pick up your book anytime or have it shipped. Bird & Beckett is open noon- 6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, at 653 Chenery St., SF 94131, 415/586-3733. It is located in the wonderful San Francisco Glen Park area.

Please see http://www.livelyfoundation.org/wordpress/?p=3477 for Butterflies Released! and how to buy from The Lively Foundation.

 

Stanford’s Company of Authors: Saturday, 4/24

Lively is proud to announce that Stanford’s Company of Authors program will feature Leslie Friedman to talk about her new book, The Story of Our Butterflies: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View. In 2020, Company of Authors presented Leslie talking about her book, The Dancer’s Garden. She was immediately invited to return.

The program runs from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time with a short break in the middle. There is no charge. Leslie’s 10 minutes is scheduled 4:55-5:05 p.m. The Stanford Bookstore will offer a 10% discount on all of the books discussed on the program. Speakers all have a relationship to Stanford as professors or alums.

The Story of Our Butterflies: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View, cover: close up of a Mourning Cloak wing front, caterpillars eating on back

Shown below is the link to registration and the Zoom link for the program and other delights. A flyer displays the schedule for all the presenters and their books.

AUDIENCE ZOOM LINK (to share)

Friends and family can sign up for the event online. They’ll receive all pre- and post-event emails, including when the recordings are available to view.

Event Zoom Link: https://stanford.zoom.us/j/98719373201?pwd=NmE5UWVZN0YrMGE5WW5qWEZFSXVsUT09

Passcode: 813691

Encore! The Exhibitionist Returns

The Lively Foundation is delighted to announce that The Exhibitionist, the one-act play by Lively’s artistic director, Leslie Friedman, will be presented in another online reading. This encore performance will be on Thursday, Feb. 11, 11:15 a.m. Pacific time. Once again Jonathan Clark will read the role of Danny, and Leslie Friedman, will read the role of Lily. This will be the third reading/performance of The Exhibitionist in a week and a half. The first encore presentation was Wednesday evening, Feb. 3. This time the program was only The Exhibitionist. Reactions to the play were so enthusiastic that Leslie’s undergraduate classmates decided to present it so that more of their class and others could see it. To watch The Exhibitionist, please email The Lively Foundation to receive the Zoom link.

JJonathan Clark, better known as a photographer and fine art printer, will read the role of Danny. Leslie Friedman, better known as a dancer/choreographer, will read the role of Lily.

Leslie’s Play THE EXHIBITIONIST on Sunday, 1/31

It is very exciting to announce that the play, The Exhibitionist, written by The Lively Foundation’s Artistic Director, will receive a reading on Sunday, January 31, at 2 p.m. Pacific Time (4 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Eastern). Play by Play, a theater organization in Berkeley, CA is presenting the program. In addition to The Exhibitionist, another one act play, Not Too Kosher, by Judith Offer will also receive a reading. Both plays are about 15  minutes long.

The Exhibitionist is a two person play. Jonathan Clark takes the part of Danny, and Leslie Friedman portrays Lily. They are re-meeting after a long time.

Jonathan Clark – best known as a photographer with work in distinguished museums such as the Getty in Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art in New York – reads the role of Danny.

Leslie Friedman – best known as a dancer- is the playwright of The Exhibitionist.

The presentation is free. Please remember that this is a reading, not an on-stage performance. All San Francisco Bay Area theaters have been closed since March, 2020. Play by Play, the readers, and playwrights welcome you! To receive the Zoom codes, please email The Lively Foundation.

Shambhavi Dandekar: Online Classes!

Shambhavi Dandekar, the brilliant and beautiful Kathak exponent and founder of SISK school announces that SISK has begun a  Distance Learning Program in Kathak. The program began just three weeks ago. This is an amazing opportunity for dancers who wish to learn Kathak. It opens access to dancer and guru Shambhavi Dandekar’s knowledge and technique to those who wish to learn no matter where they are. Currently, the program is for beginners.

Shambhavi Dandekar

Here are some of the details about the Distance Learning Program in Kathak. (1) Every video class will be taught by world renowned Kathak exponent, Shambhavi Dandekar. (2) Students will learn one class per week at any time convenient to them. (3) Students will experience Gurukul style one-on-one learning. (4) SISK Distance Learning Program will offer a “Nuance Class” every other month to practice with Shambhavi Tai and adjust nuances. (5) Kathak certifications will be available from time to time. (6) This is an ongoing course. Students will graduate to the next level every two years.

FOR A DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAM Q & A SESSION: https://youtu.be/7ShFE3Ox3Rg

SISK sends this message: This is your chance to learn this beautiful dance art form from any corner of the world. The Distance Learning Program brings the Guru-Shishya together by overcoming the physical distance and time barrier.”

Shambhavi Dandekar looks forward to hearing from you! For more information kathakshambhavi@gmail.com

OTTAWA, Illinois: 1967 – Review from Photo Metro

This review appeared in the magazine PHOTO METRO, in San Francisco, April, 1992. Selected photos from the book are below the text.

The little girl leans against the rail and the carnival ride whirls past her. In Jonathan Clark’s photograph, “Reverie: Carnival,” this image encompasses a sense of time, immediacy and distance that characterizes Clark’s collection, “Ottawa: 1967/1990.” Clark took these photos on a family trip to his hometown in northern Illinois when he was fifteen. He printed them in 1990. The results are a stunning revelation of what was once ordinary life and now lives most in memory and myth: the mid-western American small town. The images are precious for more than his­torical documentation. They speak of the moment the present becomes memory. The girl is still; the ride moves on. She stays in Ottawa; the carnival will travel beyond.
The presence of the black edge of the neg­ative bordering the prints and a white, enor­mous sky emphasizes the encapsulation of time. The artist acknowledges his medium. The frame creates the effect of looking through an old photo album and becomes a window. This is a picture of a very par­ticular place in this instant of time. The vast white space of Illinois sky, however, answers with a contradictory impression as it appears to reach out of the frame forever.
In “Cornhusker,” a man in jeans, workshirt, and cap appears out of a structure and breaks into the perfect whiteness. His irreg­ular form emerges from the line created by the nearly white symmetry of the top of the structure. He is rumpled, real, maybe better than monumental. Gazing past his work, he looks immobile.
“Ernie” is a farmer whose face is the only close-up in the collection. The astounding details of the print show the lines and creases on eyes and mouth, the salt and pepper stubble on cheek and chin, the bits of hay dust on cap and coat, and his dry, worker’s hand. The bill of his cap also juts into that white distance. Ernie is a man entirely of the present moment but with a far-away look in his eye. Neither he nor the cornhusker give clues as to what they are seeing.
“Barn” has multiple surfaces and some secret story. A profusion of underbrush—leafy, flowering, feathery or spiky—climbs a small hill toward the weath­ered boards and broken glass of the aban­doned barn. The artist has achieved a white-on-white contrast of church-like roof and empty sky.
The technique in the entire collection is advanced far beyond either what one might expect from a fifteen-year-old with a half­-frame, 35 mm camera or the current pho­tographic scene and its focus on mixed media and body parts. In that context, this is like leaving a heavy metal performance and walking in on a concert of Bach.
Each image is rich in textures and design. The “Service Station” man creates an immense, heroic diagonal diagram with his arms. A fence made of smaller slats of wood marches up the hill alongside the “Barn.” Its boards are flattened on a differ­ent plane, and a row of ferny growth beside the fence echoes these lines showing both the lightest weight and the darkest value.
The rich growth appears again as the grass between the girl and the carnival ride. The spinning machine has been plunked down on top of the native grass. In “Tractor in Cornfield,” one senses the shape and weight of each lump of earth, the rows of young plants, and seemingly every leaf on the distant trees around the field. The minute detail within a larger design calls the onlooker to wonder at reality, the here and now of the world of these pictures
A philosophy of seeing emerges from the contrast of that cornfield with “Shale Pile.” A bare tree trunk has fallen across a barren black pile with a pitted, rough surface. Its upward curve, cut twice by the angles of dead tree trunks is crowned by a glimpse of a leafy, frilly tree top. That living prize is beyond this pile; the picture promises that it exists, but where is not revealed.
In Ottawa, there is a lot of watching and waiting. The artist, essential onlooker, shows others suspended in their own activ­ities. A woman waits for a tire change, lit­erally suspended in the jacked-up car, and there is no suggestion that anyone but the viewer knows that she is there. A couple looks in a sweet-shop window; a child gazes out of a train window; two men, pro­tected by backyard shrubbery, sit calmly watching a barbecue. The artist captures himself in a self-portrait-with-camera in a rear-view mirror. This is the only reminder that this world is also autobiography. Time is not pushed by the inhabitants of these frames, nor does it ruffle them.
The world from outside Ottawa is represented in the carnival pictures. Two of them present side-show billboards for the viewer to read. Both describe the aftermath of Hiroshima. One proclaims a two-headed baby; the other issues a warning about atomic radiation: “Geneticists State Mutations So Produced Will Go Down Hundreds of Years.” If the denizens of northern Illinois see this as the best the other worlds have to offer, what advantage to corn and hogs?
The effect of us watching them watching and waiting is underscored by the artist’s appearance in the mirror. He is there but at a distance. Now part of the world away from Ottawa, his experience of coming home again is as a reflected reality.
Real time is still in this presentation of Ottawa. It is as though the people, usually alone or in pairs like the two hogs in the “Illinois Landscape,” could hold their breath and, being still, still be there. The artist shows us his “Grandmother’s Window” Through it we see her cut-glass bottles and plants, but not her. The beauty of these objects, glass window lighting glass and reflecting back, tells something about the woman who selected them, but they are still, and she is gone.
In this collection, Jonathan Clark reveals himself as an artist with an eye for the smallest forms of life who is yet not afraid to present such images in the largest world. The Cornhusker enters that vast white sky just as voluptuous leaves of corn break the emptiness with their arching growth. The magic of the here and now within these black-bordered frames is the power to pre­sent a true moment and the promise that these images are solid and real. We can watch like the people in the pictures, but we can never wait long enough to get those moments back. The honesty of the presen­tation, however, also suggests that to have the real is to have real loss as well.
All photos by Jonathan L. Clark. Top row, L to R: Barn, Corn; Lower row, Landscape, Ernie

GIVE LIVELY BOOKS!

It is time to make your list, choose gifts that are just right–time to select Lively gifts! The Lively Foundation helps you by offering three splendid Lively books. They are beautiful to look at, entertaining, and enlightening to read. You will be tempted to give one (or more) to yourself; better buy two of each!

OTTAWA, ILLINOIS: 1967 Photographs by Jonathan Clark, published by Nazraeli Press. This award winning book presents photos of the small town the artist lived in for his first 10 years. He took the pictures when 15 years old. Like the Mozart of photography, his art was already outstanding. Ottawa still exists, but the way of life there is different. You will see a time that is gone in meaningful, beautiful photographs.

THE DANCER’S GARDEN, This beautiful book has text and photos by Leslie Friedman with additional photos by artist Jonathan Clark and one  by Dennis Parks, English actor. Review and comments on this book call it “a treasure,” “a marvel,” and “a wonderful quirky, perky series of ruminations on gardens, flowers, plants, trees, cats, people, indeed life. It has magnificent photographs…It is an exhilarating read!”

THE STORY OF OUR BUTTERFLIES: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View, Text by Leslie Friedman with photos by Jonathan Clark and Leslie Friedman. Jonathan and Leslie see a butterfly lay eggs on a willow tree. They bring the eggs inside to protect them, care for them through all their life stages, and release the butterflies into nature. Explore cultural ties with butterflies in Chinese legends, Shakespeare’s plays, American pop music, Mozart and Puccini. Climate change threatens butterflies and yet they symbolize hope.

All three books are available now, hardback, fine paper.  Prices include shipping. If you use PayPal, add $1.50 to price. To use PayPal: go to the landing page of livelyfoundation.org  Scroll down to the DONATE button. Follow PayPal instructions OR make your check to The Lively Foundation, mail it to The Lively Foundation/550 Mountain View Ave/Mountain View, CA 94041-1941

OTTAWA, ILLINOIS: 1967                    $55

The Dancer’s Garden                          $45

The Story of Our Butterflies               $36

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from The Lively Foundation!

 

Butterflies Released! Leslie Friedman’s New Book

The Lively Foundation is proud to announce the release of The Story of Our Butterflies: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View, the new book by Leslie Friedman. It is a beautiful book with many full color, often full page photographs by Jonathan Clark and Leslie Friedman.

Front cover is a close up of the wing of a Mourning Cloak butterfly. Back cover shows Mourning Cloak caterpillars devouring willow leaves.

The story begins when Mr. Clark and Ms Friedman observe a butterfly lingering on a tiny branch of a pussy willow tree. They see that the butterfly has lain eggs and bring the twig inside to protect the eggs from predators. The story continues through all the stages of life: egg, about five different stages of caterpillar, butterfly. More than 125 butterflies were released in nature preserves. The continual and rapid growth of the caterpillars, their vigorous appetites, the beauty of the butterflies make a suspenseful and engaging tale,

The book explores the relationship of human cultures to butterflies through Chinese legends, Shakespeare’s plays, American pop music. It reveals the desperate plight of all butterflies as the climate changes. There are fascinating Appendices which include an array of butterfly information: how a border wall between the US and Mexico endangers butterfly existence; how to say “butterfly” in many languages; how butterflies symbolize hope for diverse individuals and groups. Questions are answered: does the woolly bear predict weather like an insect version of the groundhog? Did Nathaniel Hawthorne write about butterflies and happiness?

CHRISTMAS IS (always) COMING! Remember books from The Lively Foundation: beautiful to look at, enlightening and entertaining to read. Great for birthdays, Mother’s Day, everyday when you want to read a great book. Be cozy this Christmas: shop from home and let Lively package and send your gifts. Ways to buy this book are listed below this picture.

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The Story of Our Butterflies: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View is available now from The Lively Foundation. Two ways to order it:

#1) Make your check for $36 to The Lively Foundation and mail it to The Lively Foundation/550 Mountain View Avenue/Mountain View, CA 94041-1941   Price includes postage.

#2) If you prefer to use PayPal instead of a personal check, please add $1.25 for a total of $37.25. Go to the landing page of this site, scroll down to see the DONATE button, click on that, follow PayPal’s directions.   Price includes postage.

#3) Hand-delivered book cost is $29.95.

 

Stanford’s Company of Authors presents Leslie Friedman

Congratulations to Leslie Friedman, Artistic Director of The Lively Foundation!  Stanford University’s distinguished program, Company of Authors, honored her by inviting her to talk about her book, The Dancer’s Garden. Company of Authors presents Stanford related writers to talk about recent publication. The program took place over Zoom on October 24. There were 17 speakers all from a wide variety of fields. Leslie received her Ph.D. in History from Stanford. The event was free and open to the public; only pre-registration was required in order to receive the Zoom code.

The Dancer’s Garden, published in 2019, is available from The Lively Foundation and the Stanford Bookstore.

Response to Leslie’s talk was so positive that she immediately received an invitation to present her new book, The Story of Our Butterflies: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View, in the next Company of Authors, April 24, 2021. This year’s Company of Authors was originally scheduled for May 2, 2020. It would have been live, in person, and on campus at the Stanford Center for the Humanities. The Stanford campus closed because of the pandemic, the Authors’ program, postponed, became a virtual event. With each author appearing individually from his or her home, the relationship of speaker to listeners became even more personal. The hugely successful event was created by History Professor, Peter Stansky. He serves as the moderator of the program. Professor Stansky gave Leslie an exceptionally generous introduction. Christina Fajardo of Stanford’s Continuing Studies coordinated the program and managed the technical direction.  It was a wonderful experience, and we are looking forward to April 24th next year!

Leslie’s Play, The Panel, Given Reading by Play by Play

Lively’s Artistic Director, Leslie Friedman, wrote The Panel, a one -act play, in 2005. It was accepted for performances at the Marin Festival of New Plays and received awards for Best Play, Best Actor, and Best Director. On September 27, 2020, The Panel was read – online – for an audience, also online, as the September event of Play by Play, an organization based in Oakland that presents readings of new one acts. Play by Play was founded by Judith Offer, herself a playwright and poet.

Please see link below to watch a video of the reading. This will be available for two weeks after the reading, closing, we believe, on October 11.

Originally scheduled for a live presentation in March, 2020, the pandemic forced that date to be canceled. Leslie said, “It was great to receive the invitation from Judith to put The Panel’s reading on Play by Play’s calendar.”  The readers all gave outstanding performances even though they were seen in a small screen instead of on a stage. Here they are:


Readers from top L: Pam Wong (The Young One), Laurie Mokriski (The White Ethnic Dancer), Torey Bookstein (The Great One, and The Jive Person), Paul Harkness (The Old One), Jonathan Clark (The Film Guy), Susannah Wood (The Moderator).

The performances were fantastic. The readers created a theater within the small, electronic box and brought their sometimes troublesome, often funny characters into three dimensional life. It was an exciting event! Some comments from audience: “I loved it!” “I loved it and thought it was perfect!” “We enjoyed it!” “The dialogue is incredibly clever! Thanks for a delightful afternoon.”

Here is a link to the recording of the reading. Please remember that this is a second generation recording and the sound may not be consistent. Thank you for your interest and CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CAST!

Share recording with viewers:
https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/zEGhNdHrWYpgk-5c53CR-vfXODBabO1S8tHpzkT7JoIBgIBf5kkxcr9dqm6bnX6a.qzLPJWjNfcNL_0z3 Passcode: !9PW3upU