Welcome to friends of wine women and philosophy (wwp)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Our biggest turnout ever for last night's member's salon evening on obedience

Whistles blew and orders were given as wwp members assembled for the last salon evening before the summer break, and explored their attitude towards obedience. Grappling with the question of whether we are rule-followers, "good girls" or unruly freedom-seekers, we countered traditional approaches to morality with the ideas of radical feminist theologian Mary Daly (pictured here), who died earlier this year. After Linnet introduced us to some concepts with which to better understand how women's relationship to obedience has been framed by male philosophers such as Aristotle, Kant, Confucius and Kohlberg, and then reworked by 18th and 19th Century female ethicists such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Catherine Beecher and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, we applied these ideas to our own public and private lives, and asked if we are becoming more or less obedient as we grow older. We were lucky to gain insights into a life devoted to obedience as Pat spoke to us of her experiences as a postulate in a convent, and her decision to leave the Catholic Church because of the kinds of obediences being demanded of women in this context. And we drew on Mary Daly's ethics of freedom for women through questioning all authority, reclaiming names designed to insult us like hag and crone, and celebrating our creative "revolting" Selves, to put Pat's experience into perspective and question our own feelings towards disobeying.

One of the ongoing endeavours of wwp salon evenings is to experiment with different kinds of conversational forms, and this salon evening was no exception. Peripatetic philosophy (walking while you talk), the narrative interview, and open discussion were all part of last evening's energizing mix. A first-time guest commented on the incredible energy she felt as she walked into the salon...This is something we are incredibly proud of, and it really speaks to the kinds of women who are becoming wwp members. Thank you to Pat for sharing, with such eloquence, her story of joining and leaving life in the convent. And thank you to our terrific members and guests (some of whom are now new members!) for bringing their wisdom, enthusiasm, vulnerabilities and compassion to the event. We will be holding a welcome back potluck for all our membership friends at the end of the summer to herald in our Autumn Salon Series...So please mark Thursday, August 26th at 7:30 down in your diaries.

Wishing you all a great summer, and if you aren't participating in a wwp activity taking place over the next couple of months (check our website for details) we look forward to seeing you in August.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yoga at The Nurtury 7-9 May, 2010

This past weekend, 9 women gathered at the Nurtury to learn how to BREATHE...As we strove to find Balance, Relaxation, Energy, Awareness, Transformation, Happiness and Enlightenment through the practice of Hatha Yoga, we created a strong group bond and developed a sense of care and nurturing with and for each other. It was, in all ways, a special weekend full of special moments. From opening up our weekend with the question "How do we wear our bodies?", through experimenting with those same bodies as we performed our salutations to the sun, to our final look at "the pose" in its many and varied contexts over Sunday Brunch, we journeyed far as a group and as individuals.

Thank you to Marta for leading us through our Yoga sessions in a way that moved us spiritually, emotionally, physically and creatively. You not only created a safe and comfortable place for us all to stretch our bodies to new limits; you also gave us a bodily language from which to start engaging in lively and enriching philosophical discussion around the dinner table. We also want to thank Bernice for enlightening us with regard to Eastern philosopher Lao Tzu, and his notions of simplicity, suppleness, and actionless action. As for all our participants, you are truly amazing women. We loved getting to know you better, and we so appreciated the contributions each of you made to the success of this weekend. Below, a comment from Diana who drove down from Ottawa to attend the weekend.

"Just a quick note to thank you for a truly amazing weekend. I think it goes into my once-in-a-lifetime-experience category. The weekend has given me so much to process -- there's a "gentle typhoon" going on inside me and I'm just going to let it happen and see what emerges. In the meantime, I continue to think about and savour the flavours, colours, textures, sounds and connections that made my experience at the Nurtury so special."

And this just in from Pat who also made the journey from Ottawa to be with us for the weekend.

"Thank you for a magical weekend. Food for the body, mind and spirit. It was as though I had been off and away for three weeks. Better, even. I came home refreshed as I rarely am after a trip. The food was way beyond expectations, the building a delight, the location secret and yet open, and of course the opportunity to experience my good friend as a talented teacher was a rare gift. The discussions echoed the kind of things that often roll around in my head, but rarely do I have anyone to exchange them with. All in all, something I will happily do again, and recommend to friends."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Digital Photography and Photoshop Weekend

The circle of inspiration was alive and well this past weekend at the Nurtury, and for once the good news was that the sun didn't shine! That didn't mean, however, that Spring wasn't springing out all over. So, armed with our digital cameras, we headed out to shoot macro-style, glad that no shadows impeded our framing of the minuscule landscapes of nature.

It was a weekend where fractals became demystified along with our cameras. It was a weekend where we each struggled to find our sweet spot...And having found it, enjoyed seeing how to turn our photos into works of art through using Photoshop.
A heartfelt thanks to Lea Stillinger whose expert guidance helped us to take our photographs to a whole new level : opening up the possibility for creating posters, screens, wall hangings, clothing, and greeting cards. Thanks also to our fabulous participants who willingly explored what it means to be fully in the moment, and who embraced this weekend's challenge of igniting their creative selves. Word on the block is that there will be another digital photography weekend coming up soon...So watch this space!

Participants we are waiting for your weekend oeuvres...till then here is a sampling from Marilyn Meikle's weekend portfolio