Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A celebration of doodle art

Last weekend, I attended a benefit that celebrated two things: doodle art and a good cause. Let's start with the cause: support of an organization named Shakti Rising. I suggest taking some time to click the link and delve into the Web site. But this excerpt from the FAQ will give you a sense of the work being done:

"What is the Shakti definition of recovery?
Recovery is the decision to live and to take responsibility for your own life, which begins by admitting you have a problem and acknowledging that you want to change. It is a restorative healing process requiring willingness to let go of addictions and self-destructive attitudes while embracing change. The process uncovers the underlying emotions that triggered your self-destructive reactions. Old behaviors and attitudes are replaced with an awareness of your Self, deepened interactions with others, and reconnection with your sense of Spirit."

The benefit, organized by an extraodinary woman and mom named Catherine O'Brien, offered contributors the opportunity to obtain framed doodles from a wide variety of celebrities and public figures. This was the kind of intersection of pop culture and philanthropy that didn't make me think twice about heading out on a chilly, rainy night. And I went home delighted.

Now in my possession: A teleprompter script that NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer doodled on in the era when the PBS show was co-hosted by Robin MacNeil (the last line is "GOOD NIGHT, ROBIN''). The doodle features a signpost that says "Dixie Sunshine Depot,'' a reference, apparently, to his (at least then) futile quest to find a Dixie Sunshine line sign for his collection of bus memorabilia.

Also now mine: What I'm calling (for now, anyway) my Roman soldier doodle, created by acclaimed writer and Stanford professor Tobias Wolff. I've read a couple of his short stories; I'll be a student of his work from here on.

Don't want this post to get too long, but to close: The exhibit catalog can be ordered online in hardcover or softcover (proceeds to Shakti Rising). Here's the site:

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