Music is breath

Music has always been the one constant in my life. It has been the soundtrack to my joys, my fears, comforted me in every emotion, and spoken my words when I could not. I am always seeking out new music and am so overjoyed when I find something new. Playing for Change isn’t new to me, I have been following them since they started on their Songs Around the World journey and what they bring together never ceases to amaze me.

Most people don’t know this about me, but I grew up with my mother’s love of Africa. (photo: My mother with us at Animal Kingdom dancing to live African music two days before she had surgery.) African culture, art, pattern. I think it is why I am so drawn to black and white, high contrast art, pattern, and texture. It is where my love of elephants comes from as well.

It may also have influenced that I have the heart and hands of a drummer. Though not what I would consider well, I played doumbek, djembe, and other hand drums for years. I cannot imagine my life without music, sound, rhythm, beat, percussion, the sounds of feet dancing in dirt, the sounds of nature’s heartbeat on the wind. Music of all varieties speaks to me and influences my creative force daily.

Africa has been speaking to me lately. Elephant keeps popping up as well as tribal patterns. (photo: a lovely gift from a watercolor artist I met recently, check her out here) It keeps me focused on my own personal strength and power as an individual, reminds me of my connection to the Sacred Feminine, and that with that power comes a duty to be compassionate. Compassion has also come up in that I recently reworked my logo. Moon Rabbit is compassion in Japanese culture.

A while ago, in response to some very disturbing discussions in the news about hunting elephants, I created this paper doll in protest. You can download a copy and print it out (I use 110# cardstock) for personal use! Feel free to share it*, just make sure to link to this blog post and not the PDF. Enjoy!

*All downloads are protected under copyright and are not to be duplicated in whole or in part without written permission from Renmeleon aka Ana Maria Selvaggio. If you share it, please link to my  and not to the PDF. Thank you!

If you are a teacher and would like a custom doll for your classroom, please contact me. I’d love to make something for you!

The seal who loved me

My daughter and I read this article in her National Geographic Kids magazine about a month ago. I am thrilled to see this passionate story being told.

He is right, we all hear so much about global warming, the ice melting, the polar bears, and all of it turns to white noise. We don’t live there so we don’t think or recognize it’s impact on all of us; it’s what I call the “Homeless Factor”: You drive by, avert your eyes thinking it will go away. I think today a lot of people are starting to notice that, with the economy and the rise of gas prices, none of us are that far off from being homeless and we have a more sympathetic connection. We need to.

My kind of men.

There are three things that get my attention: Animals, New York, and Bikers. Combine all three? I’m in love.

As the Creative Director for PetsNPatients*, and as someone who has worked with animals in the past, I have seen first hand how animals can heal and what true unconditional love is. As an animal lover who has serious issues with people who abuse their pets, I am 100% behind what these guys are doing.

Joe Panz, one of the members of Rescue Ink, says in their video introduction that “You don’t send a Boy Scout after a bad guy.” and he’s right. Pets, animals in general, need all of us. Our pets trust us and rely on us for their care. If we aren’t there for them, who will be?

Rescue Ink is a new show premiering on the show later this month on the 25th.

From their site:

We formed Rescue Ink™ because the problem of animal abuse and neglect has grown beyond the resources of the existing animal welfare agencies. We love the work done by some of the local shelters, but they cannot possibly keep pace with the volume of problems that need to be addressed.

That’s where Rescue Ink™ comes in. We will stop at nothing within the bounds of the law to protect animals at risk. We will intercede without hesitation when we are informed of a situation that needs to be addressed, and we will address it. If we need to convince people to do the right thing … we can be very convincing, we’ll even buy animals if that’s what it takes to get them away from abusers.

You gotta love it. I might be a bit behind as half the world already knows about Rescue Ink, but these guys are incredible and their mission even more so. Go on, check ’em out, you know you want to.

Rescue Ink’s site [ ]

Rescue Ink on MySpace [ ]

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PetsNPatients is a Chicago-based non-profit that seeks to provide resources for non for profit pet care targeting patients at risk of loosing their pet due to serious health challenges by illness or accident by providing a “band-aid” of interim pet care.