Volume III, Issue 1
December 2002     
Reflections by Joan Cartwright

Joan Sings by CHARLES MILLS  

Music led me to who I am, today. From Queens, New York, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and from Bern, Switzerland, Taormina, Sicily, to Bahia, Brazil,  the music and musicians have filled my life with adventure, charisma and loads of stories to tell.

2K2 has been one huge adventure for me and many others that I know. My gallery opened December 15, 2001, and the events that took place there, at MOTHERLAND BRIDGE brought hundreds of people to the area. On November 9, there was AFTERGLOW in Fort Lauderdale, deigning N.W. 1st Avenue the Fat Village Arts District. Brian Ahlstrom has his studio in the block south of MOTHERLAND BRIDGE, 508 NW 1st Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but his is a working studio, so Motherland Bridge is the FIRST eclectic gallery in the District. This is exciting. When Doug McCraw and his sister, Becky Patterson, decided to open three of the warehouses to area artists, the District began. Staying put at my gallery became an evident goal. Art Walk will happen, again, on Saturday, February 2, 2003! See CITY LINK.

In February 2003, my daughter, Mimi Johnson, is opening  CAUSTIC Studio in Atlanta, where she's reserved two rooms for my gallery of art. The Grand Opening will feature the works of Lydell Jackson of North Carolina, Anthony Henry of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Shadrack Bukasa of The Congo, Africa.

In November 2002, I completed my grant presentation of WOMEN IN JAZZ for over 1,000 students in five Broward County schools. This is the third year I've been a SEAS Grant recipient for a total of $14,750. The presentation can be booked at schools, community centers, libraries, universities, colleges and other venues by emailing me at

Travels, this summer, took me to Brazil and Italy, including the sunny isle of Sicily. My best friend, Bess, and I have 22 videos of the 32 days we spent, in August, driving from Milan to Palermo and back. The nine days I spent in Sao Paolo, Maseo, Bahia and Rio de Janero gave me 12 videos to edit down and loads of wonderful photos.

Returning to work, in September, after a whirlwind year of purchasing my first home and traveling so much, was difficult. One of my clients, Alice Ward Johnson, has written 11 books on Caregiving. In her CANDLELIGHTS series, she engages middle and high students in writing stories about caring for their relatives. Dr. Johnson has been commissioned by the CHICKEN SOUP publishers to write a series of books - CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE CAREGIVER. I am the co-editor of this series and request that, if you have a story about caring for an elderly parent or a handicapped child or any other family member, please email your story to me, immediately, at

This issue of GaiaNews addresses the necessity of our learning the art of keeping still, concentrating on rest and relaxation and taking care of SELF!

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Gaiafest Women in Jazz

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Volume II
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Volume I
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Volume III
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GaiaNews 2002 Joan Cartwright, M.A.


The greatest spiritual leaders of the human race have emphasized one thing: KNOW THYSELF! In order to accomplish this deed, it is necessary to still the mind and listen to the heart. From Yogis to Zen Buddhists, from Native Americans to the Dogon of West Africa, the goal of spiritual zealots is to quiet the intellect and concentrate on the rhythm of the heartbeat. Be Still. Know Thyself.

This year, my travels have involved everything from the death of a loved one to vacationing on the Amalfie Coast of Italy. I've been in airports crowded with people being surveyed for terrorist artillery; in train stations manned by gun-toting soldiers; and on roads filled with vacationers stopped in long lines at toll booths. At each juncture, the reminder, "Be Still," resounded in my head. 

  • Be patient.

  • Be understanding.

  • Be tolerant of others. 

All these states of being require me to search deep inside myself for the element necessary to be patient, understanding and tolerant.

After 55 years of life on Earth, I require myself to STOP

  • trying to be all things to all people; 

  • worrying about my defects

  • concentrating on having and owning


  • slowing down

  • eliminating unnecessary activity

  • recognizing my accomplishments.


The secret to success, in my estimation, is to know when it is time to take TIME OUT for self. The body revolts when it's been overworked. We may get a cold, an ache or pain that stops us in our tracks. We may not heed the voice of the heart that says, "You don't have to do anything, today." No, we believe we must be active at every waking moment.

But, the body will stop us if we don't know how to stop ourselves. We may sprain an ankle or get a headache or be in a car accident that lays us up for days or weeks at a time. If we make it a habit to allow ourselves to rest, just one full day of the week, we will give the body and the mind time to regenerate, even create something new in our lives. But most of us fail to rest. On our day off, it's time to clean the house or wash the car or do the shopping and laundry.

Once I realized that it would do the house or car no good at all, if I was too sick to live or drive, I could sit on the couch and read a book or watch a movie or simply take a nap. My body is calling for rest and relaxation and it is my obligation to myself to heed the call.


The charge of Motherhood is to care for home, mate and offspring. But what about Mother? Who is charged with caring for her?

Thirty-nine years of Motherhood has taught me that it never ends. When my son-in-law, Glenn, died in May, my duties as Mother began all over again. My daughter, Mimi (37) was devastated. I was there to console her, to guide her and chastise her when she was too hard on herself. My phone would ring at 7 a.m., 1 p.m., 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. and I had to answer it because I knew it was Mimi and she needed me. Mothering is an eternal career. It never stops. I traveled to Atlanta, where they lived, in May, July, September and October. I was on eight airplanes just to and from Atlanta. By October, my body was screaming for rest and relaxation, for me just to KEEP STILL! I have to see that, if I don't take care of me, I can't take care of anyone else.


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