Two Personal Plugs

Warning: Non-drug-policy-related post. I usually stick exclusively to drug policy in this blog, but today I wanted to take a moment to make a couple of plugs — one for a show I’m producing and directing in Chicago which opens in a week (and therefore posting will be quite light). The other is for a new book written by my Dad. Obviously feel free to skip this post if you’re not interested or are in some way offended by one or the other.

“bullet” If you’re going to be in or near Chicago, check out the upcoming production of Ascent of the Living Canvas.

This is a live production based on The Living Canvas photography that I’ve been doing for the past 20 years, which involves using the human form as a canvas for textures and unique approaches to light and shadow. The photography has come alive for a series of performance pieces (“The Living Canvas” in 2001 and “The Living Canvas: An Oddysey” in 2002) incorporating movement, text, music, projections and the extraordinary expressiveness of the unclothed human form.
The new show, “Ascent of the Living Canvas,” adds digital projection and combines humor, beauty, and abstract social commentary on the issues of self-esteem and body acceptance.
Photography and direction is by me, choreography by my good friend Mark Hackman (of the amazing Chicago Dance Crash) and original composition is by Dennis Tobenski.
Performances are July 23 through August 28 (Friday and Saturday nights at 8 pm) at Boxer Rebellion Theatre, 1257 W. Loyola Ave. in Chicago (one block from the Loyola Red Line stop). Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online.
I’ll be at all the performances, so please feel free to stay afterward to chat.
For more information about my photography, visit The Living Canvas.

“bullet” I highly recommend this book: The God Connection: A Layperson’s Guide to the Bible by Francis Geo. Guither.
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Yes, I’m promoting a book written by my dad. He’s a retired United Methodist minister, a great guy, and I can have delightfully frank and open religious discussions/arguments with him. Well, I started to read his latest book out of politeness (so I could tell him I read it) with that sort of have attention that I developed sitting through all those church services as a kid. But I really became interested. He explains the bible in ways that truly make sense, not as a rigid dictated set of arbitrary doctrines, but a genuine search for meaning and understanding. Here’s an excerpt

In the beginning, God!Ӿ Not what, how, or why, but Who? The Bible is a book about God.

Unfortunately, we try to make it a book of science, magic, and unquestioned history.æ We force it to do all kinds of things it was never intended to do.æ This book of religion, is the devout and inspired word of faith, coming from sincere, godly men and women confident that God really existed, and that God had moved in marvelous ways to give people, the ultimate creation, an abundant, happy life.

Not all truths came to them at one time!æ That never happens.æ Like all of us today, we start with a simple understanding, and move step by step to a higher comprehension.æ But God was real to them…very real!æ Like children in a nursery, they had to learn…piling up the blocks, experimenting, asking, “What is the will of this God we worship?”æ “How is life meant to be lived?”æ They learned the simple ABC’s first: “There is but one God!”æ They learned the higher mathematics later, “Love your enemies!”

It took time, lots of time!æ The prophets came along, and slowly like nurse-maids coaxing little children, they said, “Try this on for size: God is just!” and then, “Now try this: God is merciful!”æ And would you believe, “God is love”?

Through it all, God never changed: “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Heb. 13:8)æ But man’s understanding of God changed.æ Some growing did take place!æ Very little, it seemed.æ Now and then, they took a half-step forward, then fell back a step and a half.

You can buy it through the link above, either as an electronic book, or paperback, and for considerably less than it’s selling at Amazon (and I don’t get a cut from Authorbooks, but that’s fine).

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