Ministerial Muses—3.11.2018

Posted March 11th, 2018 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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Celebration of Herbie Rose!

Mother Nature held the rain at bay yesterday as people gathered in The Village of The Arts to celebrate the life and memory of Herbie Rose, premiere Florida artist and visionary founder of The Village of The Arts.

Village restaurants contributed food for a spectacular fest.

Graciela Giles, Herbie’s wife, thanked everyone for coming and began the festivities by introducing Argentinian dancers to get things off to “lively” start.

Then Graciela invited people to come to the mike and share their thoughts about Herbie. The heartfelt, and often humorous, remarks reflected Herbie’s quiet and inspiring touch. Among those speaking were Mayor Wayne Poston…

…and Jo Ellen Gorris, one of the first artists to embrace Herbie’s vision for our extraordinary artists’ community.

Herbie’s legacy is just beginning to be recognized. As an artist, teacher, and community activist, there are few who can match his contribution to Bradenton and to Florida. May his memory become stronger as the years go by.

Ministerial Muses—2.25.2018

Posted February 25th, 2018 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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When I read the advance materials about the Toni Dove exhibit at The Ringling Museum, I didn’t have a clue what it was going to be. Interactive they said. I expected to wave my hand at a machine and see it projected a dozen times on the walls around me. But The Ringling’s seven-year Art of Our Time initiative, spearheaded by Steven High, has been producing spectacular, don’t-miss exhibits, so I put it on my calendar.

My friend Bernie and I arrived at the Member’s Preview yesterday in time to hear the last half of curator Matthew McLendon’s talk about the exhibit. “I encourage you to read the written material on the walls,” he said. “I’ll be wandering through the exhibit in case you have any questions.” Bernie and I decided to have a cup of coffee and a cinnamon bun before we ventured into the galleries. Once we finally moved to the exhibit, we were drawn into a world that was as mesmerizing as it was confusing. We quickly found ourselves in a small room with a light-up mat on the floor and images being projected on the wall. I waited my turn as instructed by the mat. When the mat gave me permission to move forward, I discovered that the mat has three different stations. When you stand on one of the stations, it lights up and the image on the screen changes. I was moving back and forth on the mat when Matthew McLendon popped in and told me that if I waved my arms, the image would be altered. I expected to see my motions projected back to me (mind sets are difficult things to let go of). Matthew explained that the piece didn’t reflect my motions, my motions changed the image that was being displayed. I was “manipulating” the image. “A five-year-old would understand this right away,” I thought.

Not long after that Bernie and I wandered into another darkened room just as Dove’s Spectropia was beginning. There were benches so we sat down. An hour and fifteen minutes later, we emerged from the room. We had seen the future. Spectropia is best described as Last Year in Marienbad meets Steampunk in a mother board someplace in Japan. What we saw turned out to be a recording of a live, interactive performance of the piece. Like disc jockeys manipulate recordings to create their own sound performances, Dove manipulates recorded imagery and sound to create ever changing versions of her visual works.

Slowly, it was all beginning to make a little sense. It’s a lot to take in in one day but two things stood out amidst the cutting-edge technology: there are highly creative intellectual threads running through Dove’s work, and the imagery, though strange, is exquisitely crafted.

Spectropia will be presented live by Toni Dove in the courtyard at The Ringling on March 9. She will present her other major work, Lucid Possession, in the Historic Asolo Theatre on April 13 and 14. Bernie and I already have tickets.

© 2018 Anna Jedrziewski and Spirit Connection New York, Inc.

Ministerial Muses.2.11.18

Posted February 10th, 2018 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Mid-Town Manatee?, Ministerial Muses
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Changes in a changing neighborhood

Much to my relief, Jeff Wallace is back next door running our historic neighborhood auto repair business. Legally, it’s Jeff’s Auto Repair now, but it will always be Jack’s Auto Repair to those of us who have lived here for decades.

Jack Wilson founded the business back when my grandparents were living here. He still comes back from West Virginia every winter to help out next door. Jack hired Charles Godshall and sold him the business when he retired. Charlie hired Jeff and sold him the business when he retired. Jeff added the Tuesday Night Book Club, a funky lot who meet once a week and make the neighborhood a safer place after dark. Once the unlicensed junk auto businesses started rolling over the neighborhood a decade ago, making things as unsightly and unlivable as they could for pre-existing homeowners and small businesses, Jeff finally decided it was time to move to Georgia. But the ties to Old Florida aren’t easily broken and in a few years he was back. A year ago he was able to move back to the original Jack’s Auto property, next door to me. The Tuesday Night Book Club is meeting next door again!

Jeff’s renewed presence is such a gift to me. He doesn’t sell drugs or stolen auto parts (no gang members dropping by). He’s a terrific mechanic who’s always busy with legitimate work. He runs a licensed business, subject to inspection, and he pays taxes, lots of taxes. His employees don’t wear electronic ankle bracelets or drive vehicles with window-rattling stereos and expired license plates smeared with mud. He doesn’t park heavy commercial vehicles on the public right-of-way nights and weekends and leave the engines running for hours making noise and gas fumes. He doesn’t let old, noisy industrial compressors run outdoors for hours and hours. He doesn’t pour toxic waste products along my property line after dark. He doesn’t abuse his guard dogs to make them vicious and then let them run loose in the neighborhood to poop in other people’s yards so he doesn’t have to clean up after them.

But it wasn’t any the above things that prompted me to write this Musing. It was, rather, another historic event. A few months ago, Jeff hired the first woman mechanic in this “good old boy” neighborhood.

He hired Abbie right out of school and is training her. And—I admit much to my feminist surprise—so is the original “good old boy” Jack Wilson. She’s already starting to pull her own weight, with high praise from both her mentors. I happened to be there last week when she finally got a car with a difficult problem started. Jeff said, “I’d tell you ‘you’re the MAN’ except I can’t”. Abbie and I quickly agreed that we both had enough ego-strength to accept being called “the MAN” if it was meant as praise. To which Jeff replied, “Grab the other end of this while I tighten it, Abbie …”

©2018 Anna Jedrziewski and Spirit Connection New York, Inc.


Posted January 27th, 2018 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL
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Ministerial Muses—11.6.2017

Posted November 6th, 2017 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses, The Faerie Encounters™
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Moving out of what had been her home for almost five decades just about did her in. She was physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted by the time she finally arrived back in Florida. The new world she thought she had seen emerging just before she left town to go north appeared to be gone. What remained was a house filled with boxes and badly in need of repairs, and a yard which had gotten impossibly overgrown while she was busy packing up her life up north.

The last few years in New York had been increasingly hostile. She no longer recognized the city that she had cherished for so many decades. As her building became more “high class”, it also became noisier. The Board, unwilling to risk lawsuits by people who could afford expensive lawyers, did nothing to stop it except issue the occasional memo asking tenants to be “considerate” of their neighbors. The streets which she had once roamed with enthusiasm, now scared her. People she had known most of her adult life began to distance themselves from her as she voiced her frustration and her fear.

By dumb luck, she had ended up living in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan Yet she felt like a prisoner of war, trapped in a one-room space, being tortured by her upstairs neighbors at all hours of the night and day, with no way to regain control over her circumstances except to leave.

But leaving (selling and moving) was easier said than done. When the Board declined to approve the financials of her first buyer because the woman only made $455,000/year, she knew it really was war. But she was lucky.

Her broker lived in the building and fought to get her top dollar for her apartment, partly because the broker was a nice person, and partly because the sale price affected the value of her own apartment. Unexpected acquaintances showed up to help dismantle her built-ins and pack up her belongings. They quickly became family.

As she took down her room dividers/storage units, the apartment became a mire of stacked boxes. Neighbors, who had been fun to socialize with occasionally, showed up to drive carload after carload to a storage unit to get some them out of her way so she could keep packing. She desperately needed that show of support as she fought to save the equity in her apartment as well as her sanity in a world that now seemed intent on destroying her.

The father of the buyer whom the Board finally approved nickel-and-dimed her, literally, until the last second. But her lawyer (recommended by her broker) successfully held him at bay and protected the equity which she had worked so hard to build up.

When she left her home for the last time, there was no wrenching at the loss. The empty shell that was left was not the home that she had built and loved. She headed back to the faeries without looking back. But the battle had taken it’s toll. She was walking wounded. There were days she found she could barely sit up, and it was six months before she could once again take pleasure in watching the salamanders dance in the flames of her fire pit.

It was a year before she could again connect with the Lady in White. When she was finally able to do that, she discovered that the faeries had had their own battle to fight while she was salvaging her life. The Invisible Helpers arranged to send her a book about Santa Muerte and she realized that the drug dealers in the neighborhood were probably petitioning the folk saint to put a curse on her. (Santa Muerte is the saint that drug cartels build altars to. But when they don’t receive what they ask for, they are brutal in their response, literally beating the saint’s statue to punish her. Clearly they are not appealing to this icon’s higher aspects.)

As she regained her health and began to be proactive again, she let Santa Muerte know that she was offering her property as a place of refuge. She spoke to the higher aspects of the Lady of Death and asked for her protection from the negative intentions of the neighborhood dealers. She purchased a filigreed iron cross with an opened blue rose in the center of it. She attached two acorns under the rose to draw fertility and creativity, then added a chain of skulls at the bottom to pay tribute to the ancestors. When she attached it to a solar light post at the center front of her property, she could feel the energy shift instantly. And the faeries began surfacing almost immediately. Within a few days she could feel the hum of their energy through the Goddess Garden again. They brought her will to live back with them when they returned. She was still physically exhausted (and showing signs of PTSD) but she faced each day with expectation instead of despair. The voices of the Loved Ones were speaking to her again.

© 2017 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

SNOOTY™ — Ministerial Muses 8.6.17

Posted August 6th, 2017 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses, Snooty™
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The following is reprinted from Goddess Talking™ in the July 2003 issue of Let the Spirit Guide You!

Snooty™ deferred parenting until later in life. It wasn’t his choice. He was born into an alien world and separated from his own kind from the age of one. His friend Sally tells me he displays all the necessary signs of virility, but by the time his subjects were able to build him an environment large enough for a pool-mate, it was illegal to breed manatees in captivity. Those close to him mourn the loss of his genes to the species.

No one knew his mother was pregnant when she was captured and brought to the old Miami Aquarium. On July 21, 1948 (yes, a Cancer), his was the first officially recorded birth of a manatee in captivity. Soon afterwards, in 1949, he came to Bradenton to help the city with its DeSoto Celebration. Known as “Baby Snoots” then, he quickly won hearts and was invited to stay (fortunately with a name change). It is a love affair that continues. I’ve always told friends from out of town, that when Snooty dies the people of Bradenton will burn the city charter, board up the windows, and move on. Truthfully, I suspect that, when the time comes, he will find a way to help us through his death as successfully as he has welcomed us into his life.

Surrounded by admirers, his every need met by a loving staff, he could have lived a life of wealthy indulgence. He hasn’t. Nobody accepts their responsibilities as conscientiously as Snooty. Over the course of his 55 years in public service, 24 of them as the official Manatee County mascot, he has personally greeted more than a million people. Always a teacher, he is now a recognized part of the Manatee County School System. With the help of his staff, he answers letters from school children all over the country. Concerned about his own kind in the wild (there are less than 3000 manatees left in Florida), he volunteered for hearing tests at Mote Marine Laboratory. He has even managed to turn his annual Birthday Bash into a Wildlife Awareness Festival.

It was February 1998 when Snooty received his first young, pool-mate, Newton. Newton had been injured in the wild and suffered ongoing health problems. In August of 1998 Newton lost his battle to recover. The people
of Bradenton grieved openly, huddled together in supermarket aisles, parking lots and gas stations. But Snooty had proven himself as a foster dad.

His next protégé was Mo, a healthy, but orphaned, youngster. When he was old enough, Mo was successfully released into the wild. (He has since been struck twice by boaters and is currently recovering at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.)

Not long after Mo’s release, Palma Sola arrived at The Parker Manatee Aquarium to receive the benefits of Snooty’s expertise and helping flipper. Palma Sola was successfully released into the wild on February 13th of this year. At last report, he was doing well. (You can track his progress at www.

As I write this, Snooty and his staff are looking after DeSoto Park, a year-old manatee who was injured by the boater who killed his mother. Snooty is effortlessly helping DeSoto Park learn what he needs to know to survive in a world which Snooty has never known.

Snooty’s gifts to his human populace still, however, surpass his gifts to his own species. His mere presence is healing to us. People often come to discuss their problems with him. Some just watch him twist and loop through the water as a meditation to relieve stress.

Okay! It’s possible I’ve been projecting a little. But don’t dismiss me until you go and look into Snooty’s eyes for yourself. If you’ve ever known sadness, your will see it there. If you’ve ever known compassion, you will see it there. If you’ve ever aspired to learn the Wisdom of the Ages, you will wish that he could speak to you. And then, you’ll see him grin.

Snooty Sensei — Ministerial Muses 7.25.2017

Posted July 25th, 2017 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses, Snooty™
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I first met Snooty after my father died in 1985. I started spending 5-10 days every few months in Bradenton, in what had been my grandparents’ retirement home, helping my mother with its maintenance. I sought out things to do in the community and quickly discovered Snooty and his entourage. I began telling friends that when Snooty died, Bradenton would roll up the sidewalks and burn the city charter. There would be no reason to go on. It rolled easily off my tongue because there was something immortal about Snooty. It didn’t seem possible that he would ever be gone. Yet here we are. (I wrote about Snooty and his special ministry awhile back in Let the Spirit Guide You!™ I’ll hunt for that and try and get it posted here soon.)

Sensei is a title (my Japanese friends tell me) that honors teachers. For me, Snooty was first and foremost a teacher. The fact that he never communicated in human language makes his teachings all the more powerful. Florida has made an art form out of tourist attractions. Snooty helped spawned a plethora of bigger and better Manatee exhibits across the state, but still Snooty kept attracting more and more people to his humble home. Being in his presence could be transcendent if you were paying attention. Let those who have ears to hear, understand. I am just beginning to understand what Snooty was trying to teach me.

When I started reading about Kabbalah back in the 90’s, I was stumped by the common interpretation of Moses and the journey to the Promised Land. He told God he would lead his tribe through the desert to their new home. Despite legendary challenges he accomplished that, but because he lost his temper once, and struck a rock with his walking stick out of anger at God, he was not allowed to enter the new land with the people. He died just outside of it. I struggled with the apparent injustice of that for a long time. Eventually I came to my own interpretation of the story (no disrespect for Jewish heritage intended). I now believe … that after dragging his people through the desert, listening to their complaints, being told he was useless, being told that a bargain with the devil would be better, the Land of Milk and Honey finally came into view. He pointed to it and said, “You see. You see. There it is.” As they rushed off to their new home, he sat down on a rock, looked up to the heavens, and said quietly, “I did what I promised. Can I come home now?”

I believe … even if it involved human error, mechanical failure, or sabotage … that after hosting the most spectacular birthday party of his spectacular life, Snooty let the angels take him home. He passed the torch. Each one of us, whose life was touched by Snooty, now carries a spark from that torch out into the world. May we honor him by remembering compassion and a gentle touch.

God speed Snooty Sensei.
As my friend Miho would say … We appreciate you.

Garden e-Diary—2.19.17

Posted February 19th, 2017 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Garden e-Diary, Manatee County, FL, Mid-Town Manatee?
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It’s been a long time since I updated you about the Goddess Garden and its surrounding plant beds. My life has been complicated for awhile  and the Garden e-Diary is one of the things that fell by the wayside. I’m in the process of reorganizing now and trying to get back on track with some of the things I have neglected.

The bougainvillea I planted in the center of the front bed is thriving and blooming happily. The oleander that I divided and replanted in the hexagonal beds on either side of the bougainvillea is doing well also.

In addition to being winter, we’ve had mostly dry conditions in Bradenton for the past few months. Some of my plants are struggling BUT, of course, the weeds are proliferating. The Mango Bed at the west end of the front bed is a good example. I weeded it throughly before I left town on Thanksgiving. It was overgrown again when I returned.

I managed to make time to weed it again before I left town, carefully pulling weeds around the ornamental peanut vines that are meant to be ground cover. The peanut vine has thinned considerable with the drought conditions, but is spreading at the same time. I’m hoping for it to really take over this next growing season. I also trimmed the tips off the little mango tree to encourage it to bush rather than sprawl. I added additional mulch in between the plants I’m trying to encourage (after I took the photo below).

I got the weeds back under basic control before I left town. I will be spending more time at the Florida center this spring and hope to really get things shaped up. I will keep you posted!

Ministerial Muses—2.12.17

Posted February 12th, 2017 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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Yesterday’s fundraising sale at Herbie Rose’s studio in the Village of the Arts was a HUGE success!

Volunteers helped water colorist Graciela Giles, Herbie’s wife, get an incredible amount of Herbie’s paintings hung. Local restaurants provided food — and people turned out in droves all day to help support this Manatee mentor in his later years.

Herbie laid the foundation for the growth of creativity here in Bradentnon. We see the manifestation of his vision in the Village of the Arts and the soon-to-begin playful expansion of the South Florida Museum.

I attended the event with Jo Ellen Gorris, owner of one of the original 13 Village studios (Clay in the Garden). She told me that she watched Herbie’s painting show on PBS years ago.

As Bradenton works to put itself on the map as a city of the future, it’s nice to know that we aren’t forgetting the people who have brought us this far.

Ministerial Muses—2.5.17

Posted February 5th, 2017 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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My friend Jo Ellen and I went to a lecture at The Ringling Museum last Tuesday. Anne Patterson was talking about installing Pathless Woods, her fun and inventive room-sized work of art.

If you haven’t experienced this wonder of ribbon and light, I highly encourage you to do so. It’s touchable art that seduces, entertains, and surprises. Bring your inner child if you really want to experience it completely. This is not an intellectual enterprise, despite the fact that Patterson’s credentials are stellar.

I first discovered this special art piece two months ago when my friend Bernie Popovich and I visited the museum to see the new Asian Wing. A security guard told us not to miss Pathless Woods and we didn’t. We were both enchanted.

Hearing about how Patterson, originally schooled as a set designer, stumbled upon this vision, and then figured out how to implement it, only added to my appreciation of the piece. The fact that local volunteers and USF students were involved in the installation made it even more special.

Patterson is working on an installation for Cincinnati next, different but equally exciting. If you enjoy creative experiences, I suggest you keep an eye on her. For me she is not only a compelling artist but someone who has turned her creative skills into a modern-day ministry. (Children lie on the floor and look up at the ribbons floating over head. Adults are now following their example. Enough said.)

Many thanks to The Ringling for bringing this artist to our attention and for giving us the opportunity to engage her one-on-one!