Freedom’s Cost

When all is lost

Something is found

The final cost

Is the broken bond

Freedoms unraveling

Of what we trust

Brings a fearful thing

All that is known is turned to dust

When all is lost

Something is found

And freedoms cost

Merely fears unbound

A singing song

A caged bird free to fly

Its voice clear and strong

Alone in an empty sky

Spring Cleaning at the Coltrane Home

Friends of the Coltrane Home

We continue to maintain that there is no deeper, more fulfilling fun than working on something bigger than ourselves with others who care, too.

One of our favorite bands of volunteers is the folks involved in transforming the John & Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills into a multi-faceted museum and education center that advances these incredible musical and spiritual legacies, and fulfills John & Alice’s vision of good-will and connection.

It was sooooo much fun to come together with a few of the volunteers to help spring clean the home, catch up with each other, and learn a little bit about the deeply thoughtful, community-sensitive, and legacy mindful plans they’ve been working on.

We hope to get to see more of these folks soon!!!

Follow them on Facebook and check our our own page where we’ll be sharing more images from that day soon!

Firefly Lights: Kindred Spirits

Come to our community-oriented gallery created by and for local artists at 162 Main St, Northport. We’re open Tues-Thurs 11am-6pm, Fri and Sat 11am-8pm and Sun 11am-5pm. There is ALWAYS something new on the wall, and often being created on site! Send Katie an email if you’d like to meet up down there!

We are soooo thrilled to have found ourselves actually GROWING over the past year, creating new space where we can host full-scale special exhibitions, classes and events!

Now on View in our *New* Darcy Center for the Arts: “Kindred Spirits” This exhibition of the NYS Art Teachers’ Association (NYSATA) will run April 11-April 25

The show is beautiful…and if you know anything about the Firefly you know that even though it’s technically not “our” show, the exponential impact of our dear Queen of Education is one of the primary things on display here. Beth Atkinson will quickly tell you how it’s not about her, and how much she loves and is inspired by her students and the amazing things they do…it’s really cool…

Given Beth’s propensity for helping people learn to be more themselves, we bet you can’t guess who her students are! Except of course, fellow Managing Partner Drigo Morin, whom she’s partnered with as her own “Kindred Spirit”…tho you can still see they’re very different artists! We love them….

Next up: “Honey I Shrunk the Art!” We’re filling the gallery with mini masterpieces! Running from May 1- May 30, we’ll have an Open House Reception May 8th!

Kindred Spirits Flyer Exhibition Dates 4/11 - 4/25, 2021 at The Firefly Artists, Northport, NY

Yuletide Musing: The Lore of the Holly

Holly by Katheryn Laible

Known now as a symbol of Christmas, the Druids regarded holly as a symbol of fertility and eternal life, and thought it to have magical powers. The Romans associated it with Saturn…agriculture, fertility and the harvest. Although the berries are poisonous, it’s been used as a healing plant by Indigenous Americans, who made a tea of it as a heart stimulant.

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Firefly Lights – December 2020

What’s going on at our own favorite small business, the community-oriented gallery created by local artists that Katie is proud to be a Managing Partner of….

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Firefly Lights: Salon des Refusees, Out of Isolation, Zoom Classes

Our community-oriented gallery created by local artists continues to be a light in our lives. Our main Firefly Artists gallery at 162 Main St, Northport is open Tuesday through Thursday 11am-6pm (closed for Thanksgiving), Fri and Sat 11am-8pm and Sunday 11-5pm. Send Katie an email if you’d like to meet up down there!

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Firefly Lights November 2020: Welcome New Fireflies! Classes, Shows

Our community-oriented gallery created by local artists continues to be a light in our lives. Our main Firefly Artists gallery at 162 Main St, Northport is open Tuesday through Thursday 11am-6pm (closed for Thanksgiving), Fri and Sat 11am-8pm and Sunday 11-5pm. Send Katie an email if you’d like to meet up down there!

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Halloween

Photo of Jack O’ Lanterns by Katheryn Laible

Katie’s mom always felt a main point of All Hallow’s Eve was to scare bad spirits away before winter gave them too many opportunities to wreak havoc. Given 2020, we’re all for doing anything we can!

We are thankful for all who care to take the threat this virus poses seriously while also forging creative ways forward. Halloween is a huge examples of this. Much is going on!

Some great local events are featured in this recent Main Street News (as well as other important items) including endeavors by the Greenport BID, “Nightmare on Main St.” in Huntington, and a “Trunk or Treat” in Kings Park. Their verymost recent edition also has NYS Guidelines for safe Halloweening, more great events and, we can NEVER say it enough, LOTS of other valuable information!

Mommy Poppins offers a family guide to Halloween 2020

Places perhaps a bit spookier are on LIHauntedHouses.com

We are intrigued by the History of Halloweenon History.com

Here is a brief exploration of the connection (or maybe not) between All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, and Samhain. from the BBC.

Here’s a History of the Celtic holiday Samhain from Time Magazine. Which, due to it’s being an Irish word is, in fact, pronounced SAW-in.

However you choose to celebrate (or not!), we wish you all the best! Be safe, be smart, and enjoy!!!

Spencer’s Picks: Overcoming Pandemic Fatigue; Art, Science & Suggested Solutions; The Happiness of a Dog

Dr. Spencer Thomas atop the Uffizi in Florence, Italy

Photo of Dr. Spencer Thomas atop the Uffizi in Florence, Italy. Photo by Katheryn Laible

 

As usual, when he’s not scrying into the mysteries of metals at the atomic level, or pondering puzzles of more efficient means of tapping energy, Dr. Thomas is bringing some light into our life. Here are a few of the things he’s brought to our attention:

Now that we’re about a month into the college semester with social distancing and remote learning, a lot of people I know are feeling a bit of a drag. You are not alone: Lonliness at Pandemic U: 14 tips for college students and their parents

Along similar themes, but more for everyone:: Your Surge Capacity is Depleted. This is Why You Feel Awful (and a couple good things you can do about it)

One thing that’s helpful is — to help! Here is a heartwarming and inspiring story from one of my very favorite professors from back in my undergrad time at Stony Brook. Bente Videbaek is an amazing person who has been working hard to make sure people have masks Facebook Page: “Humans of Mather Hospital”

When you feel a bit grounded and ready to stare some of the bigger challenges facing humanity in the face: Countdown is a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. One of the speakers, Dr. Rose Mutiso, is a friend of mine – we were graduate students together. She’s the incredible CEO of the Mawazo Institute, which supports women scientists and leaders throughout East Africa. She has also spoken at TED and written in Scientific American about the challenges that people in Africa face building digital and clean-energy infrastructure.

One for the Coltrane fans out there: The most feared song in jazz, explained. It’s not too hard for a layman to follow this breakdown of “Giant Steps,” even as it’s still among the most challenging things a musician may face

Finally, no big point here, but a bit of joy for you since we could all use it: The happiness of this dog after they put prostheses on

Spencer Thomas received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. After some time at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, we are DELIGHTED to welcome him back to Long Island as a researcher at Stony Brook University. He also happens to be Katie’s brother. For a time, Spencer studied metals at the atomic level; the way atoms are arranged in a material can change its properties; one can take ordinary metals make them stronger, more flexible, corrosion resistant, even radiation resistant. We’re still endeavoring to understand what he’s doing now well enough to explain it so simply.

Spencer believes that no matter who you are, good communication can put scientific concepts within reach. The modern world demands scientific literacy and it is the responsibility of scientists to make that possible.

The Coltrane Home – A Story in Pictures

Photo of Elvis Costello and Yushiro “Fuji” Fujioka by Katheryn Laible

We were really interested in Steve Fulgoni’s story about discovering the John & Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, and his journey since. We’ll tell you more about that soon. First, though, we’ve started tracing our own journey volunteering with the wonderful Friends of the Coltrane Home.

For Katie, it all started when Trudy and Tawaun Weber, normally in church on a Sunday morn, showed up at her door and said, “Get in the car. Bring your camera. Now.”

She went, soon finding herself in the Greenwich Village restaurant of one of the world’s greatest collectors of all things Coltrane, Yushiro “Fuji” Fujioka. There, musical greats, local community members and others joined in a very special event to celebrate the purchase of the home and to passionately advance an endeavor to transform it into a museum and education center worthy of its former owners’ extraordinary, multifaceted legacies.

Here is the story of that day in pictures.

Proceeds from any purchases beyond production costs benefit the Friends of the Coltrane Home. Please contact Katie to inquire about pieces.