There is no better novelty for the coming Memorial Day weekend, than Turtle Burgers. If you haven’t seen this captivating part of Americana, look no further. SunbonnetSmart is bringing it to you in living color.
And, with a chef, equal to Julia Child, commandeering the instructional video to plumber crack perfection
Make Turtle Burgers for family and friends this weekend. Gather some extra cash by selling them at the Quickie Mart.
I LOVE this Comment under the video: “Only in America. I salute you sir.”
“LISTENING is one of the greatest gifts we can give to each other.”
–Julie Maloney, Founder/Director, Women Reading Aloud
How much there is, we know nothing about. Everyday, there is something new to learn.
We walk on a path throughout our lives, but until we come to new people that cross our trajectory, we are limited in what we know and can learn.
Daily, though, things happen, new contacts appear and we meet new influences which cause us to rebound in unexpected ways. Like a cue ball launched on a pool table, we travel one direction then sharply turn in another, influenced by forces we were not expecting when we met somebody new.
Knowing Zoe Artemis led me to meeting Julie Maloney. Getting to know Julie led me to the Amherst Writers and Artists, with their founder, Pat Schneider and her philosophy of authorship.
I betcha’ Julie Maloney never saw herself as leading writing retreats to Greece. But, one day she met Zoe Artemis and both their lives changed forever. Zoe was leading the tours and had been for many years when she got sick. During the summer of 2011, Zoe knew she would not be strong enough to make the trip and encouraged Julie to lead the group without her. In the photo above, we see Julie on the Island of Alonnisos in the Aegean Sea, feeling on top of the world.
Julie founded and directs the writing organization, Women Reading Aloud. WRA is dedicated to encouraging each writer to find her voice and, following the Amherst Writers and Artists Method, believes each person is a writer who deserves encouragement. WRA is a non – profit organization devoted to the promotion of women writers. Julie’s goals for WRA include the development of a radio talk show highlighting non-celebrity women writers from all walks of life. Writers will read excerpts of their writing on air and have a conversation about their work.
Julie is a dancer, choreographer, writer, author, poet, designer and photographer.
From her biography on Amazon.com: “Julie Maloney, the third of four daughters, was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. She has worked in the arts as a performer and educator her entire life. She holds a B.A. in English from New Jersey City University and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Julie performed professionally for several modern dance companies in New York City and was the artistic director, choreographer and principal dancer of the JULIE MALONEY DANCE COMPANY for thirteen years. The University of North Carolina has honored Julie with a Distinguished Alumna Award. Julie is a writer, photographer and teacher. She is the founder and creative designer for MANGO – a company that offers inspirational note cards, writing journals and books. In 2003, Julie founded WOMEN READING ALOUD, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting women writers through special events and workshops. She is a trained workshop leader in the Amherst Writers and Artists Method and leads writing workshops throughout the year.”
Julie has a lovely selection of stationery and journals sold on-line through Mango Press.
In addition to WRA and distributing products through Mango Press, Julie is fully engaged in the writing life. She has written a new novel, titled The Lender, after traveling to Germany to do extensive research.
“Julie Maloney’s poems in her collection Private Landscape move with the exquisite grace of her abilities as a dancer and choreographer. Dream narratives sing in delicate imagery. Pain of cancer is here, honestly revealed and transcended; love is here, in its greatest giving. There is not a trace of easy sentimentality. This is a collection to remember, at once personal and universal.” –Charlotte Mandel
Poet, Sight Lines; Editor, Saturday Press Poet/Lecturer, Barnard College Center for Research and Women
Zoe Artemis was of Greek heritage. She had family still in Greece.
When I last spoke with her, she was excited, to the point of being effervescent, about her tours to Greece. She took groups over in the summer, introducing them to places and people that only someone with connections would have.
She had the most compelling web site on her travels and tours. The photos were nothing short of “yummy.” One look and I was ready to get a passport and meet her over there.
Although, I couldn’t go in the years after I spoke with her, I always, in the back of my mind, intended to go at a future time. Someday, somehow….
And so, you’ll remember, when I was gathering my resources for my BlogHer dancing posts, I decided that introducing BlogHers to Zoe would be a perfect tie in to advertise her trips and show BlogHers a new vista.
Zoe in Greece by the water.
But, getting in touch with Zoe again was not meant to be. Zoe died of pancreatic cancer last July, in 2011. I did not know until I went to access her web site and saw saw that it was now a site of Remembrance. As I adapted my shock of Zoe being gone, I decided to reach out to one of the Commenter who had written in her Memories of Zoe Guest Book.
There was an entry by Julie Maloney, “Zoe contacted me this year to work with her in leading a writer’s retreat on the magical island of ALONNISOS in GREECE. We spoke countless times over the phone and this is the way we bonded. When she told me she was ill and would not be able to travel to Greece, I was deeply saddened and I knew I had to meet her in person.
I traveled to Astoria to greet someone whose body was failing but whose spirit was beyond description. Her love for life was apparent. We spoke about the upcoming retreat and I promised to see her as soon as I returned. I visited her 2 days after I landed. Once again, we embraced with such warmth, I knew she owned a piece of my heart. When I left, I said, “You gave me a great gift.”
I am grateful to this amazing woman for showing me the “light” of Alonnisos – for inviting me into her “vision” of how it could be if writers came together on this island. I look forward to honoring her legacy. Zoe, I love you.” –Julie Maloney, Director of WOMEN READING ALOUD
The small island of Alonnisos is a gem of untouched beauty.
Julie Maloney is a bundle of talent. After a career in dance, she is now a writer, author and Director of Women Reading Aloud, or WRA, a writer’s cooperative in New Jersey. Julie is currently arranging the tours to Alonnisos that Zoe inspired.
“WRA is an organization dedicated to the power of the writer’s voice. WRA believes in providing space for artistic growth. Founded in New Jersey in 2003, it offers writing workshops modeled after the Amherst Writers and Artists Method, the Author Series and Work-in-Progress Series, Writing and Yoga Program, conferences and retreats where women writers can explore their “authentic” voices. Founded on the 3-in-1 principle, WOMEN READING ALOUD focuses on the equal value of the writer, the reader, and the listener. All genres are welcome. WRA encourages writers to cherish their own voices, as well as the voices of others, as they travel the writer’s journey.”
From the Women Reading Aloud web site:“Julie Maloney, Director of WRA, will return to the island of Alonnisos to lead a ten day writing retreat. Open to women writers of all levels, writing in all genres, this retreat offers a perfect balance of community and solitude. Stay in the family owned NINNA PENSION, just up the hill from the port. (Visit: www.ninna.gr.) Enjoy the friendly service of Ninna and her family, as well as the hospitality of Edem, the multi-tiered taverna down the road where we will write each morning by the sea, surrounded by the island’s flora. Limited to 12 writers”
When I contacted Julie Maloney a few weeks ago, this year’s Writer’s Retreat to Greece was filled. I just heard from Julie, there is now an opening, if anyone is interested, click here. The tour is limited to twelve participants.
When I first knew Zoe, I was the one who belly-danced.
I took belly-dancer for great exercise and camaraderie in the late 1970s. I never danced professionally, although I did act as a “wardrobe mistress” to a couple of dancer friends who did.
I learned from “Tahia” in Baltimore, MD from whom I took lessons for a a year and a half. I learned classic, traditional belly-dancing which had a five part presentation that was structured and well defined. In other words, the dance included: 1) an entrance, 2) baladi with veil work, 3) drum solo, 4) floor work and 5) a finale.
Although there were many variations and cultural offshoots such as the cane dance and snake dance, all belly-dance performers that I knew here on the east coast danced the five parts, always with zils or finger cymbals. Now, lets talk about how Zoe belly-danced.
Zoe danced Tribal Style belly-dancing, dressing with robes, turbans and lots of jewelry.
When I use to take Zoe’s dance workshops, it was for therapeutic movement and spiritual connection with the divine feminine not for belly-dancing. After I left New York in the early 1990s, Zoe learned belly-dance by taking lessons in Tribal Style. She excelled at everything she did and conquer belly-dance as well, becoming well known in Central New York for her dancing. Tribal belly-dancing costumes tend to be dark, plain fabrics, with ethnic handmade jewelry and headgear. If you are interested in the costuming, this is a great site for patterns and suggestions, click here.
No, I’m not saying I danced this well!
The above video is an example of the type of dance I learned and costume I wore. This is the 1st Place winner “Dovile” in the Queen of the Pyramid competition in Lithuania. Here is her web site. Her skirt is more modest with full skirts, letting very little leg show. Her costume is light and shimmery with sequins and lame fabrics. Her bra and dance belt are worn with her skirts and with a veil that she has dropped by this point in the dance. But, the overall effect is light and performance base, dancing to please the audience.
A circus performer, Jamila Salimpour, started Tribal Dance in California. She was a great showman. Her dance troupe danced at cabarets and renaissance fairs. The costumes were, and continue to be, dark and ethnic.
In the 1960s, Jamila Salimpour, who had a middle eastern background and who was a circus performer, decided to form a troupe of belly-dancers and ethnic Middle Eastern music to dance at renaissance fairs on the West Coast. Jamila’s troupe emphasized the music and dancing of nomadic tribes, who would dance in their everyday garments.
Zoe in the middle, with one of her dance classes.
Jamila’s players also took to creative costuming, adorning themselves with plain fabrics, mainly colored black, rather than the colorful layers of sheer chiffon found in classic belly-dancing. A great variety of garments became popular as Jamila’s dance style spread across the United States. Tribal garments are not adorned in a performance style, but to please the whim of the dancer. Dancers express themselves through their costume choice and jewelry display. If the costumes interest you, they can be purchased by clicking here.
Fat Chance Belly-dance is a studio considered the originators of the American Tribal Style, or ATS.
American Tribal Style Belly Dance is clearly defined and documented as having been created by Fat Chance Belly Dance in California with the primary characteristic being that of group improvisation. ATS is generally performed in a group, often at community events, with a number of dancers on stage. The group acts as a chorus with dancers in ones, twos and threes, coming forward to dance as the rest dance in the background. ATS dancers typically favoring a look provided by wide-legged pants gathered at the ankles, open backed tops known as cholis, full skirts, taselled belts and much jewelry.
Here are dancers from YouTube, Elena Safae e Vanessa Amira, taking the tribal style in a Goth direction.
As belly-dance evolves into different forms and styles, no telling what we’ll see next. On YouTube there are hundreds of great videos showing vintage and current performances of all different “flavors.” Here’s a teaching video from the ELLEN Show where you can learn a few steps.
Because of the interest, here is another essay she wrote. This one about her experiences working with the Press on the Carter Campaign.
Zoe had a flair for the unusual and dramatic.
Zoe Artemis Remembers Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter Thompson is another American casualty in the war against hypocrisy and political corruption. Thompson was fearless….Thompson was a revolutionary…Thompson was a man’s man……Thompson was an oracle who continually pushed the envelope into the faces of the straights, into the face of conformity, into the faces of lame journalists. Thompson was American’s shaman. He carried his shadow side with him like a badge of courage, while most of us suppress or sanitize it. If all the world is a stage and I believe it is, then each of us has a part to play for better or worse. Like a consummate performance artist he stepped up to the plate ranting and airing the dirty laundry of the power elite.
I met and worked with many journalists when I worked on the Carter Campaign in l976 as an advance person. I was on the bus for four months and had the time of my life. Most of the press people, like Sam Donaldson were amazingly arrogant uptight cynical mainstream assholes. Donaldson, who worked for ABC and wore a toupee, always gave me a hard time. He complained about the size of his hotel room. It wasn’t big enough. He complained he was bored when Carter gave the same campaign speech at three or four rallies in one day. As if we were there to entertain him. He sneered at all of us and told me, ‘you’re candidate will never win’. There were a few cool people, like Ed Bradley, with whom I had a brief affair. We talked about Hunter’s book ‘Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail’ and how he got it right. There was lots of sex, drugs and alcohol and when were were in New York we hung out with John Belushi. Working on a presidential campaign produces the most amazing adrenal rush especially when the candidate starts off as the underdog and then begins catching up. President Jimmy Carter credits Hunter Thompson in winning the election when Thompson covered Carter’s Law day speech in Rolling Stone magazine.
Some may say it is a tragedy or a waste when someone takes their own life. On the other hand it may be seen as an act of courage. Thompson fully accomplished what he needed to do in this life time and we are the benefactors. What more can we ask of him.
Many of those who were active in the Feminism of the 1970s grabbed onto the idea that to be equal, women had to be like men. Some women chose to dress in gray pantsuits; some even wore ties, thinking that would level the playing fields in the male bastions of business, medicine and law.
Many decided being aggressive, using foul language and telling obscene jokes that demeaned women would endear them to their male counterparts. In most cases, these efforts were ineffectual, just looked silly and compromised those participating. It diluted women’s feminine power.
Zoe belly-danced in the Tribal Style. It differs from traditional belly-dancing in that it started in California in the mid 1970s and is done to primarily enrich the dancer, with the audience being secondary.
In the following essay, Zoe expresses her belief that aggressive, male dominated feminism dishonors the feminine ideal and dilutes feminine power. She sent it to her friend, Brian Hassett, a short story writer, poet, feature writer, essayist, critic, columnist, reviewer, and songwriter, in such places as The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Complete Woman, Penthouse, High Times, Beat Scene, etc. and most importantly to us, a blogger. To read Zoe’s letter as it originally appeared on-line, click here.
Zoe’s New Feminists Essay
March 22nd, 2008
This is a nice essay that was slipped over the transom by a fellow New York warrior in honor of Women’s History Month, thought I’d share.
MEET THE NEW FEMININE FEMINISTS,
by Zoe Artemis
These days my life is divided up into two moving parts: teaching dancing, and campaigning for Barack Obama. Yes, I’m a Baby-boomer for Barack.
On March 8, International Women’s Day, I taught a Belly Dance workshop at my studio in New York City. My role: to teach women to connect with their sacred feminine power and their female heritage. The women in attendance ranged in age from 26-60, in all glorious shapes and sizes.
Belly Dancing has great mojo power in bringing together highly smart women from all walks of life, to get down with each other, and dance. I create a supportive environment where women can feel sexy, saucy, ass-kickin’ strong, vampish, gorgeous and nurtured; a space where they can express latent archetypes: the coquette, the angel, the sensualist, the earth mother, the gypsy, the performer, the priestess, the warrior, and the tribal dancer. Meet the new feminine feminists.
Zoe excelled at everything she did.
We spent the day swiveling, shimmying, shaking, and moving our hips independently of our torso, like a pendulum swinging beneath an immobile clock. To world thumping music our hands created the frame around the body; sometimes the moves were soft, sensual and inward; other times it was outward, wild and reckless. A tribe of women who validate and confirm each other’s sensuality and beauty becomes the perfect antidote to lack of self esteem. For many western women Belly Dance is truly a form of liberation.
The feedback I received from women who belly dance with me is this: it’s not necessary to have that one-to-one attention from a man in order to feel womanly and sensual. Women can feel sexy, sensual and feminine whether they’re in a relationship or not. It’s about creating self-confidence, community, joy and humor. The repetitive movements bring us fully into the present moment, the meditative state, into the zone.
Another aspect which is important for us feminine feminists is that we get to play dress up. Gone are the pant suits, the jeans, the sweat pants, the baggy clothes, the clunky sneakers and the 10″ high heels.
Many arms indicates supernatural powers and the ability to do many things. Zoe is in red, seated at the bottom.
We usually think of feminism as a modern, contemporary trend, however there’s a new kind of feminism that is emerging, where women can own up to their sensuality and softness, while maintaining their fire. I don’t want to take orders from the patriarchy, but I don’t want to take orders from (contemporary) feminists either, i.e., Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro; which brings me to the current political climate. I am stunned by the raw voracious and, yes, desperate grasping for power by the old guard feminists. It’s pathetic and frightening to see these women make fun of anything deep or soulful, and who take joy in wounding people. Some feminine feminists: Samantha Power, Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Arianna Huffington. Yelling, shrieking, mocking, bullying, punching and whining are not cool. Punching and whining simultaneously? That’s an oxyMORON.
Zoe Artemis is a native New Yorker who currently teaches belly dance classes at her studio, creative movement classes in the NYC public schools, and campaigns for Barack Obama. In l978-79, at her first job ever, she worked as an administrative assistant in the Carter White House. http://www.zoeartemis.com/
Writing about the Divine Feminine caused me to think of a special person I knew in upstate New York.
She was a dancer, a writer a teacher and mentor. She was a very unusual woman. She was spiritual and, at times, didn’t seem of this world. And yet her basic information on her FaceBook page was down to earth while stating:
‘these are the good old days’
I’m a liberal Dem, but not politically correct.
Interested in the art of ‘hangoutology’ and good conversation. Dancing, writing, painting, performing and cooking are what I love doing best
Her Relationship Status sounds just like her when it says, “It’s complicated”
Her given name was Elaine Zessi, but “Zoe Artemis” was the name she commonly used.
Zoe Artemis, professional name of Elaine Zessi
If there is one thing I love to do, it’s network. Introduce people and cause paths to cross that would never have happened otherwise. But, then, I love it when acquaintances do the same for me in return. When I owned and operated my quilting business for nine years in the 1980s, I used to give weekend retreats where all of the food was catered and quilters could come and quilt without distraction. One of my quilters, Kathy from Syracuse, introduced me to a Women who had dancing workshops, Zoe Artemis.
The last time I spoke to Zoe, it was about four years ago. She was off on her latest adventures, organizing trips to her land of heritage, Greece. When I went to her web site, it was very pictorial with scenes of Zoe in the Greek islands surrounded by white walls and crystal blue seas and skies. I was enchanted by her new ventures, but not anywhere near attending her trips.
I was also amazed at her social history as she had written essays and placed them on her web site. In our phone call, I HAD to mention her affair with TV’s Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes. “Zoe!” I said, “You never told me you had an affair with Ed Bradley!” I was wide-eyed with celebrity wonderment, thinking I was two degrees from knowing Ed Bradley.
“Oh!” she said. “He was a wonderful man. Very polite and soft spoken. Yes. I liked him very much.”
“But,” she continued, “One doesn’t just talk of such things.”
So, when I decided to write about the Divine Feminine in dance, who would naturally come to mind except Zoe Artemis? Wonderful, other worldly, mentor to hundreds of women, Zoe personified feminine power and grace.
I thought that, wow! I could tie my BlogHer series to Zoe and let all my BlogHer friends know about her workshops and trips to Greece. I thought that while I’ve never been able to go, maybe some of you could!
That’s when I found out the bad news.
Zoe reading in Greece. Look at her beautiful posture!
Searching to find her webs site online, I was led to a new web site, one remembering Zoe! At first, I couldn’t even understand what it meant. “Remembering,” I thought, “That’s what you do for someone who has died.” The meaning just didn’t sink in. It took me several minutes to understand what had happened. It was a reality I was not ready to enter.
But, yes, Zoe died last summer, in 2011, of pancreatic cancer. I have been told she died as she lived, bigger than life with humor and looking ahead to her next tour of Greece. She never verbalized the negative, thinking of her life in the physical coming to an end, but rather, I am told she kept the conversation away from herself, preferring to learn about her visitor. She was always a master at enjoying the moment.
Zoe was an energy healer, using etheric healing to realign skewed chakras.
Once I began to go to Zoe’s dance workshops, I found out that she also did energy healing and I used to go to her as a healer as well. All of us have a light body of energy that surrounds us, about six inches from our skin outward. If the light body is damaged, it can affect the physical body. Many illnesses can be healed by first healing and aligning the chakras, or energy centers, of the light body.
Zoe traveled in very high powered, intellectual circles. Here she is reading at a tribute to Jack Kerouac in 2004. She is at the mic from about 14:49 to 22:30 in the video.
I lost touch with Zoe when I moved away from New York State. It wasn’t until the immediacy of the Internet, I realized I could do a search on her and find her. I immediately found her web site, which is no longer up and running, sent an e-mail and soon, we were on the phone, picking up where we left off years before. Her web site was fascinating and beautiful, just as one would expect.
She talked about her trips to Greece, visiting the site of the Oracle at Delphi and many other tempting images. She encouraged me to come on these wonderful adventures, but, of course, I had too many obligations to take off and “head to the Mediterranean.” In all truth, though, I can’t imagine anything more wonderful than having journeyed as part of Zoe’s tour group. Maybe some day….
And so, now you know that why, whenever I think of the Divine Feminine, I think of Zoe, with all of her spiritual and physical talents and attributes.
And now, you will understand why, when I planned this series of Divine Feminine dancing posts, I just HAD to let you know about the incarnation in our time space known as Elaine Zessi, or Zoe Artemis.
For more information on energy healing:
“Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field”
by Barbara Ann Brennan
Zoe’s writer’s trips to Greece are continuing. Look for my post on “Women Reading Aloud,” coming soon.