In Search of Truth and Beauty || Life is but a dream—Somewhere over the rainbow

Posted in Blogs, Community, Theater and Dance

November 18, 2015

Anyone who lives or visits Whidbey Island enters a magical realm, a pure realm. If you doubt this statement, and you are here on Whidbey right now, then go outside and take a deep breath of pure, sweet island air.

That is the proof of purity but what about the magic?

Step through the door to enter the quantum field. I encourage you to look at the properties of entanglement through the quantum lens. My everyday explanation is this: quantum entanglement shows that the universe is pure and all that arises from this field is a “matter” of consciousness. It is very probable that we do, to a very real extent, “create our reality.” Even our notion of time may be an illusion.

From the Beyond (photo by Gina Burja Simpson)

From the Beyond (photo by Gina Burja Simpson)

Our Whidbey universe has pure air and compassionate entanglements. We have many nonprofit organizations that are mostly, if not all, volunteer-run. Lynn Willeford, one of the owners of our great Langley movie house, The Clyde Theatre, has been a driving force behind many community non-profits here. One is Hearts and Hammers,; another is Friends of Friends Medical Support Fund,

Lynn is at it again with a new organization that will soon be launched called South Whidbey at Home. It will help people who want to stay in their homes as they age. For more information and updates on South Whidbey at Home contact

So in this field where we share the fruits of compassion and generosity, we are forever changed both individually and collectively. This heartfelt connection brings together a diverse group of people who share the commonality of envisioning a thriving community regardless of religious or political affiliations.

These organization and others like them serve as pollinators for our schools and our arts organizations and further inspire us as individuals from all arenas of life. We partake of the bucolic nature of our rural beauty alongside the vistas of great theatre, amazing literary and musical events and a vibrant visual arts scene. Many of our local artists create work that is seen, heard and read on a much larger scale than our magical realm.

Illumination (photo by Gina Burja Simpson)

Illumination (photo by Gina Burja Simpson)

These magic molecules are drifting across mountains, oceans and rivers. Many international artists, from all disciplines, choose Whidbey as a place to incubate new work, to teach and to be inspired and “entangled” in our field because here, in this pure and magical realm, “dreams really do come true.”

During the month of October I experienced the double happiness of collaborating with my fellow artists twice. We created two lovely shows at Ott and Murphy’s Wine Tasting Room and Cabaret Stage in downtown Langley. Both cabarets combined the forces of music and literature around these universal themes: “Blame it on the Moon”and “I Put a Spell on You.” The latter  made for a spellbinding Hallow’s Eve.

Both cabarets had stages set by the magic hands of Julie Cunha, and the Cabaret Room at OM (as many of us call it) is modeled on the ambience of a Parisian cabaret and captures the atmosphere perfectly. The players involved in one or both of these dynamic evenings included David Ossman, Judith Walcutt, Eric Vanderbilt Matthews, Robert Marsanyi, Siri Bardarson, Patricia Duff, Stephen Roxborough, Natasha Nichols, Julie Cunha, Beverly Graham, Max Cole-Takanikos, Christine Tasseff, Nancy Nolan, Lucinda Herring and lucky me! I need to add that the audience is a finely tuned instrument of its own and during both cabarets the audience collaborated on a lovely poem of its own. Here we have quantum entanglement of the highest degree.

Following on the heels of our glorious Halloween cabaret, Whidbey Island Center for the Arts hosted the festival of Dia de los Muertos, featuring the life and work of Frida Kahlo. I have been a long-time admirer of Kahlo’s art and I find her writing to be quite passionate and beautiful. It was a gift for me to have the opportunity to share Kahlo’s  words in such a lovely setting.

In Memory

In Memory (photo by Gina Burja Simpson)

Zech Hall was dressed for the occasion and included a traditional offrenda, a Mexican altar, so that the attendees could bring their own offerings of remembrance. The tech wizards of WICA also created a slide show of Kahlo’s work so that the audience could be completely immersed in her world. I was joined by David Ossman, who read from a letter by artist Diego Rivera regarding the nature of art and Stephen Roxborough, a poet from Anacortes, who read a poem he wrote after the death of his father.

Coinciding with the WICA evening was the yearly event at Langley Woodman Cemetery to honor All Saints Day. The cemetery is open from early dusk through the evening and volunteers hand out luminaries that line the pathways and may be placed on the graves by friends and family. Many of the participants at Dia de los Muertos had spent the twilight at the cemetery before joining Frida and company at Zech Hall.

All Saints Day and Dia de los Muertos also coincide with the Celtic festival of the dead, Samhain. Samhain is considered to be the Celtic New Year, and because our seasons here in the Pacific Northwest share many of the same hues and temperatures of Ireland and its surrounds, we too can feel the turning of the year as we enter the dark cave of the coming winter. Some would even say we have some fairy folks living in the Whidbey woods.

In this particular field of heartfelt quantum entanglement, we are creating a time and space to celebrate diverse cultures through many fields. Last night I spent another light-filled evening at The Ott and Murphy Cabaret, this time listening to some fine jazz musicians giving us their unique and sensitive translations of the golden standards. The event was created by Kristi O’Donnell as an impromptu concert of gratitude. All of us who were listening to the fine music were grateful to have such a fine space to catch the shimmering notes wafting through the air.

Kristi, who plays her golden bass—Emmy—heartfully, was joined by Keith Bowers and Greg Beck, both magicians on their guitars and Roger Bennett, who was a mesmerist on his drums. Larry Shafer, a vocalist more than reminiscent of the great Bing Crosby, took his musical turns with the audience and brought many of us to tears. I was also invited to perform three songs with this talented quartet, so you see—dreams really do come true. Musicians of this caliber might be in NYC, Seattle or even farther afield, but last night they were right here on Whidbey Island, pouring inspiration and gratitude throughout the fields.

Dances With Angels

Dances With Angels (photo by Gina Burja Simpson)

Quantum entanglement is creating an environment that is conducive to art, compassion and boundless gratitude. I leave you with a few quotes from noted professors of physics as well as two spiritual leaders:


“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a ‘mental’ construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: ‘The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.’” — R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University


“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” — Max Planck, theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918


“It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” — Eugene Wigner, theoretical physicist and mathematician. He received a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963


“We are what we think, all that we are arises with our thoughts, with our thoughts we make the world.” — Gautama Buddha


“Broadly speaking, although there are some differences, I think Buddhist philosophy and Quantum Mechanics can shake hands on their view of the world. We can see in these great examples the fruits of human thinking. Regardless of the admiration we feel for these great thinkers, we should not lose sight of the fact that they were human beings just as we are.” —Dalai Lama

Joni Takanikos continues her love affair with Whidbey Island. She is grateful to play in these fields with all of you, quantum and otherwise. She teaches yoga at Half Moon Yoga Studio in Langley Village.


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