A message from James Hubbell

A Celebration of Art and Nature…and a way we can come together when we are apart

Our world is going through a truly disruptive time. As with all things, we hope that there will be some genuinely positive experiences that arise over isolation — experiences that we feel in some ways echo what we have been working towards with Ilan-Lael and Pacific Rim Park. We begin by asking, “How can we strengthen the connections between art, nature, our personal lives, and our community?”

It occurs to me that what we have been given is a pause in the mad rush of the modern world. It is a quiet time and a time of change. Could it also be a time to redefine where we are going as individuals and as a community?

A few days ago, I awoke to four inches of snow. Absolutely beautiful, and I thought of it as a pause for the plants and flowers. Surprised by a return of winter, I have no doubt they never stop trusting that the days will get warmer and spring will come.

In this unusual time when our world finds itself in isolation, it doesn’t mean that we cannot celebrate the grand and beautiful tapestry of life. It doesn’t mean that we can’t trust life thanks to the art and nature that sustain so many of us.

We have been given some space, a pause if you will, where we can reflect, listen to the silence and look at the world and our place in it in a new way. I have discovered that trusting life—the good and not so good—leaves the door open to new thoughts and new possibilities. It’s trust that allows us not to be bound by fear of the unknown or things we cannot control.

Art and nature weave through us like a silver thread. By sharing our personal, healing creations we will create a single tapestry of the many beautiful spaces between us. This is why we have started what we call the Trust Life Project. I hope you’ll decide to be a part of it. (Details below.)

Stay safe and stay well, and remember that even though we may be apart in isolation, we are not alone. The space between us is where all the magic happens.

— James Hubbell, from my studio/home at Ilan-Lael, Santa Ysabel, California

Be a part of the #TrustLifeProject

In the same way that a community comes together to build a Pacific Rim Park, everyone can be a part of the #TrustLifeProject.

If you have created, experienced, or simply observed art, nature, poetry, song, or dance that brings calm, refuge and comfort, please share it using the hashtag #TrustLifeProject and tag us @ilanlael.

If you don’t have a social media account, and would like to participate, you can email your art, poetry song, or short dance video to us here at info@ilanlaelfoundation.org with a brief description and we will try and post as many as we can.

Here are some of this week’s contributions to the #TrustLifeProject Enjoy and stay safe!

Here’s a song from Bill Jones, musician, music teacher, an the amazing musical director of James Hubbell’s recent opera Queen Califia’s Pilgrimage, performed at the Ilan-Lael Center by the students at Spencer Valley Elementary school in Julian, CA. Thank you Bill!


A beautiful poem sent in from Nancee Cline. Thank you Nancee

And thank you to RobinAdler and Dave Blackburn for sending this in!

My name is Robin Adler, and in 1998 I recorded a song called Tadd’s Delight (Get Up), written by jazz pianist Tadd Dameron. My husband, Dave Blackburn, and I, wrote lyrics (Get Up) to it and a Miles Davis solo on his version from his 1957 Round Midnight album. When writing lyrics to an already established solo, and singing them, it is called vocalese.  My husband and I love to hike and enjoy nature, which plays a big part in our lives especially now with current stress and financial difficulties that we as artists, and others, are experiencing. I believe our lyrics represent how important the natural world can benefit and uplift our spirits.

The musicians on the recording are: Robin Adler- vocals, Peter Sprague- guitar, Dave Curtis- bass & Brad Dutz- percussion.

Thank you Laurel Costa for sharing your uplifting photo and for spreading the word on the #TrustLifeProject @Ilanlael