Cover of Common Ground magazine, October 2009 issue, featuring a woman with arms raised against a vibrant yellow background, titled "The Women Issue.

October 2009

The October Manifest

Earlier this month, upon returning from a blissful weekend at the inaugural BhaktiFest (an enchanted, three-day, 24-hour, nonstop celebration of yoga and devotional music) in the Joshua Tree desert, I began an online search for the magazine’s cover photo. I stumbled onto Elena Ray’s work, which I find stunning. Coincidentally, after calling her, I learned that she is a committed artist and yogini living in Joshua Tree. Unknowingly, we had been hanging out under the same canopy at BhaktiFest just hours prior. Her cover art, titled Visualize and Manifest, appropriately sets the tone for this issue of Common Ground, which focuses on women.

Thank you to all the contributors who helped visualize and manifest this issue. Talei Loloma is one interesting example. We met on the phone, as she was one of the eight up-and-coming yoga teachers under 30 featured in our September issue. It turns out that Talei has a background in the emerging business of sustainable apparel. I proposed doing a fashion shoot with women over 50, and she loved the idea. She had never actually styled or directed a fashion shoot before but relished the challenge. And she graciously volunteered Melinda, her mom, as one of the models.

Several days later, Andrew Rogers, a photographer who appreciated our September issue, accidentally “pocket called” me from his cell phone. He had stored my number in his phone anticipating reaching out, but his buttock beat him to it and inadvertently called me during a car ride. When I answered, Andrew was surprised to hear a voice speaking to him from his underside. He pulled the car over, and an intriguing conversation ensued where I learned that he’d been a fashion photographer who once worked in Paris. Our little fashion project was beginning to manifest! Of course he volunteered Christie, his girlfriend, to model.

We visited during the shoot in San Francisco, and it was heartening how our models Melinda, Christie, Jennifer, and Rosetta all got along so well. There was magic in the air that morning in front of the Palace of Fine Arts.

As with every issue, I kindly urge you to show your support for this free publication by patronizing its awesome advertisers.

Finally, please save this date: Friday, November 13. Anyone who has lived long enough knows that all Fridays are good days, and when they happen to all on the 13th, they are even more auspicious. This is one of the reasons -we’ve chosen it to celebrate Common Ground’s 35th birthday. We’re dubbing it Friday the 35th. Join us at Club 1015 (at 1015 Folsom St., SF) in tandem with Green Festival. Last year, CG and our partners at Harmony Festival rocked the Green Fest afterparty, and we anticipate this year’s will be another night to remember. Let’s meet on Friday the 35th. Until then …

Many blessings,


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