01 Sep 2013

The Art of A Meaningful Relationship

01 Sep 2013


By Lori Hope Baumel

Originally appeared in Around Wellington Magazine on Septmber 1, 2013

“If you want someone to truly listen to you, don’t speak loudly… whisper.”

Lee Kjelson – Choir Director, University of Miami (circa 1978)

Young Couple at Shibuya Crossing. Tokyo, Japan

Young Couple at Shibuya Crossing. Tokyo, Japan Photo: ©2013 Eric and Lori Baumel

Picture if you will…

A blank canvas. Waiting for you to express yourself in whatever manner you choose. Will you use oil paints, acrylics, pencils or pastels? Will you try for “photorealism” or attempt something abstract? How many dimensions do you want to convey, a mixed media format or a simple sketch? In most cases, we do not ask all of these questions. We have a general idea of how we will express our design before we even buy the canvas.

I often parallel the art of a good relationship to a freshly stretched blank canvas. Whether it is your spouse (or partner), children, parents or friends, a relationship starts with a sketch. It is a personal decision as to where you draw your boundaries and set the tone, the warmth, and the color choices.

Your spouse and children have canvases as well. They craft their own individual picture of how they relate to you. The most important aspect of creating a meaningful relationship is honesty and respecting each other’s choices. Some people prefer to fill their canvas completely with color; some prefer to leave parts of it blank.

The next sentence is worth repeating: The most important aspect of creating a meaningful relationship is honesty and respecting each other’s choices.  If you truly love and trust your spouse, it is obvious that you want them to be happy. You are willing to make sacrifices, large and small, for the sake of their well-being. The ability to compromise will determine the success of your partnership. If a couple has the type of relationship where they have many interests they share but, on occasion, would like some space to enjoy an interest unique unto themselves, then perhaps it would be nice to give them that space. Otherwise, they might feel you are muddying up their canvas.

When it comes to children, they often need to be guided as to how to hold a brush or mix primary colors to create a unique color; one that is yet unnamed in the Crayola box. As a parent, we must choose when to guide a child to color in-between the lines and when to encourage them not to do so. When they are older and financially independent (here comes that word again), we must respect their choices. A parent’s love for a child should be unconditional. You should never turn your back on your own “creation” especially when they are grown and have a life of their own. If they come to you for advice, take it as a compliment!

Friendships are like music. Some are grand, formal and symphonic while some are simple and folksy. Old friends may bring you back to your heavy metal days whilst new friendships can ignite a passion for “new age.” Regardless of the years, a good friendship is often born out of a particular harmony that you share. Like notes in a score, occasional dissonances may occur but in the final measure all is usually resolved.

Professional artists have to deal with critics all the time. When it comes to personal relationships we should be open to constructive criticism. But there’s a caveat. Family and friends can be rather sensitive. If you happen to be the critic in a relationship, then before you speak, think: “Is what I am about to say kind, necessary or true?” Let’s list that thought in another way…

Before you criticize someone, think:

1) Is what I am about to say kind?

2) Is what I am about to say necessary?

3) Is what I am about to say true?

If two out of the three sentences above describe your reason for stating your opinion, than criticism may be warranted. If only one of the above fits, then your critique is probably not worth discussing. I was taught this lesson at a very young age and I have tried to live by this simple credo my entire life.

Finally, we all make mistakes. Say things we regret. An apology may be due; if you realize that you may have criticized in haste. Remember, an apology is usually given for words or actions taken in the past. But a true apology is a promise to be sincerely careful about what you say in the future.

So, dear Around Wellington readers, in the midst of this plethora of metaphors, I wish you harmonic and colorful relationships. May you be expressive, honest and respected by all you hold dear and may your works hang side by side on your wall of achievements.

Live… Go… Do!

Note: To our readers who celebrate the High Holy Days, I wish you a “L’Shanah Tovah” (Hebrew for “a happy new year”). May this article give you something to reflect upon and, perhaps, add to your sense of renewal for the new year.


Top 5 List for September 2013


1) Read: The New York Times

When it comes to reporting on arts and cultural happenings around the world, the New York Times is tops in the field. This national treasure of a newspaper is filled with book, film and theater reviews of productions all over the country. Most Palm Beach County residents prefer the local papers and, of course, their online resources for local news and entertainment (i.e. Around Wellington). But to me, a Sunday just isn’t a Sunday without my cup of coffee and the “Sunday Times.” The Sunday paper is so thick that I enjoy it all week. It is available at most coffee and breakfast shops. If you are really excited about culture and the arts, pick one up. You might even consider having it delivered to your home once a week (or every day, as I do). Home delivery also comes with online access. If you want to read it regularly you can order home delivery or online access by going to: nytimes.com

Note: If you don’t want to subscribe — you can still go to NYTimes.com for free. Visitors get 10 free articles (including blogs, slide shows, video and other multimedia) per month on NYTimes.com, as well as access to browse the home page, section fronts, blog fronts and classifieds.

2) Check out:


The Kravis Center 2013 – 2014 Brochure


Kravis Center, West Palm Beach, FL

Yes. Finally! The theater season is around the corner. The Kravis Center has some spectacular offerings this year. In the past I have enjoyed their “Kravis on Broadway” series as well as their edgier shows and modern dance performances in the Rinker Playhouse. If you are not a Kravis Center member, tickets go on sale to the public, Saturday, September 28th at 9 AM.

Word of advice… the first row of the grand tier section, which is one flight up, in Dreyfoos hall hangs over row M of the orchestra. For large-scale shows and orchestras, the grand tier has an excellent view. I’ve always been much better off in the grand tier section than in row X of the orchestra section one flight down.

When I purchase tickets for events at the Rinker Playhouse, I prefer sitting in the “riser” section. The Rinker is a small venue, much like the black-box theaters in New York, Chicago or Miami. The floor level rows are good seats, but they are a little too close to the stage for my taste. When I see a performance I like to take in the “whole picture.” I will continue to discuss Kravis events in the coming year. But for best seats and best prices try to order your tickets soon.

To see the brochure and full season line-up go to:


For seating charts or any other information see:


3) Explore:


Little Boxes, an exhibition of dwellings seen through artists’ eyes


The Norton Museum of Art announces the opening of Little Boxes: Vernacular Architecture from the Collection, an eclectic selection of works exploring the ways in which people, environment, and necessity shape the spaces in which we live. The exhibition is on view through October 17, 2013. Ranging from photographs to oil paintings to a miniature mixed media doll house, and featuring artists such as Ansel Adams, Norman Rockwell, and Yinka Shonibare, this exhibition presents images of dwellings that only humans could have created. From densely populated suburban landscapes to scenes of rural isolation, the show captures the extremes of vernacular architecture. The exhibition is in conjunction with Block by Block: Inventing Amazing Architecture and Architecture in Detail: Works from the Museum Collection, which runs through October 20, 2013. For more information call 561-832-5196, or visit www.norton.org . – Norton Museum Press Release

Please note: The Norton Museum of Art will be closed for two weeks from Sept. 2 through Sept. 16, 2013 in preparation for the coming exhibition season. When the Norton reopens on Tuesday, Sept. 17, visitors can embrace an array of exciting changes, including the installation of a new lobby mural by acclaimed contemporary artist Mickalene Thomas, a reconfiguration of the Norton’s stellar collection of American works of art, and even a new espresso bar steps away from the main entrance.

4) Take the kids:


The Wizard of OZ: An IMAX 3D Experience


The Wizard of Oz

Photo: imax.com website



On September 20, 2013 the 1939 classic will be featured in some selected Palm Beach County theaters. The IMAX release The Wizard of Oz will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of An IMAX 3D Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie. As of this post all theaters have not been listed yet. Check your local listings or fandango.com for details.

5) Watch:

My YouTube Choices of the Month

If you like classical music, catch a glimpse of these Mozart Minute features from Lincoln Center:



For more Mozart Minute features go to:


If you’re a Barbra Streisand Fan, you will enjoy viewing this duet of Barbra singing with her son, Jason Gould:


If you like Katy Perry, here’s her awesome Firework Video:


Daft Punk, look and listen… It’s too cool for words!

Photo: travelhymns.com

DaftPunkAre you up on the latest Daft Punk Album Random Access Memories? Daft Punk, whose electronica style has been popular since the 1990’s, is causing a new music sensation. To see the album preview visit:







And finally… Here’s “what I did on my summer vacation.”

Take a peak at this two-minute video containing a few highlights of my summer trip to Japan.  See below or go to:



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