a Tiny description

a full time artist, stepmother, radio personality, and mom to an energetic Chug dog, tries to get through the days without committing a felonious act. My life is a rickety Zen circus.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

i still cry.  nightly.  not as hard.  not as long.  but something always seems to set me off…tonight it was the missing nightstand.  he had asked if he could take it, and i said yes.  he came over while i was at work. and now just dust bunnies and some books are left piled up where it stood by his side of the bed.  a bed i had left a few years before.  that fact doesn't escape me.  be careful what you wish for.  had i known that this emotional upheaval was part of the bargain, i would have wished differently.  but, it's done.  at least the part that has paragraphs and wherefores and parties of the first part.  the rest, the matter of retraining my heart, well i suspect will take some time.  last year at this time, i was planning a garden and a trip to Texas and beekeeping and vigorous walks.  a year later, i am taking things much slower and gentler and quieter.  trying to grab a ray of laughter with both hands and squeeze it through the crack in the cave wall to scatter the darkness.  it's not all tears though.  not like a few months ago when the thought of lifting my head from the pillow was unthinkable…when i felt i was being assaulted by the very breath that came into my lungs…and through all this dis-ease, i felt 100% certainty that it was necessary for some cosmic reason yet to appear…that i am now to hold the hand of the one behind me…to lift the next in line, just as the ones before me held me and absolutely and fiercely refused to let me stumble or fail.  and i will do the same. for you.  for anyone sent to my path.  even as i am just learning to walk again, i will spend time on my knees with you, crawling with you, until you can stand again…and reach behind you for the next one in line.  sent to your path.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

it's been hard.  but easier. i'm living hour by hour. I got a gazebo for mother's day, and last night's Girls Gazebo Gathering was just perfect.  this morning brought tears of loneliness.  my soon-to-be ex bought me a new lawn mower…one that starts with the push of a button, and walks by itself.  the old one being too difficult for me to start with the pull starter thing. he had stopped by to pick up a few more things, and saw I had mowed with the new mower, and began explaining how he mulches in the fall and in the spring there are things i should do to keep the lawn healthy.  it was just.so.sad. i feel deeply bad for him, working to buy this house, and now having to walk away from it.  the second time in his life. yes, i started bawling.  over mulch.  and mowers. ugly crying.  me in my car, him in his, in the driveway. suddenly the care of the house seemed to loom insurmountable…the care of my heart seemed unattainable.  then i had to just put one foot in front of the other.  minute by minute.  okay start the car, now reverse, now forward, blinker on, where was I headed before the whole mulch thing came up?  yes - this was his choice.  yes, after the first one, you wonder if there isn't something that needs changing.  but still.  although it was not a great marriage, and although i mostly saw his failings throughout the past 15 years, glimmers and hot pokers stab at me as i realize anew my role in this mess.
so where it stands now - i am less stressed out.  i am terrified.  i am content.  i am lonely. i am hoping to continue becoming my self. i will.
Henry has become a handful, though. he doesn't understand where his man went, i'm sure.  we walk, and he lunges at other dogs, snarling and squealing.  he's bit me twice accidentally, as his teeth snap at the air.  this isn't my Henry.  Today a friend joined me for brunch, and i took her on a walk through my trails.  as we walked to the end of the street, it sounded like someone was torturing poor Henry…his fears at being apart from me - something new. neighbors stopped and looked down the street.  grateful i don't live in an apartment, after all.  my feet still aren't under me, but i'm grateful to have a direction to walk in.  grateful to know the set of challenges i'm to face and conquer.
i've learned so much in the past year…mostly that it's okay to lean on others - that it won't hurt!  that it doesn't mean that i won't rise strong again, but that it feels good to receive.  thank you.  i'm grateful for the lessons, and want to use them somehow to shine a light for others.  that's to come.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

saturday 2-fer

I have this verse from a song that's spun in my head for years…i even made an assemblage piece for a friend based on it...

I've been scraping little shavings
off my ration of light
and i've formed it into a ball
and each time i pack a bit more onto it
and i make a bowl of my hands and
I scoop it from it's secret cache
under a loose board in the floor
and i blow across it and i send it to you
against those moments when the darkness
blows under your door.
Isn't that what friends are for?

It's by Bruce Cockburn…seems to be a Bruce morning.  is it still morning?  anyway.  i spent some time looking back through old blog posts…reaaalll old ones.  in the beginning ones. but not the first one.  i still can't. 
and i wonder if i'll ever be able to smell autumn on the breeze and feel it give life to my being ever again…so many gentle & wonderful moments that take centering and concentration and awareness to notice and enjoy...this "process" has tried in so many ways to steal my heart.  it has been a battle to stay true to myself…to stay centered, and yes - somedays to just get out of bed.  the emotional toll has been devastating, i won't lie…it will take quite a lot to re-become myself, and there are long, dark moments when i wonder if it would even be worth the effort.  like a dog who's been kicked too many times, it finally just gives up it's good nature and takes the path of least resistance…decides that any shoe is a bad shoe…i am not who i was - my faith in prevailing good has been shattered…i feel emotionally curled in, not having the strength to reach out, and feeling selfish and self-centered for not wiping away tears and getting the f* on with the day.  i wonder if the toll this has taken on my body will ever be repaired…even now, i read this post and want to delete it…want to hide the ugly…but i've always been honest here.  and i hope that someone reads this and knows they aren't alone…that they'll look to the left and see someone else's toes at the ledge...that someone else is having the self-same feelings…wondering if they will come out the other side…scared that being witness to the darkest hearts and selfish slobbering of sharpened teeth will have changed them in ways that can't be un-changed…that make them unsuitable for the journey…that will make re-entry just.too.hard.
my friend's little boy was explaining vampires - he was worried that a mosquito bite was from a vampire mosquito, and that he would be turned into one.  he explained that "a vampire bites you, takes your life away, then turns you into one of them, and all you can see is dark dark dark because you can only come out at night. and you're never happy because the stores are closed at night."
I've been bitten.  i resist.  walmart is open 24 hours.  there is hope.  come shop with me.

Sunset is an angel weeping
Holding out a bloody sword
No matter how I squint I cannot
Make out what it's pointing toward
Sometimes you feel like you live too long
Days drip slowly on the page
You catch yourself
Pacing the cage
I've proven who I am so many times
The magnetic strip's worn thin
And each time I was someone else
And every one was taken in
Hours chatter in high places
Stir up eddies in the dust of rage
Set me to pacing the cage
I never knew what you all wanted
So I gave you everything
All that I could pillage
All the spells that I could sing
It's as if the thing were written
In the constitution of the age
Sooner or later you'll wind up
Pacing the cage
Sometimes the best map will not guide you
You can't see what's round the bend
Sometimes the road leads through dark places
Sometimes the darkness is your friend
Today these eyes scan bleached-out land
For the coming of the outbound stage.
Pacing the cage.
-Bruce Cockburn

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

As my emotions stretch about as tight as I think they possibly can, another rock lands on the fabric stretched taut.  I've been judged by a single action...not a bad or malicious or ill-intended one...but an everyday thing...that was somehow taken offense to...though I don't know how, I honestly don't - even in retrospect...but each is entitled to their feelings for certain...and that one single thing has overshadowed a lifetime friendship...a person I felt so deeply rooted in my heart has decided that this one action, which was so ordinary, so not exclusive to them, has made continuing our friendship impossible. My instinct was to call, to write back, to drive over in my pj's and make it right. But I thought and thought, and could find no reasonable reason for this reaction. None. And I think that if I ever ripped my friendship away from someone over one blip that wasn't even a blip, that I wouldn't deserve that friend in the first place. We are all human. All of us. And we are a continuum...a timeline of good & bad & ups & downs. We have our ecstatic heroic moments, and our failings. It is how we are, we humans. And I have learned there are no black and white, clap on clap off moments in a friendship...a person does not change with a snap...they are inherently good or bad, and their actions in totality should be seen through that lens. So if it appears that they've done something that pissed you off, ask: are they normally thoughtless? If not, then the problem is either an error of judgement, or perhaps the problem is within your own heart - a lesson scratching to be let out, or a jealousy that's best redirected at another.  To the one that now has her back turned, I wish you peace. For this action is sure to cause you more turbulence than it will me. I am grieving our friendship. You were the last person I'd expect this from, having tread these steps before me. I am unable to live up to your expectations, so perhaps it is best, after all.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Some days it helps to stay manically busy...just do-si-do from one activity to another, and before you know it, it's bedtime.  And some days you crawl into fresh, clean, sweet smelling sheets and try to figure out what you're forgetting, and you realize...as the silence buzzes in your ears so loud...you realize that there is no one to say goodnight to.  And even though there hadn't been an echoing Good Night in a very long time, at least there was another human under the roof...someone who you thought you could trust with your bad behavior and good laughs...who had promised to see this ride through...and even though you had long since given up on having a dance partner -someone in step with you - it was still a bit of comfort some nights to hear Good Night, however grudgingly, as you went to your opposite corners of the house. Some days it helps.  Some days...not so much.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

hello?  Are you still there?  yes, i know you are…your notes and cards have sustained me.  now it's time to get the roar on, thanks to your hands holding me up.
Last weekend, i spent a day in the company of 150 women.  in the woods.  freezing our hind-portions nearly off.  and having A Blast. (literally, in some cases!)  It was a Women In Nature workshop day.  4 sessions, with over 50 classes to choose from.  all supplies, food, coffee, etc etc included. free. I learned how to clean a gun, the difference between shotguns, rifles, and 1000 other fun facts minutiae about the  two, plus handguns.  oh and gun safety.  I learned campfire cooking, and skeet shooting.  but my favorite was Map & Compass - Orienteering.  i don't know why, but it just ignited in me.  maybe because my path has been so confused lately :)  I stopped and bought a compass on the way home, and signed up for an upcoming orienteering event. The woman who taught it was amazing and funny, and time was up far too quickly.  it was a day spent in the moments, and that was a great time to catch my breath & bearings.  more on all the personal happenings later, but in this open forum, i will say simply that your prayers and good thoughts have mattered so so much.  I look around my almost-empty studio and get teary, but also feel like a great weight has been lifted from my feet.
my apologies for not updating here more often, but soon there will be a flood & torrent, so thank you for your patience till then!  and now - time to take my fuzzy 4-legged heart-stealer for an epic walk.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

It has been a while since the women were gathered around my table...last night the conversation and laughter and wine flowed so freely and so vitally that we forgot we had gathered to watch a movie!  Today we moved like zombies through our day, but with a warm, sweet connection.

We are the night ocean filled
With glints of light. We are the space
Between the fish and the moon,
While we sit here together.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Motivated type

I found these in an Etsy shop a while back….

and am totally down with decorating with them!  I'm looking forward to hanging artwork - mine and others' - around my home.  yes - home.  
and maybe this in the kitchen...
am having a love affair with Teal/aqua/orange in a big way this past year.  to my surprise, Kim's guest bedroom is decorated in those colors.  such a gracious hostess, with flowers on the side table waiting for me!  I have some art-to-loan for her that I think she'll like…
today is day 2 of epic weather, so it's off to the trails with Henry.  Make your day special, friend.

Monday, April 13, 2015

you just never know.  you don't.  when a friend calls you asking for advice...you may be the 3rd or 4th or 8th person to hear the dilemma.  it's what we women do..."troubles talk", they call it in all the books.  Men call it hen parties.  we talk it out.  we hug it out.  we come to conclusions as best we can, and move on decisions as they need to be moved on.  and an inkling from this conversation may join up with a spark from that conversation, and become a full-on sparkle by the time it reaches the 4th conversation.  it's what we do, we women.  we mend, we take a piece of this and add it to a piece of that and make a whole cloth.  we patch the thin spots...the holes.  we take the old and make it usable again.  and we do it by talking...by learning from those we've gathered around us like a cloak.  those that haven't tired of the endless swirl until a conclusion is reached...those that have stood in the fulcrum before, or maybe are in the midst of their own swirling reality and are happy to step up/step out for a few minutes/hours/days, in order to perhaps learn from the women they are holding, or perhaps just to hold them.  I have a conclusion.  i have a set course.  at long last.  and i will share it with you as soon as the ink dries.  until then, please know that there has never been a person who appreciates you more than i do these past months...that i fully recognize how exhausting it must have been to be near my swirling heart, and how brave and steadfast you have been.  "thank you" - seems way too little. there needs to be a new word invented. how about "friend?"

Sunday, April 12, 2015

today has been All About Henry day, for the most part.  First we walked in the 6-Legged 5K with quite a few hundred other dogs, plus 2 ladies from my Women's Group.  Henry was the very last dog to cross the finish line! in fact, the guy was boxing up the electronic timer clock as we were approaching.  hen conked out on the ride home, then got a 2nd wind, but i had Open Houses to attend, so he got to nap.  the afternoon was a good exercise in elimination.  i honestly don't know how some people can live like they do…nuff said.
Henry & I went back out for a long walk with his girl, then for a ride to check out some neighborhoods.
i am feeling a bit better knowing where to point my arrow, though there are still some hamsters in my head.  some interesting thoughts trying to take root, and i will say - "I AM good enough" to them.  moving towards having conversation besides my situation.  i am boring, in that regard.
time for a cool drink and to put my feet up…best birthday to Mikki, and a fantastic week to y'all!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

i think what's kept me chasing the rabbit is that i was never raised or taught to know how to make good decisions…what goes into the process?  the pros, the cons, the nebulous maybes.  So when i'm faced with a Life Decision, i tend to weigh things out to the nth degree.  which makes me an excellent producer or Life Coach or organizer, but makes me feel overwhelmed in my own life.  yes, it's true - i can cut through the bull doodie in your situation…i can see with a laser light precision the black and the white.  and it may be that i need more definitives in my life right now…i need to know THIS or THAT will be the case before i can point my arrow toward the target i choose.  and meanwhile, stop trying to drive a car with no wheels.  figuratively speaking.
stand. rise.


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Today, I am grateful for choices. And grateful for the luxury of complaints. And again realizing how damn lucky I am to be able to work in radio. All random & unrelated thoughts.  Realizing that most of the time, there is no perfect choice...just the best out of what's presented to you. And that's usually pretty darn good.
I am mostly grateful for you.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

oddly, often this is where i come when i have no words…when i need my fingers tapping out letters to sort out thoughts that are unbearable or unspeakable, or when all i want to do is howl or slam a door…then slam it again and again…when i have become raw emotion with no thoughts or plans - just pure. raw. emotion.  and at the same time, feel strangely uncomfortable with the constant negative posts…but i can't be anything but honest with you.
as i sift through the overwhelming task of packing up my studio, then my house, then my life, i'm bombarded with sneak attacks and ambushed with gripping memories that just rip me apart- photos of my dearest Kita and Nikki - bits of fur, saved In Case, which of course came to pass…a photo album of my father and his sisters and brother - all of them gone now.  oh how i would love their advice right now…oh how badly i need them.  I have no one to turn to for advice between this decision or that one, and it keeps me spinning in circles…terrified to make the wrong decision, then feeling like there is no wrong decision, then knowing that i will screw it all up…back and forth and around again.  rinse/repeat.  this is unfamiliar territory…unfamiliar to be so deep for so long.  i'm past the point of not wanting to ask for help - i want the help, but have no one to ask.  yes, i have so many sweet souls to hold and lend willing smiles, and i am deeply grateful for that.  i need someone with a good solid background in reconfiguring a life…the nuts and bolts part…the where-to-live decisions, the how to live decisions.  And someone to sit and hold open a box while i stash away the remnants, marked with a sharpie, to be stored away….somewhere…till…whenever.  from time to time, a sob escapes, and though my soon-to-be ex husband hears it all, he sits and watches a sports show downstairs on a TV he wants to claim as his take away. it is all one big shame.

tomorrow is easter for some…a time of renewal.
for others, Passover -

Passover is the holy and joyous festival that commemorates Israel’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt. The Jews cried out to God in their oppression, and God sent Moses to deliver them.

I need a Moses.

it's times like these that i feel like a rubber band stretched almost past it's boundary.

I hope to have a more uplifting conversation next time…i'm tired of being the one who sucks the joy out of a moment, or at least feeling like that.  i just can't fake this, though. for now, the elephant grows larger. for now. my hope is that this mess will be of use to someone…that someone will feel less alone, less embarrassed by how their emotions have begun to lead them by the nose, and leak out at the most inopportune time…that someone will see that even the strong can be made weak, and that it's okay to be everything to everybody, but equally okay to take time to be nothing to no one also…that someone will see how a friend in need may continue to be a friend in need for a time, and even though it may become tiresome, you may be the only thread that tethers them to this earth.  but it will get better.  it just has to.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Well, hello. I'm en route to home from a few precious days with a Big Heart...one who knew my quietness was just an attempt to keep the raw ugly in for a few days and move toward normal...even if just moment by moment. It was so so good...time to jump on a plane now....

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tears as salty as the ocean.
Back & forth...wondering.
Conflictions and absolutions
Beat down a path
Keep my dreams awake
Keep pouring pitchers of
Tears as salty as the ocean.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I am learning silence.

I am learning, again, to listen.

I am hearing the sound of a clanging bell, and am trying to tune it to a sweet melody of sound...a sound reawakening and remembered...more delicious to hear...

It's all in the breath.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

unfold your own myth

one of my favorite poems by Rumi, and included in a recent blog post by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch.  I have a piece of artwork with this quote included in the collage.  but i turned it in my hand this morning, letting the sunlight sparkle through it…unfold your own myth.  a myth is a magical, yet usually untrue, story we tell.  so, "my own myth" would be a story i've told myself…the beginning of that line of the poem is "Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone for others, unfold your own myth."  I always looked at that as meaning that i shouldn't sit on the sidelines watching others' success - that i should leap up and make my own.  that's true.  but another way of looking at it is: unfold, get rid of, the untrue stories you tell yourself…you can't because…or, i am such-and-such - too fat, too old, too slow, too whatever or not enough whatever.
you are.  you are you.  and you were made that way for a reason.  unfold your myth…the tight little wad of paper that has your failings on it…unfold it and float it off somewhere, or burn it in a blazing bonfire.  but whatever YOUR myth is, unfold it.  like an origami dragon, you'll see it's just a piece of paper.
then write the new story of the new myth on that piece of dragon paper.
don't be satisfied when someone says the water is too cold - someone else's myth - someone else's bad experience - someone else's journey… unfold your own.

now i'm off to visit a Rock Fairy and will be MIA for a week.  enjoy your new myth.  i'll be watching...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Can we talk a little more tonight?  I've been on the couch or in bed most of the day with intestinal rage, and feel better now, but am really, really rested.  Henry, unfortunately, has stayed by my side, and is virtually vibrating with energy right now.  He's running the hall...click click click...then boom! Up on the bed.  Then down the hall again like a little monkey in high heels.
I'll blame it on the belly, but today was a day of hopefulness and hopelessness all rolled into one little sushi package.  I'm packing for Florida ...yay!  Henry will be missed....boo.  He's done everything but pee on my suitcase.  The cat has curled on top, then found a way in and curled inside.  This may be an answer to having too many legs to move.  Kidding. But it's difficult - Purrl was a buddy and companion between the time that Nikki passed away and Henry came to live here.  S/he has rules about petting (3 times only) and is generally happier wherever I am not.  But there are a few times during the day when Purrl absolutely needs to tell me s/he appreciates my life here on earth, and that is truly a spectacle.  But in a small area, with a dog who eats kitty poo like candy, what to do?  Right now, our downstairs walk-in shower is where the litterbox is stashed. It works.  But in a smaller place, a Tinier space, there may not be a spot that's workable, and a cat needs a litterbox.  Being clawless, Purrl stays indoors and dreams magical dreams of the outdoors.  And hides in the dryer.
Yep, off on a tangent.
So, while my mirror reflected back hideousness, my heart felt warm and confident.  While I felt grateful for feeling better by late afternoon, I felt completely sad about not being invited to dinner with stepdaughter & her boyfriend. That's the part of this tearing apart that's surprisingly difficult.  It shouldn't be a surprise, but I guess it is.  And I wonder if anyone in the family has any idea why this is happening?  I wonder what they've been told. The wagons are being circled, and I'm still getting used to the idea that my services are no longer wanted. I'm still being asked to perform menial chores...answer: no.  Which is somewhat even more infuriating. Little bully tactics, like walking loudly above my room, or dropping something on the floor - every night- waking Henry and sending him barking and running down the hall, waking me for the zillionth time.  I am looking forward to a string of days with nights of good sleep.  Nights where I don't need to wonder about the alcohol intake vs the artillery in the house.
So again my head swirls to this compass point.
I look forward to days and nights that are filled with my own-ness. Despite the potential for lonely ugly cries.  Despite the certainty for magical growth.
My girlfriend's child at the farmers market:  "but what if a potato doesn't want to be a potato?  Could it be something else when you pull it out of the  ground?"
I've broken through the ground...my roots are growing deep, and my arms stretch upward through the ground, searching for warming light...sunshine to grow with.
My mother used to sing me to sleep...sometimes a lullaby, sometimes Canadian drinking songs...who knew.  But she always sang You Are My Sunshine (but NOT the hideous last verse. I mean, really?). I sing that to Henry because A) I'm freaky like that, and B) I'm kinda singin it to me from her sort of.
Yep, I probably should have wasted this time on Facebook, rather than trail about in circles, dragging words behind me.
The short version in plain English is that today mostly sucked, with moments of sparkles.  Very small moments, but there all the same. Like my fizzy Lush bath. That was good. And I left all the heart-shaped confetti in the tub after.

Just a 4-letter word.
as far as words go, it isn't very remarkable…1 syllable. no crazy tongue twists needed.  a puff of breath and it's out.
yet "fear" the concept…the reality can stop a freight train's worth of life from rolling…can make a molehill into a mountain…can paralyze and procrastinate and cause more havoc than a barrel full of bees.
i remember talking to a suicide caller when i was at 911…needing to keep him on the line till police arrived…i asked him why he was planning to kill himself…he replied that he had lost his job that day…i asked what was the worst case scenario he feared would happen... he was afraid he'd lose his apartment and car and wouldn't be able to buy groceries…i asked if he liked the job he'd lost…no, he hated it - despised it - but it paid the bills…i got you there, i said.  and with all the snow outside - i got you…my brother's lucky to live in Florida, he said…Florida? but do you realize what a great opportunity you now have? i asked.  You can go live in a city with no snow, stay with your brother for a time, until you get on your feet, work at a hateful job there if you have to, but in no snow…yeah, he said, you're right.  i shoulda done that last year when he asked me to come down
he was happy when we hung up, and the cop that responded saw he was no actual threat to himself…they chatted a bit, and as far as i know, he made it to his brother's in florida.
i stayed through the winter.  at my hateful job.  and spring.  and summer.  because i had a townhouse and a car and groceries.
what was my worst case scenario…fear kept me there…and that's why i have such a deep gratitude for the circumstance that pushes me out…fear hides under my left arm and creeps up to whisper in my ear…circumstance replies That may be true, but there are no choices left.
given the choice between fear and circumstance…I'd wish for better choices…then remember that i do have them.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

it is a trip through the knothole…but the squeeze is good…helping me to sweat out the no-longer-needed, or shoulda-never-had things…ideas, feelings, things.  and in the space that's been left, there's been time for reflection and a clearer sightline…a different horizon…better peripheral vision.  and i feel my compassion growing…and my Understanding growing.  i look at the emotions I am experiencing and hold them to the light like a delicate prism, reflecting them back - wondering if i was ever in a position to help someone feeling this or that, and did nothing, or didn't notice?  was i too wrapped up in my daily drama to notice someone who was breaking?  i think, i'm not proud to say, that i have.  waltzed by - unintentionally - when i coulda shoulda said Come With Me! or There's Room At The Table!  i sat home tonight.  alone.  and although it was to try to head off a cold and get some rest, at some point i realized it was SaTuRdAy night, and all the high school bunk came back to tell a heart and head that if you're home on a saturday night - you are a LOSER.  and if i added a line here to tell you that i did have an offer to meet a friend for drinks and a band, then it would sound, well, high school.
but my whole point here is that these past years, while i've been busy patting myself on the back for being such a nice person, i really could've been paying better attention.  In the church i used to go to, there was a saying that someone was "too heavenly bound to be any earthly good."  in other words they were so busy quoting the Bible at any pin drop, or doing visible Good Works, that they didn't notice the person next to them in need.  i have to wonder what in the world is more important than a friend in need?  whether it's that silent-screaming-hands-wringing life-changing need, or just a deep loneliness need, or even a try-my-cupcakes need.  What could possibly be more important than the ones God has given us to watch and hold under our wing?  Because i believe that we are each Gifted the people in our lives, and have a responsibility to them. the trick is knowing who they are, and when to say yes, and when to say no, and when to simply stay silent.  I've sent my apologies where i've been shown that i dropped the ball, and i promise you an open table to come eat if you're hungry, or just want to hang out with another human.  my tv habits, though minimal, tend to swing lowbrow, so i will give you that warning.  and i will ask of you this one thing:  my mind is like a forest filled with monkeys swinging from trees, and subtleties are very often lost on me…if you need a human to hang with, and you think i'd be that human, please call and ask straight out…just say "I need a human to hang out with, and every other one on the planet is busy, so could I be stuck with you?"  or something similar.  if i have other plans, i will likely include you, so don't be offended or surprised if you're included in something weird, and end up with a tattoo.  nah, most likely i'll be home with popcorn, Henry, and The Real Housewives.  i warned you.

(PS- I've been asked why i don't post more pictures -mostly, more pictures of Henry.  The answer is that Blogger and my email do not get along.  my pictures are in my phone, and blogger hates my phone.  so it is an exercise in near fatal futility to post them.  someday, with Xanax, I will catch you up on the Henster.  he is cuter.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

it was a difficult morning.  the weather seemed to sense the mood and began a drizzly sleet that cut into faces and made the general mood of the entire city....miserable.  I sat in a 9th floor office beginning the ending of my marriage.  it was a difficult morning.  the first of a few more to follow.  not to make more of it than it was...not to compare it to Actual Feats Of Courage and Misery...but i felt like i needed to take a deep breath and move forward into a major medical procedure...how my sister(s) must have felt when she was to begin having a nasty drip of toxins start running her veins to kill the killer in her breast and body.  no, not the courage needed for that journey - that's Real Courage.  but i wanted to put my arms out across the door frame and not have to go into the room, like giving a cat a bath.  and then i got an email from a Tejas tootsie that gave me a heartbeat back, and a text from my sister wife that helped my lungs take in breath.  and my HeadReel changed from" I can't i can't i can't" to "bring it bring it bring it."  And i looked out the window at the exact minute that the skyscraper clock flashed 11:11 in giant red numbers.  so cool.
 This will be difficult... I think there will be times when i will feel every type of pain and rage in my life...i assure you i am way down on that list, already.  And am grateful for my job...a reason...a purpose...a distraction.  and i am grateful for the prayers and good thoughts you've sent me.  it's very strange to be on the receiving end.  but i thank you.
and now - to work...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

i went into this sideways…this studio purge today.  After meeting a friend for brunch, i took a 3 hour nap…the exhaustion of pushing back against a bully finally getting me to lay down and rest.  i felt i had a deadline to meet with this purge, as a fellow artist is coming here tomorrow to cart off the remnants and un-fittable pieces and bits.  one thing i pulled down - a bag filled with cards and notes and scraps of things sent and given to me.  a gift bag that i'd filled with the gift of love.  a few of the notes were from women friends who have passed, and many from friends who no longer keep in touch by mail or email, but by the heart.  and i realized how years and years ago i wished them well, but with some - a tinge of jealousy scorched the edges of my love for them.  and jealousy and love cannot co-exist…no wonder why the heartstrings frayed and burned. so much clarity in that bag.  so much love.  so much howling from my heart…missing some…missing most…missing them all for each their own reason.  i long to gather them in the flesh, to dance around a huge bonfire…to say yes yes yes to each one, and to say I'm Sorry to some, though they may not know why.

tonight i found a container of porcupine quills. this amidst a steady stream of porcupine imagery coming to me the past few weeks….

"It's important for you to move along at your own pace rather than hurrying because of pressure from others or external circumstances.
There's no need to worry, because you're well protected…so relax and enjoy whatever you're doing.
Trust that you will be respected as long as you respect others.
Know that you have magical abilities as long as you maintain faith in yourself."

-Animal Spirit Guides

yeah, like that.
I sent out an email or two to friends whose ties have shredded a bit, honoring them and the place they've held in my heart…inviting them to go deeper if they wish, or remain remembrances.  either way is a good place…to have known these amazing women as closely as i have - that's been mind-blowing enough.  i'm proud to say i've walked beside them.  and perhaps they have needed the invitation…perhaps i am not the only one walking a precious and precarious path right now.

so i invite you in to my heart…to walk together, you and i…to hold a place of honor and respect and joyfulness and dancing around a bonfire together.  perhaps by the seashore, perhaps in the piney woods…..

Friday, March 13, 2015

whew!  Blogger let me in to my own blog!

Lately I've been designing designing designing…closet doors that look downright Moorish...
cubbies and closets and storage and all manner of creating space for stuff…to maybe fit into a Small area…just sayin'…

not necessarily a Tiny area, but mos def a Small one.  And as I make space for Stuff, I'm making Space.  re-clearing the clutter that seems to accumulate around my feet and sticks in my toes…the day to day stuff-and-junk that threatens to weigh my feet down.  i have created a Promise…a ritual, i guess you'd say.  each morning before i open my eyes, before Henry rolls on his back for a belly rub, i ask to go through the day with Grace and Dignity, and to hear the voice of God loudly and to follow the right steps for the day.  that is my prayer.  and i say "loudly" because i need to hear it loud - subtlety is lost on me.  you may know that from knowing me.  if you need me to do something, or have a request, hints are lost on me.  just say it.
these are days when i'm re-finding my worth, and wondering if I am enough for myself?  do i need to be more - is it time to stretch, or stay put?  a number of things have put that question before me - watching the youngers surpass…is it finally my time to stop cleaning up everyone else's circus and get busy planting my garden?  i think so.  what am i willing to hold onto in order to fly light enough to achieve what i want?  what am i willing to let go of has been answered…as i purge and re-purge my current space…art supplies again being packed up to go to new homes, clothing being dropped at the Thrifty in great bundles.  now to lighten up the personal weight…the head…the heart…the hips.  in that order.  redefining priorities.  making room for them and nothing else…no have-to's.  too late in life for that.  
Henry is just about crazed at the idea of his Best Girl coming over to play, so time to wrap it up.

Be True To Yourself.

(sorry about the creepy woman in this video)

some kind of violin fascination lately...

Sunday, March 08, 2015

i’m restless. things are calling me away. my hair is being pulled by the stars again. –anais nin


I am.  feeling restless.  sitting on a mad bull in the shute…rope wrapped around my hand…arm up…waiting for the door to open and let the ride begin…it is my rodeo, but i am not the ringmaster.

Lola is staying with me for a few days.  she is flouncy and cute.  henry loved her.  for a moment.  then when bedtime came…"wait - whaaaat??"  but he's been so good.  they curl together - Hen making sure Lola doesn't get closer to me than he does.  i was nearly knocked out of my own bed last night.  good to have company.

friday night:

gets me every time.  Thank you Judi.

Counting moments till I'm Kimward bound!!  With a side order of Other??

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

then this email came...

Linda, honey, you're totally hot right now. Please don't wait a few years to give yourself permission to see who you are and love every second of it.

You're supernatural, totally amazing, with a graceful swagger, healing touch, and a mesmeric, melodious voice. YOU were the Universe's first choice "who to be next," all those years ago, and that choice is still alive and well.

Happy March, Hottie!

At the most best possible moment.  i got this.  hummmmming.

Monday, March 02, 2015

I had the singular pleasure of spending an annual fall week in the New Hampshire woods with Jonatha and 149 other women…making art…making friends, lifelong strong bonds…learning our Selves…breaking open, expanding, healing…and eating the most fantastic food every prepared.  I haven't been back in a number of years, and the focus and fizz has changed a bit, but it stays in my heart…a warm little thump-thump that can sneak up on me and fill my eyes from time to time…it's the, well, everythingness of it…the smell of pine and balsam and the water lapping at the back door step and the incessant howling of laughter from warm-lit cabins at night - and these are the darkest of dark nights, with no street to light…the clink of wineglasses…the crackle of huge fireplace fires…the sharing of snacks and stories and hearts…i miss this…but it taught me what i needed to create and make space for in my "regular" life.  and i have.  except for a rock star serenading us around a wild campfire, i have created a circle of women who want to gather and get messy together - heart-wise and paint-wise.  and as i look for my next roof, i am consciously aware of my safety zones…the need for financial safety balanced with room to gather.  what am i willing to sacrifice of one to have the other?  because in my world right now, as it is evolving, there won't be room for both to the fullest that i would want.  maybe. i am visualizing what i want…have been for years.  and am ready to take a step toward a good compromise - one that is comfortable in every sense.  i giggle.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Well, at least it started out being a good day. I'd show you pictures of Henry, and regale you with tales of his unsurpassed cuteness, but it's late. And the Space Between married...and Not married, is not a place for wimps and cowards. I may make some art to that theme when I can get into my studio again. I may give a survivor workshop. Or maybe just kick this life to the curb, shed the skin, rinse and repeat. Shiny and new. With better eyes and a stronger heart. Meanwhile, a caramel colored pup is snoring next to me, and i should join him. Good night, sweet dreams to you, my friend.

Monday, February 23, 2015

i'm sorry, but it's taken me a full 10 minutes to get to this page.  Thank you, Verizon for your whiptastic slo-mo internet…after the contract is signed.

deep breath.  okay.

there's a furor going on in the web world over the movie 50 Shades Of Grey.  In case you didn't know, Grey is the main character's last name.  On my street, we have a Girl's Movie Night, which has become also a theater matinee day, since we all want out of the same 4 walls this winter.  We generally take turns picking the movie.  yesterday was not my pick, and we went to see 50 Shades.  Now, I didn't read the book, so I had no idea what the movie was about.  This will not spoil it, but it's about a billionaire - young, handsome, single, who is sexually into domination.  BUT what's been glossed over in the hate posts is it's also about a young, pretty, single grad student and her choices - she's nowhere close to being a billionaire, and probably not even a hundredaire.  They meet, she's attracted to him, and he to her.  and that's where the opinion pollsters go nuts.  There are comments like "if he lived in a trailer park, it would be an episode of CSI," etc., insinuating that the male character is a demented perv, preying on this helpless woman.  Let me say that domination is not my thing, unless we speak of chocolate.  In the movie, the woman is 100% aware of what she is getting into, inasmuch as she has been provided with a long, legal document that she must read, initial, and sign.  The terms, conditions, acts he engages in and expects her to comply with (IF she agrees) are explicitly spelled out, and she calls a business meeting with him to discuss changes she wants made to the document.  She is free to leave at any time when they are together, and he has a helicopter, chauffeur, whatever, standing by at all times for her to just walk out the door.  The sex scenes are somewhat explicit.  The movie was well done & not gratuitous, and not as involved as the book according to a woman who read the series.  What took my interest was watching as the woman in the film played him mentally…not just seeing his billions as a potential playground for herself, but drawing her boundaries for her SelfWorth, as well as her self physically.  She is not a helpless waif, who is taken in by the rich & powerful man. I probably will not see the Part 2 & 3 (& maybe 4), because I prefer a different type of movie.  but didn't walk away all inflamed about how he used her.  They used one another equally.  it was as much a head game as a physical game.  There was nothing involved that wasn't consensual.  She explored physically what she wanted, and made it clear that she wanted more from him emotionally.  He made it clear that he was unable to give her anything emotionally.  so it became her choice…fully aware of what he would/could and could not/ would not offer her.  I won't spoil it any further, but i just don't understand the furor over the movie, other than it touches on a taboo.  i find "shoot em up" movies to be more egregious, with gratuitous & graphic murder, but there are those that disagree.  So it's just whatever you care to spend your money on, I guess.  The popcorn was good.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

ugh…has it been a week? well, i apologize that this post will be tiny and kind of not worth the wait…
Today I hosted my very first workshop with adult women.  there were 10 of us and I have to say…it went very well!  I've lost countless hours of sleep over this, worrying if i was going to make a bumbling fool out of myself.  not because i've never made a bumbling fool out of myself - i do that regularly.  but because there was so much involved in the set-up and take down and the procurement of supplies and things that went wrong and awry and not the least of which was that these women were driving through a snow-hell and expecting to have A Good Time and Learn Art…soooo not too much pressure put on myself.  they had a great time (unless they lied on their questionnaires) and I am exhausted.  barely 7pm and if i had sheets on my bed, i'd be rolling over and drooling on my pillow right now.  Henry missed me.  So tomorrow I'm going to a movie with my friend, but otherwise sticking close to home.  I have a Very Early doctor appt monday, so no sleeping in then.  i need a vacation…`

Saturday, February 14, 2015

for my birthday, my brother & sister-in-law got me some magic.  It looks like a book called "You Only Live Once," but it is actually magic contained in a big, beautiful book with luscious pictures, dreams and possibilities. the premise of the book is to present wildly imaginable and fantastical things to do if you have a certain amount of time… an hour, a day, a week, etc.  And they range from taking a dance lesson to making a raft etc.  But not just a dance lesson or a raft…a dance lesson in, say, Cuba.  a Life Raft built within a 6-day adventure, Huck Finn style, in another country I can't recall right now.
They gave me the book at my most recent epic birthday gathering, and i opened then & there and began to crack open within myself…remembering that dreams can come true….remembering that, although i won't be watching eagles in Alaska or Helsinki soon, I can get up early and watch the eagles right down the street from me in the DEC wooded super secret area.  Or I can promise myself to get up early on a sunday morning a few times a month and go snowshoeing at Beaver Lake, then enjoy some hot chocolate by the fire.  In short, the book fed the embers that were dying down a bit.  it has been close to 2 months since then, and my thoughts have focused on my husband leaving…how will i live?  how will I get medical care?  how will i buy groceries?  Where will I live?  every thought imaginable.  But today - Valentine's day - i picked up The Book again, to read while i was having breakfast. (i have to read while i eat breakfast!) And the magic raced out of the book, swirled around my heart, and once again made me realize how small i was focusing…all macro instead of fish eye.  and my heart expanded as my dreams woke up once again.  and i can't stop smiling.
i have a passport with no stamps.  that is a great sadness. the world is so big and interesting…i need to find my way somewhere.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

the good, the bad, the ugly, right?
Last night was the ugliest of ugly, with threatening emails and gulping sobs, and a late night phone call that just proved how little i am loved in this house.  aside from the 4-leggeds.  and i don't write this for pity or attention or any other thing.  just to share.  just to say hello, friend - i hope i haven't worn you out…that i've heard you, as well, as you muddle through your Very Difficult times.  this sadness thing sucks us in up to our knees and waists and just to our upper lip…allowing for breath, but sometimes closing off the words.  to just sit with someone while they move through the quicksand is a gift.  to make yourself a houseguest for someone for a time, till the scariest bits are past - well, that's a shade into the color "martyr." But believe me, it is a Gift of all gifts.  to just quietly be there with someone, not as a distraction to "get them happy,"  (because it isn't always a happy/sad thing), but to just be a beating heart and helping hand…to start the bath water when they don't feel like they can even manage a shower, or make the coffee when grief has stolen their ability.  to do the simplest of simple chores.  or not. or just sit and read a book, but be there so the emptiness doesn't turn into loneliness and join up with the deep sadness and overtake a weak moment.  yes.  to keep them walking the earth when there doesn't seem to be a damn good reason why they should.  you can't solve this for them, and to offer suggestions is annoying. but the day-to-day stuff gets forgotten while the heart & mind process this Big Difficult hairy monster.  and the animals need food and playtime and the carpet needs to be vacuumed and hair needs to be washed…so many details, when all they want to do is lay there tucked into a warm, heavy quilt.
Last night was the ugliest of ugly.  so far.  i suspect in weeks to come, last night will be a trip down candy cane lane.  and i suspect i will treasure your friendship exponentially by the week.  and though i can never not ever begin to repay you, know that your least littlest kindness should come back to you by the ton.  you deserve so much more than the world could return to you.  and i thank you.