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.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

my pup stays close…seemingly sensing the darkness…offering his wrinkled little head for petting, in order to ease the storm…i cannot live here anymore - this house holds too many ghosts…too many failures…too many what if's.  15 years of wanting nothing more than to be alone.  my wish came true.  but i cannot live in this house much longer…i fill my days with work, and my evenings with tears and choked back tears.  my weekends fall to either side of the pendulum's swing - crazy busy or lost and adrift.  i live in fear of the uncharted moments…the times when there's nothing but the ache, the ringing of silence in the rooms.  a neighbor calls to borrow an egg.  i have none.  she calls back - Are You Okay?  Your Voice Sounds Not Right.
i'm not.  i say i am just tired from work.  thank you for asking.
she has lived alone in a large house for longer than i have.  i'm not sure how.
i have friends.  some i'm afraid i may wear out.  and they'd be hard pressed to believe i hold back.
there is a gash in my soul. i am not made for this kind of solitude.  i am not having second thoughts on the decisions and signed papers that flew about my head the past few years.  it was the right thing.  of that i am certain.  especially after having discovered his indiscretion. well after the fact.  it helped, that knowledge.  in case i ever entertained going backwards just for the sake of having a person in the same house.  but.
i am changed in ways i don't want to be.  and am too tired to change that.  too numb to fight myself for my Self.  looking for the great good and gratitude…joyful cheerful at the good and the bad that crossed my path - knowing with certainty that it would all fold into the batter and make a delicious cake.
i get it now, Lisa.  i understand how doing things you don't want to do with people you barely know is better than listening to the empty rooms filled with furniture.
i write this in a saddest moment…one of many lately.  after reading a comment from a person who reads this journal.  she's disappointed that i am not the person she thought i was - the one who used to write all those posts about being one with nature and growing into self-hood and how art heals.  she wonders if all that was phony.  i write back that i'm sorry she is disappointed.  these are the facts as i know them.  i choose to put them out here, rather than hide the messy bits away.  and the good parts find their way here too.  and i will be her constant companion in print, should she need one.  but her comments are unwelcome and rude.  and it isn't the first time this same person has brought that up.  perhaps she should find a different hero.
right now i need to find a way to heal a wound that came from nowhere and has no particular beginning to point to.  and has confounded me in ways that i've never been confounded.  perhaps this is the storm before the calm.
i hope.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

and i don't say this to elicit pity or throw shame or shade.  just sort of typing along with my head and heart, and hoping my words will keep up.  because little by little, i'm losing my words.  which, truth be told - is the reason i left radio.  mostly.  that's an occupation that requires words.  and when you look at a potato and can't remember potato, then it's time to get a gig that isn't based 100% on talking.  using words.
but aside from that, it has been a coney island roller coaster ride over here.  on one hand, things are settled, and my life is mine to steer, and i'm excited about the different ways i can shape the path.  on the other, i have never felt so alone and forgotten.  (see - that's the part where you might think Pity Party.  but don't).  i am an extroverted introvert…i love to be around other people - lots of them - as long as nothing is required of me socially.  which, again, is at odds with the whole Gathering nature of my soul.  sort of.  there is such a shift within right now, and it's difficult to be dependable.  and difficult to make a decision on something that may be in the future - like sometimes an hour in the future.  i've tried to loosen up my calendar somewhat - tried to not fill every crack and crevice with activity and gathering or going.  i tried to plan just One Thing for a weekend.  that was this weekend.  just one thing.  and when that one thing fizzled and cancelled, it became a slippery slope for my emotional skis. I don't know yet if there's a lesson in this.  i hope so, because it was indeed a difficult weekend.  The sudden passing last week of a person dear to me made the days even harder.  There are entire days that go by when my only conversations are with a 4-legged person.  i need companionship of the 2-legged sort.  a sisterhood to play with.
this is so uplifting, eh?  my apologies.  but i've always been honest here - never put lipstick on a pig…always let the burned side of the pancake show.  I must say it has been eye-opening, and a big disappointment to see the truth of some hearts close to me.  perhaps the lesson is in becoming more self-sufficient - to not rely on others for the support i should be giving myself?  the danger is always that a wall is built.  and i am an excellent emotional mason.  no one can build a stronger, taller wall than me, i dare say.
so i'll spend some time away from anything electronic, and sort this tangle out.  share your wisdom with me.

Monday, March 28, 2016

not bad

twice in a month - not bad.  i love the freedom i've given myself to come here when i want, rather than feeling like i should.  
so. here's what i'm busy with…though i don't feel busy.  i feel rather like i'm wasting this gift of life…like i ShOuLd be doing something…moving forward…shedding skin, Becoming once again.  yes, it's spring, but so far there's been just one day of spring-like weather…tonight the wind whips and the rain torrents down the roof.  Henry will try to hold out as long as possible before absolutely needing to go out.  I try to train him to use the potty pads in the downstairs (unused) shower stall, but he has his pride.
so.  how am i doing?  much better, thank you.  i have moments of fear and moments of sadness and moments of flashing anger.  but nothing like the blinding fear/depression/rage i felt during the past 2 years.  things have settled, and now it's time to decide where to land - stay or go…here or there…i have a new job that i enjoy, and Henry, and a too-big house.  i have days where i spend too much time on social media to feel like i'm connecting with other humans, and days where i spend a lot of time connecting with other humans.
but my passion has been stirred.  it's a long route through a fertile land - i am working at this new job because it let's me out at 2pm so i can take classes and also work at my organizing business. I am writing a grant to raise money to create a teaching kitchen…this is a very long story (even for me).  But I want to have a place where the underserved can come and learn how to read a recipe and cook nutritious and inexpensive food - a la Good And Cheap cookbook.  I want the participants to leave with a grocery bag filled with those same ingredients and a copy of the recipe.  I want the kitchen to be available for those who don't have working appliances - they can come and cook their meals for the week and freeze them.  i want Food Banks and farmers to bring their overages to us.  there is no shortage of food - only a distribution issue. i know this to be a fact.  i want this kitchen to be located in the same area where participants can walk to it…transportation is not easy.
on a personal level…i am done being too nice.  it has gotten me only resentment and a circus to clean up after.  this week, i've taken a stand against two bullies, and let's see how the world spins.  i am naturally a gentle and non-confrontational person.  these traits have been misconstrued as being a pushover.  i suspect the issue has been straightened out.
i'm sorry for the ramble - sleep was far from my eyes last night, and my boss decided today would be a great day to train on some complex tasks….so it's all i can do to keep my eyes open (since 3pm).  i should just step away from the computer right now, and finish this when i make more sense……

how are you?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

brave enough

You go on by doing the best you can. You go on by being generous. You go on by being true. You go on by offering comfort to others who can't go on. You go on by allowing the unbearable days to pass and by allowing the pleasure in other days. You go on by finding a channel for your love, and another for your rage.
- Cheryl Strayed,  "Brave Enough"

Sunday, February 28, 2016

In the past year or two, when all my safety nets dry-rotted or burned or were swiped out from under me, it became more clear that there are hundreds of households in need.  secretly.  some you'd never think of.
in this election year, there are talks of "mandates" and unfunded mandates" - rules and laws that have been implemented on a state government level that locals MUST follow - but the state provides no help in funding for them.
Well, on a truly local level, (say, in a household), there are plenty of unfunded mandates…and depending on your socioeconomic strata, those can be anything from a new SubZero wine chiller to a hotdog for your kid's dinner.  no judgement.  truly.  we all have a different reality, and that's no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed.  neither is it an excuse not to help.  from either end of the spectrum.
In my mind, the answers are quite simple, and quite easily achieved.  inexpensively and without hootananny.  as long as everyone along the chain of helping is truly on board for the right reasons, and not for a public accolade or some sort of medal.

In Jeopardy format, the answer is this:  take a vacant building in an urban area that has a high density of underfunded household mandates (mandates such as feeding children healthy food).  Turn that vacant building into a teaching kitchen where mothers, daughters, men, women, whoevah can come and learn how to cook a healthy & nutritious & inexpensive recipe.  Then leave with those ingredients in a nice shopping bag.  Not a box. (do you leave your grocery store with a box? how easy is that to carry when you have a toddler and are really pregnant, for example?) The kitchen would be outfitted with typical household appliances…stoves and ovens and refrigerators that most households would have (except all burners would work).
I became inspired by the cookbook, and story behind the cookbook, Good And Cheap - how to eat well on $4 a day."   by Leeanne Brown. This hyperlink takes you to her website.  She is an amazing person.  I heard her interview on NPR and had to own the cookbook.  The average Food Stamp/SNAP recipient gets $29/week.  (Try that budget on if you want to scream unfunded mandates.  But it is what it is.)  For every cookbook purchased, if you contact her, she will donate a case of them to a local Food Pantry.  I had mine sent to the Salvation Army Emergency Services.

And this is where it gets so tasty.  I started wondering if people would read and use the cookbooks.  and i wondered if there were people who wanted to but couldn't learn by reading - they needed to be shown.
I want to have cooking workshops in that no longer vacant building.  the food workshops would use her cookbook as a basis for the recipes taught.

See, I came into some knowledge at a chance meeting at my hairdresser recently.  My original plan was for an indoor farm, if you will, a community-worked garden that would supply food for the workshops, and act as a co-op of sorts.  During this chance conversation, plus another random brain-dropping that came my way the day before, it is obvious that there isn't a problem of food shortage - it's a distribution issue.  there is at least one local farm that will load your car with whatever you need - but you need to get there to receive it.  The underfunded mandate homes usually travel by public transportation, making that unavailable.
So the vision shifts.  Not a failure of the vision - it is working perfectly and exactly the way it needs to in order to serve the people it was intended to in the way they need the service.  (it would be as ludicrous as giving canned goods to a homeless person - i mean how do you seriously think they will open the can and cook the contents?) so the underfunded mandate households may love fresh veggies, just like you and I, but the SNAP budget doesn't allow for much of it, and there is no transportation to the farm that's giving it away.  Problem easily solved if you step back and soften your eyes and not have an agenda to tick boxes off from.
I'm sorry of this sounds political.  it is absolutely not.  in fact, all of this is absolutely best done through private sector folks…through grants and good people…through the wallets of good people with great hearts and many funded mandates already in their households.
My vision is clear for this… the core principals, and the program offerings.  My head is finally in a place where i can allow for help and listen for great good suggestions and knowledge, and to work as a team.  my life is in a place where i have more of a depth of understanding.  i am crafting my day-to-day to allow for the time for the vision to explode into reality.
i don't have much time to make this happen.  and i feel like it will be my last Big Thing.  maybe not, but we'll see.  it will succeed, through me or through my original vision.  it absolutely has to. It is alive.
If it's got to be, then it's up to me.  I'm on a quest to do my best.
(That's a quote from Iannuzzo's Black Belt Academy.  I stole it here.)

In Jeopardy format, the question is: What is my legacy to be? What is my passion to leave behind?  

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

it seems i come here for comfort, or to work things out, or to share an amazing moment…but never to say "Eh - life is rolling along in a typical & usual fashion."  and that's okay, because who would want to read about someone's ordinary day…day after day?
so the past weekend was Valentine's Day, and it got me thinking about the deep bonds we share…how you can know someone for 3 full days and 2 half days, and they become grafted to your very heart & soul, but there are others that never seem to find that slice to grab onto, no matter how long you've known them.  (NOTE: I write these thoughts as generalities).
I live alone, with Henry of course, but as a human - alone.  I work in a communication field, but sit alone in a studio.  so by the time the evening rolls around, i need deep human contact.  and by the weekend? all bets are off - i'll marry you just to have a backsplash for my words.  I know this about myself - i crave…i need…human companionship.  which is why i am The Gatherer.  and also knowing this about myself makes me cautious about giving my heart away too quickly, or too deeply…knowing that sometimes the need to not be alone will cloud the intention of the offerer.  Male & female.  i have been a member of a group of women who also need the companionship of people, but who weren't looking for a graft - just a pulse and a willingness to ski or dine or go to a movie.  which is fine, but (for me) just feels cheap after a while.  i've been in BFF friendships that soon encompass and drown a heart…i cannot be responsible enough to be your everything every moment.  no one can.  get a counselor.  and to be fair, the line is thin sometimes between "a friend in need" and " a friend in CONSTANT need."  I have 1 friend that seems to take comfort in her role as comforter, and no matter what the conversation, she will find a spot that's a little grey and pick at it till you find yourself drowning in your troubles.  no!  so this long ramble is about friendship, and boundaries, i suppose.  if you're reading this, we are probably friends on some level…maybe warm acquaintances, maybe besties that talk often and freely and equally footed.  but sunday, something clicked into place, and i realized that there are things i must do for myself, and living situations that are a good choice for me…and hearts that are best enjoyed from afar and only on occasion.  the effort was never equal the return, and that's my new yardstick…i mean, if i don't have your address (email or otherwise) after 6 months…perhaps neither one of us cares all that much.  let's stay friends, but i am not going to be pouring the effort out as i have in the past.  i can't.  my tank of effort is draining.  which brings me to some other news, and i hate to be a bitch, but i have to continue this another time - this weekend, i'm thinking.  i am filling in for someone on vacation, and we are in the midst of a snow/ice/snow event, so i am just too exhausted.  my body can't do the fulltime like it used to.  and even if it was running like a top, these days would be killer anyway.  so forgive me, but we'll talk soon….have a golden day!

Monday, February 01, 2016

some days you feel absolutely and irretrievably broken inside…your very Self is leaking out with the tears that stream down your face…there is little you can do but sit on the floor and let the Reel Of Horrors play through your head as you moan.  that's the best i can describe it without sending you to the floor.  yet.  yet.  yet. somewhere in the midst of all this mess, you realize that there will come a clarity…that whatever has caused this emotional and wet outburst needed to be heard…needed OUT.  and it was bursting it's way through the busy-ness and calendar events and dodges and weaves that would make a Harlem Globetrotter proud.  somewhere in the mess of prostrate grief, there would come a clarity about something(s) that needed a closer look…a single tear magnifier. after the dog has been walked an inch shorter, and the carpets vacuumed completely up and silver gleams like a laser and wood floors have taken themselves up and run back to the forest in fear - sometime just after that, when you pause for a moment to catch your breath in the post-cleansing cleaning, it sneaks up around to the corner of your eye…you see it - that Thing that needed to be heard…that monster that created the great heaving sobs…and you see it's just a wounded little fluffy thing that needed healing…a Realization of being wronged or of being wrong…or of facing a Big Scary that really isn't so bad, after all.
I welcome the clarity…and i promise to listen to my heart a bit better, so as to avoid the drama.

Friday, January 29, 2016

i don't read self-help books.  i don't read books that purport to tell me how to live my life better.  why? because they begin with the premise that i am somehow broken…or less than…or that the author knows the key to how i should be living and where i should place my next steps.  I am not broken.  i am exactly in the exact place i should be with exactly the right tools and body shape and skill set and financial set-up and creativity and all that i need to do the job i need to do - whether i know what that job is or not.  i don't need to try to be my best self, or any other self.  i just need to be.  and i need to not focus on what i perceive to be the "wrongs" about me, or even the "rights," i just need to be.  and go about my day and my business and be sensitive for moments when i can make a difference and make a change for someone else's life…holding the door, buying coffee for the next in line, whatever whatever…small or large.  but if i'm too busy improving on something that was already just right for the job, i'll miss that opportunity, and the time will pass.  if i'm too busy trying to be what i feel i should be, rather than exactly what i am, then an Important Moment could pass.  and i hate when that happens.
i am not broken.  you are not broken.
are there things i wish were different about myself?  yes.  i wish i could dance, for instance.  but holding a beat with my feet is apparently not something i need for my journey.  or just maybe, NOT having that skill is exactly right for my journey.  who knows?  but i don't feel less than because of it.  and if i flail and fling myself around a dance floor to the un-beat, well you have my permission to laugh, because laughing is awesome, and i already know i can't dance!
but back to the point.  just be you.  enjoy your Self as much as I enjoy you.  whether you are having a bad day/week/month/year, or an exceptionally good one…come to the world with what you have.  it's exactly right.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

we are the walking wounded.  yet not.
we bear the stripes of our Grief around our hearts.  we have chosen to lie back in the pool of Grief and backfloat, knowing it was the Only Way…covering ourselves in it's thick blanket, because it is all we have...  Honoring our Grief while despising it…bringing forth a sulfur of hatred for the reasons of it, yet knowing deep down that there would come a place of Gratitude for it…feeling the hopelessness of it, knowing the reasons for it were beyond our control…knowing we surely were not the first to feel these feelings, yet having certainty that our response in our heart and body and mind was ours alone…that in nurturing and experiencing our Grief to the fullest gives honor to the Love and fierceness of the ties we held with our beloved.  We aren't broken - we are strengthened, though in the annealing* process, there are times when it might be easier to just meld with the fire and be lost.  but we don't.  we learn to honor ourselves, as well…to not be afraid to tuck in and be silent…to reach out and be with others if needed…to not be afraid of our tears showing…to accept hugs and accept that others may feel awkward, and allowing them that - their lesson to learn…to stand tall some days and be able to smile, but to stay curled in a ball in bed other days…behind our eyes, so much has changed…we define things differently…we see folly and blessing in a more sharp focus…we feel humbled and grateful for things that previously would have passed our notice…we step up and say things we might have held back from before You Are So Lovely, You Make Me So Happy, You Are A Blessing To The World…we say these things without the care of what others might think, because we realize it may be the last chance to say them and these words are important to say…we say them because we realize that anyone of us can be walking with a strap around their heart, and it may be just the thing that helps them float again…the voyage doesn't end, you know…the water gets more shallow at times, more clear at other times, then gets deep and choppy again…Grief has grafted itself to our hearts - it is now a part of who we are forever…how we use that grief is what defines us…whether we look back at all that has slipped from our grasp and think It Will Never Be Good Again, or be grateful for the lesson that has taught us an even deeper compassion and taken us even deeper into Becoming - the choice is entirely ours…it is our experience and outcome to decide.  I am humbled to think that i was given the opportunity to become more than i was…that even as every safety net burned below my feet, i said Thank You…because the small part of grief that had grafted to my heart before - woke up - and reminded me that i had lived this before and made it through, and so i would again…that tiny voice helped me be thankful through some of the worst and scariest and nastiest bits of life to date.
we are the walking wounded, yet not - we have chosen to claim our Grief and accept it and use it as we stand and go forward, even as we would use a great good blessing.
i ask for Grace and time of ease for a while, and know it's time to put the lessons to task…and i hold your hand as you float, lest you forget i am here with you.




*heat (metal or glass) and allow it to cool slowly, in order to remove internal stresses and toughen it.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

i have an exhausting list of things to accomplish…things i want to do, things i need to do, things i should do…i slept in a bit today, let Hen out very briefly (it's tingly cold out), then brought a mug of coffee back to bed where Hen & I snuggled and I read for a while.  It was a perfect morning.  I eventually got up and cleaned the house.  oh - the Stuff list.  it's hard to nail down what direction to go in - but it is crunch time.  do i want to disassemble my studio and make yet another office/guest room?  who are all these people i expect to stay over?? do i want to clear away much of my studio, then re-do as needed?  do i want to stay put, move someplace warmer, oy oy oy.  i need to point in one direction and Head There.  what i am asking for, no matter what, is a tribe.  a group of women to feel very comfortable with…to laugh with and share with and go on trips with.  a tribe of women to cook with and sit around campfires with…deep, binding hearts…connections that go deep and stay strong.  not just friends…but tribe members.  i get it now.  I am So Grateful for the women friends i have…i owe so much to them.  and i want to fold them into this tribe.  to me, a tribe is more than a group of women who do things together.  a tribe sustains one another.  they aren't afraid to go deep, when it's called for, but going deep is not an essential element to every gathering.  a tribe is a group of SisterFriends.  women to call on a moments notice to go see a movie or grab a dinner somewhere or the like.  i have many deep friendships in the area, but so many of the women have kid's activities on weekends, or other family obligations.  most of my life, i've had to work weekends, so that time together hasn't really meant much.  now it does. so that's my thing right now - a tribe.  in other areas of life for me - it's all so god! i passed my Computer final with a 97, and moving onward and awaiting some answers from financial aid to see what will happen with my choices.  fingers crossed.
my best thoughts for friends in the path of the storm this weekend.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

PowerBall….Yesss!

Did i mention I bought a Powerball ticket?  and that we also played at work?  did i mention that?  well, no matter - i didn't win.  but, yeah, i kinda did - see, in an off moment from time-to-time (not full time daydreaming) but once in a wispy moment, like just before the sandman comes tip toeing up the bridge of your nose and dusts your eyes with sweet dreams and snores…at those times, i thought about what i would do if i won.  and so i became a winner.  in a different sense.  no cash value - so don't start calling. i won because i was able to refine my priorities, my wants, my needs, my goals and my wildest dreams.  the Big What Ifs took form.  and since there was no cash value attached, when all was said and done, i am now able to set my foot in the direction of some of those dreams.  modified, of course.  but no doubt as heartfelt. And i realized that it doesn't need to be This OR That - it can be both.  Or all. I didn't have to put things on hold while I accomplished one personal goal…it could be about working toward that goal (education) AND getting some Magic done elsewhere down the street.

so as last year ended with gratitude for things lost, this year begins with gratitude for things never gotten in the first place!

i still have the goals and directions, but without all the entangling tax headaches! Adventure On, as my friend Wendy Ellertson says, Adventure On!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wait - what??

Did I mention that I am wont to change my mind with the spin of a hat? Did I mention that sometimes I need this space like I need a companion? No? I must have forgotten to mention that. In the exhaustion that was last year, I was probably thinking "oh, one less thing." Which it was. But the wrong thing to let go of. I can think of at least 6 other things that should make the cut before this.
And so, where were we? Oh right. But first - happy new year to you! I hope it's started out well. I know of no less than a few who have spent new year's first days saying goodbye to beloveds...in one way or another. This has been such a strange few weeks.  In a gentle and unobtrusive way, Big Thoughts have crept into my craw and started a ramble...like the tumbling of semi-precious stones in a dime store rock polisher...old thoughts, new thoughts, half-formed thoughts all rolling around to be ground down to smooth edges, or polished fine as fire.
Old thoughts: I have a deep dark secret confession to make. I have always felt a little Less Than because I didn't finish my degree. Well, sort of didn't. I have an AAS, but never continued on to a Masters degree like I had wanted. It seems there has always been someone under my care since my dad passed away in 1977, and there was either no time, or no money to carve out the task. My ideas and interests have gone all around the board, so when I did have the time and money at the same time, indecision was my enemy.  In conversation with a friend recently, it was pointed out that I had started 2 companies from thin air, run them successfully, then moved on of my own decision.  I had taught myself marketing, copywriting, business plan making, built my own website, and on & on.  With instinct. And no degree. Yes but...
So why does the piece of paper mean so much to me? And is it the paper, or the title, or the actual education that I am wishing for? I think at this stage of my life, I crave learning. And there are some gaps I need to fill in order to be successful in the time ahead.  My original plan was to get certified as a medical coder - a good plan...a portable career, and one I could do from a home office as a solo subcontractor. I watched and listened as my coworker studied and tested and wrote papers and went through the past 2 years of the course. I began saving and began a GoFundMe campaign. I can see that it will be a while before that plan takes root, and in the meantime, I needed to have something to keep myself busy & engaged with the outside world. So I started YourGreatSpace, an organization business. I love seeing the difference a clear and workable space makes in people's lives. It has been an exhausting few weeks as I got kicked by a bug and laid low.  The holidays took over. Now...now it is time to grab morning by the biscuits and get a groove on. Now it's time to start the promotion and marketing. I'm exhausted with the thought of it, but thrilled and grateful for the opportunity.  My goals for the year are simple:
More magic
More reverence
Super Deluxe
I want this year to kick the ass of the best year I've ever had. I want this year to end with a slide into home plate, hair on fire and a huge grin, saying what the hell! It was great! I want 2016 to be the best of all bests...not a year to sit limply by and make gentle excuses for whatever...I want it to be a damn screaming Mimi of a year with fun and giving and philanthropy and good friends and travel and at least one good solid companion. Male or female. A companion to share this about-to-be even more fabulous life with...not romantic- just someone to look at and say Did You See THAT??? I have spent too many years being gentle with myself and sitting quietly and tiptoeing around others. I want this to be the year of bold progress and letting go and giving up and grabbing the good greatness of YES. Damn skippy.
And so, I am back here. Randomly, no doubt. But I have a feeling somewhat often, as the tumblers tumble, and a great polished gem or two spits out.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Ps

There were some corrections that needed to be made in the last post, but blogger is being a spoiled brat. So you'll have to set your eyes on autocorrect

Percolation and rumination

It's been 23 days since my last post. Yes.  An almost unheard of amount of time to be away, in the past 9 or so years. Some days brought 3 or 4 posts a day. Some days witty, some raging, some using f-bombs, some poetic. All from the heart, though.
This past month has been the gelling of this past year. This was my 2nd Christmas alone (ish). And there was none of the panic of not having a group to gather around a tree and table...I almost didn't decorate at all, but decided to string up the red &green chili pepper lights and set a number of small trees up around the house. And it was good. I've spent the past year in what I call spackling mode...running and doing and planning and striving to fill every tiny moment...so I didn't have time to think. To process. To grieve. But grief has it's way with you when you least expect it - reaching for his favorite soup in the grocery store and realizing there's no one to eat it. Needing to phone a friend from the lonely paper goods aisle, as you open a box of Kleenex and try to sob inconspicuously. It will come no matter how fast you run, or how you try to medicate. I embraced my grief, finally, having learned that the dragon will eventually get bored and move on. The tears eventually stopped, I noticed one day. I moved on. In my marathon of busy, I had made friends -good friends. And as my interests reignited, and my worldview expanded once again, I felt at peace. I realized I was living in a new reality - one that included many situations that had once terrified me.  I had lost every safety net, and been bounced off a few rocks, but I'm still standing. And I was able to keep the sweetness of life...the intangible things that can't be bartered for over a polished conference table. I feel deeper...I am the person I feared...budgeting, watching, careful.  And I see how it makes a person appreciate things more, and how the choices you make are intentional. I once bought 8 dozen Gerbera daisy bunches because I couldn't decide what color to get. Eight dozen. That purchase is so far out of my realm now, and it seems like an embarrassing waste.
I've come to see how I can be so critical of those who share my heart. Or maybe it was just my heart telling me it was being shared with the wrong person. Either way, I had a share in the blame, though to this day, I have no idea what the actual last straw was that brought forth the cruelty of a sudden divorce announcement 2weeks before Christmas. It was not unwanted, but the timing was notable.
This past year has held some of the darkest and also some of the brightest moments/days/weeks. And I've sucked the marrow from the bones of it all, taking it gladly and learning from the worst of it and from the best. My boundaries have been redrawn...my heart is open...my step is steady.
I've always been honest with you here, and I will say that I am grateful for it all. Grateful for the growth that came. Grateful for the opportunities that have opened. Grateful for new strength, and new eyes.
Along with the fire, came a retooling, of sorts.
It's been a full year since I've been able to make art. Not even bad art. There is a force field, of sorts, around my studio. I don't know how to work in there anymore. I have nothing to say in paint and wax and plaster and paper. It may change some day. Maybe not. I don't mourn it or try to force it like I had been doing. It's just gone in a very definite way. Re-expressing itself in the remaking a heart, a home, a life. And there's where my luck gets lucky.
I started this space way back when, on what remains as the saddest day of my life...when I had to say good bye to my Kita. And tonight, on my birthday eve, I say so long to this space. It will remain up, but I'm feeling like it's time to step back. At least for a time. If you subscribe to the feed, you'll know if I couldn't resist talking to you here. But it feels like a different chapter is beginning. Thank you sincerely and deeply for riding along with me here all these years...for your comments and emails. I feel the love, and wish it back to you ten-fold. Xox, Kita's mom.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Wishing for the ease with which I moved through my days and nights and weeks and months...not having to force myself to go out and try something new with new people in new places...everything was well at hand. I'm probably not describing it properly, but... My New Reality is that unless I make a strong effort to engage with the world, I will sit alone...there is no longer an assumption of a big holiday dinner, or holiday of any sort...unless I make it.  I was always the Maker, but there was always a cast of characters that were the supporting cast and crew...was. Now, there is me. Last year, I was too stunned and shell-shocked to notice, I think. This year, the empty table clangs loudly as I walk through the dining room.  I laugh at the plans I had to make that room bigger. Tonight, I allow myself a moment to feel the full intensity of being alone as the world (it seems) prepares for a holiday with baking and family and too much of everything. But just for a moment. Just one moment. Then I'll grab onto the shred of a thought of the blessing in this - the one that would allow for a gathering of Also Alone folks. And hope they'll come.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9CEEEC2EE2C2A8BEhttps://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9CEEEC2EE2C2A8BE

Thursday, December 03, 2015

‘Deep in the wintry parts of our minds we are hardy stock and we know there is no such thing as work-free transformation. We know that we will have to burn to the ground in one way or another, and then sit right in the ashes of who we once thought we were and go on from there.’

Yes.
How are you? She asked.
Mostly really good. Really good. Some days really bad. Mostly good, though. And you?

We sat at the cafe in a bookstore. The rain trying to turn to snow outside.  A heady, full nose of fresh ground beans and cinnamon and vanilla inside. A very perfect place to be.  A very perfect place to wander through after arriving intentionally early. A very perfect place for a small and quiet, hardly noticed panic attack as the mind reminded the body that it was a year almost to the day that he said he was leaving.  But that was so many nights and days and moments and lessons ago...that was long before I learned how to stop that faucet by the garage from leaking...long before I learned how to seal cracks in a driveway and how to use a wrench and how to sleep alone in a California King-sized bed. Before I remembered how to cook for one.  And before I finally stopped shaving my legs.
She had been through worse, with a very public incident not involving her, but splashing her with its mud all the same.  She had fled to the other side of the world.  And was back now, still wounded but finding strength from us.  She is too good to let sit shackled to the past.  She still wonders how, why, WHY.  I tell her to step up and over and out.
It was a good day to clasp hearts with an ever-growing circle. It was a good day to take deep breaths in the cooking section, knowing my table will be filled, once again.  Some day.

My puppy sleeps with one paw against my leg, as if to keep track of me.  It would not be possible, some days, without him.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

ok so maybe this will be a monthly space.  who knows.
it appears i have deeply disappointed someone though.  someone who, unbeknownst to me, had put me on an (undeserved) pedestal.  she sent a heartfelt and strongly-worded email explaining that i had no right to put myself out there as some sort of "spiritual, earth mother goddess, telling people to follow me like some sort of Pied Piper of the soul."  Whaaa??? wait.  take a deep breath.  I am me.  nothing more, sometimes less.  and never not ever have i offered out anything but what my life has entailed…never once expecting to be considered as a Goddess.  (though i like earth mother a bit, without any woo-woo attached).  it was because i said the F-word in a post.  the F-word.  and if you knew me for reals and in person, you'd know i said that and much more the past year, while i wished death and boils upon many an attorney and soon-to-be-ex. Hardly goddess material…hardly someone you'd pick to emulate.  i would hope.  if you had a choice, I'd say Pema Chodron, or Karen Maezen Miller.  But i would bet my last fig that they've each let go with a resounding curse from time to time.  maybe before they became who they now are, maybe we'd all be surprised what a nanny-cam would show.  But Who Cares?? This has been, i will say, a difficult year (to underscore an understatement).  it has been a year in which i fell down a rabbit hole, met a dark queen, had tea with a mad hatter, came within inches of committing a heinous crime, lost my mind, found it, lost my soul, refound that, was grabbed by the ankles and spun, kicked the Spinner and became re-grounded and centered.  once the spinning in my head stopped.  so.  somewhere in there, i was supposed to be a goddess?? i haven't even shaved my legs in so long, i'm not sure it's even possible anymore.  so this is a big fat group apology to anyone who felt that i was to be the leader of the pack…i will sometimes end up ahead of you in the battle, but i cannot lead you…you are the sole someone built to lead yourself.  that's how it is intended.  if you look at my battle, and my ease, and see something you can take away from it all, so much the better.  i care deeply about all of my friends, and even some not-friends.  but….i do not purport to be a Pied Piper of your soul…of your life…that is your journey and your decisions and it will all be okay in the end - if it's not okay, it is not the end (love that movie!).
so move along - there's nothing to see here…just a woman in her pajamas, who's slightly impressed, yet confused, that she had that kind of impression on someone, but slightly sad that she disappointed (yet another).
In all of this swirling nastiness that was my year, i did learn to be grateful for the ugly bits, as well as the bright & glittery ones…i learned that I can still stand, even after all the dodgeballs were lobbed at me, and that the Outer crap does not need to dissolve the goodness inside…that it can actually make the Good gooder, and make determination more determined.  i learned to lift my gaze, step over, and move forward…making certain to wipe my feet before proceeding.
right now, i have a date with my Perfect Stepdaughter, who has grown into the most beautiful and smart and amazing woman, and is bringing muffins for brunch.
walk beside me.  we'll both learn.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

a rebuilding

a conversation with a wise woman:  we are, each of us, built for our purpose - built physically, mentally, endurance-wise, personality traits…all of it.  To say you dislike something about yourself, or feel ashamed of something - it's saying you disregard and disrespect your purpose.  A carpenter doesn't hate his hammer or saw.  these are his tools, and he pays them no time once he's set about his purpose of building something…he doesn't sit and stare at it, wishing it had a blue handle instead of a red one.  you have been given the tools (your Self) to be used for your purpose.  stop looking at the details of the tools…get busy building!

a theme, lately.  It has been a rebuilding year for me.  and the "re" prefix means there was un-building and destruction that came ahead of the need to build again.  I have found great joy and deepest pain as the structure of "me" was brought to it's foundation this year.  i know it sounds dramatic.  i know i've endlessly confided in some of you.  but there was quite a bit more that never ever saw the light of day…some things that had no way of expression.  And they sat within the walls, festering and attracting vermin in.  so, the walls had to go.  with each blow of the sledgehammer, i fought and kicked and was not at all spiritual and zen about the whole thing (to misuse the word "zen").  I knew it was essential.  i knew there would come a time of rebuilding.  but.  but. but.  it was difficult.  yes, i am aware that i faced problems that some would snicker at, and be happy to trade for.  but they were MY problems in MY reality.  not everyone has to face the same tragedy or loss or difficulty in order to fall.  not everyone has the same tipping point where they just lay down and say UNCLE.  and i suspect that most of us will (or have) reached that point in our individual lives.  and what we do and where we go from that lowdown point is up to us.  it truly is…there is no thumb keeping us down.  but there are many hands to help us up.  and there, from the bottom, is where we find our strength…where we realize that we can grasp the edge of the hole and hoist ourselves up and swing a leg over, then crawl away from the edge, stand up, and walk.  and there, from the edge of that hole, as we swat the dirt off, there is where we realize that The Worst has happened, and from This Point Forward - nothing not anything can harm us or bring us back to the hole…we have the power to climb out….it was all an illusion that we had to stay deep.
So today i swing a hammer and rebuild.  i spend a quiet day with my Henry, then meet some women for a night of community…hands helping one another up.  and cupcakes.

Friday, November 06, 2015

my heart belongs

I belong in the woods.  i belong where wildness can be tamed…but just.  i belong where make do and handmade and hand built all meet.  i belong where the label of Pioneer Woman is not about selling recipes and cookware…where it's about beekeeping and growing vegetables and canning and sitting by a fire at night slow stitching.  i belong in the woods where your enjoyment and your exhaustion comes from sustaining your life…where snowshoes are the latest fashion, and Carharts are dirty.  where things sometimes go wrong, but things feel just so right.  maybe a dream version?  possibly.  but i know how my heart clutches and the tears flow when i think about, dream about, read about a nice little cabin in the woods…not too close, not too far…not too big, not too small.  decorated with handmade rag rugs and essentials of daily living…not too rustic but not too modern.  and definitely with a big soaking tub. i ask myself why, then, have i chosen my current address?
I returned to the piney woods of New Hampshire two months ago, after an absence of a few years.  I couldn't not.  I just couldn't not.  it was the woods that called me.  yet more.  it was the True Hearts that called me.  and yet more.  To leave was a loss so deep.  to drive away was as difficult as i remembered. to stay would be folly.  wouldn't it?
i await some answers.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

dream on



yes, it's true I have a thing for Steven Tyler.  Sorry. That may spin your head.  But this song - whether or not Steven & I had an invisible relationship - has been my personal fight song…my mantra…my push-through-it-till-your-shoulder-aches-then-kick-it song….Dream On, dream until your dreams come true.  I mean, what's not to embrace?
The lyrics:

Everytime I look in the mirror, all these lines in my face getting clearer/ the past is gone/ it went by like dusk to dawn/ Isn't that the way, everybody's got their dues in life to pay?
I know nobody knows/ when it comes and where it goes/ I know in everybody's sin, you've got to lose to know how to win.
Dream on, dream on, dream on
Dream until your dreams come true.

what's not to love?  Dreams aren't always "name it and claim it."  Dreams sometimes are an easy clicking together of forces and events that make you wonder What Just Happened There?  But sometimes they move slow, and need A Lot Of Hard Work.  But if it's your dream, dream on until it comes true.  However long that takes.  Whatever groundwork needs to be put in place.

I've been so blessed in my life to be able to, for the most part, work at pretty much what I've chosen to do.  Not to say I worked at my Dream all these years.  But during the many years that I needed a stable and good income, I chose to work at a traditional job that provided that.  I was prudent, rather than leaping out in a wide expanse of Who Knows What.  neither choice was right or wrong.  they were just two of many choices floating around the atmosphere.  i chose safe and solvent.  as years went by (like dusk to dawn) (couldn't resist) I saw that my time was dissolving before me, and my youthful sense of immortality began to trail behind me.  it was time to leap.  the important thing to note is that i had a tether.  i had an income stream to support me as i lept.  if the universe missed the trapeze toss, then my partner's income would catch us.  and so i had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to go wildly forth into the great Will-It-Work.  the first attempt was a short-lived crashing, exhausting disaster.  well, not so much that as an eye-opening trip through reality.  There is so much to running a business.  so much more than lighting some incense, cupping some chai tea in your fingerless-gloved hands, and splashing paint on a canvas that people will fight over to buy.  ummm. not so much.  so i regrouped.  took another year in standardized corporate work, but spent every spare moment figuring out what went right, what went wrong, what i liked and what i disliked about the whole Dream.  Then, i went to the edge of the limb, flapped and made it! about 3 feet.  and floated/plummeted/floated.  once again.  Dream on.  But this time, i stayed in my studio.  and i researched and dreamed and just made art for my own soul.  and some of the Best Art Ever came from my heart and actually made it onto the canvas.  And. I. Was. Happy.  So i learned that 1 person will soon die if they try to market their work but also create it but also make sales calls but also do the administrative end of things but also make dinner.  I learned that i really didn't like weekly art fairs and all the physical set ups and take downs and the hot and cold and rainy and not to mention getting to meet some of the rudest people ever.  so i approached galleries.  and lo! i was picked up by one, which turned into two and then just enough.  and my work traveled up & down the east coast and to the west coast.  i even had a buyer in Japan.  and a few in Canada and Australia.  I learned that i like to do the creating.  and making a website is part of that creativity for me.  and i loved going to show opening where i got to ditch the sweatpants and dress up.  and drink wine.  and talk to interesting people who aren't wearing fanny packs and insisting they could make that at home with their craft club.  (and if you are one of those people - STOP IT.  just stop it).  (again - Stop It.)  But the pressure to have New Work sometimes is daunting when you've come pretty close to saying all you had to say.  So I backed away and tried new materials and techniques.  and again found success.  After a few rounds of the post-party depression, i just stopped.  i had nothing left.  Except - teaching other Starting Outs how to start out.  I developed a Business Boot Camp workshop geared specifically for creatives, but useful to any small biz dreamer.  they left the weekend with a viable business plan, a website and a logo & corporate identity…all jacked up on caffeine and high hopes, i released them to their dreams.  Can i say: I. Love. Doing. That.  But i didn't love all the follow up hand holding that was needed - if after 6 or 8 months you still haven't ventured to the edge of the limb to at least see what the Great Sky has for you, then you aren't ready.  and i can't make that happen.  only you can.  i still do consultations and mini camps for requests, but walked away from the business of Business.  and now?  I am in reboot.  i am working at the Very Same job i worked at before i got married (the first time).  I am living the same life i lived then BUT with a big difference.  I know to keep dreaming until my dreams come true…to not give up, to plan prudently but know when to flap my wings.  I know what's all smoke & sugar, and what's good hard work.  I know what I like and don't like, and I am building my 3rd business as we speak.  it is a slow grow, which makes me happy.  i know now that Things Will Get Done.  they will get done when it is time for them to - not before, and not after.  so i don't feel anxious or rushed, neither do i lag.  i listen, i work, i build.  i trust my gut, i listen to my body.  when i can, i do.  when i can't, i don't.  i am grateful for the aches and pains that help slow me to a thoughtfulness.  i am grateful to be who i am and where i am.  although i wouldn't turn down the lottery.  i am grateful for the friends and helpers i've met along the way to today.
i am most grateful for Dreams.  and Steven Tyler.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

the space between

I love my job.  but if that's all life was about, i'd slit my own wrists.  i love my house - the tending and mending and painting and decorating.  but a house that isn't a welcoming home is just a pile of wood.  To me, life - rather Life - is about the spaces between…how i relate and move about this world…how i look for change and blessing to give out and to take in…which one is harder for you - giving a blessing, or receiving one?  I bet you said "receiving."  we wouldn't be friends if you couldn't bestow blessings upon those who swirl into your life.  but receiving?  that's a whole new experience and ball of twine.  why is receiving so hard?  does it make us feel like we're seen as incomplete or needy or selfish or or or?  then why should we bestow a blessing upon another if it makes us feel so oogly?  we aren't trying to make others feel bad, yet when they try to bless us, we have mixed feelings.  feel worthy.  be grateful.  period.
so, now about those spaces in between.  it doesn't have to be this OR that…there doesn't have to be a distinct line of demarcation…there's just a fuzzy space between the seen and unseen…the things that come with an attachment to the eye and hand and body, and the unexplainable things that move through us…that surround our hearts while we move through our days doing the tasks expected of us and that we need/want to do…that ethereal mist of what some call spirituality, some call mindfulness…it's about setting your eye just a bit higher, so that the task of making supper suddenly becomes the task of making supper plus the joy of making a little extra for a tired neighbor…it's about watching my neighbors care for my lawn when they know i'm not able, and feeling so so grateful…giving.  receiving.  the space between.  when you slow your day down just a notch, you'll see the things that are important.  things that can only be seen without using your eyes…the distinctly different smells as i walk with Henry through the woods - autumn leaves, now crunchy underfoot and their musty wonderful smell…the gamey smell as we walk past the fox den…the chill dampness near the lake.  all would be missed without setting an intention to walk in the space between…between performing the task of walking Henry and going out to experience the woods with my best companion.  Rumi says to "Close both your eyes in order to see with your Third eye." the space between what is seen and what is felt.  may you travel there today.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

I've been trying for days weeks to come by here, but blogger has kept me out.  Then tonight, just as I was about to abandon hope, the door flung open. So here we are.  A cup of chai tea at my elbow, a handsome Chug chomping on his bone...and us.
So the last we spoke, I was becoming appalled with the amount of time I was spending, neck bent, with electronics.  And I realize that Henry is a dog, but his amazing brown eyes spoke of hurt and loneliness...he needed more attention.  And that made me realize that there needs to be a moderate middle...too much out-and-about swung to an arc where I stayed in and tapped on the computer.  Back and forth the pendulum swung.  Too much. Too little.  So I made a decision that I would plan just 1 outing a weekend.  And the other day would be spent keeping the house tidy and the laundry done and shopping for food, and then generally slacking about.  But starting...next weekend.  I'd already booked my calendar full.  And I saw the folly in it all...the half enjoyment, knowing the clock was ticking to have to run to the next thing.  When my separation and divorce was grinding through me, it was absolutely necessary to keep busy.  Very busy.  Just to keep my mind from taking a turn down a dark street.  Busy, busier, busiest.  And I highly recommend that.  I do.  Some will say Be Gentle With Yourself, as though you should soften your eyes and live in a drowsy, slow fashion.  But if you are able, get very busy right away.  I was admonished to slow down and process everything...deal with the emotions.  Yes, it is like a death. But it isn't a death.  You'll still run into the bastard when you least expect it, and usually when you look like death sucking on a biscuit.  He will have some version of Barbie hanging all over him.  It will happen.  And while you're deciding if you should punch him in the trunks or just act all cool and thank him for the STD, he'll pay for his gigantic sirloin steak and wish you well.  So no, it is not a death.  As far as processing anything, I have all the facts my brain needs to understand: one year ago, two weeks before Christmas, the man I married 15 years prior came home and advised me he was planning to proceed with a divorce action. This was while we were eating a superb meal that I had spent quite some time concocting.  In fact, I was still wearing my orange apron, if I recall.  The fact that I didn't destroy the apron afterwards is a testament to my love of orange.  So, the short version is - no, there is nothing to process.  It became clear very quickly that he was kicking his life to the curb, and my foot was stuck in the webbing of it.
But this is all old news.  Lately? I'm still struggling with my studio.  Or rather, my brain's refusal to cooperate at the table. It has been a source of extreme frustration.  When you identify as an artist, and you cannot produce art...what then??  Are you no one? Or are you becoming someone else? In my mind, I have created the most amazing work of my life.  But I have no energy to bring it to life.  I sleep. I sleep. I stare at Netflix movies slack jawed and constantly in the evenings.  It seems that I have spent the past year running...first from a bad marriage, then from the loneliness of my heart, then from my inability to bring forth what if feel would be the best work of my life. There used to always be one more thing to wait for and THEN I could make art.  But that attitude changed.  And I don't feel that's the case now.  Just not feelin it.
I'm starting a new business venture called YourGreatSpace.  I'll be doing organization in people's businesses, warehouses, homes and garages. Which I love. I put my OCD hat on and everything gets put in a proper and pleasing place.  I'll also be corralling paperwork, and have a kick-butt system. The website is in-process www.yourgreatspace.com
And that is the long version of my life in a nutshell.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

And then one day....you stop. Suddenly you realize how electronics have pushed out flesh & blood...how that little dog looks up at you wondering if it's time to play yet YET and you realize that 10, 20, 30 minutes ago you said Just A Minute, Buddy, then got sucked down the rabbit hole of Instagram and Facebook and texts and emails. Then it was bed time. And he came and snuggled you anyway, and you thought once again - tomorrow we'll go on an epic adventure. After. And tonight, as you were chatting on the phone and checking Instagram one more time, he curled up and fell asleep anyway. Yes, he's a dog.  Well, more than that, he's my Henry. My little fur being entrusted to me for safekeeping and given to me to impart love and warmth and to growl at strange noises. And to remind me to look up from the keyboard. Tomorrow, treats and an epic walk. Before.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

in the woods. home.

yesterday, i meant to write this. yesterday, as Henry and I took our early morning walk, an owl whooshed in front of us and continued at warp speed through the woods.  when i looked after him, i saw a tangle of tightly packed tree trunks and downed limbs….


his wings at full extension as he tilted this way and that, like a fighter plane zoning in on an enemy…his  eye on the prize, he saw a clear path instinctively and moved toward his goal without thought that he would fail…without thought that the path was too jumbled…he was hungry for his prize.


a good lesson.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

am feeling disconnected.  itchy and jumpy in my own skin.  finding myself wandering the house wondering what the heck i was planning to do with the screwdriver in my hand.  feeling like an addict who needs to see a man about a horse.  or some horse. after a day of great and good accomplishments and housework, inside and out, i find it's too early to go to bed, but too sad to stay up.  henry barks through the window at a passing dog.  i think about my neighbor - older than me by a few years - single since i've known her.  how does she do it?  what does she do with all her minutes and hours and days? i feel ashamed to complain about loneliness while i live in a great and beautiful home.  yet the darkness makes it's way through the windows to the inside at times.  the sadness draws the darkness in.  i need to wish better…i need to be more careful for what i wish for.  i wish for things and they come to me…and i'm never satisfied - always finding the flaw…perhaps the problem is me, yes?  perhaps i need to stop wishing and realize that i have all that a wish could bring.  and yet.  even Henry has his shadows in the window.  should i wish for a distraction?  and what of it - what if it should come? would i wish for time alone? i try looking outward and it's just too exhausting tonight.  perhaps tomorrow.  or the next day.  but not tonight. tonight i come here raw and without pretension or pretending.  life on my own can be crushing.  i will wish for a partner - for a close compatriot - not necessarily of the marriage type.  more like a person to share those moments with, when you want to say "Look!" but realize there's no one to say it to.  yes.  someone who won't tire of my sometimes endless chatter.  someone who will help me lift the tent on my Big ideas.  now that would be an excellent wish.

Friday, September 25, 2015

totally underestimated the sadness of an email that begins:

We have your signed divorce papers back from the Court.

Monday, September 21, 2015

to try to condense the past week into one post would be a disservice.  so here are a few random tidbits.  It was another Full Circle thing…i was assigned the same cabin that i stayed in the very first year i went to this art retreat.  there were connections and wine and rooms filled with laughter - one more laugh and the walls would have given way - nails unable to hold the 100+ year old boards in place.  the workshop i had hoped would crack open the dead shell of my creativity - did.  and skipping ahead, the instructor lives a stone's throw away from the very first woman i went to these woods to learn from all those years ago.  true story.
it is difficult to return to a place where there are expectations - whether they be ones put on you, or ones you don as a uniform when you are in situ.  when i first arrived, those many years ago, no one knew me and i knew no one.  they say the further from home you get, the more like yourself you become.  true story.  but as i returned to that spot year after year, and met up with those original new friends, i picked up where i left off - not allowing myself tender new growth, and expecting the same experience.  it took a few years away, to be able to return as my true new self…soft edges, tumbled smooth by the years transitions…my true new self - who knew no one, once again, and decided to chuck the uniform and be my deepest self.  yes.
i learned to listen a bit better - still hard for me to stop the chattering at times.
i learned to let people be.  just be.  and…
i learned that i do not need to like everyone, even if i know they are simply expressing their pain in the only way they know how.
i learned that there is no need to overshare…in watching a mirror of my former self, i cringed, but knew there was no way to stop that train once it left the station.  i want that woman to know that she was welcomed, simply by being there - that there was no need to try so hard, and besides - who cares if someone likes you?  the ones you connect with are the ones that you have most in common with.  they are your tribe. and you don't need to try.  there is no point.
i learned that i need to have women around me…great swirling groups of creativity and laughter and good food and all the scents and smells of the marketplace - BUT i need my own private space to rest in.  (this is meant for my continuing life NOT my roommate, who was wonderful and interesting and wildly talented).
i learned that a car breaking down on the way home can create a much needed 100-percent down day of rest and laundry and art at home.  that a hard landing can be something to be grateful for (well, i'll get back to you on the Full gratitude after i get the bill from the mechanic).
i learned that i need to write down some of the stuff that comes out of my mouth.

i had the very distinct honor and privilege of watching another brave woman start at my beginning, and leave the week and the woods with wings on her feet.

thank you for this week.  i have a date with Henry now, and he really is excited about going for a walk.
be well…be grateful…be yourself.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

don't believe it!

Reports that I've abandoned this space are simply not true.  Well, actually, there haven't been any such reports, but I bet you suspected. Nope.  Just trying to find balance.  it's a tricky thing.  if you've ever tried to spin a ball on your finger, or a plate, or a few plates…that's what I'm talking about.  And it's all of my own doing, i know.  there are so many Things To Grab…too many opportunities to Not Pass Up…it's a harmonic convergence of sweet summer weather, and the freedom to choose.  and i've chosen it all.  so, something had to slip past me, and i'm afraid it was this blog.  but now, as the weather chills a bit, and the rainy days begin, and the leaves begin to find soft landing on the ground, now i feel myself begin to cocoon a bit…feeling slightly annoyed at a dinner party tonight, when normally i'd be celebrating the kinship around the table.  tonight i needed to melt a bit.  but there will be time for that later, and tomorrow.  having run all my errands today, i'll have tomorrow to do as i please, save for packing for my week in the woods.  Henry has more than plenty women to watch over him this week, and will likely be even more spoiled when i return.  i have my eye set on an artist grant, and am hoping it comes through.  details later.  Today i found a fantastic buffet/server…mahogany…and very similar to one i remember from growing up.  just some random thoughts.
this year, i have pushed myself to some very scary places in the name of adventure and comraderie…i've jumped over the abyss many times and always landed well…i've learned that there really is no such thing as a dragon - just a galoof with a lot of hot air…and no such thing as a Big Scary - only a bunch of little scaries standing on each others' shoulder under a giant coat…plink plink plink one at a time and they're gone.  but there is indeed such a thing as friends, deep in the heart and willing to swim with you and laugh hysterically with you and breathe well with you.  even in Ikea.  oh - and i learned that there is magic - yes!  and it may leave, but it always returns, because your magic is as much a part of you as brown eyes.  i have learned so much this year.  and i want to share it all.  and i will, but in bits.  but right now, i need to get dinner started for friends who will sit around my table and break bread and laugh and watch movies…share a cup with me tonight…as i raise my glass, i'll have you twinkling in my eye, and beating in my heart.  thank you.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Too many dots

on my phone calendar, when I add an event, it makes a dot on that day. I need only to tap that day's square to see what the dot represents.  If I have more than 1 event, then I have as many dots as there are things to do.  My calendar looks like it has chickenpox. Dot pox. Too much to do and no down time pox.  I wanted to go to an R&R retreat at Kripalu, but...no time. Seriously? So despite my abhorrence to rules, I am making one. Beginning 9/21 I will only plan 1 event per weekend. That will give me time to clear through events I've already booked. Just 1 planned event per weekend. Planned. That will allow time for cleaning, laundry and cooking. Cooking! It's soup and casserole and beefed up dinners time! A dinner party takes a good part of a weekend to pull off well...there's cleaning and shopping and chopping and cooking and setting a beautiful table.  I'm looking forward to having a monthly art-and-soup party, as well as a regular dinner.  So that's my plan, anyway.  The past few months have been a circus wheel of activity, and although it's been exhausting, I know the summer months come and go too quickly. Just the other day on our walk, the woods path was beginning to cover with leaves, and the pond is very quiet...no geese daring us to walk past their fluffy babes.  Those babes are now hard to tell apart from their mamas.  And they've all flown off.  I still open the windows for cool morning air, but the windows stay open well into the morning now, with no danger of letting in warm air.  In just a few short weeks, I'll be raking leaves. Pumpkins are already appearing in grocery displays and for sale. I love fall, but am sad to see summer wane.  It has been a good summer.  A mostly peaceful summer. And one of my favorites. Winter promises to be a good season this year, and I await its surprises. Henry is impatient for his walk, so off we go. Wishing you a good season today....

Friday, August 21, 2015




a mid-morning walk with Henry through my woods… there is a certain area that just smells so good - so earthy and woodsy…i stop every time and just take a deep breath.  and i realized that this is in the darkest part of the path…at night pitch black, even during a full moon.  At mid-morning, still mossy and damp and loamy.  It's actually the smell of downed trees returning to soil…and it struck me that in the darkest moment of life, there is a death of the things that no longer serve you…anything non-essential is stripped away…anything that no longer fits or is useful to you gets disregarded…situations that seemed bothersome and worth an argument moments before, now seem like a frivolous and ridiculous battle cry…in the darkest moment of your soul, if you stop. and take a breath. in all the musty, loaminess of things being broken down and seemingly destroyed - in that moment when you close your eyes and take a breath…may you smell the beautiful sweet smell of life anew breaking through the soil and moss, gentle as a fern…may you realize somewhere around your breaking heart - that darkness is necessary for a time…that the fire that destroys the forest makes it possible for a new forest to grow.  and may you have a henry to stop you while you listen and smell and realize in your heart.



Sunday, August 16, 2015

i have been busy like a honeybee in a hive…my sister-in-law is coming to stay for a bit, and that meant flipping the house,,,moving from my little nest downstairs, up to the new room.  that also meant moving my office to my studio.  which meant a total studio re-do, in order to make the perfect space for my desk, and the perfect gathering spaces in my studio.  my greatest gifts are my friends.  truly.  i am every day all the more grateful for friends near and far.  and it is my intention this fall & winter to have a once (or twice) a month art gathering with them…some artists, some not…but all willing to get sloppy in the paint.  my vision is: 6 of us gathered around the worktable gabbing and mucking in paint, while a pot of soup or a lasagna cooks away downstairs.  good friends, good food, fun art, hot chocolate, wine, whatever your pleasure.  I am so excited for it…introducing new and old friends.  i have learned that you need to curate gatherings…i have learned that all friends are excellent, but there are some combinations that work so much better than others, and a greater time will be had by all.  so that is what i'll do…mix the mingle.  i am so in love with the new arrangement of this space…i can finally face the big wall of windows while i work.  it was such a shame to have my back to them before.  it's been 15 years of living in this house and rearranging.  this feels perfect for now.
1 month from now, i'll be in the piney woods of New Hampshire…a place i never thought i'd be again. so much has changed this past year, and i feel as though my heart had become like a stone, and then was shattered open.  the bits and pieces have come together in a new and different way - much like my house - and it feels so fresh and new.  i am still under the protection of my pre-divorce settlement terms, and am grateful for these months to catch my breath and see what needs to happen in my new day-to-day.  i miss what once was.  i feel like we failed the process and one another - that we gave up when we could've made this life epic.  but, that's all water past.  to look back is to stumble on the present, and miss the future.
it's time to catch some sleep - Henry's flea medicine has given out and he's so miserable…so we've been awake for the past few nights.
good rest to you…..