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, October 31, 2006


it's funny....in spring, the first hints of green struggle to push through the white snow...first the snowdrops, then the blaze of daffodils, then as the sun begins to warm to the idea - green bursts through. buds pop open revealing unfurling leaves...tulips and lilys and hostas all vie for space in my garden. the irises, with their heavy heads, open for a short while, then bow under the weight of their beauty. soon gone, leaving a memory of brilliance and wonder. bees buzz, dragonflies languish casually on my roses, or fly curiously around my hummingbird feeder...their opalescent wings glinting blues and greens. then, as fall approaches, one last push for the ultimate sensory show - brillant reds and yellows and oranges light the treetops and my woodspath. crisp mornings and evenings bring a piney musky earthy smell to my nostrils as fallen leaves begin the cycle back to dust. it is during that change of the earth's cycle that i am the most energized and creative. sleep comes in short catnaps - i don't want to miss a moment....fall is too fast to pass. the winter comes too soon, bringing rest to nature after all this exhuberance. and rest comes to me as well...my art takes on a less frenzied pace. my materials of choice - softer. felt and fiber replace metal and wood and rust. following the earth's cycle. following the internal clock. we all have an internal clock...times when we are energized and "in the zone" and also times when the body says "rest." much can be learned during each of those times...the energetic times when the ideas flow like the melting ice down a waterfall. the quieter times when we reflect on what we've learned, what we've accomplished, what we hope to reach for next as we, like spring buds, push through the restful blanket that time has allowed and stretch and grow within ourselves. to the snowdrop, it's just doing what nature intended - what it was put here to do. no big mystery to the snowdrop that it follows the cycle that was programmed into it at it's creation. it just does it. for us, maybe a little more difficult. but is it? taking that time to rest and reflect....to listen to our hearts, souls, our instincts. yes, we have a few more responsibilities and choices and places to be than a snowdrop. but on a certain level, i do believe that each of us has an intended purpose here. we aren't just "another person on the planet." what that purpose is, sometimes is obvious, sometimes not. we can look at Mother Theresa's life and say well, of course. but it may be harder to see our purpose within ourselves. and maybe our individual purpose isn't quite as grandiose or public as hers. maybe we are just to be that reliable friend or son or daughter that can be counted on for a safe haven - a touchstone of quiet for a moment. a person that makes you feel better about yourself just by coming in contact with them. or maybe you are the motivator - the person who kicks others in the seat of the pants and gets them going to reach their next level of potential. or maybe your purpose is greatness. i think each of those characteristics is greatness. maybe not public greatness. but greatness all the same. for we need each other in ways we may not imagine or know. we need to "touch base" with that calm, happy person for a moments respite and to gauge ourselves against those quiet calm waters. we need that motivator to keep us from staying too long in that comfortable spot with no challenges and no growth. yes, we need the Mother Theresas in a global sense also, but as technology broadens our sense of what defines "our" world, we are still responsible for our little corner of it. i remember going to my first job interview - "just be yourself" was the advise. seems so simple and frustratingly inadequate. yet, by being ourselves, in the truest purest way we can, we are fulfilling our purpose. (i sometimes think that being myself may be a little scary for those around me! but we all know someone like that.). so go about your day, your lives mindfully. savor the smells, the tastes, the sights that are given to you freely from nature as she fulfills her potential. but also take a small winter here and there to reflect and wonder where is your path? when is your spring? your fall? your summer? each spring is a new spring...new leaves, new buds, new blooms. now, as the leaves are mostly brown and yellow, what will you prune and mulch so it will grow stronger and more brilliant in the spring? L.

Friday, October 27, 2006

the 7 seals

so you may wonder what i'm doing up at this ungodly hour typing. well let me tell you. the seven seals have been opened upon my life. remember your Bible? having spent enough years in a Pentecostal church with fire & brimstone hitting me between the eyes, it's difficult for me to forget. in fact, i still jump start awake some nights worried that i fell asleep praying before i said "in Jesus name, amen," because i was once incorrectly told that the devil could steal my prayers unless i said that. safe place safe place. in fact, i was incorrectly told so many things that it took years to sort out right from wrong from far right from left behind from - you get the picture. i finally figured that God would figure out a way to let me know where to go and how to get there. just like the preacher did every week. but kinder and quieter, and the destination of my train probably wouldn't always be hell. until tonight. anyway, at this late hour, with sleep deprivation making me ultra sensitive to the creaks in the house,and the obvious conspiracy in High Places, i am convinced that the apocolypse has been visited upon my personal life. it all started (well - this epiphany started) in motion at 9:30pm. exhausted from a day of fruitless creativity, i decided to get some early shuteye, wake up refreshed and ready to go around 5 or 6am. back up a second....earlier in the evening, i found the source of my little dog's distress and constant twitching - a flea - just one - and put that yukky smelly stuff on her. she's happy. flea's not. now, back to bed....the bedroom is north pole cold, so i turn the heat up to 63, knowing that the human furnance would be slipping in beside me at some point, and that 63 would be plenty. little dog snuggles in to my right, as usual. i start to doze. so far, so good. then husband comes to bed, and that's when it all starts. (not what you think - read on). the temperature skyrockets. it must be Africa in there, and, AND, now i feel *plink" itch "plink" itch. i am positive there must be an entire flea circus coming alive for their next performance. my husband's loud snores are providing just the right calliope music for their best show ever. i crave a snowcone and popcorn. i can't move my legs or the dog will wake suddenly and start barking at the big moving thing under the covers. plink - on my calf. plink on my cheek. plink in my hair. not my hair! i had a flea infestation at my old house once. i tried everything. the government finally came in and declared it worse than Love Canal. i may be eligible for "brown fund" money, now that i think about it. i kept remembering how bad those days were....going out on a date and feeling a flea crawl down my forehead in the movies. oh yeah - it was b-a-d. so, then my poison ivy chimes in. a whole symphony of really bad stuff. i was in no mood to count my blessings like sheep and soon you will just drift asleep. so i counted up everything that has gone awry in the past few months, and realized that the number totaled 7. not lucky 7. 7 as in horsemen with 7 scrolls with 7 seals that meant some bad shit came down. now, if you know me, you know i'm given to flights of fancy and wild imaginings and exaggerations. so i'm not too worried that you think that i think that there is truly an apocolyptic experience of Biblic proportions going on. i'm not quite ready to put the tinfoil over the windows. but you have to admit, some really consistant "stuff" has been going on in my life. poopy stuff. like, i think i got some of someone else's stuff on top of my stuff. so here's my rundown....if you can remember any other bad stuff that's happened to me recently, keep it to yourself, my friend. i've got enough on my mind. 1)closed my business because it was too hard to do with my other job.... 2)lost my job....3)can't find another one and am going broke faster than a mathmatically challenged blackjack player... 4)poison ivy... 5)fleas.... 6&7 Bear & Nikita, of course. they should actually be 1 & 2, but this isn't necessarily in any order of tragedy. so after poking my husband 55 times and telling him to TURN OVER and STOP SNORING, i remembered that he's off in Ambien land and really knows not, nor cares what is going on around him. so i get up. of course the flea circus-carrying poochie (a/k/a Big Top Pup Tent) follows and now decides she has to go out. maybe the fleas will freeze and die die die when she does, so i accomodate her. it was after i left the furnace room that i realized - there were no fleas plinking all over - it was a heat rash. a damn heat rash. amazing. so then i think, hunh, maybe all this other stuff is imaginary too. but then i stopped to realize that, no, 1-4 plus 6&7 are still pretty much reality. so i guess that's it then. the worst is over, and i'm expecting good things from life from now on. and life better deliver, or life should fear this! i'm still not tired, but am afraid if i keep typing, i'll start rambling in some really crazy direction and no one will ever return my calls, so i think i'll drop a shot of Nyquil, or maybe some good Dominican rum i've been saving and go sleep in the closet where it's quiet and flea-free. fear THIS, life....fear THIS! 'night y'all. L.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


i have a feeling that i'll be posting somewhat sporadically for the next week or so. i know - everytime i say that, BAM! something comes to me! but i feel compelled to spend time with my rusty metal, glue, soldering gun and wire. the ideas still come like a fountain, and i've reached the point where my ideas are outpacing my skills. i guess that's a good thing - forcing me to reach and go beyond my safe circle of familiar tools and textures. if it was spring, i'd compare it to the first snowdrops peeking their heads above the frozen ground, looking for that 1 warm spot of sun to shine. my body is healing, and that is a blessing. what dasdardly deed did i perform in another life to bring all that calamity on?? 'cause i know i didn't do anything that evil in my recollection! here's a thought: a few of my girlfriends and i had a RAK (random acts of kindness)club....throughout the month, whenever someone did something exceptionally kind to/for you, you put their name in a hat. at the end of the month, we'd each draw a name from our respective hats and tell the others about the incident. it could have been something as simple as a kind word when you needed it most, or an umbrella lent on a hellaciously rainy day...anything that made you smile or feel truly truly grateful. the parameters were personal and ever-changing depending on the day. after the dinner and recounting of tales, we'd each do something for the person who's name we'd drawn - only it had to be an anonymous something. part of the "rules" were that the receiver-of-the-return-RAK should not know who sent them flowers, paid their lunch tab, etc etc. that is truly the hard part! i sent flowers to my supervisor one time (anonymously, of course) with a card that simply said "for all you do." she thought her boyfriend had sent them and called to thank him. he wanted to know who was sending his girlfriend flowers and just what was it that she had been doing to deserve them. this fallout was going on while i was outside on break, and i honestly thought about cutting-and-running! so, did i break the anonymous rule, or let her life dissolve in angry confusion over flowers that were supposed to bring a smile? i fessed up. rules were meant for other people, i guess. at my last job i was one of only 3 people in a huge office building at 3am. the other 2 worked with me. then there was the newspaper guy. we'd scared each other witless before, with him jamming his arm in the elevator door to grab it at the last second, me screaming and him screaming - neither expecting the other to be there. one day, he was waiting out front when i got there, and as we walked to the elevators, i said something about him loitering around out front (joking). he said he saw some "bad dudes" in the area and wanted to be sure i was safe. i was stunned. his route was late that day because he waited for me. so the next "hat draw" paper-guy got the win. it made me double happy - once for the incident, and once for the "payback." the question was - how to do this anonymously. i got him a gift certificate at Dunkin Donuts (he always had a huge travel mug of coffee on his dashboard) and taped it in the elevator with a note "yes...this is for YOU" on it. after i heard the slap of the newspaper hit the kickplate of the door next to our office. i waited a few minutes, then went out to check the elevator. yep. the envelope was gone. he never mentioned it to me, but i'm sure he got it - evidenced but white sugar crumbs on his dark shirt! try this....it's such a great win/win/win feeling! too many people are happy to pass along gloom & doom...people almost get suspicious when something good comes their way! till next time........L.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


wow! what is going on here? my body is rejecting me like a bad virus - i won't bore you with the ongoing saga of the root canal, but dentist #2 just did the most medieval & complete root canal (the 3rd on same tooth) and since tuesday, i've been in p-a-i-n and unable to open my mouth. (please - save the remarks!). the poison ivy continues to torment me. i feel like Job from the Bible....no job, skin afflictions....AND a flying ant hatch in our kitchen. i give! Uncle! and....AND...as if this isn't enough - i've started cooking. yes, as in cooking....kitchen...food to eat from an oven, not a waxed container with duck sauce on the side and a fortune cookie. real food - asian brisket in a slow cooker, stuffed shells, stuffed pork chops. becky home ec-y stuff. with talk of (gasp) a christmas cookie party. i am becoming my mother. well, not MY mother, but SOMEONE'S. i got my homemaker skills from my mother....takeout, housekeeper doing the cleaning, etc. my dad refused to let her work. so, although the circumstances are a bit different, they are starting to look suspiciously similar. scary stuff so close to Halloween. i actually got all my laundry done, folded and put away this week. and felt proud, rather than pissed off that i had to do it in the first place. my husband checks the medicine cabinet to see what may have caused this change, and proceeds cautiously & hopefully. i wish it did come in a bottle...then i could flush it. but no. not only has my body turned against me, but now my entire persona....that "tough biatch, suck it up, i'll do whatever i want and make no excuses" person started to mellow a bit somewhere around the end of the millenium. she became a kinder, smarter, gentler person....certain of who she was and comfortable with it, a little more earth mother, still not quite ready for the donna reed award by any stretch. things should have stopped there, but noooo. like a train with no brakes, i'm speeding past middle age and heading right to some nether-age. i guess it's not about stuffed pork chops or laundry. it's more like, i'm the one with time to do it. although i could work on my rusty metal sculptures 24/7, i don't have a "job." i'm not bringing in an income right now. i am doing something during the day which, when push comes to shove, is expendable. so i think the cooking, homemaking is like an instinctual survival move. sort of like a subconcious move to prove i'm not obsolete, that there's still a need for me here. and i say "subconcious" because i've never really thought about it. and probably wouldn't now, except for the cooking & cleaning thing. maybe i'm just bored. unlikely. maybe this is what i was supposed to be like 20-some years ago before things got hectic and i just rolled with it from day-to-day with no time to think, plan, be. scary scary. it's interesting to look back on the changes and evolution of yourself. remember what was important to you at 12, 13 years old? then at 16? 18? 21, 25, 30 and all those landmark years? what were you like? what were your fears and challenges? have you met and overcome them? if not, what keeps them chained to your ankle this many years later? is it time to just say "let it go" even if there's no answer through it? what things made you happy at those ages? do you remember your goals? have you accomplished them? changed/revised them? who were the important people in your life? why? are they still? why or why not? do you see a clear path to where you are today? or did you take a zig-zag route to today? i still have no explanation for the pot roasts gracing my table at dinner, but it has brought up some interesting thoughts about how i got to where i am - wherever that may be! and i guess, all-in-all, i am comfortable with it - despite the cooking and cleaning, and i guess incorporating a little "housewife" into the rest of the stewpot of personality and "being" isn't such a bad thing. as long as i can still keep the parts i like about myself right now. cookies anyone? L.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

what kind of friend are you?

lately, i've been working with metal in my studio. rusty metal to be precise. rusty bits and parts, actually former parts, of cars and who knows what. my mom gave me a jar of rusty nails in an old pickle jar, and every time i open it, the smell of garlic and vinegar wafts through the air. my aunt lillian used to make the best pickles - "lil's dills" we all called them. the finest. so with nothing but my so-called tin men to keep me company, and the smell of pickles reminding me of family, i started wondering about people. specifically friends. what makes one person turn into a friend, and another just a passing aquaintence? what makes one friend a good friend, or best friend, and another a friend-friend? can a "best" friend be reduced to friend-friend status or vice versa? and if so, what criteria do we judge who will hear our deepest confessions and see us through the worst and best times of our lives? i have a "best" friend who i haven't seen in years and has an allergy to the phone, so i haven't even talked to her in ages. we met as reporters for the same news station. we've been through some great and terrible times together, and those pages in our lives bind us together, but should i still consider her a "best" friend? i have another best friend who lives 3 doors away. we stare out our respective front windows at each other's houses and gab on the phone for an hour or two every morning. if i don't call till the afternoon, she worries. we're both artists, we've both lost 4-legged loved ones this year. we both worry about starting a business, day-to-day money stuff, creativity, and on. so we have those similarities, but there's more. so i'm back to what makes one person a best friend, and another a friend-friend? is there a care-and-feeding of a friendship that lets it grow and blossom and become ripe and juicy? is it a yin-yang thing? each brings something to the relationship that completes a circle? i have friendships, that despite my best vows and attempts, i am the dumpster - i'm constantly dumping all my problems on the other person. i try not to, but they have a way of bringing it out of me. i have other relationships where i am the trash hauler - needing to contribute little more than a "umm hmm" at the right moment on the phone. both friends are wonderful, and i wouldn't trade them for anything. both are "good" friends. when we were young, we had that one special "best" friend. that's all our parents heard about was "so-and-so my best friend." and there was only one. two peas in a pod. your own secret world. till a third came around and boy, then there was trouble. now who was going to be the best friend? as adults, we like to think that those "best" friend days are behind us....busy with jobs, family, just trying to get by with busy schedules. but are they behind us? not really. is it that a "best" friend is dependable....they'll be there at 2am when you're crying your eyes out, or just can't sleep, or need a ride to Urgent Care? what about a long distance best friend? i'm thinking, and my tin man on my work table agrees, there's no easy answer here. just as we are attracted to one man over another, i think there is also a chemical kind of thing that makes us gravitate to one female friend over another. and varying degrees of that reaction will determine the hierarchy of the friendship in our mental filing system. all done subconciously. i know a woman who's friend lied to her about some trivial thing. when confronted, the person lied again to cover. in my book, that friendship would be done. but my friend saw other characteristics about this person that she enjoyed being around, so she let the incident go, and continued on with the friendship. now, if i want to be lied to, i'll go hang out in bars again! i think when a female friend hurts us, it is a deep wound. we least see it coming from a female friend. it's like attacking one of your own species...someone from the home team. i have an old boyfriend who once said if we ever had an argument, he'd rather swim naked in a shark tank with turkey drumsticks strapped to his head then risk a dinner party that included my girlfriends. he insisted that women get on "the hotline" and pour out their troubles to each other, call after call, till everyone knew what a terrible person he was. because it was always the man's fault. well, women do "troubles talk." it's part of our nature. and maybe, at that time in my life with those friends, he would have been right to risk the sharks. but now i ask....where are those friends? i haven't talked to most of them in 10 years. i don't think i'd have anything TO talk to them about now. ah ha! so maybe "best" friends are the timeless ones. your relationship isn't dependant upon circumstance or distance or commonalities, as much as it is a certain sameness. sort of - i know you...you are me. so when one of you changes, it doesn't affect the friendship, because the sameness holds you in that bond. you see yourself in the other person - even if they are older, or younger, or taller or wealthier. you are two and you are the same. i paused here for a few minutes after writing that in order to think about the women i consider "best" friends. i tried my theory out for size on each of them - and believe me, you couldn't find a more diverse bunch of women! and each time i put the cloak over someones shoulders - it fit. tall, short, heavy, thin....didn't matter. it fit like a fine couture garment, made special for, and by, each and every one of them. each enhancing my life in ways i don't deserve. each bringing a certain laughter, or quietness, or spirituality or urging-on of my spirit. that cloak of friendship fit each one perfectly. i wonder what it is that i bring to them? because for a "best" friend thing to work, it definately has to be a two-way thing. i wonder what i bring to them? my tin man has no response. L.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

skidboot the dog

since i'm in a creative frenzy right now, i thought i'd pass this on for your enjoyment....it takes about 9 minutes. just cut & paste in your browser....L. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5249518974978628334&q=skidboot&h (no sad ending, despite the sappy music!)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

still crazy

my days shift along with the sunrise to the dusk to the dark....daytime finds incredible reserves of energy spent building, creating, sculpting. it's more like being a spectator as the sculpture sculpts itself, using me for my hands and eyes. 2,3, almost 4 works complete. good stuff. stuff i'm damn proud of! as evening draws near, my energy wanes and i'm most likely found with a book resting on my stomach, my eyes closed, snoozing. on and off, a few hours sleep, a few hours creating. and through it all - the itching. i'm still upset with nature for this poison ivy scorge, but realizing that the color spectacular is soon to be replaced by frosty white, white and more white, i decided to grudgingly continue my daily walks with little girl dog. the colors continue to intensify, as the squirrels pick up their frenzied pace a beat or two....winter is approaching. the squirrels know it, the lone Cardinal in my front tree knows it. the black and orange wooly caterpillar crossing my shoe today knows it. winter is my least favorite season, even though my birthday is tucked neatly in between Christmas and New Years. the struggle with layers of clothes and boots and gloves and ice scrapers....it just tires you out thinking about going for a walk. then to brave the spitting ice, hitting your cheeks and glazing your forhead, tears from shrill winds freeze at the corners of your eyes. your nose, red from blowing and wiping, can hardly stand the intake of such thoughtlessly cooled air. yes, winter is the least ranked season on my list. yesterday, i went to an honest-to-God junk yard, a pick-n-pull bonanza of rusted parts and screws and doodads that perhaps only i could see the value in. as he-man types wandered around with transmissions on their minds and wrenches in their back pockets, i strolled about with a phillips head and a slotted screwdriver. i needed neither, for the real treasures were found on the ground, like seashells left behind after a wave hitting the shoreline. when i placed my bounty of tiny rusted parts on the counter on the way out, the cashier didn't even register that these were the items i wanted....no engines, no tires, not even a radiator. just a few bolts and screws and unknown debris....treasures to me. he had no idea how much to charge me, and the man with the truck exhaust in line behind me would have gladly paid my tab so he could set his purchase down. so, my new rusted treasures have found their way into a new sculpture. my husband doesn't even bother shaking his head anymore. he just doesn't get it, and finally realizes that it really really is okay for him to not "get it." i don't get golf, and don't feel any less of a person for that. i mean, please - smack a little dimpled white ball down the lawn, chase it, and do it again and again. now THAT'S hard to understand! so it's near dinnertime, and i'll be gone for a few days. check back on the weekend and hopefully i'll have some new deep thoughts and great pictures. L.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

foiled by foliage

today i'd hoped to be able to post some beautiful fall foliage pictures for you...the colors have almost reached their most magnificent, with the reds and ambers bursting to surpass the umbers and yellows. oak leaves, willows, even dropped pine needles blending on the floor of nature's palette. nature's art show....a contest who's prize is the ooohhh's and aaahhh's of those meandering through wooded paths and scenic views. as little dog and I wandered along our Big Walk, a small chirpiing noise caught her attention, and she dove through some underbrush after a chipmunk. an exercise in fultility, but a diversion for her all the same. when we got home, she of course needed a moment of cuddling and reflection. it was just a while after that that the spots and itching started. not really noticable at first to my consciousness, but irritating all the same. within hours the poison ivy had begun it's dastardly creep from hands to elbows and up the shins. of course, that tender part of the ear had to chime in. any little normal itch became suspect and soon, i was acting like a woman crazed. and i was. am. so, all i can say is "leaves of 3 - let them be." and if your dog can't count, don't pet it till a proper hazmat bath has been applied. the pictures will have to wait. i'm mad at nature right now. L.

Friday, October 06, 2006


my father died on 10/7/77 at 7am. tomorrow marks the "anniversary" of his passing. he and i lived in the same house for our entire lives together, but i feel like he was a stranger. my father was a traveling salesman. he was gone from Monday-Thursday, then came home to a house that had gone on without him for 4 days. never one to show disappointment, or tenderness, or really much of anything. a jokester and a comedian, his friends were fiercely loyal. having just finished up the incredibly tumultuous teen years, i was about to move onto the stage in life where, if only for a brief span, your parents are your friends - and actually know stuff. he and i never got there together. the ensuing calamities and chaos and life-rearranging after his death played havoc with any soul-searching and reflection, till suddenly a day came in 1987 when i reached for the phone to call him with a question, and realized i was 10 years too late. too late to get to know him. his past, his hopes, dreams. all i knew was he was my father and he sold shoes. very successfully. he had brothers and sisters, but parents were never mentioned. a few years ago, i found a picture of him that was so unlike the man i knew. out on a very rare day to himself, fishing with friends. no one aboard actually fished, nor cared to. it was man-time. all salesmen who left their homes from monday-thursday and came home with their paychecks. all the men aboard that boat have since passed, as well. so i started doing a little digging. actually, it would take a large shovel. family secrets, hurts and grudges prevented a lot of information from leaking out. i have a cousin who now lives in florida who holds all the secrets she was told, and has shared them with me, as best as she remembers. there are alternating versions, depending upon which aunt or uncle told the story. my father was an incredible man, as it turns out. not only for bearing the slices and arrows my teenaged self sent out, but for what he and his brothers and sisters overcame growing up. as each layer was lifted, it was like finding a rare oil painting under years of redecorated wallpaper sheets. my grandmother passed away just before i was born, and her husband had been banished from the family. i had actually sat at a table with him 20 years ago and didn't know it. he was introduced to me as "Jake" and i thought he was a family friend. i remember thinking he looked so sad to be at such a happy occasion. grateful for the invitation, yet feeling like he should have stayed home. as i learned more and more about my father, i learned more and more about myself. like where my art comes from - both written and assembled. he was busy feeding and supporting a family. never having time to indulge in something as time-selfish as art. i vowed to dedicate all of my artistic whims to him....to never ever take for granted the spirit that flows through my hands and watches as the creation creates itself. to be incredibly grateful for the time and circumstance to be able to live my art. to the creative, to not be able to express what needs expressing is death. death of the spirit. unsettling of the mind. an obsession to pick up pots of color or hammer copper into sculpture - to give life to ordinary materials. yet my dad pushed that aside and made his life and his example his art. i cannot thank him enough for what he sacrificed for me to have a better life than he did. i can only try to live his example as a testimony, a remembrance, an affirmation that my father was a good and true man. i have that picture of him hanging in my studio, all photoshopped and collaged. but i have a better picture of him, untouched, unretouched, in my heart and in my head. every day, every circumstance, i promise him that i will try to live up to his expectations of what is good and right and decent. hug your dear ones for me. L.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Share and Cher alike

today has been so ordinary (so far) that there really isn't much to say. i needed an ordinary day really bad, so i guess in it's dullness, it became extrordinary. little dog is feeling sick - tummy rejecting all manner of matter. she sounds like she's wheezy, but my husband says he thinks it's doggy purring. she got a new brush today and is very pleased about that, diva dog that she is. this creative surge is still going and i am grateful for that. i've done a really nice felted wallhanging, with plans in my head for another. working the felt is the most backbreaking, laborious thing. and i love every second. to feel the roving begin to harden and mingle and turn to felt under your urging, well, it can't be beat. the colors are yummy. just the smell of Dove for dishes sends me. you have to really really love felting in order to work with it. the rolling and turning and more rolling and yet more turning...the process is tedious and tiring, and oh so rewarding. i learned to felt from a woman who defies description. she and HER teacher are two of the most exceptional people i have ever met. they are similar yet seperate. my teacher is...well, how to describe her? earthmother - grounded and close to the earth. confident yet not in the brash, in-your-face way that passes for confidence these days. quietly confident. an aura of rest and peacefulness around her, yet charges of energy and creativity light her. i was surprised that her feet actually touched the ground! and her soup - oooohhhh - food of the gods. i went to a 4-day workshop over the summer that was not so much life-changing as it was life-affirming and reinforcing and urging on in the same direction. i met people there who's skills and creativity far surpassed mine, and some who were just starting out. creative women from all over the U.S. and Canada. creative women who'd traveled to every part of the world. every age and shape. how enriching, how exciting, how charged the atmosphere. 15 of us stayed in a fabulous house on Skaneateles lake. right on the lake. we shared meals and stories and ideas. hard to believe, but i was struck dumb. i was like an electrical socket with too many appliances plugged in. overload. i never wanted it to end, and yet to have continued would have been exhausting! all that wonderfulness was almost too much to bear in such a small amount of time. and in the midst of it all - these 2 incredible women. sharing freely of their creativity, generously helping each of us as we reached out to the next creative level. it was like meeting nobility. that's the only way I can describe it. beautiful and passionate in their art and their lives, in a quiet unassuming way. but the intensity and appreciation for the important things rippled beneath the surface. to be able to come away with new artistic ideas was wonderful. to be able to come away with the fragrance of these women's lives lingering just a bit in the fiber of my life's experiences was most wonderful. each of us is a thread in the larger fabric of one another's adornment and lives. each of us has the opportunity to affect the warp and weft of the total garment. each of us weaves through and throughout the lives of others, sometimes unknowingly, not realizing that the kind word or held door made the difference in their life. a moment here and gone thoughtlessly - a needle pulled through a hem and back to the other side. each stitch affecting the entire fabric. be nice. live mindfully. practice random acts of kindness. L.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

following peace

after a week of chaos and confusion, i finally knew what i knew all along about life & jobs & decisions in general: Follow the peace. i was reminded of this morsel of truth by a friend i've known since i was 12. she always reminds me of what i know that i know, but am too afraid to face, or too untrusting of myself to trust myself. i turned down the seemingly wonderful job. actually, it was just the money that was seemingly wonderful. have you ever met someone, or gone into a place, and got an instant viceral negative reaction? despite logic telling you that you're being silly? that's your "gut." trust it. get to know it. become more sensitive to it, so you don't need to go through what i just did, just so the "powers that be" can make their point. His point. yes, i believe in God. and i believe there is a right place for me to be at the right time, and a wrong place at the wrong time. trust me, i have experience in the wrong place at the wrong time! eventually, it gets sorted out somehow, but the interim is wasted time and opportunities, andnot a pleasant place to be. i think that's where regrets are born. not listening to your gut. your gut is that quiet voice, that fluttery feeling, the hair raising on your arms. that rush of adrenaline with a good or bad feeling. or in my stubborn case - those sleepless, tearful nights when the decision seems as high as a mountain, and the consequences life-altering. following your instinct, your gut, takes you back to a primal place where the decisions were fewer - deer or gazelle for dinner? cave or rock for a bedroom? instincts kept people alive for a while. even before CNN and Blackberry phones could warn us of impending doom. we may have advanced technologically, but that fight-or-flight thing just can't be microwaved out. and it was "flight" that took up residence in my bones. i just wasn't moving my feet. my focus was on the money - the expectations placed on me to be a "contributing" member of an expensive household. i may turn around in an hour and be presented with an awesome job that's "right" for me to be at, but following the money without the peace is never a good decision. i may work for less money (and probably will) but being in the right place at the right time will make the details fall into line. when i look back at the last 15, 20 years of my life, i can see where a path formed....where 1 event led to another and to another and i ended up where i am today. if any of the details or choices along the way had been changed, then my life would be a whole lot different. maybe not bad/different, but definately different. example - after my 1st husband died, and the estate was settled (6 years later), i wanted to sell the house and buy a new one. i had the credit score and plenty of equity...no problem. but that wasn't the "right" decision at the right time. as i was looking at the 1st house (3 doors down from my mom - perfect for dog walking for her when i had work overtime till 3am)a UHaul pulls up and people start moving their stuff in. a glitch in the computer had kept the house listing. okay, the next house - again a glitch - the price was actually listed without the "1" in front of the "79,000" and it was way too much. finally - the 3rd house. actually on the same lawn as my job. 5 bedrooms. perfect in every way for me. yard fenced, etc. motivated seller already living out-of-state even offered to help pay my moving van! okay- ready to sign!! the night before i was meeting with the agent for a 2nd look and purchase offer, a freak bolt of lightning hit the house and it caught fire. this is absolutely true. luckily, it was next door to 911 and the fire hit at shift change, so all those fire dispatchers were alert and got the nozzleheads there quick. but do you see what i mean? there was some apparently very important reason for me to stay put. i knew it deep down, but went tra-la-la-ing ahead anyway. had i not stayed in my townhouse, i would never have met Bill, who moved in across the street. take that as you will, but i know that today i am where i should be. today's wednesday, right? i felt a little scared about calling the perfect job people to tell them i changed my mind (or rather, gave in to what i knew i should've done in the 1st place), but that nervousness was nothing like the deep feeling of dread i had about having to walk through their doors come Monday. and despite what logic and my husband said about the money, it was just me that would have to go to work there everyday. doesn't make it a bad place, just not the right place at this time for me. i like to think i'm a person who listens to their spirit and seeks higher understandings. i guess i still have a little battle between the head and the pocket. follow the peace. a navigation system put in our hearts to help lead us along the way. follow the peace. old fashioned advice that rings true in 2006. follow the peace. what great advice. who'da thunk it? L.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

job terrors

okay - so i lied about waiting a week. this is serious. i'm scheduled to start my new job 10/9. the company put together job duties from here & there and cobbled together a job description just pour moi, i think. the pay is excellent to start. but that's where the trouble starts. right after that "pay" part. having spent a sleepless, tearful night (sobbing, actually) trying to reason out why why why i'm feeling so aweful about taking this job, the only thing i can come up with to point to as concrete is really stupid - the lunch issue. you get 30 mins for lunch, for which they add 30 mins onto your work day to "cover." no fridge or microwave. apparantly there were problems with food "borrowing" and stinky food, respectively. the job site is in a really bad part of the city, with no fast food or diners, etc around to grab something hot. the people i've had contact with so far - HR and the receptionist - all seem like downtrodden zombies. i guess the lunch thing is the only real, live thing, everything else is gut feeling. no one seems real happy. and as the time gets closer, i get more anxious, and my gut feeling has begun to chew my gut apart. i spent 3 years in a well-paid hell, and don't want to start all over again in the same spot. it's funny, the whole issue brings up issues of what's important, what do i want for my life, what am i willing to put up with in exchange for money, and is it the money? so some GOOD thinking is going on along with the yuks, but ....yeah - but. i've spent some great reflective "down" time in a non-traditional, not-so-great-paying job, and for that i am very grateful. i also knew the time would probably be short on that - 1 year in radio is just a long time for the average "non-name" person. so my gut feeling about pay vs. pleasant working conditions is.........