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Life & Walks #050Friday, September 20, 2013
Living in the Moment

It's Friday afternoon and I just finished up a bunch of small projects for a client. I love it when Fridays end this way, all neat and tied up in a bow.

I took some time today to watch a video on the website "On Being, with Krista Tippett". I love the site so much. It nourishes me in ways like no other. The other night I watched an interview with Eckhart Tolle, today it was an interview with the poet Marie Howe. Too dense to have on in the background, I stopped and watched while I ate breakfast, and then later lunch. Most of Krista Tippett's interviews are like that, you need to just stop and listen. She is eloquent, natural, and open minded.

Their conversation covered topics like being fearful of the silence in things, to the magic of technology vs. it's addictive qualities. She read some of her poems that moved me to tears.

The conversation on technology deeply resonated with me. I realize now that to be who I am authentically means to disengage from it quite a bit. In order to be available to the voice in me I can't be gazing at my screen too much. I need to stop and listen. It is things like poetry that bring me back to myself, not Pinterest. I love Pinterest, for me it is a good way to organize visual information, kind of like the idea notebooks I kept for years with pages ripped from magazines. But if I look at Pinterest for more than say 20 minutes I get overwhelmed and anxious. Too many possibilities, too much visual information jammed in too small a space. I can't digest it all and even with editing out a lot, most of it starts to feel like wallpaper without much meaning.

I just started back meditating again and it feels so good, it makes everything slow down. It makes me mindful and more grounded, so I know when I'm getting off track and away from myself.

It's all a balancing act, but staying in the moment has been the best thing for me. Now I know my rhythms are slower. And ironically giving myself permission to throttle back and live a smaller more contemplative life gives me larger creative space to make things with more meaning and depth. That has been a huge shift for me these last several months, permission to be myself.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Life & Walks #049Monday, September 02, 2013
Little Fred Daylilies, 11" x 14", Oil on Wood, Verdigris Copper Leaf edges
For Fred

I recently got back from Chicago. I delivered a painting commission for a memorial service for an incredible man, my friend's father, Fred.

Fred was an environmental and land rights attorney. He co-wrote many books, taught law at prestigious universities, even argued a case before the Supreme Court. But you'd never know it. He was a quiet and humble man. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, husband, and friend. He cooked great Indian food. He was a gardener loving daylilies especially, an avid reader and opera enthusiast. He and his wife Kay collected art they loved, mostly of nature. They supported local artists and ones far away. They lived their life in the most full and present way of any couple I've ever known.

They inspired me in so many ways. During one of my visits, as Fred learned East Indian cooking he taught me how you could develop a passion for something and delve deeply in to it's specialness, so much so it seemed sacred.

You don't often have the opportunity, or least I haven't, to be around people who truly teach you how to live your life in such a complete and noble way. A way that to me is very spiritual, though I'm sure they wouldn't have said that. That was their gift to everyone who knew them. They were examples of passion and curiosity and generosity. And they passed that on to their children and their children's children.

I'm so glad I got to spend time with them and hear their stories. Stories told from all different vantage points, illustrating all the different facets of Fred and his life. As time passes it is these times that thread us all together connecting us and making us whole. For me, this time especially was filled with invaluable lessons, on living in the most humane and loving way, not just for those around you, but for yourself.


Life & Walks #048Sunday, August 04, 2013
Resurrection Lilies and Oregano

I noticed yesterday that the lilies had suddenly sprouted up and were in full bloom in the back garden. I cut 3 sprigs down knowing they'd be appreciated a lot more in here than out there. Looking for some greens to put in with them I spied the oregano which had flowered and was going to seed. Their little flowers were the perfect color to blend in with the lilies.

Funny how those little things make you so happy. So I've been enjoying the bouquet in every room taking it with me sometimes just to look at out of the corner of my eye. Here they are in the studio in front of some paintings.

Ah fresh flowers, there's nothing better.

Have a great week everyone.

Life & Walks #047Thursday, June 20, 2013

So many changes are afoot. I decided to wait to post anything for several months as the sands shifted. Trouble is they're still shifting, so I've decided to go ahead and write in the flux and flow of it all.

We are in the process of moving. Over the next few months I'll put the house on the market and off we go on a new adventure!

Even though I left quite a bit behind several years ago on the move here to Nashville, I've decided to let go of more. I've paired down my studio, gotten rid of boxes of art books, but still have 25 boxes I can't seem to part with. There are poetry books, metaphysical books, cook books too that have been culled down. I've downsized reference files, gone through flat files and gotten rid of old paper and calendars.

Intuitively it has felt like this editing needed to be done for some time. I've always been a person who liked to live lean. Stuff often overwhelms me. But I still need a studio, and all that that entails. So I've been pairing down the rest of my life to essentials to balance it out.

Today I had to part with some dried hydrangeas my mother had given me from her garden before she died. I could hear her telling me it was okay to give them back to the earth. But as I pitched them this one fell to the ground and I just couldn't let it go.

I have tried to treat this time away from Richard, as he scouts ahead of us, as a sacred time of autonomy and releasing. I know I'm getting ready for the next chapter of my life. One where I want to be lean, clear headed and in the moment. Honestly I've no idea some days of what it will look like. I just know it needs to feel authentic and inspired, and free.

Here's to change and transition. Namaste.

Life & Walks #046Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Cosmonaut Yodi

Happy New Year! And Happy 82nd Birthday to my father today.

Over the holidays both Richard and I worked a lot, lots of loose ends, making room for the new year and lots of new projects and ideas. It felt good. 2013 is filled with wonderful new possibilities!

I cooked lots of food, old recipes of my mother's that made me feel close to her: macaroni and cheese, stuffing, cranberry relish, and cherry crumb pie. Those along with a Publix turkey dinner kept the two of us in warmed ups for over a week. It was lovely.

I also had been wanting to knit again for some time and our cat Yodi needed a coat for winter rides in his buggy that Richard fashioned for him out of those child push carts with bicycle wheels. So during work breaks I knit this for him while watching old movies like Woody Allen's Manhattan.

This was the first fitting, I eventually made larger arm holes for him and added a belly panel so he was less sausage-like, but he knows now when we put this on him that he gets to go outside, something he adores : )

One of my resolutions this year is to have more fun, not just with crafts and play, but in the moment. I have always been a worrier, too much of a planner. Now it's time to really go with the flow and live in the moment, more than I ever have before. So far it feels really good, a lot more peaceful. I'll let you know as the year progresses how it works out, but in the meantime Yodi got a sweater out of the deal and Richard and I got a lot of smiles : ) And oh, Yodi has to wear the cone every once and awhile due to skin allergies, when he does we call him "Cosmonaut Yodi" as he looks like a little Russian space dweller : )

My best of wishes to you in this brand new year filled with grand possibilities and exciting new things.


Life & Walks #045Friday, June 01, 2012
Mandala's Expand

My neighbor Alyce came over the other day and saw the Mandala Stones I'd been painting. She really loved them. We'd been talking about a possible design for her on her new corn hole game she made. Prior to her seeing the stones she thought a paisley would be nice, but after she really liked the stones' design.

I ended up working most of the holiday weekend, Richard was still in Dallas and I had a lot of things going. One of the bright spots was going out on the back porch with a sharpie and drawing on this big turquoise square with a hole in it.

Today I saw her post on facebook and was delighted with what she did and thought I'd post it here too.

Can't wait for Richard to come home and play a few rounds with her. Happy Weekend everybody : )

Life & Walks #044Wednesday, May 23, 2012
True Love

Yesterday I happened to look over and saw Oscar and Nina looking out the window together. Normally they sit side by side watching birds their heads moving in tandem. Today they were lying down, Oscar having his paws on Nina's back.

Oscar has poor eyesight. It has diminished more since he was a kitten. To assure himself he often reaches out to touch whoever he's with just to know where they are in proximity to him. He does this with me at night always having to have a paw on my face or neck as he falls asleep.

Nina has always been such a good sister to him, allowing him this whenever he needs it. She licks him and reassures him, always patient, always kind. She would've been a good mom.

I watch them daily, and learn from them how to love in the purest and best of ways.

LIfe & Walks #043Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Birthday Bouquets

Well it's spring again and the quince bush has been in bloom. This year it bloomed early due to the very warm winter we've had. It's timing was lovely as I have a great neighbor and dear friend, both whose birthdays are days apart. So I was able to give them both bouquets for their special days.

It's so much fun to give flowers as gifts. They are one of my favorite things. Their grace and beauty are healing, celebratory, and nurturing.

Here's to spring and all her gifts.

Life & Walks #042Thursday, February 02, 2012
The Tone

Last night for about the 4th time in a week we had this incessant musical tone go off. The 8 notes are familiar, what you'd hear from an antique clock when it strikes.

Richard and I first thought it was an ice cream truck going through the neighborhood because it happened in the afternoon, then it happened at night, later, then later. We began to think this ice cream person was up to no good, scanning people's wi-fi? selling drugs? We had several stories going.

Last night rather late it started to go off again, at uneven intervals. I would get up from my desk and look out in to the darkness and it would stop, I would go back and begin to work, it would start again. I began to get paranoid, was this ice cream man playing with me? I went out to the back of the house and heard it booming through out the neighborhood. It continued then regularly for a good hour or so. I called Richard at his office and left a message about what was going on. He took the recording of my call, altered my voice, and made this little piece of happy and sent it to me later last night:


Life & Walks #041Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Almost a Year Full of Tuesdays

I finished the puppet house today. I started in February, took several weeks off this summer when my mom started her decline, then every week again until now.

It turned out nice. I've looked at it so much from a detail perspective it's still hard to see it whole, that will take some time away from it for awhile.

My friend and head of the children's dept., Andrew, was a great cheerleader who kept me going, and it was nice to walk up to the library and do it every week. It got me out of the studio, doing something I hadn't done in a long time, work with acrylic paint.

The children really liked seeing the progress. And I'd hear antics of how they would interact with it, pretending to unlock to doors, looking at the details, one three-year-old pointing to the tall pink flower and saying, "foxglove!" Indeed it was : )

I added a lot of tiny details, Andrew wanted it to have the life cycle of a butterfly so the caterpillar, cocoon, and final butterfly were all there as were tiny lady bugs, dragon and damsel flies, spider and web. All the flowers were ones from history grown for different purposes, mostly medicinal. And the architecture itself is reminiscent of the Globe Theatre. He wanted to infuse as much teaching material as he could, while at the same time keeping it very fun and "storybook" in feeling. I think we succeeded.

The making of it was a gift to me in many ways, and I hope it inspires the wee ones there for years to come : )