Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Prayer Tree by Micheal Leunig


A person kneels to contemplate a tree and to
reflect upon the troubles and joys of life.

It is difficult to accept that life is difficult; that
love is not easy and that doubt and struggle,
suffering and failure, are inevitable for each
and every one of us.

We seek life's ease. We yearn for joy and
release, for flowers and the sun. And although
we may find these in abundance we also find
ourselves lying awake at night possessed by the
terrible fear that life is impossible. Sometimes
when we least expect it we wake up overwhelmed by a massive sense of loneliness,
misery, chaos and death: appalled by the
agony and futility of existence.

It is difficult indeed to accept that this
darkness belongs naturally and importantly to
our human condition and that we must live
with it and bear it. It seems so unbearable.

Nature, however, requires that we have the
darkness of our painful feelings and that we
respect it and make a bold place for it in our
lives. Without its recognition and acceptance
there can be no true sense of life's great depth,
wherein lies our capacity to love, to create and
to make meaning.

Nature requires that we form a relationship
between our joy and our despair, that they not
remain divided or hidden from one another.
For these are the feelings which must cross
pollinate and inform each other in order that
the soul be enlivened and strong. It is the soul,
after all, which bears the burden of our
experience. It is the soul through which we
love and it is the soul which senses most
faithfully our function within the integrity of
the natural world.

Nature requires that we be soulful and
therefore requires a dimension within us
where darkness and light may meet and know
each other. Mornings and evenings somewhere
inside, with similar qualities to the mornings
and the evenings of the earth. Qualities of
gradual but vast change; of stillness and
tender transference, fading and emerging,
foreboding and revelation.

Mornings and evenings: the traditional times
for prayer and the singing of birds, times of
graceful light whereby the heart may envisage
its poetry and describe for us what it sees.

But how do we find the mornings and evenings
within? How do we establish and behold them
and be affected by their gentle atmospheres and
small miracles? How do we enter this healing

The matter requires our imagination.
In particular, it requires the aspect of
imagination that we have to come to know as prayer.

We pray. We imagine our way inwards and
downwards and there, with heartfelt thoughts
or words we declare our fears and our
yearnings; we call out for love and forgiveness;
we proclaim our responsibility and gratitude.
The struggling, grounded soul speaks to the
higher spirit and thus we exist in the mornings
and the evenings of the heart: thus we are
affected and changed by the qualities we have
created within ourselves.

Might not prayer then be our most accessible
means to inner reconciliation; a natural
healing function in response to the pain of the
divided self and the divided world? Might not
prayerfulness (is this really a word?) be part of
our survival instinct belonging more to the
wilderness than to the church.

And just as we have become somewhat
alienated from nature and its cycles, could it
be that we are also estranged from our
instinctive capacity for prayer and need to
understand it afresh from the example of the
natural world?

A person contemplates a tree.

The tree sends its roots beneath the surface,
seeking nourishment in the dark soil: the rich
"broken down" matter of life.

As they reach down and search, the roots hold
the tree firmly to the earth.

Thus held and nourished, the tree grows
upwards into the light, drinking the sun and
air and expressing its truth: its branches and
foliage, its flowers and fruit. Life swarms
around and into it. Birds and insects teem
within its embrace, carrying pollen and seed.
They nest and breed and sing and buzz.
They glorify the creation.

The tree changes as it grows. It is torn by
wind and lightning, scarred by frost and fire.
Branches die and new ones emerge. The
drama of existence has its way with the tree
but still it grows; still its roots reach down into
the darkness; still its branches flow with sap
and reach upward and outward into the world.

A person kneels to contemplate a tree and to
reflect upon the troubles and joys of life. The
person imagines mornings and evenings in a
great forrest of prayers, swarming and teeming
with life.

The person is learning how to pray.

I will be posting some of the chapters from The Prayer Tree in the days to come, many of them are only five or six lines.

I first encountered this little book about ten years ago: I was aiming to catch the #23 southbound for my apartment in Standish when I saw it/when it saw me from a shelf just inside the door of Mager's and Quinn in Uptown. The reading of this book fit neatly between the start and the end of my bus ride. I was enraptured.

While I was reading, a man got on the bus (drunk? ill?) and sat right next to me.

The irony of what I was reading and this very strange-to-me man talking about being my friend was not lost. I think it was this moment I when I chose to engage with strangers at bus stops.

I hope we enjoy what we find here; your thoughts are welcome:)

The illustration was found at Paul Bellamy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Givin' Up Some Sweet, Sweet Lovin' For My Hometown of Chicago & A Fond Bon Voyage To Stosh!!

Today is the day that a good friend leaves for London.
So I offer now what I did not last night.

A Toast:

I wish you all the best in your adventures;
happy travels in as many ways as possible.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It all starts with a glance... Part 2

While driving with my mother through town
I did happen to glance absently at the windows of a building, a beautiful building in Belvidere. What I there did see was a possibility,
a beautiful and engaging possibility.

I'm officially, seriously serious about opening my own business. I feel as though the myriad threads of my life are about to come together into a Big Beautiful E: E for everything! E for ecstacy! E for embrace!

It all starts with a glance... Part 1

Sunday, November 15, 2009


The one with the stone cups

and the stone face, and the grinding
stone settled
between her knees, the one with stone

in her bosom, with stones
in her kidneys, a heart of pure
stone, the one with the stony lips, the one

with the thighs of marble, with petrified
genitals, the one whose glance
turns to stone

this idol, stones
through her ears, stones round her neck, her
wrists, round her fingers, a stone

in her navel, stones in her shoes, this
woman so like a stone
statue, herself

a stone, stands
in the stone square, midway
between the stone-high steeple, the stone-

round well, a stone
in her stone-still hand, and a stony will

for what will land, stiff
as a long stone, on the grinding
stone, on

her lap.

From Rave Poems 1975-1999 by Olga Broumas

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

there is night and day brother, both sweet things; sun moon and stars brother, all sweet things.

What I'm Learning: Against A Backdrop Of Beige Curtains

For JayBee

I've been thinking about our art night gathering. I am looking forward to the relief of expression that comes with your companionship. I've been thinking about stories I want to tell; draw out. I kind of feel like I'm getting to know myself again, remembering ideas that I've had and never followed through with. This is fantastic!

I've learned/am learning that I like to approach a drawing with an idea or story or feeling in mind, something I want to convey because it has intrinsic value. I've learned that an insecurity I've felt as an artist, until now, is that I have nothing to say in my work, let alone anything interesting. (Where did I learn to judge my ideas/myself so severely? ) I am learning that the dialogue in my head is interesting, if only to me and very much worth pursuing. I feel like a conscious co-creator with Chaos and Joy. It's beautiful to think like this, see this, us, earth.

Just a few months ago I'd have told you that this passage struck the heart of me to pieces because it reflected my own intimate thoughts so clearly; I had grown to resent and avoid my sketchbooks and journals...

At first the passage of time, marked clearly by each recorded date, gave her half-conscious pleasure, but time in a book can pass through many days in an hour and still drag at the spirit as heavily and specifically as its own confining skeleton. There is no freedom in a journal. It is an accurate record of the prisoner. Even his greatest fantasies are only fantasies of a man trapped in time. A year had passed when Evelyn set down the book, but it was someone else's year. She had not turned on the lamp of her own evening.
- Jane Rule, Desert Of The Heart

Now I can tell you this:

"... of a meadow that seems as big as the ocean to the very little girl walking through the grass, which was higher than her waist. She threw out her arms as if swimming when she walked. I feel as if I might walk on forever, without coming to the end of it." -Kate Chopin, The Awakening

"She began to look with her own eyes: to see and to apprehend the deeper undercurrents of life. No longer was she content to 'feed upon opinion' when her own soul had invited her." -Kate Chopin, The Awakening

I am reacquainting myself with how to listen and observe, to engage the way I did when I made/had the time to see, i.e. when I was in art school nearly ten years ago, and my 'job' was to look and seek and learn to tell the stories, to engage with and
be educated by as much as I am able, with the drama of the garden around me.

Good God this is fun!

I am in love with the curtains in my bedroom. For six years I have almost totally loved my bedroom windows... but now that they are curtained in shiny coffee-with-cream and white colored floor length panels I am 100% in love, love, love. I am a textile whore, oh yeah!

*the honeybee image is from a Victoria&Albert Museum postcard set
*the blue text postcard is made by Calavaria of Portland

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

...para El Dia de los Muertos

Willing To Fight by Ani Difranco
The windows of my soul
are made of one way glass
don't bother looking into my eyes
if there's something you want to know,
just ask
I got a dead bolt stroll
where I'm going is clear
I won't wait for you to wonder
I'll just tell you why I'm here

'cause I know the biggest crime
is just to throw up your hands
this has nothing to do with me
I just want to live as comfortably as I can
you got to look outside your eyes
you got to think outside your brain
you got to walk outside you life
to where the neighborhood changes

tell me who is your boogieman
that's who I will be
you don't have to like me for who I am
but we'll see what you're made of
by what you make of me
I think that it's absurd
that you think I
am the derelict daughter
I fight fire with words
words are hotter than flames
words are wetter than water

I got friends all over this country
I got friends in other countries too
I got friends I haven't met yet
I got friends I never knew
I got lovers whose eyes
I've only seen at a glance
I got strangers for great grandchildren
I got strangers for ancestors

I was a long time coming
I'll be a long time gone
you've got your whole life to do something
and that's not very long
so why don't you give me a call
when you're willing to fight
for what you think is real
for what you think is right






I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides,
I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth, of peace.
I honor the place within you where if you are in that place in you
and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.
Ram Dass

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Shiny 25cent Piece and Helen Keller

I'm not sure if any living soul knows this about me but Helen Keller is incredibly dear to me. She is one of the people I have felt drawn to since childhood; she inspires me, moves me, ignites me. When the quarter bearing her image was released in '03 I began to keep one of these coins in my art materials box as a token of endurance and persistence and commitment to finding my own way through... (as a side note, when I draw I often "paint myself into a corner" and I'm always looking for the way out of it in my work:))

That being said... I was done working today quite early, it was like having another day off after a wonderful Samhain weekend. It's been a beautiful, sunny and windy day and whoa nelly am I glad I was not buried in the basement of Hell's Kitchen all day! Normally, to get home I catch a bus that drops me off right in front of my house but today I was on another route which meant that I had to walk five blocks to get home... half way there, lying on the sidewalk and glinting in the sunshine was a radiant new quarter; it was heads up! This quarter had my name all over it. (By the way, I love finding pennies that are tails up so that I can flip them over for the next passerby as a way of spreading a little luck and funny joy.) When I flipped it over and saw Ms. Helen Keller flashing in the light I nearly gasped. This was no small treasure for me to find but a token, an omen, a sign and an acknowledgment of the path I'm on right now.

I know it seems like small change but how often do you find a quarter on the pavement? The only other time in my life that I've found anything larger than a dime was when I was about nine years old - I found a twenty dollar bill curled up in the gutter in Chicago after my first ride on a motorcycle with my Aunt Tinkie's boyfriend, Mean Gene. What kind of Jungian metaphor is this? Ha ha ha:)

As of May 30th of this year I made a promise to myself and this coin showing up about six months into my journey seems like an extraordinary and fortuitous affirmation.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Back In The Saddle or Making Out With Santa Claus or Eating Crackers In Bed or Watching Baby Go Boom!

What the hell do you think it means that I dreamed I was mackin' on Santa?? That it's a good thing that I'm a naughty girl and I'm totally gonna get what I want for Christmas? Whatever you do, don't cross your legs 'cuz Santa's got a present for you? (I think if you listen closely you can tell that am giggling like a mad person right now!)

Perhaps you're wondering what the f**k has been happening since I said I'd be "offline for a few weeks?" Me too. You'd think that since I've been walking around in my life I'd be able to tell you a little bit about it but, ney ney Moosebreaths.

For now, I just want to let you know, the few of you who might still be passing through, that I wish you many happy feelings on your bodies! that I am loathe to see my garden dying back, that I have rearranged my living room (again!) 'cuz this time I think I might really have it;) and that I am very much looking forward to having a big ol' party soon!


The photo in the blog title is one that I took on this day; the subject here is lovingly labeled Hell Box. In the printing and letterpress world we set type by hand... very tiny these pieces of type. Sometimes the type is dropped or misplaced. If you are apprenticing in a print shop one of the first tasks set to you is often to sort something like the contents of a Hell Box back into their correct cases; a 'case' is an entire set of type in one font and one size. It's really best never to drop or misplace type. Ha ha ha haa haaa hhaa!

Friday, August 21, 2009

FuhWee a.k.a. F.Y.I.

I will be temporarily offline for a few weeks. Goodbye Qwest. Hello USI!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I Offer You The Song In My Heart: A YogaPrayers Workshop

August 11, 18 & 25, 2009; 7:15 - 8:45 p.m.
Seva Yoga Studio @ Embodied Health, 2500 University Avenue West #F5, St. Paul 55114

I honor the Wheel of Heaven and the Axis of Time;
May I learn to carry what is hidden as a gift to others.
In this workshop we will explore the mystery of creating a personal set of prayer beads. We'll practice gentle yoga, breathwork and mantra as a way to clear ourselves so that we may listen to the still, small voice within us that guides our daily lives.

$50 ($16.75 per class)
Some materials provided like beading wire, pliers, thread, and some miscellaneous beads. Raid your jewelry boxes, keychains and toolboxes because you just never know what will catch your eye! If it catches your eye it probably has something to tell you, so bring it along:) Also bring a journal or a notebook and pen/pencil to write as we go.

Visit the website and print the registration form to go with your payment, or call 651-235-8254.

No experience with yoga or beadwork required:)
If you'd like to read the prayer that I wrote in 2007, here it is:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Recurring Dreams: Wealth, Opportunity, Deep Joy

I am a deep dreamer... I have many kinds of dreams but the recurring ones have been on my mind lately, so I made a list. Some of them are replicas of the same dream over and over, some of them, like the ones below, are the same dream with different elements. I wonder how it can be that I have almost eighteen recurring dreams...

I call these the opportunity dreams.

In this dream I am walking along, sometimes in beautiful weather, sometimes in cloudy weather, and as I walk I look down because something has glinted in the light. To my surprise it's a quarter. Not only that but I notice in the grass a few inches away is a nickel, a spray of dimes and pennies. So I start to pick them up, who wouldn't? Happily, the more coins I gather, the more I find. Some of the coins are clearly old and worth more than their use as currency. Digging, I can smell the grass and feel the dirt. I do this until I have dug a wide hole in the boulevard... It is now that I notice that the coins are layered in the dirt and grassroots like pebbles, an endless supply of them as deep as I want to dig.

The other version of this dream has come in the form of clothing. In this version of the dream I have to find clothing for a job interview, a job that I am badly in need of. I am walking to a nearby second-hand shop: there are no other customers inside, there are lots of great clothes in great shape that cost little to nothing. The shopkeeper tells me I may choose what I like, take as much as I like, which I do until I have piles of clothing, more than I will ever need, each item exactly what I have been looking for. I am so happy I could pee.

I have had these two dreams multiple times over the years. They have never changed. Until recently I have woken from these dreams with a mild sense of disappointment; they seemed so real to me, how could I wake with such empty hands? Then I sigh and relish the joy I felt at having found what I needed. I feel relief from the stress of living poorly in my waking life.

In February of this year I dreamed a true variation, an exploration of this dream... A. and I are on the shores of Lake Superior at our favorite beach, digging for agates. This is a wonderful, relaxing and primary activity that comprises the bulk of our time here. Generally, A. is the one who digs throughout the entire day in search of the prize beauties, large banded agates or eye agates... She is tenacious and perfectly within her element while I have given in to napping after a few bouts of digging. I love the sound of the waves, the wind all over me, the sky...

In this dream I am sort of pushing the beach rocks around, half intent, half wandering in a meditation on the waves when I lay hands on a beautiful, deep red, walnut size eye agate that just takes my breath away (much like the one pictured above). Ha! I shout with glee! Then I see another one shining in the sun. Waves come up and wet the entire area... everything is awash in late afternoon sun and lake water. It's a stunning sight in the dream as well as in waking life to see the stones glistening like this. As with the coin dream, I have dug a large hole and have sighted multiple fistfuls of these amazing agates. Now I am laughing outright, staring at the slowly setting sun. I am aware that I am dreaming, I can feel myself laughing in my bed. I wake up completely fresh and ridiculously happy. Profoundly happy. I am in no way disappointed.

I can clearly see this for what it is: A vision of my own happiness, unending joy in the natural world and a message to myself that I am free to live my life without worry. There is enough. (david englund, eye agate and large banded agate photos) (small agate photo with black background)

 (landscape agates)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Chortle! Chortle! Chortle!

Nattering Gobbledy-Gook

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Scent of Light - Happy Solstice!

Like a great starving beast
My body is quivering


On the scent


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Deep Dreaming, Day and Night, Twin Stars

One of the most beautiful dreams I've ever had in my life started with the peeling of a sunburn from my shoulder to my chest until I had uncovered my ribcage, looked in at my beating heart and pulled it out.

I looked at it and said to myself,

" time be more careful... do not lose track of your dreams. If you think you are lost now, wait 20 years and guess again at a direction you cannot discern. Pay attention to your dreams because they will not go away. They may be hard to see but they will never go away. If you refuse to see, they will gnaw at you like wondrous motions of the body, a mystery that eludes and confounds and inspires. They will foster in you the sense that something isn't right, that something is lost, that something forgotten must be recovered. There will be an aching space, an unnameable space that is ever unfulfilled. They will linger in every moment. Save yourself the heartache and don't lose track of them; once they are deeply buried, they are difficult to unearth."

Now that you are capable of Dreaming...

Striding Deeper Into The World

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice-
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world, determined to do
the only thing you could do-
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It all starts with a glance...

... and the next thing I know I'm rearranging furniture...

I can change my entire living room/dining room in less than a few hours. It's kinda nuts. I moved my first sofa when I was seven... little did I know then I would be slinging furniture as a form of therapy for the next leg, or two, of my life.

I've been going through a kind of separation lately; leaving an old version of myself in the compost of recycled stuff. It's not that difficult to do really, it's like math: straightforward, intuitive. The odd thing is, when I look at the equation of my life straight on, my eyes go wiggy and I lose my concentration.

Someone once said to me that I was the most intuitive person they'd ever met; in a dark place I would always find my way home. In some ways I envy the person motivated by the logical brain, there are days when I could surely make use of it in my own life. It's not that I don't live by logic, it's just my own special logic;)

I'm of two minds about my stuff: I love my stuff, my stuff is beautiful, my stuff is a reflection of my interests and an occupation of various kinds, and conversely, all this stuff could burn to ash and I'd never look back, it's just stuff, stuff is a distraction, stuff is not life.

It's a funny thing, living this life. I watched a program on channel 2 the other day about a family that's lived most of their lives on a thirty-three foot boat, sailing the world. One kid born in Australia, one in the U.S., another in Iceland... Thirty years at sea. Something they said struck me deeply... They said if you want to set sail, set a goal, a departure date; everything else in your life will fall into place around it. They said your life will take on a new clarity and reflect your new priority.

So here I am, reconnoitering... sitting on the brink of my life, enjoying a position of freedom and a full vision of myself and my desires. I have complete lateral movement. I choose to be myself, utterly, completely, honestly, openly, without fear. The confusion ends now, I focus my will into the shape of my new life.

I promise, on this day, one year from now, I will have a handle on my next move... the move into a life at sea, away from the staid, torn version I am living now.

Blessed Be.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dangerous Prayers

by Sara Regina Ryan

Deliver us, O God, O Truth, O Love, from quiet prayer
from polite and politically correct language,
from appropriate gesture and form
and whatever else we think we must put forth to invoke or praise You.
Let us instead pray dangerously—wantonly, lustily, passionately.
Let us demand with every ounce of our strength,
let us storm the gates of heaven, let us shake ourselves
and our plaster saints from the sleep of years.
Let us pray dangerously.
Let us throw ourselves from the top of the tower,
let us risk a descent to the darkest regions of the abyss,
let us put our head into the lion's mouth
and direct our feet to the entrance of the dragon's cave.
Let us pray dangerously.
Let us not hold back a little portion,
dealing out our lives—our precious minutes and our
energies—like some efficient accountant.
Let us rather pray dangerously—unsafe, profligate, wasteful!
Let us ask for nothing less than that the Infinite ravage us.
Let us ask for nothing less than annihilation in the
Fires of Love.
Let us not pray in holy half-measures nor walk
the middle path for too long, but pray madly, foolishly.
Let us be too ecstatic,
let us be too overwhelmed with sorrow and remorse,
let us be undone and dismembered...and gladly.
Left to our devices, ah what structures of deceit we have created;
what battlements erected, what labyrinths woven,
what traps set for ourselves, and then
fallen into. Enough.
Let us pray dangerously—hot prayer, wet prayer, fierce prayer,
fiery prayer, improper prayer,
exuberant prayer, drunken and completely unrealistic prayer.
Let us say Yes, again and again and again.
And Yes some more.
Let us pray dangerously, the most dangerous prayer is
always yes.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

i am running into a new year

i am running into a new year
and the old years blow back
like a wind
that i catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what i said to myself
about myself
when i was sixteen and
twenty-six and thirty-six
even thirty-six but
i am running into a new year
and i beg what i love and
i leave to forgive me

poem by lucille clifton
tulips by june k.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

About Last Night...

I had a seriously, serious hissy fit. I lost my cool and that ain't cool.

I feel much better now. So much better in fact that I could pee my pants. Why? Because I do not owe taxes. That's happened before and it's worse than awful having worked my butt off just to pay more taxes. Did you know that when you cannot pay owed taxes that you can pay in installments at 28% interest? Yeah.

Money is tight, but it's not extinct and it's not everything. I have a roof over my head, clean running water, clothes on my back, friends and family to love and who love me right back... I have my health. I have a great job. Heck, if food is that scarce I can plant a vegetable patch in the front yard and teach myself the craft of canning.

I will not live in fear. I choose to connect with my fellow countrymen and people of the world through love, or something, anything but fear. We each have our challenges and opportunities.

The possibilities are absolutely endless. No more fear.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

KMFDM and Mother F**king Taxes

There is something seriously fucked up about working this hard only to lose $500 bucks in my '08 tax return. Lost it to what? Social Services? The Arts? Public Health Care and Education programs? HA! Losing $500 bucks that meant the difference between food in the cupboard and bus fare to work, clothes on my back or paying my rent on time in April. Having been relieved of one of my part time jobs in November I've been trying to find the good in all this. It's a good thing that I no longer work 65 hours a week, right? For one it made me feel dead inside, without creative or spiritual energy; for two it made me feel like I am nothing but an endless debt that never gets paid down; for three it leaves nothing at the end of the day for gardening, drawing, fucking, loving, walking, playing, breathing, napping, cooking, joyfulness or beauty...

On September 11, 2001 among the many conflicting and horrifying things I felt was one tiny-enormous feeling: a connection to my countrymen that I had never, ever experienced before. For the first time in my short life I knew that coast to coast the nation held it's breath, shed it's tears, voiced it's rage as one. Though our disagreements would follow I had glimpsed something amazing... to perceive this whole U.S.A. as connected, to sense for the first time a national identity.

As I sat at my dining room table this afternoon filing my taxes I had this experience again. Across the country people are feeling the same horrible, gut rotting thing: What now? I know many people are not making ends meet, are making cuts in already strained budgets, telling themselves to take a deep breath and keep focused on the moment; trying to tell themselves that it will pass before they lose the house, before the next round of layoffs... What the fuck is this? Is this who we are?

I know I'm not the only one who can't see beyond the next paycheck.

I scrimp and try to wear my shoes and clothes until they have holes in them. I skip buying groceries because the $25 will get me to work for the next week. Seriously? $25 for groceries?

I know that this rant means nothing and even contributes to the cacophony of fear, but filing my taxes makes me feel trapped! I don't know what the fuck I'm doing here, working in a capitalist society with a president who may have said what he meant or maybe not! Sure, I could give up my internet and save $90 a month but it's the one thing I splurge on. That and $6 a week at the little Cuban place across the street from my apartment: coffee and blueberry pancakes can maintain anyone's sanity.

I made 5 grand more than I did last year but my return will be a whole $18. Yee ha, maybe I can go get that IRA started at last.

Fuck this passive-let's-be-calm-and-take-a-deep-breath-and-live-in-the-moment-bullshit! I'm having a beer and blasting KMFDM and MIA, praying to God I don't completely lose my fucking mind tonight trying to hold on to what little I "have."

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Lovely doesn't begin to describe this...

French 19th Century Blue Opaline Snake Paperweight, Appraised on Antiques Roadshow July 2003

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Oh, Sweet Frabjousness!

It's been an awesome day: I slept in! which is no easy feat for me as I've been working at what my friend Beth refers to as "sparrow fart" - an hour so early you can hear a sparrow fart! - for the last ten years. I thought sleeping in was a thing of the past... It was a quarter to ten when I rolled my ass out of bed for breakfast at Victor's Cafe with friends Ruby and Miya where we proceeded to feast on a mango pancake and sub cuban toast;) Then on to some random snow sculptures in the uptown neighborhood behind Lund's that Al and I found totally by accident last night on our way home from said Lund's.

Onward to the Open Book Center where we happened upon artists hanging the new show for RosaLux gallery - sweet pen and ink by a guy who's name escapes me at the moment; pencil on paper by the other guy who's name I never got. I must go back and see it all put together! Then right next door to Big Brain Comics (yes, I am a GEEK!) where I found the best illustration magazine called Hi-Fructose and the latest installment of Terry Moore's Echo.

Once home I sat down to my computer and realized with frabjous joy that my blog has a follower! OMG, yo! So I started surfing... found some very cool sites... hifructose, phantasmaphile, amysteinphoto.blogspot,, thomglick.blogspot.

Now I'm eating chips and drinking a beer saying to myself that it's quite alright and not so bad to live happily and well.

*photo by Miya Rostein

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tori Amos No More

The astounding photo I had posted here of Tori Amos was apparently pilfered from the wrong site and today, just now in fact, they snatched it back. C'est la. If you saw it, it was good; maybe you can sense how good by reading the comments posted here:))

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gertrude Kasebier

by Ellen Bass

The water over slick plates, river water
dark, thick, warm
as water is at night.

She pushes back her skirt, her sleeves
rolled above the elbow, dips her hands into the water,
soft, heavy, flooding the plates.

They told her photography is not creative.
She believed them
until now, these nights

her fingertips grooved like the sand of river beds,
the willow and black alder rustling, the owl's hoo hoo
, she can feel its tremor in the water.
Wet. The wet scent of river mud, river grass.

Water is the color of night, liquid
black without reflection. River stones, the soft turf
of river bank, her own arms and hands
are vague in the shallow star light.

All night she crouches,
her knees imprinted with wet folds of her skirts,
her hands certain, familiar to water, fish.

All night the images emerge
in imperceptible degrees, as she dips and rinses,
dips and rinses, the rush of river
obscuring that faint hum of planets

until the lightening of
mass into form, shadow,
shades of gray, pale
tinge of color, dawn.
She gathers up her plates.

Walking back to the house she shivers,
thinks about breakfast, ham, buttered toast
in a pewter rack, the next night.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I care for you, I care for our world. If I stop caring about one it would be only a matter of time before I stop loving the other...

*Title excerpt by Pat Parker

I Honor the Twin Stars of My Day: Baking & Cooking

I had a moment the other day when I realized that I've been working as a baker for 14 years. I had no idea that my first job at the Hometown Bakery with Dan and Mary Lang in Morris, Minnesota would lead to such a wonderful career. As a visual artist I don't think it's much of a stretch for me to love the beautiful, process oriented world of pastry... at long last these two worlds have collided in a photograph of my own hands at work.

The world in which I could make a portrait of myself as a baker - in the way I love to make portraits, in the moment - does not exist. I am so often on the other side of the camera or lost in thought as I roll dough or I'm covered in a goo that has no business near a camera that I never truly imagined the power of seeing myself, my hands, at work in a photo like this. I like it.

*photo by Katy Gerdes

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday, January 09, 2009

Happy Birthday!