Wednesday, December 15, 2010


almond-coconut granola w/ brown sugar, cinnamon & sunflower seeds
nut crusted chicken breast w/ lemon cream angel hair pasta
buttermilk pancakes
local eggs w/ organic cream cheese, al's chives, red potato hash w/ pastures' bacon
mrs. knudesens christmas cookies (yum!) w/ passion-coconut glaze (yum!!)
vegetable soup w/ rainbow chard over basmati rice


i've made all of these items from scratch in the last three days.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

How cool is the universe? Pretty dang.

No sooner did I declare my intentions out loud for all my Loving Partners, Allies & Guides to hear that I received the first of two phone calls answering my requests. Directly.

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

waiting for the bus i started to say, am i lost again? then i saw the penny shining in the snow.

I've been reading my favorite comic again. This will be my 6th time through it: my crack and my escape.

Reading something I love so much has a way of holding up a mirror. I admit it now. I've been hiding, trying to fend off a state of panic I've been too ashamed to admit to friends and family. I've been using movies and comics the way some would use over-working, drinking... whatever. Though they have been good and provocative distractions (okay, Gossip Girl does not fall into this category:)) I have nevertheless taken a brambly turn into a wallow-y dead-end.

Almost four weeks ago I quit what I thought was my dream job. I had solid reasons for quitting, even made sure I had a fair replacement, but I let an old shadow get a ring around my rosey's. My old acquaintance, doubt, crept in. Are doubt and fear the same thing? I let my doubt tangle with my commitments. Yesterday I said it out loud, "I wish I had just stayed in hell." That's when it hit me. I quit for a good reason, one more compelling than what I thought would have made me quit a year ago when I nearly sued the company for harassment. I made the choice to stay and work through what happened last year. I am so glad I did. But this last scenario was just too much.

It's always been "easy" for me to choose between what my heart tells me and what my mind tells me. Some people say I'm an impulsive, non-committal, fair weather sort, that I don't know how to follow through with anything. Maybe. Maybe it's more that I know what I need to do and I'm not afraid to do it, no matter the consequences. I even tried to stay and make it work based solely on the fact that the money was useful. I tried. But I am not the person who stays in a bad situation for long. But that's me. I'm not fucking sorry about it either.

In the last two years I have had such amazing, heart rending, mind blowing experiences. I learned so much about temperance, tolerance, patience... procrastination, fear, and the corrosive power of self doubt. Giving myself to this panic-y last few weeks flies in the face of what I say I've learned.

I know I need to work. I know I will pay back my enormous student loans on likely minimum wages for the rest of my natural born life. No matter how I struggle with the cost of existence in a primarily capitalist world I must strike a balance. No matter what. I don't aways know what I want, sometimes I want so much I can't see straight. Sometimes I don't want anything and am lost in my blindness.


My personal happiness and well being are the only gifts I have to offer this world. Without them I'm a useless brain-dead, sourpuss who's not much to be around.

This is going to sound kind of funny, but I know I'm not the only one who finds meaning in little random things.... little is an arbitrary judgement anyway. I read and re-read Strangers In Paradise because it sends me back to square one every time. What's square one? First, it means you need to read Strangers In Paradise;) and second, it's everything that matters... love. I know love doesn't put food on my table or a roof over my head but it sure does send me out into the world to try again and again, no matter what.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

...from utterly adrift to land-locked: message in a bottle with love from ben, york and joseph...

a few days ago i found a nickel while i was walking home:
i heard you tell me assistance was on the way, that you'd received my message,
watch the path ahead.

the cow: asking, receiving, abundance, nourishment
the serpent: knowledge, healing
the dragon: strength, power

the bag of silver coins

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Who can complain when there's Naked Ladies in The Garden of Disorderly Conduct?

For about a month now I've fairly ignored The Garden of Disorderly Conduct, partly because it's been too darn hot, partly because I've been too busy.


I came home today and found four (four!) naked ladies displaying themselves in a very dry bed of Day Lilies. One is pictured to the left, the other three are in the process of blooming. ('Naked Ladies' is a common name for Amaryllis. Thanks Donald:)) Side note: this is the Mystery Bulb revealed at last. I did not plant these bulbs, the one and only time this flower ever bloomed was at the end of March almost six years ago. I'd never seen such a strange plant - all stalk and a bunch of pretty pink trumpets at the top. When I came home to these girls I actually screamed out loud, jumped up and down and said to Al, "LOOK! LOOK! NAKED LADIES!!! OH MY FUCKING GOD!!! I HAVE NAKED LADIES!!!!" Second side note: After I freaked out (as if I'd never seen a naked woman before;)) I went to get the camera and promptly fell down the stairs. HA HA HA HA HAAAAA!!!

Even though the garden is half-wild and parched bone dry it is still full of delights: tangerine ruffles, palm shaped sprays that twine like a ladder up crisped Dahlia; hay colored Day Lily stalks against soft pink trumpets; periwinkle darts and dark green strawberry leaves; a Medusa sunflower pair hosting a voracious yellow finch; flecked furry mullein stained butter yellow and lime green like pottery. It's a veritable feast out there.

There are so many ways that I have chosen to obligate my mind. Happily undoing this is a life's work.

I have felt less than 'accomplished' as far as the Garden is concerned. Having gotten off to the start I intended to in the spring this section of the summer finds me feeling less than productive. Walking through this gorgeous mess a few days ago with a friend she reminded me that even the wild and unruly gardens possess their own beauty. I love it when an offhand remark sets my mind ablaze. Since my friend said this I have noticed a thousand little beauties... this morning (I'm finishing this post Tuesday 8/3) I found a locust hanging out on the Astilbe. I didn't have my glasses on so at first I thought, oh great, another bug/disease that moved in because I haven't been paying attention. When I got closer I saw the little creature in all it's gray and silver glory.

It's good to have a plan. It's also good to listen when the plan is chucked out the window because a secret will is revealed: the will of disorder.

So my exercise these next few days is to concentrate on what does exist rather than what I think should exist. Not so different from what I was doing with the yard sale, eh? Besides, how can I really call it the Garden of Disorderly Conduct if it doesn't ever get out of hand?

*Third side note: more than half of the amazing plants in the GODC are volunteers or hitchhikers and of a healing/medicinal variety. Many of these plants have only been recognized because I left the GODC to it's own will. That and I'm kinda lazy sometimes. Thank gawd.

Monday, July 19, 2010

FYI: This is a piece of the boulder that's been living in my mouth for far too long.

Thank you JayBee for the tiniest, simplest gesture of your fingers to your lips.

Over a month ago I obligated myself to something I never had any real interest in: I said I had so much to tell you and to watch for me May 31st.

I love this blog. I love that people read what I post here. I love that people both familiar and strange comment and interact with me through this medium but sometimes I feel obligated to write in a manner that pleases and/or addresses "you." I have allowed myself to be swayed by what I think you will think and as a consequence I have chosen silence.

This behavior has choked me and done a disservice to any of you that visit here. Here and now I revoke this action. I have said this not so much for your benefit as for my own edification. I am trying to say I respect this space more than I have shown and we deserve better.


It would be silly to think I could summarize or catch you up on all that's been happening since May 31st, let alone January, so I'm not going to try. I have reached the shore of my one year journey. I know what I want from my life. It's tempting to say that I am thoroughly surprised by my desires but this would be false. I knew when I was a teenager - I knew the day I left home at seventeen in my 1980 Chevy Malibu wagon. I have been running from it, denying it or distracting myself from it mainly because I thought I needed something else, something more. How could what I really want be so simple? How does the source of all the heartbreak and bottled grief of the last fifteen years amount to something this uncomplicated? I almost feel foolish. Almost. It's like learning the rules of perfect grammar in order to fully break them.

I realized this year that the apple of my self never fell far from my mother's way of thinking. I absorbed her mindset and got ahead of myself in many ways, made things more complicated or more fantastical than they really needed to be. My notions about starting a business are a perfect example. I thought I needed to have this big multi-million dollar concept and the millions to achieve it. As it turns out I barely need an oven and some mixing bowls.

This idea applies to every area of my life. I no longer require mementos, keepsakes or book markers. All I need, all I want, is to hold the people I love, to feel the experience of this life in my bones, on my skin, in my mind and heart. Food, shelter, love; healing, gardening, art, family.

The best thing I could have done for myself on the brink of last year's depression was to give myself time without pressure, time without obligation and the space to see the space I require. It was so tempting to want to fill this space with commitments and to forget what I set out to learn about myself.

To seal the deal I am having a massive yard sale this weekend; there won't be any panic this time. I will unburden myself of 100's of unnecessary objects that can be turned into cash flow, burn what shouldn't be read ever again and donate what isn't sold. Mostly I'm keeping my bed, sofa and kitchen table.

None of this stuff is my life. I don't have a life with my life, I don't have a relationship with a relationship, a pile of shells or a pile of agates does not replace the beauty that brought it to my palms in the first place. I have held on to absurd amounts of objects to fend off my scarcity fears: fear of being alone, fear of being hungry, fear of death, fear of inaction, fear of failure...

All that I have, all that I am, all that I will ever be is inside me now.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I have SO Much to tell you, watch for me May 31st 2010. In the meantime, a teaser:

Dog Days Are Over
Florence & The Machine
Happiness, it hurt like a train on a track
Coming towards her, stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with a drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming so you better run

Run fast for your mother run fast for your father
Run for your children and your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your loving behind you
Can't carry it with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can't you hear the horses
Cuz here they come

And I never wanted anything from you
Except everything you had
And what was left after that too. oh.

Happiness it hurt like a bullet in the mind
Stuck them up drainpipes
By someone who should know better than that

The dog days are over
The dog days are gone
Can you hear the horses
Cuz here they come

Run fast for your mother and fast for your father
Run for your children for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your loving behind you
Can't carry it with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are gone
Can you hear the horses because here they come
The dog days are over
The dog days are gone
Can you hear the horses because here they come

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Musings On A Heart Half Full

...versus a heart half empty speaks to my sincere longing,
the aspect of myself that leaps
and takes chances, the sum of myself that always
says yes (or wants to)! I am a yes girl again. A
heart half full has room enough inside, room enough,
room enough... rumi-enough... a room
of one's own - a space to call my own, a space so big
it's no longer held by space. it's an infinity of
infinites. this phrase/concept touches me in my chest
and belly like a third eye caress. My hands have been
throbbing since my massage last week, so much
is pouring through and out of me. A heart half full
bursts with life and room to grow and imagine and work and live.
I feel a little silly as if I am speaking in cliche or platitudes
but I don't care so much. I love this feeling.
I love walking through the rooms in my life and my
apartment, seeing the sun shining and moving
across here, there; seeing the blue gray shadows covering this, that.
Breathing deeply, feeling fully this gratitude I have for my life,
for clean water and shelter and bleeding hearts and
purple satin-y Iris and little bird skeletons. I could (and will) and will
go on and on like horses over the hills.
I feel wildly free with my half full

Thinking I was it's lover the arms of a tree lifted me...

A few days ago I began a love affair.

It was a mild and balmy evening, I had been working in the garden and so needed a hot shower to soothe my torn up knees and fingers. I made myself a cup of tea and bare-footed went for a walk...

Around the corner I came upon a splendid pair of flowering crab apple trees. In the early blue light of dusk the white of the petals and soft scent of these trees had such an effect on me the likes of which I have never encountered before. I was pulled to them as if by siren song, lost in a rapture so complete it took my breath away. I walked right underneath their branches and lost sight of the block I live and love on, lost sight of all the buildings and traffic contained in this neighborhood. I looked up into their arms and saw only the pale sky turning velvety, awash in white blossoms.

I physically needed, almost suddenly craved, a closeness with these beings. So I stood on a nearby ledge and pushed myself further into their canopy, falling madly in love in an instant. I was wearing a strappy little shirt so my shoulders and neck were near bare... I leaned into the soft scent of the blossoms and felt the gentle caress of flowers on my cheeks and lips and eyes. It felt like the touch of a lover. I started to smile, enjoying my joy and continued to rub my face and neck and shoulders on the blossoms and green leaves. My breathing was low and deep as I tasted the delicate flavor of the flowers, their fine yellow pistons tickling me. I lifted my hands and barely touching I touched here and there like a baby exploring with gentle hands the soft hair of the person holding them. I cooed and laughed and fell completely and willingly
into this sweet and delicious affair...

If not for the petals that fell onto my feet as I changed out of my clothes before bed I might have taken this moment for a dream.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Heart In A Cage is a wellspring of beautiful.

Navigating between bold full disclosure and leaving something wisely unsaid is a hallmark of sensitivity and strength.

(4/24) I've been trying to think of a way to tell you more about this image and the words that name it but I'm just not sure how... I will make an attempt as I appreciate the opportunity to tell you more if I can.

The picture was taken last fall while I was reading/savoring a book I have read many times, a book that I feel has shaped me in some ways, called The Delicacy and Strength of Lace: Letters Between James Wright and Leslie Marmon Silko.

On this particular night I was writing myself a letter, trying hard to get my bearings in a life I could no longer discern from a dark night in the woods. The light on the bedside table refers to a concept I have especially loved in fiction and art these last few years. Perhaps you can imagine the significance of light in this context?

This is a solitary image, it speaks to solitude, is solitude. It encapsulates and reflects my need to be a hermit at times, to work out my thoughts, my desire for slowness, patience, rest and germination. In many ways my work is all self portrait: most of what I have to convey starts in my life somewhere. The phrase that I used to name this post is a quotation from a friend I respect and adore very much. I feel it is a beautifully articulate and enormous thing to say. I want to fully embody the sentiment of this phrase.

My bedroom is a sacred place, my bed is an island of repose and although I have invited this or that person in one context or another it is like a river: you never step foot into the same place twice.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


(la resurrection)
by Patti Smith

flower and heart are equal. as one unfolds
the other is closing. the fist of charm.
the dance of fathoms. of voids. of veils.
layer after layer. wall after wall. there
is always more. there is always more after.

the scalloped edges of further valor.
the vigil of soldiers. foot and circular.
the waving tremors of empty warriors.
a thorn in the wound of love. of torture.
another immeasurable pain to suffer.

first dealing w/entry into the spirit.
the wall is pierced and the will assaulted
is vaulted. is shimmied into. is fenced.
fencing defending the sheets of the flesh
winding and binding and then to relax.

seconds of suspension in the pass of pain
wailing, exhaling. passing thru the strange.
this is the formula. the force of the father.
the hand that extends. the heart that is bleeding
harder then harder then silent and beating.

in a space warm and glowing. infinite yet dense.
the tune of chain caught then stretched.
this is the communication of the future.
death is a dance. a ballroom. a glove
an extension of total abandon in/love.

The Gentle Thrashing Of Bend-Over Girlfriend

boy, was she ever at play in the garden. hands and knuckles were scraped and poked and stinging as she rinsed them under the hot water. the crook between thumb and forefinger rubbed just slightly raw and red from raking. tender back from bending, tender knees from bending. rear end shining in the sunlight. cornerstone open and relishing the swift spring winds. a frond of open palm, swiftly and thoroughly applied. mmmm spring.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Bleeding Hearts, Miniature Daffodils & Clematis, Oh My!

There's been a strange feeling in my person, on my body today... took me 'til just a moment ago to realize what it is. It's joy!!

Joy! Joy! Joy!

This year as I build The Garden Of Disorderly Conduct I will make good and sure to plant early bloomers like magnolia and crocus and squill. I love the early blooms that greet us after the gray-blue wonder of winter. They look how I feel this year, how I always hope to feel at the bottom of it all.

When the bleeding hearts started to poke up through the soil in their tight little red cones I actually squealed! They were the first out of bed this year and seemed to hold much of my grief and happiness from the winter that's now behind us. I think it's sweet that they're called 'bleeding hearts' and that they bloom and bloom and bloom. I love that I live in a 'garden level' apartment and can watch them as if I were a worm. I love that soon I will be kneeling in these beds almost every day from now until October. I love that I can see flowers and herbs growing in every window in this apartment.

I love that many of these plants are gifts from my mother. She engendered in me a love of gardening many years ago while I lived at home nursing a broken heart. She would ask me in one way or another to come out of my pitiful cold basement and help her please. My blood pressure and the sun are killin' me. Please help me plant this pear tree. Please help me put the snapdragons around the pond... She coaxed me and put me to work in the dirt and put me to the work of the Living Green. I am amazed and amazed by this gift time and time again. My mom's good like that:)

I love this best: from now until the frost returns one of my favorite places on earth is totally open to me, for me to be me in and be love and dig and play and rest and work.

Welcome Spring!!! May you all have many good feelings on your bodies too:))

Sunday, March 28, 2010

why soothing my torn up throat with hot soup feels like a day late and a dollar short...

two weeks ago this wednesday i came down with what i've been calling the octopus ailment.

i got sick in my throat with what felt like and continues to feel like an octopus has clamped itself to my throat and it's holding on for dear life. there are some theories that suggest all illness is rooted in an energetic misdirection or malfunction... that our bodies become ill because "a," "b," or "c" has not been sufficiently "dealt with." i'm not sure what all of the intricacies and nuances of this theory involve but i have turned this idea over many times in the last few years as i acclimated to the needs of what i'll refer to as an allergy. the only reason i mention this is that in my search for a "cure" to said allergy i have come to the conclusion that modern/western medicine is fairly useless in some regards.

so. this octopus has me thinking: do i go to the doctor? do i ride it out? is there a median in here somewhere? when do i get my quiet, sleepy nights back? it sucks to feel impatient with my body.

i might think that not expressing myself has drawn me into the octopus' clench... i have said to my body once if not a hundred times, i hear you, i got the message, can i have my health back please? but it seems that my body hasn't gotten my memo yet.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Perfect when you're feelin' blue:

FMyLife. It does a body good.

Just a few favorites from today's visit:

"Today, I noticed a cute girl in the checkout lane in the store. Feeling a little flirtatious, I decided to blow a bubble with my gum to get her attention. I accidentally shot the gum out of my mouth onto the guy next to me, spitting all over myself in the process."

"Today, I was walking down the street when I heard a loud splashing noise to my right. I looked over only to see a woman not squatting but bending over, spreading her cheeks, peeing a horse-sized amount of pee. I can't un-see this."

"Today, I got into a fight with the dryer over a plastic toy car. My hand is bleeding and numb, three of my nails are broken and I have a bruise on my chin. The plastic car is still stuck in the now broken dryer."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

i really dislike waking in tears.

dreams can be so real, such complete versions of a heart life that it seems like there can be no sincere return home... as if an essential part of myself has tangled with the underworld, the id, the bog, the sloth brain and after that things just aren't quite right.

i woke once, having dreamed of my beautiful newborn daughter, her head covered in thick black hair. she had blue eyes. she was warm in my arms, i could feel her body move against me... her name was olivia. my love for her was fierce and deep and as real as i am now, as real as anything i could know. waking up, my arms still held the shape of her as if she were still cradled at my chest. the ache, the longing, the grief i knew in that moment was near unbearable.

i dreamed once of a friend many months after her death. somehow having returned from the dead, she was in the hospital, disoriented and tired, but quite alive. when i hugged her i could smell her perfume, feel her bird bones and her warm skin... she laughed into my neck as we held each other for a bit. it was so nice. but what a cruel dream.

lately i have been dreaming and am quite aware i am dreaming; i've been telling my dream self to remember this or bring that back or pointing out one thing or other.

a few nights ago i had a dream about a man who was my husband many lives ago; he was awful and abusive. as i watched him do things i'm not going to write here it was as if i stood outside my dream self, observing. i said to my self, you know who this man is. i looked at him while he tried to claim what was best in me and shouted at him, 'i know who you are! i know you!'

this morning i dreamed i was walking through the snowy night into the morning with a friend, talking some things out... she was getting ahead of me. i had fallen behind because i was bent double, sobbing into the glaring sun on the snow. i woke up this morning clutching my pillow.

it's strange to wake up like this. as the dream dissolves and i start the return to 'consciousness' i can feel it coming up from my stomach, up my throat... sometimes i know what's happening and the sob is caught in the cave of my mouth and my eyes burn with the effort to stop it from hurting so much.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I love that the "answer" is nowhere in the song.

Take me to the breaking of a beautiful dawn
Take me to the place where we come from
Take me to the end so I can see the start
There's only one way to mend a broken heart

Take me to the place where I don't feel so small
Take me where I don't need to stand so tall
Take me to the edge so I can fall apart
There's only one way to mend a broken heart

Take me where love isn't up for sale
Take me where our hearts are not so frail
Take me where the fire still owns its spark
There's only one way to mend a broken heart

Teach me how to see when I close my eyes
Teach me to forgive and to apologize
Show me how to love in the darkest dark
There's only one way to mend a broken heart

Take me where the angels are close at hand
Take me where the ocean meets the sky and the land
Show me to the wisdom of the evening star
There's only one way to mend a broken heart

Take me to the place where I feel no shame
Take me where the courage doesn't need a name
Learning how to cry is the hardest part
There's only one way to mend a broken heart

lyrics: The Waillin' Jenny's from 40 Days

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"...if i need a rhythm, it's to my heart i listen..."

Part One: 10 Months After The Glance

I thought it was a week ago but it turns out it's been three weeks since I posted My Home Is My Art: Meditations On The Second House. I tend to do this thing where I post some archaic blurb about something or other or post some random photo and not say anything about why I put it there.... But after a day like today I realize that I have so much going on, which I suck at giving myself credit for (example: a friend says, hi how are you ? what's new? i say, oh fine. not much.), that I don't even know where to start!

On the full moon in February (28th) I decided to unload a massive family secret into the trusting arms of two very good friends (thanks again btw!) and ever since that night I have had crazy vivid, lucid dreams, some pretty high highs and low lows. It sort of feels like the massive garage sale I had a few years ago when I sold two-thirds of the contents of my apartment in a move I hoped, to quote Brother Ali, "... push a whole heap o' hell outta my house." Afterward I sat in my echoing living room eating ice cream with friends and felt the panic rise in me: what the fuck did I just do? I let go of some serious crap that's what I did! The February full moon was no different. I just unloaded a different kind of heap.

And my mind is gung-ho over it! (Is it okay to say 'gung-ho'?)

Anyway. After I spilled this secret I had two dreams - both of which were about hostage situations. In both dreams a man/boy/fellow hostage held his hands out to me and in his palms materialize weapons.

In the first dream it was a teenage boy who held a switchblade - he used it to turn the lock to the closet we were stuck in. After turning the lock he looks me straight in the face and says, "You've held this in your mind the entire time." In dream time I knew he was referring to the knife. The second dream, which involved many more people and children, an older male faced me in a dark hallway. Things were quite intense at this point, we were all feeling desperate and had glimpsed a chance at liberation... He and I were arguing in whispers trying to decide what to do next as it was clear the time to act was now. He looks me straight in the face, holds both hands out, palms upward. As I look at his hands I see two small guns appear. They are finely crafted, about the size and weight of apples, one is clear and reveals its mechanical guts; the other is white, like a milkstone or an ivory or maybe even plastic. I am amazed to see them there. He seems to have been expecting them. He says to me, "You've had these the entire time."

Neither dream culminates in violence. In fact after each man says nearly the same thing, I wake up.

I think this is rad.

Prior to this fabulous full moon I'd had what I'll refer to as Round Two at my current place of employment; serious crappy crap was going down in the work place. Again. This crappy crap had me thinking like this: crap at work sucks> how much crap is too much crap> if i quit this crap how much crap is at new work> what comes after too much crap if new job has crappy crap too?

Last May I set a course for "What Do I Want To Do With The Rest Of My Life?" and here's the update:

I realize now that it was never that I didn't know what to do, it's that I want to do it ALL. This is what I was noodling on when I posted that half post on the 17th: I can leave my apartment and move in with a friend, lick my wounds and make some cash. And find myself in the same place a year later?

Turns out I don't need to leave my apartment. This apartment represents the first house and the second house. All this esoteric mumbo-jumbo (which I dig btw) is all about freeing my mind. If I am to take responsibility for my own happiness - I mean REALLY take responsibility for it - what purpose is served in running away? Though it would be fun to stay with said friend does it mean that I'll have less of a need to provide for myself? I read that passage from Soulcraft three years ago and have been chewing on it all this time and now I feel that I finally understand it.

I ain't movin'. It was never about moving... it was about maturity. YO LA TENGO!!

I have spun into a thousand directions in this post but who cares? If you have questions, ask 'em. I'm done keeping this blog 'clean' and 'artistic' and 'interesting.' Fuck it. This is it.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Art Will Save Us: How Will It Save Us?

February 2003, from the pink journal, drawing at work when i should have been working?

yolk sister; daisy lover

July 2007, from my sketchbook after a night of doodling. she has a story and a twin who has not yet appeared to me. perhaps we will see her this summer...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One more thing before the flinging begins: THEY ARE IN SCHOOL!

A big thanks to Blogs of Note from Blogger and Sail World. I read an article about Abby Sunderland a while back and was just floored by the people's feeling that she and other young people like her are better off in K-12. "If you got the gumption, I second that emotion..."

So much for having the living room THIS time!

That's right. I'm rearranging it again...

I love my bed and my bed loves me! My bedroom is a sea of joy.

Fun With Digital Baby!!

so my brother sent me this fun little bugger!! he kinda collects all kinds of stuff 'n stuff; he's a tinkerer and a mechanic who likes to play with and disassemble and put together stuff 'n stuff. a while back i was lamenting my non-sufficient fundage for the purchase of a digital camera and this little zinger showed up in the mail one day. i don't know if he realizes just what kind of phenomenally fan-frickin-tastic fun this little booger is going to bring into my world (and yours)!!! thank you thank you thank you!!

so many projects i've wanted to pursue are now deliciously within reach, namely the 365 project, which is a self portrait a day. and all the random stuff i'd love to show you around my apartment that often inspires me to write and draw and play!!! now this photo blog is gonna get back to the photo part. i'll be scanning in some older work too. yee haa sucka's!! by the way, if a piece of work is created in 2000 and marinates for a while (by 'a while' i mean anywhere from several hours to many years), what is it's 'completion' date? when a painter paints a painting, when a lithographer finishes a run, the work is signed. when a photographer captures an image on film, say in 1994, but does not show or print it until 2010 what is the date it should bear?

how. much. fun.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Each of us can contribute to the healing of our community by addressing and inviting what is torn and broken in ourselves to heal. Using the penetrating power of yoga, meditation, and literature, we will invite in healing for ourselves, for our individually diverse communities, and for our collective community.

This workshop will combine gently active yoga practice to satisfy the body and focus the mind; restorative yoga practice to deepen the breath and allow the inner gaze to broaden; poetry and the words of others to promote a deep connection to our emotional and energetic selves; reflective journaling (Svadhyaya, self-reflection- optional) to create words of healing for ourselves; and Yoga Nidra, a form of deep guided meditation (sometimes referred to as Yogic Sleep) to allow this work to go beyond our body and mind and help us touch into our illimitable selves, where the resources for deep healing exist.

You do not have to be a writer, a yoga practitioner or a journaller to attend this workshop. It is a beautiful practice designed for all levels of students!

Please bring: your favorite blanket, a notebook or journal and pen/pencil, and a favorite poem, song, or chant.
March 21, 2010, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

This workshop is being offered in the spirit of generosity.
As we offer this workshop our intent is to spark individual resources within each of you that will work toward healing of our individual and collective communities. You may donate whatever amount you would like to, but no one will be turned away for inability to donate or pay.

Pleae visit Embodied Health for more info. Thanks Lucinda for writing this awesome post and for so clearly stating our ideas.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Albert & EdFred

I never know how much to say about the images I post here... Do you ever wish you knew more about them? What would you like to know?

Albert is a man I met several years ago while I was working at the now defunct Sweetski's Cafe. The circumstances of our introduction and his warm demeanor have never left me. He invited me to visit with him and this summer I hope to find him in northern Minnesota. I feel very strongly that I must go see him, and soon.

EdFred is the name I gave to the Mountain Ash tree that up until a month ago was living in the ground in front of my apartment. I came home from work one evening, it was late after a very long, very stressful week when I noticed that he was gone. The next morning, with sun shining on the new snow I saw the dust of his wood sprayed all over the snow. EdFred is gone, gone, gone... I was heartbroken for a moment (I was aware that the building manager would have to remove the tree). I was neither ready to give up on what could be salvaged, nor ready to accept that this wonderful tree had met the end of its life, let alone so suddenly. I do not feel entirely free of responsibility in this death. I feel that my lack of self confidence contributed to a series of events that led to this moment. I choose to see EdFred as a guide, a marker of a time when I realize(d) that inaction is just as powerful a force as action; each bears its own consequence.

This sketch came out of thinking of the two of them... I would like to tell you more about Albert but I do not have the 'go ahead' from my guts. They are part of my education, they have enriched my experience of life.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

In the Grove: The Poet at Ten

by Jane Kenyon
She lay on her back in the timothy
and gazed past the doddering
auburn heads of sumac.

A cloud- huge, calm,
and dignified- covered the sun
but did not, could not, put it out.

The light surged back again.

Nothing could rouse her then
from that joy so violent
it was hard to distinguish from pain.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Letting Go As Precursor

The Woman With The Smile In Her Voice

My Home Is My Art: Meditations On The Second House

My coffin dress was witness to the smiling winter wind. -Curio by Sessah

"What you must surrender is nothing less than the summer house of your first personality, the world view that you began forming in the expansive growing season of adolescence and that carried you through your first adulthood. This is the house you have been carefully building, furnishing, and accessorizing at least since puberty. Now, just as you are getting ready to enjoy the completed house, you hear a knock and the front door swings open. There stand three angels, as D.H. Lawrence called them, motioning to you, informing you it's time to leave - forever. You begin to protest but you know it's useless; it's time to go.
This knock on the door, the call to adventure, comes as soon as you have done enough work on your first personality that it is fully inhabitable. The greatest value to be derived from building that first house comes from the building of it - not from the living in it." -Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin

'dutton' by Sessah

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Continued Thoughts On The Tree Of Life...

When I was about eight or nine my mom and I were traveling east. She was driving a blue car through the mountains in Tennessee; all of our stuff was piled into the back seat and trunk. I was tired from the long drive so she said I should crawl up onto the pile of stuff and take a nap. I was just shorter than the width of the car and the stuff shifted to support me so that I was about as comfortable as I ever recall feeling in my entire life. Before I fell asleep I lay looking at the dappled, shaded canopy of the forest basking in a warm fall afternoon. I could almost feel the hum of my mothers thoughts as she drove. Knowing what I know now about that time, my involvement in this memory only deepens as I navigate my own life. I feel this was one of the clearest moments of absolute peace I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

Friday, January 29, 2010

i see you in the sun and surf as if fourteen years ago is now. your joy has changed me forever.

my sweet friend you are loved and loving. i am washing sheets and towels tonight hoping that the brush of soft, dryer warmed cottons will save me from this heartbreak. i know i shouldn't be sad - i have seen you dancing in my mind and heart, laughing and free since 4 a.m. this morning. i wonder if you will emerge with messages from the deep. i love you with all of my heart. i want what is best.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Desire: A birthday meditation for dancing.

V: Blind

as a child i knew that the stars
could only get brighter
that we could closer, get closer
as a child i knew that the stars
could only get brighter
that we could get closer,
leaving this darkness behind

now that i'm older, the stars shine
light upon my face
but when i find myself alone,
find myself alone now that i'm older,
the stars shine light upon my face
but when i find myself alone
i feel like i am blind.

i feel it, like i am blind.

i wish the stars could shine now,
for they are closer they are near
but they will not present my present,

they will not present my present
i wish the stars could shine now,
for they are closer they are near
but they will not present my present,
they make my past and future
painfully clear.

to hear you now, to see you now,
i can't look outside myself
i must examine my breath and
look inside,
to see you now, to hear you now
i can't look outside myself
i must examine my breath and
look inside

because i feel blind.

i feel it, like i am blind.

*lyrics: Hercules and Love Affair

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Prayer Tree: 1

Love is born
With a dark and troubled face
When hope is dead
And in the most unlikely place
Love is born:
Love is always born.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

We were young when I knew you last.

This photo holds most of my childhood. From left: my cousin Edith, me, my older brother Shannon, my younger brother Larry and my cousin Carmen. Not pictured are two cousins, Barbara and Bryon. I spent the bulk of childhood in the company of these six people.

I distinctly recall wondering what "work" was and why it was so necessary for the adults, otherwise I would have spent much more time with my mom. This, along with the sensations of summer sun and scent, are pronounced aspects of my current awareness.

Grade School, Larry & Me

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Liddy's Orange

from The Gold Cell by Sharon Olds

The rind lies on the table where Liddy has left it
torn into pieces the size of petals and
curved like petals, rayed out like a
full-blown rose, one touch will make it come apart.
The lining of the rind is wet and chalky as
Devonshire cream, rich as the glaucous
lining of a boiled egg, all that protein
cupped in the rich shell. And the navel,
torn out carefully,
lies there like a fat gold
bouquet, the scar of the stem, picked out
with her nails, and still attached to the white
thorn of the central integument,
lies on the careful heap, a tool laid
down at the end of a ceremony.
All here speaks of ceremony,
the sheen of acrid juice, which is all that is
left of the flesh, the pieces lying in
profound order like natural order,
as if this simply happened, the way her
life at 13 looks like something that's just
happening, unless you see her
standing over it, delicately clawing it open.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Now that I have tangerines on the brain, here's a stellar photograph. (be sure to click on the image)

image found at The Breakaway Cook

Even though I 've just finished it, I would read this book based soley off of this quotation:

Our holiday food splurge was a small crate of tangerines, which we found ridiculously thrilling after an eight-month abstinence from citrus. No matter where I was in the house, that vividly resinous orangey scent woke up my nose whenever anyone peeled one in the kitchen. Lily hugged each one to her chest before undressing it as gently as a doll. Watching her do that as she sat cross-legged on the floor one morning in pink pajamas, with bliss lighting her cheeks, I thought: Lucky is this world, to receive this grateful child.

Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing.

from: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver pg. 287

Monday, January 04, 2010

Feelin' chatty I guess:))

At work today I attempted to make a new recipe called Hungarian Shortbread.

This particular recipe claims that it is the easiest, butter-iest perfectest shortbread because it combines - in my eyes also - beauty and practicality. Easy shortbread? Surely you jest. But lo, silly me. The shortbread is exactly what the recipe promised.


I did not read the first part of this recipe which concerned the making of a jam filling for the shortbread. I presumed I would just smear some of our house blackberry jam between the layers (before today I had never actually tasted our jam) and this would at minimum tell me if the recipe was worth making twice.


I put about 3 cups worth of filling into the shortbread when the recipe in fact called for 3/4 of a cup of jam.


But do not fret, my pet:
When I realized my mistake I knew I had to sink or swim - this had to get served tonight! I set it all up; everything looked and tasted right. But you just never know how somethings are going to keep through the night.

So I took two pieces home like gerbils in a shoebox that I would eat later.

Mwa ha ha haaa haaaa!! I made Hungarian Shortbread totally wrong, but it's so good to eat!

Ha! Ha! Ha!!!

It's time for that big ol' party!!!

* * *
Saturday January 16th
8-ish 'til whenever-ish
My apartamente
* * *
pPLEASE bring some
music that you like
'cuz i need to boogie down

i am not technologically advanced at this time; assume that burned cd's may not play at my house;)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

With Crowded Thoughts Of The Tree Of Life

There's been some crazy big love stuff happening in my version of this world. I've been meaning to post since early last month when the seed for many of these thoughts was planted during a simple ritual called decorating the Christmas tree in which I participated unknowingly on my grandmothers birthday. (I tend to lose track of most birthdays.)

Having come to the tail end of a year that a friend refers to as the most-magical-mind- alteringly-wonderful-birthday-year-ever, my mind has been overrun with thoughts about my family, my desire to open a business, my health, the health of family and friends, the health of this earth, my love of artmaking, the work of relationships, the ease of relationships...

I've been asking myself all year what I want to do with my life; I thought the least of my interests lay in Belvidere with my family but this last trip home for Christmas clued me in to the depth and breadth of my desire.

I want to go home.

Many years ago on a drive from Iowa City, IA to Morris, MN my lover and I stopped to refuel and stretch our legs. The Midwestern plains of winter had definitely entered a state of grace, sparkling in the headlights they burned brightly in my eyes and the hum of the road lifted me even as I stood still. I looked at AB across the roof of my car and said that I wanted to go home. "Where is that?" she asked. I bowed my head, "I don't know," was all I could say.

Somehow my notions about friendship, family, worthiness, happiness, value and purpose are all wrapped into my hopes for a home.

I believe it's less about an actual place than about my state of mind and an ability to live my life as only I can, but the way home can be so curiously varied.