Posted on Leave a comment


And now it would appear that I haven’t had any thoughts in nearly 3 years.  Not true!  I apologize for my erratic posting.  But I have made a vow to post here at least once a week.

I am taking an online art class with an artist I admire–Carla Sonheim.  I own two of her books and have previously taken two of her short classes.  This one is a year-long class, titled “Y Is For Yellow.”  The stated goal for us in the class is to create a body of work.  Lessons appear online every two weeks and each one focuses on a letter of the alphabet.  Carla emphasizes non-judgmental drawing and teaches some interesting and fun mixed media techniques.  But there is the body of work.  She has asked us not to think about that just yet, but of course I perseverate on it.

At first and right away, I thought my body of work would be pen and ink drawings of dogs, to go into my upcoming book of dog poems.  This seemed very timely.  Then, during D week, ducks began to appeal.  Ducks in boots, wearing hats, carrying umbrellas, going about their quotidian existence in a duckily human way.  Then, during E week, elephants!  I love elephants!  Who doesn’t love elephants?

I am an indecisive person by nature.  I have many ideas and plans, and I tend to get very excited about one thing or another, at least briefly.  But essentially I am indecisive.  Right now Carla has asked us to rest and not bother about the body of work.  She says that during a rest period, often comes the “aha!” moment.  So last week a friend stopped me in the street to give me a red felted wool hat that she’d made for my Jizo.  A Jizo is a Buddhist Bodhisattva who serves as guardian of children and travelers, including those who are traveling from this world to the next.  They are often pictured wearing red caps or bibs, though we (my friend and I) cannot find out why the color red.  You can Google images of Jizo and find many wonderful photos.  My own Jizo is one that I found in a shop in Berkeley CA and I bought it because I loved its sweet face.  And at one time I had considered making a series of Jizos.

Aha!  My friend shows up at just this moment in time with a reminder of my earlier plan.  This seems providential, does it not?  I need a body of work and here comes Jizo once again.  Well, for a few days I did feel that this was my aha.  But then.  What about dogs?  Or elephants?  Or . . . ?

I’ll keep you posted.

Posted on Leave a comment

“I am love.”

I was in a pretty dark place yesterday.  I suppose several things that had been stewing came together to get me there, not the least of which was my own mangled thinking.  I’ve recently quit doing outdoor shows, which decision makes me very happy but also means that I have way more down time.  I fill orders as they come in.  I’m not leaving town off and on for another and another show, riding that high of people’s lovely comments until Monday evening.

I’ve basically finished the writing on a collaborative project I’m doing.  I have no big plans at the moment, nothing in particular that I’m working toward, that lights me up.  A new venture did not pan out.  Normally, I have things I’m reaching for, projects, plans–but not so much lately.

I’ve felt very satisfied with my singleness for a nice long while.  Recently, though, I’ve felt a few little inklings, that it might be nice to have that intimacy, that singular connection with someone.  I will say definitely “few” and definitely “little” but still, that’s a recent change.

Then there was that dental appointment.  Always significant; always shakes a person up.

So I started wondering just what I’ll do with the last quarter of my life, whether I’ll do it alone and yesterday I even thought that it might be more time than I really need.  This was an unwelcome state of affairs, to be sure.  And then something great happened.

I watched one of Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” segments that I’d taped.  She was interviewing Wayne Dyer.  I’d never heard him speak before, never read his books.  He said the words, “I am love.”  He said that at 71, he feels he has a lot to teach and learn and he wants to love as many people as much as he can.  “I am love.  I am happiness.  I am perfect health.”  All of those things.  It is beautiful wording.  It’s not, “I am loved” or “I am loving.”  It’s “I am love.”  “I AM” as in God.  Christians and Jews believe that God revealed himself saying, “I am who I am,” or “I am that I am,” i.e., the mystery, the One who is always there.

Well, I was in the right place at the right time and that just hit me perfectly.  I went to bed repeating that in my head and woke up with it serenading my brain.  Love is what I am.  And I am LOVE.

Posted on Leave a comment


Judging by the title of this page and the content, it would seem that I have had no thoughts since February, or at least none worth publishing.  I will try to do better in the future.  Anyway . . .

I was just sitting out on my narrow deck watching the birds with my sweet black poodle, Miles, reflecting on his beautiful temperament, which even as dogs go, with their loving ways, is exceptional, and I said to him, “You have a beautiful soul, Miles.” And then it suddenly dawned on me that I, too, must have a beautiful soul, as must every human, though we are encumbered by our various personality traits and flaws and peccadillos, so that we stumble and falter, hurt each other and ourselves, hide our own perfection with ego and striving for love and recognition (love), and I realized that all the things I don’t like about myself are really nothing to do with my soul, which really is most likely just as light and pure as Miles’ unencumbered one. Mine is and everybody else’s, too. Whew! If I could just keep that in my brain all the time, from here on out . . .

Posted on Leave a comment


Six years ago today I had a terrible car wreck that broke five vertebrae in my neck and back.  Six years ago today I could easily have been paralyzed but was not.  So today is my lucky 13th.

I have often called it my Lucky Accident, as it left me feeling lucky for what did not happen and grateful for all the things that did happen, following it.  I was lucky in that my son was driving my car behind the car I was driving and was able to call for help.  I was lucky in that chunks of loose bone were there, right next to my spinal cord and I had no paralysis.

I was and always will be immensely grateful for the love and support poured on me by family and friends (and even strangers!) following the accident.  I am grateful for the full use of my limbs and for all the joy that affords–the ability to tear paper and make art, to type words into a computer, walk through the woods with my dogs and climb hills and drive a car.  And the freedom to dance!

Bad things happen.  People die.  We lose people and animals we love.  We lose abilities and freedoms, jobs, things, even houses.

But we receive gifts, too.  And the important question is:  What are you grateful for?  How are you lucky?  Any way you slice it, if you’re alive right now, most likely you’re lucky in many ways.  The trick is noticing.

Posted on Leave a comment

e.e. cummings

“If poetry is your goal, you’ve got to forget all about punishments and all about rewards and all about selfstyled obligations and duties and responsibilities etcetera ad infinitum and remember one thing only: that it’s you–nobody else–who determine your destiny and decide your fate.  Nobody else can be alive for you; nor can you be alive for anybody else.  . . none of them can ever be you.  There’s the artist’s responsibility; and the most awful responsibility on earth.”

Posted on 1 Comment


“To become a happy person, have a clean soul, eyes that see romance in the commonplace, a child’s heart, and spiritual simplicity.” Norman Vincent Peale

Every sixty seconds you spend angry, upset or mad, is a full minute of happiness you’ll never get back. Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile.   (I don’t know who wrote this!)

“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.”  —  Iris Murdoch

“There is one thing one has to have: either a soul that is cheerful by nature, or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art and knowledge.”  – Friedrich Nietzsche

“We have an infinite number of reasons to be happy, and a serious responsibility not to be serious.”  – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi