Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Never, ever, alone

It may seem at times, that I am the only one around my universe.  Of course it takes just a small turn of a sometimes creaky neck, to see that no matter how unique I may feel, there is one of me close by.  Thank goodness.

This group lives in a small corral with the garlic crop at my friend, Dede's house/garden.  She says she didn't even plant them.  Oh, I'm thinking, I sure hope they come to my house soon.

The pomegranates astound me with how much orange and red they embody.  Wow.  How does that feel?  Do they wonder if they are pomegranate-enough?

Lately, having just pushed through finishing and hanging the last paintings, I have been feeling like I need something to DO.  The paintings are up, they look good, now they are on their own.  I have been feeling like I am all alone in this endeavor, and like I haven't done enough.  Yes.  Believe it or not.

My Monday Morning group has now taken a swan-dive into Julia Cameron's "Vein of Gold."  Graceful or no, we are jumping in, and one of the first "tasks" for us is to write our own story, and she is guiding us with the "Narrative Time Line."  Do not be surprised to see some of my history popping up here, as it has already now and again.  Hopefully I will be putting some order to the whole saga!  Ha!  To the best of my abilities, I will hold order as a possible.  For the next 2-3 weeks I am working on this,  JC says that I will gain a sense of personal continuity and... permission to say the unsayable.  permission to think the unthinkable.  permission to make the previously unmakeable arts.  Okay, I say.  Let's go.  JC also says that "although the Narrative Time Line is not in and of itself "art,"it is the wellspring from which our art flows."

My garden inspires my life and work.  Every morning there is a new burst of color, a new squash, the parsley gone to bloom.  I love to put my face all the way in to the vines and leaves.  I like to absorb the energy of the plants and their environment.  I like to hold the hose and water them individually, in the most inefficient way.  I like to watch the water seep into the soil, quickly, because the soil is well-tended and receptive.  Step 1:  I was born to a farm family.  It is in my blood to tend to the soil, to grow my family and to feed us from the garden.

So, it is time to get with the jobs and tasks.  It's going to be hot today, but not as hot as yesterday.  Looks like each day holds some kind of respite, no?  Each day is new, and does contain many mysteries, many opportunities to love, many places in which to be inspired.  Okay.  Let's do it!


PS:  Blogger changes the font at this stage of the game.  No amount of cussing or fiddling makes any difference.  So, that's that.  xoxoxo

Friday, June 25, 2010

Invitation! Please come and enjoy a moment...

ROCHIOLI WINERY  6192 Westside Road, Healdsburg, California
open daily from 11-4







love and blessings

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Father's Day, Gratitude and Artwork

Yes, you have heard this a trillion times from me, but look at this face!  I love her!  And I love how she loves me.  My Luna Girl.  She and I have become such good friends, even if we do have a horse of a pup in the household, for which I am responsible.  She seems to have forgiven me, and for this I am grateful.  She is the first dog I have ever had who comes when I call, regardless of what is going on or how much she really wants to chase that cat.  One afternoon recently, she led Emerson out the back gate which I had left open.  The neighbor-chickens were out enjoying beetles and things.  She did not even look at them!  Of course she was hot on the trail of cats, AND she came immediately when I discovered that they were gone and called for them.

Yes, no one knows if dogs "really" love people.  I think that ruminating on that is silly.  I just go with what is in front of me:  This dog  and I have a good thing going.

Here's my boys!

Here's my boys and their dad!  Which makes them our boys.
Happy Happy Happy Father's Day!
The wild and perilous adventure may be chronicled in another post.
I love these guys.

Here's Gina, one of my(our) girls!

Not the greatest photos: I call them "working photos."  They are a notation for me, a record of sorts.  This painting has consumed me somewhat, being very stubborn, demanding things from me I had no idea I had in me.  This is a good thing, challenging the artist to move beyond "the norm," or the (ha!) comfort of the comfortable!

My show goes up tomorrow morning.  I am so excited.  I cannot believe I have put together another body of work.  It's exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.  I have lost sleep over these babies, have dreamed titles, been instructed where to go next.  I've thrown my hands up; said, "I quit!" at least fifty times.

 I've not gone to the Music In the Plaza, not gone to my writing group, not returned phone calls.  I've been apparently absentia.  I've been completely obsessed with painting, if not the actual doing, the thinking, the sitting and staring, the looking and trying to see, the shushing of the voracious critic, obsessed with listening.  Yes, the paintings whisper, they sing, they shout, they speak audibly.  My job is to listen.

Tomorrow morning we load them up and haul them away.  The living room will be empty, the remote will work again because the pile of paintings will be gone.  Oh, gosh.  It's going to be quiet in here again.

I am so grateful.  My support crew is so good!  They boss me around, and love me up.  They feed me and push me and leave me alone.  They miss me because I am completely unavailable to them.  Heaven knows what the little ones must think, but they are sweet and happy to see me when I show up again, and that is what fills my heart with gratitude.  The Goddess shows up in spirals and labyrinths, shows me over and over and over that I am one with Spirit, one with the good, not alone.  This One urges me to share, regardless of the cacophony in my head, and for that, I am most grateful.

Thank you.
I love you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

wings of the air

This is the story of all life that is holy and is good to tell, and of us two-leggeds sharing in it with the four-leggeds and the wings of the air and all green things; for these are children of one mother and their father is one Spirit.      Black Elk

My daughter and I had a conversation this morning, over the phone.  This in and of itself is not unusual, but our topic was, a little.  "Life is too short to waste on grumpiness, or lies, or pretending something is different than it is... because all of that takes up too much energy, which can be used being happy, positive, even productive (in a positive, happy way), certainly in a loving way."

There are things and events too precious to miss.

Off and on my daughters have reprimanded me for being "too positive," which, coming from a teen-aged daughter is nothing short of hilarious.  Good heavens!  I used to think, maybe even said, "Try being "positive" with you!" which was not a very positive thing to say, really.  As young adults they still often were unhappy with me for this ridiculous stance on Life.  Now they are all 30 and above, and seem to be mellowing around this topic (of course, they now have their own households...).

Mellow may not be the right word.

Life can be harsh.  People become ill, beloveds die, marriages dissolve, sadness fills up the cup.  We seem to be reaching conclusions independent of one another, yet linked by our connections.  My daughters and I have lived through some difficult times, which is not unusual.   Perhaps it is the 'way of things' to be difficult.  Perhaps.

With visible breath I am walking.
A voice I am sending as I walk.
In a sacred manner I am walking.
With visible tracks I am walking.
In a sacred manner I walk.

My friend, I am going to tell you the story of my life, as you wish; and if it were only the story of my life I think I would not tell it; for what is one man that he should make much of his winters, even when they bend him like a heavy snow?  So many others have lived and shall live that story, to be grass upon hills. Black Elk

When one flounders, the others are here to hold up the world.

My paintings continue to unfold.  The garden is growing.  Life sings and moves around me with enthusiasm and love.  Creative energy spills into consciousness, into vocabulary, into color.

While there may be much floundering going on in our world, with our planet, let us pick up words of significance which move us into a higher vibration of existence.  Let us have continual conversations with our loved ones, of our true feelings, of our connection, of our shared Parents.  Let us be in continual conversation with Spirit.  Let us listen to the guidance available to us in every moment, every breath.

Let us say this blessing every day as every thought and action we think say and do has an ripple felt throughout all of reality:

With visible breath I am walking.
A voice I am sending as I walk.
In a sacred manner I am walking.
With visible tracks I am walking.
In a sacred manner I walk.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sorrow visits

Yesterday my first granddog, Jack, died in his sleep.  He was 13.  Today we are gathering for a small memorial at his house to honor his life and all that he contributed to ours.

My daughter and I went down to a "backyard breeder" in Petaluma, answering an ad in the local paper.  The Brittany pups left were three males, approximately 12 weeks old.  They were sleek and healthy, their mom had three legs, the dad was a hunting dog, big for a Brittany.  The backyard butted up against the fence which separated them from a four-lane crazy-crowded Hwy. 101.  It was unbearable out there from the noise and fumes.  The woman selling the dogs seemed angry, they were her husband's project.  The dad-dog was a beauty, and took a liking to me, sitting on my foot and leaning into my leg.  The woman offered him to me, cheap, she said, he likes you.

From that day on, Jack had a loving home, good food, and a nice bed which he liked to rearrange frequently.  He adored Roy, after getting over their initial meeting.  Roy had been on his annual hunting trip and came home to find this little orange and white guy in their bed.  Oh no, Roy was having none of that, so little Jack was given his very own place to sleep.  I (the mother-in-law!!!) of course, had just jumped right into spoiling my little grandpup.

My first pup was a Brittany.  I worked all summer to pay for her, and that is another story.

Jack was "Uncle Jack" to our Meat Pie.  He taught her some manners, as he really hated being jumped upon by a bratty little Chocolate Lab.  At that time I lived down the street from him and his family.  Now and then he would escape by climbing over, under or through their fence and come down and throw himself against my door.  He was a consummate cat-chaser, and though I liked to think that he was coming down to see me, he actually was coming down to terrorize Tigger and Pixie.  I discovered this one day by opening the front door and him flying in and up the stairs and under my bed while cats went up the curtains and across the ceiling.  Whoa.  JACK!!!!

Rebekah is a year younger than he was.  He tended her from the first day she came home.  She learned her first dog-training with him, found a place in her heart that responds to dogs.  This will be a gift that will be with her for her whole life, even as her sweet heart is broken open in sorrow today.

Jack was nearly killed one afternoon by the neighbor boy left home alone with a house full of guns.  He shot Jack, point blank, in the ribs as some sort of malicious experiment.  He too, had known Jack for many years.  That incident was never resolved, always hung over the fence.  Jack recovered in a miraculous way, lived the next 3-4 years with a bullet lodged in between his lungs and heart.

In his 13 years, Jack loved and was loved.  He stayed with his family through sorrow, through the joyous births of Rebekah and Mary, through moving, through divorce.  He absorbed many tears, always soaked up his girls, and wagged that tail regardless.

You're free, Jack!  Ride the wind, play in the river, visit us in our dreams.  We love you.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Rebekah Lauren!



Mom and Rebekah

Thomas and Nonnie

Rille and Sarah

First Lighting

Second Lighting

Third Lighting 

Mimi (Mary Alice)

Annie Margaret






Tuesday, June 1, 2010

River Trip and stuff

The nose of my friend, Kayak.

We went on a kayak/canoe trip yesterday.  The river has lots of water in it, the air warm, and one of my very best friends is this kayak!  You guessed it; I love it!  Inanimate and all that, it is orange and red and yellow, long and not too sleek, holds quite a few buckets for Huckleberries in the back, and only tips over if I am not paying attention to detail.

This is Wayne's.  It sits low in the water and has a rudder for stability (imagine!).  I do not think that he has ever tipped over in this boat.  We all remember the river trip when he and his little yellow rented kayak hit a nasty rock and ripped a hole in the bottom.  From a short distance away he looked like a long, tall stringbean of a man, gliding down the river in a very thin slice of yellow plastic.  

Skyler and Gina drove (paddled, I am sure) their borrowed aluminum canoe.  Gina stunning in a bright yellow skirt, Skyler dapper in his little straw hat.  Unfortunately, I left my camera home.  Well, I cannot trust myself, or the Rushing River to not get it soaking wet, so I had to memorize the trip!  They launched first, and headed downriver.  I was next, and the last I saw, Wayne was climbing into Santa Cruze.  As I negotiated the first little rapids, I came around the corner to see Gina on the bank wringing out her skirt, Skyler's hat askew, and a few belongings bouncing along in the current.  Unfortunately I missed the event, so they were spared my sometimes untimely laughter (sorry guys!).  It has been said to me that it is not half as funny when I ditch, which I know to be true (sorry again).  

We traveled down river at a pace set by the current.  Off and on there were rapids that took all of our attention to negotiate successfully.  Gina and Skyler figured out their canoe and became quite good at going through the rapids.  We came upon one which was created by a wrecked canoe caught between the boulders creating a dam.  The water poured through a chute between boulders.  There was no way out of the river at this point, the banks being impassable and the current swift.  The front end of my kayak was airborne (no, never the end where I sit), and I went flying through, Wayne coaching and encouraging me.  I was able to turn around and wait for the kids in the canoe, and oh, that was where I really missed my camera!  They came barreling through, heading straight for the brush, were able to get out without tipping; which goes to show that they had it down.  I will remember Gina's eyes, right there where she realized what was going on, for a long time.

The trip took us about 3 1/2 hours, 4+ counting the time to trespass in a vineyard and load up the gear and get out before we were discovered.  By road it would be about 12+ miles, and take about 15 minutes.  River time is slower, takes one into the wilds, into a physical, magical world.  Turtles plop from logs into the water.  Songbirds of great variety sing every imaginable melody, bank swallows dart, tree swallows sing and fly and skydance.  Osprey swoop and screee!  Canada geese fly low.  Mallards, Merganzers wait until the last moment to burst out of the water, and into the air.  Bugs hover.  Cotton from the cottonwood and willow floats on breeze and water.  We talk and laugh and paddle, often just paddle in cacophonous Nature.

Our Memorial Day Weekend was sweet, filled with work in the yard and garden.  Filled with dear people, good food; I/we am/are so blessed.  My grandson called me and left 2 messages (he really doesn't like to get the message machine), inviting me over for a tea party, "I really want you to come."he says real low, and serious.  When I was a kid, dad used to take us to the graveyards to clean up the family plots.  We played in the brush of the over-grown graves, pretending there were ghosts everywhere and finding names familiar and fascinating, with dates beyond our reality.  I remember one, Laura.... 1789-1856.  At the time, I do not remember it being a military holiday, it was a time for a huge picnic with many extended family members in attendance and much reminiscing of those who had "passed on."  Later, after we'd moved to Ferndale, I marched in the Memorial Day Parade in the FUHS Band.  We then went up to the Cemetery (which, a couple of years later, was the best place to park and drink out of sight of Porky, the town cop) for the ceremonies which included veterans.  Now, the holiday seems to be all about military, "honoring those who serve."  Of course, let us honor those who serve, by getting the hell out of war.  

My garden is growing.  Everything is so happy to be in a sunny day, soaking up all that Vit D and photosynthesis.  These purple potatoes are about waist high and just starting to bloom.  I really am distressed by the goings-on in the wide wide world.  I want it to be better.  I hate that any mother on the planet has an empty room in her house, a bed into which her son or daughter will never, ever crawl.  I hate that any father has to "keep a stiff upper lip" while grieving the loss of his precious child, his soldier.  I do not know why this just does not stop.  Now.  I really do not want to have any more holidays given over to mourning the unconscionable loss of beloveds.

I hope to choose Love in the face of every day, to be of service, in service.  Each day that I am upright is a gift, one to be opened softly, gently, with anticipation for love, redemption, and great tenderness,

...for nothing but a great clamor of joy
And music

Can make any sense


I do love you.
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