Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Autumn Limbo

As I sit here on the porch, engulfed in the foggy mist of the morning, serenaded by the sound of rain, I reflect on the past weeks and potential of the weeks to come. 

A little over a week ago, the rain was a looming foe, threatening to befall the long anticipate outdoor wedding on the Metolius River. We had planned for it for months. (I pause now as I watch an eagle chasing a seagull, wondering if they are playing or if there is danger lurking, but the eagle swoops down searching for other prey in the water.) Returning to my thoughts, the wedding thrived, with Mother Nature's forgiving hand, and we embraced the rain, the mud, the moments of clarity and pause, and the inevitability of our lack of control, over things we cannot control but wish we could.

I ponder this poignant time of year. The ending of things, the letting go, surrendering to the season. It is difficult to see through the pouring rain and grey mist. 

Difficult to see the potential that lies ahead. It is a time when one feels compelled to hang onto what remains, be it a memory, a relationship or a single leaf, hanging on by an unseeable thread of spider web. The leaf appears to be floating in limbo, somewhere between holding on and letting go. Who knows how long it will remain that way.

 I have been watching it for days, wondering when whatever has its hold on it will release it to the ground to join the others. I see this leaf blowing in the wind, wondering how the pouring rain doesn't release it from this seemingly invisible hold. The time will come when it is out of any control. In fact, the leaf has no choice at all in the matter. It has already surrendered from it's tree of belonging, and is now tethered to an unfamiliar one, for some unknown and uncontrollable reason. It is nature's way.

One gust of wind, or a raindrop strategically directed, will change everything. The leaf wiggles and floats and flies and seems to be either pulling away or surrendering to the pull. In between, there are moments of pure stillness.

The sound of the rain is all I can hear right now. It is all I want to hear. This music is so comforting, I just want to drown in it. This leaf in limbo, is all I want to watch right now. I don't want to move from this spot, for fear that I will miss the moment when it free falls, and the state of limbo ends. When the surrender becomes final.

For me, it feels like time is standing still. I sit here, feeling the pull to be somewhere else, doing something else. It feels like a "have to" not a want to. I just want this moment to never end. One by one, I watch the other coral hued leaves, gracefully falling, as they surrender to the whim of nature, as they do every season. Their dance of surrender is so natural, free from struggle. It can't be any other way.

Yet this lone leaf, attached to a tree that it doesn't belong to, is stuck, or possibly given respite for a time. It is a spent leaf tethered to an evergreen, out of it's element for this moment. Who knows for how long. 

The time will come for surrender, for moving on to the next chapter, what seems like the ending. Then the cycle of time will eventually bring a new beginning, but there is much time for that.

The winter will be long. I yearn for the permission to go inward, to hibernate, to wait for the push forward to feel like an intentional step forward. What would it feel like to just surrender to the season, to what is, to accept the endings and not know what beginnings lie ahead. To hold on for the moment and let go when it is time, when there is no reason beyond it just being time to yield to the inevitable.......

Friday, July 22, 2016

Caution, slow down, curves ahead....

I have just returned from a wonderful workshop Dying to Rust with Pam Nichols. My mind is filled with so many new ideas to incorporate into my repertoire of creating. I forget that the learning curve can throw you for a loop big time! I expected to "get it" all right away, and when trying to implement the new techniques back at my studio, I felt a bit defeated, like I had failed. I needed to slow down and take my time with this, like it or not.

Today, I awakened with a nagging headache and the wind outside was not making using my blowtorch an easy task. That said, I was determined to resolve the piece I was working on. It was a battle I was determined to win. When I looked at the progress of the piece yesterday, I saw what I thought I might need to do to make it work. Headache or not I was determined. 

Whether the piece feels successful right now, is not the issue that I feel inspired to write about though. There is a bigger picture that I was gifted with. 

Fighting the headache and the wind, I worked on it till it felt as resolved as it could be for today, possibly finished, but time will tell. I walked away from the piece and my torch, and decided to take a stroll. I thought it would possibly clear my head a bit.

I happened upon Mrs. "B", a bit up the road on my walk. I was not up for conversation, but she is so lovely and kind, I could not possibly not engage. She began to remind me of her story, which I have heard many times. I listened as attentively as if I were hearing it for the first time. She is 93, an avid gardener, and a widow after over 60 years of marriage. She re-told me her story of the love of her life, losing him, how she tries to stay active and young through her gardening, and daily walks, and how she cherishes it when her family comes to visit. She had just returned from her high school reunion with her older sister, and was excited to share this with me!

Mrs. B also reminded me that her late husband had both his legs blown off to below the knees, walking on a landmine, as he served in WWII. She told me of their meeting in high school, her childbirths, her loss of him a few years ago, and how over 200 servicemen came to the memorial she had at her house. Her husband would water ski, garden and share their wonderful life together. Clearly, she misses him deeply.

She asked me if I liked rhubarb, since she has a bumper crop of it. Mrs. B graciously invited me to come by and cut as much as I would like. I have never used it before and only know that it can be quite sour. She enticed me though, and I am up for the challenge! Another curve, with the opportunity to learn.

Later today or tomorrow, I plan to go and harvest some rhubarb from Mrs. B's garden and see if I can create something wonderful. I know it needs a lot of sweetening, but with the right attitude, a sour vegetable, like a day with a headache and challenging art creation, can be made into something creative and palatable.
My 15 minute chat today with Mrs. B, changed my outlook on my day, put things in perspective and sweetened it up for sure. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit more sugar. I trust in this. It is all in the way you look at things, and for that I am grateful to her!  

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Day After

I awaken to deafening ears still ringing from last night's intrusive feeling of what seemed like a war zone. I sit now listening to the wind and the birds. What a difference one day can make. Solitude....I knew you were out there waiting. This is what I celebrate, the silence and the peace.......

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Seeking Tranquility

I sit looking at the serene sky, seeking visual tranquility, trying to lose myself in the jazz music I am listening to, puzzled, trying to understand why the celebration of freedom must sound like gunfire.......

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What happens when your motor won't accelerate?

Last week I was feeling the growing inspiration to begin a new clay installation piece. My hope was to begin these last few days. My clay was purchased, my hands beginning to feel ready, the idea germinating. The intense heat set in and the inspiration waned. Instead, I opted for some time on the powerboat savoring the beauty of Puget Sound, wind on my face, in the exhilarating way moving rapidly through the water brings. For some unknown reason though, no matter how hard I tried to increase the speed, the throttle resisted and I couldn't accelerate beyond 4000 rpm. It felt frustrating as I floored the engine, it would not go where I wanted it to. I could feel the resistance, yet there was nothing I could do about it. I pushed against it and it pushed back.

I came home, after what was still a near perfect day on the Sound, satisfied, yet feeling guilty that I had yet to touch the clay. It sits in the bag, pristine and waiting. I had listened in, to what I felt compelled to do, go out on the boat, rather than work on this installation-to-be, that is about journey and the boat as a vessel for thought, movement forward, life. 

As I sit and write, I am trying to accept that some things are not ready to go full speed ahead. They accelerate, the only way they can, at that moment in time. I know the sculpture is in me, it is just not quite yet ready to come out. Maybe tomorrow, or maybe next week. For now I am going to go out on the lake in my kayak. I will control the slow, meditative speed as I move smoothly through the glass like surface of the water. As cliche as it sounds, today I will go with the flow and see where it takes me. Perhaps I will feel inclined to begin my sculpture later today. But perhaps not......

Monday, May 23, 2016

Moving from beginnings full of doubt, to endings filled with doubt

As I sit here in a place of solitude, that I have been longing for, I find it so difficult to put into words and process the feelings I have had, and the experiences I have encountered these last 5 months. The hummingbirds are more energetic than I have ever seen them tonight, and I feel like they are cheering me on.

It has been months since I have felt inclined to write. The incredibly rich, busy, intensity of my partnership with my wonderful AIR Gallery family, left little room to do much else, but totally immerse myself in the opportunity and experience of a lifetime. Four had the energy, excitement and at times overwhelming demands of four years. As stressful as it was to not only create and finish the work, take down the prior show, prepare and hang the new show, promote our event, keep it fresh and exciting, "show up" at the openings, and digging deep to find the energy to carry on, I wouldn't have had it any other way! I would not have changed a thing!

Being primarily a sculptor, the time element is only one of the challenges I faced. You are at the mercy of Mother Nature, as you slowly build your sculpture (hoping it doesn't collapse), patiently wait for it to dry, (this cannot be rushed), and then pray that she survives the firing. Then to finish the surfaces, and attach the found objects that I so lovingly collect, to complete my story. So much was out of my control, and this is not a place I am used to being. This is far outside my comfort zone, to say the least.

I recently came across a quote by T.S. Eliot that said, "If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?" This was how this experience was for me. I never believed I had the emotional stamina, physical strength and creativity, to rise up and meet this challenge. It brought up a tremendous amount of self doubt, and my vulnerabilities and insecurities were palpable. I didn't want to let my partners down. I did not want to let myself down. I would only move forward, if I could do it with integrity, and stay true to myself. I would pinch myself and think, am I in the right place, am I cut out for this? And yet I moved forward, struggling yet smiling inside and out. I was overjoyed.

I owe such gratitude to my incredible family of artists, lead by an extraordinary man of vision, that feels like nothing less than beloved family. I dove into this experience head first. We held each other up. I heard our fearless leader, reminding me to just pause, breathe and jump off. 

The trust in my team and myself, astounded me. I would never have believed that this was possible. I have cherished every single moment of this amazing AIR journey. I have grown as an artist, a person, a friend, a colleague to my partners, and become part of an amazing art community. Most of all, I have astonished myself.

Although it has only been a month since we were suddenly forced to close our brick and mortar in Pioneer Place, it seems like a lifetime ago, as if this was merely a dream. Flying and feeling like I truly was up in the AIR, was a place from which I did not want to land. 

But here I sit, my feet on the ground, yet feeling anything but grounded. Finding the resilience to begin again, to create work at "normal" speed, to feel purposeful, to remember what it was like to be on that wild ride, is what I am reaching for. 

It truly was a glorious carousel ride, and now that I have stepped off, the brass ring seems so far out of reach, that I cannot even see it. I am not sure where the next incarnation of AIR will go, and how I will show up for it, or where my next creations will take me, but I am present.

My sculptures are put away. My boxes are broken down and recycled. My clay sits dormant, as do my hands and my kiln. I am trying to process this loss of something so wonderful. I am trying not to "cry because it is over, but to smile because it happened". Sometimes that is easier said than done.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Things Are Not Always As They Seem

A few weeks ago I had a bad migraine and here I am again............Thoughts are rattling around in my head, and in what might seem like a futile effort to relieve the pressure and pain, building in my head, I am putting these words down. 

Of late, I have been grappling with what seems to be, and what is. The proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing, the great and mighty, powerful all knowing Oz, who is, in reality, a mere flawed mortal behind a curtain, misrepresenting himself as someone other than that.

During my last migraine bout, I experienced the ecstasy of tasting what I thought was a ripe, sweet, juicy cherry, from my very own fruit tree. In reality, I realized, it turned out to be a sour plum, masquerading as a cherry. Yet for that moment, it became a cherry for me, because I needed it to be. I truly believed in it, so it was my reality. Truth be told, I do not like plums.

There have been people in my life, who I have been seeing lately, shedding their outer curtain in front of my eyes. In my former eyes, they were beloved friends, who spoke to me with deep love and kindness, deep caring and concern. I believed that there was a deep connection, that became so important and meaningful to me, and a foundation of my existence and basis for my self-worth. I felt so lucky to have them in my life, and felt richer for knowing them. The sweetness was almost too good to be true.

In times of need, and during times of great accomplishment, celebration and joy, I have reached out to share this with the ones who I though held a place of great meaning in my life, by their own choice and mine. Suddenly I realized that they were no longer there. I pulled back the curtain, and they were gone. They had looked the other way when I reached out. They turned a deaf ear when I rejoiced or cried. The huge sense of disillusionment has been such an encumbering, painful weight. 

The apathy was palpable. The sweet was sour. The small glistening cherry, was not at all what it appeared to be.

Now I am at a place of simplifying. Clearing space. Reflecting on the Detritus our ending exhibit, my sculpture Veil of Indifference, and all that it is and has meant to me. I sit looking at the former cherry tree. It has revealed it's truth to me. Actually, it has alway been a plum tree, I just could not see that. The tree was picked clean by the crows in the course of a few days, and remains barren as it has always been, before I discovered the first fruit. The burgundy leaves still glisten in the sunlight. Their beauty is not diminished in the least, for having been revealed as a different kind of tree. I just will see it differently, from now on.

I will no longer pick it's fruit, because I do not like to eat plums. I will leave it for the crow, who love to eagerly feast on them. I will seek out my own sweet fruit, that suits me better. How much fruit do I actually need anyway? 

Now to lay down in the quiet, and rest, with the hopes that the pain of the headache, along with the thoughts that I have been weighted down by, will gradually begin to float up to the cloudless blue sky, and leave me that much lighter for having let them go.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

To Dance With Nature

                            "A Broken Heart Is Heavy and Hard To Carry"
 ~ Jo Grishman

When we enter into any relationship, we usually believe and expect that it will be a forever one.  Two people move forward with the hopes and expectations, that being together, whether in friend, love or working relationship, it will grow stronger and long lasting. Like in nature, nothing is static, change is inevitable. We hopefully grow as people, and that being in relationship as an “us”, will make us a better “me”. It is actually unrealistic to think that we will never change, yet we always hope that if we do, we will remain on the same path as the other. Sometimes this path intersects like a DNA molecule, always coming back to itself. Sometimes it waxes and wanes, reaches a place of stasis, and then if we are lucky, a place of shared stability. This is not always the case. Often though, through the growth process, the relationship does not look the way we might have seen it, in our mind’s eye.  Plants reach toward the light of the sun, soaking it in to thrive. The branches of a tree, beginning from a place of sameness, start growing apart. This separation, this individuation, is necessary to thrive. We look toward the changing seasons of nature, for guidance in our own lives. 

Last June, I participated in a profoundly moving dance retreat. We danced in and with nature, amongst the trees and rocks, as though there was no separation between the self and the forest. During this experience, we each chose a rock and stick to bring inside, to join us in the dance. At the conclusion, I admittedly had “rock envy”. I gazed longingly from across the room, wanting to be in relationship with a rock that was in the arms of another. I asked the proud partner of her wonderful heart shaped rock, if she intended to take it home with her. She responded, that “the rock was broken and rather heavy to carry”, and that I was welcome to have it. I accepted this wonderful gift with feelings of hope and potential. Yes, yes indeed, a broken heart is heavy and hard to carry. I delighted in the prospect of collaborating with this rock, to create a sculpture. I have just completed it, in the midst of some relationships in my life, that are in a state of flux, seeking balance amidst the turbulent storm. By co-creating with this rock, some of the experiences I brought home from the retreat, as well as with life itself unfolding, I am trying to process with a guarded optimism, the new relationships that I am being challenged with. It is a dance unto itself.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Art Life Video Blog

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Jacob Wolff. He is an energetic artist, photographer and journalist who documents all the creative energy Portland has to offer. I was honored to be the 122nd artist in his series The Art Life Video. You can see the two part interview that took place in Basic Space Gallery, where I am part of a three person exhibit. It was exciting, exhilarating and a bit frightening, but fun and wonderful none the less.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

If Life Hands You a Bowl of Cherries......

Growing up in NYC, the furthest thing from my mind was having a fruit tree. I love the farmers market and fresh fruits and veggies. I am blessed with ten creative working fingers that love to manipulate and give life to clay, but I do not have green thumbs. 

As I sat in solitude today, nursing a migraine, I listened to the loud cacophony of crows, and shrill of the eagles hovering over the lake, which by the way was music to my ears now that the fireworks of the fourth of July have passed. I spotted a glistening red orb in the morning sun. 

City kid that I am, I have watched the cherry tree flower for four seasons, never thinking that flowers could mean fruit. I love the deep burgundy of the leaves, almost as much as the hummingbirds do. This year's early hot summer, brought early pink blossoms, that came and went with the first breezy day. Upon closer examination I saw that there were many, many beautiful, ripe, red, bursting, cherries, dangling from the tree. 

Like a little kid, who has made a great discovery, I couldn't finish my breakfast fast enough and run for my camera to capture these little gems. I wiggled in my seat in anticipation of reaching for the first sweet cherry from MY VERY OWN CHERRY TREE and tasting it! I cherished the moment as if it was a first date, wanting it to last, from the moment I plucked the first berry from the branch, until I bit into the firm, crisp, juicy, morsel. It tasted delicious!!!! Although it was a bit tart, and I do not like tart, my mind read it as the sweetest thing ever. Funny how we can see something as sweet, even if it isn't, if we want to.

I was going to climb and pick only five considering how headachy I was feeling, but was actually able to reach quite a bit from the ground. I did climb the ladder to reach just one for the fun of it, held by my beloved who is always supporting me in my antics. Anything to put a smile on my face when I have pain.

I now cherish this lovely bowl of cherries, that I will savor later. It brightened up, what started out as an otherwise dark day, although the sky is a majestic blue, made more so by the contrast of the burgundy cherries against it. I am cherishing the solitude, cherishing my family, cherishing my art opening last week, thinking about the synchronicity of the fact that today of all days would be the day that I would notice and "cherish the cherries". Through the pain, I can still choose to cherish my life. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

A few weeks ago I donated a sculpture for the fundraiser

 Small Works / Big Cause : 
An Art Fundraiser for Jenny Bates

Jenny is a brave young Portland artist dealing with all the expenses and challenges of dealing with breast cancer. Yesterday I found out that my piece, ”Sacred Healing Drum Goddess" was bought by my 
dear friends who sponsored the event, at Basic Space Gallery, in honor of Jenny. I couldn't have asked for a greater honor and a better more loving home for my sculpture! 

Little Worlds

So a few months ago my project Little Worlds began......
The collecting over time and the assembling began. I entered into my Little Worlds.....

Fifteen pieces later, I readied to install them at OmBase Yoga Studio. There were challenges to be met, and I was not sure how it would look but it all eventually came together after much tweaking......

“Little Worlds” 

This current series is titled “Little Worlds”. As a child I found solace, creating imaginary worlds, playing under a baby grand piano in our apartment in NYC. I called that place, “my own little world”.

I am a collector. I find comfort in collecting found objects and inspirational finds from the natural world. Where others see debris, I see potential. 

These boxes are worlds unto themselves. The elements are what give voice to my stories. They speak to me about the smallness of our existence in the scope of the world and the largeness of our impact on nature. We are lilliputians in a vast world. 

Through creating these boxes, I collaborate and pay homage, in my own way, to nature from which I derive pleasure and inspiration. In creating “Little worlds”, I lose myself not knowing what they will evolve into, and ironically through this journey, I somehow begin to find myself. I hope you take time to enter and enjoy a glimpse into these worlds I have co-created.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." 
~John Muir~

I will be donating the proceeds from the sale of each of my assemblages in my exhibit at OmBase, “Little Worlds” to The Shoe That Grows. 
I hope people will enjoy entering my Little Worlds and  join me in coming together to raise money for The Shoe That Grows,  part of the non-profit Because International.  Each sale will provide 5 pairs of shoes for children in need. Please consider supporting me for the children. I have already raised almost $800 in less than a month for The Shoe That Grows and look forward to making this project grow even more.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Detritus- Exhibit at Basic Space

This is one of my sculptures, "Veil of Indifference" that will be a part of Detritus, an exhibit at Basic Space during the month of July with Christopher Roberts and Kenneth Saylor. 

Detritus. The stuff we accumulate, that erodes, the pieces that are left when things break apart, the fragments that we leave behind. Sounds like the process of life happening. When we had first discussed this word, we had accepted that this word is a part of everything’s ‘life’ and is all around us. This word can encompass a wide array of occurrences, whether being in nature, medicine, the universe, and to our relationships. When people see something destroyed, we tend to perceive that as negative and as a loss, however this is not always the case. We accumulate relationships, experiences, and memories, be they supportive or destructive. Often times, we don’t see a choice in the matter. We move through our lives and are touched in some way by every experience, object and person we encounter. Each leaving their mark engraved on us. They can never be removed, only buried beneath the surface, but their ghost of memory always remains. Relationships and objects are not things that last forever, they erode like the world itself. What we choose to leave behind or to discard is just as important as the things we cherish and hold on to. With this show, we are attempting to highlight the relationship aspect within the spectrum of the definition of detritus. Our interpretations, our experiences, our encounters and how those have been a part of our lives and what mark it has left upon us. We offer up to you, the opportunity to explore the marks that have been engraved in your life, and what you chose to expose or to bury.

  • Opening Reception First Thursday
    at 6:00pm - 9:00pm

  • Basic Space Gallery
    625 NW Everett St #111, Portland, Oregon 97209

Mazu- Water Goddess- Dragon Boat Show

I was delighted to be invited by Alea Bone, to participate in The Dragon Boat Show, in conjunction with the Portland Rose Festival and The Dragon Boat Races. I thoroughly enjoyed creating my piece Maza- Water Goddess and thrilled that she has found a new home!

Morning Glory

Well today was pretty profound and I want to share the story I will call Morning Glory. The other day I was gifted with morning glory seeds by my cherished friend, Fred Swan, and they started to sprout this morning! Glorious way to begin the day.

Having breakfast on the deck I had an encounter unlike one I have ever had before with a hummingbird. He hovered in front of me, after sipping the nectar I had set out. He looked in my eyes and then began to move closer, hover again, move closer, hover etc. He was staring me in the eye, and really connecting with me. It was surreal and a bit frightening for some reason. I love hummingbirds, yet I have never had an encounter such as this. What a gift.

 We have been dancing and discussing hummingbirds at Tuesday dance. Are the hummingbirds aware that they are moving fast like us when we are rushing around, or is that their normal speed? I have been pondering this since Tuesday, considering how to be more conscious of my movement and priorities. Do I have to rush or can I move through the day and savor each special , one of a kind moment?

It was such a moving encounter. I felt like it was a moment that is rare, that I could have missed by moving, but I allowed it, I noticed it, we connected. It made me think about how often we move so quickly through our day that we miss these precious gifts. In stillness, I received the gift of connection with this hummingbird.

I proceeded to work on two bees wax scrolls and then was surprised by a visiting bee that landed on my hot plate of bees wax. I had also bought a hummingbird stamp to incorporate into my scroll in the future, but today seemed like a fitting tribute.

The day progressed and I took a lunch break. As I sat on the deck, I heard a small crash and look to see what might have fallen. There on the deck, laying on the grill cover, was a hummingbird, who had apparently flown into the window. It still had an insect clutched in it’s beak, but it’s death was immediate. I was devastate to see him lying with his eyes open, stunned. I watched and waited, hoping that he might have just been stunned, but hours later he still remained, unmoved. 

My sadness was and is beyond deeply aching. I know it is the cycle of life, but this knowledge offers no solace. We never know when our moment will come, that moment life ends abruptly. I cherished the time I had this morning connecting with a hummingbird (probably not the same one but I will never know). What was the lesson that I needed to learn? We must cherish these small yet huge gifts, these moments of connection, be they with humans or animals. Never take these moments for granted, as they may be our last.

I now have the hummingbird protected in a box. I will bury him tomorrow, in a special spot I can look upon, and on top of it I will plant my Morning Glory seeds. As I watch them grow, I will cherish those moments that come when you least expect them. I will honor those gifts and consider myself blessed for having given them.

Answering Fred Swan's call 2nd Tuesday- "Sinking Inward"

The Clarity of Water

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Shoes That Grow

I am currently feeling quite passionate about an organization I came across called Shoes That Grow.

Over 2 billion people in the world suffer from soil-transmitted parasites and diseases.  The Shoe That Grows is a better solution to help children protect their feet than just regular shoes, shoes that don’t fit, or no shoes at all.  The Shoe That Grows adjusts five sizes and last five years – providing better protection and better health for children.

 The Shoe That Grows is a patented design by Kenton Lee, of an innovative shoe that adjusts and expands.  It was developed in part by a shoe development company in the Northwest called Proof of Concept. 
The shoe comes in two sizes: Small and Large.  Each size grows 5 sizes and lasts at least 5 years. 
Small = Grows 5 sizes – From Kindergarten to 4th Grade 
Large = Grows 5 sizes – From 5th Grade to 9th Grade.  
The Shoe is made with simple materials – leather, compressed rubber, and snaps.  No mechanical parts of gears to break.  Easy to clean.  Easy to use. 

I have organized a fundraiser through GOFUNDME with the goal of raising $1500 enabling me to have a shipment of 100 pairs of shoes sent to a country with children in need. The cost of one pair of shoes is a mere $15 and can have such a huge impact on the health, growth, education, and quality of life of a child. 

I am hoping that others will join me by donating, and also by spreading the word about Shoes That Grow and together we can make something great happen.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."

― Mother Teresa

Friday, January 16, 2015

Eagle Creek

Eagle Creek

I began with frustration at a dead camera battery
How could I "capture" the hike without it
I had no choice but to experience it 
as Annie Dillard would
with the "photographic precision
of her own silver-lined gut"
As I enter a new place with fear of the unknown
I am astounded by the beauty of varied greens
I couldn't imagine existed
The sounds of flowing creek and waterfalls
are magnificently deafening
The arms of the tree giants
reach out with dangling moss fingertips
They beckon to caress, hold and protect me
The trail walls weep with the joy of its own beauty
I feel cleansed by the shower mother nature provides
from it's melting winter glory
The falls feel like they want to both 
consume and cradle me
I try to listen to the pace of place
I don't want to leave
I long to return again soon
I will.....

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Season's End

Another birthday has come and gone
the morning silence is deafening
a woodpecker breaks the silence
he sounds like a metronome 
readying for an allegro concertino
the crows join in the symphony and cackle 
as they proudly display the bread they have gathered from a neighbor's roof
the mist gently kisses the morning lake as it slowly awakens
it feels like a long awaited ghost town
I welcome the quiet solitude
I am filled with a sense of such peacefulness
The silhouette of the mountains awaiting
the soon to come blanketing of winter snow
boats covered and tucked in for the winter
floats and inner tubes deflated like many summer dreams
I glide across the lake alone in my white kayak
alongside a lone white duck
envying his effortlessness
I follow what seems to be a trail of feathers floating
realizing that they are the first autumn leaves taking their maiden voyages
I feel the warmth of the late afternoon sun caress my closed eyes
I feel the cooling trickles of water as they fall from my paddle onto my legs
The droplets magnify the sunlight
before slowly disappearing as they soak into my pants
The mirror like reflection of trees seems undisturbable
As I bank my boat I wonder
will this be my last lake journey of the season?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Time and Change and Staying Still and Listening

This weekend the eagles have been boldly swooping down over the newly stocked lake to get their catch of the day. I have never seen eagles so close to me before. It is exhilarating! They seem fearless and courageous, unstoppable. It makes me think about the wonderful Finola, former guide dog trainee black lab, our family's pride and joy. She is still battling her body and wagging through it all. She still has lots of love left in her waiting to be shared, so I know she will beat this most recent health obstacle in classic Finny style!

I have also been thinking about creating the next in my series of sculptures. The creating helps me process all that life seems to throw, and gives me a vehicle to flow through. In the act of creating, I am constantly learning about my life and life itself, the things you can count on, the things that really matter and the fine line between knowing what we want and what we need. 

I have already completed "Letting Go of Holding On". Yesterday I finished sculpting "Tunnel Vision". The previous one I completed in the series, is called "Hope Is A Thing With Feathers". The next one I am anxious to begin sculpting is entitled "Veil of Indifference". What comes next is a mystery to me...

As synchronicity would have it, I fell in love with a fiber wall piece called "Reflection & Refraction" at Om Base Yoga, and couldn't stop thinking about it. I knew she had to come home with me!
When I met the artist Vicki Mcardle, who to my surprise works at my yoga studio, we connected instantly in spirit, vision and process. I look so forward to getting to know her better. She is also the perfect fit to be my guest artist, to share the gallery with me for my next exhibit (yes I am already working toward that!) next February. I love when things align and you have your eyes open and seize the moment, recognizing that this is fate speaking.

Right now feels like such a time of change, a state of flux, more turbulent than most. I was discussing this with a fellow yoga practicer Friday, about how there is such a shift in things, both good and bad and in between, at this tumultuous time. Still, I am trying to stay still and listen within. The sun is out one moment, and the rains pour down the next, as if the skies have opened up, to wake us up. There have been many more earthquakes, and things seem to be shifting all around us. Sometimes we feel like we are moving forward, sometimes moving backward, sometimes walking in place and sometimes falling through the cracks.

I am trying to stand strong, rooted, filled with trust and faith that things will soon quiet and settle, until the next shift is upon us. Right now it is pouring outside. It calls for me to stay inside, not only in the house but inside myself, my personal house. It feels yin, quiet, inward today, and I am compelled to read, reflect and be. To refill refuel myself to begin the next sculpture. To allow what is, be. To not put the effort into fighting the flow to make it any different. I am tired of "playing salmon" and swimming upstream, fighting the unstoppable current. Today I choose to float down the river without effort. Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could heed that inner calling every day? But wait.....I can! I can make that choice.