Patterns and Pauses

Slowly the ice fort that the snow plow and I have built around my car is disappearing. At times, I take my square sharp shovel and chip away. When it warms up, I slide the snow shovel underneath and open up the passage ways. I am creating a path for easier movement.

The resolve to sit and write, to take time to work through the blocks that have arisen is renewed in me lately. Chipping away at a frustration; building my skills without a particular end game in mind will lead me where I need to go.

The enemy is contentment. I have enough money… if I am careful and don’t stretch my neck out into Middle Class acquisitiveness. I have familiar comfort. But the black out curtain of boredom restricts my light.

At times I yearn for a new environment, one in which I cannot anticipate the path. Exploration, adventure, serendipity are somewhere else.

The well worn path I had trodden is the polished stone walkway of discipline. The habits are the groves I have made. I am working now to get myself down in a chair and develop my focus on creating the adventure in my exploration of language. The time, which has for so many years been a burden upon me, the time of “it doesn’t matter” and “there is nothing you have to do” has been marked with no hands, no click movement of minutes.

I don’t seek struggle but rather just to deepen my commitment to developing myself. And distraction, entertainment, diversion have been the central pond of my day. I have soaked in it for hours.

I tell myself I am learning as I watch movies. I tell myself I am connecting as I lurk a voyeur to friends on face book. I tell myself I am being careful with my money as I go to three stores to buy one item.

But really, what is it that I wish to discover in my life? That is the question. How can I patiently sit and work through my thoughts, honing ideas, reaching out to new possibilities of internal connection? It is by once again connecting to the clock and going back to work.

It is time.

The Dragonfly on the lock

One day recently, I stepped out onto my bubble gum pink front steps and turned automatically in order to push the lock button. It rests at the centre of the keypad. As I distractedly moved my finger into place, I felt something soft and structural against my finger tip.
I looked to see that a dragonfly had rested across the pad.

75106_10150090012713615_3806712_n
It laid and stayed. It’s body was spread diagonally, organically contrasting with the metal plate. Quickly, I pulled my hand away and stopped my mind. I came to. I focused. I zapped into my body. I astral returned from whatever graphic novel scenario I had been sketching taking me out of my life.
In that moment, I was absolute. I stood on the bubble gum pink stairs and felt the bottom of my feet the strength of my legs; my being, my physicality, my existence, my particularly manifested form.

I stood and looked at the dragonfly and it waited for me.
It waited for me to return from my deadened walk, blind eyed, drooling idiocy, color commentary method of seeing life as some kind of game. I stood on the step with my finger lifted in the air and I remembered how the dragonfly felt to my touch.
I have never touched a dragonfly before. I am over 70 and I have never touched a dragonfly before.

 

Relax into life

Relax into life

I wonder how many new experiences I am having each day that I am not having. Because I do not see them, I do not see me.
The dragonfly waited for me. It was patient. And then my mind pulled focus, the 1st camera assistant did her job. How clear. The detail of its structure, its beauty, the iridescent wings were so clear. And for a moment, I forgot to breathe.
So many things have been stuck, broken, inhabited by technological gremlins lately that I have become resigned to the no progress scenario.
I sit meditation, chant, let the darkness of recycling doubt move through me. I have not been insistent. I pray for patience, I pray for guidance, I pray for a sign daily.
Today, a dragon fly laid across my door lock and would not move.
When I looked up the significance I learned it is a sign of mental and emotional maturity.

All of the careful reformation of my mind, my body, my resetting of intention in the world has been guided by something outside of me. I have trusted that I would find a way to live with more grace in the world.

 

signs of love

signs of love

Today, a dragon fly laid across my door lock and it would not move until I received it.
I am grateful. Thank you, beautiful messenger.

What lies between Boredom and Chaos?

Flour sifting snow is falling so fine it clings to tree limbs. Their black emphatic death outline against the white gray sky is etched again by the vibrant reflected pearly layer.

snow trees 3 thumb sharp

And I have carried within me my own hibernation mind. “Soon,” I keep thinking, “soon my life will begin.”

The habits of patterns of hypnotic reformation that I experienced in my past keep me recyling, recircling when I seek drama, when I move into despair.

My growth place is when I feel boundless. So often these past months, I feel as if I am not body, or past, or narrative but just this now.

I am curious about who I am if I am not a reiteration. Who am I if I am not a montage of past pictures, glued ticket stubs, marriage certificates, death certificates, scars and stories?

Somewhere on the landscape design, is a creation. Somewhere in the molded clay self is a new construct.

I watch my mind and know and see.

There is boredom. As I get out of bed, it feels repressive, dull, predictable, lonely. There is a hardness to the shape of the day. It appears to be unbending to my will. It is a maze that I enter already knowing which turns to take to get me to the end.

My adrenal glands will not kick in. My workaholic buzz will give me no relief that day, or those days, or that week. It is so safe and bland. Thirty years in the same valley. Twenty years in the same house. A twelve page resume of art shows, publications, degrees earned seems like reading some stranger’s life.

too much can never be the sky

too much can never be the sky

And then I think, there are others who have done less and have more to show. There are others who stand taller on fewer attempts. The collapsing back to “oh well” becomes the strategy when I am projecting this flat, lifeless prairie vision.

I think of the times of chaos with envy. Until I get there. White water rafting down the week of poetry readings, deadlines, renters coming anew every two days leaves me looking ahead for calmer times. “This is too much,” I say to myself. That is when I let the “old” script play out. Climbing the side of the house touching up the paint on the second story; lugging rocks across the yard; or digging turf hurriedly before the next clock tick event, I hear my mind whimpering, “too much, out of control, you haven’t done the dishes yet.”

There are some studies which show the prevalent personality of poets is manic depressive. I do know I swing these days. I do know I am content for weeks on end.

But I cycle into the pollution of depression and gray days. Even on a day where the world is reflected light from the snow scape, I fall.

Watching my mind is such a gift for me, because I see. I see that the pre recorded message is at play. I see that my ancient, unconscious being lives between two states. One is the land of Boredom and the other is Chaos.

the darkness and the light are entire

the darkness and the light are entire

What if it is neither? What if I have reached a place where I am sheltered by my home; I have worked hard and long to teach myself routine and discipline; I have earned the times of peace?

What if working hard by itself does not achieve a goal but rather holding the goal close with a calm state of mind allows me to make the right move at the right time?

What if times of growth, times of incoming exciting events are not a threat? What if times of opportunities and passion and taking chances are the times of breaking up the field?

The mind is so often just plain wrong. Hearing only two notes does not mean we hear the melody. To see the seeker falling from grace is a gift.

To see the child like snuffling in the dark when all she has to do is open up her eyes, is a revelation.

What if life was simply more than a state of Boredom or a state of Chaos?

What if I stopped labeling what I think I see and just start living? I could walk into a new land for which I hold no diminishing language.

Be curious, transform

Be curious, transform

I know this is where true power lies: What if?

Naropa Buddhist University: What is the Summer Writing Program?

When I arrived in Boulder, the journey of several days was over. I had opened up to change, to challenge and to creating a new future for myself. The journey was about releasing fear, bodily tension and watching the anxious, limiting thoughts arise.

Every time I passed a semi-truck, I talked to myself about how wide my lane was, how protect I was by universal energy. I thanked the driver for safeguarding me and being aware of the presence of my 2003 golden Nissan with the Buddha on the dash board.

“Drop your tongue down,” I would tell myself. To release the energy in my jaw, to keep my face from clamping shut in fear, the tongue drop works beautifully. “Soft hands, ” I would tell myself. My hands upon the wheel would loosen and I noticed the tension in my neck and back would lessen. The car engine, the universal field were the power and it wasn’t my grabbing instinct that was keeping me safe.

The tomtom got me to Naropa and from there I asked directions to Snow Lions. The mix up was amazing. I had been assigned three different room numbers over a few weeks. But I got the contract to fill out for my room and was told to come back after three.

Moving my suitcase into my room seemed rather awkward. It was full (because I am always packed for survival on the moon, after a nuclear war or stranded on an island). So I left the suitcase in my car trunk as a chest of drawers and stuffed underwear, makeup and jewelry into my back pack. Vital survival items. Oh and the four dresses and three pairs of shoes. Also very important for a Leo.

The Snow Lions was not an up to date, meticulously clean environment; however, my university friends tell me this is typical. My OCD started kicking in right away. Walking past the two large white lions at the entry way, I thought about where I could get glue to reattach one of the corners that had been knocked off. I eyed the central patio area and wondered how long it would take me to sweep the area clean. I had to quell the OCD fairey’s voice.

“Just do what you came here to do, ” I told myself. “Let everything else go. Let it go.”

I was in the dorm for two days before I figured out how to use the magnetized fob thing to get me in the door. I tried making one of the room keys work. So for the first two days, I stood outside the door and waited for someone else to open the door until I could observe how to work the gizmo on my own. What a metaphor for the last two years. Standing in front of a door and just not being able to figure out how to work it. Yes. That is it!

The beds were small with a thin mattress but I didn’t care. The classes were inspiring. The people that surrounded me were creative spirits who had made a voyage out of their lives. Some were from small towns in Alabama, Texas, California. Some had grown up with racial discrimination with learning disabilities, with an angry household and yet each of these people had kept writing, had kept learning and had honed his or her skills. I felt as if my entire body was on fire.

Tracie Morris was the instructor for my section and when the short, fit African-American woman walked into the room we were in for a surprise. Her power revealed itself over the week. She was unfailingly kind and sensitive to each of the students in our group. There was no attempt to establish status. Her knowledge of writing, of performing, of the academic background of all that she presented simply poured out of her as she answered our questions. Twenty minutes into class, I felt as if I were in an Alice in Wonderland experience. Tracie’s stature just kept growing. At the end of the week, I captured some pictures of her and was astounded at the fact that she is fairly short. We lost that sense of her early on.

Her compassion and commitment to others is what most struck me. She genuinely wants to best for those around her. In my thirty years as a teacher, I can honestly say that I was blessed to be in a class with such a natural excellent teacher. She informed us that her meditative practice had taken much of the “edge” off of her personality. However, one knows that if it is needed she will step up and defend her beliefs with whatever it takes.

What did she teach me? She taught me that stature, status, reputation are irrelevant. She taught me that what is most important is to network with other souls on the same path as myself. Being open to working closely with others with an attitude of humility, is the quickest way to become better at the skills I have been given. Leave the ego behind and edit that sucker. Slice and dice. Go for the gut. Punch it out. But at the end of the performance, don’t leave them bleeding. Offer an after dinner mint with sweetness on the lips to complete the experience.

Be there for others, Tracie showed through example. Be fully and completely in the moment. Listen to others. Take classes. This woman has many prestigious degrees and yet she is constantly taking classes. Learn. Sit at the feet of others. Be open.

She taught us about breathing so there is power behind our words. She taught us about breathing so there is a strong connection to body passion in our words. She taught us about breathing so we can hear what our bodies are experiencing.

One of her exercises was to connect with an organ and talk to it. Many in my class connected with the liver: seat of anger. seat of stored grief. seat of unfair treatment. Poets…. yes it makes sense. Poets are called to speak out the grief and beauty of life. It makes sense.

My pancreas talked to me. According to Louis Hay the Pancreas is affected when life has lost its sweetness, when one is rejected. I have been like a Victorian heroine these last two years. Trailing through mind fog trying to find my purpose, passion and power, I picture myself in wafting gowns locked in a stone fenced territory. My pancreas I envisioned as a kind of meat baby, curled in fear under my heart.

This was a very powerful exercise and surprisingly clear in the message that we all experienced. After the visualization and breathing exercise we each wrote a poem message to the organ that was “talking” to each of us. The poems were powerful, lucid.

Tracie completed her lesson to us through her performance later in the week. Her rendering of “I’ve got you under my skin” with the voices of those sexually abused at Penn State was electrifying. She brought us to our emotional knees. I kept thinking it was more than I could take and yet it went deeper. She was merciless in her mercy.

Another influence on all of us was to spend the afternoon listening to panels or presentations by other artists. There was never a sense of the usual academic hierarchy. And I noted how incredibly effective it is to have someone stand before me who had simply made a choice to be who he or she wanted to be. To strike out into the world and make the heart’s statement without waiting for validation had been a choice. Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth put together his band and ruthlessly toured the world. Find others, say what you have to say, keep moving!

Laurie Anderson was so simple, direct, unassuming in person as she stood on stage in front of us. And then she performed. It was watching a kitten become a dragon. Her power and presence was transformative. She had one number in which she described her obsessive experience with a ouija board. In her first life…. pause… she was a raccoon. In her second life…. so gentle the voice…. she was a hat. The people in my row were laughing together. We looked at one another, we bent over with laughter. It opened us up. It opened us up to saying whatever came to mind, to standing on a stage saying whatever came to mind, to one another, to the flow of energy in the audience, to and from the stage. Laurie is a catalyst. She creates magic. Period. Period.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXyisdc6ggc&list=UU1sbb545hr0EwWCwEsntUNA&index=5&feature=plcp

The other teachers each took the stage: Caroline Bergvall, Toi Derracotte, Jena Osman, Bhanu Kapil, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Brad O’Sullivan, Claudia Rankine, Roberto Tejada, Anne Waldman and Matvei Yankelevich. It was like watching the Olympics of creatives. They each made it look so simple.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAIY_v8rzew&list=UU1sbb545hr0EwWCwEsntUNA&index=3&feature=plcp

The ability to take the gifts that the universe gave to you, find shelter in friends/networks and feed your flame was demonstrated for the students. Skill. Pushing through. Listening to your inner voice. Seeing setbacks as lessons. What better way to encourage students than to be authentic and open about your own journey?

I was filled with energy. I felt as if I had been hit by lightening, light en ing. When I read out my poetry in front of the school, teachers and other students came to me to tell me they liked my work. I sat in the audience with tears pouring down my face.

I was so grateful for the encouragement. I was so grateful to feel as if I was in the right place, with the right people doing what I was born to do. The stimulus was challenging and overwhelming but for the first time in almost three years I felt fully alive.

Finally, the message that Amiri Barake delivered stayed in my consciousness. Make it happen. Get out there and witness for a better world. Speak your truth. Be who you are without fear. Passion is a gift. Intensity is a gift.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIpAOGHW8T4&list=UU1sbb545hr0EwWCwEsntUNA&index=2&feature=plcp

Thank you Anne Waldman for creating and sustaining this transformative haven. Thank you fellow Naropa students for your diversity, your imaginative genius and your loving kindness. A creative center founded on compassion and keeping oneself humble is exactly what is needed as a “spark” in today’s world. I was lucky enough to be a part of that for a short period. Gratitude.
http://naropaswp.blogspot.ca/p/week-4-course-descriptions.html

Are We Open to the Lessons?

The air is moving through the house. The Sun is bright but turned down a few degrees as nature slides us into winter. I have completed the second edit of my anthology entitled Facing In: poems posted on Facebook 2011. Each page has from two to three short poems paired with an image from my art work.

varigated gladiola


This time, because the subject was specifically the observation of self, I used the close-up shots of flowers as the theme. Last time, the anthology Facing It was about the feeling of explosive disintegration of the old structures in my life.http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/facing-it-2010-to-2011-poetry-posted-on-facebook/15105587

So the second edit, is done. The art is selected. I am feeling much stronger as I move through my goals. Action itself is drawing me forward.

However, I am very pleased that I have not let the frenetic, robotic work addiction act as a medication for my grief. For the first time in my life, I have sat with my sadness and processed it. The time spent meditating and writing has helped me to reform myself.

So my intention is to work from an interior sense of desire rather than to drive myself forward like an oxen. And it is surprising how much gets accomplished without the release of adrenaline.

Strangely enough, a man came to my door today who had lessons to teach me. The reason he knocked on the door was fairly pedestrian. But he taught me a great deal. He reminded me about laying my burdens down in the Divine. He encouraged me to keep moving and rebuilding my life. Two years ago, his life was dismantled and he has gone on to build a more solid, spiritual and contented place to dwell.
I am learning that if I am quiet enough, the universe speaks.

So I continue to work on my second anthology, my photography images, to publicize my courses which I will be teaching at UBC-O Continuing studies and to encourage others to buy my first ebook.https://continuingstudies.ok.ubc.ca/course/category.php?id=55 The mixed media course will take students into the exploration of an entirely new concept.

Standing up in what and who I am means being able to believe that what I do is worth value. Moving forward with confidence and without ego is an admirable goal. I am encouraging myself to keep moving on that path.

Some of the courses which I intend to benefit from are Lee Harris’ energy workshop here in Kelowna.http://www.leeharrisenergy.com/

Another is an on line course through Hay House called entitled Cracking the Karma Code. http://www.hayhouse.com/event_details.php?event_id=1488

The third just came to me yesterday which is an on line extended class in Ayahuasca wisdom.http://evolverintensives.com/upcoming/jn-psychedelics-shamanism.html

I am in school. I am open to learning. What I learned today through watching others and myself is that if we put up defenses, we are not allowing the messenger to get through. Relax, accept, feel and speak from the heart. You can still go wrong. It can all go very wrong. But staying in a tight safe place is not growing. And I want to grow without having life show up with a battering ram and break down me down.

looking inward

Reboot

How many times in our lives do we say we wish we could start over? Well this last retreat week with Gabor Mate, a renown specialist in addictions and self destructive behavior, has given me exactly that opportunity.
But first let there be a warning, that we might get what we ask for.

After an intensive five days of examining the interior landscape of my life from childhood on, I feel exactly like what one participant described as, ” a new born colt”. The sensation is of just laying on the ground with the placenta kind of half on half torn off.

I am not ready yet to stand, walk let alone run. I have a knowledge that I will be stronger because of the process. I anticipate that I will go farther in my life with a real sense of being present and not dream-living as I call it. But for now I am shaky, weak, hesitant and only sure that I need to protect myself as I integrate that which I have seen of my own narration of lies.
First of all, I had the opportunity to connect deeply with the terror and abject desperation of a childhood that included abuse on all levels that can be named. To re-enter the state of helplessness with the memory of no one to protect me, no one to call out to was horrifying.

However, I had many around me who were what one participant called “psychonauts.” We were there for one another. We were there to witness and silently hold a space for the suffering of what others had gone through. There was no running in with sympathy which I learned is really about shutting the person down who is connecting with his or her pain. There was no hurry up and stop making me witness your distress.

Gabor lead us through a process of connecting deeply with our feelings, speaking our truth and allowing the other individuals around us to receive our truth. To say what you know of your life and to look at the silent flow of tears from the faces of those around you, is the only way to really understand that your grief is not distorted. It helps you to own that which happened to you fully.
Gabor is an irascible genius. His sure handed- way of leading you through the forest and camoflage of the story you have told yourself is a miracle to behold. Dozens of times, he repeated to us: “That is not a feeling”. My favorite moments were when we heard a horrifying story told in a flat, toneless voice with no indication at all about what the story teller was feeling: “The hell you say,” Gabor would exclaim. It brought laughter every time because we ALL totally identified with the speaker’s mind set. How else do you choose to love when you are at the mercy of this adult. You trade off your own right to feel so that you can attach. It is natural. It is normal. And it will destroy the child’s ability to lead a healthy life.
So how did those of us who were abused as babies, abandoned emotionally as children, raised in an atmosphere of lying and tension cope? We made it into a story. The purpose of the narrative was to allow us to attach to our parents so that we could survive. But now we are on our knees with anger and grief. Our lives don’t work. Some were dying; some had tried to kill him or herself. Some used anaesthetic which the society so helpfully encourages to dull the pain.

Now was the time. Some of us could not take living in the lie that what we were experiencing was  a “normal” life any longer.
Never in my life have I witnessed so much courage. We sat hours each day feeling our way through the interior blackness and confusion to find our own truth. And all around us waited with loving hearts. No matter how outrageous and unbelievable the narrative was which unfolded, we sat still with it and received it.
What I learned from this process is how strong I am. The choice I made to continue to live and be in the world was heroic. The choice of many of those babies who were drugged, given away to unloving caretakers, left to cry alone in a dark room to keep going was heroic.
Today I am beginning to recover more strength and I am beginning to go out into the world again. But I will never be the robotic, senseless intellectual that I once was.
The curtain has been lifted. And my story has been validated. The shame that I carried for not being loved was huge. Twenty-four people formed a week of truth and now can live in the world with presence and a commitment to feel their own emotions so that they don’t project them on to others. Those who willingly opened to this process  are less likely to hurt those around us, to transfer our pain outwardly. It is a new way of being in life. The path is difficult. It takes focus and concentration. The result is that we can finally be genuine, present and loving beings. Because it is a choice that we made at Crazy Camp.
Gabor has taught us how to connect, deeply with what we are feeling in the moment. We are less likely to strike out, to feel superior because we really feel inferior or to hurt ourselves out of inwardly directed anger. We are not done on this journey but we have been taught skills.
I see myself as a colt struggling to get on my feet. But by God I will be running free with such strength as I have never had before in my life. My loving, courageous friends showed me how to be real. They sat with me, received me in their hearts and I know now, I am not alone.

Totem Child
Father flat beneath a slab in California
I am told.
Only rumors, his name never spoken,
I wear him in my body.
Never say it, nameless Shaman.
Bruised decoratively
hidden in my crib, my bed,
from eyes, from school,
waiting for the fading.
And bone deep
I wear his jewelry:
a neck ring restricts my turning vision
the vertebrate tattoed with cracks.
The fury of his hands pulled my sections
separating self-from-self
I left myself for him.
The fury of his hands
strangled me from my initial form,
jerking my body backwards
incapable of doing any more than going limp
watching my own trailing helpless legs
and arms
along the childhood hallways.
As if an afterthought, my collar bone
out of line, unattended under four year clothing
a healed shard, sticks up defiantly.
My reformed nose asymmetric, sculptured to his fist
remade me in the image
of his own abuse:
His father’s touch along his young boy’s body.
I was totem-carved
to his rage.
The family demon spirit renewed
itself in me.
I am the vessel of his wrath
rigid in an unsafe crib,
a baby listening for my maker’s steps,
coming to reshape me to his uses
his passing presence marked in x-rays
as puzzled doctors hold me up
to light.

piece for sale at Sopa Under 8 April 7th gala opening

Setting Intention

I am bathing my brain cells in CD’s, DVD’s, on line radio broadcasts, web sites that are all to one end. This time in my life is so clearly a falling away of the past and a moving into a new way of existing in the world. Much of what I have read or experienced in the past provides me with direction. It is easier to read the map now that delusions have fallen away.

piece I sold at Under 8 Sopa Gallery

Each day begins with meditation. I sit in the wonderful, turquoise green chair that was discovered  on a walk when I was still “married” and my husband brought it home. I light candles and incense and sit quietly. Sometimes I concentrate on my breath, sometimes I concentrate on concentrating on my breath, sometimes I watch my thoughts. What I have learned after over a year of daily practice is to not attach to non-attachment. That sly ogre under the bridge , the ego- troll waits. The grading or judging of the efficacy of the meditation is just the troll. It was good. It was bad. My mind was busy. All of these thoughts are unimportant. It is the sitting itself that is important.

What have I learned in the year:

I have learned not to judge my judging.

I have learned to have empathy and compassion for the pain I feel.

I have learned that my mind seeks narrative. (The seduction of a story draws me. I will…. story begins. I did…. story begins.)

I have learned that my childhood has left me with a deep seated feeling of emptiness that I crave to fill with thoughts and work.

I have learned that I can teach myself new skills by NOT moving.

I have learned that my tenacity and rigidity is a gift because once I teach myself, I will commit to a new pattern.

I have learned that tears will come when I think of those I have lost no matter how good or how damaged our relationship was, I still feel the loss.

I have learned that I can create a sense of safety and love by relaxing into the moment.

I have learned that by sitting still the day becomes calmer and I become capable of loving others.

My rituals also include writing five things for which I am grateful each day. I am surrounded by loving friends who have become more a family to me than my family ever was. My sisters call me on my delusions, applaud my victories which they fully understand are acts of courage, come to my side when I need one of them, answer my phone calls even when they are busy, check in with me every day, dream about me and most of all want the best for me. This is the gift that I have been given.

My children have been honest and kind to me through this tearing transition. I don’t know how many times I was raging with heart break and crying into the phone as my daughter held her crying baby and talked with her two toddlers. She never said, “Mom, I can’t talk.” She held me in her heart and listened even as she cared for her three children. After I became stronger, I laughingly said she had four whining babies to deal with all at once.

My son has given me his brusque, no holds barred opinion of how my last several years look to him. It is good to be moving into a place where we can be honest with one another as equals.

After I complete my gratitude journal which is a red linen book with the Chinese symbol for Happiness embroidered on the cover, I read affirmations. A few moments of reading the Tao of Pooh, the Tao, Walt Whitman or some other literary form deepens my practice before I step out to the day.

Lately, I have been feeling much stronger. I have a show up at the Unitarian Church that someone told me was “elegant”. I like that. April 1st I will hang a show at the Kelowna Blood Bank. Tomorrow I take three pieces to the Myths and Legends show downtown Kelowna. A Vernon art gallery will be hosting a Digital Artist’s show and I want to have three pieces up in that. Also in April, I have three pieces up for the Under 8 Show at Sopa.

Currently, I have completed an ebook called FACING IT; POEMS POSTED ON FACEBOOK 2010 to 2011. As soon as the ISBN arrives, I will load it into LULU and mash my way through getting a paypal button on this web site so that people can download it from here as well. Today I finished a book cover design for a poet named David Brydges. I have now done four book jackets for him, a web site and business cards. In addition, I completed several sketches for former students who purchased a really beautiful piece in my Canadian Beige series.

CAnadian Beige Circle 22 by 24 Mixed Media

I still have a couple of monologues to write for a theatre company in Sacramento. And the body…

My intention is to get my body very strong. Why? Because. I. Want. To. So I am doing 150 crunches a day, lunges, squats, weights for arms and shoulders and (with great resistance) gone for two hour long walks this week. Patterns, breaking patterns. I have to tell myself…. I know you don’t want to go outside. I know you want to keep working but you can’t change if you don’t make changes. And when I talk to myself very, very gently I listen.

crunches can be worth it

Because I am a workaholic, I frequently have to pull myself back. Whoa Nellie. Step by step. The adrenal glands don’t need to be flooded. Doing without doing. Training. Being aware. Watching. What a journey I am on. And I know I am about to step into a new land very, very soon.

Does spring take courage?

With sun the dust returns.

The plants are gray with fuzz

they grew instead of leaves.

The windows are coated with handprints

of breathing air  pressed upon the glass

and underfoot

the necessary sand

that held us to winter walkways

has moved in

to make the house a beach.

We are on the shore of seasons.

Neither warmth nor winter’s shut down gratitude

Now is the restless season.

So many souls have

chosen to depart.

Spring takes an energy

depleted bodies

cannot find.

It is the cusp

of life and death.

I grieve the passing of so many

and wait for the sun

to offer warmth as well

as clarity.

Often the sound of voice is all that is left

Often the sound of voice is all that is left

Wallace Stevens as I watch the bombings in Gaza

A world of violence gives way to hope

A world of violence gives way to hope

Another Weeping Woman
Pour the unhappiness out
From your too bitter heart,
Which grieving will not sweeten.

Poison grows in this dark.
It is in the water of tears
Its black blooms rise.

The magnificent cause of being,
The imagination, the one reality
In this imagined world

Leaves you
With him for whom no phantasy moves,
And you are pierced by a death.

Thursday in the Okanagan: Autumn poem

Leaves gone

the pieces of golden yellow

ripped from  trees

reveal

the grey sky hanging bare

Just overhead

ceiling off  summer Optimism.

inside all alone

dim in small rooms

cut off from neighbours by the cold

until the snow,

when we will shovel our paths

to meet

and complain over

sand and salt piles

warming to the topic

of the weather.

Self portrait paper 18 x 24 $200