Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Every day's an invitation

Every day's an invitation, as the light begins to rise,
to look at your surroundings anew;
to see what's bloomed since last you paid attention,
to see what might be dying, or what's ripe for the plucking;
new fruits to feed your soul, new stumbling blocks,
new paths when all the old ones have grown stale...
perhaps today you'll walk another way.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The forest of regret

Don't be afraid to venture into 
The forest of regret -- 
there's much it has to teach you.
But don't camp there for the night
Or build yourself a shelter there:
Prolonged exposure can be hazardous to your health.

Monday, September 28, 2015


To be here, to be fully present;
to hear the lapping of the dog's tongue
as he licks his wounded paw;
to savor the taste of the coffee you just brewed;
to sense, through shuttered eyes, the flickering candle;
to breathe the scent of the rose;
to feel the thrum of energy that echoes 
beneath the beating of your heart --
to know, if only for a moment,
that intimate connection with all that is,
that ever was, and ever shall be, Now.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Come sail with me

Come sail with me.
Come sail into the clouds, and together we'll remember 
all the joy that we once shared, and light candles on the stars
to guide us safely back to the shores of hope.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

In gratitude

So grateful -- 
as the days grow short and darkness looms -- 
for these last explosions
of light, of grace, and color.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The heady scent of love

Each moment we're alive is a gift.
Untie the bow, peel back the wrap of time,
reach in and grasp the present,
lift it up, and breathe it in:
the heady scent of love.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Drink deep

Dig in, my friend;
drink deep of the nectar of life, 
that sweetness that lies at the heart of our fragility.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Feeling burned out

Yesterday was my husband's birthday, a fact which didn't enter my brain when I was scheduling some of the events that currently fill my days.

So, feeling a bit guilty -- though he really doesn't care all that much about honoring birthdays (a fact that's troubled me off and on over the years when my own birthday rolled around) -- I got up, meditated, and then left at 8 to drive over the bridge to the bakery in Poulsbo to pick up the date-filled bearclaws my husband loves.

I hit rush hour traffic (folks on the Kitsap Peninsula who work in Seattle need to cross our island to catch a ferry to work) on the way back, so it was after 9 when I got home, but I'd used the times my car was at a standstill to load "When I'm 64" onto my iphone, so I was able to go into the bedroom and wake him with that song and his bearclaws before heading into the shower: I needed to be at the local broadcast studio at 9:30 to record a podcast about the benefit we're putting on this Sunday for the wildfire victims in Eastern Washington.

The day pretty much continued at that pace: On the road at 8, shower at 9, podcast at 9:30, back home by 11, walk the dog, breakfast, blog, do the writeup and the first round of audio editing for the podcast, take an interview call from the local paper at 2, walk the dog, put together a collection of images and information for the reporter and email those off, snack, drive off to check on our old house (due to close next month) and pick up what mail is still delivered there, draft a writeup for another podcast which needs to go out today, dinner, walk the dog, publish the podcast, then leave for a friend's house to participate in a play reading for a local playwright's new play, back after 10 to walk and feed and walk the dog, then learn that the flood certificate for our previous home has expired and the furnace inspector never noted his inspections on the furnace and the contractor never installed the carbon monoxide detectors he promised. Sigh.

Like this fruit packing plant in the town we're raising money for, I'm feeling a little burned out.  But I like thinking that as we drift back and forth over our days, between burned out and energized, the resulting fluctuations in the light we emanate becomes a kind of shimmer, a sparkle; that to be a steadier light source would actually be a little boring...

And yes, we'll get around to celebrating my husband's birthday at some point.  Like my birthday, and our anniversary, we're holding it all in tension until that house sells.  Once it does, assuming it does, we'll take off somewhere and hold a grand celebration.  But don't hold your breath: it may be a while...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Let's gather again

After we've climbed what hills there are to climb,
let's gather again at the bottom at the end of the day
to gaze out over the rocks and sea
and celebrate our friendship: all we've done,
all the joy that's yet to come and all we're meant to be.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Following your heart

After painting those fiery paintings last month, I decided to auction them off to raise money for wildfire relief.  One thing led to another, and now there's a whole event planned for next Sunday, with musicians, and wine, and cheese, and other participating artists, and a talk by the fire department... It's a big deal.

Luckily, I'm not doing it alone -- lots of people have stepped up to help.  But when the opportunity to go to the fire site and hear about recovery plans arose yesterday, I decided to take it.

So my husband and I packed up the dog (and his bed, and his food, and his insulin, and his antibiotics) and piled it all into the car and headed for Chelan.  The meeting was full of useful information, and the drive, as you can see, was spectacularly gorgeous.

Sometimes you just have to follow your heart -- and you never quite know where it will lead you!

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Though the road ahead may not be very clear,
There is a path. 
Slow down a bit, be patient,
And you'll surely find your way.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

What bright or subtle hues

Like the water that we're made of, 
we've a tendency to reflect the colors that surround us.
What bright or subtle hues 
will you gather round -- or share with us -- today?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Give us new ears

We are so quick to criticize.
What if we were to listen for 
the heart beneath the foolishness, the fear below the fury, 
the true hunger that lies behind the greed?
Give us that broader, kinder ear,
that we might hear and soothe the tragedies
whose bitter songs drown out what good intentions we might have
and taint the actions we find hard to love,
both in ourselves and others.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Open our hearts

Like the flowers,
we welcome the rain and the light,
opening our hearts to greet 
whatever nourishment comes our way.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Night welcome

Even in the darkest night,
I will watch over you, keep a light on to guide you
and put out the red carpet to welcome you home.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fullness or perfection: you choose

 I've been reading this morning about the difference between striving for perfection and striving for fullness, and it struck me that these two paintings, painted over the last couple of days (my first foray back into the studio after shoulder surgery; yay!), serve as a perfect illustration.

The one on the left, Low Tide Afternoon, was painted first, and follows the sort of general pattern I'd established before the surgery; just trying to use favorite colors to create an impression of waterfront. 

But it was bland, and frustrating, and as I tried to offset the blandness I kept falling back on old solutions; things that had worked before, and it kept getting more and more representational, though that had not been my intent.  In fact, it was my reluctance to attempt representational art that kept me from painting for so many years.

At some point I declared it done, knowing there are some people who are more comfortable with representational art, and -- having already decided where I wanted it hung (which was what determined its size, orientation and colors) -- I put it up.

But I wasn't happy with it.  And the more I thought about that, the more I thought I needed to take a big step in the other direction; to just slather some paint on a canvas for the pure joy of it.  So that's what I did yesterday, and this is the result.  I call it "Sailing before the Wind."

I'm not saying this is a great painting, only that I like it much more than the other one.  And I think it's because I was striving for fullness, not perfection.  I chose colors that made me happy, adding them where it felt right, using strokes that left textures that appealed to me.  There were no shoulds in this work, just the sheer joy of color, stroke, and texture.  And, frankly, I'd much rather live with this painting than the other.

I remember, in a college art class, being assigned to draw a flower.  I ran out of time before the assignment, never made it to the conservatory, and so I drew an imaginary flower.  The instructor was not pleased -- and I think after all this time I finally understand why.  I was drawing my idea of what a flower was supposed to be, creating for a future audience (the teacher) based on past assumptions.  I wasn't responding to something that was here, now, and it suffered from that: it didn't have the depth or focus you can get when you're totally present in the moment.

Fullness?  Or perfection?  It's a choice we get to make over and over.  What will you choose?

Monday, September 14, 2015

From absence to presence

Why do we linger in the ruins of desire,
rooted in the absence of what was never meant to be?
Step away from the shadows of betrayal, pain and loss
and discover the bright promise
that lies waiting in the presence of the Now.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

New Vistas

Each time good news arrives, and then is snatched away,
we learn to trust a little less
that things will always go our way --
or is it that we get another chance 
to see how loss can open up new vistas?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Faced with a decision

Faced with a decision?
Find the stillness that lies deep within your soul
and let the choices shimmer there
until the fog of indecision lifts: just know
that given time and space, clarity will emerge.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Haunted by absence

Haunted as we are by the absence of belonging,
we reach outward for what can only be found within.
Pull back those outstretched fingers;
turn your palm to face you, see the lifelines there,
and place them gently, tenderly over your heart.
Feel the warmth that pulses deep within you,
and know the love that brought you life,
that flows through and around you,
and someday, when your time on earth is done,
will carry you on your final journey home.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The light you see

The light you see in me
is simply a reflection
of the light that shines in you

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The mystery of twilight

Welcome the mystery of twilight,
when the bright white light of day recedes
and all the shyest colors have the courage to emerge,
breathing whispers of acceptance 
to illuminate our path into the dark.
Drink deep of their bravery,
then sink safely into the silent arms of night.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Feel the warmth

Come: lift your face to the light
and know the warmth of my love...

Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day

Your labors, however tedious, 
have brought you to this place.
Rest now, and celebrate 
the good that you have done 
and the good that's yet to come.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Time to heal

 It's time to heal: not to re-open ancient wounds,
But simply to re-visit them; to kiss them, 
and release their gifts to the wild enchanted breezes 
that aerate the darkest corners of your soul,
and brush a streak of color across the canvas of your life.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Enchanted by a swan

A glance from a shop window,
a chance reflection, passing by,
and I am caught, enchanted by a swan,
and carried back to a time when we lived by a lake,
where the swans would gather in the the morning
and trumpet us awake, their sweet baritones resounding
across the water, striking echoes in our hearts...
Is that not the gift of art -- 
that it awakens long-lost memories of love?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Echoes of joy

Seasons end, and we clip our brightest memories,
place them in a jar til they begin to droop and fade,
then tuck them into albums to be visited now and then --
the feelings they evoke cause bursts of color in our hearts
and then subside: echoes of joy reverberate, eternal, in our souls.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Find a way to bloom

Though you may be feeling a bit fenced in right now,
I feel certain you'll still find a way to bloom...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Hang in there, and be patient.
Though you're tied down at the moment,
you were born to sail free. 
A time will come before too long
when you'll be back in your element,
bobbing on waves of light
and heading off to new adventures.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The tide of health

The obstacles to healing seem insurmountable at first:
just trust that with time the tide of health will rise
and carry you through.