Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Listen as the blossoms fall

Come, sit with me:
we'll listen as the blossoms fall
and coat the earth with color.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Just in Case

How committed are you?
Are you in for the long haul,
or do you have an escape plan tucked away,
just in case something doesn't go the way you hoped?

Sunday, May 29, 2016


I was so pleased yesterday: not only did I complete a painting, start to finish, but it was all mine, not driven by something I'd seen or photographed, or by someone else's artwork, but just an honest, moment to moment interaction between me and the canvas.

The feeling we shared, the painting and I, was surprisingly intense. And to be honest, it was a bit unnerving. When I was done, I went to my husband and said, "Honey? I think I may have just painted a vagina..."

"Do you even know what a vagina looks like?" he asked. "Perhaps you should let me be the judge of that?"

I won't bore you with the amusing discussion that followed, but it was dinner time, so we eventually moved on to other things, watched another episode of Frankie and Grace, stuff like that.  At the end of the evening I went back to the studio to put the cat down for the night, and, out of curiosity, I took another peek at the painting -- and realized that it was one of THOSE paintings.

Let me explain: twice before, when I've painted solely in response to the canvas and where my heart leads, current events have taken shape. Once it was a tornado in Oklahoma, and then there were those two wildfire paintings, the ones that led to our putting on a benefit.

But this one broke my heart: when I went back to look at it again, it looked like a sort of heart-shaped impression of America, surrounded by storm clouds and split down the middle. And I had to realize that this time, when my soul had a chance to speak, it declared that my heart is breaking for my divided country.

It probably won't affect others this way, but I felt a huge welling up of emotion when I looked at it, sort of a "Jesus wept" kind of feeling: deep sadness for all the pain and anger I've been seeing.

So I told my husband it wasn't a vagina after all. Of course he had to go look, and when he came back he laughed. "That is NOT a vagina!" he said. "Actually it kinda reminds me of Yosemite..."

We all see what we care most about, I guess. But now it's official; I am broken-hearted over what's going on in my country. And I have no idea how to fix it.

It's at times like this that I'm grateful to be a person of faith. I'm hoping God can fix this. Because I sure can't.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Nest in the Heart

In a world of light and shadow
there's a place we can call home;
a nest in the heart where we know we will always be fed.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Enjoy the view

It's okay if the path you need to take
isn't all that obvious right now.
think of it as an opportunity
to stop pushing forward; to just enjoy the view.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The path within

A call to depth need not be a call to darkness:
to follow the path within might lead us
to comfort, and to light.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

These Golden Moments

Treasure these golden moments,
the quiet ones, when peace has settled in;
let them fill your heart 
so these sweet memories can sustain you;
so when you close your eyes you only hear
the crickets, and the lapping of the waves...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The song of cooperation

We cannot learn from books alone:
though they have much to teach us, 
there are lessons everywhere.
All nature sings its song of cooperation:
see how the leaves of the rose are cupped to hold the rain
so the butterflies and hummingbirds may drink...

Monday, May 23, 2016

What separates us

However different you and I may seem at first glance to be, 
the fact remains: what separates us is really pretty flimsy.
I suspect, if we were to dismantle this barrier between us,
we'd find a way to communicate
and discover that we have a lot in common...

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Each a stone

Each of us a stone,
each bringing her unique blend
of talent and integrity, beauty and strength
to build the foundation of the future,
supporting in solidarity a vision of unity,
enfolded in the mortar of love.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

We are the mountains

We are the mountains, created in the birthing and the growth
with our own unique patterns of resistance and vulnerability.
Experience the snows, accumulating in the dark winters,
melting in spring to carve ever deepening channels
in a rush of longing for the unity of the sea.
Creativity the rains, flowing down and through
and shaped by that passage onto canvas and page,
into instrument and onto stage, into life:
each expression with its own distinctive character and form.

Friday, May 20, 2016

On our knees

Sometimes the only way
We can possibly move forward
Is on our knees.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Dark travels

True: the road is dark and long,
But look! I see a light!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Where you were meant to be

Just because you can't quite see your destination,
And just because you can't detect any motion,
Doesn't mean you're not moving toward something new.
Not all change happens quickly,
(At least, not in the early stages)
And not all travels have predictable results -- 
which doesn't mean you won't end up 
exactly where you were always meant to be.

The Divine Embrace

However separate we are, when
Sharing in the Divine Embrace
We become a coherent and inspiring whole.

Monday, May 16, 2016

One with the earth

Let your eyes take you across the valley
to the trees and the mist beyond,
and then to the mountains, and the sky.
Is not all this a part of you, and you a part of it? 
Rejoice, then, and know 
there are more valleys, mists and mountains,
hills to climb and paths to find,
and each is part of you, and watching as you grow.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Storing up sunshine

Be like the flowers,
Storing up sunshine 
To brighten our cloudy days.

Soothing the soul

Feeling awash in gratitude for all who work
to bring such beauty into the world:
seeing such splendor, my soul is soothed...

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Radiant in our Brokenness

Who's to say -- in those moments
when we're fragile, shattered, exposed,
watching as our old lives peel away,
only to reveal the damages beneath --
that we are not still beautiful, radiant in our brokenness;
that somehow our example, our determination to continue,
doesn't inspire countless others to be brave?

Friday, May 13, 2016

The sting and the honey

Nothing's all bad or all good:
Nothing, no-one, not even you.
Wherever there's honey there's also a sting,
and wherever the sting is, the honey is, too.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Unafraid to be invisible

If you wish to be seen, heard, and respected,
you must be willing to be unseen, unheard, and disrespected,
or your thought processes will be so dominated
by the fear of what people will think
and by your efforts to garner approval
that the truth you bring into the world,
your truth, the truth that needs to be heard,
will lie ever dormant beneath your mask.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Return to the well

My first husband was a jazz musician, and one of the many attractions of the woman he finally left me for was that her ex-husband, with whom she still resided, had a terrific music studio with all kinds of instruments and recording equipment.

So at some point my ex rented the studio for a week, intending to make a record all by himself, as he could play most instruments and could get electronic renditions of those he hadn't yet mastered.

But after a week he was very disappointed in the results.  It emerged that however impatient he might be with the inferior calibre of the other musicians he worked with, he needed their input; needed that different way of seeing and hearing and being and playing in the world, and without that his work was dry and uninspired.

We artists need so much alone time to create that we tend to assume that's all we need; that to go out into the world is somehow an intrusion, an interruption to our creative process, when, in fact, we need the refreshment those interrupts provide.  We humans cannot grow alone; we need to be prompted by the interrupts of the world; need the inspiration provided by other ways of being and seeing. However irritating it may sometimes be, it's through that interaction with the rest of creation that our souls are truly fed.

And so this little song appeared in my head this morning:

You must return to the well, my friend;
You must return to the well.
The memory of water is never enough:
You must return to the well.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


First I'll choose a canvas, large --larger,
more ambitious than I've ever done before --
and cover it with black:
the dark mystery, the fear,
the wonder and the loss
that lies at the heart of being found.

Then comes the fire --
bright slashes, red, yellow and orange;
gliding slick across the black,
and when they overlap, the tension --
as it always does -- between opposing colors
gives rise to the rich texture
that begins to invite the viewer in,
both hiding and revealing
that dark seductive wound that lies beneath,

and then intention, sharp and clear:
here come the familiar, beloved colors,
layered on in confident and satisfying strokes...

But the canvas, larger than I've practiced with before,
takes energy, and my arm begins to tire,
but still I'm pouring on the color;
feel the subtle pull at overlap, and lift the knife
(ever so slightly) so the paint, which now begins
to have a mind of its own, can pull at itself, creating gaps
where the darkness and the flame that lie beneath can breathe through:
bright promises of all we might discover if we were patient,
looked hard enough and long enough until our eyes glazed over
like the glaze I now apply to smoothe that ruffled edge
delineating sea from sky, suggesting all that firmament,
those hills we've yet to climb --

and now the white, the inevitable, the clouds, some streaked,
some pulled, some brushed in circles to enhance their fluffy charm,
their gift of adding definition, bright reflections even as they cast
dark shadows on the sea that lies beneath --

but stop! You asked for sailboats, wanted that triangular suggestion,
the steady little masts, the wake behind, and though I try to follow through
that hint of man, with all its promises of struggle and dissension,
generations of deceit, labor and war -- I balk,
and after several attempts to add what you request,
I lay the knife and palette down, refusing to suggest
an interruption to the endless sea,
the spirit that now moves over the face of these still waters.
The waters that have gathered here together won't be sundered,
and I stop, and now declare it to be done.

Perhaps another day, on a canvas larger still,
a sphere, perhaps,
this process will begin again, the darkness and the flame,
the waters and the sky, and I'll have the strength to populate
creation with the consciousness that you so long to see...

Monday, May 9, 2016


Gratitude can be felt and practiced
anytime, anywhere, by anyone.
Stop. Breathe.  Appreciate.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to all who tenderly minister
to the needs of those around them.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

This great divide

How can we ever hope to cross this great divide
if neither of us is willing to build a bridge?
Take a minute today to say (or at least think)
something positive about (or to) someone you love to hate.

Friday, May 6, 2016

In the stillness

When evening comes, the heron carves his shadow on the sky.
In the stillness we can hear each other breathing...

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Wrapped in light

However far afield we travel in our search for what's real and true,
however lonely that road may seem to be,
remember this: the earth and the sky 
are always right there with you,
grounding you, and enfolding you in light.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What blend of words and silence

Having learned to speak as we learned to walk
we now find words a stumbling block;
that awkward curb that trips us up as we struggle forward,
torn between our need for independence
and our yearning for restoration to oneness.
What poem, what blend of words and silence
will lift us safely across that great divide?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

When Now returns

As light begins to dawn,
and the shadows of our worries
swim away into the dark edge of forgetfulness,
fog dissipates, 
and Now begins again to stake its claim upon our hearts.

Monday, May 2, 2016

What stories will you tell?

Just as the swan sings her final song
And the rose opens to expose her inner wealth before she fades,
We've stories we must share
Before we pass on to oblivion, but which?
What will you tell the world?
How will you choose the words
That make the maples blush,
encourage butterflies to dance,
Or help a bitter, angry man imagine kindness?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Come and be fed

Spring, and my new garden is ablaze,
crying out to the bees and birds its colorful language of love:
come to me, and be fed.