Monday, May 31, 2004

tiptoe thru rain drops.

Well it IS raining today.

I've been pondering as I often do. I spend way too much time on it occasionally.
But nevertheless, here is what I'm wondering today....How do you find a fine balance between the need to seek and/or create some kind of beauty in your life and the feeling that you should give some of your time and energy to actively making the world a better place. I realize there are some very subjective statements there but I think for the purpose of argument I can leave them. I mean, really. How do you figure this stuff out?

I know intrinsically that creation and an appreciation of creation keeps the gears oiled. But since we seem to be living in such a volatile time, exacerbated by the widening gap between the "haves" and the "have nots" it seems important to work towards peace and quality of life. I am not entirely sure how to do this. I try to take some action online politically when an opportunity presents itself, I try to speak up, clearly and honestly when narrow mindedness is blatant in my midst. I genuinely try to count my blessings, which sometimes has the undesirable effect of reminding me how little some folks have but...I still try. I genuinely make an effort to be a good human being. Its not routinely easy. I try never to lie. It keeps life simpler. I don't have very good short term memory so if I were to lie in layers or anything I would soon get caught in my own web.

But I seem to digress. Maybe the short question here is this: is it fair or correct or appropriate to plan to just take all your time to wrestle beauty from pathos? Is it practical to spend my time in a selfish quest to create stuff? Wether its writing or collage or a quest for an elusive personal aesthetic? How will that promote goodwill towards humanity? How will it slow global warming? How will it end hunger? How will it patch the hole in the ozone layer? How will it improve our education system? How will it stop the unnecessary slaughter of wildlife? How will it rescue our oceans? I could go on and on and on? I think I really need an answer to this...even if its not the "right" answer.

Sunday, May 16, 2004


I am "In Praise of Slow". The title of a book talked about on NPR the other day. I was comfortable being slow today. Too often I am distracted, rushed, my attention splintered.

I am learning, paying attention to my clear thoughts.

It has been particularly hectic and busy lately. It has been both pleasurable and maddening. I am trying to decipher what is pleasurable and fulfilling from the blur. I need to choose how to spend my time and energy rather than falling into an activity.

I've been feeling like I lack faith. Well, that's not right, I lack a vehicle, a ritual to connect me with the powers larger than myself. I have isolated myself. I have not prayed for ages becasue I have lost access to the words.
As I struggle to carve pockets of time to write I realized that was the vacuum. Writing is my relgion and I had discarded it. I am unable to subscribe to an organized religion, an authoritarian system of belief. Writing is my connection to the universe. It is the umbilical cord tethering me to everything. I haven't been tapping it. And my equilibrium has tangibly suffered.

I get overwhlemed by the multiple voices clamoring for attention. Mostly they are versions of my voice telling me all thats wrong and what I could/should be doing instead of what I'm doing. A self flagellating merry go round. I am certain that giving my writing an open page will open my heart.

Friday, May 07, 2004

a work in progress

I started throwing images on paper to deal with some's what's
working itself out.

The blunt ache
of raising a son
Whose father
abandoned him
seeking gold and Nirvana
of the needle
the snort
the comfort of hops.
We ride a roller coaster
Subtle undulations
of hormones
the mistrust of age.
There are moments
each day
my heart is delicately
sliced open
lemon juice
dripped dripped
into the wounds.

I forage
thru my experiences
to find a salve
a reckoning
a bread crumb trail
of reasoning.
I implore
the forces larger
than myself
for strength
for tenderness
for the right words.

some stuff

I so often get wierded out by the full moon and don't realize its the full moon until I see it glaring at me from the sky.

It gets me all jittery with an erratic energy. It makes me want to produce and be creative and productive but its also distracting. It makes me want to party and dance and flirt. Its a disturbing mixture. But once I realize its the moon then I can calm down and try to channel it a little bit.

Its particularly intense this phase becasue I'm charged up from the fairy festival. There is something so welcoming and restorative about the festival. I don't know what it is. I know its partly because its staged on an organic farm and its very rural and unsophisticated, the grass is untreaded and wild and the trees are full and unmulched and there are little groves and streams and it retains some wildness.

Its also becasue many peple are uninhibited in their dress and freely express themselves. Its wonderful. There are folks who sort of "cheat" and wear their renaissance fest outfit and just add wings. There are people who have clearly spent weeks plannig and designing theie outfit-spectacular fabrics and textures and makeup and wings that express some element of their personality.
There are the most folks who maybe purchase bits and bats pre-made but try to make it their own.
There are club kid fairies and goth fairies and Mary Engelbreit fairies and wiccan fairies and "ren fest" fairies. Old, young, men, women, transgenders, children, farmers, yuppies, crazy is really the most diverse mixture of people I know of.

The majority of the crafts are high caliber and express originality. Fabric work, painting, ceramics, stained glass, jewelry, leather craft...a good selction. And of course food.
I take 1 or 2 quick ganders of the merchandise,than find a good shady spot and park myself to watch the delightful parade of humanity.

It invigorates me, it makes me want to create myself. It makes me want to make stuff. I unfortunately don't have an art work space at the moment and most of my art supplies are scattered haphazardly around the house. I want to consolidate it but I seem to keep getting embroiled in daily house maintenance and not these projects. Do they have a creative people maid service? One that knows what piles to move and what piles to keep? A maid service that just vacuums, cleans toilets and mops and doesn't try to dust around the found fabric flowers, the dishes of beads, the rocks my daughter collected, the dozens of snipped magazine pictures, the stacks of hastily scribbled notes that aren't organized yet, the handbags that dangle from the banister, the mushroom birds and insects that are waiting for their purpose, my tiny stuff collection that spills out of its shadow box, the baskets of junk that haven't been sorted yet? Is there a maid for this kind of household? Because if there is I would hire them immediately and get to work on creating the dining room table/work bench I just dreamed up.

Holy Grail

of people watching today-the Faery Festival. Think cross section of humanity with homemade wings. Also some cool art work/craft work.
PArt of what frustrates me artistically/creatively is a craving for instant gratification but I think this may be rooted in my self esteem/insecurity issues.

I have some ideas for some cool jewelry sculptures. I just don't know how I'll undertake them with Sophie wanting to "help". I want ot play before I lose the images.

I am a little behind on my writing schedule but i gave my self permission. I will get back in the saddle now that Carm's schedule isn't so wacky this week.

And since I don't have anything else to do i've decided the living room needs to be a different color. But that will only be two full days of work at the very most. I think it will be worth it.

Today was also a reminder that caffeine really screws with my mental balance. I drank two cups and I am just whacked. I wasn't thinking since the hot sun was beating on me and the frozen mocha cappucino machine was calling my name...


I'm sunburned, stiff and slightly disappointed. The festival is over. It ran as smoothly as roller skates but there were only about 20 guests there to enjoy it.
Weather was superb, the live music was a real treat and all the vendors were delightful to work with.

It was much more like a a party than a festival.
I have little doubt that next year will be a much different event. Everyone was adamant about returning next year and bringing friends. That did make me feel better.

All the vendors I contacted at the last second who were uable to attend also intend to set up next year. We'll see what happens.

I've hatched another idea for a couple months away. I think it will be a lot of fun. I still need a good name for it. It will be an extreme cuisine/Iron Chef sort of deal to kick off our BugFest. We'll invite half a dozen reknowned local chefs to prepare meals in front of paying guests. There will be some mystery ingredients. The mystery ingredients will be insects!
Of course we'll also offer some "traditional" food but I thought that would be a unique event.

I've got some paperwork to follow thru on this week. Boring data entry stuff and then my nights will be for writing.

The computer issues seem to be sorted out now thankfully! It was getting extremely frustrating.

This not a rhetorical question

How! do you find a balance between the "passive", independent nature of a writing life with a need to be a human being engaged in life?
They seem mutually exclusive.
I know writing requires a life lived or one's writing has no energy or vitality.
But how do you manage time for the solitary work and "daydreaming" that writing requires and interactive, social, goal oriented endeavors?
When I am in the midst of event planning, for example, my mind often feels like its in a state of quiet clamoring. It is much more difficult to find the subtle focus that channels my quality writing.
My writing is important and satisfying but so is the feeling of being engaged in an active project. I want to find a way to become more focused and organized in my "chaotic" work and use that sense of accomplishment ot help propel my writing. USe it to give my writing vim and vigor.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

A Word Faery excercise

FYI-Word Faery offers a random list of words to kick start your writing motor. These words can dbe used in any fashion. Here is a poem using the following words:

toothsome, repast, aroma, eyes, lips, spices, passion, simmer, delight, plunge, sauce

A Meal

I feel my eyes simmering,
As he approaches.
I imagine many
Spices, lingering
On the surface of his skin.
Yes, that’s what he is.
A delight.
His aroma,
Encircles me,
My thoughts plunge
To places of darkness
And passion.
His lips alone,
Would make a repast,
See how he moistens them,
As if
Concocting a delicate sauce.

Saturday, January 31, 2004

I'll probably be branded a heretic

but it occurred to me while I was reading the Bible in Lego Brick ( that if Jesus were to have the last supper now, with the Disciples, and talk about eating his body and drinking his blood, a doctor would have diagnosed him with a mental illness and given him medication very quickly. What does that say? That Jesus was potentially just a nut or that we've lost our capacity for wonderment at the unique? I favor the latter. Although if I were in a particularly bitter and cynical mood I might say I favor the former.

Now, please don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against Jesus. I think he had a wonderful set of teachings. It was just a thought that crossed my mind and I thought the concept was interesting. A great "what if" premise. What if Jesus was juat sent to the asylum instead of martyred? How different would the world be today?

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004


I am deliriouly happy the sun is shining again. Its still cold and icy and snowy but there is sunshine. Delectable, radiant sunshine. I wish I could throw the windows open and let in some fresh air. I feel like I've been livivng in a cave the past few months.

I am so much more motivated when the sun is shining. When the sun doesn't come out its like I am in low key hibernation mode. I have been successfully keeping the winter blues at bay by spending time in my electric yellow didning room/office and going outdoors at least for a few moments a day.

I am simultaneously delighted and overwhelmed that I have projects on my plate. Some of them are mundane and ordinary things I do around the house....paint and spackle, laundry done completely (put away as well as washed) cooking. But I also have a business venture project with my son. Well, its only an idea at this point but he's been committed to it. Well, during the days off school his commitment lagged, but i won't hold that against him. AND we have a officially launched Intrigue Magazine! I am really excited about this. Its actually a project I've fantasized about for quite some time.

I know the tribulations of my organization crusade are rather dull but it is consuming a signifcant part of my energy-physical and intellectual. I must be making a modicum of progress because it didn't take me a month to clean for Eric's bday party the other night. It was reasonably presentable in an hour.

I've even made some headway thru the many stacks and folders of misc. papers I've saved. I emptied one basket and created some more elaborately piled piles. I am an information packrat. I am always afraid if I throw that 6 year old artist/vendor business card away I will need him for a festival I'll be invited to plan. Now, I haven' planned a festival in at least three years. So you think I'm safe? I don't think so. As soon as I throw the card away the universe will go into overtime producing a reason why I will be planning a festival.

I guess the real question lies in wether or not I want to plan a festival? Problem is, I can't decide.

And so goes the merry go round of my information piles.

And books. don't eve nwaste your breath asking me to get rid of books. Even badly written or useless books. I just can't do it. I can give the maway. But I can not throw one away. I've tried recycling one but I still felt guilty. Books are sacred or something to me.

Speaking of sacred, I 've decided I need a little more ritual and beauty in my life. I haven't yet decided what that will involve. I feel like maybe once this organization maelstrom is finished I can start contemplating some routines...maybe consistent yoga or write everyday or meditate. I want to get back to my walking. Running up and down stairs a dozen times although cardiovascularly healthy is not conducive to meandering thought. Walking is superb for that.

I also joined the climbing gym. I 've climbed once so far and was dismally disappointed in my performance. I know its been over (gasp) 20 years since the last time Irocked climbed, but geez, I thoguht I was in a little better shape. The up side of this is I know that if I stick with climbing I WLL GET BUFF. It works everything. I like thefact that you feel like you've accomplished sometihng with your body when you get to the top of the wall. And you are only competing with yourself.

Oh yeah, I baked two loaves of bread last night. It was a box mix sort of...I still had to knead it and mix the yeast and wait for everything to rise. I refuse to pay 4$ for a loaf of bread that doesn't have hydrgenated oils or high fructose corn syrup in it. I will just bake it myself. ( I don't know how practical this declaration is but I am declaring it anyway).

So, I've got a lot on my to do list but thats when I'm happiest. At least thats what I've come to believe.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004


while sitting in my truck
parked by the curb
squeezing a quiet moment
out of my daughter's
car seat nap
the mundane
was split
as I gazed noncommitally
thru the windshield
a shape approached overhead
I assumed a gull
something commonplace
but instead
like destiny aimed at my being
a young
red tailed hawk
bulleted towards me
nearly eye to eye
and swooped slightly
and over the roof of my truck
giving me a crystalline glance as his soft
beige and tawny speckled belly.
It was perfectly beautiful
in its surprise
in the way it punctured
my distractedness

it made me feel glad to be alive
to appreciate the moment
its fleeting nature
I needed that quick gasp
the moment of pure surprise.

Death has been lurking
both parents
having heart
episodes and/or surgery
a remembered dream of my mothers' death
an NPR show
today, interviewing an author
who discussed his multiple
brushes with death
excerpts of a poet who
though aged
is not afraid
only assured of Death
feels lucky
and thankful to be alive
violent highway accidents
this week
immobilizing traffic
the flu
trying to walk the fine line
protecting my toddler daughter
from danger
and forfeiting
my teenage son
his experience
the dark certainty
that the weak and helpless
children, elderly,
are routinely
lost to this world
all of the clamoring
to rid the world of terror/ists
beef up security
close the borders
this race to protect our citizens
our homeland
the bottom line
we're trying
to push away
our inevitable death.

Monday, January 19, 2004


after a long, long hiatus, we had a FAMILY evening last night. It was completely unplanned and very low key. BUT, we were all in the same room together, engaged in a goofy tv show. Eric wasn't being held there against his will, Carm wasn't badgering him, I wasn't nagging and Sophie was totally cheerful. It was completly and totally pleasant. I wish I knew how to recreate it but I won't try too hard. I tried to bathe consciously in the glow of the moment. But I did want to record the occurence of said moment for posterity.

Monday, January 12, 2004


This is the crappiest time of year for me. I suffer from the winter blues. Its totally because the days get short and I can't stand it.
So this year I am trying to be logical about it and use the time I feel stuck inside to really get my home in order. My family and I are veteran pack rats. Slobs, although I have made some remarkable strides in modifying that behavior.
I've managed to keep my sink unluttered for nearly a week
( however i confess i haven't done much cooking this week).
I've also made the bed every day this week which NEVER happened before here or anywhere I lived my entire life. SO see, there is some progress.

I just read an interesting novel called Juniper Tree Burning. I was drawn to it because the main character had an uncharacteristic childhood and I wanted to see how she wrote about it. I enjoyed her choice not to relate a chronological timeline but to flip flop between past and present. It worked for the story.

Unfortunately it dredged up some of my wierdo past and i had a hard time sleeping some nights. Just because you always wonder if you've made the right choices, and you wonder what kind of dominoe effects you've set into motion. I think one is probably much more prone to that kind of evaluating if you have kids of your own. You SO worry about your actions and the consequences it has for your children.

I also have a problem sometimes with noticing the anguish that exists on the planet. It seems as if there should be a clinical term for a condition that is characterized by too much empathy for suffering. It wouldn't be so bad if I picked a cause and made some contribution to it wether my time or my money, but I don't, I am paralyzed by the enormity of the situation.
This isn't to say that I am depresed and unable to function-its just that I get waves of wondering why the dark side of life has to be so dark. Why do kids have to suffer? Why are people who inflict pain so often just another round in a cycle of pain? How can those cycles be broken? can they be broken?

And then I wonder how can I organize my art supplies in a way that are accessible to me but not to my daughter Sophie? How will I get the Christmas decorations put away in an orderly way without her "helping" me? What do I do with all these different piles of information I've saved in case I need them and they seem only to be taking up space?

What do I do with all the pages of notes for the different business ideas I've had? What do I do with all the tiny pieces of paper I wrote on in the numerous awful desk jobs I've had, that mostly complain about said horrible desk job? They might contain some jewel, some kernel of unrealized truth?

And finally, what do you do when the identity you've worn for so long doesn't seem to fit anymore? How do you shed dead skin painlessly and without regret?

Any insights appreciated

Friday, January 09, 2004

getting a grip

Slowly, ever, so painfully slowly, I am getting a grip on the some of the feeling of chaos in my life. I feel like I get two steps forward and fall four steps back a lot, but it works out to incremental progress nevertheless.

The thing I've learned about myself is that it can take me forever to select a goal. I've had a couple year stretch now of flopping around in a sort of goal less void. Of course I have the daily goals, wash dishes, read, that sort of thing. and the big broad goal-keep my kids in good shape-but I didn't have a specific, attainable goal for myself. The nice thing is that i can feel something evolving. I'm getting the tiniest whisper of a desire for a project.

BUT before I give this project full room to romp and play I have commanded myself to get this place organized!