Friday, October 31, 2008

Feliz dia de los muertos
Well, it's finished. Bodhi is snoring away in bed while Shane and Owen are eating out at Chipotle debating whether or not to extend the festivities. I am home, gratefully liberated from my witches costume and eager for a shower. Shane and I arrived for a multiple family trick or treating spree---we were the only people over fourteen years old, in costume. To say that we felt a little silly would be understating it a bit. I tried to blend into the furniture for a few shifty minutes, then we just laughed and did what we do best... made full fledged asses out of ourselves.
As Owen would say, "It runs in the family".

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bodhi and I went for an early hike near Evergreen at Lair O' the Bear and it was spectacular. The weather blew memories of summer warmth across bared shoulders and the smell of willow filled our nostrils with an aching sweetness. A hike in the outdoors is more healing than a week at the spa or 15 hours of therapy. How lucky we are to live, surrounded by so much beauty.

The Obama rally was amazing and huge and energetic, with over 100,000 people and Shane, Bodhi and I snuck to the front of the line. HOW DEMOCRATIC IS THAT.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

mama love

Shane snapped this rare mama/Bodhi photo during a photo shoot for a new piece exploring time.

That dark phantom of tick-tock, has been spreading its wide wings across my form, creasing lines and furrows on otherwise taut and sultry skin. Kissing me like an unwanted lover, too strong and too impassioned for my taste. A pushy paramour, certain of my willing compliance. I resist in little ways, a cabinet full of creams and serums guaranteed to banish unwanted advances and yet my lover is inflamed with a lust for youth and keeps drinking it in despite my hurried beauty regimes.
I wonder if my resistance to the kiss and stroke of minutes and hours, isn't aggravating my condition. What if I simply stop fighting? That would be the greatest rebellion. To willingly enter time's bed chamber and embrace my insistent lover with wild abandon and unequaled passion, making love beneath the circling heavens night after night, too engrossed in our coupling to worry over the gentle hum of ticking in the background. Time's effect would no longer disgust, having thrown open the prison door we stand sweaty, lined and aging, accomplices, beloved.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

sunflower farms

We took a day trip over to Sunflower Farms in Longmont. It was a bit surreal, all these city-folks racing around on cellphones chasing after children who appeared to have ingested a gallon of caffeine and a pound of sugar. It had the vibe of an amusement park, but it was a farm, complete with goats, horses, pigs, llamas, sheep, chickens, donkeys, farm dogs and farm hands. I don't know. As I was standing there surrounded by all the busy people reaching for kodak moments and precious memories, I felt a bit cynical. We have come along way from a genuine connection to the Earth as source and sustenance when we can visit a farm with the same frenetic enthusiasm associated with Disneyland.
I did have fun though and the boys were ecstatic. We met up with our friends, picniced, chased our kids and snapped dozens of precious moments.

hiking green mountain

Thursday, October 16, 2008

a few reasons why i love shane

He just came racing into the kitchen, threw open the cupboard and retrieved a glass jar.
"What's wrong?", I ask concerned.
"O, there's a huge spider in my closet."
Of course he wouldn't kill the thing, partly because he knows I would cast an unfavorable eye on it, partly because his huge heart won't allow it.
He reenters the room with the empty glass and tosses Owen around like a bear cub, while Owen adoringly gazes up at him. Minutes later, hearing the blatant cries of an exhausted Bodhi, he sings a silly Daddy song well beyond the opening pitch of the Tampa Bay/Boston game.

I love so many things about this man, among them: his humor, his generosity, his caring and of course, his willingness to liberate a spider, without a second thought.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I am off to the hills for a few days to participate in our annual staff retreat. I will be leading a three hour encaustic workshop and my jeep is heavy with supplies. I was reading last night, for inspiration and to prepare for my talk, when I came across "wabi-sabi". Not a new term, to be sure, but one I have overlooked due to the distortions to which it is often applied (you know the slovenly hippish stereotype brandishing the zen of imperfection while eating day old pizza). For those of you who don't know, wabi-sabi(not to be confused with the sushi condiment, wasabi!) is a Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience, as noted in the Three marks (impermanence, suffering and egolessness) of Zen Buddhism. The philosophical focus is on a beauty, which is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete- touched by the "bloom of time". Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of life and living in the process rather than for the product.
This philosophy neatly encapsulates my view of art. Art is a process of discovery made interesting by the hand of time, the inherent errors and imperfections of its source and the materials used for expression. I often hear people say, I am no artist... I want to yell and scream, to grab them by the hands and bellow "YES YOU ARE". Art is a process of seeing as well as something to be seen. People often compare themselves to Michelangelo and thus have failed before they begin anything. How much better to adopt a wabi-sabi approach and embrace our imperfections at the onset... finding beauty in the lines on our faces and the weathered hands wielding brush and paint. How much simpler to look deeply at the beauty within us and around us and to impart that beauty, however imperfectly, impermanently, incompletely, into the waiting world.
So wabi sabi to each of you and I'll post again soon.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

early a.m. art makin'

I woke up before the crackling of dawn, while the rooster made love to the hen with moonlit abandon and the sandman had not quite finished tossing dust into the eyes of small children. I rolled out of bed and donned one of Shane's cozy fleece pullovers. I felt an urgent need to create, to splash color on page, to draw. I whipped out my latest UFP (unfinished project) and began a whirlwind of paint-etch-collage-draw and before the sun had begun to caress the expectant horizon, I was finished. Aaaaaaah, to gaze on a piece that has been signed and born, fresh, into the world---bliss indeed. This piece was created for a benefit auction, Art for Ethiopia. My newborn will be framed and donated in ample time for the November 8th show. I haven't displayed my work publicly in such a long time. I am a bevvy of mixed emotions: excitement, tension, pride, insecurity...and yet from the time I was a wee lass I have loved the act of making art. The thrill of creating and the freedom of turning yourself inside out to discover the underbelly of your gifts and bring them to the surface is an unspeakable joy.
Now all I have to do is to decide what to do with these few precious predawn moments before the house stirs with the persistent demands of my family.
Now that shouldn't be too hard.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

When I was a young girl, dreaming myself into being, I was always the star, the heroine or the unjustly accused.
I was Glenda the good witch (only occasionally Dorothy), Gretta (but a thinner version preserved from the oven), Thumbalina, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Repunzel and later Artemis, Persephone...and now?
As I lay in bed last night, I found myself struck with wonder by a strange realization... I feel a sort of kinship to the Witch in the West, the gingerbread crone, Medussa, the seal maiden, Eve.. those held captive by their 'unholy' desires. Perhaps this reflects a natural progression from the shallows to the depths, from the idealistic to the shadows.
I don't know.
Let me assure the reader that I have no interest in stealing ruby slippers, eating small children, turning men to stone (mostly) or eating an orchard of forbidden fruit (well actually I'd probably do that in a heartbeat). The truth is that I seem to be interested in the juiciness of these archetypes, in their un-likability, in their foibles. I believe we are in a constant dance with the sun and shadow of our makeup. The notion of the wicked chasing the pure and the pure outwitting the wicked, seems, to me, an over simplification.

Perhaps the more complex view of the crone starving for innocence, or the witch desperate for absolution, or the daughter of God seeking forgiveness are myths that we can connect with and possibly find nourishment in.
I don't know, but I will tell you this... I have a witches hat to celebrate All Hallows this year and I may even be spotted nibbling apples with snakes in my hair.