It was cloudy last night, but I was awake, and feeling around for the edges of the moon, like a bite out of a cookie, the intersection of unfamiliar and familiar— but just like every single day, risen or set, crescent or dark, the moon was whole the whole time, and the only thing that shifted was how we saw it.

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Painting a new way of being

So, I am taking an intuitive painting e-course by Flora Bowley. The course is officially over, but I am working on week 4 of 5 content, since my time is not wide open.

I have painted alone, in the morning, in the evening, with Della and Doug, with Della, with Della next to me, with Della hanging on me, with Della painting next to me or asking  to help me or helping.

Today I painted over something I hated and it felt *so liberating* to let go of what was not working, and not able to work with me, where I am right now and my current skill set. I could not transform it into what I was imagining so I let it go. Wow. Let it go.

I’ve been following the course more closely than you might imagine, knowing me. I already paint, and have painted for years. This way, that way, my way and ways… I have never taken painting lessons, tend toward the quite abstracted, and have my own intuitive way into my work.

I remove a lot of paint in my “way” and the way of Flora’s teaching it in adding. Layers and layers and layers of color, tone, texture, and the results are maddening and suprising and sometimes so lovely. Wow colors accidentally coinciding and causing intensity. Layers combining into something mysterious. I have really let go of how “I DO THINGS” and have had so much fun making messes, trusting they will not last forever. And you know what? They don’t, They transform. I transform them. I rotate and step back and move without thinking and reassess. I make ugly messes and then surprising things that I would never have been able to make consciously/deliberately. There is loveliness in the accidental nature of this, in the looseness, in the non-plan.

These days internally are about a lot of reflection and allowing. I suppose, trusting the crazy ugly messes will not last, so not focusing just on those.

A million years ago when I was learning how to ride a motorcycle, I learned through experience we drive toward where we are looking. SO look where you want to go, not where you want to avoid going…  and this process is surprisingly like that. I can rework ugly or I can go over to that section there, the one in the corner with the light peeking through, and focus on that.

I am not sure how this class will inform my painting, but I already know how it is informing my being.  I am learning to trust the mess a little more– not for what it is, but for what it can become if I let it go.

Here’s the link to the next round of the course. Be prepared to get messy in every way, and see what happens when you let go of How You Do It. Possibilities emerge.

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Make it easy

I just painted for the second day in a row.

2 songs worth



my stuff is all set out for a course I am taking, so it is easy to just do a little– let this be a lesson to me: MAKE IT EASY

it does not all have to be all or nothing.

in fact, really, it is rarely about being able to be/do all and way too easy to do nothing.


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mindful writing, February 9th sanity walk

the way sumac seeds collect in yesterday’s footprints

the way the pines stand, two by two

and the way their branches tangle

the way the snow falls on my face, and fogs the field into soft edges

the way I forget to look up, as I watch my feet for snow hidden stumblings

the way I turn at the end to walk it again, more slowly, taking time to look up


may we be well

may we notice beauty

may we be easy and open and soft

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bow wave

there is a moment in conjuring where a blissful AH HA! comes — sometimes quietly, sometimes with a roar, but there is this moment, when ahhhhhhhhh an IDEA, an offering, a theme, a project, emerges from the primordial muck and 






and then, facebook and my inbox bring me messages of cool and wonderful folks doing something similar, offering something similar, thinking similar thoughts, doing it better and bigger and with big audiences and the gravitas of previous successes, sold out retreats and workshops, email lists that have thousands of members…

two options, right?: say YAY, I’m on the right track!  I’m surfing an energetic bow wave!…or Boo, someone (more visible, better, more popular, more connected, more authoritative) has already offering somethingsimilar, so now if I develop and offer my vision, my version, my interpretation, it will seem like copying…. like emulation, not like the organic, sincere expression of kateness that it was…

I wish I could say that I go with option 1. But really, option 2 is the one that bites me. I feel my own creativity shut down. I backslide. I do not often have the momentum to push forward *anyway*.

So– I am sitting with this, witnessing it. Witnessing both my own rise and fall. The wow, this is so cool, part (OOOOO I like that part so much) and the DAMN, I missed the boat part (not so fun, and not so accurate, either, right?)… Just working on witnessing.

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Mindful writing, February 5th

a cleanish desk

new snow

and a moment, a lull, in all of it– the internal, the external… a moment when I realize, hey, wasn’t I intending (planning/trying/hoping) to write more often? if only for a moment? 

life rushes by, like melt water.

anxiety has been gathered up and held as gently as I can, compassionately, impatiently… it is so hard to be patient with something so decidedly, so viscerally uncomfortable. but there are messages here. there really are. true ones. deep ones. ones that ask for gentleness, for compassion, for patience, for space, for time… for decisions made not on powering through or OVERCOMING, but in allowing, listening, be-ing, and tuning into and making space for the underlying messages to come through.

Oh! this is hard stuff. I am someone who reaches out, beyond, toward, forward. I have a hard time with what feels like stillness.

but it is the stillness of a chrysalis. 

the stillness of a million tiny changes, miraculous, transformative.  the waiting, the patience, is imperative.

so, I am trying to learn to wait. trying to learn to listen to the million tiny requests for what feels like stillness, what feels like inaction.

(shhhhh, I say to my loud impatient mind, shhhhhh, listen)


I asked my guide: how do I navigate these changes? and he answered: by changing.


my prayer for all of us:

may we be well

may we experience joy

may we find ease

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mindful writing, January 24

caught in a very in-the-moment riptide of anxiety these past four days– hijacked into a crazy that I detest beyond description… a place of total powerlessness and fear

that powerlessness, that acute vulnerability… lessons in awareness and soft underbellies and gentle heartedness toward myself, hard won, people, hard won. I am not so good at some things that feel as if they should be easy, should be second nature by now.

self care, self awareness, self compassion. all things I preach, but like the cobbler with barefeet, my feet, my soul, is bare.

such good lessons here, but such a wave of relieved exhaustion too.

I am relieved. I am bone-deep soul-deep exhausted. 

so tonight is about my white twinkle lights reflecting in the window glass

and it is about me, reflecting, and holding myself gently in that space between.

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mindful writing, January 21

woke strangled and gasping from a dream of dying

today feels both precious and jangled

and I do too, I do too.



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mindful writing, day <30

the warm yellow light of late day sun through the trees on the ridge

new snow on least year’s sumac seed heads

bittersweet vines in white pines

the scrunch of boots in snow

a purple card, here on my desk, reminding me to pause


I am pausing


the smell of cinnamon from pumpkin muffins in the oven

and the quiet roar of my head, familiar, like a complex drum beat of whatabouts whatifs and maybes….

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mindful writing, day 5? 6? not so mindful, eh?

it is this day

regardless of 5 or 6

it is a day >0 and a day of rain and fog.

it is a moment of rain and fog

of drips from the roof

of birds like graphite sketches high up  and moving fast

it is a moment of barely green pines and tangled vines and green green grass under snow pulling back from tree trunks

it is a moment of apples turned amber, up above where the deer can reach

and a moment of me, sitting here, trying not to backspace my witness into forced anything just

being with the empty yellow mug with the white insides

and the glass of tea, forgotten and now cold

evidence of my day’s distraction

folding inward some, outward some, piles of laundry and the lightest wash of watercolor dreaming

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