otherness and the wild dark

“I wish I had a clever name for this, this blue funk that happens just after a mild rush toward selfness. I get this feeling of AH, things are Coming Together, and that is often followed by a time of increased tenderness, increased feelings of loneliness, of otherness, of oddness… of being outside myself a little…

as if, in the act of centering, i slingshot myself out again into the wild dark.”  I wonder, does this happen to you too?



Thanks to a note from a sweet soul I connected with long ago, I came to realize that I’ve been away from this space for so long it felt abandoned! It felt much shorter, like I would be back any minute. Funny how that happens. Since last I stopped in, I’ve been painting and showing my paintings. I have been both grateful and saddened by the reception of my book about grieving. When it sells I feel so sad that someone needs it. I am writing another that will feel like joy to share, and the writing is happening in fits and starts, slowly slowly slowly.  Mostly though, I have been busy parenting and partnering, and busy too with my consulting work, full up and full throttle for companies in various forms of transition. And now here I am….finally after all this time–  quickly updating while the oven heats up, non metaphorically, and wondering what role I want this space to play.  Yes, I want to run another journaling workshop, and I know a springtime campfire gathering feels right and true.  Maybe I can combine those– offering prompts and space. I’m at the messy stage where it is unclear what will unfold, but –joy– now there is such trust in the unfolding! This is something I have learned. There is chaos for me before order, and then chaos again. But now that I know this is part of my process, I can embrace it. Chaos = progress. Huzzah!



My books just came.

My books, my real books just came. Not the proofs. Not proof #2 or #3 or #4.

My book is on Amazon.

This, for me, is beyond huge. Getting this work out into the world feels crucial, and yet, getting it out into the world means telling my story out loud.

Funny thing about this: folks say YAY! what’s your book about?

and I choke.

I am happy. I am sad. I am complicated and complex. This is a heart wrenching and yet cathartic and healing thing to do, to offer, to expose.


So. I am being gentle with myself, and hoping that the book finds its way into the hands that need it, and that my words, my journey, somehow offers solace to someone else.


manyfacesWhat if all of the pieces of you that feel disparate are actually part of a coherent whole right now?

What if this is about perception? Your perception about you? Mine about me?

What if I am my coalescing factor? What if the heart and soul of my work is the same no matter if it is a technical project or an artistic one? Can I shift from anxiously seeking a singularity, to embracing a coherent, multi-faceted identity?



like a window

grief opens grief like a window

like a can opener

stirs silt from the bottom

shakes loose parts newly or incompletely mended

rattles around, making noisy messes, reminding me acutely of things that hurt to remember.

As I think about the brilliance lost in Robin William’s heartbreaking choice, I think too about the losses we all share, those who have loved someone who has made this nearly unthinkable decision. And while I am so very sad for Robin, that this felt like the only choice he had left, I am more sad for his family, those who loved him, all of us who felt somehow connected to his wry smile, his tenderness, his humanness.  It exposes our collective vulnerability somehow. 

After losing a beloved to suicide, 11 years ago this past weekend, I have finally gained solace of a sort during hard work this past year… a hard won healing. Tender always, but a new sense of something like peace, I guess… a still point of understanding I did not have before– before, suicide was simply unthinkable, unimaginable, and my loss, the world’s loss of my beloved, was totally beyond my comprehension.

Now, after experiencing being taken down by anxiety into an underworld of desperation– I understand things I did not understand before.

I sought help, took it, take it, seek it. And thanks to this intervention I have returned home to myself.

But I understand now, desperation, in a way I did not.

I understand just wanting to make the pain stop. And simply not being able to stand it. Feeling lost, taken over, alone.

And I wish for all who feel lost, to reach out, get help, allow help in. Please.

In this moment, I sit with this sadness, with the echos of my own loss, my own grief, and let it (as best I can) move in and through… knowing, after all this time, that it will move like water, downstream, if I allow it to pass through my knowing, my heart, my memories, and not try to hold on for the sake of having something to hold on to.


allowing vs trying

I am learning and relearning and more deeply experiencing the dance between allowing and striving

when I try, I suck.

when I allow…

(here’s a quick time lapse of a first layer being allowed in a dimly lighted room)

finding things, part 2

there are lost parts of ourselves, that are not really lost– just waiting for us to return to them somehow.  I have always been an artist. Sometimes I make art, other times I collect images, experiences, sensory deliciousness, discomfort, witness, and hold it, store it, like medicine in a bag.

There is a rhythm to this– this forgetting and remembering, this creating and collecting… but it gets out of whack so easily.

Pragmatic panic erases all I know to be true, and it takes time, and sometimes a circuitous route to find myself again, here, by the keyboard. Or there, by the canvas. Or in the woods. Or walking under a sky filled with layers of clouds.

I am in a period of creation right now– things coming through almost faster than i can take them down, let them out, let them through… paintings are piling up, leaning against walls, each other….layers are being put down, put down and etched, with scrapers and fingers… I am feeling my way. This is so kinetic, so intuitive, so not-me-in-the-way. And I am overflowing and filling canvas after canvas after canvas…