Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear Evan,



Happy Birthday, my beautiful boy. You are eleven years old today. It's hard to believe that it has been eleven years since you were born. I remember so clearly the moment you arrived in this world and Doctor DeGraaf said, "It's a boy!" I cried when I finally held you and saw how perfect you were. You looked like an eskimo baby, everyone said so. And you were so good. You didn't cry much. You ate and slept when you were supposed to. I couldn't stop staring at you. I memorized every hair on your head.

You have grown and changed, but some things remain the same. You have such a sweet, sensitive nature. You are compassionate and caring, always hugging my friends, remembering to be polite and courteous, thankful when you receive something; such a gentleman. I hope you will always be a gentle man.

You are smart--a voracious reader, always with your nose in a book. You are good at math and spelling and science, it all seems to come naturally to you. And you seem to enjoy learning, you are curious and interested in the world around you which is a wonderful quality.

You are creative. I love to watch you draw. Your doodles are hilarious and you have filled notebook after notebook with your creations. I never want to throw any of them away, even the tiniest scraps of paper I save because they were drawn by you.

You are a loving brother. I know every kid fights with their siblings sometimes, but you go out of your way to include Charlie and to be kind to him most of the time. You enjoy being with your little brother and take time for him. I hope you will always be close. And you are a respectful and sweet son. I love that you will still cuddle with me, that you will still kiss me goodbye in front of the school, hold my hand when we are walking somewhere, and want me to sing to you before you fall asleep. This will all change one day soon, but I think you will always be soulful and kind. I hope so.

I sit here on your eleventh birthday and wish on your candles as you blow them out: there will be times when you are met with disappointment instead of success. Life won’t always turn out the way you want. This is something we all face, but instead of letting these things get you down, push on. Accept disappointment and learn to persevere, to pursue your dreams despite pitfalls. Learn to turn negatives into positives. Life is a journey. Make it a journey of happiness, of constant learning, of continual improvement, of love.

And most of all, love yourself. While others may criticize you, learn not to be so hard on yourself, to think that you’re ugly or dumb or unworthy of love--but to think instead that you are a wonderful human being, worthy of happiness and love--and learn to love yourself for who you are.

That is what I wish for you today. I just want you to know how proud I am to be your mother.

Love,
Mom

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dear NaBloPoMo,

Just wanted to say thank you. Tomorrow is our last day together, and as it is also my son's birthday, I'll want to blog about him tomorrow. But today, it's all about you--how you have taught me things about myself, like how to stretch and push and dig deep to write every day. How it wasn't easy; some days it was really hard to think of even a single word, but that it felt so good to try. It felt great to accomplish something, even if I had to borrow words from someone else here and there. And it was fun to take more photos knowing I'd need them to complete you. How much I like seeing my images here and learning more about my camera and my computer and the visual effects I can create. Thank you for your patience, 24-hours each day to complete my "assignment"! And your persistence, staring at me from your little space, gently reminding me that I needed to fill your pages.

It's been an eye-opening, heart-widening experience, one I think I would try again next November. I hope that I am a better writer, a better blogger at least, and a better person for having stretched my wings this way to fly.

Thank you. It's been a fine month.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hidden




If you place a fern
under a stone
the next day it will be
nearly invisible
as if the stone has
swallowed it.

If you tuck the name of a loved one
under your tongue too long
without speaking it
it becomes blood
sigh
the little sucked-in breath of air
hiding everywhere
beneath your words.

No one sees
the fuel that feeds you.


Naomi Shihab Nye

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Day After




Girl

She said she collects pieces of sky,
cuts holes out of it with silver scissors,
bits of heaven she calls them.
Every day a bevy of birds flies rings
around her fingers, my chorus of wives,
she calls them. Every day she reads poetry
from dusty books she borrows from the library,
sitting in the park, she smiles at passing strangers,
yet can not seem to shake her own sad feelings.
She said that night reminds her of a cool hand
placed gently across her fevered brow, said
she likes to fall asleep beneath the stars,
that their streaks of light make her believe
that she too is going somewhere. Infinity,
she whispers as she closes her eyes,
descending into thin air, where no arms
outstretch to catch her.


by Lisa Zaran

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks Giving

Today I give thanks for many things:

a successful surgery for my boy
the graceful hands of the doctor who took such care
the kind nurses who walked us through, made us laugh and kept us calm
the love and support from near and far

soup
bread
comfort

family and all that it means: joy, pain, laughter, hurt, anger, bewilderment, kindness, fun, hilarity, support, patience, understanding--the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between. I am blessed to be a part of mine.

friendship. I have amazing women in my life who give me things I didn't know I was missing.

eyesight
hearing
taste
smell
touch

ART
inspiration

shelter, food, water, clothing -- the basic things that so, so many people do not even have. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have the things I do.
I know that.

I give thanks for all of this.

Not just today, but every day.

Grateful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In preparation . . .

for a very grateful tomorrow, I'm feeling the need for silence here today.

For now, just listen to this and dream. . . .

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Love You the Reddest



Charlie,

"... I love you the reddest!
I love you the color of the sky
before it blazes into night.
I love you the color of a leopard's eyes
when it prowls through the jungle,
and the color of a campfire at the edge of the flame.
A wide open hug. The swirl of a magic cape.
The thunder of a shout."

--Barbara Joosse, I Love You the Purplest

Monday, November 23, 2009

Exquisite Corpse


Untitled/Untitled/ Rooted, 2009, by artists: Agnes Debethune (Jersey City), Alaine Becker (South Orange), and Leah K. Tomaino (Randolph) Graphite, collage, watercolor, chalk, pastel crayon, fiber, acrylic paint on paper Courtesy of the artists and the Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers University

I cannot wait to see this exhibit at the Paul Robeson Gallery. If you’re not familiar with the term, Exquisite Corpse, here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

"The technique was invented by Surrealists and is similar to an old parlour game called Consequences in which players write in turn on a sheet of paper, fold it to conceal part of the writing, and then pass it to the next player for a further contribution. Surrealism principal founder André Breton reported that it started in fun, but became playful and eventually enriching. In a variant now known as picture consequences, instead of sentences, portions of a person were drawn.

Later the game was adapted to drawing and collage, producing a result similar to children’s books in which the pages were cut into thirds, the top third pages showing the head of a person or animal, the middle third the torso, and the bottom third the legs, with children having the ability to 'mix and match' by turning pages. It has also been played by mailing a drawing or collage — in progressive stages of completion — to the players, and this variation is known as 'exquisite corpse by airmail', apparently regardless of whether the game travels by airmail or not.

The name is derived from a phrase that resulted when Surrealists first played the game, 'Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau.' ('The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine.')"

For this exhibit, 92 local artists were invited to play the game by mail, like a chain letter. The starting point was a 30-by-22 inch sheet of paper folded in thirds. One artist did the top, another the middle and the last did the bottom third. Little marks left at the crease of the paper told the next artist where his or her predecessor had left off. The artists had 2 weeks to complete their sections and none of them saw the finished product until the show opened last Thursday.

I can't wait to see what they did.

And I want to play the game, don't you??

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another Surgery




"My baby had surgery today. We had a two hour wait in the surgical holding room with him before the doctor and anesthesiologist came to talk to us. He was so brave, but toward the end of the long wait he started to cry and said he just wanted to go home. I didn't blame him, I wanted to go home too. But we had to put on a smile and tell him that it would all be over soon and we could go home together. It is absolute torture watching your child get hooked up to an IV and monitors, put that little mask over his face and drift off. Then to walk away and wait for the moment the doctor comes back to tell you it is all (hopefully) okay. . . . I am so grateful C is okay and that it wasn't serious. I feel such compassion for anyone who has a child with a serious illness. To have to be in a hospital all the time, experiencing that fear and helplessness, I don't know if I have the strength--and I hope I never have to find out. It was also difficult on a second level because his surgeon works out of the same hospital where I had all 4 procedures when I lost the babies, so it brought me back to some dark places that were not easy to forget as we sat there in those same hallways and rooms. I couldn't help but remember my own terror as I was wheeled into that cold, bright operating room, staring up at those weird sci-fi machines, listening to the noises, trying not to feel my heart beating so hard it felt like it was ripping out of my chest. I was so grateful when they let me go into the OR with C so that he wouldn't be alone with all those strange masked faces staring down at him as he fell asleep; grateful mine was the familiar face he was looking at as he drifted off. As an adult it was bad enough to go through that alone, but if I had known my child was going to have to be wheeled away from me to face that I would have clung to his gurney as they pushed him down the hall. Thank goodness they have compassion for mothers and children."

Digging into the archives from almost exactly a year ago I reread what I wrote about C's surgery last year. He's going back on Tuesday to have the same procedure done again and I am grateful for knowledge. For the knowledge that we are using the same surgeon and we trust him with our child--he did a good job last year and we know he will take the same care this time. Grateful that this time we know C is allergic to latex so he won't suffer the swelling and discomfort that he did last year because we didn't know. Grateful that we know what to expect and while we'll still have anxiety just because it's surgery and anesthesia, we know the procedure and we know the timing and so some of the fear factor will be alleviated by that knowledge. Grateful that we know our son is healthy and strong and brave and he'll be just fine. Again.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friendship Bread



Amish Friendship Bread is more than a recipe--it's a way of thinking. In our hi-tech world almost everything comes prepackaged and designed for instant gratification. So where does a recipe that takes ten days to make fit in? Maybe it's a touch stone to our past--to those days not so very long ago when everything we did took time and where a bread that took ten days to make was not as extraordinary as it seems today.

I remember my mother and her friends passing bags of friendship bread back and forth when I was a kid. I associate the smell of yeast and cinnamon and sugar with this bread. It reminds me of the best parts of my childhood, of feeling warm and loved.

It reminds me of sustenance and the way bread feeds us and nourishes us. Sometimes when there is nothing else, evan just a piece of bread will go a long way for someone who is hungry.

But most of all, it reminds me of friendship between women. Women who lovingly share this bread with the other women in their lives. Who share it in order to spread good cheer and love and extend a hand to someone who might be needing it. To say be well or I'm sorry or I love you.

It reminds me of hope. And help. And the very best parts of life.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gratitude Thursday

It's the last Thursday before Thanksgiving, so I'll pause to give thanks again tonight.

Grateful for music that keeps me sane. There are so many songs that make me happy, make me think, make me melt, make me cry. Make the soundtrack that I live by. This is the one that is doing it for me today. I hadn't heard it in so so long and when it came on the radio I almost wept for joy, hearing it again and realizing how much the lyrics resonate with me.

Grateful for words that inspire me. There are so many writers--poets, novelist, essayists, and bloggers who give me a reason to keep reading, keep writing, keep looking for the words that will tell my story, I couldn't possibly list them all, but these are the words I posted on my wall recently, to remind me:

The Woman in the Ordinary
by Marge Piercy

The woman in the ordinary pudgy downcast girl
is crouching with eyes and muscles clenched.
Round and pebble smooth she effaces herself
under ripples of conversation and debate.
The woman in the block of ivory soap
has massive thighs that neigh,
great breasts that blare and strong arms that trumpet.
The woman of the golden fleece
laughs uproariously from the belly
inside the girl who imitates
a Christmas card virgin with glued hands,
who fishes for herself in other's eyes,
who stoops and creeps to make herself smaller.
In her bottled up is a woman peppery as curry,
a yam of a woman of butter and brass,
compounded of acid and sweet like a pineapple,
like a handgrenade set to explode,
like goldenrod ready to bloom.

Grateful for so much, but these will have to do for now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just a Bowl



An ordinary bowl;
a piece of history
no one else wanted.

Eagerly I took it
for I saw a bit of myself
there, in its deep interior

warm
bright
cheerful
on the outside

quiet
open to possibility
on the inside

durable
useful
yet still
breakable

certainly best
when filled
to the brim

An ordinary bowl,
not quite.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some Trees


These are amazing: each
Joining a neighbor, as though speech
Were a still performance.
Arranging by chance

To meet as far this morning
From the world as agreeing
With it, you and I
Are suddenly what the trees try

To tell us we are:
That their merely being there
Means something; that soon
We may touch, love, explain.

And glad not to have invented
Some comeliness, we are surrounded:
A silence already filled with noises,
A canvas on which emerges

A chorus of smiles, a winter morning.
Place in a puzzling light, and moving,
Our days put on such reticence
These accents seem their own defense.

John Ashbery

Monday, November 16, 2009

Feeling the Loss of Him

by Raymond Foss

Standing, walking, coming through the line
greeting you, for a moment, sharing
but a snapshot, a burst, of what I was feeling,
so small compared to the enormity
the reality of your loss.
Feeling so small, standing in the line,
before I approached you.
Thinking of what his loss
means to me, to so many,
as written in the paper
Murmured in the court, on the phone
with out practitioners.
Reading so many stories,
so many telling words,
the lives he touched, changed
for the better, truly.
Of his help to me,
guidance and rebuttal,
chastised and cajoled
Feeling the loss of him
so acutely, still.

My friend, Mike Brown, who died of testicular cancer at the age of twenty, would have been forty years old today. He was a student at James Madison University, a basketball player, incredibly smart, friendly and outgoing.

He was hilariously funny and he loved to make people laugh.

He was a protective loving big brother.

He was a respectful son, a kind and gentle soul.

He fought his cancer courageously until his last breath.

He left this world too quickly.

I feel the loss of him still.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Because she said, "I dare you"

Liz did. In this post , so here goes:

1. These monkeys (and this photo from the archives, in particular) make me laugh really hard.


2. Brussels sprouts, spinach, the sweetest green grapes, 4 kinds of apples and one humongous sweet potato from my community garden share this week.

3. A fun day yesterday traipsing around the mall with a friend, laughing, trying on hats and boots, people watching and forgetting about the cold rain coming down outside.

4. A clean studio, ready for whatever comes next . . .

5. J getting some really really good news after months of stress and worry and hard work. Woo hoo!

Friday, November 13, 2009

TWLOHA




"We all wake to the human condition. We wake to mystery and beauty but also to tragedy and loss. Millions of homes are filled with questions – moments and seasons and cycles that come as thieves and aim to stay...hope is real...You need to know that freedom is possible, that God is still in the business of redemption."

i have written it on my arms today. . . .

When I was a junior in high school, a classmate committed suicide. It was a moment I will never forget, and I'm sure most in my class will not either. He was a popular, good looking, well-liked football player and he hung himself on Mother's Day morning while his family was at church. I will never forget walking in to school that Monday and the hush in the hallway--the whispers, then sobs breaking the awful silence. No one believed it until our teachers confirmed it and then we simply sat in shock and horror for hours. Kids wandered in and out of the building. No one stopped them. No one knew what to do or say. Why? What would make him take his life? What could he be so sad about that he felt his life was no longer worth living? I still don't have the answers today, but I know now that depression is a disease and those who suffer from it in such an intense way really and truly don't see any other way out. I wish I could gather everyone who feels this way into my arms and tell them that it will get better. Life can be beautiful even when it is painful. There is hope.

Today I have hope.

And I write love on my arms for those who do not.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gratitude Thursday



Grateful for the air I breathe, the water I drink, the food I eat and the shelter over my head. It's easy to forget that millions of people don't even have these basics.

Grateful for the beauty of the natural world around me and the eyes to see it, ears to hear it, hands to touch it, and legs to carry me through it.

Grateful for my beating heart.

Grateful for life.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Loss

Is it a searing pain
tearing through your middle
doubling you
head to toe?

Or a coin toss
as easy as the flick of your wrist
heads or tails?

Is it a weight around your neck
pulling you under
to the watery place
where your eyes bulge
and the slime grows
thick
and green?

Or a release
gathering you up
and pushing you
to bright blue heights
where the fields blend
and shape themselves
into a quilt
below you?

ATW, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Look Up!




Sometimes it's just a simple shift in perspective that makes all the difference in how we get through the day.

Change your perspective on purpose--look at things in a new light. Appreciate what's around you.

Look up!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Magic



I’ve been thinking about magic today.

My friend and I were discussing the Tooth Fairy, who incidentally forgot to come for our boy’s tooth two nights this week. Last night he wrote her a note that said:

Dear Tooth Fairy,
Please remember to take my tooth tonight.
P.S. Do you think molars are extra because they are bigger?
Love,
E

My friend asked if I think he still actually believes in the tooth fairy now that he is almost eleven years old. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t, but like most kids, he’s afraid not to believe. Afraid because he knows that the best part of it—the magic—will end. And maybe, just maybe, the money won’t be there in the morning. Or the pile of presents under the Christmas tree will dwindle if he confesses to not believing in Santa Claus anymore either.

My friend said her seven-year-old has been asking since he was three or four if it’s all true. “How can it be, Mom? Santa can’t do all that work in one night. That’s impossible.”

“It’s magic,” she tells him.
“There’s no such thing as magic,” he replied.

I say he’s wrong. I say the world if full of magic if we look for it. Everyday life is something that we are all mired in, yet few of us appreciate. When was the last time you heard the birds singing outside your window or were aware of the raindrops as they fell from the sky? Have you ever bathed in the moonlight of a warm summer night? Are you ever aware of the miraculous act of breathing? Have you looked at your hand lately, to see how all the muscles and bones fit together and work to make it so you are able to pick up a dime from the floor, tickle a baby’s toes, hold the hand of a loved one?

A few minutes after this conversation about magic, a small hole appeared in the clouds to the left of the sun. A little piece of a rainbow peeked through. No rain in sight, just a hazy cloudy sky. Minutes later another hole and another piece of a rainbow on the other side of the sun. Another minute went by and the holes opened wider and it looked as though the sun was circled by a rainbow. Within an hour two more had appeared so it looked like two rainbow circles were linked around the sun. I couldn’t take a picture because I have a little point-and-shoot camera and the sun was too bright. But I’ve never in my life seen anything like it.

Magic. Pure magic.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Letterboxing



We finally did it!

Letterboxing is "treasure hunt" in parks, forests, and cities around the world. Participants look for hidden letterboxes by following clues or cracking codes, which other letterboxers leave on various websites. Check it out here.

Letterboxers stamp their discoveries in a personal journal, then use their own rubber stamp, called a signature stamp, by stamping it into the logbook found with the letterbox, perhaps writing a note about the weather or their adventures in finding the letterbox, or just a message to the next person who might find the box.

So where and how did letterboxing start?

"According to legend, in 1854 a Victorian gentlemen hiker put his calling card in a bottle and stuck it into a bank at Cranmere Pool, in a remote part of Dartmoor in southwestern England. Over the years, the hobby developed; current reports indicate that as many as 10,000 letterboxes are presently hidden in Dartmoor, now a National Park. Visitors from around the globe prowl the heath at Dartmoor in search of the elusive boxes and the artful stamps inside.

In April of 1998, Smithsonian magazine published an article on the Dartmoor letterboxes. Within a very short time, a loose alliance of adventurers and rubber stamp enthusiasts pioneered the introduction of the hobby to the US. With the Internet as a primary means of communication, the idea soon spread around the country. Web-sites and a discussion group were established. Letterboxes began to be placed in inconspicuous but interesting locations throughout the US."

Yesterday we found our first letterbox (4th Hole and 7 Strokes Ago!) in Ulster County, New York, and we placed our first letterbox on The Labyrinth Trail of Mohonk Mountain House. There are hundreds of thousands of letterboxes hidden all over the world, including some right here in our town. It's a great CHEAP activity for friends and family to do together and I love the fact that it combines two things I enjoy most in life: spending time in nature and art.

We'll be looking for letterboxes wherever we go now.

Won't you join us??

Friday, November 6, 2009

What a day!



Gratitude comes very easy today.

For an absolutely beautiful hike on Mohonk Mountain.
For perfect fall weather and the gorgeous view.
For an incredible rock scramble and three young boys who made us so proud for sticking to it and rising to meet the challenge.
For an amazing woman who brings so much joy to my life by being my friend and travelling life's highways with me.

I am so lucky. Did you hear me? LUCKY....

(tune in tomorrow to find out about our letterboxing experience!)


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gratitude Thursday



I haven't done this for quite a while, but seeing as it's November and Thanksgiving is just around the corner (or Christmas if you walk into any store in America right now, jeesh--give us a minute to breathe, would ya?!) and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it's all about the gratitude, not the whatyougettingme. And despite the fact that I tend to sink into a bit of depression this time of year when the light goes dim and the trees are bare, I thought I'd put the focus where it belongs.

So today I'm grateful for the imagination of these two boys. They didn't want the store-bought costumes. They didn't want to be Jason, or the freaky thing from Scream. They didn't pick a plastic mask or a costume that came in a bag. They made their decisions early and they stuck to them. E wanted to be a mime. C wanted to be a senior citizen. They had very specific ideas on how to execute these characters and so we gathered up the pieces one by one until it all came together.

And at the Halloween parade, they stood out. They didn't blend into the crowd. E didn't speak all morning--even carried a sign that said "trick-or-treat" and used sign language to say thank you. His teacher told me she thinks I should find a mime school for him to take lessons! And C leaned on his cane and stuck out his pillow-filled butt and rocked it. He looked just like somebody's grandma. Albeit only three feet tall!

I am so proud of them for staying true to themselves, thinking outside the box and not giving in to peer pressure.

I am so grateful for the chance to raise such cool little boys who aren't afraid to be themselves. So grateful.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Autumn Song


winding roads
upstate
lead to leaf peeping
and bright orange pumpkins
tumbling on wagons
apples, crisp
their juice on my chin
a rotten carpet beneath the trees
sticky sweet
bees, drunk and
slow-moving
thick mugs of coffee
on the sidelines
of a soccer game
wooly scarves
and cozy wristlets
football
frantic squirrels
filtered sunlight
casseroles of acorn squash,
eggplant, butternut
the last tomatoes, bittersweet
Concord grapes
as dark as a bruise
multicolored rubber rain boots
flannel pjs
extra blankets
small noses runny and red
hikes in bare woods
carpets of leaves underneath
burnt sienna
raw umber
chestnut
scarlet
deep sleep
breath like a phantom
each morning
time slows
dusk comes early
nature stills
hibernates
makes us wait
makes us wait

ATW, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I and Love and You



I've always liked the lyric from Snow Patrol's song, Chasing Cars, "Those three words are said too much, they're not enough." Every time I hear the song it makes me think--how often we say those three words; how sometimes they begin to lose their meaning. They become rote. Tired. Cliche. How then can we say them differently, infuse them with more meaning? Spruce them up and give them new life?

And then the other day I was trying to find out more about the non-profit organization "To Write Love on Her Arms". This group is committed to helping people who are dealing with depression, self-injury, addiction and suicide. As I was scrolling through the blog I found these words--gleaned from the liner notes of the Avett Brothers' album, I and Love and You. It's their mission statement. Their mission statement! It seems I'm not the only one wondering about those three little words.

"The words 'I' and 'Love' and 'You' are the watermark of humanity. Strung together, they convey our deepest sense of humility, of power, of truth. It is our most common sentiment, even as the feeling of it is so infinitely uncommon: each to proclaim these three words with his or her very own heart and mindset of reason (or lack thereof); a proclamation completely and perfectly new each time it is offered. Uttered daily and nightly by millions, the words are said in an unending array of circumstances : whispered to a newborn in a mothers arms; shared between best friends on the playground; in the form of sympathy - said by a girl to a boy, as the respect continues but the relationship does not. It is said too loudly by parents to embarrassed children in the company of their friends, and by grown children - to their fading parents in hospital beds. The words are thought in the company of the photograph and said in the company of the gravestone. It is how we end our phone calls and our letters... the words at the bottom of the page that trump all those above it, a way to gracefully finish a message, however important or trivial, with the most meaningful gift of all : the communication of love. And yet the words themselves have been the victims of triviality, a ready replacement for lesser salutations among near strangers, burst forth casually as 'love ya.' Truly? To what degree? Why, how much, and for how long?

The conclusion of the song from which the title is taken admits that the words 'I love you' have become 'hard to say'. And perhaps that difficulty is as common as it's counterpart. Perhaps the inability to say these heaviest of words is as much a part of life as the lighthearted candor of those who say them without any difficulty at all. And so it ends with the phrase whispered to and by those of us most defeated and most elated... I and love and you."

Maybe what we need to do is think about our intention every time we utter the words. Change them up. Twist them. Say them the same.

But say them with the intent to bestow a gift upon the person you are speaking to, with the full knowledge that they could change a moment.

Change a life.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Painting in Process



Finally some time to paint and play. I modified a Kelly Rae Roberts technique and used some old letters and post cards I had been saving for the background, then applied gel medium and layers of paint before painting the girl.

I like the way it's coming along. The background is muddier than I'd like, and I'm still very hesitant when I paint faces. I'm not 100% in love with this one, but I like it enough and most of all I was glad to get a chance to spend a whole day with the art supplies out, a friend by my side, good music playing, and the rain coming down outside.

Can't complain, it was a good day.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaBloPoMo--YIKES!



This is a challenge. I'm stretching here. I signed up for NaBloPoMo and I'm going to try to do it. A post a day for a month. I have never been a consistent journal-er. I found my very first diary in a cardboard box in my parent's attic a few years ago and I laughed when I read it because nothing has changed. I started out writing every day, pouring out my little heart one minute and just writing "laundry lists" the next . . . for about six days. And then nothing. Blank. Until about 18 months later and it starts again. I still journal that way. I'm obsessive for days, sometimes a few weeks, and then I stop cold turkey, pick it up again months later and pour out my little heart again. I think I'm boring. I think I don't have anything to say. I get stuck. I flake out. Two years later I start again. So we'll see how this goes. I really want to write every day. I'd love to get some more poetry written. I want to find the story in the little details. I'm committed.

But then again, I always start that way.

Dear Diary . . .