Thursday, December 16, 2010

Where the Spirit Meets the Bone

It was over dinner,

certainly red wine, a simple risotto.

You were talking to me

about your father’s tears

how they spill so easily

and the reason why,

empty shoes lying next to a well,

a memory of tired summer grass

and I was looking past you

at the jade plant on your windowsill in a pot

next to the basket holding three oranges,

an avocado overripe in it’s skin.

The evening sky

beyond a complicated tangle of stems and leaves.

While you were talking,

pouring wine, explaining

I thought only of what lies beneath

the connective tissues, the muscles and tendons,

a blackness deep below our naked nerve endings.

The place where we all remain untouched.

Even after I have forgotten

the bark of your black dog

my middle name

what month or day it is,

I will carry in my mind

the vein of this particular conversation

a thread, connecting us to each other,

to your father and his suffering,

an echo from that deep hole,

to the place where the spirit meets the bone.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Intention; [in-ten-shuhpastedGraphic.pdfn] –noun 1. an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result. 2. the end or object intended; purpose.

Some of you know a little bit of my story, some of you know a lot, others none at all, but today I want to share with you my intention. I’ve learned a lot the past few years about the power of intention and the possibilities that exist for all of us within the universe if we envision what we want for ourselves.

When I was a girl I knew I wanted to grow up to be an artist and a writer. I was sure of it. There would be no stopping me. But somehow along the way I began to doubt myself. Like many girls, I began to think that art was a hobby, not a career. I would only be wasting my time if I pursued such a silly dream. And so I quit. Cold turkey. I put my completed portfolio in a closet, tossed out the art school brochures and applications, and stopped taking classes. I barely even doodled.

But I couldn’t put my desire to rest forever, and so after I had my children I began to create again. I took classes at the local adult school, at the museum in the next town, and eventually ended up in New Hampshire, nestled by a lake with over 100 other women who felt led in the same direction. And my world opened up again. It wasn’t too late!

Over the last three years I have continued to feel led, almost as if someone I couldn’t see was ahead of me on the path dropping breadcrumbs. I began playing with different mediums and collecting supplies. I read articles and magazines and books and blogs for inspiration. I started making jewelry and began to sell it. I made small gifts for family and friends that I created with my own hands. I began painting and drawing again. A sense of confidence and belonging began to slowly creep back in to my psyche. I was being led somewhere for sure, although I still couldn’t figure out exactly where. Little things happened that didn’t quite add up--a conversation with a stranger on a bench, a poem that cracked me open, an essay that made me understand who I am and made me cry for the girl I was, a chance meeting on an airplane, an amazing friend who listened without an ounce of judgment--all of these things and a million other small moments began to pile up. And then, in October, a mermaid crossed my path and suddenly I knew. I knew without a doubt.

Art classes for young girls. A space where they could be free and play and express themselves. A magical place where they could be bold and brave while they draw and paint and write. Talk if they want to talk or not speak at all. Have fun. Wear tutus. And wings. Hula hoop. Take pictures of themselves. Take pictures of each other. See their beauty. Dance. Get the opportunity to watch women creating in their studios or homes. Understand that art is real and worthwhile and it can change lives and take them places they never imagined.

And so Brave Girls Art is my intention. My friends Ruth and Andrew are “lending” me their amazing studio. And hopefully some families will lend me their girls every Saturday morning for an hour or two. We’ll paint and draw and and listen to good music and make mistakes and create the lives we want for ourselves. I’ll teach them all I know, but in the end I think they’ll teach me, too. We’ll empower each other.

So I’m laying out my intention here for you in hopes that you’ll send me some good vibes. Or maybe a great idea or two. I’m telling you this because I’m a little afraid (and, of course, brave girls admit when they are afraid) and I know you’ll encourage me. I’m telling you this in case you are cleaning out your closet or your kid’s room or your studio and you find something you think I could use for a project. I’m telling you this because if you are an artist or a writer (and lots of you are!) you might want to make a video for these girls to watch--maybe one of you creating art in your own space--or write them a letter or send them a secret message. I’m telling you this because, honestly, I’m usually really quiet about my endeavors. I’m afraid of failing, and I don’t always believe in myself--but this time I’m writing down my intentions and asking you to hold me accountable and encourage me. I’m telling you this because I’m almost 42 years old and I am finally realizing I am an artist and I am a writer and I am an emotional creature.

And I love, hear me,

love love love

being a girl.

A brave girl.

Classes start in January and you can follow us at