magazine perfect family gatherings
gorgeous butter cookies w edible glitter
beautiful IG posts every day
constantly cleaning up after aging pets – rug at the curbside this week…
borrowed batteries out of a remote to light up the mantel for this photo
writing deadline displaced cookie baking. Day 3 and I’m already behind on my own personal challenge.
The full moon is my cue to let go of that which does not serve. Once a month seems to be about as long as I can go without a healthy accounting of my angst, agendas and judgment. When the moon shines bright, I let go. I forgive. [Especially my 18 year old self. She did the best she knew how.] I bless and release. I surrender. Today’s gentle reminder has a heaping teaspoon of truth telling. Because tis the season for agendas and unrealistic expectations. Listen, decide what you truly want and let go of the rest. Unrealistic magazine expectations and perfectionism don’t deserve your energy. Give your attention to the important things. [Pro tip: You decide the important things.] For us this year: generosity, family and simple ways.
I’m letting the light of the moon wash me w clarity and grace. I’m opening my hand and releasing image management. My intentions are focused on rich connection and good chocolate. On analog faces and peaceful spaces.
Open your hand. What stays and what goes?
“We have another chance to navigate, perhaps in a slightly different way than we did yesterday. We cannot go back. But we can learn.”– Jeffery R. Anderson The Nature of Things – Navigating Everyday Life with Grace
“I am not going to tell you my name, not yet at any rate.’ A queer half-knowing, half-humorous look came with a green flicker into his eyes. ‘For one thing it would take a long while: my name is growing all the time, and I’ve lived a very long, long time; so my name is like a story. Real names tell you the story of things they belong to in my language, in the Old Entish as you might say. It is a lovely language, but it takes a very long time saying anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.”>> Treebeard in JRR Tolkien’s The Two Towers
“You share with people who have earned the right to hear your story.”
“You have to think long and hard about who has earned the right to hear this story. And, with whom am I in a relationship that can bear the weight of this story?”
“And now you’ll be telling storiesof my coming backand they won’t be false, and they won’t be truebut they’ll be real”>> Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings
“And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”>> Paul Coelho, The Alchemist
“Intuition is the voice of the Spirit within you.” ~Morgan Llewllyn
Friday, 1 July 2016
This morning’s pages were filled with found text and words in multiple layers.
Exercises in listening.
Exercises in expression.
Exercises in discovery.
May you find your voice and path on this day.
BE in your life,
Wednesday 29 June 2016
Back to the #100sharesproject after a pause to solve a series of website challenges.
noun con·tain·er \kən-ˈtā-nər\
a receptacle for holding goods
A cup of tea.
A book with a story between its covers.
A circle of women holding laughter and safety in their locked arms.
A life is a container filled with minutes spent and connections made. Within our lives are many containers like small stacking dolls inside of one large doll. Creative practice is a sacred container. A container for soul work. A container for words and the work of our hands and the messages we want to live and send out into the world.
By sacred container I mean a receptacle for emotions and presence. A safe place to bring awareness to emotions and to reflect on what stays and what goes. Spiritual and creative practices are alive and well in the containers we create. In our art and in the circles of people where we gather.
Our spiritual and creative practice is in the gardens we plant, the journeys we take and the work of our hands. In the evenings when we gather our family around the table. In the pages when we pour out words. In the communities we build and the difference we make when we courageously choose love.
In these spaces, we weave heart and mind together. We heal. We grow. We transcend.
After countless workshops and coaching sessions and years of honoring my own practice within the pages of a journal, I have come to appreciate the value of creating SAFE containers.
Sturdy, yet flexible containers that hold a FULL RANGE of life and emotions.
Whether navigating grief, collecting wisdom and gratitude, or simply documenting the glory of the everyday, may you create the spaces and pages that uphold your life.
Be in your life,
I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way — things I had no words for. ~Georgia O’Keeffe
Wednesday 22 June 2016
I started a new journal on Monday. There was a full moon on the longest day of the year – it seemed an auspicious day for a fresh start.
The pages are unlined and lightweight. Not typical of the hand bound journals I’ve been making for myself the last couple of years, but it was on hand and I could tell that the Inhabit Your Territory book was at a close.
The first thing that I do with a new journal is begin to prep pages. I differentiate between Empty pages and Blank pages. [HERE’S a post that talks about that.]
So often, my voice is wrapped in colors and lines. English is too stiff or too far away. Text without image no longer satisfies. I think that lines and color must have been my first language. Having pages filled with color and shape put me one step closer to speaking the language of my soul.
Am ready for the days ahead. Ready to listen. Ready to collect. Ready to reflect.
What sort of containers do you create for your soul work?
BE in your life,
“I’ll write to you. A super-long letter, like in an old-fashioned novel”
Tuesday 21 June 2016
I believe in the power of a handwritten letter. A keyboard is effective for capturing words before they fly away. But, moving a pen across a piece of paper gives mind and heart a richer expression.
Today was a day for letters. Some of them straight into my journal so that my soul could have its say. And others into envelopes with beautiful stamps to send on their way.
Whether you deliver a letter or not, tending to your correspondence provides a place to recognize the reality of a situation, to say what needs to be said, and to take the time it takes to formulate words.
“The road must be run safe first, and fast afterward.”
— Rulebook of the New York & Erie Railroad, 1854.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Monday 20 June 2016
SAFETY … RISK … SAFETY … RISK … SAFETY … RISK
I feel the constant tension between the two. In art and in life, there is a juxtaposition. I don’t recall the path to how I became cautious and slow-moving, but I know that I am. And yet deep down inside, I know that’s not all that I am. I have always had snappy eyes and ready words and I remember skinned knees and wild outfits along with hiding under blankets with books and flashlight. SAFETY AND RISK. I need both and. I am both and.
As contemplative as I am, I have to move my body and my ideas often. As free-spirited as I am, I thrive in structure. I tell myself NO daily to something I really want in order to keep my boundary muscles strong. And I choose something uncomfortable every day just to stay in good standing with risk.
I easily indulge the desire to retreat and I create safe places to sip tea and think. I love to hunker down and read books and write words and paint in order to suss out path. I will also risk in huge ways with myself and others when it comes to words that must be said and questions that must be asked.
Safety and Risk.
There is a pendulum swing between safety and risk.
We must explore both our frontiers and our cave dwellings.
In art and in life, we must understand when we need to increase safety and when we need to increase risk. We undermine forward motion if we hunker down when the clear cry is for risk; and we harm both our body and psyche, if we constantly hit override in order to serve a product over our inner knowing for self care, security and rest.
It is a precious ebb and flow. We must move between the two. It is a profound listening that we must engage in. We must recognize the sensations of our skin crawling, our heart beating more quickly, or a deep breath. We must open the eyes and ears of our heart.
This is why I faithfully keep a journal. Not just to make pretty pages, although sometimes they are. Not to document my daily life, although that happens, too. But, so that I can be honest with my self about whether I am to take a risk or create safety.
I keep a journal, because as I paint and glue and collect and sift, I hear whether in this moment, I am warrior or care giver.
The pages help me clarify whether or not today is a day for No or Yes.
And glory, glory, glory! Gone are the days when I let someone else make that call for me.
May you, with wisdom, know when to hold safety close to your chest and when to kiss risk full on the lips.
BE in your life,
Sunday 19 June 2016
Gosh, these card store holidays are just hard. A mixed bag of love and loss and heartache and joy. I cannot talk about all the love I have on this day, without keeping close, those for whom the word Father is a place of wounding or sadness.
My father has been gone from this earth for over a decade. And let me say this, the saying about time healing all wounds is only partially true. While it’s true that I don’t miss my father daily like I used to, the passage of time doesn’t compensate for the fact that grief doesn’t play fair.
The sensation of loss fades, but anniversaries and holidays and surprise moments haven’t gone away. I can be walking along just fine and then trip in a gopher hole memory. Sometimes I cry and sometimes I enjoy a happy memory. I never know which it will be.
Days like today are never straight up celebration. There’s so much to be grateful for and yet, it’s also mixed with a little sadness. I miss you Daddy.
Today our family celebrates one of the best men I know. Rands you love us with acts of service and sacrifice. Your heart is bigger than your biceps. Which is no small thing! You share wisdom generously and make things happen. Your embrace has reached exceedingly far beyond the children we birthed. We love your dad jokes, your grandpa slippers and the way that you champion creativity. We are grateful for your open hands, honest prayers and countless acts of service. You simultaneously guard the perimeter and share your heart. You are a rare breed. All the love and respect.
1996 Family portrait by Joshua Garmon, age 7
What is a weed? I have heard it said that there are sixty definitions. For me, a weed is a plant out of place. ~Donald Culross Peattie
We can in fact only define a weed, mutatis mutandis, in terms of the well-known definition of dirt – as matter out of place. What we call a weed is in fact merely a plant growing where we do not want it. ~E.J. Salisbury, The Living Garden, 1935
Weeds are nature’s graffiti. ~J.L.W. Brooks
A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows. ~Doug Larson
I learn more about GodFrom weeds than from roses;Resilience springingThrough the smallest chink of hopeIn the absolute of concrete….~Phillip Pulfrey, “Weeds,” Perspectives
“Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter. And lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.” ~Jack London
Thursday 16 June 2016
I’ve been cleaning up the archive and found this set of collage pages. I love how these pages hold story. Joshua was in Sydney and we still bought DVDs. Long forgotten appointments are scribbled in margins; even the paper and the tape point to details. Hockey tape from the boys, masking tape from the classroom and painters tape & some kind of metallic plumber’s tape from house projects.
Set design notes and a tea tag from the cup of tea I was drinking during a production meeting. Origami paper taped in with a strip of hockey tape. I’ve been making pages long enough that design elements and ephemera are dating themselves and telling stories. I now see the benefit in collecting bits and pieces from day to day life in order to reflect and celebrate later. “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” William Wordsworth
I’ve been making pages long enough that design elements and ephemera are dating themselves and telling stories. I now see the benefit in collecting bits and pieces from day to day life in order to reflect and celebrate later.
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” William Wordsworth
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.”
Wednesday 15 June 2016
In my child rearing years, I was often asked how I managed to create art. The answer was quite simply that I created in the cracks and crevices of my life.
Cracks-and-crevices are the little nooks and crannies of your schedule. The 20 minutes here and the 15 minutes there, in a waiting room or while a piano lesson is happening . I learned to create in scenarios that were less than ideal. At least not up to the standard of what my Inner Critic considered a “perfect” environment.
Because I wanted to create more than I wanted to wait for the perfect time and place.
I created a system that allowed me to work in a book whenever I could manage it. And I let the increments count.
These days I carry my journal everywhere.
A shift happened when Rands bought me a camera. I started taking it everywhere and got into the habit of seeing and capturing daily. Carrying the camera awakened the old habit of carrying a sketchbook/journal which in turn facilitated drawing and writing skills that had lain dormant. What started out as sharing photo galleries with family, eventually became a blog, which lead to even more self-permission. As I started labeling more in my life as art, seeing and creating became a daily practice. Now making art in the cracks-and-crevices is a way of life for me. I believe that art exists in everywhere, if we simply recognize and make room for it.
Where do you create? Do you let it count?
BE in your life,
“What needs to be counted on to have a voice? Courage. Anger. Love. Something to say; someone to speak to; someone to listen. I have talked to myself for years in the privacy of my journals.”~Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice