21 July 2014

wild spirit

Here is the progress I've made on my painting over the weekend. I felt really drawn to trying to paint an owl feather. I had found one on the path when I went for that labyrinth/hike. This painting is about accepting my wild spirit. You know what I'm talking about, I'm sure. That part hat feels the magic of being under big, tall trees, the soft cool air lifting my hair from my shoulders & thunderous with birdsong. Something in me uncoils & gets loose. Or, being suddenly at the lake, the air suddenly shifts & then the tang hits my nose & I know I have come home. I can feel the waves before I can even see them, frothy & mysterious, lapping at the shore. Something deep inside me corkscrews up. It is happy to be back in these elemental places & wants to dance or twirl.

16 July 2014

layers of the present

This canvas I painted in 2012. I felt like I had to paint over the majority of the canvas as my feelings changed about the painting, so I did. It never quite felt finished. However, I kept this upper corner because I 'liked' it. I thought I could reuse this section as I took the piece in a new direction. But it was a sign ... I wasn't quite ready to let go of this vision I had of what my life could become back in 2012. I had written a bunch of stuff on the back side ... I'll be adding more to the story when I get closer to the 'done' phase.

I started layering on colour & shapes & still, that upper left corner with its spirals & awesome colour palette still there. I do love these colours a lot. Doesn't this look just so ugly though in this phase?Totally ugly. It clearly looks like I'm trying to preserve something. Stepping back I realized that saving this section just wasn't working. It reminds me too much of the 'what if.' It was time to let go of that vision & work in the present moment. 2012 was gone. That moment of connection, however brief & intangible, (no matter how awesome & amazing & right I felt it to be) was over. 

That 'overness' was underscored this year quite strongly, when I attempted to reach out with a friendly gesture that was rebuffed in a way that deeply hurt & offended me. I can't have the reminder of this headspace (or heartspace) that the spirals represented because it just hurts too damn much. Still. After all this time.

So in one fell swoop of an old faux credit card, I scraped paint over that side of the canvas that I was desperately trying to preserve. I felt jumpy & nervous & excited. Slightly scared. I knew it was the right thing to do. I like how that old pattern is just slightly visible. It's like an archaeological dig of my soul. 

I'm working on the canvas now in this direction. I know, it looks weird apparently defying gravity while standing on the easel. I keep turning it around & adding things to it. I've added more things to it tonight that aren't pictured here. I'm just having fun experimenting with new things that are meaningful to me, right now, in this moment instead of dwelling  in the past or projecting myself into a future that doesn't exist. 

11 July 2014


I have been feeling SO exhausted this week. Crashing out at the latest by 10 & craving to go to bed around 8:30 or 9 pm. That is the best part of summer - those soft, pastel, light filled nights. I think I just need to do some restorative yoga somewhere in between coming home from work, dinner & going to bed. Also, side note, Champion makes really comfy gear that is not crazy expensive. Most happy ... we'll see how they hold up to a sweaty session of yoga in the living room.

Other things that have me captivated & such:

link to Brain Pickings article: Rethinking the Placebo Effect: How Our Minds Actually Affect Our Bodies

This quote turned me inside out last night:

"Run from what's comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I'll be mad." (Rumi)

01 July 2014


the trail where the mosquitos ate me up instead of the coyotes (there was a warning sign at the entrance)
I've been craving the outdoors like a wild thing. Appropriate since 'wild' is one of my words for the year. I am still looking for a place that doesn't seem to be manufactured or constructed by humans. Fresh air. Blue skies full of puffy white clouds. Sunshine. But, also bugs. I forgot about bugs when I thought that checking out this trail would be a good idea. It was not a good idea without bug repellent & a long sleeve shirt. It was just so dang hot & & humid! I had to abandon the trail because the mosquitos pretty much ate me up. Trail noob!

I keep seeing rabbits bounding around at dusk when I'm on the balcony. I have lived here for a looong time & have rarely seen rabbits. Maybe it's simply due to spending more time on the balcony or being more present, but I don't think so. I've been reading up on the meaning of rabbit medicine / spirit animal information. Interesting stuff. I'm still processing what I've read so far.

The other thing that has really, majorly, seriously shifted some things for me was walking a labyrinth.

located in Williamsburg Cemetery
I felt really extra-awake during the walk through the labyrinth. It was a bit surreal. At one point, the flagstones were covered with thousands of ants. I had decided to do the walk barefoot, so this was a problem. I feel utterly revolted by ants. I didn't want to actually step on any with my bare feet, so I was faced with the issue of how to continue to navigate the path when it seemed blocked. Go around? Quit? Put my shoes on? I took a breath or three & waited for a moment. I saw that the stones weren't completely covered & if I only put the ball of my foot down I could step through without squishing any ants. I knew almost instantly that this blockage was a bit of a test. How I reacted to the ants in my path is how I react to what I assume are blockages or obstacles in my life. Plow through & not worry about the damage caused? It was eye opening to get to the interior spaces inside myself. Also, just being in a cemetary was surprisingly emotional. It reminded me of dad & all the time he spent caretaking in the cemetary where he is now buried. I spent a lot of time there in the summer when I was little because I was ... well, little!

I realized that I create my world with my thoughts. I don't know how to explain this part ... but I had the sense that my thoughts about certain subjects were a paradox ... & it felt like such a relief to release patterns of thought I've held onto for a while. Honestly, for way too long. The stuff I couldn't let go of felt like a tiny tendril shooting out of my chest. An actual physical feeling of holding on.

Yet, I let go in the labyrinth. The entrenched thoughts (or beliefs or stuckness) felt like they broke free & flew off in the wind in between my foot rising & settling back down on the flagstone. It was an amazing moment. I held both sides of opposing & contradictory notions at once in my head for a brief moment & realized how right & wrong I'd been about someone.

This brings me back to the rabbit medicine & synchronicity. After seeing the Rabbit last night, briefly reading about rabbit medicine has deepened my experience in the labyrinyth & made me realize I was right to be jumpy about another person, I jumped onto Instagram. The very first photo on my feed was of a rabbit by ocarinaofrhyme & the caption was 'Guide to the shire.'

I'm onto something. Wild magic.

15 June 2014

restlessness & father's day

I'm sitting crosslegged on my bed, listening to Mumford & Sons & feeling utterly restless. I feel itchy & tired & slightly headachy. Maybe I need a nap. Or a proper tea. I'm losing focus. Drifting off.

I spent all Saturday rearranging the furniture in the bedroom & then rearranging my desk area in the living room. Things are still not exactly finished, but coming along.

I took the fabric & stuff off of the dresser. I'm not sure what I'm going to put on it, but it needs something. I'm even thinking of painting it. The finish isn't perfect, but it's solid wood. I want to change the hardware on it too. The bottom drawers only have handles on the sides. It's annoying. Those side handles on the upper drawers are annoying too. I just want knobs. I've changed the curtains too. Took the blind that was rolled up with ribbon down & put up beige curtains I had kicking around so they block out more sun. Yes, I had blackout curtains in here, but I was sick of the bland beige colour. I've had the same curtains in the bedroom for like ever, so I needed a refresh. It made me feel bored to see the beige against the beige. Those crazy Mexican inspired red curtains really do pop in here.

the hodgepodge makes me cringe & dusting the Expedit gives me rage
I think I've also fixed the ceiling fan wobble thanks to the internets. It has wobbled for years & I didn't know what to do about it. I didn't want to put in a maintenance request because it just seemed a bit ridiculous. Turns out that fan blades get loose over time & that is the first thing that should be checked. There was one screw that had almost fallen out on one blade. So no wonder it was so wobbly. I also learned that there is a difference between a wobble versus a rocking ceiling fan. Wobble usually indicates an issue with the fan blades & is an elliptical path, while rocking indicates a problem with how the fan was mounted to the ceiling & is a straight side to side motion. I will make further adjustments by holding the nut on the top side of the blade with some pliers & making sure the screws are in as tight as possible. I will be able to stay cool this summer without having to buy tons of fans. Floor fans are so harsh & loud, I never get a very good sleep since I can't fully relax.

Also, today is Father's Day. My dad has been gone now for 4 years (but much longer because of the stroke & such). He was a quiet & gentle man, close to the earth, but never really expressed emotions. I think stoicness in dad's upbringing was just a way of life. Emotions were slippery things, dangerous, best to keep them hidden. I miss my dad, the conversations we could have had, now that I'm an adult. But he had me late in his life, at 44, so our paths were destined to part much earlier than most people my age.

my fridge magnet poetry

I feel a bit wistful that we didn't really know each other. But do children ever really know their parents? Do parents ever really know their children? Once into the preteen/teenland, parents are cut off. Secrets are kept. Identities are formed. Hijinks ensue. As a teen, you think your parents don't know what you are up to, but they do. Most likely, they have been there & done that. Unless your parents were from a different generation like mine. They really didn't understand the world I lived in as a teen. To put it into perspective, my dad was 16 in 1944. I was sixteen in 1988. The world had changed so much, even the language we spoke wasn't exactly the same even if it sounded like English. 

I simply didn't have the time to get to the other side of teenland where I wanted to hang out with my parents & be able to talk to them about stuff like adults do. I don't have a relationship with my mother anymore. It was always difficult, but I just couldn't handle the toxicity. The wounding that would happen on a regular basis. 

from Pinterest
I feel like I'm at peace, mostly. That is the boldest & bravest thing I could say about myself. 

26 May 2014

going back

stay open

I've finally reached it, the last day of vacation. I sit here & listen to the birdsong & the traffic & the sirens ... just after 9 am & the city feels quiet again.

I will try to remember not to fall into rushing once I re-enter non-vacation life. It makes me feel frantic & stressed. I will try to make Sundays slow days, move chores off that day & make it more grounding, more soul filling.

There are a couple of paintings I started working on that still aren't quite finished. There are a few tweaks on the one painting that I just haven't got to yet. It's close to being done. I can feel it. I think.

I feel a bit fuzzy around the edges today. Not exactly headachy, but not exactly clear.

25 May 2014


I sat on the balcony yesterday afternoon & just soaked up the day. I stared & stared at the blue sky. There was some weird construction clatter going on all day that was fairly annoying. In the evening when it finally stopped I just sat & listened to the quiet. The sudden absence of the noise felt huge.  I finally felt like I could release my breath & relax. I didn't realize how unsettled I felt all day. 

I grabbed my mug to take a sip of tea & realized that I had already drunk all my tea. This is such a specific feeling I can't even articulate it without sounding like a complete loon.

I've been looking for reasons, understanding, looping over the same emotional terrain for far, far too long. Where are my wings? When will I receive my call to love & adventure & stuff? I don't have the answers. This is irking me. I don't understand why I seemed to make a connection, but then it goes nowhere. I've been leaning into the idea that this connection was a lesson that I needed to learn & am still learning. 

The whisper of truth that comes to me ... this lesson is about letting go.

I had a dream last night about an actor. It felt like I got sucked into the tv show he is on & that it was a real world, not make believe. There was intrigue & danger & sex & the feel of hands sliding over skin & white cotton sheets & passion & darkness & a bit about running.
It was a good dream.