Saturday, November 6, 2010


Blissful is the moment when the last care pirouettes from the conscious, handing the dance to the warm, seemingly empty. Sleep is the technique I’ve mastered. In most cases, I can accomplish this big important nothing on demand. I’m nearly famous for sleeping through loud music, snooze-buttons, fire-engine sirens, and flashing lights. Impressively, when outdoors on the ground, I have slept through hail storms and multiple dogs licking my face. Basically, amidst any situation where I allow myself permission to sleep, there lies a seamless accomplishment. It is no coincidence that life in dream space fascinates me, even beckons me, to discover it’s meaning.

I could not even recall most my dreams when I first joined the Jungian dream group. I buried them away, tucking them deeply into the unknown. One of my main reasons for joining was to learn to weave my dreams from one dimension to the other, and I could not believe the ease of accomplishing this goal. You simply ask. The practice of asking the world for something and getting it so quickly in return is a daunting and exhilarating revelation.

Equally exhilarating are the dreams that I’ve remembered and recorded. I’ve witnessed gigantic moons giving birth and tasted fluffy sweet clouds. I’ve seen flying mice, silvery-beaded fish, and plenty of lions. I’ve curated magnificent gallery openings for horrific art, given my kids the freedom to fly, rejuvenated and rekindled innocent long lost loves. I’ve fallen from tall buildings and died, revived instantly by the person who loved me the most. Let’s just say I’ve escaped from the prairie, the reoccurring dream I’ve had since I was a child. I’ve discovered that by honoring the creative force that is screaming to be heard in this forum, I am creating a new life within myself outside of the unconscious.

It is a theory that we, ourselves, are all of the characters in our dreams. Because we all are mirrors, the people involved are primarily the emotions that they represent to our own lives. With this theory in mind, I am now more intensely troubled by the dreams where I am surrounded by jerks, wondering if I am the jerk or the victim. Either has their burden to bear. More enlightening is the suggestion that we are ever-powerful, capable of living our lives to it’s full potential by recognizing the symbols of awareness that intertwine our every moment. These are available to us when we choose to be present, whether we are sleeping, or not.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Words cannot describe how much I miss my Mom. Not just today, but every day. In the last 11 months, I have staggered up the predictable ladder of grief that they tell you about in hospice. Numbed with disbelief, saddened by reality, angered by the theft, shocked at my own emotional fragility, hollowed by the absence of her laugh. Today, I stepped back to angry, although it is aimed in an entirely different direction. Away from the world in general, today, I am sending my anger to Hallmark. They set me up. The thing is, I knew they were setting me up. Like a impending train wreck that you predict from miles down the track, you cannot stop the train, you simply brace yourself for the upcoming impact.

My protective padding is cushioned in the warm memories of tenderly designed handmade cards, endless hugs and kisses, breakfast toast nibbled in bed, vases stuffed with yellow dandelions picked and presented with huge and innocent love. There is nothing greater in this life than the honor of being a mother to them and a daughter to her. It is that gratitude, delicately mixed with the strength that she instilled in me, that will get me through this day.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Has Sprung!

I have been so excited for spring this year. Even though we have been void of the excessive snowfall that I love so much, I am very ready to get out of the cold and dreary in exchange for some sweet sunshine! This time, though, I am on a mission.

In part of my "reduce everything 10%" goal of the year, my mission is to grow enough to sustain my own food intake for a month and a half. Being a girl that really loves food, this takes a whole lot of planning, which goes against every grain of reason embedded in my soul! I have constructed a whole agricultural utopia in my head, and I am here to admit I am a little nervous about the outcome. I am from the midwest, you know, the place where you can plant any seed and just watch it grow. No watering, no precise timing of the snipping and the crooning, just stick it in the ground and come back for the plentiful harvest in a couple months. In my mind, Colorado agricultural resembles a spoiled child: particular, needy and unreliable.

For some reason, this year I am unusually excited to accept the challenge that greets me in this climate. It may be because I have been successful in nurturing gorgeous flowers that ignite my dinner-table, it may be because I am determined to be more self sufficient and comfortable in independence. It may be that I am addicted to the musty smell of the deep-earth when you unveil the layer above. Or, the fascination of the colony of life that lives in the layer below. I really don't know, except that I am ready, and that I will celebrate every seed of squash that peeps her head above the ground and joins me in my quest.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Peaceful Warrior

I really love my Tai Chi class, and am already getting sad that the end of the first phase is so quickly approaching. There is a plethora of things that attract me to this practice, but I think it's supreme seduction is the alignment with my belief that gentleness is indeed our greatest strength.

If you were to peek through the windows of my class, you would see a bunch of undulating bodies, aesthetically practicing and perfecting the every movement involved of the Yang style Tai Chi 6-form. Yet, when inside, you could hear the stories behind the motion, and know that every gesture involved has intent. If you know anything about me, you realize I am a huge fan of movement, stories and intent. All of them. No wonder this discipline has me so intrigued.

Physically, I realize what how great the benefit I have received in the gift of balance. I am not exaggerating when I admit that in the entire time that I have known myself, the perpetual truth is the assortment of red, purple and yellow bruises that have adorned my legs. Appearing so often so that I cannot even tell you where they came from. Forever sliding into thin door frames, and toppling over furniture, grace has never been a noun I could call my own. For the first time ever, and in just 8 short weeks, my legs are completely barren of the palette of those colorful and bitter caustics. And, in the icy season, no less.

From a self-defense standpoint, I am more confident than I ever have been. I have learned that in aiding an attacker with their own veracity will bring them down much faster than I. I feel like I can walk the earth without fear that I will be too weak to face the forces that were once a threat to my independence.

Emotionally, I am present. I realize is something that I have not been able to claim for a while. In Tai Chi, the physical works with the emotional in ways that are so simple, they almost go unnoticed. That is, until you notice them like a slap in the face.

Flowing water never becomes stagnant, a swinging hinge never rusts.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Lady in Red

One of the greatest gifts this life has given me is the opportunity to experience art in a multitude of simple, intricate, realistic and abstract forms. In both creation and admiration I have molded the segments of my psyche to form the solid and compound substance of who I am.

Many are the recollections that I have of tromping through art museums with Mom. We would center our vacations together around art exhibits, and absorb the aura of the city which the art was housed as almost a sideline, a pesky detail. A game turned habit, we would create abstruse stories of the masterpiece before us, the story of the illustration, the story of the person who put it down. The majestic sterile museum air would fill with dense laughter as we decided that the Mona Lisa was actually watching porn, you could see it in her eyes. I didn't think about it until now, but in this game Mom was also handing me a magnificent coping skill to deal with the grief of losing her some day. One thing that connected us so deeply was our grand appreciation for art and it's powerful ability to change, possibly verify, a thought. In some cases, change a life. What a beautiful contribution that art makes to our world to open itself to opinion, perspective and honest interpretation exactly from the eyes of the beholder only.

All that being said, it brings me to the story of the Lady in Red. There was a benefit in my community for a local deli that was having rough times. Many artists graciously dedicated their works of art to an auction to support their cause, and in return the shop would transform any cash donations to food donations to the homeless. Any one who knows me, you know I would not miss this event, art combined with community is possibly my favorite recipe for hope. Add altruism to the mix, and I am hopelessly attracted!

I was so impressed by the quality of work that was donated to the auction, I marveled for hours, of course making up stories about all the work laid out across the deli counters.

When I came to the Lady in Red, this was what I decided about her: "She is a vibrant, passionate and strong woman. She loves intensely. She is comfortable in independence, yet shocked at suddenly having to exercise solitude at the fullest. Sometimes her light actually creates the darker shadows that surround her, but that is ok, she is just trying to find her place in the newness of recognizing the shadow that invisibly and secretively became one with her. She is dressed for the party, but there is a deep grief inside her that keeps her from actually stepping in. She wants to step in, but for the first time ever, she does not know how, she just needs to make amends with the changes first. She will be fine, she is just dramatically adjusting to things in her life that happened that she had not dreamed of yet."

I went on and created stories for about 3 other paintings before I realized that I just fully described myself in the Lady in Red. My physical characteristics look nothing like her, but it was almost like the artist (Lance Green) had stolen my soul and attached it to her. The big difference was, is that it had never honestly occurred to me that I was going to be okay after the loss after loss after loss in my life the previous year. There was a unexplained comfort that overcame me in believing that she was going to be strong enough to step back into the party, so to say. For the first time, I truly believed deep inside my heart that I would be okay, too.

The most miraculous thing to me is that color mixed with fiber could lead me to conclusions that never crossed my mind before they were introduced to me in this fashion. How powerful and spiritual the connection when you truly let your mind open to the stories of "what if" presented to you with intentions that might be completely different than what the artist had personally processed in creation, but they put it out there for you to perceive in whatever way you wish. How honest and infinite would our lives be if we could see everything as art and therefore possibility? And, how fortunate am I that the universe worked with me, and the Lady in Red is always now with me to remind me of this every single day?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Green Haiku

I came across some poems that I wrote a few years ago while relaxing on the Yucatan Peninsula. I have a particular fondness for haiku, it is like an affirmation that less is indeed more.

She is the green Earth
And when the full moon appears
Her soul fills the sky

Stinky green paper
Steals son from his mother
Shows him to his grave

Deckled white sea surf
Erase blue green expansion
With random fervor

Shiny green bottle
Pouring blood red contentment
Sweetening your words

Olive kayak floats
Paddles raised in unison
Cares left on the beach

She has yellow hair
Red lips short black skirts and You
I'm green with envy

Naked green lady
Blissfully unaware that she's
Documenting time

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What do you really deserve?

I wonder if people ever notice that I literally physically cringe with discomfort and annoyance when I hear the word “deserve”. It boldly towers over every other pet peeve that I hold dear to my heart! Therefore, I have chosen this forum as an opportunity to rant, and here it goes:

The concept of deserving has added more grief and unhappiness than any other concept in the history of the spoken word. When people truly think they deserve, it divides classes, promotes laziness, invokes war, feeds both greed and inequality. The very idea of deserving is based on the assumption that life is fair, that we have an equal start. It is not true, we come from different economic and social backgrounds, even our unique and intricate DNA patterns beg to argue the theory of fairness on any level. The most common usages of “deserve” has absolutely nothing to do with the natural consequences that the world would bestow on us, and I would like to outline some of them now.

"You deserve a raise." It is my opinion that there is a decrease in the value of work ethics because of this theory. When someone snags a large contract, works extra hours, or simply does a kick ass job at work, they feel they automatically deserve to be additionally compensated beyond what their initial contract was with their employer. When a person takes a position, it should automatically be in their mind that they are going to do the best job possible at the price that they agreed on. Because we are told so repeatedly that we deserve more, it actually decreases moral if something beyond wasn’t extended as payment. But, can you even imagine the job interview that these expectations were outlined? “Okay, I am going to come to your organization, do a piss-ass job for the wage you are offering. If I do good, I deserve more.” Unless you are commission only, you would not be hired! We should already have enough personal integrity that demands that when you take a job, you will do your best, and believe that a job well done is a very high reward.

We are now taught at a very early age that benefits that are not related to the actual award are deserved. We give dollars for “A’s” on report cards to small children, rather than teach them to relish pride in that accomplishment alone. Think about this scenario, you have 2 children, one is very smart and one is kind of dumb. The smart kid easily gets great grades, and therefore gets monetary rewards when the grade cards come in. The less intelligent kid works his tail off and gets a “C”, so he is not rewarded. The smart lazy kid learns entitlement, the dumb hardworking kid gets the shaft! Shouldn’t hard work and advancement that naturally comes from doing your best be the lesson?

"You deserve better." This is a phrase that is so commonly used when girlfriends are consoling each other after a relationship goes south. In actuality, when we are saying that, we are robbing them of any control of their own situations. Wouldn’t it much more empowering to say “you want different and it is your conscious choice of what you are going to do with that”? The majority of times when this is said, it is over something so very trivial, such as he didn’t call. So when that is uttered, it is implying that he is a worse human being because he did not do something that she alone assumed would be done. In actuality, he is probably a very decent person if she chose him in the first place. Additionally, why is she different? Doesn’t everyone deserve love

"You deserve a break today." Marketers are in total ecstacy over the ease of convincing people that they deserve every little thing that is available. Once convinced, it just balloons from there. In our society, if one is fortunate enough to afford a well, they automatically come to the conclusion that they deserve water. In contrast, the penal system is overflowing with people who did not get what they deserved in childhood, and consistently deserved less as a consequence for their initial misfortune.

These are only a few examples in which this concept throws me in a tizzy. They may sound trivial, but they’re real and they compound in ways that I cannot even describe in a one-page composition. Call me a Socialist, but I believe that the word “deserve” should be deleted from our language unless it is includes the word “everybody” in front of it.