Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Gratitude -- gobble, gobble -- gratitude.  MANIFESTING dreams.  Knowing and trusting when something is right.  Giddy about the future.  The warmth of a fresh brew on a chilly morning.  Turning up the heat while preparing for visits and surprises.   Carrying out both without a hitch.   Hiking up the mountain, meditating at the top.  Flirtatious correspondence, playful interaction, brisk sunset hikes.  Heeding the warning signs.  Clarity trumping fear.  Journaling dreams.  Deep fried turkey, clinking wine glasses, new friends and old.  Grounded by yoga, anchored by connection.  Lucky, lucky, lucky to be surrounded by and feeling so much love.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Muse Monday - Heinz and Veronique Lievre

When a film construction designer from Germany and a set decorator/artist from France merged their dreams a boutique hotel in Yelapa, Mexico resulted and a romantic union emerged.  Heinz and Veronique's passion for unobstructed splendor and nourishing the body and soul can be seen in Verana's elegant architecture and design.  Their creation inspires me to follow my bliss, surround myself with tranquility and beauty and save my pesos so one day I can visit their slice of heaven on the Mexican coast.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Heart

After a few weeks away from the mat, it felt good to sweat and chant in my favorite Sunday morning yoga class.  During my practice I often ask the universe for guidance and clarity.  Today I was reminded that all I have to do is be quiet and listen.  The truth is always within reach.  The serpent may try to misdirect me, but if I trust and honor that I DO indeed know what is best for me I will always be guided to the right path.  I spent the afternoon at home, listening to the wind  rattle my windows.  I love my old house, for it has many wonderful attributes, but proper insulation and an effective heating system aren't on the list.  I journeyed back out into the blustery late afternoon for a heart pumping sunset hike.  I captured the magic of the orange orb as it sank below the horizon and stored it in my soul.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I crave days like today.  If too much time passes without unstructured hours of solitude and possibility stretched out before me like a cat sprawled out on a couch, I get cranky.   Socializing and entertaining kicked into high gear early in the month leaving little time for my creative endeavors.  My self portraits, snapped on the fly, became obligatory.  I shamefully admit, several days passed without me  completing the task.  The assignments for an online art class piled up in my in box, unread.  But then there was today.  After meeting a friend for a glorious morning hike in the crisp autumn air followed by a stop at the farmer's market, I spent hours painting with watercolors and taking photographs.  In between creative pursuits I made a pot of lentil soup.  Through out the day I even completed mundane tasks -- paying bills, making a to-do list for the week, organizing holiday plans -- and felt a rush of accomplishment.  As the sun settled into the horizon, rain began to fall -- the perfect sound signaling the end of a flawless day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

This Moment

Thursday, November 25, 2010



I'm truly aware of my good fortune every day, yet I still embrace a national day dedicated tto gratitude.   Loving emails, phone calls and texts from friends and family members underscore how lucky I am.  The universe has provided me with abundance in so many facets of my life.  There's nothing I wish for.   I am at peace in the moment,  basking in bountiful joy.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


As my parents were packing and getting ready to return to New Jersey out of town friends began arriving for my brother's surprise party.  Days were spent shopping, baking, cooking and cleaning.  Two hours before the party, I had an unexpected surprise,  my downstairs bathroom flooded.  Water gushed into the hallway and  continued to flow into the master bedroom and closet.  Use of all plumbing was off limits.   My immediate response, "I can't deal with this right now",  quickly shifted to laughter and a call to Roto Rooter.  My shower was reduced to brushing my teeth and shaving my legs with a Tupperware of cold water on my patio.  The snake, grinding in and out of my pipes, could barely be heard over the party playlist as friends started to arrive.  I hushed the guests as the phone rang thinking it was the warning call from the friend who was delivering my brother to the party.  It was Roto Rooter following up on the quality of the service.  The actual birthday surprise went off without a hitch.

Friday, November 19, 2010

This Moment

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I hear my parents stir with the first light of dawn.  The water in the shower gurgles as it runs down the drain.  The zipper on the suitcase is fastened after last minute items are stowed.  Their flight isn't for several hours, but they will depart soon in anticipation of traffic, getting lost, and long lines at the rental car agency.  We differ in this way, I like to have as little time as possible in the departure lounge.  Last night I made them peanut butter and apricot jam sandwiches for them to take on their journey.  I'll add a couple of pieces of fruit this morning and pack it in a brown paper sack as if they were heading to grammar school.  The lines between parent and child have certainly blurred as we've aged.  I'm more protective of them.  I find myself uttering "no" through out the day.  My father resisted my declaration as he lugged groceries up the stairs, steps he has to take one at a time.  I get them water when they need to take their pills after dinner.  I hand write directions before they go off exploring on their own and we read them together in the hope avoiding the inevitable wrong turn and ensuing bickering.  Several years ago my mother calculated if she lived another fifteen years and saw me once a year she'd only see me another fifteen times before she died.  My defenses flared.  I tried to respond rationally to an emotional computation.  I see them more than once a year and the visits are often longer than a week.  I moved cross country over 18 years ago, but the anguish I caused my parents is still a fresh wound.  The guilt lobbed my way no longer sticks.  I will never be able to give them enough time.  I will never be able to give them enough of me.  For years, our visits left me emotionally depleted, but time has shifted the experience.  I've changed.  I'm grateful for their visit, and yet I feel liberated by their departure.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I woke up certain today was Friday and before getting out of bed started to review photos for my This Moment post.  When I logged on to my blog I thought it odd my last entry was from Tuesday.  Didn't I blog yesterday?  Slow morning brain.  A few more seconds passed before I realized today is Wednesday.  Friday is days away. I haven't been fully aware of the days of the week for some time now.  Not much distinguishes Monday from Thursday from Sunday especially now that MAD MEN has ended.  At times it's a little disorienting and on occasion I miss the thrill of anticipating Friday after a long week, but overall it's a wonderful feeling.  Letting go of the traditional week day cycle is like letting go of hand rails on a steep down hill climb.  There are no brakes during the week, just a free fall through time and space.  Of late, I've been letting go of many constructs and belief systems.  I feel freer, lighter, more spontaneous and hopeful.  My days are brimming with satisfaction and joy.  I think about the future, in fact I'm excited about it, but I'm fully present in the here and now, in Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


My parents' ten day visit is winding down.  In truth, it's been one of the easiest, most enjoyable times I've spent with them in years.  It's bittersweet.  Their limitations and encroaching senility make them more pleasant to be around.  Their marriage, which for most of my life was something they endured, comforts them.  The mornings haven't started with sharp, angry words hurled at each other from across the breakfast table.  Their animosity has weakened along with their bones and memory.   They are more accepting of each other and of me.  Their concerns about my future, and all that is missing in my life hasn't been a focal point of our conversations.   If I was offered the trade -- to go back in time, to have vibrant, youthful parents again -- I would certainly hesitate for I would be restoring the tension as well.  In its cruelty, life can beautiful.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Muse Monday - William Eggleston

I visited the fantastic William Eggleston exhibit at LACMA this week.  In 1976, southern born Eggleston exhibitedt at MOMA and became the first solo artist to showcase color photography.  This was a turning point for the medium and solidified its stature in the fine art world.  Interestingly, these very same images were initially shunned by gallery owners and museum curators.  Eggleston inspires me to stay true to my vision.  He makes me look at my every day surroundings with a fresh lens.  I am able to see beauty in the mundane.  I watch the light turn corners of my world into vibrant technicolor.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Although I spend a lot of time in Palm Springs I was unaware it was such a patriotic town.  After having lunch with my parents, strolling through a gallery, and buying milk and eggs at Ralph's we came across barriers on the main street.  The sidewalk was lined with locals waving flags in anticipation of  the Veterans' Day Parade.  I willingly put my afternoon hike on hold as we perched against a concrete wall, faces warmed by the fading sun.  Within minutes we heard the the drum line from the local high school marching band.  Overhead vintage military planes housed at the air museum soared across the blue sky.   Proud marines, JROTC,  and vets from WW II filed across the pavement, clicking their hells in unison.  The crowed cheered for a 100 year old war hero, decorated with two purple hearts, as he waved from the back of a pristine, vintage Sedan de Ville.  The vets from Vietnam wore uniforms of leather and red, white and blue bandanas as they ripped their Harleys down the street.  I thought about the recent election and the polarizing tide that is ripping our nation apart.  I thought about the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting futile wars.  I thought about our government struggling under the weight of bipartisanship and the gridlock in Congress.  And yet I was overcome with patriotic pride.  Tears pooled in my eyes several times during the parade, my throat tight with emotion.  The procession ended with a fireworks display.  The colors of our flag burst across the sky and I felt an overwhelming sense of hope.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thrown Off

My parents arrived on Monday for a ten day visit.  My hours are no longer my own.  My camera's shutter doesn't snap as often.  My blog posts are delayed.  It's not as though we are running around town visiting tourist attractions or trying to get a glimpse of a celebrity.   My mother and father are 82 and 79, respectively, and although relatively healthy their limitations are becoming more pronounced.  My father's mobility is impaired from chronic knee and joint pain.  His short term memory seems to evaporate like steam in a shower.  This is the first time I've encountered my mother's hearing loss.  My father's has been questionable for some time, even as an adolescent I recall his ability to tune us out.  I'm never quite sure what he hears or chooses not to hear.  During breakfast this morning I got up to go to the bathroom which is down a hallway past the kitchen.  My mother, at the dining room table, kept talking to me.  Evidently, she didn't hear me say, "I"m going to pee".  My father, who was in the kitchen, kept telling my mother I was in the bathroom, but she couldn't hear him.  So from the bathroom my mother's voice marched on with her tale, her cadence drowned by my father's occasional frustrated grunt, "she's in the bathroom".  I sat on the toilet with my head in hands and chose to laugh.  A few hours later, in the living room,  my father's out of the blue comment broke the silence.  "I know why people take drugs", he said not taking his eyes off of his sketch pad.  My mother looked at him quizzically.  "Because of the pain."  His next comment was about the characteristics of the pen he was sketching with.  Observations equally weighted from the mind of an 82 year old.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Friends have described me as a minimalist, an adjective I like, but if you looked inside my closets or garage you might conclude otherwise.  How I've accumulated so much stuff mystifies me and yet when I look at the individual items there's logic to the madness.  Bolts of fabric left over from reupholstering chairs and couches, Cd's which have been downloaded onto my computer, dishes from my grandmother, lamps that no longer fit with my decor, art that used to hang on my office walls, tiles from a bath redo, an unused mini Weber grill purchased by an ex-boyfriend who anticipated the next big earthquake, furniture and carpets from an inheritance.  Although the space I live in is still somewhat unobstructed what lurks in the concealed spaces is haunting me like a poltergeist.  My garage reminds me of the homes of the hoarders portrayed on TV.  A narrow path exists from my laundry room door across my garage to my car.  The clutter suggests I'm somewhat I don't want to be, a consumerism.  For many years in my closet one would find only one black pair of heals and when they wore out I'd buy another pair.  This behavior was initially due to limited funds, but over time even I realized I prefer having just enough, even if I could afford more, and not more than I need.  Hence I'm looking forward to Saturday and the large garage sale I have planned.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Muse Monday - Sally Mann

I recently watched the documentary WHAT REMAINS: THE LIFE AND WORK OF SALLY MANN and LOVED it.  Already mesmerized by Mann's arresting images it was a thrill to get an intimate glimpse of her process.  Her subjects from her famous Immediate Family series are grown, but her surroundings continue to be her muse.  In a 2007 New York Times Review of the film Gina Bellafante wrote, "It is one of the most exquisitely intimate portraits not only of an artist’s process, but also of a marriage and a life, to appear in recent memory."  This film is equally for those who are already fans of her work and for those looking to make her acquaintance.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Thinking a lot about contentment and fulfillment, questioning and trusting, denial and acceptance, loneliness and solitude, motivation and just being, believing and hopelessness.  The world isn't black and white even though the one I choose to live in can at times appear that way.  I do like shades of gray -- in my wardrobe, in the morning sky, an afternoon at the beach, in my linen closet, in photographs, but sometimes living in a gray world is scary.  Everything is possible.  Yes, everything is possible!  All dreams can manifest.  On this bright autumn day I chose to live in the gray.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Living Vicariously

Some holidays are better on facebook.  Halloween was a bit of a bust this year.  Being in the minority of costumer wearers at a crowded party gypped me from one of the best nights of people watching.   Additionally, I live in a neighborhood unsuited for trick or treaters depriving me from handing out candy to diminutive bumblebees, superheros and cartoon characters.  But as the evening progressed more and more posts began to appear on facebook and the holiday turned into a virtual,  this-is-your-life experience.  Friends from college, past colleagues, and children of grade school buddies all grinned from status updates and flooded my living room.  I mingled with Frida Kahlo, Edie Beale, Rachel Zoe, Cleopatra, Crabs, a kitten and gumby.  Images of carved pumpkins began to glow next to posts of sugary loot.  Sans grease paint and the remnants of Dots in my molars,  but a Halloween party all the same.