Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. - Rumi

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Changes in time

My House
recycled cans, photos on wood

This morning, I put my son on an airplane for the third time this year. Yesterday was all about printing boarding passes and shuttle info and packing and what did he want that last dinner at home for a while to be.
My heart gets heavy when I drop him off.  I want to follow him through the airport, make sure all who come in contact with him know that he is special and treasured by his mother, his family.
Of course I can’t.  Can’t get out of the car, much less make a fuss at the airport.  Crazy place now anyway airports.
While I am intellectually aware of this passage of time as being one of changes, my little bird is trying his wings: that doesn’t make it easier emotionally.  This is my little baby.  My baby boy.
I know I have done the right thing, letting him go off, not fretting in front of him, but I want to.  I guess I want to cry “don’t grow up”!! 
This is probably the most difficult change to have to go through.  Sending my child off to college.  Of course, I dotted all the I’s, crossed all the T’s, to organize and prepare him for this time, as best as anyone could. 
Children fill up the cracks and crevices of our being.  As a mom I am so used to the noise, the physical space, the time and effort that goes into raising a child.  And then he’s gone, the house is empty, and it feels like my heart is going to break, ( intellectually I know it’s not) but I am releasing my man-child into the world to have his own experiences-- separate from me.  
Along with these changes in this time continuum I have to change.  And it’s hard.  I have to stop doing all the laundry, grocery shopping and taking care and pull back and let him do it or not himself.
And that is hard, because of course I want him to do it my way, right? I am the mom after all.
Underneath missing him is wanting to see him do well.  Wanting to see him become a man and move forward in his life.  It’s a weird double edged experience. 

There is a book by Robert Munsch, Love You Forever, about a mother and son.  And the life cycle.  The boy grows and grows and grows until he becomes a man.  A little rhyme runs through it “love you forever, like you for always as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be”. 
Three and eight year old boys
The first days after he has headed back to school are always rough for me. I have to re-find my balance of moving forward in my life and of being a nest without any little birds in it.

Two Young Men
(two little birds heading out into the world)
headed towards their destiny

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Jeans - almost there

Finally, I have made it sixty days of eating clean.  Clean, clean, clean.  So I decided to pull out the jeans.  The jeans that I decided to use as a marker to show the progress of my changed eating and working out habits. 
Last time, I couldn’t button any of the buttons.  I was apprehensive about even pulling them out.  So of course I do it before I am going to work(when I shouldn’t, late to work).  A quick what shall I wear today? Oh! I wonder if those jeans fit today. And they did.  At least I could button them up and that was a mitzpah in my eyes.  I have worked hard to get to button up those jeans.
I am a  Levi’s 501 girl.  I like them, I always have.  I like buttoning my jeans.  I like the straight leg cut. Really they are the only jeans I like to wear.  
I have not had coffee, a Red Bull or a diet coke in 60 days.  I lived on a Red Bull before working out.  I liked the “kick”.  I couldn’t work out if I didn’t have that little adrenalin rush.  Well, I sure don’t need a Red Bull anymore.   
Sixty days and counting of making a change in my lifestyle.  It is hard, on days when I am away from my routine.  I was thinking that I was ready for a cheat day.  I can taste the vegan cupcake in my mouth.  Nope, not yet.  I have to reach my goal first. 
My goals is to wear my 501 jeans and a tshirt. My goal is for them to be comfortable and a little loose. 
For this goal, I have forsworn all of my favorite candies, potato chips, fried foods and soy ice cream bars.
And the exercise that goes along with making the dietary changes.  It’s getting easier but it’s still hard.  My new mantra is to trust my body.  It’s making me more comfortable in my skin.
My next marker…….gotta get through each day.  Each day I feel tempted to just forget the whole thing.  What’s one little chocolate.  I am not a cheater, even when no one is watching (and I would know that I wasn't keeping my plan).  Then I remember I want to wear the jeans. And I am getting close.

recycled cans, buttons on wood

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I did it.  I moved myself out of my state of stasis and it felt really good.  All of a sudden, ideas flowed forth and it didn't feel like I was forcing. 

Corazon -heart
recycled aluminum cans on wood, acrylic

The Magic Of Love

Love is like magic
And it always will be.
For love still remains
Life's sweet mystery!!
Love works in ways
That are wondrous and strange
And there's nothing in life
That love cannot change!!
Love can transform
The most commonplace
Into beauty and splendor
And sweetness and grace.
Love is unselfish,
Understanding and kind,
For it sees with its heart
And not with its mind!!
Love is the answer
That everyone seeks...
Love is the language,
That every heart speaks.
Love can't be bought,
It is priceless and free,
Love, like pure magic,
Is life's sweet mystery!!

- Helen Steiner Rice -

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Work - dwelling in possability

collage on wood
recycled aluminum cans
This is like candy to me.  Playing with the colors to create  a mille fleuri look.
After my last post, I thought about my work, and then in the lumber yard yesterday found the perfect piece of wood.  I began again.  I dwell in possability........

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Drawing a Blank - working out the heart thing

All real works of art look as though they were done in joy. – Robert Henri (1865-1929

I like that idea.  I like the idea that thinking that any creative expression I have has joy in it.  Even if it is to profess sadness.
Right now, my hands want to be busy with something, but they don’t know what.
I want to paint, but I don’t have any new ideas.
I want to collage, but what.
I want to do something, but I don’t know what.
It isn’t that I have a lack of inspiration.  Or maybe I do.
I intended to force myself to sit down and do a watercolor. Just see where the  color leads me. 
I want to paint about love, but love also scares me.  How many hearts can I paint, collage, draw, sew?  What is it that draws me to this subject?  Perhaps I should just keep making hearts until I can no longer distinguish them from the background of the paper or my hand from the brush.
(The heart has so much symbolism on many levels.
classical philosophers and scientists, considered the heart the seat of thought, reason or emotion, often rejecting the value of the brain.
The word heart continues to be used poetically to refer to the soul, and stylized depictions of hearts are used as prevalent symbols representing love.) – from Wikipedia.
Maybe, I want to work myself though an idea with the heart symbol and I am stunting my development by being too analytical about the process.  In other words, I should just DO IT in Nike slang.
watercolor on watercolor paper
The heart chakra is considered a place of unconditional love.

The Heart Chakra is the centre from which feelings of love emanate. It is also associated with other virtuous emotions, such as joy, happiness, honesty, respect, compassion, understanding, and generosity, and with loving oneself in a sincere, non-egotistic way. This is also the chakra through which we connect with others whom we love or have affection towards. Once forged, these links are very hard to break, which is why people suffer so much through the break-up of a relationship or the loss of a loved one. C. W. Leadbeater, The Chakras, Quest Books, Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Ill. p.13
I think I have to not be afraid to express what my  “heart” wants to.
Just keep painting and collaging those hearts and working it out. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Honor the Circle of My Family

I have had this scrap of folded old newspaper next to my computer for months.
Looking at it every now and then wanting to do something with it, ask it questions, I want to hear it’s story.
Inside it holds the torn pieces of a photo of my grandmother and a well dressed handsome man.   The photo is from the 1940’s judging from the way they are dressed.  It is to my grandmother that my eyes are riveted.  It is like looking at an image of me.

My Grandmother
circa 1940's

My grandmother was a very creative woman. My mother tells me that she would buy suits off the rack and then take them apart and put them back together the way she wanted.  In her Oakland backyard she had an English garden and a peony tree.  The peonies need really cold weather to bloom, but darn if hers didn’t bloom, I have the picture.
She was an amazing cook.  She made the best gumbo I have ever eaten and thus I don’t eat gumbo, because I know it wouldn’t be the same.  She gave me her recipe, but I didn’t try it before she passed.
In the time space continuum that I am in, I want to understand who the women are that shaped me.  I am not like my mother – though I love her dearly.  I harken from another generation of women.  My grandmothers are whom I am like.
Grandmommie as we grandchildren called her worked hard everyday.  It is to her I owe my love of hard work and stick to it ness. Also a love for  the hot cereals Malto Meal and oatmeal and raisins.
It is from her I think my creativity streams forth. Even though I didn’t spend a lot of time with her because of distance.  As an adult woman the time I spent with her was precious.
This past weekend, I taped the scraps together and scanned them into my photo library.  I will frame the scraps at some point.
I don’t have any pictures of me with my Granny(my other grandmother).  
She used to switch my behind when my cousin would get me in to trouble (I was 3 or 4 and mischievious).  Then I had to stay inside and watch the soaps with her.  What I am told about her is that she was kind to people.  She also liked to drink beer and fish.  Both of my grandmothers did, but I don’t.
My grandmothers both wore red lipstick.  I do too.  It's like something I just do. 
I honor them, they made the way for me to be who I am.
I will never know why she kept this picture or tore it up.  But I think I found a piece of myself that I didn't know existed.  And let's face it, she was a woman and who hasn't torn up the picture of a beau?
mixed media on canvas board
What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories.  ~George Eliot

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fourty days and counting

I have not had any candy, fried chicken, gummy bears, cookies, potato chips, French fries, hamburgers or fast food, cupcakes, etc.  in general for 40 days and counting. 
Wow! That’s a lot of days to go without eating things that are tasty, delicious and mouthwatering, fatty, rich, you know.  Instead I have been eating cucumbers – um, yams – um, roasted chicken – ugh, oatmeal and raisins, scrambled eggs and grits.  Mangoes, strawberries, raspberries and all kinds of fruits are my new treat before two o'clock.
I have made it enough days to almost feel like I can handle this change to my lifestyle more than one day at a time.  Boy is it hard, I am surrounded by cookies, cakes, bagels and all kinds of delicious candies all day.
Do I feel any different? Not really. Well, a little.  Now I know I am capable of being in charge of what I put in my mouth. ( that’s kinda funny when you think of it, I am in charge of so many bigger things in my life, but I can’t seem to stay in  charge of what goes in my mouth).

The Kiss
Cantor Arts Center, Stanford
This weekend I was away and saw some inspiring art pieces.  First, beautiful Rodin sculptures.  That excited me.  His work is so bigger than life.
It made me want to try my hand at a life size human figure sculpture.  It made me want to look closer at the human form and not from my imaginery ideas but real realistic interpretations.  One day.  

Today I will think about how much I loved seeing a Deborah Butterfield horse up close.  And I got to take a picture.  That’s what I would really like to do, is figure out how to use her work for inspiration in making a horse sculpture. 
Deborah Butterfield
Cantor Arts Center, Stanford

1st century

I loved seeing the Venus marble sculpture.  The goddess of Love.  We all love love.
Well, let's see if I last 40 more days without putting anything fatty, sugery or overly salty in my mouth.  I'm tryin'.  I love water now. Oh, I love water, water is my new best friend.  Water, cucumbers, lemons, raspberries and grits.....crazy combination.
Venus is my new inspiration.