Monday, April 28, 2008

Some images from my NYC trip~

2 hour delay.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yesterday, a very full day. Sandwiched between lunch with Kerry and one of the best dinners of my entire life, my niece and I spent the afternoon together. She suggested going to the Met because she had never been before. Wandering the rooms, we spoke of the creative and art. The two of us had incredibly amazing conversations. Although I'm 30 years older than she, I want to be her when I grow up. She is a shining example of one who was loved, nurtured, supported and attended to when young. She radiates a wisdom that is not only far beyond her years but incredibly rare. She doesn't carry a sense of shame or guilt. Hugely kind. Sensitive. Very smart. And her

Spending time with her juices me.

The Met was wonderful. There is only so much one can take in, but found a few very pleasant surprises, including...especially...the Jasper Johns: Gray exhibit. The link has examples from the show.

I'm going to order the show catalog. The work spoke to me and began to nudge my creative process.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Two days ago I was showing my friend Mike from NYC and his friend who's from LA, around Seattle. We found ourselves at Gasworks Park in the late afternoon. The light was warm...delectable. This shot is from the park.

Yesterday was a very long day, beginning with work at 5 am and then catching a flight to NYC. Mechanical problems delayed the flight for an hour and a half. I didn't get to Ernie and Greg's until after 1 am this morning. I'm bushed. And they've been wonderful.

But today's not a rest day. I'm heading out in a bit to meet Kerry. Then I'll hook up with my niece, the jazz singer in the making. It will be so good to see her and we'll spend the afternoon together. This extremely talented, 18 year old doesn't know it yet but I've been using her as a role model. Her music has been inspiring and led to some greater healing. I'll tell her this afternoon.

And tonight, with the guys, is a wine tasting.

Sunday I'm looking forward to a show. We are going to see Sunday In The Park With George.

The weather is beautiful. I have one work phone call to make regarding an upcoming campaign and then I can enjoy the weekend.

Although emotionally still pretty trashed inside, I'm grabbing every bit of goodness and kindness that's out there...and in turn, sending it back out...creating an unwinding ribbon. These last 8 months are not going to be the death of me. I refuse to shut down and wall myself off...and instead, remind myself that the greater the sorrow, the greater the joy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm going away for about 4 days...taking a mini vacation and not sure how much internet access I'll have. If I can, I'll still post.

The photo is from the studio. I haven't been able to paint since Saturday. Tulip adventures, a very busy work schedule, playing tour guide to a couple visiting friends, and prepping for my trip has kept me flying. Speaking of which, I still need to pack and then hop a flight this afternoon.

I miss the studio, but will return to painting next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Some more color shots from the Skagit Valley tulips fields~

Yesterday, my therapist began to strongly encourage/insist that I print some of my photos and show them, even as informally as in a First Thursday hanging. In my desire to remain open, it is a possibility that has been floating around the back of my head for a while. Thing is, as I mentioned to someone a while ago, the photography is my sandbox. It's where I can play...with no expectations or stress. The quality of the images come from the fact that there is no pressure. If I throw a business sense into the mix or a desire to hang prints...I fear it will contaminate the photography...a self-consciousness will filter into the work.

The painting is hard work, more of a struggle than not. The photography is effortless. I used to see it as less valid because of how natural it is, but am learning it is just as important and valuable as my painting.

My commitment to a daily photo is the only requirement I have with the photography. And it's been helpful. Even if the painting is crap, even when I'm much too exhausted to be creative at all, or emotions threaten to paralyze me, forcing myself to shoot and post one image a day, with no words, is a good disciplined practice for me.

My shrink understands and agrees, yet still thinks that it's an option I need to further delve into.

I know him. He's a tough taskmaster, harsh teacher and pretty wise. He doesn't let me get away with bullshit or self-denial. Now that he's thrown the idea out into the open...I'm curious to see how it evolves.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

For a friend, here is one color tulip photo. I'll have a few others up tomorrow night.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A little preface to tulip photos

On the road~

We stopped for gas and found a great drive thru espresso stand. Matt's waiting for coffee. If you look carefully on the ground you can see some of the hail we were experiencing. We were a few exits away from the tulip fields and by the time we arrived, the sun came out and it was warmer than it's been for the last 4 days.

The restrooms at Tulip Town...a very touristy but a fun kind of cheesy place. It was our first stop. After spending time there we scouted out the other fields which were fabulous.

Some guy in a funky, fuzzy hat taking in the color of the fields.

Matt and Brian heading back to the car after the final and most beautiful tulip field. The mountains still have snow.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My favorite flower~

I've been in Seattle 10 years, and finally had the opportunity to do something I've longed to do. We hit the tulip fields in Skagit County today. I shot over 470 images and hope to cull 10 good shots. It'll take me a few days...

And yes, there are a few color shots.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's really nice when you have a moment where you can see the ancient grit and feel that this clarity, along with an ongoing intention to heal, creates a surge of movement.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

One of my new paintings that hung this past First Thursday. It's 22"x28".

I was really sick last week, with the flu, and for the first time, spent 6 days away from the studio. Last Sunday I returned, and have each night since. But my energy is shot. It takes everything I have to stay there an hour. Tonight, all I did was spend time really cleaning my brushes and my table then had to get home to eat and crash. Still spent.

Maybe tomorrow I'll be more productive.

I'm sure part of it is recuperating from being sick, and the rest is emotional. A busted heart makes for a weary body. Sometimes I really wish I had magical powers and could, at a hyperspeed pace, rush time. Time heals.

But dammit, I refuse to let all this keep me down and away from work.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On love…

I've been dealing with a breakup from last September. Eight months later, although with greater awareness and new insights each week…it still doesn't feel any easier than the first moment. Just different.

To this day, not only does there remain a fair amount of disbelief that it actually happened but also what feels like unending grief. I've gone through the anger…the victim…the poor me. And I'm fairly sure there is more to come.

I am learning to forgive myself and as of yesterday, finally daring myself to remember the good and powerful times, regardless of the pain it brings.

What's made this all the more intense was I was dealing with a soul connection. We were very fortunate to find each other and connect in the way we did…an intimacy almost beyond belief. Although my shrink had mentioned how rare finding that type of connection was, I've since known his words to be true because in speaking with people, even in general terms, I've been able to tell by their reaction whether or not they've experienced that type of relationship.

Back in September the shrink said this time would be one of the hardest things I'll go through. So I strapped myself in for the ride…but had no idea. Not really. Rejection is a powerful thing. It really shakes your self-confidence…your sex…your everything. Considering my "biggest psychological problem", as he said last week, is my little bit of self-confidence, this has rocked my core. Although I've dealt with rejection before, this was the first time in my life that not only was I really seen, but fully embraced for who I am. At 47, it was the first time in my life I'd experienced that. And I knew their heart...could really see them. Until it stopped.

In that, it isn't a bad thing. Growth comes with suffering. And I've always been one to jump into the fire because I desire to keep purging and cleansing.

My little child is terribly confused, crying "why?" and "this makes no sense at all." The adult I am becoming is sure and sees beyond the surface, into the dark. Peering into the crevices gives me greater understanding and in those infrequent moments, peace and patience. One of my big challenges is to learn how to retain the childlike joy and wonder while continuing to see with the eyes of an adult.

I've said it before, and it's even truer now than then, but although I've been "in love" a few times in my life, this relationship has/is teaching me what love really is about. The tough love, the unpopular love, the love mostly shunned by our culture because it's a love that forgives, that lets go, that keeps its heart open regardless of all that is happening: love that sees fear for what it is and moves through it.

It's the love that Kahlil Gibran so powerfully wrote about:

"Then said Almitra, "Speak to us of Love."

And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them.

And with a great voice he said:

When love beckons to you follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you believe in him,

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

He threshes you to make you naked.

He sifts you to free you from your husks.

He grinds you to whiteness.

He kneads you until you are pliant;

And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,

Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,

Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;

For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, I am in the heart of God."

And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;

To return home at eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips."

Most days it feels as if I fail miserably. I'm still writing in my intention journal. In addition to penning "my love is greater than my fear", I've added "I am causing the least amount of harm"…and still focus on my desire to live a life of grace. There is also space in the little moleskin book to allow for brutal honesty, wants and wishes.

As I wrote a month ago, I was choosing to do a photo blog for an indeterminate period of time. Words were hard. Feelings…so big inside, I'd battle with myself as to what to write about. The more I paint the more I see how painting reflects my life and how solutions to life problems come to light by resolving conflicts on canvas…and so needed the visual concentration.

On Saturday, I went to the event at Qwest Field, featuring the Dalai Lama. Although stadium acoustics created a struggle to hear all his words, one phrase not only struck me but hasn't left my consciousness. It's something I knew on the inside, yet hearing it was quite the affirmation. He was speaking of nuclear disarmament and global violence. He then said that it was important to focus on "inner disarmament".

It all begins with inner disarmament.

The last 6 years in therapy has been conscious effort to dismantle those internal walls created of fear…rage, hurt and mistrust. It is a lifelong process. And this current time, with oceans of tears shed and more to come, has been the greatest gift thus far.

Monday, April 14, 2008

This is an oil on paper I did back in 1996. It's about 12x26". I've been thinking about still life in regards to my current painting. I hope to have a fuller entry on the topic in the next few days...but can't promise anything.