Friday, July 24, 2009


I think it is important to note that my mother believed in reincarnation. I think it is also fair to say that the loss of my mother has been one of the most profound experiences of my life. I have a hard time with the notion of her being completely gone because I feel her presence so strongly. She is somewhere watching over me. I wake in the night and smell her pancakes, I feel her above me, somewhere in the clouds. It's a corny cartoony image but it's true.

So this Peacock showed up a few months ago and he continues to be a part of the scene here at Rowanville. He has become a real fixture. He spends a lot of time with the chickens as I have stopped feeding him catfood by the front door of my house as was my habit. He now just eats what the hens eat and he is getting fattter. Tastier looking. The most interesting thing about him is that when I go to work in my office he leaves his place with the hens and take up his post on the back deck of my office. I have glass doors so he can see in and I can see him and he just stays there the whole time I am working. He preens, he looks in, he hops about.

I was listening to some New Age show on NPR recently and the topic of reincarnation came up. I don't know much about it except the obvious generalities of the concept. It has been weighing on me why this bird, the living embodiment of beautiful exoticism has arrived on my doorstep and seems strangely committed to keeping an eye on me. The fact that I am also in a state of deep transformation cannot be discounted. So, at the risk of sounding like a complete kook it has occurred to me that this bird may somehow be my mother, returned to earth to inspire me. There, I said it. I have had the honor of having other spirit guides in my life and while one doesn't generally rush into discussing these things in all circles it is worth taking note of them and then seeing where it all goes.

My mother was an artist and I think she accepted that I was one too. Up until very recently I had trouble owning this reality about myself. The Peacock, whoever he is, is a daily reminder of the possibility of what I could be or am.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Awash in Yellow Summer Routine

My day goes like this. Up early but never early enough because lying in bed listening to birds, feels worthwhile. I write which takes time and I check in with Facebook which also takes time and then I work. Pearl gets up and then I stop work. The day ends somehow after play dates, errands, outings. Our hearts are full of summer and we go for a walk in the long evening and don't turn the tv on when we get home. We go to bed early to read and relax and then the whole thing starts again. I am neglecting many things but feeding others to the point of glutony with sun and fresh berries and light breezes.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Farm Tour Logo

This is a quick little logo for my client Sustainable Connections. Fast and fun and the client liked it which makes me happy. Perhaps not the height of esoteric design but it's friendly, inviting, and legible. Cartoony goodness I would say.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Here's a snippet of how the drawing/painting is developing. Funny that I don't have the long hair anymore, oh well, it's metaphoric hair.

Simple Pleasure

I will not wax poetic, there is no need. For the simple act of going out to the yard on a summer morning to pick a few fresh berries to drop into my granola is poetry enough.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


SL: We are here today to speak exclusively about your hair; it is a topic that seems to come up often in conversation for you.

Me: I suppose that is true, it is a force to be reckoned with and somehow as a woman I end up discussing it against my better judgment.

SL: When did you first identify with your hair?

Me: As a child one Halloween I fell asleep with a wad of gum in my mouth and in the night, not surprisingly, it became entangled in my hair. The next day my mother cut the gum out leaving me with a stylish bob, which made me look sophisticated beyond my years. My older sister was jealous of my sudden transformation. It was then that I first experienced the power of hair.

SL: Very interesting. Are you a natural redhead?

Me: Are you blind? Of course I am.

SL: What percentage of your vanity is tied up in your hair?

Me: I would say less than 10%. I try not to spend much time thinking about my hair even though I am aware many people are envious of it. I had no hand in making it, it just is. I have little influence over it. It does what it wants I just try and keep it clean.

SL: Do you spend a lot of time each day on your hair?

Me: Certainly not. I was happiest when I could pull the whole lot of it back and not think about it at all. I deplore the amount of time I am expected to spend on my appearance as a woman living in this century.

SL: But it’s all over the place what happened?

Me: Vanity is what happened. I’ve had the same haircut for my whole life and I recently had about 5lbs taken off in an effort to achieve a new look. I have moments of deep remorse about it.

SL: But why, it looks nice and naturally tussled.

Me: Is tussled even a word? The curls are fine but now when I get up in the morning I have to perform a little hair ritual in order to go out in public. It has forced me to consider my appearance, an activity I find holey distasteful.

SL: Don’t you desire to be attractive?

Me: I prefer not to think about it. I think I possess a certain physical reality, which exists, regardless of my input. I barely have time to bathe let alone style this mop. I am also a little wary of the time and expense it takes to aquire adequate hair products to keep the whole catastrophe organized and kinky, but not too frizzy. I feel like I am constantly being sold a promise that never delivers.

SL: Well it looks pretty good to me

Me: Hopefully this is due to the forty dollars I spent on mousse recently. That’s more than I spend on groceries some weeks.

SL: Do people admire your hair openly?

Me: Yes and it horrifies me. Often as a small talk before a meeting a woman who feels she has the right to behave in a familiar fashion toward me will comment on my hair and I find it annoying. If I were obese, no one would be commenting on that.

SL: But you said your self that you often bring it up casually in conversation. Isn’t that a double standard?

Me: Yes it’s true. I don’t know what comes over me. It must be some kind of primal need to bond with women over hair. The enemy we all share. I complain about it openly which must piss off those women who have actual problem hair, but you know your issues are your issues. My hell is my hell.

SL: What is your hairs greatest accomplishment?

Me: To date I would have to say attracting 2 husbands, not to mention countless drunks in bars and at baseball games. People just can’t get enough of a redhead, that is until they have actually lived with one.

SL: Well thank you for your time today.

Me: Here take a lock for your scrapbook. We’re a dieing breed you know, redheads are just a genetic mistake and we are on the decline.

SL: Thank you!

Me: NP, I'm covered in it.

Please Note: SL, Sloane Nibleigh is persona of my own creation

Monday, July 13, 2009

Persitent Itchiness

There are some conflicts you encounter in your life that you just can't fix, no matter what. You reason, you cajole, you seek help through reading and research, you ponder, you entertain solutions, you consider writing letters to state your case, you blog, write poems, shake your fists, stomp about, shake your head.

Just for fun last week I took the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. I learned I am an INTJ, Rational Mastermind. INTJ, stands for introverted, innovative, thinking, judging. This is not a big surprise to me but it was interesting and explains a whole lot about my rational approach to things and my interest in finding solutions rather than asking why or laying blame. This persistent conflict that I have is emotionally draining and without a rational solution beyond a strict course of avoidance and disengagement. Patience and the passage of time will perhaps remedy it but it is so hard for my mind not to wander to that fantasy place where the problem is delineated clearly and unemotionally, possible solutions are rationally discussed, and a course of action is agreed upon and taken. In my perfect world we are all INTJ's and no one stomps their feet or gnashes their teeth and everyone is aware of how their behavior affects those around them and no one suffers from the crippling feelings of injustice.

It should be noted here that I also wish Hamas would recognize Israel as having the right to exist and that Iran should treat its citizens with dignity and respect. We'll see about that. As an eternal optimist I am always hopeful that a solution will be found to even the most destructive situations. It was pointed out to me many years ago by someone I knew quite well this is just another of my many character flaws.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dating Again

As part of my little program of recovery and reclamation via the Artists Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity I am encouraged to make Art Dates with myself. Now granted I have been quite slack about following the book to the letter beyond doing my morning pages. I am quite diligent about those because I am experiencing a daily benefit from them and what am I if not driven by pleasure, results and warm feelings of virtue. I get the morning pages. The Art Dates are another thing. I took one a few months back and went to Seattle to see the Hatch Show Print Exhibit which was inspiring. I have been taking time to read which feels artful and I even did a little painting last week which also felt good. But I am really not sticking to this commitment of the weekly Art Date very rigorously. Today will be different.

Because I make my living being creative it is hard to make the jump from art for commerce to art for spiritual enlightenment. It seems a bit trite, a tad goofy. But, as the book points out, this is my censor's voice talking. The voice that has convinced me that nurturing this part of me is unimportant. So today I am having an Art Date to show that inner voice who's boss. When I started the morning pages I drew this picture, and it was cathartic. I hadn't drawn a picture in a really long time. Then I thought I wanted to make it really big and paint it. Several months ago I bought a big roll of paper, 10 yrds of the stuff and it has been sitting in my office unused. Sometime a few weeks ago I took the first step and I cut off a big piece and a week later I had Mark help me move a sheet of plywood over to my office, I had the idea I would put the paper on the wood like an easel. It's a big sheet. Do you see how simple logistics can derail someone from their path to creativity?

I have decided that today is the day I will make marks on the paper. I am astounded by how long it has taken me to get to this point. Logostics handled, there is the issue of the drawing itself. It's not quite a heart with wings but it's along those lines of art made by girls searching for something, and I will avoid barfing up all the negative adjectives about it before I move on to doing it. A little back story here. I was once married to an artist who was written up (favorably) in several national magazines, he successfully exhibited his work in LA and NYC. I have travelled in what was recognized as the real circles of contemporary art in America. I have met many famous artists and many very wealthy collectors, I know what real art is and yet here I am dabbling with pencil, paper and paint as a way of saving my soul. But! I am undeterred because the book tells me to do it and I will, I must.

I see the drawing as a diagram of myself, not really a portrait but a map of who I am, where I have been and most importantly where I want to go. My spiritual path to higher creativity complete with huge hair and bare breasts. Go figure.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Again

Sunday again and it's the bittersweet reality of my life kicking in. Had a great week last week, nice times with Pearl before she went back to her dad's. We walked and rode our bikes, taking advantage of the long summer evenings. My sister came to visit on Wednesday and we took a major walk from Fairhaven to Larrabee, a 12 mile return excursion. It's so amazing spending time with her. We have pretty much always been close with a few exceptions and I just can't come close to summing up how important this relationship is to me. We ran a bit on the way back from Larrabee to shorten our time on the trail (and yes it was in hopes of making it to the liquor store and trader joes before they closed) and it was surprising how evenly paced we were. Being both of competitive spirits it felt good to run side by side united in our goal. We knocked 30 minutes off our time there. We hung out at my place and I worked on my book project while Catriona weeded my garden, she's a saint for doing this. We took naps in the afternoon heat and on Friday we came up to Mark's place and she went back home on Saturday. So it's Sunday and the book is still not done and I have to face the week and I really just want to stay in my bubble of ambient music with Mark and the espresso machine, but my heart is pulling me south to Pearl and my home in the country. I was telling my sister how much I loved my place that it reminded me of summers we spent on Salt Spring Island growing up. I find I am immersed in the memory of summers past and fiercely dedicated to creating new ones.
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