with 2017 comes fresh starts, beginnings, expansion and a brand new palette. the first of the year always seems to hold such potential and possibility. i am hoping 2017 will bring some changes to this little space in the months to come.
may this new year hold for you love, happiness, laughter, growth, kindness, and the whispers from the universe to remind you that your presence in this world is a gift to many.
i am oceans away but send her all of my love. she has always been a beacon of light in my life. her kind heart and generous spirit took care of me when i was little and would get ill but my mom needed to go to work. when i was older, spending the night at her apartment was what i looked forward to most. i would arrive and be greeted with the scents of all my favorite foods. one time, i asked her, "ma, what do you do to make your food taste so good?" "oh, i just stir in a little love," she would answer. we would have long talks about life over hot cups of tea. we would find something funny on the tv and both break into marathon fits of laughter that would bring us both to tears. she was a welcomed presence at every major moment in my life. and was the shoulder i collapsed on after hearing the news of the loss of my father - and registering what that meant. she was a lighthouse that helped me find my way back through the dark forest of grief. she listened during the times i had no words but couldn't yet go home. she walked the rim of the grand canyon with me answering my string of questions about her youth and her life. she welcomed my pirates with the grandest of smiles the day she met them.
she is loved dearly by many and cared for selflessly by my sweet aunt. while i carry her in my heart daily, today she holds such a special place. i am so grateful for your presence in my life, i am sending you all my love, ma!!
happiest of birthdays to you xoxoxo
the world has felt quite heavy lately, and it becomes easy to feel vulnerable and swept up in the swells of negativity that are out there. years ago, i vowed to navigate away from that path. this meant making some very conscious and sometimes difficult choices. i needed to tend to my heart and listen closely to what she was whispering. i certainly do not take a 'pollyanna' approach to the world in the vast sense or even in my own personal experience. but i do feel strongly in the power of kindness and compassion. small acts lead to positive change.
and during those moments when expressing kindness can feel more like a salmon swimming upstream, i remind myself that is the world i wish to live in and wish to cultivate for my family and tribe of chosen ones.
kindness is born from small intentional actions aimed to help another. kindness comes with vulnerability. kindness does not ask for recognition or a spotlight, she prefers to extend her hand and sit by you in silence, she may even lay her head on your shoulder, simply so you know she is there. kindness prefers peace as her neighbor but understands that neighborhoods can be complicated and complex, she can live beside anyone as long as peace can find her heart. kindness paints with the beauty of our differences. she sings with the notes of our many languages. and she writes poetry with our many wishes. her studio is lit by the stars and she exhales the soft breeze you feel upon your cheek. she whispers, possibility.
gratitude. it's more than just something i think about during the month of november. it is a tool that allows me the space and patience to make it through my day. it is the anchor i drop in the swirling waters of the madness the world seems to be swimming in currently. it is the mantra to my breath when i need to stop and refocus...to shift perspective...to move forward.
i wish i could tell you i have this lovely gratitude practice, but i don't. it's sporadic, some days it comes merely so as not to hit the wall of desperation. other days, it's a practice i spend some time and effort to quietly cultivate. i have a small journal and some nights i will record three things i am grateful for. some nights, they are large and encompassing and other days it falls to the simple things. as i flip through my little journal...some times it simply is a deep breath. some nights i am just too tired to look at the journal, so i count gratitude out on my fingertips. regardless of how it shows up, it is what i consider every night before falling sleep.
most of my inspiration comes in tiny flashes of wonder - of simple things - during my day. perhaps it is the flash of color in the sky, the way the rain drops and splashes, the scent of a blooming flower as i pass by, the color of a leaf that catches my eye. never grandiose, but simple moments that seem to turn my head and tug on my heart and those are the moments when i have learned to listen...to look, and to carry with me.
sometimes though, in this insanely fast visual world of images, videos, posts and whatnot; i am also able to find glimpses of inspiration. thought i would gather these up and share here.
i wish i could tell you i would do so in a structured manner, but inspiration does not work that way (nor do i). so i will share them when it feels right.
this video spoke right to my heart, i love her approach to life
i am in love with her sculptures
this is a good article, an important one - that rings very true
way back when, when i was a young figure skater, i met Scott Hamilton. he was a champion and at our rink to participate in our show. i was dressed up in my costume walking towards the ice as he passed me and asked directions. i answered and then stopped dead in my tracks realizing who i had just encountered. after the show, our skate club had a bbq and he was there relaxing and enjoying a meal. i stood behind him so someone could take a picture, wanting not to disturb him. once he realized i was there, he called me over, put his arm around me and took a proper photo. not at all bothered. i was awe struck. it's a moment i remember and cherish still all these many years later.
being a competitive skater at the time of Scott Hamilton's competitive career, i was familiar with his story and admired his attitude. i recall reading somewhere that the simple (but powerful) word "yes" was something he repeated over to himself during a tough practice or competition. it is a mantra i have borrowed many times over in my own life after hearing about it.
i came across this story today and it spoke straight to my heart. we all face disappointment and loss in our lives. but it is our attitude in the face of it that can be the game changer.
at a vey low point in my life, during a time when i did not think 'getting up' possible. those around me whispered it to me and it was the rope that eventually led me back.
get up. we will all fall, or life will knock us down. but how we change our story, our self talk, our attitude...is in the way we respond to those simple but powerful words...get up.
#getup, thank you Scott!
it feels right to return to this tiny space that i have spoken from for nearly a decade. nearly a decade, oh my goodness. writing up thoughts; penning musings, ideas, art, and poetry; connecting and creating with other women artists for nearly as long. technology has changed in those short years. we don't share like we did before. it's now brief, abbreviated shorthanded versions of ourselves as social media has evolved. and while i find great value in this, i also miss reading through some of my favorite blogs that have grown silent now.
i don't know how this little space will evolve from here but feel the quiet nudge to continue. that is the adventure, isn't it - not knowing where or how the journey will unfold but merely showing up to add to the progression.
as i sift through all that i read and hear about in the world. i ground myself here, in my present moment. finding solace in the soundtrack and playlists and within the pages of my sketchbook, and from the connection of my 'tribe' scattered across the globe.
today, i am splashing through puddles in my rainboots as i dash in from one stop and back out to another - toting a small pirate to the studio to practice
today, i am finding comfort in a grey, rainy day with low slung clouds misting the top of the mountains
today, i am seeing beauty in the concentric circled ripples created from the falling rain above
today, i am exhaling loudly with a sigh - as it just feels more appropriate that way this afternoon
today, i am inhaling gratitude for far away friends who call, text, connect and made me smile - your friendship is such a gift
today, i am imagining the sound of passing cars on the street instead as that of rolling waves - and stay there in my mind
today, i am breathing in life's tiny details and holding them close like sacred treasure
today, i have felt a bit off, no real reason or explanation for it. but then i realized it is the 11th and questioned if the heaviness i was feeling was that tugging of nostalgia. and i opened myself to that possibility.
i remembered vividly where i was upon hearing of the events of 9/11 and the numbing disbelief and eerie undefinable feelings that followed. there was such a surreal fog about the whole thing. fifteen years ago seems like another person ago. i was not yet a mother, no idea that i would or could be. remembering the soberness and heartache from that day and the ones that followed as people shared stories, heartbreak, harrowing actions, and unbelievable grief; i am instantly able to conjure up that heavy feeling of collective sadness. it was a moment that forever changed us all in some way.
so today, i pause to remember a day we will never forget.