February – Los Angeles

labyrinth montage

I wasn’t born to stay in one spot, to nest in the same city as my youth – or even to remember much of my youth. I remember only parts of it. Early days seem doable and soft, although they weren’t.

Snippets and Themes.

Who knows why? We all have different natures,. Different back stories. Different angels and demons that visit. Some stay for tea. Some burn down the house.

I believe in understanding what has come before but I have more to do in life now than be mired in the goo that sticks me to the past.

Although

Details are the meat of memory
Anchors
We choose what we hook into
But only after the introspection of a lifetime

Dancing and costumed Saints
Vapor trails of fairy dust
Lightning strikes from leather belts
A priest who smelled of alcohol
Mother love and salvation
Bubbles that snap like glass
Making Making Making
My father threw out my dolls
Hugs so deep I lost my breath
So many goodbyes I lost my innocence
Inescapable humiliation
My baby brother healed me
James Dean – signed – black and white under a pillow.
Carving initials in dressers in a blue room
One month of quarantine
Scarlet fever so red I burned
It isn’t me in the mirror
3 a.m. desert driving
Dead family in a smoldering truck
Rabbits scattering like city bugs when the lights go on
My best friend is still my best friend
Musicians and their hearts
He loved me without question but not I
I could not stay
Fast forward
More on foot
Roads of brick
Sunsets so orange I froze
Feet in dirt in cool weather
Skinny dipping
All of it in my skin
Every pore saturated
Every bit of the hard drive full
Auto reboot and software updates
Defragging in process…

I was born right-brained. I can not change this. I no longer try. I no longer choose to pay the price of being born a curious gypsy in a family of solid choice, logical, left brained people who have all ended up broken. I might root myself for a bit, settle into a home base, but all of the memories are seeds for writing, for patching together a rich life and reclaiming everything that is mine. It is all mine. Every single moment. And this is the gift.

There has been so much. San Francisco. New York. New Orleans. There is a list. Back and Forth. And lately – Florida was a respite, a surprise and gift that saved my life, truly. Cared for in a difficult time by people who shocked me with their generosity and kindness. And there is more here. More everywhere. I have been blessed with the abundance of friendship over the years. This is my strength. I have learned to see angels and they have learned to see me.

Michigan was a visit to set some things right. To let go. To love – without judgment – my brother who is ill and a recent widower. I could not have lived with myself if I hadn’t gone. There is a history of unfinished business. Perhaps, in another life there will be a resolution. For now, we are at a stalemate. But, at least I can breathe.

We look in the mirror and see a face, lines like a map of progress and decline. We move left, the reflection moves right. We exhale and what comes out is a cloud of colors. The colors collide and distort. The dark ones dissipate. The light ones glow. We choose. We speak to the shadow in the mirror and we say hello or goodbye.

Back in California, Los Angeles for now. The weather. That small bit of familiarity , the restaurants and film. I am my mother‘s daughter. Los Angeles is the place I found on my own. The seeds I left for a late life garden that I want to tend to. The core of everything possible.

I am a writer and an artist. I am passionate and free-spirited. I will never want to be anything else other than simply happy. I am a bundle of stories. I am a soulful traveler. I am the girl in the mirror in the snow in the past saying goodbye. I am alive. I am filled with possibility…

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“Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.”  - ― Rumi

Namaste’

Michigan – January

Jackie2snow

Michigan. January. 2014. Grey. Minus 6 this morning.

Visiting my brother.  My sister-in-law died – unexpectedly.

We often learn about ourselves through other people’s lives.  Compassion.  Anger. Grief is an unexpected guest that stays as long as it wants. There is no bargaining with it, no way to get it to leave your house until it is ready.

I have been here before, to this place of mourning.  A husband, a mother, on and on as it is for all of us as we age and at this moment it does not matter because this is theirs.  This is their winter and all I can do is be here for now until I am the guest who leaves.  Unlike grief, I will know when to go, when to shake off my boots and let my feet breathe again and possibly even run them through sand.  I can do this.  I can re-invent the days, see the buds on things that grow and smile when I think about the egrets in Florida and the street people in Los Angeles and know – in my mended heart – that nothing ever dies.

I have been here myself in other ways. As a patient. As a person who questions God.  As a woman who closed her eyes and did not expect to wake up whole.  You go into an abyss.  Your bravery taunts you.  Will you cry in front of everyone.  Will they know your fear.

I loved her.  She was a sister I would have chosen.  We say of some people “She was a saint”.  She was.  A sweet woman who opened herself day after day.  But nothing changes fact.  Nothing.  It could have been me and it wasn’t - not yet but it will be one day.  It will be all of us.  My emotions are like the trees.  Uneven.  Often contained and harsh.  Mostly focused – on a mission. I want no waste, no useless action. I want to rid myself of everything and accumulate more.  I want to live in fast forward and slow motion at the same time. I want. I want.  I want.

Love must be without judgment.  It can be a component of all things. But not judgment. Otherwise it is not love.  Yet, my feet itch and my hair wants to be free again, knotting in the wind in the middle of a warm day.  It will happen.  There really is no permanence…

Because

We are all things at the same time, ripples of energy, connected by a core so thick that it will never crack open.  We are anchored in our souls. Spring will arrive.  Snow will melt.  The edge I have is that I have learned that this will happen.  It has, time and again.  I believe in it.  I rely on it.  It is all there is.

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Stop the words now. Open the window in the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out. ~Rumi

Namaste’

New Items in My Universe

Copper Bracelets 1 thru 4

A few new items in the Etsy shop. More to come.  In the meantime, it has been quiet in Florida, or at least on Stone Island.  Palm trees and rain.  The weather moves in and out like a thief sometimes.  This has been a fascinating summer.

Rings Large Small with Card

COMING SOON!!!

I’ve been playing with a few new phone apps and will be posting some photos soon.  For now, working on some designs and taking photographs of Stone Island and planning the big move.  By end of year, I’ll have a wonderful announcement!!  Stay tuned.

Walking In The Garden

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If you read my blog, you know I’ve been living in Central Florida, but also that this was never to be a permanent place for me.  I was given a gift of a type of sabbatical, a gift for which I am utterly and profoundly grateful.  The gift givers know this but I will say it again – I am utterly and profoundly grateful.   Sabbaticals usually last up to one year.  By my calculations, it’s time to begin planning my return to California.

You also know that this year has involved my recovery from open heart surgery – a surprise and shock both to me and the gift givers.  This has come with numerous adjustments to lifestyle and the necessity to re-think “it all“.  (not so serious, so follow the link….) So,  I will be returning to California somewhere around the end of this year, give or take a month or two on either side of the 2013/2014 bridge.  “Give or take”.  I find this an interesting phrase.  Let’s face it, we never know what’s coming up.  We only know what’s behind us – and then, we only know our version of that and it might not even be true – and then we think we know where we are at any given moment.  It’s all fairly up in the air, isn’t it….

The only point to all of this:  Years ago, as I was traveling around the country having a fine time and living in wonderful places (New Orleans, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Los Angeles….I even lived in Bend, OR for a while for goodness sake), I joked and said there were two places I’d never go – ever – no matter what.  Ever.  One was Minnesota (no reason other than it seemed dreary and dank) and the other was Florida.  People raised in New York (like me), tended to retire here and everyone just aged, turning into orange leathery things and wearing socks with shorts.  Yes, I said socks with shorts. People do that. Ugh.  But here, in this crazy, humid, Republican, gun oriented, lack-of-any-real-good-organic-food-ingredients, redneck  mecca, I have found some truly incredible friends, continue to develop my iconography skills :), have once again fallen totally in love with trees, and will continue to take notes and one day write something about why never saying never is really a good idea.  I am truly blessed.

Namaste’

That said – I have two new copper bracelets on my Etsy store.  You can find a photo of each here, on the Jewelry page of this blog, and you can go to my etsy shop by clicking this ETSY link.

The Other Day……

……was so beautiful, that I am reminded of this quote…………….

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous” ….Aristotle

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Today, the rain is hovering and blowing about……we will see what comes after the storm.

(New jewelry in my Etsy shop - check here or on the Jewelry tab, above….)

Namaste’

Change Focus

It’s all there.  Everything we need.  All the ideas.  All the money.  All the love.  Everything.  Sometimes we just need to change focus, to look a bit deeper – or maybe not – maybe one particular time we need to stop trying so hard, to lighten up and let go.  Maybe one time we should just say “to hell with it” and breathe deeply, listen, look with a different focus and see what comes to us…sometimes we need to remember that this is an adventure we’re on and not a contest.  It doesn’t matter what other people think.  What matters is being alive and learning to see in a way that makes our soul smile.  It’s about being in love with everything, including ourselves – especially ourselves - because we are the lucky ones. We have choice.

Namaste’

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“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of.  You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”

Albert Camus

So, What now?

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Here we are nearly in June of 2013, and there is all this possibility.

Endings and beginnings, all in the same week.  It’s been a busy but productive time.

I’ve completed my 12 weeks of cardiac rehab.  Wonderful program and wonderful staff.  So, what now?

Other than cardiac rehab, tweaking my eating plan along with general reflection and healing, I’ve been playing around with metal again.  I’m also writing.  JEWELRY!  Finally…….It’s so nice to be back in the game of making art.

My Etsy shop has re-opened with  a few pieces for now but others will be listed in the next few weeks.  Please go to my jewelry page for teasers of what is coming….

In the meantime,  Stone Island continues to be a truly wonderful place to recuperate.  Enjoy the photos.

Namaste’

“There’s no retirement for an artist, it’s your way of living so there’s no end to it.”   Henry Moore

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