Archive for ‘June, 2017’

Efforts Alone Cannot

“To acknowledge that our efforts alone cannot meet our needs.”

Whew. 18 years of practicing that one since I made this painting in ’99… This wisdom gem showed up today as I’m writing text to accompany this image, “Provision,” in the Listen For Joy Art Card Decks.

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Keeping Guidance Central

Welcoming all aspects of the inner and outer terrain you travel, keeping guidance central to your pilgrimage.

[More draft text for my Listen For Joy Art Card Decks. Writing for these cards is a deeper journey than I thought it would be. Aren’t they all?]

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Messy in Action

I just had another one of those moments thinking, “Wow, this is gonna be a great Art Card for someone to draw out of a deck– and these words are pretty awesome!”

I’m writing again– can you tell?– working on the text that will accompany my Listen For Joy Art Cards in a little guide booklet.  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the task, and sometimes it’s actually big fun to dig into each image, remember where it came from, and listen to the Spirit helping me find words for what the card is about.  I’ve had some rough days along the way, but tonight it was the fun kind, so I thought I’d share a peek of the text for the joy of it and to see what you all think.

Here’s the image, a vintage painting made in 2001, with my actual handprints.  I can just about feel that wet paint on my hands when I remember making this one on the bathroom tile floor:

Then here are the draft words I’m writing for it (unedited!), in four sections, below.  Of course these phrases are just places to start– whomever owns the Art Cards will get to decide what the images mean for them!  But sometimes it’s helpful to have a few ideas to bounce around in that process.  First is the intention of the card– one word I’ve chosen to represent one of its main messages.  Second is the invitation that the card makes to the viewer.  Third is the way a viewer might feel if she/he/they are feeling in balance or living in a balanced way. Fourth is what it might be like to be out of balance with regard to the invitation or energy of the card image.

Ok, so look at the image again, and then see what you think of these:

Intention:  Involvement

Invitation:  To cross a threshold and contact something personally, to let it touch and change you.  To get involved, engaged, or committed, which almost always means getting messy and being brave.

In Balance:  Willing to step beyond clean and comfortable when the situation or relationship calls for more.  Playing with gusto and abandon, letting go of appearances.

Out of Balance:  Refusing to engage discomfort or challenge.  Unwillingness to be affected or changed by life or a particular situation.

I felt inspired just writing some of these phrases.  In fact, they gave me some courage to make a blog post and share the messy, unedited process a bit more.  🙂  And I feel the conviction in these important political times to speak out, even if I’m awkward or unpracticed– about healthcare, and Black Lives Matter, climate change, and government accountability…
How are these words and image striking you?
Do you think the four sections of text are helpful for engaging the image?  What would you change or add?
I’m excited to keep writing, to keep my hands dirty, and soon to work with my wonderful editor to make it strong and beautiful…

The Long Road to Making Something

So I’m making something really great– two decks of Art Cards that include images from the last 20+ years of my work.  And although it felt over and over like I was ALMOST THERE– that any minute I’d be ready to launch my fundraising campaign and print these cards– the road to making something is long and bumpy.  Then winding, and long.  And bumpy.

The good news is, I’m still on the road, and I’m making solid progress.  (Super cool things are happening, actually.)  The challenge is, I get to stay on the path when it’s taking longer and feels a lot harder than I expected.  For example, (good grief!!) creating a Kickstarter campaign is HARD.  I had a pretty big meltdown the day I made the spreadsheet to try to estimate costs of what I needed to fundraise, to be sure I included absolutely everything, from taxes to shipping costs– even though everything is also an estimate at the same time…  NOT what my brain is good at.  Bumpy!  But I’m doing it.

And although I haven’t talked about it very much, my amazing life parter, Hollin, has a genetic version of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) that’s kept her in various states of illness and tiredness for five years now.  Yep, five years without stopping.  Long, long, and bumpy road.  This definitely impacts the way we navigate life and daily tasks, and it challenges my estimates on how much and how fast I can accomplish.  It’s been an incredible gift to learn to slow down and savor life with Hol!  But my production ethic is still Energizer Bunny while my actual possibilities are more contemplative and walking-speed.  So this year I’ve set the goal to start my campaign twice already, once by May and once by June… and again I need to reset the timeline to what’s real.  In fact, when I listen to the Spirit I get clear to let go of setting a date for a little while.  This feels really embarrassing to my “But I promised!” and “If I could just work harder” and “What will people think?” self!  But this feels honest and more possible to my spiritual and creative self.  SIGH.

So… I’m letting myself off the hook as best I can, and I’m still hard at work finishing the packaging details and the writing for the guide booklets that are going to be a real bonus to the project.  I even have a fantastic editor who will help me!  (Thanks, Christianne of Bookwifery!)  I’ll keep practicing remembering that all of this is taking just the right amount of its long and bumpy time.

And one more thing that’s a little bumpy but important– I can tell that I need to talk more about all this.  I’m rather shy when it comes to media stuff, and I can forget that it’s actually really cool to see the geeky process parts along the way to making something really great.  I mean, I’d totally want to see YOUR project stuff as you go, and hear about your stuck places and celebrations!!  So it’s my turn to take the dare and get out more pictures and tell more about the juicy moments, bumpy and awesome both.  Be prepared– I’ll probably start with a little video of the prototype tuck boxes that make me grin from ear to ear.  But don’t ask me to promise when I’ll post it…  🙂  Sometime after a little more long and bumpy.

Be well on your own winding roads, dear friends.


Storytelling Collage text:

“body halo of flames” –Denise Levertov

“(now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)” — e.e. cummings

“anyone capable must want to save the world” — found poetry rearranged out of Rebecca Bagget’s text

“into the wilderness of your intuition” — from a magazine headline

“Storytelling” handwritten by Rebecca Landes, rescued out of the Magic Scrap Bin at Pendle Hill


We Will Listen to the Planet

Even when our government won’t listen to wisdom and the planet, we will.


I’m more sure than ever that we need to change the worldview that says the Earth is a resource for humans to use up.  That’s simply not true– Earth is a community to belong to.

So when President Trump pulls the United States out of a worldwide agreement to begin curbing the toxic parts of our human presence on the planet, we will continue to follow the wisdom in our bones, speak out in the ways that are ours to speak, pray for guidance and courage, and take our best actions toward sustainable lifestyles and business practices.

Let’s keep listening and responding with brave joy, fierce love, and active hope– for the good of our neighbors and the planet.

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Art images included in the video: If We Had Listened, Storm Journey: Story, Resilience, Phoenix Seed Cycle, Center of Becoming.

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