Teetering on the Edge of Happiness

May all your dreams come true; maybe not?
There have been times in my life that I have come close to acquiring the jewels of the promised land, whatever that may have been at the time.Mostly I have stepped back because I can feel the cost of the prize, to me, to my loved ones, to the quality of the life currently manifested.
Why do we dream?Why do we aspire to have more, to show more, to be more?We have been taught it is the purpose of life, to effect change to affect people.Does that mean we must do and be more?Must I be a blazing fire consuming the air or a rampaging floodwater washing away the earth?Can I be a cozy hearth fire and a silent stream and still be of value?
The cost of success has always concerned me.It took decades for someone to finally point out to me that to be financially successful in art, one must not only be good at creating, but also good at being a celebrity.It is the artist that, not who, but that is marketed, the work is s…


In a later book in the Harry Potter series we discover that the carriages for the school are not drawn by magic alone, but rather by Thestrals, which are described as carnivorous, horse-like creatures which can only be seen by those who have witnessed death.This subtle reference to the dramatic change that being fully aware of death brings to an individual is insightful and moving.
   I grew up with a dying parent.My birth seems to have coincided with his descent into his lengthy terminal status, lending my life, as my mother described, a perceived responsibility and association with his death.An intriguing life partnership for a three year old; if we live with our “inner child,” mine sees Thestrals. This was normal for me, as I believe it was for most children of the generation before mine who grew up without vaccines or antibiotics, and a childhood death rate which was high.Both my parents survived Tuberculosis.   By the age of five, my mother was one of two surviving children o…

Last Friday we had our fireplace swept, as we do every year.We “burn” almost every night from late September to early May.My husband likes the ambiance and we both like the smell and the warmth.I could do without the dirt of logs and kindling, and theconstant stream of ashes, but in power outages we have been cozy and comforted and I have boiled water in my Greek coffee pot for morning coffee, which is key to blackout survival.A favorite moment in power outage history was in 1999, Hurricane Floyd. The temperature dropped after the storm and we lit a fire.I announced that we were having ice cream for dinner, which we and our small children ate in front of the hearth; they asked if we could have a hurricane every month.If I had been clever I would have made a hurricane night every once in a while.

Prior to the sweeping this year, we lit a fire in late August, on a ninety degree day, to burn a creosote sweepinglog to soften the ash for the sweep.As a result the house smelle…
I have not written for years, not at least, a post.  I have written journal pages by the hundreds and poems by the score, but "Studio Thoughts,"  no.  This is not a reflection of a lack of thinking, thinking out loud, hell, talking out loud - often to myself, but rather a hesitation to express into the atmosphere of intimate anonymity, what thoughts may be.

There is a terrifying intimacy to separation, which not only allows, but encourages the sharing of that which is so often better kept to oneself ,or at the very least, thought carefully about before loosing its expression.  On more than one occasion I have ended a conversation either on the ethereal internet or in a crowded meeting, by stating something so clearly, concisely and thoroughly (I hope that's the reason) that no one else knew quite what to say.  I was only expressing a a thought, but the statement closed a conversation. I cherish the exchange of ideas and experiences.  It's why I love art, music and po…

SEW Peace

Last week I quickly wrote my blog and posted it.  My friend Joanne read it and said, "I think you misspelled a word in the title."  which I had indeed.  The corrected word was sow, as in planting, which is also the spelling for the word for a female pig: spelling in English is weird.

I am not a good speller, never have been. I had written sew, which is a word, and is spelled correctly, but not the correct word for that particular sentence.  It felt right, but also wrong, and Joanne was  wonderfully helpful, and kept me from looking foolish. I started thinking though, for that piece sow was right, but sew could also be a meaningful idea coupled with peace.

While it is nice to think of peace as a freestanding concept, it seems that it is more often applied as a solution for a dispute, a difference of thought and action which has caused strife; a division.   Sewing together the sides of a wound promotes quicker, cleaner healing, with minimal scarring.  Sewing together the rent…

Creating Calm

When the world sows hatred and behaves badly, I seek the comfort of my studio.  In that special place I create my own world. There was a time I sought to express my own anger and rage in my imagery, but that time has passed.  I have realized the commonality of rage and its static qualities.

These days I seek, as I did decades ago when I began to paint, images and sensations of a more profoundly eternal quality, the essence of which is calm, soothing peace.

In the realm of the everyday I comfort myself with the love of friends and family, animals and nature.  In smaller ways, I relish the pleasure of hot coffee, favorite foods, fresh air and wild things in my yard. They all seem so miraculous.

In the studio, I seek the broader space of timeless understanding, of the largeness of the universe, and the comfort of our human smallness in that universe.  Smallness give us freedom to make mistakes and the largeness of the universe gives us space to grow from them.

Seeking peace, and calm co…