The Magnificence Right Under Your Nose

A friend called to day, sharing coffee and gratitude though many states apart. She shared a thought experiment: what if everything, what if I were completely perfect right now, in this moment? What if the fear, disappointment, worry, grief were all lifted from our shoulders, without effort, right now. If it crosses our mind, it…

Those year end reflections…

I've been slurping up the "best trash cans of 2017" stories that most media organs pump out this time of year. Why? So I can muse about 2017 without thinking too much about reality in America. You haven't seen "Greatest Hits of the 115th Congress," have you? As indulgent as they may seem, this NYT…

12 Steps to Living with the Election Results

Dear readers: I have started several posts since last week's election results and haven't decided which impassioned essays will live or die. In the mean time, I come bearing gifts, this one from Nicholas Kristof of the (notoriously liberal) NY Times.  Link to complete original article Traumatized by the election results, many Americans are asking: What…

Winning While Not Winning

Back in September I applied for an artist's residency at Big Bend National Park, an opportunity to live and work for a month in one of our largest and most remote wilderness areas, right on the Mexican border (image above.) As I worked on the application, I gained a new understanding of why I paint the way…

A Clouded View

When I come downstairs in the morning I open the door for my two critters, who trot happily out the door. They always greet the day with tails held high, so delighted to greet the world. I sip my coffee and come to consciousness more slowly. In fact I'm cautious how I approach the day. Will I…

To Stand Under

How do we learn to live with people who aren't like us? Mahzarin Benaji researches unconscious bias at Harvard. She discussed her fascinating and important research  this week on the podcast On Being. Dr. Benaji uses the word "implicit" instead of “unconscious,” because of "the implication that the unconscious is this incredibly motivated, smart process that is constantly trying to do things…

defy reality: be an artist

This recent post from Chuck Wendig's blog Terrible Minds got to me: Nobody wants you to be an artist. It’s for a lot of reasons. Some come from a good place — they think, hey, we want better for you. The life of an artist is hard. Be a bricklayer, a doctor, a ROCKET LAWYER, something, anything.…

How to “Not-go” to that Dark Place

“You have to not-turn to anger, not-turn to resentment.” That advice comes from a man who spent 26 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, to kids who find themselves entangled in the juvenile justice system. He's helping them know themselves through writing, and to learn to manage their chaotic lives and hopefully survive the system. Stay I was…

A New Year Dawns

I've been grumpy about the unseasonably warm weather - over 70° leading up to Christmas just didn't feel right. But heading into the end of the year, Voila! And it's so crispy cold that the bay has frozen. There is a beauty to the frosted morning, a certain chilled pink and blue glaze over lawns…