Saturday, September 30, 2017

Love this quote

"Progress on a project changes everything. It changes the work--it exists!--but it also changes you. It gives you power over your life and choice that so few people have."

Jessica Abel, Growing Gills

Monday, September 25, 2017

The weight of the world

Humans aren't built
to carry the weight
of the world
We can manage
the cares of

our tribe
our community
but the larger scale
the global view
won't fit on our narrow shoulders
We can care for family
neighbors
and some of those we don't know
but the plastic-filled oceans
with dying sea lions
and nuclear fish
the melting poles
and starving white bears
the hurricanes and forest fears
the greed and corruption
that cares for no one but self
is beyond our ken
beyond our kin
Many of us try
We pick up a few hundred pounds
of what's wrong
work to solve
dog fighting
sex trafficking
racist hate
child neglect
but we weary quickly
the impotence to change anything
too discouraging
and we go back
to our own life
already fraught with
its own sadness
from accident, cancer
factory closures
old mistakes  
our own or someone else's

Humans aren't built
to carry the weight
of the world

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Baffled by conservative family

I don't come from a particularly large family. I have three siblings, four nieces and nephews, and nine cousins. I am in regular contact with my siblings and we have pretty much the same values, the ones we grew up with. But some of my cousins are another story and our Facebook friendships have become anything but.

There are some differences that have contributed to this. I grew up in Western Oregon, which is quite liberal, and they grew up in Northern Idaho, which is not.I have a lot of education, as do my siblings, and my cousins do not. I appreciate that their lives have been different and have fostered different values in them.

But what I don't understand is the desire of one of my male cousins to make fun of my beliefs. I don't question his. They're his. He's clearly a Trump supporter and a lot of people are. I don't understand what they see in him but I don't question their right to see it. But he clearly questions my right to my opinions and that isn't something that either of us grew up with. Curious.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The joy of stickers

One of my projects this year is to make my art practice sustainable and regular, not just a when-I-have-time practice or a when-I-feel-like-it practice. My coach was surprised to hear I wasn't putting it into my calendar along with other appointments. I'd tried that, I told her, but I just ignored it for things that seemed more pressing, like paid work or a Netflix mystery series. So she challenged me to figure out something that would work.

I thought about my good friend Margaret, who often rewards herself for difficult tasks with stickers. I don't find making art difficult, quite the contrary. It's a source of great joy and pleasure for me. But I find getting to it difficult. So I needed some reward for changing that.

For the last three weeks, I've been using stickers. I get a sticker in my paper calendar if I paint during the day and another sticker if I do something else art-related (watch an instructional video, work on my inventory, sketch, look at other artists' work). I can earn up to 3 stickers a day. and it's absolutely working.

I splurged on some beautiful stickers from the gift shop at the Japanese Garden so they're visually fun too. And it is so satisfying to look at my calendar and see 16 stickers for a week, proof that I'm living into my intention.

What might you use stickers for?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Cremation of Beauty

My father was 16
in August of '33
Rode in an open-back
cattle truck
with friends from school
to dig fire-break trenches
at the Tillamook Burn
350 thousand acres
of old-growth gone
in a month
The ghosts and skeletons were visible
in my own youth
as we drove to the beach
in the summer
Now the Gorge
a kid, a firecracker
friends from school
the same powder-keg conditions
a weapon of mass destruction
The land will heal
but not in the years
I have left
So glad I looked
on each drive up and back
worshipped the green cathedrals
as my friend Mary called them
Now grieving the forest homeless
the countless beings lost
to human foolishness
Aching for the beauty
gone up in smoke

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

From a Stressed Life to Your Best Life




Join me at Portland’s New Renaissance Bookstore for a hands-on workshop on innovative ways to use our time, money, and energy in creating spaciousness and peace of mind. Bring a journal, scissors, and a friend!

Sunday October 1, 2017
2-5 pm
$35

Registration: 503-224-4929

Friday, September 1, 2017

Living from our values

In July I posted a list of the many things I'd like to do and be in my next decade. Of course, that's a list of possibilities, not necessarily commitments. And when I talked to my life coach about it, she reminded me about the filters I want to live by: peace of mind, spaciousness, and contribution. As I prioritze the use of my time, energy, and money, which activities will support those values?

I'm conscious that the three values--peace of mind, spaciousness, and contribution--are actually states of being rather than activities, that they are how I can do things rather than things I can do. And we talked about the fact that how we BE is perhaps much more of a contribution than any single thing we can DO.

What if living in peace of mind and spaciousness is the biggest contribution I or any of us can make to our world right now? Food for thought.