Saturday, July 30, 2011

A nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat.

Sometimes I fantasize that I'm 25 years old again
with the wisdom of the 41 year old I actually am.

The world is my oyster, my whole life ahead of me,
and I know exactly how to go about it.
This time my potential will live up to it's fullest.

Luckily, of late, I can drop into this fantasy,
on any given day,
and get some good work done.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Release the Cranes!


Every once in awhile, a great project comes along and is available to the masses.  Sandy and the 1000 Paper Cranes is one of those projects.  Making & releasing a total of 1000 cranes, with positive words to spread to the world, Sandy is going to show others how it's done:   Making someone's day in a clever, unique and dapper way.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We Are All Animals

“The 20th century was particularly rich in extraordinary events, and many people became famous for many different reasons. Yet, far away from the noise and turmoil of the global, everyday life continued and could be just as extraordinary.
“The number and variety of the century’s epoch making events were the starting point for this series in which animals take our place to show the absurdity of the human world.”

Monday, July 25, 2011

Don't ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.
Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.

-Howard Thurman
theologian, educator and civil rights leader

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Beautiful Friday Awaits You

Cahors, France
{just a sweet happening}

Thursday, July 21, 2011

teen dream

This summer my niece became an official teenager.  It gave me pause.  Not for her sake, but for the memory of what being that age was like for me and how totally and completely different it seems to be for her.  She's cooler than I ever was.  She's more worldly than I'll ever be.  She's more confident and beautiful than most.   And, as an only child, she's got parents who are joyfully determined to give her more than the sum of her teen years.

She once told her mom that she thinks of me as both her Aunt and her sister.
That seems about right.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'll Take Stella

I don't think about disasters much.  Some friends consider this strange, as being in San Francisco, we live on a number of fault lines that are just waiting for the next big plate shift.

Mind you, I completely recognize the obsession with the old game what things would you take if your house was on fire? Rhetorically, it's a beautiful insight.  As adults, many of us know this game is silly and not remotely responsible unless your answer is your kids, or your partner.  To risk life and limb for a few trinkets, while the flames lick at your collar and cuffs... why would one chance that?

Well, for various reasons, of course, lots of 'ones' would.

You can peek into the minds of others or ponder the question for yourself.

Having experienced a home fire, first hand, whatever I might have thought, I've now seen the truth.  Flying down the stairs, both figuratively and then literally (when my foot slipped on the top marble step, it was almost like flying),  in a tshirt and flip flops, I was ready to burst out the front door into the snow, carrying... my niece and not one thing else.

If it ever happens again,
I'm hoping RK will be holding my hand while, with the other,  I grab the one thing on my list...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sister, Sister

Sister Corita may have just been the biggest jolt of inspiration that I needed in a potential personal malaise this summer.

A beautiful story, a beautiful woman, a beautiful result.
I felt honored to be standing in front of her pieces recently.  She's been gone for 20 years and her work blows away anything I've seen lately.

Her politics and her passions, often one in the same, came through every plate she ever scratched onto paper.  The bold messages, along with the incredible, home-grown, technical talent was a sight to behold.

It's been a couple months now since I've stood in the presence of these pieces.  And, at the very least,  I hope I can hold on to the tender hope it instilled in me then, giving me the ability to move forward with inspiration.  Entering another season of all new card samples, all new art work for a show in the fall, and the dream of succeeding beyond my own expectations.

And an excerpt of a fantastic documentary* that was screening during the show,

*thanks cathy

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sweet as Honey

Honey and bees have long held a soft spot in my heart.  No, not going back to an early childhood when I was stung on the chin and thought I might collapse from the pain.  But from some point when my brother turned bee-keeper and my mother turned honey collector.  Since then, I've watched a hive spontanously create just feet from where we sat;  listened raptly to my big brother's tales of the lengths he has gone to for his live-hive rescue business; and I've sat and eaten fresh honey right through its chewy wax honeycomb direct from the outdoor hives of our good friend, mr. bees.

And, yes, as an adult that soft-spot was momentarily hardened when I was stung by grabbing a poor innocent bee .  My bad.  Not the bees fault, of course.  They are the providers, while we are the takers.

About four weeks ago, I was walking to my studio and came across this show in the windows of a local restaurant.  It was a beautiful tribute to bees and a reminder to the current state of bees in our lives:  They're dwindling, to say the least, and, yeah, it's not good.  In any way.

{more photos, all lit by the sf sky}

So, in the serendipitous way that life works, two weeks ago, my sister, mom and I were flying down the french country roads, in search of a bread factory, when I saw this gorgeous sign and called out, 
did either of you see that big sign for honey?
Squeal to a stop, reverse and suddenly we're in the driveway of two old school beekeepers, husband and wife team, just home for lunch between markets.  Car full of honey jars.

With sheer luck and a keen interest in anything off the beaten path, we recognize this privilege:  getting to glimpse the past, while feeling a hope for the future.

What is a way of life, passed down to those in the next generation on those country roads is, in city-living,  beloved by only some.
I'm happy to count myself as one of them.

     ~ our own mr. bees, jon rolston, 
        shows us how it's done ~

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Summer Season in the South of France

Summer Season in San Francisco

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.

{Any one of us woulda said it at some point}

Thursday, July 14, 2011

C'est La Vie! (re-do)

A number of years ago, when I was a die-hard Manhattanite, thought of living no where else in the world, because, really, what did the rest of the world have that NYC couldn't provide in some way, Rudy Giuliani started a quality of life hotline.  I believed in this hotline.  At the time, I lived above a bar that, at ungodly hours of the late night and early morn, produced an insanely vocal group of patrons.  Next to that institution, that makes up a wonderous part of my beloved new york city lifestyle, was a restaurant that, on occassion, caught on fire and damaged our building.  Mind you, the restaurant didn't have a fire alarm belching out noise pollution, so, technically, they didn't fall under the kind of quality of life we New Yorkers were looking to improve on. 
So, okay, I accepted it:  This quality of life would do just fine.
Look at everything I was getting here!

Then I moved to San Francisco.  A totally different quality of life, if you will.  Not perfect, but breathable:  lots and lots of trees and gardens and space to move around. 
This, I accept, as well.
Look at everything I was getting here!

But, along with this acceptance of city life, comes a known quantity:  You get a little bit numb to things.  The morning I left for the South of France, a man shot himself.  Minutes before I stepped into the shop directly across the street, this man stood in front of the police station and ended it all.  The guy in the mobile phone shop pointed out his feet under the yellow blanket while a news reporter asked me what I'd seen.
But I hadn't seen a thing, until pointed out to me.
What had I just seen?
Enough, I thought to myself, because I'd got a little bit numb to things.

This reality doesn't totally sink in until I arrive in France and we begin to visit towns and homes that embody the phrase quality-of-life. 
This, this, I could really accept.

Being on Nadette's lavender farm was by far the most obvious quality of life change I was ready to move into.  Look at everything I was getting here!
  Living simply, surrounded by the scent of calm, doing what you love, far, far, far from the maddening crowd, with a dog who's only stress is watching the lavender grow.

I envision myself waking up to the morning.   
This morning. 
The farmers market, back home, cutting fresh lavender, selling my homemade wares, making soap, inhaling the world around me.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Everyone Should Have A Mogull

I looooove coffee.
I can live without it.  I can get through a day without it.  I don't need it.
But, I loooooooooooooove coffee.
I love it strong, dark, heavy like oil, with lots of cream, no sugar, and steaming hot.

From the first touch down in France some 14-or-so-odd-days ago (i don't even know what day it is today!), there's not been a good cup of cafe in my hands.  Ouch.
But, for lack of a good cup, there (at least) has been a cup.
About five days into the trip, our dear, dear friend Cathy Mogull actually started bringing a cup up to my room to help on my early rising {our days our packed with activities, a tight schedule, and very early mornings}.  It's been a dream come true.
And it didn't stop there.

A week into our chateau stay, Cathy decided we really needed to get our act together and fill our veins with some serious dark grounds.  This morning, after filling the french press to it's limit, she brought to my bedside a steaming-hot, creamy cup of the most delicious coffee I've ever had.
By god, she's got it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Miss Stella

France is amazing.
It's taken me 20 years of traveling here to finally, fully understand it.  In the last week alone I've said I could live here probably ten times.  I love the rural, village life, every farmers market we've been to, the melodic language, and the french cafe word for beer (presiĆ³n).

It takes me back to the days when I used to recruit university students to study abroad.  Well, I tried very hard to recruit students:  Private schools with quite privileged kids, who considered it a way of life rather than an incredible opportunity.  Some of the most frequent comments were:  
do they have peanut butter over there?  
should i bring a lot of underwear?
i think i'll miss my dog/boyfriend/mom/roomate too much.

I used to roll my eyes, hold back my comments and go through the details of what a life-changing experience this would be, if they would just forget all those worries and go for it.

Well, now I have a dog. 
And while I love being here and can imagine staying for a long time,
I, like all those long ago college kids,
finally understand the feeling
of really missing my dog
Stella Marie.

Luckily, a fantabulous water fountain in Cahors brought it all home for me.