Friday, December 25, 2009

Peace on Earth / Goodwill to All

5 a.m.:

10 a.m.:

11 a.m.:

1 p.m.:

(The preview of 42 years: a book of changes will resume in the spring)

Here's Oboe with her new blue mouse, a gift from my sister's Bernese Mountain Dog pup:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Child With Gift / Christmas Eve 2009

"Child With Gift"
iBookG4 drawing

(page 58)

Richard's sister, Dorothy, sent me the makings of a gumdrop tree. Fun!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

His First Word Was "Light" / 2006 -- 56 years old

When there was no teacher, life gave us a bridge.

(page 57)

And from the Taittiraya Upanishad:

"From Joy all things are born; by Joy are all things are sustained; to Joy all things return."

Oboe playing Arctic fox. It's cold out there:

Oboe's cat grass -- a gift from her friends at the art farm:

Watch someone whose laughter embodies "To Joy all things return."."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Then I remembered

This was how I experienced love.
I was innocent of forgiveness.

(page 55)

After several false starts, I was able to begin weaving on my inkle loom last night. The pattern is not the one I had planned. I made a simple mistake as I was putting the warp on the loom last Thursday but didn't notice it until last night. My decision last night was to leave the mistake as it was and see what pattern it produced instead of the little rectangles I had hoped for. Then, as I was weaving, there was a power outage!! Funny, the obstacles that arise when I try to weave this particular pattern. Later, when the lights came back on, I took this photo of Oboe and the inkle loom:

When I saw this post by Solitary Walker, I remembered the words of an elderly Jewish woman who remarked that, given some of the experiences during her lifetime, she didn't have to be a Christian to be moved by the story of the life and death of Jesus.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Beloved Person In Bird Costume Crossing The Night River / Gouache and watercolor

Who painted this desire?
Who painted this forgiveness?

(page 53)

It is almost winter solstice, 9:47 a.m. Pacific Standard Time:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Evolution of Forgiveness / 2000 -- 50 years old

"Talking 48-Hour Day With Roots Gathered From Coincidence"
Gouache and watercolor

(page 50)

loving the silent holy night,
the wild blue sky of day,
the courage of redwood trees,
the beloved ocean
still mirroring our wild hearts ...

(page 51)

And today, with its overcast skies before the winter solstice, is luminous in black and white:


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Skeleton Woman / Grasping At Rainbows / Living In The Present -- 2009

"Skeleton Woman"
Gouache and watercolor

(page 48)

It's been many years since the beginning of my recovery from anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating. I wrote "The Door" in the last miserable years that I suffered in secret from compulsive overeating, bulimia and anorexia, and I remember the first holiday season during which I experienced an astonishing freedom from the eating disorders that had manifested early in my life.

Even as a very young child I used sugar as a sedative which gave me temporary relief from acute anxiety. It was only later, when I was 10 years old, that I became obsessed with losing weight, despite the fact that I wasn't overweight. My reality from my earliest memories was that I could not stop eating sugar once I started. I used sugar as a sedative throughout my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood.

At age 36, I stopped eating foods made with refined sugar and stopped drinking alcohol. The terrible food cravings that allowed for no satiation were lifted. It wasn't easy at first and still isn't easy to live in a world where sweet foods are offered as love and reward, but I have had the support of others recovering from eating disorders for a long time now.

Twice in recent years I have experimented with returning to the use of refined sugar. Both times I found that I lost my appetite for food that wasn't heavily sugared and that I experienced insatiable craving again. Both times I began to suffer from ocular rosacea. Both times, it was very difficult to return to the way of eating that didn't trigger unbearable craving for excess food.

Knowing what I now know about alcoholism, i.e. the craving for alcohol (and for me, massive amounts of food) that is triggered by drinking alcohol, I have not tried experimenting with alcohol again.

Today, December 19, 2009, is cool and foggy in the coastal Pacific Northwest, but the Red-winged Blackbirds are singing this morning. Listen. It almost sounds like spring.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holy Contradictions / 1982 -- 32 years old

As we watch through telescopes,
our church of sky, land and sea
fills with healing hands,
human hearts and eyes that shed tears.

(page 47, "In The Church Of The Holy Contradiction, We Look For Tears Through A Telescope")

The gouache and watercolor painting I titled "Speaking Without Words About Holy Contradictions" was already in process in June of 1989 as I heard the first news of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Last night before I went to sleep, I unwound two hours of work from my inkle loom so that I can start again:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Talking About A Season In The North Country / 1982 -- 32 years old

We dance away,
we dance.

(page 45, "For Nijinsky")

This morning I got together with three women so we could spend time working on our separate creative projects for a couple of hours. We met at the home of the woman whose idea it was to meet for that purpose. She lives with her husband in a small house on a farm not far from Bellingham. There is a main house and then several small houses that are rented out.

As we were winding down our time together, I noticed that I had made the same mistake I had made with my inkle loom and yarns in February of 2008! To the untrained eye, everything looks fine and dandy,

but it's the weaving equivalent of building a house without any doors. I'm going to have to unwind the yarn and re-warp the loom so it looks like this, and I can actually begin to weave!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nursery Rhyme / 1982 -- 32 years old / "May you always know the truth and see the light surrounding you"

I was never pregnant, but by the time I was 32 years old my friends were beginning to have their babies. One day when I said parallelogram, one of those babies looked at me in surprise and laughed with delight.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Awake and alert / 1982 -- 32 years old

Twenty-eight years later, I sleep through the night for the most part. It's been a long time since I've seen the hills of childhood. A few days ago, I put my paints under the table and brought out my inkle loom and my palette of cotton rug warp for inkle-woven scarves and belts:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wild Hearts / 1973 -- 23 years old / Approaching winter solstice 2009

Calendar Series: "Return / The Turning Point"
Gouache and watercolor

(page 38)

Approaching winter solstice:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

River / 1972 -- 23 years old / An ongoing meditation on war and peace at 60 years old

"River Dreaming Of The Ocean And Sky"
Gouache and watercolor

(page 36)

I can't provide for you no easy answers
Who are you that I should have to lie?
(Bob Dylan lyrics from "When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky" -- 1985)

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4.

Oh night thou was my guide
oh night more loving than the rising sun
Oh night that joined the lover
to the beloved one
transforming each of them into the other
(Lorena McKennitt lyrics from "Dark Night of the Soul.")

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Forward / 1972 -- 22 years old

"Woman Trying To Remember What She Is Trying To Forget"
Gouache, watercolor and pastel

(page 32)

Before dawn:

"You often meet your destiny on the road you take to avoid it."
(French proverb)

Friday, December 11, 2009


"Woman With Window"
Gouache, watercolor and pastel

(page 32)

Good news! Village Books took three more copies of my book on consignment.

I saw three white swans flying over Scudder Pond in the last few days. It's cold out there:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

All alone all together / 1971 -- 21 years old

"Untitled Scene"
Gouache and watercolor

The poem was written during the five months that followed Richard's return from Vietnam, before we separated. Richard bought me a copy of "All Things Must Pass" for Christmas in 1970.

Before sunrise:

From "All Things Must Pass":

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Mona Lisa And The Clown And The Cool Rain Of The Law" / Whirling Dervish

(42 years: a book of changes, pages 28 and 29)

Watch and listen.

After watching the video I found the following:

What is Sufism?

There is a traditional Sufi story about four travellers—a Persian, a Turk, an Arab, and a Greek, arguing as to how they should spend a single coin they possessed. The Persian suggested buying angur, the Turk wanted uzum, the Arab wanted inab, while the Greek suggested buying stafil. Another traveller, who was a linguist, asked them to give him the coin and promised to satisfy the desires of all of them. When he was given the coin, he bought grapes and gave them, seeing which the Persian recognized them to be his angur, the Turk his uzum, the Arab his inab, and the Greek said that in his language they were called stafil.

"The travellers are the ordinary people of the world. The linguist is the Sufi. People know that they want something, because there is an inner need existing in them. They may give it different names, but it is the same thing. Those who call it religion have different names for it, and even different ideas as to what it might be," explained a Sufi teacher (The Sufis by Idries Shah, p. 24). The author points out that the grape is the raw form of the wine, while wine is the real essence of that fruit. Since the travellers were ordinary people belonging to different religions, the Sufi shows them that the basis of all religions is the same. He does not impart the "wine" or essence, "which is the inner doctrine waiting to be produced and used in mysticism."

Robert Graves describes Sufism as the essence or secret teaching within all religions.

And from Wikipedia:

Sufism (Arabic: تصوّف‎) taṣawwuf,(Persian: صوفی گری) also spelled as tasavvuf and tasavvof according to the Persian pronunciation, is generally understood to be the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a ṣūfī (صُوفِيّ), though some adherents of the tradition reserve this term only for those practitioners who have attained the goals of the Sufi tradition. Another name used for the Sufi seeker is Dervish.

With the December the sun low in the Pacific Northwest sky, its light shown through a prism in my window onto my rocking chair and an owl carved by Mary A. Stapp from a piece of Fiddle Back Maple wood. She titled that piece "A Blooming Owl."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I've discovered others / 1968 -- 19 years old

p. 26
"Person with Helpers"
(California clay)

Inspired by:

Bob Dylan -- 1962
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan -- 1963
The Times They Are a-Changin' -- 1964
Another Side of Bob Dylan -- 1964
Bringing It All Back Home -- 1965
Highway 61 Revisited -- 1965
Blonde on Blonde -- 1966


On December 8, 1970, R returned from Vietnam. He telephoned from San Francisco International Airport around 3 a.m. I drove north on Highway 101 in the darkness. It's a long story after that. The story isn't over. It continues one day at a time, 39 years to this day where Oboe looks into the early morning sun:

Celebrating the life of Liam Clancy:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sleepless Woman / 1968 -- 19 years old

"Sleepless Woman With Moon And Birds," chalk pastel on paper.

(page 24)

Oboe in the winter sun:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

a sense of peace / October 14, 1968 -- 19 years old

Am I my mind, I ask myself again
and watch images that race
beyond me into the crazy
whirling mindless self
that occupies the

(page 23)


Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas. As I understand from what I've read, this is a secular holiday when celebrated in the Netherlands. It's a celebration "not about belief or non-belief, but a faith in the capacity of people to find pleasure in each other and in their lives." Those are the words of Tolbert McCarroll, the author of A Winter Walk.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Remembering the stories where children could go into other worlds / 1967 -- 18 years old

where things were different
than they always are

(page 21)


The album covers are getting ahead of the poetry, so I'm going to try something different -- posting the Bob Dylan album cover(s) that coincide with the time each poem was written. Otherwise, I'm all over the place emotionally, and my guess is that it is confusing to the reader. I may or may not go back and revise the previous posts. That's what I love about blogging. It gives me free rein in the creative process.

A few days ago, I became aware of water dripping from the ceiling near the desk where I usually work on my blog. While I was upstairs asking my neighbor to turn her water off, the light bulb in the fixture that lights my desk got wet and then exploded. I keep finding little pieces of glass in the vicinity of that light fixture. Fortunately, the water damage is minor; however, now there is a large noisy blue fan in my computer area, placed by water damage technicians. The fan is running 24 hours a day with the goal of drying the ceiling and the space above it. For the most part, Oboe and I are staying as far away from the fan as possible: