Unnecessary Violence and Ramblings- archiving of my Shadow Work Journals 1986 to present. Sample 20: October 12, 1994

This daily archiving series is about organizing and dating my journal collection. Several samples have left me a bit raw. This sample, however, is another lighter one … Family life seemingly puttering along in Kitsilano.


Unnecessary Violence Project Explanation and Sample 1 Oct 21, 1992

Sample 2 Date Dec 15 1994

Sample 3 May 16, 2000

Sample 4 August 14, 2002

Sample 5 June 13, 1990

Sample 6 August 23, 2019

Sample 7 December 17, 1995

Sample 8 October 23, 1995

Sample 9 September 1, 2004

Sample 10 September 6, 1999

Sample 11 November 6, 1989

Sample 12 October 23, 2001

Sample 13 October 22, 1993

Sample 14 April 20, 2013

Sample 15 January 31, 1997

Sample 16 January 5, 2012

Sample 17 January 1, 1992

Sample 18 June 14, 2000

Sample 19 November 29, 2000


Today: Journal Start Date October 12, 1994



Sample Pages





Sample Writing


Sample Drawing


Sample Quote

“Myth does to time what metaphor does to space.” – Northrop Frye


There is that one thing I must do before I die.

My life feels very complete. My children grown and following their hearts fully. My creative process keeps my heart beating and my soul happy. And at the end of each day I remind myself it’s all about process and all my endless projects need to just unfold as they will. As does my life. No attachment to outcome nor need for accolades. And the ups and downs are simply part of it. However, there is that one thing I must do before I die. Setting the intention today.

See also:

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I keep the broken bits. They illustrate the subtext.

I keep the broken bits. I honour the cracks. They illustrate the subtext. There in I seek the true story.

Subtext or undertone is any content of a creative work which is not announced explicitly by the characters or author, but is implicit or becomes something understood by the observer of the work as the production unfolds.  – source

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Observing minute details is a solitary experience.

I find myself breathing in the stories that emanate from mysterious places.  The subtext of the old, the dead, the new, the fresh.  Gives me life.  Helps me create.

This post is dedicated to my soul-sister, Patti.

Bird spotting with a yellow legal pad and a walk in the park.

I walked around Lost Lagoon this afternoon.

In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.
Robert Lynd

I found a heron nest on the ground after a windstorm broke a large tree branch.


I saw signs of early Spring.

And hope springs eternal.  What else did I see?  Well…

There is an unreasonable joy to be had from the observation of small birds going about their bright, oblivious business.
Grant Hutchison, The Complete Lachlan

Every bird at the marsh filled us with a little light. I wondered if I was just so simple that this was all it took. But then I thought, I’m lucky that this is all it takes.”
Lynn Thomson, Birding with Yeats: A Mother’s Memoir

A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on it’s own wings. – Unknown

She decided to free herself, dance into the wind, create a new language. And birds fluttered around her, writing “yes” in the sky.
Monique Duval

Come back to me.

Come back to me, Molly.  It’s been a strange time- hiding you from the world in order to explore new ways of telling your story.   I’m not sure I like this anymore.

You chose me.  Remember?  At the library?  15 years ago.  As your spirit wandered restlessly on the  viaduct, you passed through me with a surprised breath and your soul snagged on mine.  Tell my story, you whispered.

And for 15 years, you and I have explored so many ways to tell it.  But of late, I feel like I’ve lost you.  I miss the unpeeling of the onion, the uncovering of truths, teasing out the knots to reveal the thread, the connections.  Your slow reveals.

I miss the smell of old newsprint, the texture of old flannel, the moss on the forest floor.

I miss you walking on Pender, you at the end of my lane, you sitting in my living room.

Have I let you down?  Did I fail to trust that you are guiding?  Have you met my mom and dad?  Are you safe?

Come back to me, Molly.  Let’s start again.  From the beginning.  I have paper and pen in hand.  Tell me what’s next.

I can feel the planet churning…

And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. – John Muir

When I am in the forest in Stanley Park, and sit down on the forest floor, I am acutely aware that I am on a sphere.  In fact, I swear that I can feel the planet churning.  I place my hand on the ground- it rumbles.

I even seem to hear the planet turn over the sounds of traffic.


… your breath is locked forever in my ears where once the name was whispered, and I defy eternity to take from me what is mine! – Gwendolyn MacEwen

Push it. examine all things intensely and relentlessly.
― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. – John Muir

Frida Kahlo, Muere el 13 de Julio de 1954

I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return. – Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954 (china marker, dry pastel on newsprint)

Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away. – Frida Kahlo

Every stitch a thought- problem solving embroidering drawings.

I’ve got a lot to think about these days.  (Not really any different from other days, I guess, but seriously, there is some amazing stuff brewing).

To stay on track with massive projects, to dos and ideas racing around in the head, I have found great solace in pulling out embroidered drawings.

As I stitch, my mind relaxes and somehow- magically, solutions arise, anxiety dissipates, energy refreshes, ideas come to light.  Fascinating.


It’s all about following the lines of my drawings, just wandering along the pathways, new ways of looking at things, no attachment to the thread or how things unfold.  Just let it unfold.  And I think that is my greatest lesson in all this- let it unfold.

When you can step back at moments like these and see what is happening, when you watch people you love under fire or evaporating, you realize that the secret of life is patch patch patch. Thread your needle, make a knot, find one place on the other piece of torn cloth where you can make one stitch that will hold. And do it again. And again. And again.
Anne Lamott, Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair

You have to keep taking the next necessary stitch, and the next one, and the next. Without stitches, you just have rags. And we are not rags.”
Anne Lamott, Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair


Books are life rafts.  I climb into them to keep moving forward…

Books are life rafts.  I climb into them to keep moving forward when life seems in limbo and my energy is fully depleted.  Here is a sampling of those I return to repeatedly.

I return to this quote to address my subject of research and remind myself why:

A cheap Saturday night took you down.  You died stupidly and harshly and without the means to hold your own life dear.  

Your run to safety was a brief reprieve.  You brought me into hiding as your good-luck charm.  I failed you as a talisman– so I stand now as your witness.

Your death defines my life.  I want to find the love we never had and explicate it in your name.

I want to take your secrets public.  I want to burn down the distance between us.

I want to give you breath. 

– James Ellroy, My Dark Places

I return to this quote to trust and let go of attachment to outcome:

As I’ve said, falling for a suspect is a lot like the first surge of blind love in a relationship.  Focus narrows to a single face.  The world and its practical sounds are a wan soundtrack to the powerful silent biopic you’re editing in your mind at all times.  No amount of information on the object of your obsession is enough.  You crave more.  Always more…

The feast of data means there are more circumstances to bend and connect.  You’re tempted to build your villain with the abundance of pieces.  It’s understandable.  We’re pattern seekers, all of us.  We glimpse the rough outline of what we seek and we get snagged on it, sometimes remaining stuck when we could get free and move on.

– Michelle McNamara, I’ll be gone in the dark- one woman’s obsessive search for the Golden State killer

I return to this quote as a goal:

Writing a book is a strange job.

“Here you go,” a publisher says at the outset, handing you a salary of sorts, and a deadline, “we’ll see you in two years.”  And there you go indeed, in a state of high alarm, without any day-to-day ballast– no appointments, no tasks assigned each morning, no office colleagues to act as sounding boards, no clue as to what you are doing” equipped solely with a single idea, which you cling to like driftwood in a great, dark sea.”

Patricia Pearson, When she was bad: how and why women get away with murder

Journal entry April 16, 2018 San Jose Airport

Journal entry April 16, 2018 San Jose Airport [unedited]

It is so odd to take time out from the trajectory of every day in these journeys… to get off the tracks so to speak.  The experience both relaxes the brain, and creates unease.  You feel like you spend too much money and you are wondering about day to day reality, but you also give yourself to the situation and throw caution to the wind.  

Does it shake off the cobwebs?  This importance of eating well, looking at new things, and INPUT before gearing up to hustle when back home.  

But what if I RELAX into the RETURN as well?  NOT worry about it.  TRUST and FLOW and let the sand sift through the fingers?  Just release.  

Not only trust that others are allies, but that LIFE is an ALLY.

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca

Staying in process…

Just when I think– Oh shit, I put myself out there, and now I am all vulnerable and shit and feeling old pangs of, oh shit, what am I doing, where is this going, how will I get there, will it go anywhere, what is this creative career bullshit, shit – a flood of creative process infuses every cell and I am back at the drawing board, literally drawing and working because I never left…  Even though there are times I feel lost and off the rails regarding my creative process, I am starting to understand that my insatiable habits of writing and drawing every day, no matter what the technique is– be it copying a quote, scratching out a doodle, sewing a stitch– is working, keeping me on track, even if my inner critic tries to convince me otherwise.


Bears repeating:  “Start writing. I don’t mean to sound dismissive, but START WRITING. There is NO SUCH THING as “too late” in the arts. Trust me. START.” – PATTON OSWALT


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“Ted Hughes gave me this advice and it works wonders: Record moments, fleeting impressions, overheard dialogue, your own sadnesses and bewilderments and joys.” – MICHAEL MORPURGO


Dream. Letters. Thought and Memory.

I had a terrible dream last night.

In the dream, I haven’t been home to visit my parents for four years.  In the dream, they are still living at the house on Braemar (the one we moved into in 1977, the one before they downsized in 2004).  In the dream, they are both as sick as they were before they died.  My dad after his stroke, unwinding with bladder cancer.  My mom shrinking from pancreatic cancer.  I haven’t been home for 4 years and the realization happens as I am sitting in my car (which I don’t have anymore).  In the dream, I choke on panic and try to open the car door, but it so heavy as if pushing against water.  I finally get out and start running up Lonsdale… but it is like wading through mud and I am screaming at the top of my lungs but there is no sound.  I keep calculating in my head obsessively- it’s been 9 years and 4 months since mom passed away.  It’s been 5 years and 4 months since Dad died.  It’s been 15 years since we moved from the Sunshine Coast…  I keep lining up all the pets that have passed, calculating, calculating.  The crushing panic of not having visited mom and dad is drowning me…

I woke soaked in sweat.

I sit here now at the kitchen table…


… staring at a package of letters.

I received the package in Dec 2013.


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The first letter written 50 years ago this year:

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And I have managed to only get through one since receiving them.  For though the letters are likely optimistic, I know my mother’s pain.  And I am preparing, now that it is 9 years and 4 months since mom passed away.  It’s been 5 years and 4 months since Dad died.  It’s been 15 years since we moved from the Sunshine Coast… 50 years since we first moved here from Sweden, 40 years since we came back… preparing to finally to process my grief about mom by translating those letters.  My relationship with my mom was extraordinary and complicated.

As I start to work through the pile at last, I feel the (re)connection to my heritage.  The THOUGHTS and MEMORIES contained in those letters, in my DNA, are now ready to surface.

Huginn (THOUGHT) and Muninn (MEMORY)

The other day I found a photo in the big family mish-mash photo box.   I don’t recall ever seeing it before.  My mom and dad look happy and at peace.


What about the dream?  In reality, I did caregive for mom and dad as best as I could.  In reality, I saw them almost every day.  They were my partners in crime on the Molly project, which is entering it’s 15th year and which is entering a new exciting phase.

Maybe the dream was some kind of cleansing.

A gift from mom and dad to let me know they are OK, and that I am OK, and that I am free now to flow with the current.  I made it.


My narrative.

Something new is brewing.  

This new thing will require that I dig deeper, reveal more and share some things previously unshared.  

But in order to do that– I need to prepare…


Hold on…


I just deleted a massive amount of verbosity and ramblings. I don’t need to PREPARE.  I am already prepared.


I own my own narrative.

I own my narrative.

My narrative.

Something new is brewing.




What if today, I just NOT worry?

Today I am giving myself the permission to be just in the moment.  

When fear and worry arise, I will try to let it dissipate without trying to figure out solutions.  I give myself permission to just do what I have committed to today.  TODAY.

I give myself permission to not worry about what is next, what needs to happen, what I need to hustle, what I need to survive.

Today, I have enough bus fare to get to the session, enough supplies for the students, enough coffee in the cupboard.

Today is a gift.

Much love to you all.

You think this is just another day in your life. It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today…. It’s the only gift that you have right now. And the only appropriate response is gratefulness. – Brother David Steindl-Rast

Recommended reading:

(This book a gift from my sweet friend, Pamela Post)

Happy birthday, Frida.

I am celebrating Frida Kahlo‘s birthday!

Although her birth certificate says she was born on July 6, 1907, Frida Kahlo told people her date of birth was July 7, 1910. She allegedly did so not to seem younger but simply because she loved her home country, according to The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo filmmaker Amy Stechler. Kahlo adopted a 1910 birthday so that her birth would coincide with the Mexican Revolution and the start of a modern Mexico. [source]

Today’s Frida Study:

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Frida’s Diary

(2005) The Diary of Frida Kahlo- an intimate self-portrait.  Abrams, New York, in association with La Vaca Independiente S.A. de C.V.

Thank you LAURA MACK for this profound and beautiful gift.  It means the world to me.

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Alas Rotas [Broken Wings]
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Letter to Surrealist painter, Jaqueline Lamba

Jaqueline Lamba

Journal entry re: Frida:

Frida and the 7 chakras


Seventh Chakra CROWN: Spiritual Centre, Enlightenment– central nervous system, muscular system, skin. I am; I understand.

Sixth Chakra THIRD EYE: Wisdom, intuition, visualization– brain, neurological system, eyes, ears, nose. I know; I think.

Fifth Chakra THROAT: Communication, inner voice, truth, creativity- thyroid, esophagus, trachea, mouth, jaw, teeth, neck, vertebrae. I speak; I express.

Fourth Chakra HEART: Love, compassion, unconditional love, hope, forgiveness– circulatory system, ribs, breast, thymus gland, lungs, shoulders, arms, hands, diaphragm. I love.

Third Chakra SOLAR PLEXUS: Power centre, manifestation, self-confidence, esteem– stomach, pancreas, adrenals, upper intestines, liver, gall bladder, middle spine. I can; I do.

Second Chakra SACRAL: Creativity, sexuality, money, career, power, joy– sexual organs, large intestine, lower vertebrae, pelvis, hip area, urinary bladder. I feel; I want.

First Chakra ROOT: Survival, security, family, connections, instinct– spinal column, rectum, legs, bones, feet, energizes body, increase overall health. I do; I am.

I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.

– Frida Kahlo

Today’s angel card[s]:

Rivera, Guadalupe, Colle, Marie-Pierre (1994), Frida’s Fiestas- recipes and reminiscenes of life with Frida Kahlo, Clarkson Potter: New York
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From the heart- a 15 day journal exercise Part 9: A Commitment to Life

I am re-reading Stephen Levine‘s A Year to Live- how to live this year as if it were your last as a personal exercise schedule to take time to slow down and truly listen to my heart.


Part 1: Catching Up with Your Life

Part 2: Practice Dying

Part 3: Preparing to Die

Part 4: Dying from the Common Cold

Part 5: Renewing Evolution

Part 6: Famous Last Words

Part 7: Fear of Fear

Part 8- Noticing

Part 9: A Commitment to Life

1. Journal exercise:

What are you committed to today?  I am staying committed to yesterday’s energy of not rushing.  I am getting things done, yes, but not rushing each item.  Staying present and staying innocent.  Staying with the energy of starting fresh.  I can’t solve anything today.  I can only stay aware and present.

Draw/doodle/write life renewal.  What comes to mind?

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2. Capture chapter highlights:

Awareness is itself a healing quality.  Where awareness is focused the deepest potentials for clarity and balance present themselves.  Though what we are aware of may be incessantly changing, awareness itself remains a constant, a luminous spaciousness without beginning or end, without birth or death.  It is the essence of life itself.  It is what remains when all that is impermanent falls away.  It is the deathless…

We must integrate our insights and encourage the weary mind to settle into the expansive heart…

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Chinamarker, acrylic and coffee on newsprint

3. Explore another source regarding listening to the messages from the heart:

I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.
― Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer


4. Today’s angel card(s):

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The bite marks are from my parrot!

My Stanley Park observations find their way into “Molly” at unexpected times

Our usual spring awakening is late this year.

I recall a walk around Beaver Lake a year ago…  I was infused by the profound beauty of nature.  Warm sun.  Blossoms.  Skunk cabbage.  Herons were dancing in the wind above the lake, ducks were courting and playing, chipmunks and squirrels scurrying.  Chestnut-backed chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches landed on my hands.  I described the feeling as angel whispers.

Drawing: March 28, 2016. China Marker on Newsprint 16″ x 24″ 



Stanley Park is truly one of my favorite places.  Living only a half block away from the park, working on Molly– whose central theme is set in the park- is such a satisfying creative process.  My treks, notes, sketches and bird observations find their way into the project at unexpected times.

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Excerpt from Part 2A- Why Me?

Page 22

Page 23

Excerpt from Part 2B- A Child is Born

Page 18

Excerpt from Part 3A- The DNAPart 3A- The DNA

Page 11

As I cocoon in my apartment this morning, working through the to-do’s and prepare for upcoming workshops as well as the next episode of Molly (Part 8A- A Child’s Shoe), I am longing for the warmth of Spring sunshine, the gentle breeze and sounds and colors…

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What the sock pigs taught me…

This past Sunday morning- hanging out on Vancouver Island, my 4 friends and I had a hankering to create sock pigs.  There is such magic in sitting around the dining room table at my friends’ house, surrounded by crafting supplies creating.  We laugh, we go deep, we eat, we drink coffee, we share time.  It is a SAFE SPACE.

But why the sock pig specifically this time?

I am a big fan of looking at symbolism.  It’s such a fun instigator of self-reflection.


The Pig Spirit Animal also symbolizes your ability to stand on your own two feet, weather the storm and come out even better than before. Pig does not allow for self-righteousness, but rather a quiet self-awareness that taps into ingenuity so you can turn on a dime without falling over.

When Pig roots around in your soul, it can be a sign that NOW is the time to move forward! Pigs never root while moving backwards – only forward. They have a nose for opportunity. Make the most of the landscape in front of you. If it is not yielding the nourishment you desire, move on – find another patch of ground to explore.  [SOURCE]


Rathtrevor Beach, Parksville, BC April 2, 2017 (Photo by Merv Glip)

Dedicated to Beverley, Sue, Darcy and N. <3


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Release attachment to the outcome…

To feel the anguish of waiting for the next moment and of taking part in the complex current (of affairs) not knowing that we are headed toward ourselves, through millions of stone beings – of bird beings – of star beings – of microbe beings – of fountain beings toward ourselves.

– Frida Kahlo

I had a real awakening in 1986 when I took the CREATIVE PROCESS class at (what was then called) Emily Carr College of Art and Design with Kitty Mykka.  It was a LIFE CHANGING CLASS that introduced me to the theory, practicality and universality of the creative process.

Beware! I now know a language so beautiful and lethal
My mouth bleeds when I speak it.
– Gwendolyn MacEwen

Kitty also took my journaling work deeper than I had ever gone before, opening for me a safe personal space in which to process my work and my life.

And as three decades have gone by since that Fall of 1986, I continue to embody the creative process.  I often tell my students that process for me is much more important than the end product.  That is why I love street art- I put it out there- it will (de)volve as it will.  The ongoing process is what intrigues me.

As I approach age 55 in a few weeks, I feel a renewed sense of peace at my core.  Not only is my creative process not attached to the outcome- my life is not attached to the outcome.  These days, if I feel a sense of angst rise up as I try to juggle all my projects, or look at my bank account, or worry about family and the future, or fall into saudade, or feel guilt for deciding not to pursue certain projects so that I can commit fully to certain partnerships, as I worry I am not prepared for a session, or as I plan the road ahead and feel overwhelmed looking at the to-do list, or as I think think and over-think, or as I work on my graphic novel worrying if I am on the right track, or if I feel helpless to help someone in need- my heart releases and my mind is reMINDed to not be attached to the outcome.

And it is a lesson I try to instill in my art students.  It is a way to quiet the inner critic without stifling it.  To not be attached to the outcome sets us free to create.

I don’t mean to sound dismissive, but START WRITING. There is NO SUCH THING as “too late” in the arts. Trust me. START. – Patton Oswalt

Is that Self Compassion?  Is it maturity?  It is PROCESS.  TO STAY and LIVE IN THE MOMENT- to (try to) ride it, no matter how difficult that moment might be.

Let your indulgence set me free. – Shakespeare, The Tempest


There is no doubt that art has saved my life.  And I am not attached to its outcome.


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Here’s to us crawling to the finish line…

Touch me life.  Not softly. – Maya Angelou

And my GOD, life has touched us this year.

Here’s to us crawling to the finish line, scraped, bruised, hoping.  Here’s to our successes and our fucking failures, to finally resting and to re-entering labour.

Here’s to the vigil keepers, the rent seekers, to the quiet and the loud speakers.  Here’s to those giving up, to those still trying, to those still living and to those busy dying.  To the lost and the found, to the travellers and the homebound.  To the newborn and the demented, the clear thinking and disoriented.  To the laughing and the scheming, to the weeping and the grieving.

And I celebrate us all, trembling.


Strip it down and focus.

Fuck ’em.

Fuck it.


Entering 2017 like…


All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.
― J.M. Barrie


Ode to the carnation- “nature’s bastards”

A flower is a miracle.  A carnation certainly so.  Did you know carnations are “banned” as decor in certain facilities?  They are supposedly cheap, low class, ugly, unacceptable.

I adore carnations and I have to speak up.  How can this beautiful flower, known to be GOOD FOR HUMMINGBIRDS, BEES AND BUTTERFLIES, be so vilified?

Sir, the year growing ancient,
Not yet on summer’s death, nor on the birth
Of trembling winter, the fairest Hermione’s statue
flowers o’ the season
Are our carnations and streak’d gillyvors,
Which some call nature’s bastards: of that kind
Our rustic garden’s barren; and I care not
To get slips of them.

– Shakespeare, A Winter’s Tale

Detail of a border from the Hours of Joanna I of Castile, Netherlands (Ghent?), c. 1500 [public domain]
I loved my special bouquet of pink carnations and baby’s breath in 1986, now dry and tucked away in a shoebox, my cinnamon smelling red carnations in my Robert’s Creek garden in 1999, that I can make a joyous bouquet for very little money when I have very little money.  My mom and I loved getting a batch of carnations and adding wildflowers and greenery during our walks with Tobey.

Pink carnations carry the greatest significance, beginning with the belief that they first appeared on earth from the Virgin Mary’s tears – making them the symbol of a mother’s undying love. [source]

[public domain]

While some scholars suggest that their name comes from the word “corone” (flower garlands) or “coronation” because of its use in Greek ceremonial crowns, others propose that it’s derived from from the Latin “carnis” (flesh) referring to the flower’s original pinkish-hued color or “incarnacyon” (incarnation), referring to the incarnation of God-made flesh… … the crucifixion (pinks smell like cloves, cloves look like nails, nails were used to crucify Jesus)… [source]

Carnation type flowers. Botanical illustration, medieval Italy by Ulisse Aldrovandi [public domain]
[public domain]




Adult butterflies feed on the nectar that carnations and other flowers produce. Flitting from flower to flower in search of that nectar, they also pollinate the plants. Pollen is gathered and distributed as the butterfly, on its slender legs, moves about the flower. In the process, some pollen grains from the flower’s stamen stick to the butterfly, while others, from blossoms already visited, are deposited on the flower’s stigma or pollen receptor. Butterflies are attracted to carnations’ bright colors and scents, which may, as with other scented species, mimic the scent of pheromones naturally produced by the insects. [source]

[public domain]

Instead of being a carnation hater, take a second look[source]

On Autumnal endings and beginnings in October

This is such a beautiful tender time of the year for me.  The autumn is both a time of loss and renewal.  My parents passed in the autumn, yet autumn is a time of new possibilities and fresh starts.


Life/ death.  The extremes?

Or two sides of the same coin or exactly the same?  For isn’t one simply the other?  Is the dark abyss before birth and after death simply the same graceful infinity that unites EVERY thing in this finite universe?


The overhead horizon.  They want to say something, the dead.

They smoke but don’t eat, they don’t breathe but still have their voices.

I’ll hurry through the streets as if I’m one of them.

The darkening cathedral, heavy as a moon, ebbs and flows.

– Tomas Tranströmer, Deep in Europe from For the Living and the Dead (translated from original Swedish by Don Coles)

Avlyssnad horisont.  De vill säga något, de döda.

De röker men äter inte, de andas inte men har rösten kvar.

Jag kommer att skynda genom gatorna som en av dem.

Den svartande katedralen, tung som en måne, gör ebb och flod.

– Tomas Tranströmer, Djupt i Europa from För levande och döda.


Recalling this time of year with my father:

October 11, 2012

Dad and I spent the evening in emergency to replace his catheter.  We watched the debate and laughed and talked about life.

October 12, 2005

Dad’s first sketch after his September 21, 2005 stroke:


October 13, 2012

My father is dying.  I accept it.  He unwinds before me.  I let him go.  But losing my best friend is more painful than I anticipated.

October 15 2012

My father’s last writing:


And though at times, the wave hits me and that drowning saudade washes over me,  I know that without the grounding of loss, I would not have the air with which to fly.

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. – George Eliot



Read Drawn Together (free PDF):


The importance of @Lin_Manuel’s creative process

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Show attendees, reporters, politicians, historians, authors, social media, voices in the street, voices in the theatre, dancers, actors, musicians, artists, the fans lining up for 100 hours, our hearts are screaming that Hamilton “the most astonishing thing I have ever seen.”  Including my household!  WE ARE OBSESSED!!!

“It’s fair to say that “Hamilton” is quickly asserting itself as the most important musical of our time. Miranda’s revolutionary musical gets people thinking about race, history, and theater in ways they’re probably not used to. He educates audiences about an important a piece of American history through rap and hip-hop in a work of art so ingenious that it would be brilliant even if there were no message behind it.” Chris Weller

And yes- the musical is groundbreaking, but for me it is so much more than that!  It is about being fully present in creativity, the delirium of creative process, being “young, scrappy and hungry,” the discipline, the clarity of, the belief in and the evolution of a passion project…

For example, check out this creative process and the evolution of the opening song.

From 2009…

to 2016  Grammy’s:

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Lin Manuel vibrates with creativity.  For me, his years spent making the show with his incredible team are just as intriguing as the show itself.  It is about voraciously writing, reading, researching and interpreting and expressing and TRUSTING.

His process inspires me to PUSH FURTHER… THINK BIGGER!

“Anytime you write something, you go through so many phases. You go through the ‘I’m a Fraud’ phase. You go through the ‘I’ll Never Finish’ phase. And every once in a while you think, ‘What if I actually have created what I set out to create, and it’s received as such?’ ” – Lin-Manuel Miranda

Check out Lin Manuel’s take on the creative process:

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And check out:

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“Don’t be afraid to take your time.” – Lin Manuel Miranda


It is about going farther, doing better, being excellent and being so fucking enthusiastic about  the process and sharing freely!!

And not being bound by old ways of thinking and doing.  For example:

“The most obvious difference between “Hamilton” and a history textbook is that nobody in the play looks how they actually looked in real life.  Miranda, a Puerto Rican from New York, plays Alexander Hamilton, the rags-to-riches protagonist who moved to the US from the Caribbean at just 17 years old. The rest of the cast is made up of black, Hispanic, and Asian-American performers, a choice Miranda has repeatedly said was deliberate. “Our cast looks like America looks now, and that’s certainly intentional,” Miranda told the New York Times last year. “It’s a way of pulling you into the story and allowing you to leave whatever cultural baggage you have about the founding fathers at the door.” “- Chris Weller

I am so in love with the passion for learning that Hamilton has ignited.

“A transformative teaching moment in America.” – Ron Chernow (Ron Chernow wrote the book about Alexander Hamilton that originally inspired Lin Manuel.)

Check out Ron Chernow on Hamilton: From History to Drama

“History is so subjective. The teller of it determines it. – Lin Manuel Miranda

Check out more interviews on Charlie Rose:

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a significant evolution in musical theatre.” – Charlie Rose

Think I’m crazy?  Ah, well!  I don’t care!  I AM A BELIEVER!

“They went in very skeptical but they came out true believers, like everyone does when they see the show.” – Michelle Obama

The 10 dollar founding father without a father.  My fan art #hamart today, imagining Lin manuel as Hamilton on the ten dollar bill. (china marker on newsprint)

Update September 5, 2016:

My $10 bill drawing showed up on-

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Need some more convincing why Hamilton is so fucking awesome?  Check out:

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“When people talk about the role of the arts in our national life, the conversation tends to be dominated by the culture wars, the flashpoints when some outré performance starts everybody screaming.  But as the broad embrace of Hamilton demonstrates, artistic expression more often, and more powerfully, has been an integrating force in American life.  The founders set E pluribus unum as the national creed without explaining how, exactly, “one” was supposed to arise from “many.”  Through artistic expression, the many have found ways to relate to each other, to understand each other, to imagine what it might be like to be one, in spite of political or regional or ethnic divides.” – Jeremy McCarter

And of course:

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“You have to live with the notion of, If I don’t write this, no one’s going to write it. If I die, this idea dies with me.” – LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA

Ponderings on the “idea.”

As a creative, I find it as important to make time for input as well as make time for creative output.

And allow myself some stupor time- doing nothing— doesn’t happen often.  Tried today.  To just stop for a bit, but instead I was distracted by my thoughts- thoughts that have been swirling in my head for a while around the concept of the IDEA.

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” ― Marie Curie

I often wonder where and when the project MOLLY truly became MY IDEA.  And why not somebody elses?  And why an illustrated book and not just a simple presentation?


Post on November 14, 2015

Molly tapped me on the shoulder on Level 5 at the Vancouver Public Library at Georgia and Hamilton  in late 2003 as I was searching through microfiches.

And January 21, 2016

But as I listen to Irish Folk Songs, like this favorite rendition of Molly Malone, I wonder if I didn’t instead run into Molly’s ghost wandering- since 1947- along Georgia Street.

The concept of the IDEA has been coming up in my readings and research lately and in the shows I watch.

For example, Jerry Seinfeld addresses the concept in his latest episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee:

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You can’t really make ideas.  Create ideas…  All ideas are the same.  They just wander by.  It’s like, if you have mice.  If your house has mice, you never know when they’re gonna show up, or how, or in which room.  And great ideas are the same.  They’re like mice.  It’s just a mouse.  A mouse in the house.  And you step on its tail and go, “Hold it buddy.” – Jerry Seinfeld


I was gifted Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic- Creative Living Beyond Fear from my soul-sister, Patti Henderson.


This book is an easy and delightful read, and actually all about the IDEA.

I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses, but also by ideas. Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form. They are completely separate from us, but capable of interacting with us – albeit strangely. Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have will. Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual. – Elizabeth Gilbert

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“Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea… and ideas are bulletproof.” ― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta




Now her ghost wheels her barrow…

In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty
I first laid my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow through the streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

She was a fishmonger and sure t’was no wonder
For so was her father and mother before
And they all wheeled their barrows through the streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

She died of a fever and no one could save her
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone
Now her ghost wheels her barrow through the streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

Molly tapped me on the shoulder on Level 5 at the Vancouver Public Library at Georgia and Hamilton  in late 2003 as I was searching through microfiches.

But as I listen to Irish Folk Songs, like this favorite rendition of Molly Malone, I wonder if I didn’t instead run into Molly’s ghost wandering- since 1947- along Georgia Street.

Jocelyn Louise as Molly.

Doomed for a certain term to walk the night
And for the day confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purged away.
– Shakespeare, Hamlet