Unnecessary Violence and Ramblings- archiving of my Shadow Work Journals 1986 to present. Sample 17: Jan 1, 1992

This daily archiving series is about organizing and dating my journal collection, as well as acknowledging the self-directed violence as important therapeutic shadow work.

Many moments I have completely forgotten – so it is astounding (and painful) to find them in my journals. And how remarkable to find that the latest three: Samples 15, 16 and 17 (random selections from the shelf) are very connected.

“We can never go back again, that much is certain. The past is still close to us. The things we have tried to forget and put behind us would stir again, and that sense of fear, of furtive unrest, struggling at length to blind unreasoning panic.” – Daphne du Maurier


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


Today: Journal Start Date January 1, 1992



Sample Pages


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Sample Writing

January 6, 1992

Went to Mom’s for the first time since Dec 20. It was an odd experience. Somehow I ended up with a $100 cheque from her and an invoice for the medical insurance of $272.90 from Dad. I was really glad seeing the kids run around, but mom was venomous. Dad seems to want nothing to do with me and very little to do with the children. I don’t think I’d see him again for the rest of my life if it were up to him. Mom was the one that invited me. I don’t exist for them anymore except through my children and their hatred of J____. 

January 24, 1992

Victoria trip tomorrow. First time I’m going on a trip without letting my parents know. 

I am the black sheep.

I am a…


February 7, 1992

Alley Cat Gallery had good things to say about my new dancer series. She interprets them as me coming to terms with myself, being more at peace and I tend to agree. Wants them framed to exhibit on February 11. 

Sample Drawing


Sample Quote

“Those who cut off usually do so because they feel powerless. They think the other person has all the power and they don’t see a way to be themselves in a close relationship with that powerful person.” – Dr. Richard W. Richardson, Family Ties that Bind

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Unnecessary Violence- random archiving of my Shadow Work Journals 1986 to present. Sample 1: Oct 21, 1992

My Journals:

I was born in 1962 and have kept some form of diary/sketchbook since age 6, but experienced a transformative relationship to my journaling in 1986 when I took Kitty Mykka‘s Creative Process class at Emily Carr College of Art and Design. She called our journals Image/Idea Files – that made sense to me. I now have a ludicrous collection of these files. Their purpose? They are not just for sketching, for keeping a record of life unfolding. A mother’s diary. They are a repository of anxiety. A safe place I can vomit out my despair, my observations, my joys, my doodles, quotes, my ideas, my trivial to-do’s, my bull-shit, my dark side, my anger directed at others and myself, my longing, my self-flagellation. I have always found journaling therapeutic. I realized the other day that they are actually my SHADOW WORK.


Why “Unnecessary Violence”?

There is no greater bully who has victimized me more than me. I want to tell that bully that it is time to retire and shut the hell up. To tap the head of the bully and with an understanding smile, give it a stuffed animal and a comfortable place to rest for all eternity. Thanks for the lessons, but that’s enough now.

Shadow Work:

Taking it in its deepest sense, the shadow is the invisible saurian tail that man still drags behind him. Carefully amputated, it becomes the healing serpent of the mysteries. Only monkeys parade with it. Carl Jung, The Integration of the Personality. (1939).

The archiving is about acknowledging the self-directed violence as important therapeutic shadow work. Processing my projections and darkness.

The purpose of this daily project:

I am archiving the journals. Going through each one to remove excess bits and to wrap each one in a paper band and label them with the date. I am 58 now. Entering the (hopefully) wise chapter of my life. There are big personal shifts happening in how I work, how I create, how I am in the world in relation to others and to myself. To move forward, I will acknowledge the past. Once they are dated, I can see what my heart says about their legacy.

Are they letters to my kids?

Journal Start Date Oct 21, 1992



Sample Page


Sample Drawing


Sample Writing

October 24, 1992

Took the kids up to Hollyburn Ridge for a picnic lunch. Wonderful! They complained just a little. No car sickness. Just a healthy, happy family! Growing up together.

I feel bad about things I think about my friends. I have such a critical mind. And I don’t feel good about myself in their company as a result, But I am consciously reforming, sort of. SORRY EVERYONE. Why am I being polite in my own fucking journal? Avoiding I___. She pisses me off.

October 25, 1992

Is there any hope for living artists? Who can possibly be original, an influence, a driving force? It is all pablum, chewed over and over and finally regurgitated out in desperate attempt to recapture the original thought. 

November 20, 1992

I feel such a spiritual connection to this house and those who have lived in it. And certainly when people enter it, they enter my life… Maybe that’s why certain visits exhaust me. T___’s visits never exhaust me. I___’s wipe me right out. What is it? Maybe a sense of tension on my part? On hers? My body trembles and feels violated. I recall her in the summer looking around my kitchen and at ____ saying, “At least I have everything.” Why did I not speak up, scream, demand to know what she meant? Didn’t I___ deserve my honesty? I didn’t confront or question. Did cowardice stifle me? 

Sample quote

“I’d see the bearded white man in the clouds. I tried to talk to him, but the clouds would just dissipate. He was unreasonable. He’d never answer me. In rage, I’d climb on top of the house and stand defiantly with a clenched fist raised in anger, shaking and screaming inside my head, “I’ll get you, you motherfucker, one day I’ll whip you.”

– Luisah Teish


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

I get this ways sometimes.

Ever get this way? Staring at your to do list, and not moving?

Feels like a slow bleed, but the blood is flowing backwards causing a brain sting.


I get this ways sometimes. Trying to figure out too many things and struggling with feeling useless and unproductive, even strangely irresponsible, yet knowing I deserve just some time to stop.  Especially at this stage in my life.

It’s ok.

My overactive, stinging mind and my weary heart compete for who can most distract me from simply celebrating self.  Being responsible for just myself.

Tonight, I sit a little stunned, knowing I need to make some seemingly big shifts.

But maybe the shifts can be big through small steps?

If I am not going to catch up on reporting tonight, I can at least answer one email from an anxious student.

If I am not working research materials tonight, I can at least watch Escape from Dannemora.

If I am not going to work on the screenplay tonight, then I should simply just write something, anything.  Like this blog entry.

If I am not going to work on the illustration project that I need to get finished this week, I must at least sew on a drawing.


If I am not setting up inquiry meetings about career shifts, I can check in with my vision boards.



And trust.





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


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

Homework- writer’s group: close your eyes…

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Journal entry:

If I close my eyes, what age do I go back to?

Usually I go back to age six.

But today as I close my eyes, I am 22, alone, crying, New Year’s Eve, 1984.  Though— not quite alone.  I am pregnant with Anna.  I am scared, crying, in a fetal position on the mattress on the floor.  It is midnight and I hear fireworks.  By making a choice to keep my child, I have created chaos in my family. And I am alone, in a weird room in a weird house with roommates I don’t know.

Though not quite alone.

The color yellow is prominent.

The color yellow helps activate the memory, encourage communication, enhance vision, build confidence, and stimulate the nervous system. [source]

I believed then that by being myself, I hurt people.

What I say to that 22 year old, alone but not quite alone, on the mattress in that dark room now is—


You made the right choice.  By yourself.  You don’t need to thank anyone.  You don’t need to be indebted to anyone.  YOU made the decision.  A decision that made your mother stagger…

Trust yourself.  Somehow you survive.  The impossible is not impossible.  I’M POSSIBLE.  Inside you is the greatest gift.  A child that grows to a young woman who is deserving to live a life untethered.  

Anxiety, fear– all is survivable.  And those times you have felt done with life- you were not done but simply evolving.   You were so young, with no tools.  The child inside you will grow up to be celebrated for her decisions…  

[I want my children to be free FREE FREE FREE of guilt for living their chosen lives.]

Her grief became your guilt.  Your grief can be her release.  


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.


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)

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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Routine? No, ROOTine.

The word ROOTine came up for me the other day when I was texting with my daughter who is on a life-changing journey, travelling in SE Asia:

Looking back on your life from a mom’s perspective as to when you have felt the most happiest is during developing an idea and planning transitions.  When you have gotten “grey” is when things settle into routine.  Your core competencies are definitely on experiencing and facilitating those transitions… what’s beautiful is that by identifying that this trip is about making space for change, that you yourself have the power to facilitate change, has opened you to also embrace DEVELOPING ROOTS.  

As long as where you land, where you you work, who you love, fosters that change power in you–  you will be happy.  Some people need routine and no change.  Predictability.  You- no.  That’s why you will love being a mom as it’s all about facilitating growth and change in your children.  The routine or ROOT-ine in that and in loving a partner is not at all suffocating- as long as you continue to develop yourself


The word ROOTine made sense to me as it came up in my text to her.  When I personally feel the angst of being disconnected from the predictability and routine of home (like this past Friday when I headed over to the island for 5 nights to work and and spend time with friends), I know that is the time for self-reflection and mindfulness.  In the way that works for me.


I don’t seek sameness in my life- that is certainly why I immerse myself in the creative process- it is about CHANGE.

My psychological or even physiological makeup is not one that suits the routine of a 9 to 5 predictable schedule.

I find a rich sense of freedom in the uniqueness of my personal routine.  In what makes me relax IN MY WAY.

Qualicum Beach, April 2, 2017

So, I guess the angst that arises is when the flow is disrupted?  I’ve been thinking about this a lot.  Is it ROUTINE or ROOTS?  I am fully rooted in my purpose- blessed to have found it.

My niece Emma just sent me this poem and it seems fitting:

What to Remember When Waking by David Whyte

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake, coming back to this life from the other more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world where everything began, there is a small opening into the new day which closes the moment you begin your plans.

What you can plan is too small for you to live.

What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough for the vitality hidden in your sleep.

To be human is to become visible while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.

To remember the other world in this world is to live in your true inheritance.

You are not a troubled guest on this earth, you are not an accident amidst other accidents you were invited from another and greater night than the one from which you have just emerged.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window toward the mountain presence of everything that can be what urgency calls you to your one love?

What shape waits in the seed of you to grow and spread its branches against a future sky?

Is it waiting in the fertile sea?

In the trees beyond the house?

In the life you can imagine for yourself?

In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?

The ROOTine is where I find my flow.  And when the flow is disrupted, I feel uneasy.  And that’s OK.



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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A reminder that sometimes it is OK to do less.

I have been slow all day– I am trying to allow myself time to stop without guilt, to allow this feeling of weariness, this reminder that sometimes it is OK to do less.

What is this weariness?  Yes, I am recouping from a flu and yes, I have many multiple projects going at once, yes I have a long to-do and commitments, but is not physical, no, it is this familiar feeling of saudade.

Saudade is a unique Portuguese word that has no immediate translation in English.  Saudade describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves.  It often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.  It’s related to the feelings of longing, yearning.  

Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again…  It can be described as an emptiness and the individual feels this absence…  In fact, one can have ‘saudades’ of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future.

I look at my to-do lists and I sigh.  I walk to the kitchen to make myself some coffee and it is an overwhelming feat today.

I have a precious day at home alone to catch up, but I really just want to sit.  To sit in this emotion, hang out with my parrot, and feel nostalgia.  To go inward, to regain some energy to move forward.  To embrace missing as a gift/reminder to rest.

I tried though- went back at my computer, preparing to write a letter, and as I was searching online for something specific, I came across an old blog post I wrote in 2013.  And I knew, this old post was a reminder again to stop today, to allow the feeling of saudade.  

Look who is saying hello in that old post!  How precious to see my dog Tobey (who passed away Dec 23, 2015), walking in the forest. 

A walk in the forest August 31, 2013.



A GIFT.  So I share this here, pack my bags for tomorrow and STOP for the day- for sometimes it is OK to do less.

“About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from the roof gutter of a four-story building.  It was an act as careless and spontaneous as the curl of a stem or the kindling of a star.

The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped.  His wings were still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not falling, accelerating thirty-two feet per second per second, through empty air.  Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his wings with exact, deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his elegant, white-banded tail, and so floated onto the grass.  I just rounded a corner when his insouciant step caught my eye; there was no one else in sight.  The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest.  The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them.  The least we can do is try to be there.

– Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek



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Three years ago, with shaky hand, I signed…

Three years ago, with shaky hand, but empowered to move my life forward, I signed bankruptcy papers.  And my grown children and I signed a lease for a magical apartment in the West End.  There have been dark moments since that have terrified me as I processed and struggled, but also so much lightness and so much joy.  SO MUCH GROWTH.

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. – Anaïs Nin


I have found solace in journaling, in my art, my passion project, in my crafting, in my children, in my family, my friends, and in my trustee who assured that embracing my rights to clear my debts was the best decision.  She empowered me with her kindness and love.

There I was, three years ago, with my binder in order and signing those papers, absolutely open and vulnerable.  And I began the slow unfolding process of leaving behind one kind of living and moving into a kind that leans towards simplicity and focus.

I recall this poem I wrote three years ago:

I thought I was holding on to this ONE life I knew.

My heart feeling the weight of  having died a thousand deaths.

I thought I was the tree, whose roots dug so deep,

So deep that it was surely invincible.

I thought I was the tree that houses the egg,

the chick.

Providing a safe place in which to grow,

and from which to leave.

I thought my role was to grow deep roots,

and multiple branches,

and rich green leaves.

I thought I felt the a pain of my roots being cut,

my body toppled.

But I have died a thousand deaths.

And I know now that I am one of the birds.

And as the roots are cut, and the tree is toppled,

My leaves turn to wings,

the wings of thousands of birds.

And I fly.

I fly.

Love, Kat



Messages from Angels…

I love getting messages from Angels.

I just sat down for a spot of tea…

and pulled out some creativity books to prep for a session around mission and vision statements.

I discovered a tiny envelope inside one of the books containing a gift from one of my mom’s best friend, Jopie. I don’t recall it at all, so I take it as a little angelic gift- a reminder that all of THIS- this art and science we call LIFE, is magical.

No, I never saw an angel, but it is irrelevant whether I saw one or not. I feel their presence around me. – Paulo Coelho