Magical thinking and Christmas knickknacks.

Christmas is here- magical time of year.  One of my favorite and one of the hardest.  So true for many of us.  It’s a time of joy and connection, of reminders of loss and longing, of financial hardship and worry, a time of creating and sharing and giving…


I love surrounding myself with old Christmas trinkets and treasures and the past…


… a reminder of (and gratitude for) my childhood filled with joy and belief in magic. A time of magical thinking.

My brothers and I in Sweden, Christmas 1967. My mom when a little girl, on the right.

I love all our collected Christmas treasures.  I’ll spend time simply looking at them, touching them.  They are magic to me.











I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the draw of magical thinking and the need to find connections and signs, to fall back into trust.

What would happen if I simply met all my worries with love?

With trust?  

With a don’t-know mind?  

Simply allow the magic?



Check out:

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… you are wired to find meaning in the world, a predisposition that leaves you with less control over your beliefs than you may think. Even if you’re a hard-core atheist who walks under ladders and pronounces “new age” like “sewage,” you believe in magic.

Magical thinking springs up everywhere. Some irrational beliefs (Santa Claus?) are passed on to us. But others we find on our own. Survival requires recognizing patterns—night follows day, berries that color will make you ill. And because missing the obvious often hurts more than seeing the imaginary, our skills at inferring connections are overtuned… We look for patterns because we hate surprises and because we love being in control.  Emotional stress and events of personal significance push us strongly toward magical meaning-making.


I have coveted her for years. My doll from Salmagundi West

I have coveted her for years.  That first time I stepped into Salmagundi West with the my mom and saw her tucked in the cupboard (to your left as you walk in the door, on the north wall):

Every time I have passed the shop or entered the shop and now more often spend time in the shop, I have thought of her.  Taken a peek at her.


And now I have her.  She is my Molly dolly.






from Annie Besant:

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Huge thank you to Anne Banner, owner, for her hospitality and enthusiasm for all things curious!  Love you!

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Photo courtesy of Salmagundi West
Photo courtesy of Salmagundi West

Visual therapy in Gastown: Salmagundi West- a collection of interesting things.

Recall I bought a glorious old doll at Salmagundi West in February 2011: Broken vintage doll as blank canvas.

I painted Frida Kahlo on it (big surprise): Broken vintage doll as blank canvas part 2!

Salmagundi West is one of my favorite shops in Vancouver.  It reminds me of Mystery Mister and Loved to Death in San Francisco and I am REJUVENATED every time I visit it, which happened today when my student, Amanda-Lynn, and I dropped in.

Amanda-Lynn posing in front of my portrait of her (pasted yesterday) on our way to Gastown.

Huge thank you to Anne Banner for her hospitality and enthusiasm for all things curious!

My glorious purchases today:

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Photo courtesy of Salmagundi West
Photo courtesy of Salmagundi West