September 7, 2017

A Spirit Home

Have you ever entered a place where you experience an immediate sense of return and yet you have never been there before?  I have thought often about spirit dwellings.  For me these are spots where all elements conspire to simultaneously set you at ease and light you up.  I was lucky to inhabit this one for three precious solo days and nights this past summer. I have taken a mental voyage here daily ever since I physically left 6 weeks ago. Beloved Pine Cabin...thank you.  XO

January 23, 2017


First post in well over a year.  Here it goes.

Ascension: the act of rising or ascending; especially the act of moving to a higher or more powerful position

"Hey, excuse me, what's up with the turquoise ladder?"

As members of our group took the opportunity to hold the ladder high in the air amidst the sea of people in DC this past weekend, we reveled in the freedom that comes with redefining ourselves, along with our hopes,fears, and dreams, in the moment/through the moment/by the moment. Depending on our own individual sense of connection to the inquirer and the symbol itself, or level of introversion-extroversion-compression-expansion being experienced in the moment, here are some of the responses I heard either myself or others in our circle offer to this query:

"If we couldn't shatter the glass ceiling, maybe we should attempt climbing on the roof."
"Whatever you would like for it to mean."
"There were too many words and thoughts and issues swirling to make a sign so this symbol that means a lot to us personally is representing them all."
"What do you see it standing for?"
"There is a great climb ahead and it will take each of us to either steady the ladder as someone else climbs or take the steps ourselves". (And turquoise is the color of protection for the climb)
"It is to help us see a brighter horizon."
"Its a symbol of ascension."

And who possessed these inquiring minds? Quite a few scientists came up and said with great anticipation, "are you representing DNA?" This made me laugh and I would say "Yes, for you, I am representing DNA." However, my own radar was tuned into those whose life boat in times of internalizing and then uprising is art. I felt us share a breath, as their eyes raised up to the ladder, a fleeting refuge from the cacophony of powerful words filling the air. This shared breath I dedicated to the journey(s) of discovering our own insights, creating our own meaning, claiming our own space, and the right to not have to explain or justify ourselves/our desires/our suffering/our restoration process to anyone around us. I felt solidarity in the inherent knowing that the wordless experience amidst a march with such incredible displays of wordy art is also to be greatly respected as there are so many of us who are currently experiencing or witnessing words being used as swords back at us, when we are most vulnerable and tired, and while we are grasping for the strength to RISE.

At one point in the day, while holding my ladder under my arm, I ran up alongside a woman carrying a sign that said "There are so many things that need fixing that I don't know which words to put on my sign" And then across the bottom was a list including misogyny/racism/fascism/hypocrisy and many more words charged with assaulting properties. I said to her, "Thank you for putting words to my symbol" and she said "Thank you for putting a symbol to my words".

There was a moment in the day when we had to surrender the ladder from our possession temporarily, along with the deeply personal signs of my dear friends, to enter the National Gallery of Art for a much needed reprieve. We stashed them next to the revolving entry door, amidst all of the hundreds and hundreds of other totems of personal expression. When we returned to reclaim and begin the actual march, we began to find the trampled disassembled pieces of it, buried. I feel tremendous gratitude to my two friends who helped me salvage all eight pieces of the ladder. We returned to our group, with disappointment to have not been able to retrieve everyone's sign, and together we reassembled the ladder. It rose again, extending higher this time. I felt that familiar current of energy that is able to course when my backbone is aligned. I envisioned a phoenix perched at the top leading us on our route all the way to the Capitol Building and on to The White House. And on that empowering walk, what rose up as my next guidepost was not a word or an image. It was a feeling, deep within, that gave way to a sound. A rumble in the belly that ascended to the heart and then the throat and released as a ROAR.

So, for all of us word lovers who are struggling with words right now, what other sources of inspiration and guidance can we tune into/hold onto/reclaim to help us harness and give release and a sense of personal expression to what is rising up in us?

There are many people that I love and respect who are currently posing the critical question of what action are we going to engage in once the buzz of the marching wears off. Very important question.
In the work in which I am engaged in the world, we often talk about the power of symbols/logos/images and how they wield power. What I am left wondering after returning home is how do our symbols guide us to reverently convert the power we bestow upon them into action or substantive form? For me, I find myself thinking once again of the children's story quote that has guided me so many times when I feel like I am being rushed through an important process and I start to lose my balance. "Can't go under it, can't go over it, can't go around it, have to go through it".

I simply don't know yet, in tangible, conscious form what this deeply moving collection of experiences is going to give rise to. But I know, for me, it will involve a process of continual re-alignment. It will start with honestly visualizing the horizon that I am setting my sights on, defining the core values that scaffold that vision, and then allowing these values to inform and align my daily actions and interactions. And, simultaneously, I am committing to not being afraid to pilot actions today that I don't have to defend/proclaim/or even fully understand but that I trust, in the absence of words, are aligned.

What I feel most deeply, today, is that the journey ahead starts with really listening to ourselves, finding ways to distill, then clear the chatter of our own hearts and minds, and then: listen. listen. listen. (And in the meantime, I will work to deepen my relationship with the concept of paradox as I feel certain that wrestles and revelations within this concept are at the heart of the climb ahead.)

So, here is the above story told through some images:

September 3, 2015


I often think of retreats as dedicated times of retreating from the practices that cloud us-mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Today I savor the notion of retreat as the practice of re-treating ourselves to the detours that serve our soul's longings. Sitting with toes in cold river water at twilight, listening wholeheartedly with a balanced reverence of light and shadow. Reveling in the fine details of another's labor of love and feeling home without the impending to-do list and mess of home. Turning the wheel right because you have quieted the internal noise enough to hear the call of the discovery that awaits you from down that lane. A life that honors re-treats, that demands them, and that creates these opportunities for fellow journeyers, this is one I hold myself accountable to.

June 18, 2015

Fragmented. We connect.

Holding space for the holy questions. The ones that keep us up at night and whose potency can paralyze us when faced in their wholeness. So we honor the fragments and the interweaving with those of kindred hearts. All of our truest expressions are really just fragments anyways aren't they? Fragments of the Whole Ever-Unfolding Collective Story. Bowed in humility, I pray for the possibility for each of us to live into the most reverent of answers. XO

June 9, 2015

The Journey Home

Almost two years since last posting here. Two years that in many ways have felt like an intoxicating exploration in the wilderness. But on this rain-drippy morning, in an ultra brief attempt at restoration - on the mat, cozy in my old Cookie Monster t-shirt, with the warm, soft body of Theo working its way fluidly into and through my poses - a subtle inner sense of return crept in. Return to this body, this porch, this space, this original nest of Revelry and Grace.

August 4, 2013


Late last night, we returned from the first international trip of our family of four, a week in Costa Rica, where we met up with family for a special vacation. Ten minutes into our van ride from the airport in Liberia heading towards Nosara, my husband said out loud exactly what was being spoken inside my head as I gazed out of the window, "So,how do you think we can move here?". I know this is the common experience of Costa Rica for so many and today I am finding myself swirling in this concept, not necessarily wanting to make that a reality but rather absorbing what it is that happens to the psyche down there and how do we carry those teachings forward in our day-to-day lives back home? To begin to wrestle with these questions as a family, as opposed to the very personal journey of doing this on my own in my late teens, is a really cool new experience and opportunity. As little A bounced up against me as we bounded along pot-holed filled roads and took it all in through the five senses I felt myself relive those first impressions of another culture all over again.

We become anew through the foods, sights, and sounds of an unfamiliar place and through these unique interactions with our changed outer world we begin to change our inner world- our compassion, openness, flexibility, humor, appreciation, and understanding are all awakened.

So here I am, back in the woods in the mountains of North Carolina on my screened porch amidst the sights and sounds of summer once familiar and yet new again. I don't need to hop back on that plane tomorrow but I do need to maintain a commitment with myself to seek out these kinds of opportunities for reflection and regeneration and carry forward with a nod towards the spirit of pura vida living whenever possible.

March 9, 2013

Soul Shine

Amidst the elements that shine light and love into the deepest,darkest crevices that reside within, I am restored.

August 29, 2012

She wanted to have a tea party inside, I wanted to play in the dirt outside. We compromised by planting hen and chicks in tea cups.

July 9, 2012

long time coming

So much time has passed and life has been lived since I last posted here. The wee one is no longer so very wee and the big wee one declares that she is "off the charts" every chance she gets since last month when the doctor told her she is off the chart for her height. I oscillate continuously between the sentiments of feeling like each day is the longest day ever and those of utter shock at how fast the weeks are slipping away. So far this summer has been filled with all things good and sticky- watermelons and berries dribbling down chins, sprinkler runs and lake plunges, morning porch time and evening strolls. We have been on the road to spend precious moments with loved ones we don't see often enough and have filled our home with loved ones from near and far. We have celebrated a union of love so profound and true it became contagious and a birthday of 95 full, gracious years. These are days to savor indeed. And this morning I was able to do something that has been three years in the making, create with others in our basement, a space finally ready to brim over with sweet messes made by little and big hands, all led with big hearts. I have envisioned using this space with girlfriends, sharing time and space amidst paper, glue, paint, and beyond, and what joy it brings me that my inaugural crafting time down there was with these three little girls who have come into Annalie and I's lives in the past year and enriched us both so dearly. Our theme was the peoples and cultures of Africa, and surrounded by music and cumulative inspiration from my mom, we made jewelry and the makings of a village and my heart sung.