Recreate Your Past (Make a Good Movie for Your Mind)

watercolor and ink/2010

I like to look at the past for what it was, learn from it and face it. But then, I like to see it how it should have been. Why not allow the past to be better than it was, it’s gone now, anyway! It only exists in your mind, so why not revisit it with romantic ideals and dreamy wanderings? Idealizing is better than torturing ourselves with exaggerated mind-movies that are ghastly and injurious.  Maybe mercy is when we have perspective of the past mixed with our ideals, creating the great relief of home movies-in-the-head worth watching. I even like to imagine the what-ifs and see where those day dreams take me. One is, I pretend we never moved away from Texas. I get to be in the rodeo and be one of those people who sticks up two fingers in the shape of a long horn and everyone smiles at me and says, “UT!!! Way to go UT!”  I wear cowboy boots every day ( and I wear them with the knowledge that there is no other way to dress) and grow up in a newly built and designed house, of course with a terrific bedroom with a canopy bed and a view of cotton wood trees in the open plain. And my horse can come to the window and there is the scent of blue bonnets and yellow roses.

It’s either that or I make myself see it how it really happened, and we have to move to Kansas City all over again.  See what I mean?

Pugnacious Pug

Early morning study of Georgia Sweet Tea/2012

We love the way the pug prances and poses, exactly like a Fu Dog sculpture. And for every single mischievous thing she does (continually biting at my Cavalier King Charles spaniel’s ears as though they were great tassels for her amusement), she glances up with the most innocent Yoda expression: “I am a sweet pug.”

Chiron Return

I’m intrigued by the idea of the “Chiron Return”, at 49/50 years old, we experience a major period of spiritual awakening, a huge opportunity to meet our potential and fulfill our purpose in life.  Here are a few links to some very good information about this significant phase of life:

Illuminara Card of the Week: Shape Shifting

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Cherokee mentor used to tell me that if I swam in the saltwater sea, it could “change your DNA”. I never thought science would back that kind of thinking, but I’ve seen two articles in the last week about DNA and how it actually can be changed. This means certain things we thought we were stuck with, we are not stuck with at all, necessarily.

We seem to be in a fixed position, with objects around us inert, but if we look closely at them, it really is all energy in motion, molecules moving fast. Nothing is as it seems, we just experience things the way we do, probably because it sets a stage for us to learn lessons; energy can be heavy and slower (denser) to create for us the illusion of “reality” here on our planet. And this reality is our construct here on earth where we learn our lessons.

But it is no fun feeling inert, incapable of moving through a tough situation, or stuck in a position which is painful. I like to play with shifting my feeling and thinking so I can feel differently about myself when I am feeling stuck. It helps me change situations, or my position at least. Feeling stuck is a miserable thing! One way shift out of this feeling is to go somewhere, for example and “play fox”. Pretend you are invisible. Go to the grocery store and do it as if you are not visible to others. Feel what it would feel like to be invisible. To go unnoticed. That is a very different approach than if you went in like a lion, open, magnanimus, roaring loud. Both are worth trying!  Children do this kind of play often, seeming to naturally grasp the idea that there is real power in pretending. It shifts us into who we want to be. A kid who feels discouraged and small all day might pretend later to be powerful and unique, recognized for the bright tiger he is. Playful shifting into something to be contended with is a balm for a broken heart. And it signifies the will to change, or to be different and in charge of one’s perceptions of self. When the world wants to peg you as one thing, prove to yourself and others that you are who YOU wish to be, period.

Play at being whatever you wish to be, the invisible fox or the watchful owl or anything else you feel good about trying. You’ll know what to choose by what mood you’re in the moment you wake up. Or you’ll know what situation at work or in life asks you to shift into another gear. The gift is that it frees you to see yourself as unstuck, as powerful and able to shift when needed.

Wishing you a wonderfully interesting week full of mobility and light and love!

Jane Eyre, The Country Musical “She Was Gumby Blue”


OK, I woke up thinking I should make the country version of JANE EYRE, my ultimate personal archetype and heroine. Here’s the first part of one song:

Rochester’s Song:

She was gumby blue

and unrequited

Like a Lucky Strike gone unlighted

I said I loved her true,

But I was cheatin’ too

And that attic lady screamed afire

Some kind of scary desire

Like a blown-out tire

On the back roads of love

I got me a letter

S’pose to make me feel better

Bout that girl who was gumby blue

But it aint true

She’s run off and gone

Yall kids are wrong

Love is only

for the Lucky Few

Dolphins: Childlike Intelligence

watercolor and ink/2010

Frequently, dolphins come up for people in readings. They symbolize the childlike playfulness that helps us honor our imagination.  We forget that this state of being (playful, imaginative) is the portal to knowledge. We dismiss being childlike and playful as unnecessary or foolish in an adult. But so often the source of knowledge is discovered through ideas and sudden realizations in our down-time, in our moments of reverie or creative enjoyment.  The pathway to intuitive intelligence is the same pathway.  It is the child-like, innocent, open-hearted realm of discovery and expectant joy. Imagine being a dolphin at play in the wake of a sailboat, riding the waves for the sheer thrill of it.  Especially when there is a problem that needs to be solved, allow the spirit of dolphin to help you relax and intuit solutions.  Play and dream a little.

DAMSELS IN DISTRESS, a new film by Whit Stillman

From my sketchbook ( now that I think about it, a lot of my drawings tend to be “damsels in distress”, themes of doomed love, young-at-heart heroines finding their way)

I am very excited about Whit Stillman’s new film, DAMSELS IN DISTRESS (due out in April).  I thought of myself as a damsel in distress when I first met Whit in the late 1980’s.  He was a kind of knight in shining armor, too, in that he represented me as an artist/picture book creator, which meant a lot to me in my twenties.

Click here to read all about DAMSELS IN DISTRESS and more about Whit, his films and his life.

Word for the Day: Metamorphosis

This morning my drawing/painting meditation included choosing a word in the dictionary (with my eyes closed). I got metamorphosis. Change. Changing thoughts is a primary way toward happiness (our thoughts doom us sometimes). Being creative is one way I change my thoughts because I go into a zone where the things that bother me morph into newly created imagery. Shifts take place, something new starts to happen.

Prayer Letter from a Daughter

Prayer Letter #4/2005

Research has shown that saying prayers for patients who are ill or suffering (whether the patient knows about the prayers being said or not) benefit the patient.  Before I started calling art dedicated in prayer “Spirit Paintings” I called them “Prayer Letters”. This is one of the first, done for my dad who had undergone some treatment years ago.

I am posting this today to ask any and all who see this “Prayer Letter” to please say a prayer for my dad as he is in the hospital. His name is Bob, or Bobby or Dr. Clayton, depending on the relationship people have had with him (friend, son or brother, niece or nephew, patient). To me he’s Dad, and I thank you for your prayers.