Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

My usual tradition is to buy my pumpkin on Halloween day. I pick one of the sad left-over, reject pumpkins and give it a home.
Today is too full and I won't be able to follow in my tradition. Alas...
Although, last night, Chloe and I carved pumpkins and roasted the seeds. All is well.

On to matters of the heart...
I pulled this sentence from a friend's email.

Is the answer so simple that we avoid it at all costs?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sorry Elizabeth

Last Halloween I made these. In my huge collection of old family photos, I found this particular photo of a rather puffy, stodgy old woman. She was perfect for altering, so I photocopied her and began playing.

Earlier this month at the bookstore, I was whizzing down the biography isle when something caught my eye. There was a new book...a photo...something familiar. After flipping through the pages, I found the exact photo that I own.

As it turns out, I own a photo of a significant woman in American history! It is because of her ground work I can vote! And I have been desecrating her in my altered art?!


Elizabeth Cady Stanton, I am sorry.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quiet Love

I have not drawn anything for a week and a half.
Today when I sat down, this tiny line drawing is all that came out: no color and no detail. And after months of drawing only with my left hand, my right hand wanted its turn again.

Quiet love.
The kind I wear under my skin.
It has nothing to say, but it keeps me warm.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bundt Cakes & Sorrow

What needs to be said in the quiet, lonely hour
plodding through
this fully empty sorrow
applause will never come

What needs to be done with your stifled love
testing every ounce
twisting and projecting
ignoring me until we are both sadly alone

What needs to be done with my soul in your absence
deep in the moment
minutia collapses upon itself
the love you left me reveals

so much love to give
so much love to miss
it is time I took you off my wall

Artwork - paper collage.
I created this last night. Other ingredients included a friend, laughter, lasagna and a wee bit of vodka.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Quiet Day

Some days there are no words.
So, I share my all-time favorite photo of my dad from 1979.
I also share my favorite Emily Dickinson poem.

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fisheye Photos

Finally! Photos from my new Fisheye2 by Lomography!
What a fun camera! It has double & long exposure and an optional internal flash.
My daughter, Chloe, took the middle photo.

I ruined two rolls of film trying to get the camera loaded. Ugh!
Chloe seems to be a better photographer.
I am going to keep playing anyway.

Yesterday included worries about money and health insurance as well as a trip to the dentist which leads back to the money issues.
I was reminded of this poem by Hafiz:



All your worry

Has proved such an





Find a better


Playing with my new camera will be my new job!
Baking cookies and sharing them will be my other job.
I like it!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Chloe. Daughter. Sixteen.

"I need a hug," I tell Chloe.
"I need lots of things, too," she quickly quips.


She stands and gives me a hug anyway.
She is not afraid to hug me.
She lets me press my heart to hers.
I feel her pressing back.

To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it.
- Charlie Chaplin

Photo, Spring 2009
I took this photo for a friend.
For me, it is a sweet reminder of those
moments that just cannot be explained.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gaze at the Beloved

Let's remake the world with words.
Not frivolously, nor
To hide from what we fear,
But with a purpose.
As Wordsworth said, remove
"The dust of custom" so things
Shine again, each object arrayed
In its robe of original light.

And then we'll see the world
As if for the first time.
As once we gazed at the beloved
Who was gazing at us.

~ Gregory Orr

Mixed-Media Photo Collage, 2001
The little girl in the image is my grandma, Bonnie Wade MacDonald McCririe McCuistion.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Laughing at Home

To my Dear, Beautiful Friend...
Truly, you are like no other.

I did as you asked.

I came home and laughed.

I did not cry.

Someday I will do both...together!
When that time comes, I will know God is near.

Paraphrased words by James Broughton:

Everything is Song. Everything is Silence.
Since it all turns out to be illusion...
you are free to die laughing.


It is my birthday.
Usually I am terribly excited, but not this birthday.
The deflated feeling isn't about being older, I just don't seem to have the wind in my sails today.


Until my friend, Cameron, unexpectedly showed me a quote by George Shaw.

You use a glass mirror to see your face;
you use art to see your soul.

That was just what I needed.

Everyday is a chance to express the soul.
Big or small.
Silly and sacred.
Express it at every every way.

So, on this birthday, I say thank you to my mom.
She has never thwarted my soulful expression.
She gave me a chance at Life.


Photo - April 1972, Lake Arrowhead, Ca.
Me and my mama. I am six months old.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wake Up

I say this to you
I say this to me

Wake Up!

I didn't know he loved me that much.
How could I have been so blind?
Or was I?

Love Love

Hold back, my love.
Hold back my love.
The comma changes everything.

Wake Up!

Life is too short for linear thinking
Let's go swim in the ocean.
There is more room there!
My friend told me so.

Wake up, Love!
Wake up LOVE!
The comma changes everything.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fisheye & Love

Yesterday, I drew this.
My daughter adored it!
I gave it to her.
(Usually she doesn't like what I create.)
And to my mom, I say, "Look, Mom! Legs!"

Then I drew my usual. When I was finished, I decided it might be time to take a break from drawing - at least the tiny size. Maybe it is time to work on a larger piece? Or maybe it is time to return to some photo collage?

For my birthday that hasn't yet come, my friend, Deb, gave me a Fisheye2 from Lomography. I can't wait to play with it!

On an inward note, I share these words by Dan Gurney.:

Wisdom tells me I am nothing.
Love tells me I am everything.
Between the two, my life flows.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Heart is Right - Hafiz


Heart is right to cry

Even when the smallest drop of light,
Of love,
Is taken away.

Perhaps you may kick, moan, scream
In a dignified

But you are so right
To do so in any fashion

Until God returns



Drawing - 2.5 x 3.5
Colored Pencil
This was created with new Dick Blick colored pencils.
They are soft and blend well, but they get muddy very fast.
I do not like them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Sneaky Thing Called HOPE

Here is what I find to be true for today:

Hope is really just longing and expectations wrapped in an angelic cloth.
She gracefully hoovers outside your heart and smoothly says, "I am Hope. Let me in."
Of course you do. Who wouldn't? It's Hope.
After a while she transforms into a slovenly dressed bully, taunting you, "Ha ha! You thought you would get what you want!"
Hope is the gracious way to suffer.

Drawing - 2.5 x 3.5 inches
Marker and Colored Pencil
Done with my new Derwent ColourSoft pencils.
Can't decide if I love them, or not.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


A friend sent me this photo of Durango, CO.
Long ago I lived there.
Be still my heart.


Friday, October 9, 2009

No Golden Day

My heart was reminded of this in the wee morning hours:
There is no "Golden Day."

Then I questioned: Am I forgetting? Or am I letting go?
And I questioned again.
Can I live my stories rather than talk about them?
Who really wants to listen anyway?
We have these stories...precious to us. Where do we go with them?
Maybe we have lost the art of Listening.

Just for a moment, drop below the story line.
Meet me there; the place beyond words.

Altered Photo
Old Fashioned Cut & Paste
Created by my friend, Deb
1999-ish (or even older)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Shard of Glory

Look closely.
You can see her smiling.

Listen quietly.
You can hear her soul rejoicing.
There is laughter, too.

Touch gently.
There...on her you feel it? A tear...occasionally.
It is a pure, clean tear; not the kind that was there before, full of anger, pity and misunderstanding.

The old mysteries have withered; new ones wait to be born.
It is there, in between, that you will find her floating on the shard of Glory she found waiting in the long Autumn shadows.

Colored Pencil - 2.5 x 3.5 inches
Drawing inspired by these words:
But listen to me; for one moment,
Quit being sad,
Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Breaking Heart

"What do I do now?" she asked through the tearful eyes I never see.

"Let yourself be sad," I answered.

Not sure what is worse - having your own heart break or watching as it happens to your child.
(I guess I could have told her to drown her sorrow in a jar of peanut butter and a bag of milk chocolate chips.)

I like my first answer.
Let yourself be sad.


...eventually, as my grandma says, you have to pull up your socks and get out of the garden. I say that more for me than Chloe.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What I Learned Today

Early this morning, I walked alone in the darkness.
It was cold! I loved it.

Here is what I learned:

Humility - hello, old friend. You are a blessing and a curse.

I would rather be happy than right. At least for now...

People over water their lawns.

And on this cold day, I am beyond joyous that I can wear a sweater!
I say that autumn makes me sad; it does. But there is a peaceful sweetness to Fall that settles my soul. I have been waiting for that.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hands I Love

I love my mom's hands.
We took this photo the other day.
I was happy with it - not just because it turned out,
but because I now have a photo of those hands I love.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Be Afraid

Do not be afraid to be afraid.

Be afraid, exult, hope, despair, wait, and wonder.

And then LOVE.

- Stephen Foster

What is the point of anything if we can't return to love?
And why can't we allow ourselves time to return to that love...monthly, daily, hourly...moment by moment?
To love love - isn't that the point of existing?

He died 4 weeks ago.
He was not a perfect man. But he was extremely generous with this his time and money. I appreciated him, but he drove me crazy sometimes, too.
I shared with a friend the story about Gary hugging me.
She pointed out how huge that was...that I accepted the love.
I could have told Gary, " need your rest," as he raised his weak arms up to me.
My friend pointed out that I took the love he had to offer. I took it fearlessly...without question. I took his love and his hug.
He loved me.
I accepted.

How often do we truly accept the love people offer us?
How often do we keep love at arms length, or only open our hearts half way because it is safer that way?
I ask because I am still learning.

Love love.

Photo collage, 2004.
The man is my Great Uncle Chris McCririe.