Friday, May 20, 2011


Yesterday evening my friend took me to venice beach for an art show featuring Maye, an artist she met in Taos. Maye is the sort of woman who never meets a stranger. Immediately I was being introduced around as 'her friend, the artist' and being drawn into conversations that were way over my head. It was glorious to breathe the ionized air of the glowing seaside, talk fabricators and galleries and museums and light, drink free wine, and find my place amidst so many whose lives revolve around art and music.

I have learned again and again that the world is just as we choose it to be. We say we are in love and we are in love. We say we are unresolved and so we are unresolved. We say we are conflicted about motherhood and so we are conflicted mothers. We say we are artists, and we are.

It is just this power that has made me so indecisive of late---nothing less than the power of invention, the creative force. I know that whatever I decide will come true, no matter how poor the decision is. And that paralyzes me--I know how poor my decisions can be! But by choosing not to choose, I am choosing to be indecisive. And then that comes true. There's no out. We're inventing all the time.

As the wine loosened my tongue last night I found myself collaring strangers, musicians mostly, and asking them about the bravest thing they've ever done. I have been brave before. I'd like to be brave again. It helps to talk about it. It helps to watch the bravery of my friends: Maye, living alone in the desert fiercely getting by on art; Laura, opening her dream studio; Michele, walking from Canada to Mexico with only her guitar and a backpack; M.J., leaving her business to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

Late into the night I walked out to the bus, summoning my kung-fu glamour around myself to ward off trouble. As quickly as I had become a bohemian artist, I transformed into a no-nonsense warrior with a don't-mess-with-me stride. All the way home, I watched my reflection in the window, flickering like a firefly: wife. mother. single woman. musician. farmer. nomad. teacher. charity case. wisewoman. pushover. writer. friend. enemy. ascetic. glutton. chameleon.

Aren't we all.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


They define themselves, I guess, leaving us entirely out of it. So I collapse back into the softness of this weather, letting life pass by for a while, letting decisions rest while I try to change pain into art. Or maybe not art--vindictive folk-hop would be a better name for it.

A long time ago when I was trying to learn the greek dance Kritikos, my teacher explained it this way: "you lose your balance at the beginning, and you stay just off-balance all the way until the end."


Christopher Phoenix, this one's for you: (adult language warning!)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I love my mother.

I can be so hard on myself, measuring out the moments with Xir and Anainn by my miserable moods, or thinking of all I could do better, or noticing how much I have let go.

And yet, when I think of my mother, I do not remember moments or moods. There is just an overall continuity of love. And as I contemplate drastic moves and sudden changes, it is good to bear this in mind. This constancy of love is such a simple thing, such a good one: enough to just be there, to try, to keep things going even when all I have to offer is the bare minimum.