life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

Don't Talk Like That...

I write to find out what my heart thinks....
I am here to celebrate my life, to uncover my fears, to hold on to love, to grieve my losses, to laugh long and hard, and to learn how to live a full magnificent life with heart failure. I am honoring my creativity, and exploring all of my emotions out loud ...before anyone can say....."Don't talk like that!"



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What would happen if...

I think curiosity maybe my most overlooked gift! And I want to take the moment to thank the Great Poobah, God, the Universe, the Higher Power or whatever unseen force is responsible for instilling this most magnificent curious craving in my soul!   Time and time again I have been asked “How did you do that?” And when I answer, I really do not know….I am not trying to hide or protect a trade art secret.  I really do not know!  So much of my art and my life is a series of “I wonder what would happen…. if I do this” until I like what it looks like (or I totally screw it up!) and I never can remember the exact thing I did…or when I did it.  I just had enough curiosity to see what would happen if….
Over the years so many have asked me to teach/demo my art.  I cannot, I do not know how!  How do I explain or demonstrate curiosity?

                         "Ants Marching"  Dave Matthews Band
And all the little ants are marching, Red and black antennas waving, They all do it the same, They all do it the same way
Take these chances, Place them in a box until a quieter time, Lights down, you up and die"
Dave Matthews

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I never want to be tamed.....

The wise wild woman does not listen to the rules, the church, the social stigma especially as she becomes older, she is the one that wraps her life in exceptional, unique and inspiring experiences.

Her beauty is not what is expected, it comes from within her and is only visible to the blessed few that are gifted enough to see her, all of her.

The beauty of a wise wild woman is her “I do not give a shit” exquisite energy and the audacity that she inspires in me and others. I want to be a wise wild woman, I never want to be tamed. 

"Try"  Colbie Caillat

Monday, June 27, 2016

Nobody said it would be easy, especially since they did not give me all of the instructions!

Everything happens for a reason….I do believe that with all of my heart.  But it seems to take some kind of action or input from me.  I had always believed this basic philosophy but I was always a bit frustrated that it did not work as well as some people claimed it would. But it was not until I realized... They conveniently forgot to mention I needed to participate in some way! 
Like wake up with no regrets, they should have added  LET GO OF YESTERDAY’S “SCREW UPS"….see…they left some important parts out!
Love the ones that treat you right….AND TELL THEM HOW YOU FEEL.

Nobody promised it would be easy, but I wish they had given me ALL of the instructions….it might have been a little easier!  Maybe that is why the author is anonymous.

            "You Live, You Learn (Jagged Little Pill)"  Alanis Morrisette

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Her wildest expectations

“What I want is what I've not got,  
And what I need Is all around me. 
Reaching and searching never stop”
Dave Matthews lyrics from “Jimi Thing”

Since the heart thing….I have found that having “no expectations”  is how I survive.  Having no expectations serves me well in creative artistic endeavors, medical tests and outcomes and most especially personal relationships.  Living without any expectations of anything or anyone means I can NOT be disappointed.  Any and every outcome was acceptable because I refused to have any anticipation of how it could or should be.  But there is a fine line between expectation and wanting!  I want lots and lots and lots of things, money, health, loving relationships but expecting they will happen is a different thing.  The constant mantra in my head is, the only things I will ever be able to change are my own feelings.  But maybe…just maybe I could have a wild expectation of myself every now and again.
"Jimi Thing"  Dave Matthews Band

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The sign....

When anything new, different and possibly spectacular appears in my life, so does that chronic negative voice inside my head.  That internal voice has a limited but horribly destructive vocabulary. It begins as a malicious and constant whisper.  "Really, who do you think you are, you are not good enough, they are going to laugh, everyone will know you are a fraud", and the list goes on but it  is always responsible for me backing down, shying away from or just plain never even beginning .  A voice, that only I can hear  begins as a whisper but the more I ignore it the louder it gets.   How much life, work, love have I denied myself because I  succumbed to that heinous voice?  Every time I have moved forward with new work, new life experiences,  new anything, it shows up.  Yet, each time I have moved through it or ignored it,  I have not regretted it …..but still it has the power to stop me dead in my tracks.  Perhaps I should begin seeing that voice as a sign.  A sign that tells me whatever new thing I am bringing into my life or putting out into the world is a good thing.  That voice is just a sign, a sign that this is the right path.
"So Much to Say"  Dave Matthews Band

Friday, June 24, 2016

It is not free or easy....

Doing what I love is the new wealth, 
but it is not free or easy! 

It is fulfilling, it will generate boundless energy and once I found it. 
But it was not free or easy. 
I am grateful beyond belief I have found why I am here on the earth, 
but it is not free or easy. 
I love my work, I love my life, 
but it is not free or easy.

"Overkill"  Colin Hay

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

....Repeat after me....this fear is worth it....this fear is worth it....

The hours before I begin a new class are horrible!  I always worry about how it is going to go….do I really know what I am doing?....will they like me or just think I am a LooneyTune?  As I gather up my courage again, I whisper this mantra under my breath.....A LOT!  “This fear is worth it….This fear is worth it!  This is what I am meant to do, it is why I am here.  I am human, I am going to screw up and be wrong, I am not now nor was I ever made to be perfect.   I am an artist….screwing up and making something wonderful from the mess is a part of my creative process!” The courage to let the world see my imperfections and vulnerabilities does not make me weak and broken, it makes me strong!

"Song for a Friend"  Jason Mraz

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Don't want to miss it!

This also has an alternate beginning….If I wait until someone else says I am ready…

I spend a great deal of time trying to decide “should I do this?”  My left brain (AKA my internal censor) kicks in and begins measuring every opportunity asking
“Is it good for me?”
“What will they think of me?”
“Who do you think you are?”

And every question seems to boil down to one 4 letter “F” word, and it is not what you might think it is......  FEAR!

I want to let go of that ugly word, that miserable feeling!
"Fear"  Jazmine Sullivan

Monday, June 20, 2016

Feel by the moon!

Oh….how I love the full moon!  We had a particularly wonderful class last night, chatting about, “listening” to our creative artist child, (instead of the critic that lives in our heads) but the very best part happened when class ended.  While driving home...the full moon bared itself from behind a bank of clouds.  I know, I know… the real full moon enthusiasts will be quick to point out that it is not quite yet a FULL moon, but you could not convince me of that last night!  It was huge and bright and overwhelming!  Whether by luck or divine direction, I just happened to be passing a golf course as the moon was fully exposed.  Not a person in sight, this huge bright moon begging me to soak it in and an unbelievable amount of soft dry grass.  Yes I did!  It was meant to be,  too easy, and wonderful!  Lying alone in the grass literally soaking in the moon light…perhaps one of the most amazing experiences I have had in a long time.  I suspect I am really a “moon child”….living by the sun but feeling by the moon. 
"Into the Mystic"  Van Morrison

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pull 'em up!

….it is time to pull 'em up!
I began gutting the studio last week, mostly in an effort to stay busy, stave off depression, redirect my heart and my mind and to keep myself out of trouble.   The studio is still in the stages of being dismantled and put back together, not just the front part of the studio but the back room too, where years of picture framing took place.  A room that has been largely ignored as it also became the home for all of those things that I did not know what else to do with, but could not let go of. I began thinking it was time to get rid of it all, the molding, the equipment, the tools and the stuff. Time for me to let go of all evidence of my past, I wanted to let go of who I was and what I did.  But looking back, I suspect, this cleaning and pitching may have been outward visible expressions of my inward overwhelming emotional feelings of loss.  I am learning that I am not ready to let go of all of the good things and the lessons that are born of the grief from my past and my life experiences, both good and bad. I am taking it all apart, my studio and my life, examining it, cleaning or re-purposing the parts that are worth keeping and pitching those things that are broken, hurtful and just do not work for me anymore.

Time to truly celebrate all that I am, all that I have, all of the amazing people in my life, and the boundless creativity and love that is here for me now.  Time to put on and pull up my positive pants!
"Never Too Late"  Micheal Franti

Stay tuned there will be more panty reports.....I have a lot to learn!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Celebrate the Mystery

I apologize for the dirges that seem to drone on and on.  But my survival and healing seem to be a process, I must be still healing. 

This….these words are how I move forward. These words allow me to grieve. These words somehow release the sorrow and give me the courage to smile and move forward with life.  I know in my heart that when so much has gone wrong, it will be the words that hold the answers. 

I write and feel the mystery of my heart beating. Sometimes, it only takes tracing back all of the reasons “why” my heart beats.  Yes, I understand the electrical impulses make it contract but where does that electricity come from? There is only one answer, magic! The only explanation for why it beats, the reason it feels joy and pain, it is all magic. Even when my heart hurts, when it has been bullied and broken, even when those I love, shatter it, even when I do not understand why this happens, I need to find a reason to celebrate the mystery and the magic!  No matter the circumstances… the magic is still with me and all I need to do is celebrate the mystery! The healing will come!
"The Shape of my Heart"  Sting, Josh Brogan, Chris Botti, YoYoMa

Friday, June 17, 2016

Just Let Go.....

Last week out of a sheer need to move…to not sit and stew in grief…I began cleaning the studio.  Instead of the relief I was looking for I found that every box and shelf I went through held evidence of my old life, a life I have been unable to let go of.   Not willing to confront my physical abilities, and my emotional inability to admit to myself that this part of my life is over I have hung on to stuff.  I have tried to convince myself that the day is coming that I will be able to function like I used to, that I will be able to take my old life back.  I CAN’T.  The past is gone and I cannot move into what the next part of my life holds for me until I let go. Until I am able to let go of all of the stuff both good and bad from my past I will not be able to move forward. So much harder than I thought it would be.

         "The Story of My Life"  Matthew West

and...brave heart it is time.....

And brave heart it is time…..

The past few weeks have delivered one blow after the other.  Each one more damaging than the one before, each one has had the power to destroy me.  Every one of them has impacted my life, my love and my soul profoundly…but brave heart it is time.  It is time to acknowledge the pain, let it move through me, accept the reality and learn the lessons.  Time to move forward, and let it make me stronger.

"Forgiveness"  Matthew West

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I AM listening....

I am listening...I am listening...I am listening....

it still hurts.

"Nothing Stays the Same" Luke Sital Singh

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I have changed.....

I thought I was open minded, more open to other people’s thoughts and opinions, but when I said yesterday I had changed, I was not certain I had a grasp on exactly what had changed, I just knew in my heart there had been a huge shift.  Maybe it was just the feeling of loss, maybe just out and out fear, this happened in my community, my home (only 12 miles from my home of over 40 years)...I was not sure what changed…I just knew it had.

As yesterday progressed, I was alarmed at the amount of  Face Book "friends” that took this horrific situation and used it to promote their hate, their religion, their political leanings, but the most offensive were those that used this event to encourage and endorse their views on gun control.

The change in me…. is my inability to listen to others shamelessly promote their own agendas at the expense of others grief.

Yesterday I found myself deleting and unfriending more people in one day than I have in the entire 7 years I have been on Face Book. 

Everyone has the freedom to have and express their own opinions,  I have the freedom to choose not to see, hear or react (for or against) to anyone that uses others pain and grief to promote and justify their agendas.  I choose to surround myself with people that love and honor.

Yes…I am changed, maybe I am not so open minded any more.
There is love!  There is love!

Monday, June 13, 2016


Yesterday, the world changed, my community changed, I changed.  One person with a heart full of hate and a gun changed everything.  When the numbness of human carnage, shock and the fear give way to the reality of what has happened to this community, the hardest thing for me to do will be to not fall into the fear, anger,  and the judgment of  politics and religion that all of us naturally feel. I want to hold onto the love. Love is the only way I  (we)  survive.  Love is the light that will drive out the darkness of the hate and fear that exists in this world. 
"Imagine"  John Lennon

Sunday, June 12, 2016


my heart hurts for the loss and the families
Unity & Pride is the Pulse of Orlando

Celebrate and holler NEXT...delicious ambiguity!

Beginnings, middles and endings are what life is made of.  If I began every story knowing how it would end, life would be really boring!   Small life stories and large life stories only have one thing in common…there is an ending.  There are no "happily ever afters", no promise of when, how or why they will end.  The only guarantee is that every story ends.  

The best we can do is learn the lesson, celebrate that we are still here and holler NEXT!

"Phenomenal Woman"  Ruthie Foster

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Making Room for New Things to Begin....

Making room for new things to begin!  I am a creative.  There are so many great ideas waiting to come into the world through me…the only way they can manifest is by clearing out my studio and my life.  I often forget, I allow myself to be needy and inevitably become side tracked pleasing others….only to be overwhelmed and hurt before I find my way back to who and what I am.  All I really need to do is clear an empty space in my heart and in my life and amazing and exciting things will spill into those spaces!....and that pleases me greatly!

"Get Out of My Way"  Ruthie Foster

Friday, June 10, 2016

by myself.....for myself

I am not really sure what this is going to look like, but it is time!  Going to go back to my (core desire feelings) CDFs….Passionate, excited, connected and fearless….although I have to admit they are part of the reason I am in the situation I now find myself in, but then I did not expect that this or any other journey to my heart, myself and my creativity was going to be without “bumps in the road”. I will confess, when I chose my CDFs I did not really expect the friggen’ boulders I have had recently. Going back to claiming those words, those feelings on my own....This time I do it by myself....for myself..

"Bruised but Not Broken" Joss Stone

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Confessions from the Queen of Denial....

The way I handle any kind of loss and grief is denial. In an effort to be private I will play down the importance of my grief.  The way I make sure I am liked by others is to be happy and smiling all of the time, it is almost as though they insist on it. So, I ignore and hide my pain and in doing so I may be cheating myself out of some necessary life lessons by making others more comfortable. If you believe in synchronicity, and I do....this was most certainly written to me. 

 This is an excerpt from the blog post
A Conversation With Grief  JUNE 2, 2016 / by JOHN PAVLOVITZ.

You think I’m here to hurt you, but I’m trying to help.
I see. Showing up without warning in the middle of the afternoon and kicking the crap out of me, bringing me to a sobbing mess. Just how the hell does this help?
I am reminding you.
Reminding me? Of what?
Of how much you loved. Of how well you are loved. Of the reasons you miss it. Of the way you have felt. And I’m here to remind you that you’re alive. Heartbeat?  I’m alive. Get it? Without me coming around from time to time, you’ll forget just how fragile life is. You’ll forget how wonderful it is. You’ll start taking people and this place for granted. You’ll so easily become distracted and worried and you’ll miss the beauty all around you. I help you see it again.
But can’t you do it without so much… pain?
I wish I could, but the pain is necessary. This is the way your heart measures these things. This pain is the tax on loving and being loved. To take it away from you would be an insult to your love. It would deny all that you meant to one another. You see, we hurt to the degree that we cared and were cared for, and in this way pain is a memento. It’s an heirloom of memory.
But it hurts.
Trust me, that’s good. It’s a sign your heart is doing what it’s supposed to.
So this is just how things are going to be? You’re going to keep hounding me and interrupting me with tears and sobs for the duration? In the middle of whatever I’m doing, you’re just going to show up unannounced and barge in and screw up my plans?
Unfortunately. Sometimes I’ll have to chase you down and sometimes I’ll just be here waiting for you to show up. We won’t meet as often as we have before, but we’ll get together whenever I think you need it; whenever you need to see again, whenever I think you’re missing life.
This is bullshit.
Listen, I know it’s frustrating. I know it’s difficult. I know you didn’t plan on spending time with me today, but let me ask you something: Can you feel?
Can you feel the love? In the tears and sobs and memories?
Well, yeah. but—
This is what I do. This is my purpose. I give you proximity to your heart that no one else can. I get you as close to love as you will ever get here in this place. I clear out time and space for you to feel it all even when it’s not convenient; to let the flood come so that you won’t forget, so that you’ll feel like the love’s right there, so that you will live the rest of the day differently. You will live it differently, won’t you?
That’s why I showed up. You don’t need to understand or thank me. Just go and live well, and we’ll talk again soon.

"Be Honest" Jason Mraz

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Explanation....

Maybe this is part of the answer!  I do not need an explanation from others. Nor should I be required to explain either, although I will confess that I would always like to get and give explanations for decisions and actions.  But, if it makes you smile, feels good, and does not hurt anyone…..then, shouldn't that be all the explanation needed.  It is that “does not hurt anyone” that is the tricky part of this equation.  That is where all of this gets really murky! 

Connection to others is one of the things I honor the most, but I have not been so good at it lately. I have lost some of my most treasured connections, partly because of my decision and partly because of theirs.  Both hurt equally as much.  The explanation is it does not matter what I do, when I do it, or how I do it eventually it is going to hurt me or those I love.  That is the explanation.

"Alone Again"  Gilbert O'Sullivan

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

No more time to waste....

I have spent the last few years of my life being reminded that I should just wait.  Wait on others to define my goodness, my health, and my love.  All had to be validated by someone else first, to be “real”.   I was taught I had to have the patience for them to decide, decipher tests, or just simply have the time when they were not too busy for me, if I was worth it.  Waiting was an admirable virtue.  I allowed that.  I recognized early on that anything, from anybody is better than nothing at all.  So I learned how to wait. I let it go way beyond simple and necessary sharing and taking turns and it became about earning others approval so I might be good enough to be first. I am not blaming anyone but me, I allowed this!  But…life is happening now I do not have any more time to wait or waste!

"You Get What You Give"  New Radicals
You've got the music in you,  Don't let go
You've got the music in you,  One dance left
This world is gonna pull through,   Don't give up
You've got a reason to live, Can't forget, We only get what we give

Monday, June 6, 2016

Pull 'em up...

Time to pull 'em up!  Time to be grateful for everything I have had and will continue to have in my wonderful creative life.  The lesson I have learned is to never again to allow my self-worth and happiness be in the hands of someone else. Only I can pull 'em up. Only I can do what needs to be done to guard and grow my own life and heart.
"Keep Breathing"  Ingrid Michaelson

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Facing myself

No kidding!  Especially when reality is every bit of pain and grief I am feeling now…. is of my own doing.  I did not deliberately go out hunting to be hurt, but I was certainly blind enough to not see it coming.  Thinking that eventually if I did it good enough, if loved hard enough, long enough, strong enough, that I would eventually be good enough to be loved back in that same way.  It does not seem to work that way and now the only one I have to blame for this pain is me.....the only person I have to face.... is me.

"Doctor My Eyes"  Jackson Browne

Saturday, June 4, 2016

NOW... more than ever....

Big "Ah-Ha" moments are not always glorious sparks of happy inspiration sometimes they are unwelcome doses clarity.  They are realities that I  chose not to see.  I have hidden, excused and pretended but never honestly acknowledged them. The trick now is to figure how to deal with them.  I cannot change the past, the current situation or other people. I can only change me, how I feel.  Got to stay in my magic now more than ever!

"Big Girls Don't Cry"  Fergie

Friday, June 3, 2016

Lessons I am still learning....

According to the website
“Lessons Learned in Life”  37 top regrets have been identified.

I have fully embraced 6 of them!  Some it is just too late….others maybe not!

 #4. Forgoing sunscreen.
Wrinkles, moles, and skin cancer can largely be avoided if you protect yourself. (Suncreen just had not been invented when I was basking on the beach)
#6. Being scared to do things.
Looking back you’ll think, What was I so afraid of? 
#11. Not realizing how beautiful you were.
Too many of us spend our youth unhappy with the way we look, but the reality is, that’s when we’re our most beautiful.
#15. Caring too much about what other people think.
In 20 years you won’t give a darn about any of those people you once worried so much about.
#19. Not standing up for yourself.
Old people don’t take sh*t from anyone. Neither should you.
 #37. Not being grateful sooner.

"Chain of Fools"  Aretha

This Time I learn!

I have spent so much of my life expecting and then regretting and then hurt. Inevitably I felt not good enough to have my thoughts and feelings acknowledged or honored. I cannot control what other people do… Life shoved another huge lesson up into my face.  The same lesson has been delivered to me over the years, time and time again.  I have ignored, I have excused, I have covered it up but I never learned.  This time I learn.

"Haven't Got Time for the Pain"  Carly Simon

Thursday, June 2, 2016

I have no idea what comes next....

What I difference a day makes.  Yesterday I was scared but optimistic, today is realistic, hurt and overwhelmed. I have been exposed to things that I suspect most will never ever have to experience in their lives.  In every sense of the word I have had to take on more than I thought was possible.  In some ways I understand it has made me much stronger than most, but on the other hand my heart and my love are being destroyed in the process.  How much of this have I brought on myself, how much can I change?  I know I cannot change others, the change has to be mine. The next question is what and how?  I have no idea what comes next I just know that I can no longer do this.
"All That We Let In"  Indigo Girls

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Yes....scared shitless!

 “Lean into the discomfort” is the professional version of this, but sometimes I need regular people “speak” to really understand the meaning.  Yes I understand what discomfort means, but what I have leaned into is so much bigger, meaner, nastier than discomfort.  Discomfort sounds like I might have a blister from a new pair of shoes, a hang nail or an unexpected (and expensive) car repair.  What life has handed me in the past few years was not discomfort; it has been out and out “scare the shit out of me” stuff.  Heart Attack, not so successful open heart surgery (but had to give it a shot), defibrillator implanted in my chest, and horrendous financial obligations (as a result of all of this, even after insurace!).  However…. what truly scares the crap out of me is my creative work.  What do I do next, will it be good enough, do I have the talent to pull this off, and a new class I have never taught before...teaching 2 classes over the summer,  Holy CRAP!
                                                              Yes I am scared…it just has be worth it.  I am doing it anyway!
(Trying to) Evolve    Ani DiFranco