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 write to expose and work through the ugly parts of this disease, open heart surgery that was less than successful and more recently an S-ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator) implanted in my chest that will hopefully restore my heart beat in case of sudden cardiac death. I am here to celebrate my life, to uncover my fears, to hold on to love, to learn how to live a full life with heart failure, to honor my creativity, and to explore all of my emotions out loud ...before anyone can say
"Don't talk like that!"


.

.

Friday, September 30, 2016

if I am really lucky...

If I am really lucky, maybe someone in my life time will understand who, what or why I am.  But if not,  I need to learn how to be strong enough to be ok with myself  and move forward anyway.  In the past my entire life and every decision was made with the purpose of being liked and by making others happy.  It was not always good for me.  I do not want to feel or sound selfish, but I may be running out of time, and I need to figure this out.  I might be wrong, I might end up being a giant failure, but I have to find out.


"Another Train"  The Poozies

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


I wonder if in the quiet hours if you look in on me.  I wonder if you miss me.  I wonder if you know, if you will ever really know how much I miss you.

May I have a little more courage...please?

Today is first day of class day and I am patiently waiting for my courage and self-confidence to kick in.  EVERY first day of class I wait for it to arrive.  And every first day, regardless of how many times I have done this or how confident I am about the material,  I am still scared shitless and nervous. I wonder if I will ever truly believe that doing this, doing what I love is just not too good to be true and may blow up in my face any moment now.  And then I realize doing anything else would be dangerously close to normal.  This takes so much courage and commitment but it gives back so much more.  More than I can possibly explain and always always  always  worth it!

"Digging for Your Dream"  Indigo Girls

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Build a Wall Here....


I know ..I know...I promised myself I wouldn't but....
In addition to, rude interruptions, an inability to focus on the topic, unprepared rhetoric,  and this does not even address the arrogant rudeness, not paying taxes because he is smart and a host of other egregious statements,  he seems to have an interesting command of the English language when he used  words like "bigly" and “semi-exact”.
(Semi- is a Latin prefix to a verb, noun, or adjective meaning "half" and Exact-marked by strict and particular and complete accordance with fact......WHAT?????)

Yep, we need a wall….but not on the Mexican border!

Forward to what?

I am feeling an awful lot of “you’re always in the same place” lately.  Yes, I am teaching and I love it.  Yes, I am creating in the studio (should be doing more in there) but there is still a feeling of malaise.  Perhaps it is nothing more than my annual “OMG” when will this heat be over end of summer fatigue. There seems to be a feeling of dissatisfaction hanging around me like a cloud. It is time for me to ask the questions and go forward, I just got to figure out what questions and forward to what! Holy Crap!


"Where are You Going"  Dave Matthews Band

Monday, September 26, 2016

Messy, complicated and afraid...

…..but I need to add just a little more to this quote to make it applicable to me.  It does not  seem to matter what my intentions are, the messy, the complicated and the fear always slip in!  Sometimes my difficulties arrive by my own ignorant invitation, other times not by choice at all. They just arrive, demanding my attention! I am learning that simply showing up can sometimes be as horribly damaging and dangerous as not showing up at all.

I have no problem showing up, the challenge is showing up knowing what I need to express and how to do so clearly, showing up focused, confident and kindhearted. 

No matter how I look at it, honoring others, while maintaining my own honor is ….messy, complicated and for me, filled with fear.

"Shine On"  Eric Bibb

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Big Girl Panties have Fallen Down....

There are days when I just have to say enough is enough!  And today is looking like one of those days.  There have been several days strung together where my body has just plain crapped out on me.  Exhausted, home bound and just plain sick and tired of being sick and tired…. I now publicly and officially declare I have had enough….it is time to get on with it. The Big Girl Panties have fallen down, it is time for me  grab some life and shake it up a bit!

"Hold on I'm Coming"    Sam & Dave

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sometimes I find beauty, sometimes not....

It is not that I always want to break the rules, but I do question all of them.

I am reminded of the story of the family dinner where mother and daughter are in the kitchen feverishly preparing a family dinner.  The mother instructs the daughter to trim the bottom of the ham before putting it in the pan and then the oven.  The daughter asks her mother “Why do we cut the bottom off of the ham?”  The mother responded “because that is just the way it is done, it is how my mother taught me, and now I am teaching you”.  The daughter still questioning the explanation her mother gave her, called her grandmother to ask “Why do we cut the bottom off of the ham?”  The grandmother quickly answers “so the ham would fit into my pan”.

It makes me wonder how much I am missing so my life fits in someone else’s pan.  So I ask the questions, and I break the rules.  Sometimes I find beauty, sometimes not.

"What a Fool Believes"  Doobie Brothers

Friday, September 23, 2016

Right Way?

What if the right way isn’t the right way for everyone?  What if my idea of success is different?  What if my way of looking at things makes more sense to me than it does to the rest of the world or even my friends and family?  

What then?  What then?  Do I automatically become a bad person, a weird person, a little left of center person?

I can’t find the right way…but  even I will confess…I am not looking for it any more.

"You Will Never Know Me"  Rachel Robinson

Thursday, September 22, 2016

stretch....

I want the new experience….it is the never can go back that scares the be-jesus out of me!  For the most part I need to admit to myself that I would not be seeking a new experience, whether creative or personal if my soul was not craving it on some level.  I know deep down on some unspoken level that growth will never happen inside my comfort zone, but there it is….my comfort zone.  The place where nothing is challenged, where I am assured I am safe, where there is no argument or dissent.  I have spent a life time making sure everyone else was stable, sheltered, secure and happy!  And there it is the wretched “happy place” where my role was clearly defined.  The place  I refused to move beyond .  It is time to stretch, before it is just plain too late!
"If You Could Read my Mind"  Gordon Lightfoot

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It's a Beatles thing!  You may or may not have noticed that the last few posts had Beatles songs.  So at the risk of sounding like a commercial....I did see Ron Howards new documentary about the early years and touring of  the Beatles "Eight Days a Week".  As a teenager I loved the music and have continued to love their music without having any idea what, how much and when things were happening behind the scenes.  This was truly interesting!  So once again I have been bitten by the music of the Beatles.  psssst.....it is streaming now on HULU.

What makes the difference?

I think in the life of a creative, “make a difference” comes with an understood “screw up royally and regularly” clause attached.  Surely that has to be a part of making a difference!  I know, in fact I teach creatives that imploding, morally, emotionally and/or financially is not a predestined requisite of being an artist, but when I look back on the most flamboyant….. those are typically the artists we remember.  Is that expectation created by the artists or the audiences?  Was it their unique  art work, their eccentric lifestyle or their ability to break rules  that gives them that ability to not care what other think that is truly responsible for them making a difference? And  specifically what is it that makes a difference?


"Got to Get you in my Life" The Beatles

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This Failure Thing.....





Oh thank God….the Universe…Allah…Buddha…and/or the great Poo-bah!  Because I got this failure thing working for me! I must be gearing up for some serious innovation and creativity!


"I'm a Loser"  The Beatles

Monday, September 19, 2016

Unimaginable AMAZING possibilities.....


I cannot begin to imagine what lies ahead of me, I do not think any of us can know for certain from one day to the next.  I just want to know for all of the fear I have for the future that there will be equal amounts of joy!  If there is a divine balance, and I believe there is…..this is just how it will be.  So I continue to keep my heart and life open to all of the unimaginable amazing possibilities!


"Blackbird"  The Beatles

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Inspiration ain't always easy!




And…the secret to this is simply being brave enough to try, smart enough figure out if it is right or wrong for me and strong enough to make a decision and suffer the consequences or all of the magnificent advantages.  Inspiration ain’t always easy!


"Arms Around my Life"  Janis Ian

Friday, September 16, 2016

I am strong enough....

I do not have to respond to every request, demand, offer or bidding. If it does not feel right, if it makes me uneasy I need to be strong enough to listen to me heart and strong enough to do what is right for me.  It should not matter that is what someone else wants me to do.  I am the only one that has to answer to me and I do not ever want to have regrets.  I am strong enough to say no.

      "No-No-No"    Paulo Nutini

Thursday, September 15, 2016

slightly...

And I am beginning to suspect this might be one of the big secrets of life.  We are conditioned from birth to fit in and follow the rules.  We are told that true happiness and greatness only happens to those that are perfectly behaved, socially, financially, and religiously.  That is what they tell you, but when I truly see the people I admire the most, there is one common element.  Each and every one of them, without exception did the most amazing things enigmatically. 

I think the defining word here is “slightly”.  Slightly bending the rules, slightly out of step, slightly off color seems to be acceptable for others.  Slightly strange appears to be tolerable and comfortable for them.  All I have to do is reign in my strange, to “slightly” and I can maintain the image others expect.  Yep, I think slightly strange might just be my happy median.  The world might not be amazing as full out creatively strange, but slightly strange feels like a good first step!
"Strangers like Me"  Phil Collins

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

and it's Okay.....

I am not so sure it is okay for the people that know and love me.
All I can tell you for sure is that from the bottom of my heart I am trying. With all that I have and all that I am …… I am trying to figure out how to live.  And the only thing I am sure of is… I am doing it wrong!  There are no manuals, no top ten lists, no creative critiques to let me know if I am even close to doing this right the right way.  I am just fumbling through!
I feel like I am off balance, a huge failure, and unworthy of others valuable time.  In that dangerous vacuum, the doctors slip in.  In my desperate search for normalcy, they appear to have all of the magic answers, and out of fear I allow them too. 
When the reality is… I truly need to embrace that I am worthy, balanced  and intelligent enough to find the right answers…… for me.

 
"Look What You've Done"  Bread

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fix me....

Some of this lousy self-expression and contemplation blog turned over a vulgar bit of my own behavior. As much as I hate it, there is no denying that it exists and that I have knowingly contributed to it.  I have never actively participated in “breaking others” but I have without question talked about other’s frustration and grief as a way to bolster my “thank goodness….it is not just me….I am not the only one whose life sucks” sick way of feeling better about myself.  I am guilty of parlaying another’s pain into a topic of conversation when my own grief and heartache was just too much for me to talk about. I had no idea how low I would stoop to feel better.  I am embarrassed and ashamed of myself.
"Walk the Walk"  Eric Bibb

Sunday, September 11, 2016

one day....




one day has come…..Not only have I seen the benefit of letting go, but I am finding peace, love and gratitude in the remembering.


"In My Mind"  Amanda Palmer

The things worth saying...




Yes…I am.  I think maybe we all are.  I say what I think others want to hear, continually editing my words to fit the people I am around.  I do not want to offend, I want them to like me.

Then there are a precious few that I can say anything to. I can share how I feel, what I think and they never seem judge me by my words. They are the very few that seem to see past my words and look into my heart.  They allow me to say the things I think are worth saying and I am so grateful!


"Strip Me"  Natasha Bedingfield

Friday, September 9, 2016

I still do that...

When I was a kid...
 I was afraid of everything.  
As a young adult…
I was not afraid of anything.
Now... I have reverted back to being afraid, 
I do not want to be afraid any more.

"They"  Jem

Thursday, September 8, 2016

More amazing things....

Yesterday took every ounce of energy I had just to maintain a minuscule amount of normal!  I think that is what frustrates me the most.  Normal should NOT require more energy it should just be, you know “ehhhh”.  Normal is how I have fooled so many for so long!  I did so much in the past, that now I could do normal without breaking a sweat!  I leaned on my past creative accomplishments as a crutch that allowed me to just show up for life with “normal” and no one seemed to notice.  What the fuck happens to me when normal becomes too hard ....  I want to do more amazing things!


"Waiting for my Real Life to Begin" Colin Hays

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

but...I'm Tired....




I had no idea exactly how long it would take me, but I was always pretty sure with time and energy I could do it.  My heart is screaming this morning, you are out of both, bitch!  You have screwed around, wasted life, and now the only thing you can take over, is your own life and your feelings…Perhaps... that was all I was supposed to do anyway.  Even that is much harder than I expected, and I am still so tired.

"Defying Gravity" Lea Michelle

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Perfectionism is toxic for me!

How much longer do I have to fight this demon?   
Perfectionism keeps me operating from a place of shame and not good enough.  My perfectionism is the product of an unseen deity and/or corporate entities that ask me to conform to their beliefs of good and bad.  And if I don’t, I am to to beg for forgiveness and make the appropriate correction  for them to either reward me or withhold their benefits (real or imagined) to punish me and control me.  I see no creativity in perfect.
"Black Bird" The Beatles

Monday, September 5, 2016

you deserve....


This came across my FB page this eve, and once again reminded me why I am captivated with Frida....

She knew what her body was and was not doing to her and she kept on anyway.  She painted, had her loves, drank, smoked, painted and participated in life that she wanted... no that she deserved!  She worked hard and endured so much, she reminds me that it can be done!

When I read this quote, I felt like she was screaming at me!

"more o that"  Eric Bibb

That Place....




That does not really mean I am not doing anything…I will be doing lots, but it will be in the studio.  I have a project that seemed like it was such a great idea, but as I get into it that certainty seems to be fading and the fear of “what will other people think” is slipping into my head.  I need to find that place in my head and my heart, where the excitement is.  That place where it does not matter what anybody thinks about what I am making.  Neither of those places requires pants or a bra!


"There are Places I Remember"  The Beatles

Sunday, September 4, 2016

DaVinci's Workshop...Burning Man & Me...

Burning Man with this years theme DaVinci's workshop has a 24/7 live video feed and I have been like a ravenous voyeur all week long watching the creatives, the costumes, the art and their artistic expressions of life. It is more than a little embarrassing and totally weird.
I know for the most part, “regular” people will not understand why I am so “ate up” with the Burning Man Festival especially since I have never been there.
 If you are scratching your head…so am I!  

The short 411 is Burning Man is art installation amusement park with over 60,000 people that come and camp for a week, then burn an effigy of “the man” at the end.  Oh…did I mention all of this is constructed and done in the middle of a desert in Nevada with absolutely NO amenities, almost biblical in proportion and spirituality.  Heat and cold, extreme dust, camping, port-a-potties,  etc. are not anything I would ever be attracted to, but here I sit, watching and drooling at a TV screen.

After some thought, I suspect what excites me is the “tribe” mentality.  As an artist there are a host of self-help books and programs that describe artists as a tribe, and I truly feel and understand that, but as a creativity facilitator, I find it difficult to find my tribe and then keep them united.  That may be the fatal flaw.  Every group I have facilitated becomes like a family, we share something spectacular and spiritual that can never be repeated or duplicated again, as much as we all would like to.   Life’s responsibilities crash in and we go our separate ways and back to our individual lives.  We will see each other again, recognize the bond,  experience a fleeting moment of our creative “tribe” and then move on with our own creative lives.

Burning Man guarantees me that I am part of a much much bigger tribe of creatives, and that it is ok to have a magnificent spiritual experience but when it is over, it is over never to be repeated or recovered.   It is absolutely ridiculous to try. (Now all of the burning makes perfect sense!)It is all about being in the now, surrounded with creativity and that sings to my heart, it resonates with me perfectly.  So, I will watch Burning Man 2016’s live feed and drool for one last day of the festival.
"Connected"  Eric Bibb
wanna see more about Burning Man??
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1IMW8ctcFY 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

empathy






I still have so much to do with this piece, sanding, shaping, sealing, building frame, stretching canvas, gesso, mounting on pedestals and mounting again on the canvas, basically all I have done is sculpt the figures, but the “girls” have already found their voices.....

 and they are screaming empathy.

"All We Are"   Matt Nathanson

What I Choose to Show



I know that sounds really condescending and maybe it is, but that is not my original intent.  I suspect all of us are all doing what we need to do to survive.  But there will be parts of my life that I choose to not show others because quite frankly, it would just leave me way too vulnerable.  So if there comes a time that you do not understand some of my choices and/or actions please do not worry, there is a good chance you do not know all of me….there are brittle parts I choose not to show.


"Galileo"  Indigo Girls

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Most Vulnerable Thing I Have Ever Done

For the first time in my life, I do not have to make art to sell…but make no mistake about it, selling my work is the most spectacular feeling of creative accomplishment, artistic success, financial validation and I like it. I genuinely  like it.  Not to mention, I could really, really, really use the money.  

Releasing that desire to please a buying market and turning into  myself and  my feelings as a source of inspiration has been one of the most difficult vulnerable things I think I have ever done…..and am still doing it

I have no idea if the work I am doing is good, appealing, or in sale-able color pallets. HELL….. I am not even sure I like it!  I just know for the first time in my life I NEED to make it….for me. 

"Me"  Paula Cole

Thursday, September 1, 2016

not afraid to fail....



It is so much easier than most people think!  Creativity does not require that I have a predetermined outcome.  It means that all I have to do is have the courage to begin and let go of expectations and quantifiable results!  I suspect this is specifically why some people have such a difficult time with creatives.  We question everything, look at every problem from a different point of view and will attempt an answer without a guaranteed result.

Creatives are not afraid to fail….


"Ants Marching" Dave Matthews Band