Archive | January 2010

Who are you?

In my journal yesterday, I created a persona for a blogger I’ve become friendly with and it reminded me of Mia’s and Stephanie’s workshops. And got me thinking about my own goddess self and who she is. As I watch 1930’s movies, read female writers of that era, and reflect on my grandmothers (one born in 1899, Gardiner, Maine; the other born in Doon, County Limerick in 1905), my goddess persona is beginning to reveal herself to me. But I’m not ready to share her yet. So I’ll share this other femme fatale —

Booknut007 is her handle. Definitely “Film Noir”, trench coat, Chanel Red Lipstick, and truly espionage worthy. Complete with fedora (and an engrossing paperback stuffed in her pocket). She has one of those mini-cameras I always wanted as a child. Slim as a lipstick tube. Hey wait a minute! It is her lipstick tube.

She drinks a lot of coffee, but is particular about her joe — it’s gotta the original (like her) that got the trend started in the first place — Dunkin’ Donuts. None of the fafa stuff for her. Good thing, because her contact is also a DD fan and what better place for clandestine meetings — easier to blend into a mob scene and it’s a rare Dunkin’ Donuts that isn’t a mob scene.

Her handle is scrawled across her lower back in a sensual script from bygone letter writing days circa 1922. Her only tattoo. One is enough and it says it all. Booknut007. Watch out!

Me? I can’t drink coffee so I’m envious of that Booknut chick. Oh yeah, I can drink decaf, but gee whiz — decaf is my Shirley Temple to her Jack Daniels. No, I drink tea. Chai to be exact. Think Rumer Godden, Passage to India, saffron, Kipling, elephants and monsoons. Mystery, magic, life and joy living out loud even in the face of despair.

The tattoo? Don’t got one. Still haven’t figured out where I can hide it from Marty (he abhors tattoos). So I have the pierced nose. And I dig Mehndi in a big way. More India. But that’s all I got for now — what you got??

** photo attributed to this awesome site — it would be the UK natch!

V


“Comments on blogs are the life-blood of the medium. They tell the blogger you are looking, liking, wishing for more. They encourage and give the pat on the back that can come from a relative, but is so much more honest from someone who didn’t wipe your tears away when you fell and skinned your knee. Comments are like little presents to receive and open….after posting I can’t wait to see if someone will respond; I’ve made myself visible to you, I’ve invited you in. What do you think? Comments are the barometer of what we are sharing, and often–if not always–with art, that means our hearts.” ~ Karen Otto, February 2008 ~

Found the above quote on Bird Tweets blog about page when I popped over after reading her V n’ V post — hmmm, that V just made me think of all the great “V” words out there from vagina to victory. Oh, and vamp. Love the word vamp. What are some “V” words that you love in this season of Valentines? (I know it’s risky putting that one “V” word out there — I might just get kicked off from Facebook for that — kind of silly that some things can be shown but not spoken, aye?)

** fuzzy photo from Bawlmer’s 2007 Honfest — got a whole lotta pink goin’ on there — think pink! Isn’t it the color of peace?

Bird Tweets

“Comments on blogs are the life-blood of the medium. They tell the blogger you are looking, liking, wishing for more. They encourage and give the pat on the back that can come from a relative, but is so much more honest from someone who didn’t wipe your tears away when you fell and skinned your knee. Comments are like little presents to receive and open….after posting I can’t wait to see if someone will respond; I’ve made myself visible to you, I’ve invited you in. What do you think? Comments are the barometer of what we are sharing, and often–if not always–with art, that means our hearts.” ~ Karen Otto, February 2008 ~


The Ruby Slippers

“Our soul is about the process while our ego is about the product.”
~Julia Cameron

Laura’s reference to Julia’s quote synchronized with what I had read in Petra’s post about process and product the other day. In the midst of writing and rewriting a comment to her post, I checked my email to discover an email from Christine Rathbun, a spoken word performer who was unavailable to teach at Bear because she has another performance debuting that weekend.

Turns out we have a mutual friend, Diane Hanna, who is teaching at the retreat. And Christine was inviting me to join her in February at O’Shea’s open mic to present my work. Which brought me back to Petra’s post about her first photography show. Because this would be my first performance sharing my writing through storytelling, a path the sweetest Jen Lee inspired me to follow. (Incidently, Jen is hosting another retreat in April with this teacher, someone I hope will teach at the November retreat, along with Christine, Antje and a couple of others).

Petra mentioned how much she loves the actual doing of her art, rather than the results of her effort, something I can totally relate to. I love process, pulling things together, all my varied interests — people, food, places — but once I get them all together I’m at a loss as to where to go from there. Because, like her I’ve had my fun, and I get bored doing the same thing repeatedly. Which is why the retreat’s a little different for me. Each time can bring together different people, different processes, different ways of being in the world and so on.

I like that process is so important because it’s my favorite part. But once I reach my goal, I’m usually ready to try something else. I get bored easily, I like constant change, movement. But I haven’t reached my goal with this yet. Or have I? I’ve said from the very beginning of this process that I wasn’t sure where it would all lead or what I would learn from it or even if the ultimate product was an actual retreat or if it would morph into something else. I started out creating this retreat simply because creating something like this is play for me. I have a ball doing it — connecting with people, traveling, checking out chefs and menus, meeting new people, and doing the proverbial pig in sh*t dance I do whenever I get near anything to do with expressive arts, the soul, tools for gaining deeper self-knowledge, the collective psyche and just plain hanging out with kindred spirits. I like the many twists and turns a path can take.


Unexpected adventures arise. And reading the Julia quote and Petra’s post reminded me that this is why I am one of those people who hasn’t yet figured out what to be when she grows up, what to do with her life, what her calling is. I have so much fun with the process, I forget about the original product. And I’ve been realizing, what if the retreat doesn’t end up being the product after all? What if most of it’s about journey, in my case, my journey home? To myself. Who knows?

I do know that while originally I wanted to offer a retreat scholarship, I realized it would be more fun to do pledges to favorite causes. It’s a way of nurturing the social justice activist in me. Like Petra wrote about her photography show, she doesn’t really like framing her work or promoting it. Ditto — me neither. But what is fun for me and is something else I’ve always wanted to do (besides creating retreats and other ways for women to gather) is to play philanthropist. So, I’ve mentioned the Uniform Project before and I’m going to mention it again. Books, schools, kids, India, I love it all. My goal now is 20 retreat registrations by the 2oth of February, the deadline I’ve set for making a go of this retreat project. If I meet that goal, I have told Jessica at the Uniform Project that I will write a check for $600 (the cost of attending the retreat) to the project. And then I can look forward to moving ahead with the November retreat and another cause.

Cougar Crone-icles


…is what I wrote in a letter to myself this morning…craving a certain community of women, some peers…for this tween stage of my life…past the “mommy club” days but nowhere near “done” yet…don’t get me wrong, I miss those years and through my younger friends can enjoy them vicariously…but I know it’s time for me to move on, not hyper-focus on my kids as I once did (and like my mother still does)…and once again, the gift of a younger community that is shutter sisters has given me another gift today…Vision and Verb…I cannot wait to explore it further…Yes!

Lucyyyyyyy!!!!!


Been laying low lately here in blogland, feeling overexposed — in that foolish way I do when I forget my friend Mary’s words so many years ago: “I’m a star in my own play and I’m the only one watching it.”

About this BEAR thing. It’s kind of had me freaked out — the marketing piece and the lack of response. I remind myself to pay attention to my creative process and I realize, number one: I always waited til the last minute for everything. Like when I got married — my shotgun wedding, you know?

Today, I reached out for some marketing advice, and I didn’t have to go far — my own backyard, so to speak. I’d met Beth at Melissa’s shop for Handmade for the Holidays back in December, and finally emailed her for help — her response was almost immediate and her tips were awesome! So, I’m feeling better. Then I called Kofi, the farmer I’m renting the space from to update him.

But for a while, rather than reaching out I’ve been hunkering down with my monkey mind, the gremlins and my journal. Trying to talk myself out of doing this retreat — I’m not the person for the job, I can’t pull it off, I haven’t allowed enough time, don’t have a large platform (i.e., readership — that much is true), don’t have the experience, can’t do it by myself, yadayadayada…I’m not the person to deliver this experience for people. I’m merely a servant — I’d rather be a servant, someone else’s sidekick.

See, I’m paranoid that I’m a fraud — I don’t have the money to front for the deposit, I don’t want to disappoint Kofi or Erin (they’d love to see Bay End used for more events like this), and I don’t want to let my teachers down as they are amazing and deserve the opportunity and space to share their works and wisdom. (But, I’m breathing easier now after talking to Kofi — there’s still time.)

I’ve always been better in a support capacity. I’m Norton to Ralph’s Kramden, Lucy’s Ethel. Barney Fife, Deputy Sherriff, Mayberry RFD. I don’t want to be the star of the show, the leading lady. I much prefer supporting her, I can be a best supporting actress. So what I want to know is, where the hell is my Lucy??!!

Haiti


Listened to Vance Gilbert on WUMB yesterday while driving to get my daughter. He’s doing a show at Club Passim tomorrow night, January 16, 2010. All the proceeds from sales of his CDs at the show will be donated to Partners In Health. When we feel helpless, (or self-absorbed, embarrassed, blessed) sometimes all we got is music.

Hope for Haiti


Got a little sidetracked today — between Apartment Therapy escape and Haiti. It’s Haiti that’s got my heart though.

Please click on this link ( various organization from all walks of life) if you’d like to donate to Haitian eartquake relief efforts. Haiti is the poorest country in our neck of the woods, the photos are even more heartbreaking when you realize how grindingly poor they are and then to face this tragedy on top of it. Don’t discount even the smallest change — like one vote, I have seen pennies make a difference if only for a day.