All I Got Today

I’m still absorbing the impact of Teddy’s life and death on our neighborhood, our community, our state, our country, our world. Like Tip said “all politics is local.” Ted never forgot that as many seem to.

His nephew was saying that towards the end of his life, Teddy couldn’t always find the words he wanted. One day out sailing, Teddy started yodelling, something he’s learned in his younger days. Later that day on land, he touched Bobby’s arm, smiled and said, “I’m sorry but that’s all I got left.”

So, taking a cue from the Lion of the Senate, the following from an Alabama Chanin blog post is all I got today.

While looking out over the water from the balcony of a mansion on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut tells his friend, Joseph Heller, that their host makes more money in a single day than Heller will ever earn from his novel Catch-22.

Heller responds, “Yes, but I have something he will never have.”

Vonnegut questions, “What’s that?”


Learning to Fly

“What goes up, must come down…and coming down, is the hardest thing.”

Day before yesterday, I was flying after making reservations at a nearby bed and breakfast for Squam Lake. When I learned Stef was going to be there at the art show, that decided it for me. I actually committed.

I can’t do the retreat this year, but I can go to the art show, and catch up with Thea for a mini photo shoot. My sis is going with me, and we are so looking forward to it. Last time we went off on a distant creative venture together was when we went to Renegade several years ago. I wrote about in a long ago blog.

Of course, I knew after being so high the day before, I was gonna crash yesterday and crash I did. But I’m better today — in a more even space.

And September is shaping up to be a great month. It’s one of my favorite months and not just because it’s my birthday month (I share the actual date of my birthday with this lovely lady and this charming gentleman). And this Virgo is now selling cards in her Etsy shop.

12-Step Program for Artists

Is there a 12-step program for artists? I need one. I need an “artner.” A local artner. Or a distant artner I can meet up with occasionally for support and guidance, such as the love bombers.

My sister-in-law Chris and I are both writing our stories and struggling with commitment.

Sometimes, it’s hard for me to start, sometimes it’s hard for me to continue. We both have diverse interests and have difficulty pulling focus. How do I want to express myself? Through spoken word, written word, visual art — all three?

We both know we are social people and create best, are inspired best in a social environment.

We don’t necessarily have to be engaging with someone while we are creating, but we need to feel the energy of the world beyond our backyards when we create.

So, we have decided to be virtual “artners.” She’s in Baltimore, I’ m on Cape Cod. We’ll call each other when it’s time to “meet” at our local cafes. Check in again to make sure we’ve completed our writing goal for that date.

I love the following story I read recently in the book, This Year I Will by M. J. Ryan. It reminds me that it’s okay to be a socially creative type. However, I would like to have something to show for it someday.

“Three groups of people are climbing a mountain — social types, competitive types and achievement types. The social ones have a ball interacting with each other, but never get to the summit. The competitive group fights to see who gets there first and the achievement types are looking for another bigger mountain to climb after they reach the top and proclaim ownership of this mountain.”

P.S. Does anyone out there know how to tag photos in blogspot like other bloggers do on their sites? So that I don’t have to be adding a P.S. to say that the above photo is Chris and my niece multitasking one morning in June (at this point they were aware that I had been slyly taking their pix and you can note their smiles).

Learning to Fly

When my son sings Tom Petty songs, I get chills. When I hear the cover tunes on the radio that he sings, I get thrills. It’s amazing that he is my son and such an incredible musician. He dismisses his band as “just a cover band.” He’d like to do his own music, but the cape can be a tough place for artists who don’t follow the script for painters or writers. Like me, my son is also a writer but it can be difficult putting the work out there in the local environs. And of course, it’s easy to come up with a million excuses, time wasters and more to avoid even getting started. Or if I start, continuing. It is so hard to stay with it.

After talking to Edie a couple of weeks ago though, meeting Jenny Fragosa again and hanging out at P-town Carnival last week, there are folks here who are following their own path. Alone. One of the difficulties for me of course is that I am a social person. I like the real world with real people. Don’t get me wrong, the internet can be a wonderful tool for connecting with people all over the world, but sometimes I want to connect in my own backyard. Well, actually a little bit beyond my backyard. And therein lies the rub. Everyone’s so busy, scattered, or already doing their art and don’t really need an “artner.” My sister-in-law and I have decided to be virtual artners and make writing dates with each other at local cafes in our areas. Check in with each other, etc. I would like a local artner and by this Chris and I don’t mean someone we’re going to chat with and waste time together with but rather someone else needing to make art in a social space before they continue on their solitary path.

What if…?

A woman I loved once said “ifs don’t count.”

But, what if…we were all born with our expiration date tattooed on our butts? How would we live? How would we live in relationship to each other? Would we use more care, pay more attention? Would that date imprison us or set us free?


We’ve known each other for a long time — almost all of our lives — yay! Since we were about 13. Not many of those friends left for me, but I am slowly reconnecting with them when I can. I went to the courthouse yesterday to look up someone else I knew from Junior High days and it felt so good. A homecoming of sorts — back to who I was before the real world creeped in. Who were you when you were 13? I read that recently in a book — usually, the question is, who were you when you were 10, or some variation, but this time it was, who were you when you were 13?


While I can’t afford SAW yet again this year on my birthday (my 50th fell right during Squam last year), I am excited about the art show on Saturday. I am hoping to see many “rockstar” bloggers that I read including Denise, Pixie, Susannah and I think she is going too. Oh yes and the divine Thea with whom I must book that photo gig I won on this lady’s blog this summer. I hope to someday meet Stef, McCabe and Lea.

** when I am blocked and can’t write I move — my hands, my feet, whatever it takes to release the block — when I was stuck over the weekend, I made tree charms, walked and biked. Yesterday I blogged and edited photos (I started shooting in RAW — no idea what it is, I just listen to people who know more — so my learning curve with photography continues to creep along), today I visit my middle school girl pal for an organic breakfast.

My Sister’s Birthday — or "August 10th"

Yes, it’s already August 10 — summertime blues are making it hard for me to write — I have my blocks, and haven’t done much with my book or women’s group lately.

But, I did get out today to Edie Vonnegut’s open studio in Barnstable and enjoyed chatting with her. My sister bought me a signed copy of her domestic goddess book for my birthday several years ago. It’s a favorite from my goddess dancing days and middle motherhood. A friend I thought had moved to New Mexico is sharing an incredible schoolhouse studio with Edie.

It was a place I’ve been to in my dreams and now for real. The old windows were wide open to the harbor’s breeze, the light fixtures were straight out of the 1930’s (I’m just guessing, could even be earlier), and it reminded me of how much I love old schoolhouses — they have an airiness and openness to the outside world and nature that is key for my learning process.

I’ve noticed in the more modern schools, the classrooms and windows almost seem to suffocate, rather than open minds. I used to have a hard time going back to my old high school when my kids were attending, and could not blame my son for opting out with the Teenage Liberation Handbook.
** book image from Amazon, Edie image my own taken today in her studio