21 Days Toward the Winter Solstice Day 11 Refresh

11 MA Refreshed.jpg

Circles of new-ness

Birth of every moment fresh

Morning redefined.

Like unborn ideas

Stars twinkle with the sunset

Refreshing the light.

The glimmer of dawn

Brings new possibilities

Each line. A new design.

Everyday provides

New opportunities.

I Have Now Become the Old Lady. . .

I have wanted to put the following bumper-sticker on the back of my car. I have now become the old lady driver that I used to yell at. But it has too many words to fit on the page. And it takes too long to read (unless you are behind me at a long red light.) And I really don’t like to put bumper stickers on my car. Nevertheless. . .

Since the fire, our town has doubled, maybe tripled in traffic. I have noticed that the first weeks after the fire, drivers were being cautious and careful. But now that time has passed,  frustration and exhaustion has turned into a frenetic-ness of driving. Add the stress of holiday shopping, parking lots, and psychological “need to get it done.” The intersections which were crowded to begin with, are now over crowded. The freeway off-ramps, people “pushing the yellow light” and  blocking the entire intersection, tailgating, sudden turns. Pushing, pushing, pushing the flow,

That being said, I have created some new standards for “old lady drivers.”                   1) Regardless of gender and age, know that driving slow is good. You have time to read other people’s bumper stickers. 2) Don’t worry about being late. Everyone else will be late, too. 3) Never attempt to make a left turn without a light. 4) Realize that it might take many right turns and 4 light-cycles to make that left turn. 5) There will always be an erratic, impatient driver in a big, black truck that believes that the driving rules don’t apply to them. 5) Give the big, black truck plenty of room. 6) Thinking that going early to Costco will help you beat the rush. The rush is already there. 7) Lengthy defensible space allows you to get home, unfrazzled and refreshed. Well, maybe just getting home is enough.

And to think.  I learned all of this in just a “quick”  30 minute, 5 mile treck!

21 Days Toward the Winter Solstice Day 10


Only in stillness

10MA Solitude.jpgSearch for truth, always present

Peaceful solitude.


The blossom opens

Fragrance of the universe

Petals of lightness.


In the quietness

Aloneness is all-one-ness

Solitude is peace.


Find a place of peace

Sit in the sound.


Within The Sound of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel

I do not call myself an artist. My hobby is drawing doodles and painting them. Being an artist has too much stressful energy for me. It means you have to display, sell, and be nice to people when they don’t like your work. I don’t want to be an artist. I want to doodle and paint.

A hobbiest is often alone in the work. Alone, but not lonely. Feeling lonely only when concerned about public approval. When creating,,never a lonely moment. Time has no meaning.

I talk to myself when I paint. I constantly discuss shape, line, color, “What can I do next?”  The sound of silence is always in the paint, brush, paper and vision.                Never lonely. Always alone.

It took me awhile to get to the point of not being concerned whether another person liked or disliked my work. For God’s Sake, Who doodles? I want it to look like something. When I was an artist, I would sell “real” paintings and buyers would want to buy my least-favorite paintings. I would always ask, “Are you SURE you want that one?” And they would say, “Oh ,Yes.”   I had many lessons on being able to put-aside my own opinions about my work and what others might say, or not say. “Non-concern,” is very freeing. (But of course, I do care!)

I have some doodles everyone likes. And I have some doodles that only I like. My question is, “How can a person like or dislike a doodle? It is just a doodle!”  So, l love to doodle. I love the sound of silence when I am doodling. I love the solitude of doodling. I love to share my doodles. I love my hobby. Like it or not!

What is your hobby that brings in the sound of silence? Wanna’ doodle?

21 Days Toward the Solstice Day 9 Completion


9MA Completion.jpg

Swirling with the wind

Courage for the seed to sprout

Fragrant growth complete.

Colors of the Fall

Autumn green to blazing reds

A cycle toward rest.

Passing through the fear

Abundance of fresh paper

The courage to start.

In life and art

Clean paper requires courage.

Clean Paper Requires Courage


Quite often I reach a point in a painting where I don’t immediately know

the color, line or dimension needed.

I find that by stepping away from the piece, relaxing, and changing my activity for awhile,

I can always create the solution.

I trust my inner artist to reveal an answer.

Through belief, and keeping my mind at rest,

an answer always appears.

And the solution is usually the addition of a simple line, a simple splash of color,

or a simple touch of mixed-media.

And, sometimes the quiet space tells me

the painting or drawing is complete as it is.

Dealing with art is not too different than living our lives.

Sometimes a simple gesture, a simple word, or a simple act

is all that is needed.    Like clean paper,

Simplicity requires courage.


21 Days Toward the Winter Solstice Day 8



Be like the water

Easily flow to new depths

Serene awareness.

Ideas expand

From the fruits of the river

Replenish the soul.


Where the water flows

Your life will only blossom

Projections of growth.


And It Goes On and On. Watching the River Run

Lyrics for Run, River, Run

When I taught Kindergarten, I had a little girl in my class that always wanted to play in the water at the sink. I think it was one moment in her life that was soothing. I would let her play for as long as she wanted. Isn’t that what Kindergarten is for?

Many of us find solitude in gazing at water. Oceans. Lakes. Rivers. We love the sound of rain on our skylights. Fog in the tullies. The bubbling sound of a fountain.

Have you gone to see the Wild Bird Preserves lately? Thousands of birds. Peaceful sounds of “quacking.”   “Butts Up” feeding. And don’t we love to see them all fly? Nature’s Best at our back door. Brought to you by our local waterways. Soothing.

Back to water. . . and rain. The phrase, “What is your gift is your curse and what is your curse is your gift.” Water. We need it. And we need it in the correct amounts. Not too much. Not too little. And that is something we have little control over, if any control at all. A perfect metaphor for Life. Moderation. Not too much. Not too little. What ever your personal definition of moderation may be. Just the right amount. No giant hail storms, please!

Sometimes we need to just “play in the sink.” The bath tub, the shower, or the puddle outside.

21 Days Toward the Winter Solstice Day 7 Growth

IMG_2569.JPGGrowth in the giving

Harmony in common goal

Love in the sharing.


Heart and Soul expand

Endless possibilities

The passion of life.


Share your art freely

Always a fresh, clean canvas

Share your life freely.


Inch by inch. Row by row. Gonna make this garden grow.

Pete Seeger   The Garden Song

 Everything must grow in order to survive. When we stop growing we die.

Physically and Emotionally.  And. We need each other to thrive.  On all levels. From the soil beneath our feet to the heights of the spirit.

We give. We receive. We plant seeds. We water. We weed. We nurture. We harvest. We must grow to be alive.

That being said, sometimes I get tired of “growing.” Sometimes I just need to take a rest. Just like the trees and plants rest during the winter. Preserving and regenerating the energy required to burst into Spring.

I find my “Spring,” my burst of energy, when I am sharing creative moments with others. I can be totally “exhausted,” but when I start to do art with others, I am back into the “Olympics of Sharing.” I feel totally exhilarated when I see others throw off the ghosts of fear and start to doodle and color.

As adults, we don’t often have opportunities to nurture our self-concept. When we create, we can see a product and tell ourselves, “Good job! I did that!” When we share, we grow. Everyone has something to share. Perhaps as simple as a smile. Where do you find your “Spring?”

Inch by Inch.

21 Days Toward the Winter Solstice Day 6 Abstract


6MA Abstract.jpg

Abstract without name

Empty and available

Renewed and transformed.


Memory bubbles

Like a waterfall of tears

Waiting for release.


The mind wants to name

Look in many directions

Abstract to concrete.


Every Picture Tells A Story, Don’t It?  

Song by Rod Stewart

I love to doodle. It is abstract and has no intent for outcome. Doodling doesn’t have to look like anything. Drawing of a concrete object, on the other hand, requires an image and has the intent of the outcome to look like something. The result? The ghost of evaluation looms.

Doodling creates an image with no evaluation. No ghost. Abstract. When the doodle is complete, (and who knows when a doodle is complete?), we look for an image and give it a name. We name it and give it a story. No fail!

We have heard the phrase, “It’s all in how you look at it.”  Yes! We can look at a doodle from every direction. We respond to the shape, the color, and the feeling. We get to make up the story. And we are correct!

What do you see in this doodle? Look at it from every direction. Make up a story about it. What does it mean? Maybe it is just a mess of circles! Maybe it is a waterfall of bubbles. Maybe . . .?

What do YOU see? I want to know. We all see images differently. We see images from different angles. One thing I do know. We all want to see something. And whatever we see, we are right.


Every picture tells a story, Don’t it?

21 Days Toward the Winter Solstice Day 5 Courage

5 MAResponsibility.jpg

Courage and


Listen for the sage

Experience and wisdom

Calm of power known

Poured of molten soil

Metallic shields protection

Calm ability.


Create for yourself

Follow your own style

Allow the response.

Follow your own style.


A Shield of Courage

To Shield: To keep safe from danger, attack, or harm; defend, guard, preserve, protect, safeguard, secure, ward. 

Butte County. Unimaginable acts of courage. Courage . With no time for thought.   Courage in an instant. Maintaining calm-ness in fear. Helping without hesitation. Rising to the moment .

“What must I do to help?” “What can I do to help?” “Where can I be for the best help?”

Miracles have happened.

The human spirit has the ability to respond. Response-Ability. We have sheltered. We have fed. We have opened our homes. Given our time. Taken care. Given hope.

I remember a line in the movie, Starman, when he said, “Human Beings are at their best when times are at their worst.” Butte County beings have shown their best in the face of the extreme.

Now that the adrenalin has waned, we must continue, with courage, to shield our neighbors through the emotional consequences of loss. Regardless of the degree, we all share in the loss.

And we all share in the recovery.



21 Days Toward the Winter Solstice Day 4 Expression


Endless creation

A wheel of many colors

Joy of expression.


The framework of life

Faces of every color

Together blending.

Let the thinking rest

Do something new every day

Choose a new color.


Create something new every day.

Choose a new color.

Expressions of Understanding


I have noticed that people on television panels, when speaking, express with their hands. Each person demonstrates a specific group of gestures. When they finish speaking, they fold their hands and place them on the table. It makes me think that it is staged and manipulative. A rather ingenuine use of hands

I think a better use of hand gestures and movements is in positive production. For example, many people crochet, knit, and embroider.  The activity is called, “handwork.”   Why isn’t it called “hand-play?” After all, beautiful items are created with the hands. People paint, draw, write, build, do puzzles, wood-work and any number of hobbies with their hands.

And, how important are our hands when they contribute to our well-being. We clean, organize, and beautify our environments. We dress and decorate our bodies. We wave to others. We hug. We encourage. We “high-5.” We “double-thumbs-up.” We shake hands as a sign of peace. Simple gestures which mean so much. Genuine. From the heart. Through the hands.

All that being said, I think the act of holding anothers hand might be the most important use of hands. Lending a hand through holding a hand. Reach out and gently take another’s hand to express, “ I care about you. All Shall Be Well. All Is Well.”

21 Days Toward the Winter Solstice Day 3 Listen


Swirling thoughts of mind                    Listen to the quiet calm                         Voices of the soul.

Waters of the tide                                   Cycles of the ebb and flow                 Renewal of life.

Listen quietly                                              The answer to the question                  “What shall I do next?”

Listen for the answer.                               And you will know.


The Voices, The Voices, The Voices


Meditation . A new awareness. . Listening to your mind. Meditation helps us center our thoughts, our stresses, our moods, changes our brain.   Is there anything that Meditation doesn’t help?

Well. I am in BIG trouble because I don’t/can’t meditate.   The voices, the voices, the voices just won’t SHUT UP.  Then I found out that all is not lost. The voices never stop.  I just need to be aware of them and let them pass through.

But my voices always want to stay and have a conversation. They don’t want to pass through. The voices want to sit down and have coffee. They want to work on a painting. They want to call a friend.

They want to go shopping. They want to do anything but pass through. They are even happy to do the laundry.

To calm the mental crisis of not meditating the “right way,” I have decided that my best meditations will be when I’m having coffee, working on a painting, calling a friend, or going shopping. Even doing the laundry. Meditation has many forms.

My voices create the next painting, call a friend for coffee, or be aware of the many beautiful items while shopping. Not to buy, but to appreciate. . Sorting the laundry becomes a peaceful activity.

Ahhhh Meditation. Listen.

The Voices. The Voices. The Voices.



21 Days Toward Winter Solstice Day 2

2MA Emerge.jpg


Beauty in contrast.                              Evening into morning light.          Starlights of color.

Ornamental glass.                                 Blown from molten silica.                     Flash of prism’s light.

Drawing a new line.                                     To emerge without effort.                      Allow the color.

Allow the line and your life                        To emerge with a slow pen.

It Seemed Like a Good Idea At The Time…

One day when I was a vice-principal at an elementary school, I was escorting three 2nd grade boys down the hall to “investigate” how they had flooded the bathroom floor. One’s comment to another was,

                               Well, Guys. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I have never forgotten that moment. All I wanted to do was laugh.

As I look back on my 70 years of life, I must admit that I have had more than a few “seemed like a good idea” moments. I look back at most of them, laugh, and think,

Oh Well. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

 I don’t believe that any of us wake up in the morning and say, “I think I’m going to create a bad day today.” But, sometimes as we Wander through our time, life happens.

And we always have the opportunity to Emerge under a new sun.

And, we have a good idea for the time.

Can you imagine how many sunrises have occurred for our earth? And how many people have watched the sunrise. And how many opportunities for new days have occurred.

So, we must laugh and have each day seem like a good idea at the time. There is always a new sunrise.