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Showing posts from June, 2012

a mixed media life

Working in the studio, well in this case the kitchen table, always puts me into a different space, a very easy and contented tactile rhythm of texture, flow and intuitive thought.  A deadline is always good for me too, and I have a piece I am getting ready for another exhibition starting next week.  Though after submitting the photograph I wanted to show, and while contemplating the mechanics of printing and framing the piece for the gallery I realized that that particular format didn't feel quite right.  I am still finding my way around my own style and presentation as an artist in the 3 dimensional world, and eventually I realized I could use the photo to make a mixed media art quilt... ahh, much more my speed, and it all is falling into place. I find it amazing how listening to tiny bits of inner wisdom can have such a profound impact.  I certainly could have printed and framed the image and it might have been quite lovely, but this format feels so much richer and connected

waxing creative

Usually a few times a year a huge wave of creativity will swell and suddenly come sweep me off my feet.  It makes me feel freshly inspired and energized, and I want to see, smell, feel, listen, and taste the world with all my senses.  It is a place of great calm yet also a space where wellsprings of ideas and inspired creative flights come soaring through like the dance of birds on the wind. I have come to recognize that these times happen when my life is harmonizing just so, where the rhythmic alignment of my mind, body and spirit is set within a specific range that's attuned to my true cosmic flow.  This is the place where I strive to exist more often, and I am learning to better circumnavigate obstacles that tend to bump me off the path so I can create on a more wavy-like trajectory and less on one that's wildly up and down. It's clear to me now that these inspired times always open up in the wake of off-loading and working through the hard stuff.  It is the act

through moon and stars and night skies

...this post title is also the title of a sweet children's book about adoption, and the moon reference just seemed so apprpos... After about a dozen missed calls back and forth, the last of which Sister Daria Moon left an encouraging message not to give up, we finally spoke last night. It was a bit of a getting-to-know-you introduction, talking about the little things before moving on to the more pressing matters.  She has a very kind, warm, and happy voice.  I love that about Korean linguistics, how a sentence ends on an up note instead of the more western down tone.  Despite the complex waters and a conversation that was up against distance and unfamiliarity, it was quickly clear how deeply she understood where I was coming from. At first she was a bit wary thinking that I wanted her to find my family for me and she thought she would not be able to help me.  I think she was afraid of disappointing me, of taking on a task that was possibly impossible, but when I expl

a walk to remember

Yesterday, I was up before the sun, 3:34am to be exact, my mind off and running long before the early 5am alarm for the morning race.  The air was absolutely divine.  I stepped out on to the deck to take a deep, quiet inhale of the cool dry breeze, which after the heat wave we just had was heavenly and it's soothing caresses bespoke sweet iterations of what the day might bring. We jostled the kids out of bed, a little reluctant at first, but then the excitement of the occasion swept them into motion.  My boys have been cheering on runners, namely their dad, since their youngest days, as evident by my littlest one's exclamation on the sidelines, "More runners!  Hold this mom! (a leaf he found and was carrying around)  I have to clap!".   I guess my cheerleading days had a greater purpose after all.  This was the first time they got to participate themselves, and even though they ended up riding (and napping) and we carried and had to encourage them a lot of they w

tuck those ribbons under your helmet, be a good soldier

 {detail from my 2012 planner} ...the post title, a verse from this song ... Yesterday, I started listening to a really great podcast interview with Robin Fisher Roffer all about personal branding.  So many insightful and relevant tidbits about personal truth and best-life practices to chew on and I am looking forward to digging deeper.  As a result, this morning I threw myself into the long overdue task of organizing my life a bit, re-prioritizing and refreshing many of the lists and notes I have scattered between four notebooks.  My Planner Pad hasn't been cracked open since the week of March 19th, right before my dad's cancer was discovered.  I told myself then that I would not drop everything, that I would fight my way through it all just like dad, but this experience changed me in unexpected ways that only Life and Death situations can. Now, sitting squarely in transition, I realize the importance of simply embracing this metamorphic stage.  I haven't reall

the story of my story

{prayer flags in Portland, summer 2011} Happy solstice friends! I got up this morning and puttered slowly into the day, turned on the AC to give it a head start on the forcasted ninety degree temps, cranked open the sky lights upstairs, and then brewed a fresh batch of mint and honey iced tea in preparation for summer to spread her wings today.  I shared a little music in honor of the Sun , a sultry and passionate rhythm perfect for tucking into a dark corner and making love on a midsummer night, and I also plan to sink my feet into the cool earth, the sea, sometime today in honor of the longest day of the year. And so the story... I used to work at a residential home for kids when I was in my early twenties, back when I thought I might be on my way to becoming a social worker or special ed teacher (after I thought I was going to be a physical therapist - can you imagine?  yeah, me neither).  It's where I met my husband actually, a Geologist/Philosopher who as it turns o

sometimes there's just no need for words


home is where you hang your he(art)

...more blurry photos. i think it's time for this girl to get a real bonafinde camera (and a pedi) but i loved this layered, chippy, mirror none the less... It was a good weekend.  A big sigh of relief and some much needed family time. Saturday was spent in the city, wandering the inner and outer landscape of my creative life, art, a little shopping in one of my favorite stores and Father's Day gifts to buy, and some writing and daydreaming as well.  I always feel rejuvenated after being amidst the hustle and bustle of Boston (or any city really).  The change of pace, the wild flow of ideas and inspiration of new environments and savvy forward thinkers and a peek at what is trending right now.  I hungrily soaked it all in and even scored a pair of vintage, leopard print Dr. Scholls (for just $5.49!) and a really cool locally made bracelet (by Headcase Press ) using tiny letterpress fonts embedded into a charm.  Love it!  After a crazy week (unusually so), it was just wh

things i'm afraid to tell you (part 2)

Writing this blog is like sharing a snapshot of my day or a tiny excerpt from a chapter in my life. I have always been thoughtful about what it is I write in this space and have always aimed to be honest in putting forth my truth.  Yesterday I came here to write about what I stumbled upon on Marisa's blog , about the backlash that is all abuzz, that we somehow aren't transparent enough with what we post in these virtual spaces.  I even re-wrote my About Page to better clarify my own intentions for this space, but it somehow had me reflecting on the things i'm afraid to tell you from a mother's point of view, such a relevant and related segue. Anyway, what I unearthed from that particular ramble was how important it is to my own sense of security and self, this ability to find and share Truth, and how much it relates to my life right now especially as I search for a huge part of my own personal truth.  Maybe there is something in the collective unconscious that nee

things i'm afraid to tell you (part 1)

I had both kids in the car yesterday en-route to our little beachy adventure, and I made a pit stop at CVS to grab some girly things.  The conversation that ensued from my purchase of Tampax Pearls was one I wasn't not really prepared to have at that moment, but I guess when are you ever prepared for one of those   talks?  My philosophy has always been to tell the facts, dosed out in careful age appropriate bites, as nonplussed as possible. Yes, I'm one of those moms who told my son when he asked if Santa was real, that he wasn't.  He already intuitively knew.  Of course I tempered it for him, I'm not heartless (and told him promptly not everyone understands this, and not to run off spreading the news that Santa is a figment of the collective imagination).  He then asked me why some parents lie to their kids.  Yikes.  That's when I really knew I never would, or at least that I'd be very conscious and careful when walking that slippery slope. I always be

round and round and round we go

 {Hampton Beach merry-go-round, summer 2011} Oh, summertime.  If only you would keep serving up this perfect warm and sunny weather, not too hot or all that humid with a breeze that is like kisses from Mother Nature herself.  It's been glorious by the water over here in our little corner of the world.  The fishes have been plentiful, the birds all manner of color, shape and song, and the produce - oh the sweetness of it all!  The strawberries are not quite ripe, off peak this year because of all the rain I think, but the corn is perfectly delicious already, and the blueberries and melons are starting to appear, beckoning fat and heavy.  I'm looking forward to big bowls of fresh summer salads in the days to come. Today is the last day of school.  We are now full-on into the flow and abundance of the warm solstice months, and the promise of a season filled to the brim is beginning to whisper sweet nothings in my ear.  Yesterday I set up a craft table in the kids area so th

flying high enough to really fall

{wing sketch, my next mixed media project} I first heard this song at a workshop with Sabrina Ward Harrison out in L.A. a couple of summers ago, and it has stuck with me ever since.  Maybe because that weekend, immersed in paint, red wine and plenty of juicy soul searching, was such an unforgettable life experience (adventures at Chez Swirly always are), or maybe because it's just one of those songs who's lyrics seem to sing straight to the center of my being. I've had the song on repeat over the past few days and along with the recent broken wing rescue mission , both have inspired my next piece now in the works. Alex and I have found ourselves on a wild ride, rounding the corner soon on fourteen years of marriage and twenty years together.  Half my life has been spent hand in hand with this person and that's pretty mind boggling.  I often wonder if most marriages are made of the stuff ours is, deep commitment, bridges of intimacy we never knew were even

the light of Moon and Zen

  A few days ago, I lay in bed very early in the morning wondering where the best place would be to get my Korean documents translated.  I have been intuitively sensing some kind of spiritual trajectory as the undercurrent of this entire process, maybe because it is just so close to source.  I had been thinking about taking them to a Korean church I always drive by on the way to my mom and dads as the thought of sitting in a house of Grace seemed like the safest place to open the wound.  This thought occurred to me actually many months ago as a desire to silently immerse myself in sacred Korean community, and I imagined myself sitting in church, the soothing song of Korean language surrounding me, for a Sunday morning service.  I am not a religious person and certainly not a practicing Christian, but a spiritual nest was somehow appealing and felt like a comfort that I was in need of.  My intuition knew before my intellect chimed in. So it dawned on me tuesday morning to look fo

know thyself

"As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."   - Thoreau It feels like March around the island (brrr), so it's hard to believe summer is right around the corner.  Four and a half school days left is proof in the pudding, and our last big project is all wrapped up (Henry David Thoreau presentation, a perfect foray into summer things, I think).  There is nothing like a kid in school to make you feel like time is just whipping by.  Yikes. I keep forgetting that transitions are hard in this house and I imagine the upheaval within these four walls is very much due to the shift from school to vacation mode, not to mention the full moon.  My spidey senses always tingle in that way when the energy feels just this side of off kilter, and when I go look up the moon cycle of course it is the peek of the month.  Never fails. I read a post yesterday about honoring

swimming to shore

 {detail from "A Sea of Words", in progress} Life is a savory and fiery mix right now, and the relentless clouds and rain I think are going to be my undoing.  How do people live in Oregon?  This is not good for my restless soul.  I'm craving warmth (even had to turn the heat on it's so cold and raw out), creative sustenance and tangible experiences to offset all the headiness that's set in with the current weather pattern.  Getting ready for three upcoming shows, crushing on Paula Esty's work, making playdough mini waffles, and trips to the library are keeping me sane right now. As aforementioned, I have been spending a lot of time holding feelings I haven't touched in a long time.  It makes me feel both new and ancient simultaneously, somehow part of a huge history I'm coming to learn that spans so many lives, events and even policies over time.  Yesterday, the rain and slow start to the week inspired me to go wandering through the blogosphere

a missing piece in the land of the morning calm

In 2004 I went back to Korea for the first time since coming to this country as a little babe in 1972.  My son was almost the exact age that I was when I was adopted when I left him to travel half way around the world on a somewhat unplanned adventure of a lifetime, so the magnitude of that life-changing event was incredibly tangible in the knowing of what every day life with an infant at this stage was like.  I remember thinking how already, at 10 months old, we are completely attached to our families, smile at the sight of mom and dad and want to be held, fed and cared for by these familiar and unwavering presences in our life.  The bond is undeniable. I wondered a lot during that time about my younger self, and thought also from a newer perspective of the mother who would not keep her child, but most of those thoughts I could only hold for a moment or two, painful and raw around all the edges.  Even when I was in Korea, I felt a distance that I didn't understand then was m

be like the dawning of a new day

Letting go, letting go, letting go.  It's always the way. I stopped by the Wishstudio this morning to put up a long awaited update and post, and wouldn't you know, the site is down.  My Wishstudio email has also been acting wonky too (hmm... just occurred to me, probably connected).  Ugh!  So much for starting June off with things on the upswing. I will not fret.  I am very good at fretting, and most likely would have fretted big time over this blip on the radar.  But it's a new day, a fresh page, a different perspective and so I'll take this as a sign from the universe to take a little more time easing into things (checked again, still down). The weekend is upon us and there is a birthday to celebrate, a painting to finish and deliver, a biography project to wrap up (including a costume to make), a table to paint, a zillion errands to run, and a half day of school today to navigate - which by the way, can someone please tell me why oh why do we need a profess