Waiting (and waiting) for go

I’m like a lot of folks right now out here in the big world looking for a job.  All the old ideas like “beating the pavement” or circling ads in a newspaper are defunct now.  The way things work in today’s world  you look online and apply online (usually never ever knowing for sure if anybody ever got your cover, resume, writing sample, online application, transcript, and references).  It’s so odd.  It’s exhausting.  You do a lot with almost no feedback, not even a “got your app” email. Frustrating!  Maddening!  Only the strong will survive! I would like to say that this passage in my life has taught me the virtue of patience.  That would be a lie! I’m feeling like I have been in the starter blocks for a looonnng time.  I’m down, set, ready and waiting for go! The problem is I am just not the wait-around type.  Now, I have great patience for other folks, but when it comes to my own self—not so much!  I like to make a plan and work the plan.  I am decisive.  I go.  I don’t wait for go…until now…ugh.

Oh well.  I could rant for a while, but I have a ton of job boards that need my attention.  Maybe there is magic for me in one of those posts. Maybe?  Keep me in your prayers!

“waiting for my dawn”

in the night kingdom I sail on through / 12 x 9 / watercolor

12 x 9

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You gotta make forward movement. You just gotta. Sometime I get lost in the cycle of thinking about what has been or what once was. Sometimes I feel like so much has passed me by. Sometimes my life is not to my suiting.

It's hard to not grieve for the days and places when you thought your life was better. I’m forced to change now, when I liked things just as they were.

BUT the ship of the past has sailed. In our family we have a saying, "You have to fish where the fish are." It doesn't matter if you have the best boat, the strongest pole, cutting edge bait and are known far and wide for your fishing expertise. What matters is that you fish where the fish are.

You are much more than the title on your business card. You have a bunch of hard won skills that earned you that title. Make an inventory of all the positive things you know and are and can do. Gather every skill and attribute, morph it into something new and fresh, then fish like a madman where the fish are baby!

Make forward movement. It may only be a baby step...but even a baby step into a new beginning is forward movement...and lots of baby steps strung together can get you anywhere you want to go.

“moment-by-moment, hand-in-hand, we are the dream of Americ

we are bound together by love of country

11 x 17 Watercolor Print.  Free Shipping. American Flag Print created on 9/11.

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I sometimes think of my ancestors who fought their way to America. They came in the mid-1600’s, traveled to Pennsylvania and then down to North Carolina where, with a land grant, they settled in the foothills in what is now Lincoln County. I have no way to comprehend the courage it took for a mother and father to load their children on a wooden boat and cross the ocean, leaving everything known and dear, forever. Yet, they did it.

They came to make a place for their future. They had a dream, and, in some far-reaching way, my existence today is a part of that dream. Their courage made the way for me.

I have a big responsibility to them. They gave me life. They gave life to my life. They made me an American. I don’t know them, and I never can. I do, however, feel them inside of me, and I am in awe of what they have done for me.

There are many Americans who have given everything for me. Nothing I can say says what I feel in my heart, especially today, the anniversary of 9/11.

We love you. We remember you. And we will never forget.

“in every ending … a new beginning”

there is always another journey / 9 x 12 / mixed medium watercolor

9 x 12

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We don’t like to be tested, to be called to experience another passage. Mostly, I think this comes from our fears—fears of failure, fears of the unknown and the known, fears of the future and even fears of our own true selves. The thing is, that there is no other way to learn but to be tested and allowed to falter, strengthen and rise.

How will we ever overcome our weaknesses until they are made plain through our challenges?

How will we ever know how strong we are unless a feat of strength is required that goes way beyond any comfort zone?

Whomever it is you were born to be can only be discovered through the passages you agree to complete.  You may think you know who you are already, but no matter your age that person is only a new beginning place. There is more to know and more to become…but that will only be revealed through the passages you are willing to undertake.

“The deeper I go”

The power of the heart is an awesome thing. It is last to forget. When we have lost all words to describe, the heart still remembers. When we have forgotten what it looked like, the heart still remembers what it felt like.

Sometimes that doesn’t feel like much of a blessing. The heart keeps us feeling things we think we wish we could forget. And maybe that is a disadvantage of the heart, I don’t know for sure.

I do know this, though, my heart remembers the people I loved. My heart remembers the joy of my children. My heart holds my memories and therein, they live on.

Sometimes, that can be sad, but mostly the memories that live on in our hearts are a blessing to us. Oddly enough sometimes, that goes double for the remembrances that come to us with sadness.

(For my brother Kenny, born this day in 1958, who passed in 1996)

“show of courage”

This is all about baby stepping. When you get all grown up, you just don’t want to baby step anymore! You want to stride and leap and move forward in great ways. It’s curious, because all of my life I have had to baby step every little thing I have learned—one word at a time or one step at a time or one day at a time. One of the hardest things to accept is that we only get anywhere one tiny little baby step at a time.

When I am lost or confused or don’t know what to do next or know what to do next but just can’t figure out how to get it done, I love the idea of baby stepping. When you baby step, you don’t have to know it all. You just have to know one small possibility that will move you towards your goal. That’s all.

There are lots of old adages that say something to the effect that every journey starts with one step. But. this thought, I think, takes it to the next level. One step at a time, you can do anything…if you just keep going on.

Think about a baby learning to walk. They will stand and fall and stand and fall and step and fall on and on until, one day, they get it. Adults just hate that. We like to spring forth able to do with competence whatever it is we are trying to get done. Or, if we feel we can’t do it, we quit before we even try. Adults are so afraid to appear inadequate or let be known that they don’t have it all together.

If we had that attitude from childhood, we would have never learned anything.

One step at a time, all things are possible. I think I said that!

“it's all just life going on”

It is very hard to accept our part in our unhappiness. I have come to understand that how I feel is not necessarily the result of what has happened in my life. It is not a reaction to the world, but a reaction to myself. It is not a confirmation of how the world is, but a confirmation of how I am.

What I feel is about me, good, bad, or ugly.  It is about the true, inside, significant me. What I manifest is about the seeds I allow to be planted in my self. I don’t have to believe everything I am told or take on the hurt and acting out of others.

I get to choose—always. Do I let every seed that flies my way grow or do I weed out the seeds that don’t belong and choke my garden? All around us there is bound to be a certain level of disharmony, illness, tragedy, anger or fear. What seed will I water? What will I nurture by focusing my attention upon it.

Every one has their stuff, and they tend to sprinkle it around—even throw it at you, sometimes. So what! It’s their stuff, not yours. Don’t take it inside.

Life is tough. Lot of stuff gets said and done. Don’t take it all on yourself. Find a way to be whole as you plough through the middle of heavy days. Be happy. Be someone you like. Be good. Be someone you admire. Be upright. Be someone you are proud to be. Nurture you own happiness.

After all...it's all just life going on.

ain't it so?

We link our joy to some moment for which we are waiting. And when it arrives, we link our joy to some new, unavailable moment. Why not consider what is available?

We already know this truth, but so readily forget. It is not from some great moment in the future that our joy will spring forth. It is in this moment—with all of its difficulty, all its trials and all its unbelievable blessings and beauty—that joy exists.

It really is hard to live in the day at hand. We make progress by struggling, planning and hoping for what is not yet here. It is necessary, but not the only consideration.

Plan for the future, yes, but practice mindfulness in the moment. This is the secret to being ok, peaceful and maybe even joyful right this minute. Practice mindfulness. That simply means to purposely be aware and appreciative of everything that is here right now instead of ignoring what you have today in pursuit of what you hope to have sometime in the unknown future.

“it's only the story of life going on”

Every moment has it's goodness...even when the times are hard. I sit in my studio every day and hear the stories. Wherever you sit, you hear them, too. Folks are worried and filled with anxiety. None of us know what is going on or when things will begin to improve. I am no different. Yet, I must go on and you must go on and life will, most definitely, go on.

Maybe I don't like how it is right now, but I have decided to work harder and struggle less. What do I mean by that? I will get up every day and give it all that I have. But (and this is important), I will live only in this day (when I am happy to be alive and happy to have a roof and food).

The struggle comes when you try to live in the future days.

Every moment has it's goodness...even when the times are hard. In my life, I have survived many harsh realities. I have been lonely and lost and sad. Have you, as well? We are not alone in this, my friends, as many of us have felt the brunt of hard times in our lives. And, still, we stand.

And all of those moments, harsh as they were, also had their goodness. And that goodness helped bring us through.

You have to choose to see it, though.  And you can, even on the hard, hard days.

We can choose to see what is going wrong or we can choose to deal with what is going wrong but see what is going right. And, my dear friends, there is always much that is going right if only we will choose to see it. For all of you who are worried, I send my love. For all of you who are lost, I send my love. For all of you who don't know where to turn, I send my love...as we all do...one to the other.

a word about Mrs. Mazursky

When you are gone I dream of you / 40 x 30 / acrylic

Painted on canvas and ready to hang with no framing necessary


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A word about Mrs. Mazursky, who is the women in all of my paintings. Mrs. Mazursky was born in my heart the summer I was pregnant with my first child, Hunter. I was on the beach reading a book whose title I have long since forgotten. There was a character that passed away—she had a name that could have been Mazursky but I don’t really know for sure. When Mrs. Mazursky’s children (who thought she had been a wonderful mother) came home to clean out her house, they discovered some paintings she had created—paintings of mothers in their ordinary work-a-day lives. At first her children were puzzled by this discovery, but then they remembered that maybe their mother just might have said something once upon a time about painting--maybe. Mrs. Mazursky was an artist, but to her children she was just a mom. Being close to the time of the birth of my own child, my mind flooded with images of beautiful simple women at the stove and the laundry line doing the beautiful, simple, profound work that is motherhood. I never forgot these images. I still strive to paint Mrs. Mazursky just like I see her in my mind’s eye.

It wasn’t until ten years later, when my son, Hunter, and my daughter, Layne, gave me a box of paints purchased from a toy store for Mother’s Day, that I dared to dream of painting Mrs. Mazursky’s world. I never thought of myself as an artist. I made the first painting because my children insisted. “Don’t you like your gift, Mama?” I painted full time for one year before I dared try and create a Mazursky Madonna.

For me, Mrs. Mazursky is the iconographic mother. She is my mother, she is me, she is my daughter when her children arrive. Mrs. Mazursky is never too good for her job. Mrs. Mazursky is in the moment. She is aware of the beauty that has been entrusted to her. She knows the simple truth that her life is her dream of her own making. Mrs. Mazursky lives with her family and furniture right out on the sand, down by the sea, down by the edge of the world. The sea makes all things seem possible. It makes dreaming simple and life more trouble free and better too, somehow. It makes it easier for Mrs. Mazursky to never forget that while you can easily list the things going wrong on a given day, you can never stay awake long enough to list the things going right.