Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mystic Marquee

The Mystic Theater in Petaluma, California. A pretty great place to see bands if you want an intimate setting and don't mind blowing your eardrums out. This place used to be The Plaza back in the Seventies and Eighties, a movie house with plush red interior that screened a double feature plus every few days. It was where all us kids would congregate to smuggle in booze, see rockumentaries and thrash in the aisles. It's where I saw Tommy and Quadrophenia. Eraserhead. Freaks. Odorama. Pink Flamingos. The Holy Mountain. All the weirdest films. Classics, too. The burning of Atlanta is something on the big screen. Rob and I saw The Lady Eve with Peter Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck on our second date. You could buy carrot cake and tea instead of popcorn and coke. Now it's a club but still pretty cool. I'm glad it wasn't razed in the foolish years when they set the bulldozers on anything with character, like the old Cal in Santa Rosa. Vintage infrastructure put to new use. It's what we need more of.


Since we were a block away from Chinatown we walked along Grant for a hour or so, window shopping, eating and embarrassing Eden by taking photos in a blatant manner.

Lucky Pigs

I am a sucker for store window reflections. I snap them up. Something about an interior and an exterior mixing their colors in light and reflection to make something new, abstract and pleasing to the eye is satisfying.



Friday we drove to San Francisco to deliver a painting. One With The Sweetness, transported. It was strange taking her up into one of the tallest skyscrapers in the City, the sleek brown Bank of America building on California Street with its hushed and gleaming interior. Powering up the elevator pushed all the blood to my toes and made me lightheaded but that was nothing to what was ahead. After we delivered our package we took a moment to glance out of an enormous conference room window at the literally breathtaking view and a deeply familiar vision met my eyes. Stretched out before me was a perfectly vivid scene straight from my dreams. A profound and particular dream actually, one I had six years ago (see my blog post Premonition Recognition). It varied only it that the scene was expanded slightly, the frame enlarged, since I was seeing the TransAmerica pyramid instead of looking out from it, but all other physical elements were in place: being high up, looking out through a wall of glass at the vast San Franciscan cityscape, Coit Tower, the jumble of structures and avenues and a clear long distance view of the bay with Alcatraz Island resting out upon the water. Eerie. Spine tingly. There was an unusual structure adjacent to us that added a new element. The 580 California Street building features an odd mansard roof (think Gothic spooky) embellished with three faceless wraiths or "corporate goddesses" or fates (?). In researching these beauties, I discovered that there are twelve in all but these three look down upon something known as the Banker's Heart, a large abstract sculpture by artist Masayuki Nagare. A heart-shaped hunk of glossy black granite titled "Transcendence" , graces the entrance to the Bank of America center. If I knew this on Friday, I would have made a small pilgrimage (stepping out into the bitter cold courtyard) to see it because the prominent substance in my vision dream was a huge hunk of glossy black obsidian. All this probably may sound like stretching for connections but to me it reads beautifully. It's something wordless and important about the fate of humanity. Any way I look at it it's an interesting view.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Love and Loot

A sweet and exhausting holiday. Every year I'm either driving the Christmas train or being dragged under its wheels. This year the relentless holiday momentum was pinching at the edges more than I like. I was lacking verve and couldn't quite mastermind the hundred projects I usually can when I'm in top form. Heaps of xmas detritus gathering on every surface in the house, betrayed the general level of disarray. I abandoned any pretense of organization early on and cut myself some slack. The basics got done. A big charmingly encrusted tree, lots of mysterious packages, poorly wrapped but wrapped nonetheless, in a growing pile under its branches. No cards sent but some photos and a few "What We Did This Year" letters (thank you, Rob). It all came together miraculously by the big evening. The house was semi-tidy and I got to the store for eggnog and whip cream. We ended up with a lovely Christmas Eve on our hands. Potato latkes with sour cream and homemade applesauce (thanks Peg and Dave). An impromptu visit from my bro, sappy secular carols ringing out from the kitchen, hot cocoa and eggnog, a small pyramid of sweeties saved for special (thanks, Karen), angelica wine and chocolate cordial. Per tradition, the girls each opened one special gift. India a pair of psychedelic furry slippers. Eden a bento box tucked into a cat-faced furoshiki sack. Then a night walk through the neighborhood to spy out lights. The girls were finally ordered to bed, we did the Santa thing and then slept until almost 7AM! Unheard of. A fun morning tearing at and disemboweling gifts, gorging on chocolate and then subjecting the girls to a high protein breakfast. We made soup and salad later on and took it three blocks over to Mom and Dad's where we sat down and ate it up. Good wine, more gifts, homemade cheesecake and champagne all rounded out with some strong coffee. Lots of laughing and exclamations of how lucky we are. A solid good time in appreciation of the best stuff there is: family, food and fun. Hope everyone had as good a day.

Photo: My loot. Among other things, a book of Leaf Poems by India, a beeswax candle from Eden and a lovely Cosmic Blaster ray gun with "Out Of This World Space Gun Sounds" from Rob (something I saw in Santa Cruz and wanted).

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Erzulie Rising

When I was first introduced to Erzulie, the Haitian Aphrodite, I was smitten. An insatiable Voodoo love goddess of beauty, dancing, jewelry and pretty clothes, fond of luxury and the sensual pleasures, promiscuous and yet demanding faithfulness, fierce protector of children, prone to rages and occasional fits of complaining and all this tempered by her being so deeply burdened with the sorrows of the world that she weeps uncontrollably. Venus, my dearest deity suddenly rounded out into this dark ally, wonderfully complex, contradictory and real.

So, I painted an image of Erzulie inspired by a poem composed by my collaborator, Amy Trussell. Rising up out of a streaming river, crowned with doves and trailing white lace upon the currents, she caught the eye of Jayson Fann, the creative director of the International Arts Festival at Esalen and Visual Arts Director of First Night Monterey who is launching a project called Waters of Life, an emerging international educational effort addressing the issue of global water pollution. He has invited me to allow Erzulie to be one of many water images contributed by artists to be transformed into freestanding murals by schoolchildren and then used to promote "care, respect and practical strategies for protecting our planet's most precious resource". It will eventually be a moving installation that travels the globe. The kickoff is happening on New Year's Eve in Monterey and will feature a performance by Oshun Priestess Luisah Teish.

Erzulie knows where she wants to be.

Heart of Erzulie Painting by moi.

Sweetness In The World

Yesterday was surprisingly languid and golden after the biting cold wind on Friday. It made for a good day to slide wide the door at my Open Studio. Many small indulgences. Paint, radiant wood heat, burning candles, good conversation, chocolate, port and winter sunshine. The cherry was meeting a vibrant young couple from the City who are now the new owners of the (coveted by many) painting, One With The Sweetness. I have had countless inquiries about this piece since I painted it and some generous offers to purchase it early on, before I was ready to let go. Just a few weeks ago I made the decision to place this one in the studio. The time was ripe and they were it. Some work feels like progeny. One of my children. Release is twofold. A small wrench but a greater sowing. Casting. Like a light or a seed. Makes for a good day.

One With The Sweetness-Ostapuk private collection, SF

Friday, December 07, 2007

New Babies

Overdue but looking good with all their fingers and toes. We brought them home last week and had a small pyramid of boxes (18!) in our tiny kitchen for days but Rob consolidated and moved some to the studio where they are now available. Thanx to all who participated in our focus group. Your preferences really did sway the final decision. You may notice one of the designs was not included in the voting. We actually goofed up and forgot to list it with the others but it was a top contender in not only my book but in Rob's and more importantly our rep Ginger's so it was allowed to slip in at the end of the race.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Time Being

It's been a matter of weeks now that I've been eschewing the computer or at least keeping my hands off the keyboard with the goal of persuading an inflamed rotator cuff to ease up. It's somewhat better but still painful. Ergonomic I have not been so I suffer the consequences. No writing or playing guitar or even painting much. Sigh. In the face of such "freedom", existential angst threatens to set in like rigor mortis and so I am vigilant, steering relentlessly toward any small measure of the sweet and pleasurable. A nectar seeking bee, happy it rained and enjoying the sun.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ginko Splendor

Sunday the rain broke and we were looking at a stunning Fall day. The ginko around the corner from our house told us the conditions were perfect for taking a walk over to McDonald Avenue to revel in the falling gold. There are dozens of these trees lining the street and when they turn it is truly magnificent. Especially when the bark is black and wet and the sun catches all the stray raindrops. Lothlorien!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Quiet Endeavor

I got my first really rainy Open Studio this last Saturday but it felt delicious to be holed up out there in my magical space with the wood stove churning away, radiating to contest the open door and splattery wind. Just sketching, painting, playing guitar and singing to the rain. Since it was so crappy out I wasn't expecting anyone to show and settled into my get-some-work-done mode. I finished my violin case and painted two new smalls. Then I did get visitors and enjoyed some good conversation, catching up and even sent one of my babies off to a new home! A good day.

Painting "Swoon" now in the private collection of Joanna Palmer, one of my angels.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Stand By Me

I haven't been feel too great these past days. Spending too much time browsing around the web. Found this and just had to put it up. Some damn good guitar playing.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hilarious Hideousness

Read a really funny blog entry about a 1977 JC Penney's catalog recently excavated from an attic during a ceiling fan repair. Shocking images with witty commentary. Too good.

Thanx to Neatorama

This Sends Me

I've always loved Sam Cooke's voice but never seen him in action. In spite of the lip-syncing and the 50's sentiment, boy is he smooth. Those poor coiffed and crew cut teens in the audience. He must be doing something to their circuitry cuz he sure does something to mine. Oh. My. God.

Monday, November 05, 2007


I just happened upon this impressive young man doing an amazing version of Blackbird on the guitar. So good, so young. Either it's way cool or diabolically depressing. I haven't decided.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Bag A La Mode

Finally finished painting this bag and put it out for sale at open studio yesterday. I will be making more art bags in the weeks come. This on has two fishes on one side and a moth on the other. Other view here
. I kept the colors subdued and liked the outcome.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Days of the Dead

After weathering some frustrating episodes of computer immersion last week, I took time to hang out at the studio and make something pleasing. I built this altar to my artist ancestors, a few particular souls whose lives and work have inspired me. After I'd put all the images together I realized I'd forgotten to include my own grandpa, an artist and bona fide blood relation. So I put a pen and brush box of his at the foot with a candle and small photo my mom found. Satisfying.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Reconstituting the Constitution

Here is a chance at last to stop the insidious corrosion of basic American freedoms that's been rotting away the foundations of our democracy these past several years. I haven't written a political post for quite awhile since I want to keep my energy focused on what I want to see rather than feed into the vortex of despair that current events usually lead me to do but this is truly heartening. Even if it is a long shot I still want to support it so I'm contacting my government peeps. Ron Paul, unlikely Republican presidential candidate, introduced the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 to Congress on Monday. It basically addresses the worst abuses, seeking to restore the rule of law. If passed it would, among other things, make inadmissible any evidence obtained through torture, require intelligence gathering to be done in accordance with FISA, challenge presidential signing statements and repeal the Military Commissions Act (restore habeas corpus). This is something seriously worthwhile that rises above the partisan divide. Naomi Wolf writes much more about it here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Room Of My Own



Saturday went really well. It's true that I was exhausted and still unsatisfied by the time I rolled aside the big door but at least I was open, the primary point of all this. My space was tidy, full and inviting. Despite my anemic expectations, folks showed up! My own people as well as some stray ARTrails explorers. I got to meet some new neighbors, engage in a few lovely and unlikely conversations as well as hang out with friends laughing, playing guitar and eating cheese. Fine pastimes all!
I even made some money. The best outcome of this all for me was the fresh reality of my studio being transformed. Unclogged both literally and energetically. I'm recharged and newly mapped. In touch with aspirations again. Cleared out and cleared up. Nice.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Open Studio

I've been putting in my hours getting ready to open the studio this Saturday. I'm finally sliding open the door. It happens that I am coinciding with the Sonoma County ARTrails Open Studio Tour which seems like good timing. Maybe. Having done ARTrails for several years, I'm actually relieved to not be officially participating this time. Being multifaceted, particular and a natural nonconformist, I like having things unfold on my own terms. Showing what I want as much as I want when I want. So, no rules, no constraints. I can show my paintings alongside my unjuried photographs. I can set out some wool sculpture or light forms or jewelry or painted purses if I am so inclined. Sarongs made in Bali or some kid art? No problem. I can hold a poetry reading or an impromptu music jam.
Not all these aspirations will be fulfilled on Saturday but there is intention which will become progression. Fundamentally, opening it up is more of a symbolic step for me. Becoming accessible. Overcoming reclusive tendencies. Even if not a soul darkens the door, I will feel good about the standing invitation. Every Saturday until Solstice 10 - 4. A chance to step into a creative space, see some work in progress, talk shop, co- inspire, woolgather or just cozy up to the fire and relax in a different atmosphere. I'll be there. Hope to see you.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Focus and Vote

Another card printing is in the works to replenish some bestsellers as well as debut six new images. Since there are more than six images to choose from we are asking for a little feedback from you. Click on over to Deva Luna Focus blog to check out what's up and vote on your top 6 choices (the poll will only be up for about a week). Everyone has different criteria and will likely choose what they like best but keep in mind which ones you think would have the widest appeal. I'd like to offer images that give a unique hit with some degree of versatility. Thanx all!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Weird Al's Bob

Here's a brilliant spoof of Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues. Watch the original here.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Making Cob

I spent today recovering from yesterday. On Saturday we congregated with the Tumbleweeds to make cob, stomping and mixing wet soil, straw and sand into wonderful muck and building a bench out of it. At least the solid beginnings of a bench. It takes a lot of work to make a batch of cob and a lot of cob to make a bench. It was exhaustingly fun working in a big group and seeing it methodically take shape. Though our sculptural creation is a seat in Dave and Annalies' garden, it feels like all of ours. Some photos of our endeavor here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Post Party Post

India celebrated her 18th birthday on Saturday with a big dance bash. It culminated in super fun despite some initial toil and strife. We spent days wrangling the house into shape and stringing up pretties. Then the rain decided to make an unwelcome appearance late in the game so we got a nice gloss of wet and stress over our well laid plans. Nevertheless, with our appreciative friends, yummy nibbles, music and dancing there was no escaping a good time. I worked hard putting together a photo time line of India and hung it up along the hallway. It was amazing and poignant for me to take a long look at who she's been and become. My serious sweethearted imp has steadily grown into a young woman. Generous. Loyal. Fair. A good friend. A wild tender spirit. Creative. Loving. Intuitive. Poet. Face painter. Artist with her own voice. Unafraid of judgment. A good cook. Her own sense of style. Unique. These are all words people used to describe her that night, written on red paper hearts and pinned up. Yes, she embodies "unique" and all that implies. She has no plans of going anywhere far anytime soon (like me, she's a bit of a slow bloomer) but 18 is big. Adult. I feel so lucky that we have the love and space to hold her and that all our dear peeps see her clearly and appreciate who she is. Happy Birthday, Ia.

Photo: Ia Altar. A portrait of India in her Elven cloak around age 7 done by my Grandpa Albert Scott. Also, an inked print of her wee foot done at about 1 week of age.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Reverse Graffiti

This I like. A graffiti artist who actually cleans up the place as he's making art, not to mention making a pointed jab at the whole concept of graffiti as vandalism. This is the handiwork of one Paul Curtis aka "Moose" who works in the Leeds and London areas of the UK. You can read more about this new urban art form and artists Curtis and Brazilian Alexandre Orion at Inhabitat or Alexandre in action here. Way cool.

Photo from Inhabitat.

Great Unexpectations

Strange how I slip into a slump just when all my outside markers are pointing to "should be happy". The weather's been beautiful, I have time on my hands , the garden is burgeoning, our domestic scene is more ship shape than usual with chores getting done and sit down dinners, my dad's healing fast, we are about to expand the card line and I sold a major painting! So why so glum? Mystery. I feel like I'm just not getting anything done. Well, at least what I think matters. My perfectionist aspirations tangling up the works again. Multiple worthy irons in the fire but no blaze. Again and again I have this experience of too many creative ideas but no wherewithal. Like suffocating in a windstorm. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels or caught in a vortex. No direction. When I'm like this I just try to steer my boat along the strongest current no matter how small. Just get me out of here. What holds the most juice at any given moment. Interesting to observe. Playing guitar. Writing songs. Poetry. Painting thank yous. Researching. Dancing. Just being. Turning off the mind and getting still. So that's what I've been doing. On the road to nowhere.

Detail of Illumination, acrylic painting on canvas. Now part of the Palmieri personal collection. Thanx, Phyllis!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Premonition Recollection

Another September 11th. A Tuesday. Six years since those fallen towers triggered a tsunami of terror. A slow motion savage ravaging. Weary, swamped and threadbare now. Stewed in quagmire. What a mess. Every year I adjust my stance to the changing significance of that event and remember my own personal premonition. A vivid dream in February 2001:

I am standing with my family inside the Trans-America building looking out of the big windows facing a clear view of the San Francisco bay. Beloved city. The sense of peacefulness is shaken suddenly. An earthquake? I look out the huge windows and down toward the foundation to see that the sidewalks below are ruptured as if the building has twisted on it's axis. Before I can register amazement I become aware of a deep subterranean rumbling. As the sensation builds, all of us (my family) press up against the glass to see just what is happening. I sense that not only we but everyone in the entire city is clamoring to look. Our eyes seem to be drawn out to the waters of the bay. Alcatraz Island is somehow not out there but that spot draws every eye as the surface of the water begins to roil. Something is rising up out of the turbulence. An enormous piece of obsidian begins to jut slowly upward. Absolutely huge. As big as an island, tall, black and shining, somewhat reminiscent of the monolith in the film 2001
though roughly irregular. There is a heavy feeling of expectancy in the atmosphere. We are all waiting for something to happen. One smooth wide flank of the stone's black surface seems almost like a screen. We are expecting some kind of transmission. Collectively, we all look outward, open to receiving this message. A murky image begins to waver into view on this screen. It resolves into focus. An image of the Earth as seen from space. A small blue ball, white swirled, hanging in deep space. That is what we all see but the feeling that erupts is profound astonishment and recognition. As if we each had glimpsed a reflection of our own face in that surface. Then I'm struck with a deep knowing that something BIG is imminent. Sweeping in fast and furious, there is no stopping it. A tidal wave. Out at sea but pushing inland. My immediate fear is quickly replaced by resolve to model strength for my kids. I gather them in a huddle hug and excitedly tell them to hang on because something powerful will be crashing over us soon but that we will be OK. I'm fearless, brimming with the confidence of a woman who's given birth and knows intimately the relentless power of that creative force. To survive you have to ground yourself and yet give up to the momentum. Get out of the way. No resistance. Deep breath...

...I wake up.

Still riding out the chaos, walking that fine line between breakdown and breakthrough. Dreaming the future...bridging the abyss.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Small Revolution

What a change. Home from Not Back To School Camp looking taller, slimmer, more thoughtful, composed, happily tired, creatively inspired, challenged and fulfilled. This morning, the coup: removal of braces. Just in time for her eighteenth birthday at the Autumn Equinox. After two long years of difficult orthodontics, enduring invasive oral surgery, implants and multiple gingivectomies to correct a bad open bite, the battle is won. I am counting on this being the last vestige of what I've called her Dental Karma, burning away. A quintessential chameleon, she shape shifts through the years. Cherub, chubby elf, whimsical imp, tomboy, wild child, spooky girl, shy misfit, awkward tag along, mother hen, intrepid soul, humble mentor, artist, budding poet. No knowing quite where she's going though it's bound to be a road less traveled. Just where a pretty smile might open doors ...and the wheel turns.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Looking Ahead

I've been keeping an apolitical profile lately, not because of dispassion but more because I've come to see how unproductive feelings of powerlessness and festering rage are. I still follow the haps closely but don't dwell on stories that make me despair. Instead I'm focusing on looking for evidence of the change I want to see. Apparently others are too. This video of Russ Feingold doing a Dylan a la "Don't Look Back" compiled of people's vision for our future prez.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Where The Heart Is

Welcome home, Dad. We gotcha.


This is Dad actually giggling, he was so happy to be at home today even if it was just a temporary visit. An hour of testing the home waters, checking his maneuvering skills on stairs, getting in and out of chairs and up and out of bed. Once he settled into his old chair, he did not want to go back to the old hospital but the fun had to end and back he went. Just for one more night. In the morning all go over there early to nab him. Tomorrow he's back for good.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Red Moon

A full Piscean moon has just risen over the treetops, white and glowing. By the wee hours (3:30ish) it will be fully eclipsed, shadowed red. Maybe I'll catch a glimpse when Scout mews to go out. Fully gibbous moons always move me, speaking so unambiguously about ripeness and power. An eclipse of that seems unwelcome and yet the event is undeniably mystical. Rare and significant. Anything lunar translates as emotional to me. The ebb and flow. Rock and roll. Introspection and reflection. Shamanically, an eclipse seems like an opportunity to look closer, shift and heal. To peer into the shadow, scrutinize the emotional stirrings close to the surface and follow the ripples. Here's a little story from the Ge' people of Brazil: the sun and moon have a fight resulting in an eclipse. The eye of the sun or moon is pierced when a small boy shoots them with an arrow. The wound bleeds and the moon turns reddish and dims. It takes the Shaman to remove the arrow so the wound can heal. So...a fight, turbulent emotions, the shock of the arrow and the skilled tending the to the point. Then a healing. So, we have been given a lunar eclipse. Use it well.

Picture- An old German print of a lunar eclipse, 1888.

Bitter Pill

A small one but hard to swallow. After a week's anticipation and right at the hour of his scheduled home visit, Dad learned that a postponement was necessary because the antibiotic injection needed for his temporary release from the IV pump (with its cumbersome pole) had not been ordered. So his home assessment visit will be tomorrow. Also, he won't be released on Tuesday as we were told because the Someone in charge didn't bother to make arrangements with the infusion center to have his IV changed over to a pack so he can actually come home. This even though all of us have been questioning about this very issue all week with multiple vague assurances. His final day in the hospital will now be Wednesday. Deeply frustrating. He's been hanging in there despite the torturous boredom. I guess the patient's mental health takes a back seat. He is so ready and we all just can't wait until he is out of there but I guess we'll just have to. Grrrr. On a positive note, I did get some paintings underway in studio today. Color and texture. Satisfying.

Painting by me-Fall Star

Friday, August 24, 2007

Last Summer Flings

On Monday we launched India up to Not Back To School Camp so now it's just we three for the next few weeks trying to
squeeze in some last minute summer fun. Swimming in the mineral pools out at Morton's Warm Springs, a trip to the beach, eating dinner outside, night walks, bike rides, dance class, hooping on the lawn, eating ice cream and tomato sandwiches, stargazing, staying up late...we are cramming it in. I hung out with my dad during his physical therapy today to see the haps in preparation for his imminent return on Tuesday. He's waxing strong and lively. Raring to come home. He wants to join in our antics. Meanwhile, I'm angling toward more time in studio and hatching plans for some new work. Yes, indeed, life is good.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Aspiration for today: a clear lung. For the week's end: home. The procedure to unclog his lung went well. A little sting, Dad said, then a slow easing. One and a half liters lighter. Yes, they pulled a lot of liquid out and he immediately felt better, breathing deeply. Watch out, he growled laughingly, I'm feeling dangerous! I think getting that siphoned renewed his outlook. That and finally meeting Dr. Korver, his heart surgeon (the Man). We all like that doc a lot. Dad got a little teary thanking him in person. We all did. Words fall short. He prescribed a walking regimen of three times a day, some blood to relieve a bit of anemia and predicted a release possibly by the end of the week!* With all the rigmarole, Dad missed lunch so we went out to fetch him some favorite fare from Ting Hau restaurant downtown...honey walnut prawns, rice and garlicky sauteed spinach, which he ate with gusto. It finally feels like the homestretch.

*( UPDATE: Dad will get an escorted home visit on Monday to assess his maneuvering skills on home turf. If it looks good then he'll be home on Tuesday).

Painting by me. "Sigh"

Monday, August 20, 2007

Getting Clear

Hopes for an imminent release from the hospital were put on hold today by news that Dad still has a gunky lung. He has had some difficulty sleeping the last few nights, because of "anxiety". Turns out he's not getting enough air. That would make anyone anxious about falling asleep. So he's back on some oxygen and getting a diuretic to dry him out. His energy's been flagging from a double whammy. A lack of sleep and air. We keep stressing the importance of those breathing exercises he doesn't care much for and staying inclined even while in bed just to keep those lungs open. He's trying but it's hard because he's been tired. It looks like he will go back over to Memorial tomorrow to have his lung aspirated and that should bring relief. His doc says this is a minor setback and pretty common with heart patients. That helped Dad feel more positive. I think he was seeing this as a big setback and feeling discouraged. When he heard that the decision to release him depends largely on the physical therapists' assessment (with the doctor signing off, of course), he got motivated to get working again until they deem him strong enough. This is definitely the slog but the payoff will be sweet. He said when they transported him to Memorial for the x-ray today, the medic commented that he looked good for someone two weeks out from heart surgery. He does. I think he forgets what he's just been through. Yesterday was a biggie, too. Dad got Mom to bring his guitar. We pushed him out into the sun and he took it up. Nervous. Could he do it? He could! All the connections are there despite the weakness in his left arm and hand. The strength coming back is inevitable. That was major and it made me realize how much he'll improve once he's on his home turf, doing the things he's passionate about. Gotta get those lungs in ship shape and his body strong so he soon will be.

Photo of the creek at Annadel by moi.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Jerry Update

Dad's making great progress. Everyday he seems more himself. He's getting some regular physical therapy so now he's walking, carefully and slowly with a spotter, up and down the halls. He's learning how to get up to a stand without stressing his sutures. He has to watch out about that. His lungs are shaking off the pneumonic gunk, his breathing seems easier and his voice is returning to normal. He's still toting around an IV stand with the penicillin drip but that will become a small fanny pack type deal by the time he's home. The lump and shiner he got from taking a spill last week (thinking he could get up on his own) has gone down and become quite a colorful bruise (probably due in part to the Coumadin, a blood thinner given as a precaution until he is fully healed). He still gets tired and catnaps throughout the day but that's to be expected. He's lost some sleep worrying about how permanent all this will be but today I think he really got that despite the spectacular drama of the last two weeks, he will be able to work his way back to absolute health.

Young Airplane

I love this old footage of a young Jefferson Airplane performing on the Smothers Brothers show. "A new concept in airplane made out of people, hair, guitars and held together by words and music." They perform two songs, White Rabbit (which first rocked my world when I was four) and Somebody To Love, from one of my all time favorite albums. (I played Surrealistic Pillow so often as a teen that the vinyl warped and the songs still transport me like a time machine...only to the Eighties not the Sixties). This features a chubby-faced Grace belting away, handsome oh-so-cool Jorma Kaukonen on guitar and mind-bending psychedelic effects.

Into The Desert

I just opened an email from our good friend Jay and was inspired to post it here.

My Most Dear Family and Friends,

The desert is a harsh, unforgiving environment and people who would cross it´s vast expanse do so with great reluctance.

Thousands of years ago my people crossed a desert. They did it to escape oppressive slavery. Their footsteps were guided by a pillar of fire. Each morning they gathered manna from heaven to ease their hunger. When they thirsted, water sprung forth from a rock.

Today, there are other people in the deserts of California, Arizona, Texas. They too are leaving behind oppressive poverty in search of opportunity. They have no pillar of fire to lead them on through the unmarked sands.There is no manna for them to eat and when their thirst becomes unbearable, they die. They die alone with only the drifting sands to cover their bodies

The week of Labor Day I am going into the desert with a group called No More Deaths who participate in search and rescue of people dying of thirst. Most frequently those who die are the weak- the children and the women. Last year at least four thousand people died out there. Hopefully, we can be of a little help. Right now I am in Ecuador, studying Spanish, and a headline in the Cuenca News a few days ago read: El desierto de Arizon fue mortal para Miriam Riera. So it´s real and it´s happening every day.

The cost of supporting one volunteer for one week is one hundred dollars and I am asking you to sponsor me with a donation of five dollars. In giving that, I will find comfort in the shade of your love, compassion and humanity. In that way I will not be going alone from our community. I will be walking with all the spirits of my loved ones.

I don't want to publish his home address so if any of you want to sponsor Jay please send your envelope to me at: P.O. Box 1119, Sebastopol, CA 95472 and I will forward all such to him. Or perhaps you're inspired to give a little to No More Deaths.

Photo from the No Mas Muertes website.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Point Of View Of Light

Rob stumbled on this and sent it to me because he knows I love this kind of crazy stuff. Digging down to the common root of science and spirit. The place where ancient mystics, physicists and futurists can understand each other. This is Peter Russell, whose book The Global Brain I read back in the 80s. It infused me with real optimism about the state of the world. He was inspired by the Gaia guy, James Lovelock, who postulated the Gaia Hypothesis (now the Gaia Theory)-a holistic view of the earth as a self-regulating system akin to any multi-celled organism. Working with early computer systems, Russell extrapolated the concept of Earth as a living being and began to see humans and our ever-evolving complex communication networks as the neural network of this planet entity. Anyway, here he is again with more interesting perceptions.

Another Day On Earth

Autumn is in the air and I'm feeling a pull to get grounded in some everyday practical doings before summer fades completely. I stepped out of the bubble yesterday and spent a few hours at the studio clearing junk and sprucing. I want to open the space to visitors soon. The plan is to have it be a casual affair. An offering to friends, family and interested interesting strangers to come hang out, talk art and life, drink tea and see some work. I'll let it be known when I'm ready and hopefully some of you will come by (I feel like the summer got away and I've barely seen anyone). Meanwhile we're building a mundane but meaningful momentum with dentist appointments, Not Back To School Camp packing, cleaning house and baking cakes!

Photo of India with her blue confection by me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Almost There

Dad Update: Today he was moved to the Sotoyome rehabilitation facility a block away from Memorial Hospital. It's a funkier building, circa the 60s. His room looks east with a sliding door that opens onto a patio. So he has fresh air and can gaze out the window at a big old apple tree and some large oaks. He's now nearly tube free, down to good old fashioned Penicillin and focusing on getting strong enough to come home. Supposedly, Sotoyome really works to get the prone up and going. Sitting up, standing and walking unassisted is the goal. Maybe by next week he will be home!

(Hi all Jerry well-wishers. My updates will be more sporadic from here on out but I'll definitely post the day he comes home.)

Photo: This is actually not the view from his room. I took this in the Spring out at Annadel.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Strange days. Time has slowed down and life just feels surreal. I've taken up refuge in a a soft sun-drenched corner of my head which seems to be fortified by eating buttered toast and warm cereal, reading Harry Potter and hot baths. Everyday we see healing but it is slow, like watching a plant grow. You know it's happening but surrender to the moment is required. Just let it be. Dad's got the work load right now and he's putting in his hours. Every day, a workout. Exhaustion. A lot of time on his hands. Boredom. Hospital environment. Constant pokes. Hanging onto what he dramatically calls his "shreds of dignity". He's frustrated and a bit surprised by how weak he still is, I think. Everyone working with him is pretty stellar but, hey, he just wants to be home. Puts a whole new spin on the word patient. The big picture is rosy. One week of astonishing progress. That's easy to forget in the irritation of details. It's a long row but he's doing great. This is a Chinese calligraphic brush painting for Patience. I thought it was interesting that the top character is two symbols, one representing 'blade" over one meaning "heart". The bottom character means "now" or "law". Basically, enduring a "blade to the heart" and dealing with it "now". The only way out is through. Like the Taoist metaphor of the muddy glass of water. Don't keep stirring. Just be present and let the water clear. And he is. We all are.

Calligraphy by Sang H. Kim

Friday, August 10, 2007

Moving Up

Dad's finally out of the ICU! He now has a relatively quiet room on the top floor with large northwestern windows. Much more serene, with a view of sky and tree tops. I think he'll be able to sleep better up there. Not so many beeps, buzzes, clicks and groans. The ICU was like command central. Constant hustle and bustle. Tension and urgency. Now it's more like a garden view apartment. Mom saw the doctors hobnobbing outside his cubicle this morning and overheard his doc say " He's shown a remarkable recovery." So true. Considering it's been less than a week since the surgery and he's out of Intensive Care, down to minimal tubes and working on pure convalescence. Strengthening and fattening up. Dad says they're still sticking holes in him but mostly they are giving him workouts everyday, getting him sitting upright for an hour at a time in a chair. He still has that weakness in his arms, a common residual from cardiac surgery, apparently. He's eating well (baked salmon tonight and a milkshake with every meal). Well, I'm not sure about the milkshake. Dad claimed that when we commented on how slim he looked. His spirits seem up and his sense of humor and sarcasm is intact. Today his brothers and sister visited from out of town. I think he was pleased. Mom said a lot of love was exchanged. Very healing. Altogether he had a good day but he looked mighty tired when we finally got to see him late today. He should sleep good tonight.

Picture: A collage the girls and I pieced together to inspire Dad.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Solid Ground

I'll be posting a bit more on Dad since there are folks checking in here for news. His recovery is accelerating. Today's biggies: chest tubes out, off dialysis and first solid food. Baby steps, says Dad. I say more like leaps and bounds. I think it's a good sign that he got to bypass the "Thick&Easy", a thickened milk beverage with "nectar consistency"...yum. Dad read it as "Thick&Greasy". It is made by Hormel. Instead he got a bite of graham cracker. His swallowing reflex is good so he was going to get his first real meal after the last kidney test. We left before the test was over so I haven't heard what he actually got. (Update: Mom guessed right...bouillon and jello). He said he really wanted baby back ribs. I'm afraid that won't be the case. But almost anything is better than Pap On Tap, that feed tube slurry he was on all week. His voice is sounding better and soon they'll be working to rebuild the strength in his limbs, etc. He's still somewhat "noodly". Now his main issues are recuperating and not getting bored. He claims the clock is his only entertainment. Zen torture. We'll be bringing him some magazines and he has an mp3 player. And us.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Dad's off the ventilator today! Breathing on his own. I called Mom this afternoon and they had just removed the tube. We all rushed over to the hospital, whooping and cheering. He looked so tired but absolutely relieved to have it gone. He said "I can talk now. Not much, but I can talk." His voice is weak and at first it was hard to understand him but it was lovely to hear him anyway. We kept our visit short because he is still needing deep rest. We went back this evening and his voice was a bit stronger. He no longer has the feeding tube either. Just good old oxygen. He and Mom got to kiss. We asked him lots of questions. Do you know what happened? No. Do you want us to tell you? No, I'll just forget. Do you want to watch TV? Are you bored? I've been bored since the minute I came in here. Music? Yes. He listened to the player Rob had programmed for him with one ear and to us chattering with the other. He looked ready to doze off but he said he didn't want us to go. We stayed a bit longer but soon we had to say goodnight. We're all so happy and excited to see what tomorrow brings. His progress so far has been amazing.

I like this Russian painting of The Fire Bird. It makes me think of the Phoenix. Dad's the Phoenix. He's been through Something. He went right to the edge, burned through to the other side and now he's rising up from the bed of ashes. Dross consumed. Radiantly reborn, really. As we were entering the hospital this evening, I saw a group of young guys standing outside smoking cigars. A new baby, most likely. I realized I was smiling like a fool, anticipating seeing Dad. I had the same joyful feeling that accompanies a new baby. Life granted. So beautiful.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Dad Update

The word, as of tonight, is he's doing "amazingly well". That's quoting his doctor. His lungs are clear. He'll be off the ventilator tomorrow or Wednesday. He's down to 40% oxygen which is the lowest they give. He is on some dialysis to support his kidneys. That will end in a few days. He will most likely be in the rehabilitation hospital by next week. He's still sedated but that's best for now. We are keeping our visits few and brief so he can really rest and heal. He still hasn't fully come to yet. When he's off the ventilator they will probably stop the amnesiac drug. That'll be wonderful and a bit scary. I don't know how Dad will feel about all this. Rather shocked, I guess.

P.S. That candle is still burning in the garden! That's five days solid. Thanks, Amy!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Resuscitator

Images of balloons have been one of the good omens dogging us. It began on Friday when Jonathan was recounting his meeting with Dad's surgeon, Dr. Keith Korver. He was describing him as clear, honest and concerned. "He was very serious. He really tried to convey the levity of the situation." Awkward pause. Levity? "Um...I meant gravity." We laughed. "Yeah, he was making balloon animals to demonstrate how the surgery will go." That really got us laughing (much-neededly) because Dr. Korver is indeed very serious and as unlikely a balloon animal type guy as you could imagine. I kept seeing balloon images everywhere. They were jumping out at me. Uplifting. On the morning of the operation, as he stood talking to us, we noticed he had a cap on with a hot air balloon print. Since he seemed to be working hours each day and we wondered if he ever slept, Rob and I starting calling him The Resuscitator (like the Terminator...only not). He is reputedly one of the best heart surgeons in the county. "Talented" and "Experienced". I believe them but, really, all I know is he saved my Dad's heart and it's easy to get a crush on a guy who does that.

Picture by Royce B. McClure

Smile And A Wink

All my thoughts and doings are still revolving around my dad though last night I was able to get some deep sleep and today feels easier. We took shifts today. Mom went in this the morning, then Rob went with me this afternoon. Dad's eyes were open but he seemed out of it so I just took his hand and talked to him a little. We got booted out briefly. When we got back, I greeted Dad and he perked up immediately. He tried to focus on me and squeezed my hand tightly. I told him yet again what's happened and where he is and all. That's because the sedation affects his short term memory. It's like "50 First Dates". We just keep telling him. We always explain the ventilator, why he can't talk because of that tube and how this is all temporary. Especially that. He gets a little watery eyed and looks somewhat relieved when he gets it. (We all hope it's out within the next few days). Today he just gazed and gazed at me. I said I love you too, Dad. He smiled. Then he winked. I said, is something in your eye? Shakes his head "no". Are you winking?! Nods yes. Dad! He even tried to write today but he's still noodly weak. He has chicken scratch kinda illegible handwriting normally so this wasn't much worse but we couldn't make it out which was frustrating. It felt great just to connect. I think we tired him out because he started to fade so we just let him sleep which is what he needs most right now. Jon and Mom will check in on him this evening. I think everyday will be progress.

P.S. Dad's altar candle is still burning on in the garden and his tomato is the grandest beauty in the bed. It's almost fully ripe so soon we will pick it.

Photo of the white echinacea in Memorial's garden.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Pumped Up

Operation Heart Fixed. If I wasn't so tired, I'd be dancing. Dad went into surgery at 8 a.m. and after almost five tedious hours we got the went "beautifully". Mom and I got to the hospital at the crack of dawn with a promising clear sky. Soon Jon showed up and we all hung out in the ICU, holding Dad's hands and juicing him up with encouraging words. He was deeply sedated and won't remember but we had to for our own sakes. He looked better. They'd been administering diuretics to dry him out so his face and hands looked like him, not so puffy. He was ready to go. We went out while they did last minute prep and we talked with Dr. Korver, his surgeon. He sounded more positive than before. Though he was still deeply serious, the dire note in his voice was absent. We immediately felt enheartened. Soon we were alerted that Dad was about to be moved across the hall to surgery. We waited as the team came pushing Dad's bed along with every machine he was hooked up to en mass. As they approached us they stopped so we could touch his hands once more and tell him we love him. Then he was on his way and our wait began. We hung out mostly in the sunny garden on Memorial's grounds. It was invitingly serene with a quiet fountain, big trees and lots of flowers. We talked, joked, read poetry and bit our nails. Then people began to show up. Sisters, brothers, friends, family. Mom's sisters Laurie and Phyllis, brother-in- law Rod, good friends Jon and Laurie Drew and then two of Dad's brothers all the way from Auburn, Hal and Mike with Hal's wife Bonnie and Dad's step dad Darrell. That meant a lot and really drove home once more how serious all this is. I got very emotional hugging my Uncle Hal. He's so like Dad. I felt how hungry I am to see him standing again. As noon approached, we all began to migrate back to the small crowded waiting room. 12 o' clock came and went. Then 12:30. We were getting really anxious. At quarter to Mom cries "He's coming out!" and the whole big group of us gathered around the ICU door as they came slowly through. Dr. Korver's face spoke the good news before he did. It went beautifully. As well as it could. The bacterial growth was bad and the valve destoyed but he was confident they got it all. His heart is pumping strong now. We cried and cheered. A huge collective sigh. Amazingly, we were all, every one of us, able to go in to see him within 10 minutes. Briefly and all together was the best way they said. We stood around his bed, saying things in low voices and the nurse, Lynn, gave us a tutorial about every tube and what it was for, in case any of us was freaked out. Then we were kindly kicked out. The group broke up as some of us went in search of food and respite from all the stress. I'm home now, limp and happy and so grateful for loving people, competent people, compassionate people. Now we are on the road to getting him home.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Interior of the Heart

This painting has been tucked behind the office door for months but I spied it yesterday and rescued it. Now it's dusted off and hanging in the kitchen and giving me a lot of solace. I am aware that I have a lot of heart images and they've taken on a new and poignant meaning. We all hit a low point on Wednesday night when everything seemed so dire and Dad's survival so precarious. I had a hard time sleeping. I felt like I had taken a blow to the chest and I could hardly breath. Emotional pain. News of everyone's good wishes gave a sense of expanding support and really sustained us. Thank you, everybody. My little altar comforted me. Seeing the flame burning out in the dark garden like a small star was infinitely hopeful but I was scared about the next day. But yesterday was "good". Mom came by in the morning and we hung out in the garden together looking at Dad's picture. We took a walk and then headed to the hospital. We were greeted in the ICU by his new nurse, Chris. She was incredible! She was completely upbeat, smiling and talking to Dad. She'd given him a nice shave so he looked better. He was still hooked up to everything but now he had a little pump in his heart to help compensate for his failed valve and he looked pinker. She gave us a little lotion and encouraged us to rub his hands and feet which felt so good to do. Just human. I said we needed some good news. She said, but this is good news. He's completely stabilized. She said she's been a cardiac nurse in the ICU for like 28 years and he looked very good to her. She asked us all about him and when she heard he likes to cook she put on the cooking channel and turned the volume up low. These small acts had a tremendous effect on Mom and me. We both felt so much lighter. It was like this woman had taken a huge stone off my chest. She also assured us about his surgeon Dr. Korver. The best, she said.We spoke with the surgeon's nurse about what to expect with the surgery on Saturday. Apparently Dad's surgeon believes that patients heal better at home so he aims to get them there as soon as is practical. We liked hearing that! He will, of course have a slower recovery just because he's been so ill but he will be so motivated to get the hell out of there. We also heard his white cell count is lower though there's still no definite news about his bacteria count which is the critical aspect of all this. We want his system clear of that bacteria. So, we all rode this positive wave into the night. One more day and one more night. Then surgery on Saturday starting around 8 and ending around noon. Then we're on the road to recovery. Hang in there, Dad.
UPDATE: When we arrived at the hospital this morning we discovered that Dad had had a rough morning with a sudden rise in temperature and a drop in some other vitals. I was so thankful to see that Chris was his nurse again but she'd gotten a bit of a scare. Soon after we arrived he started doing better. We stayed right with him, holding his hands and talking to him, for some hours. We met his surgeon, Dr. Korver. He stressed again that Dad's condition is very serious. Our spirits slumped some after that but we pushed on.
The good news today was that the blood culture results from yesterday came back clean. Clean. We won't know the blood culture results for today until tomorrow. I feel strangely optimistic despite everything. He's got a top notch surgical team there at Memorial and the love around him right now is the miracle that will buoy him through this.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Picture This

My dad's playful vivaciousness shining through. He's a masterful guitar player, food shaman, family man, elegant software engineer, lover of life, irreverent, wise and kind. He's full of good stuff and he's just not done. He's got things to do and places to go. Picture him well!

Heart's Ease

This afternoon I'm putting all my energy into healing my dad. He's been ailing for awhile now, a flu that seemed to settle in his lungs. He went into the hospital yesterday morning with a fever, shortness of breath and extreme fatigue. They gave him oxygen, a drip for rehydration and strong antibiotics. By afternoon he was on life support in the ICU. Now we know he has an infected heart valve (maybe even from recent dental work!!) and will probably need heart surgery. He's made of tough stuff. He can get through this, but it's been a hard row and the work's not done. We are all praying and saturating him with healing thoughts. I put a picture of him in the tangled green tomato bed out back with a pot of heart's ease beside him. A sun drenched, growing place. I tagged the biggest most beautiful heirloom tomato for him, imagining his heart healed and strong. I want him home and well . Thanks everybody and anybody for any and all good vibes. Picture him feeling good!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wish Face

Rob's birthday was a spontaneous two day celebration this year, thanks to our beautiful Oregon friends. An evening singing, dancing,playing music and Sardines with Danny, Vicki, Riley and Scotty. Vicki made us a gorgeous Thai meal and we sipped red wine and ate coconut ice cream. A hike up Mount Pisgah the next day with a shish kebab cookout in Nancy's green backyard at dusk, hanging out with her, Georgina and Micah. We made strawberry shortcake for dessert but Micah was unimpressed and quietly slipped away to buy a full on chocolate cake with "Happy Birthday Rob" on it. Sweet! So we had two cakes as well. I caught the best shot of Rob's wish face with the magic Micah cake.

Overextension and Back Again

Home is where I want to be. After literally months of preparation and nearly two weeks traveling and camping up in verdant Oregon, we have landed at home with a sigh. The trip was marked by extremes. Peaks and plunges. After vowing to pace ourselves and thinking we were, we worked ourselves to exhaustion anyway, left a day later than intended and plowed north, 500 miles in one day.

There was an extreme heat advisory in effect for most of southern Oregon so we sucked on frozen water bottles and pined for air conditioning as we pushed through. Our van did great considering how overloaded she was. That was a plus since we've had lots of car karma on other trips. Our usual stop in Ashland was fruitful, stocking up on food, water, treats and a squirt of some Peruvian herb called Qat (
ilex guayusa). We got to fair by late afternoon with all the good stuff: golden light, smiling faces, pennyroyal redolence and a Full Load Teddy (a magical slip of paper that allowed us access into the Eight to unload right at our booth). The site looked good, no mud, not too dry and no mosquitoes.

We took our time unloading and making camp. It is after all a three day endeavor just setting up. I soon discovered that the brew from Peru was a stimulant, big time. It kicked in so strong that I was clearing debris like an Amazon. Before I knew it I not only had the kitchen just so, I'd cleared a new tent space where before there'd been a fallen tree. Did I move a fallen tree? I think maybe I did. We worked until dark and then fell asleep reveling in our new foam mats. So comfy. It is possible to love a hunk of petroleum. I remember the trees dancing over our heads like a dream.

Camp was more organized and tidy than ever before which did my head good. Tables placed well are a revelation. On Wednesday, Rob and I built new bones for the "wall" between us and our neighbor so we were all about strong lines and consolidation. Our scene felt so together that we were ready when everyone began to land. The energy shifts and builds with each arrival, so it's key to be grounded. Danny, Karen, Zoie...Mom and Dad...Mitch's Clan...Jay and Eileen. All told there's close to 20 of us sharing that behind the booths camp space. Tight.

So, Wednesday night, after Danny, Karen, Zoie got in and pitched tents, it rained. Full on pour, thunderclaps and all. Danny saved us with his excellent tarping skills but by the end of the day we were wondering why we do this crazy thing? I caught a momentary charge from the ionized air but soon enough my batteries began to run low.

The Fair was opening on Friday so we spent Thursday setting setting up merchandise. That's the hardest part for me because it's not straightforward and focusing is hard. The girls demand help setting up their scenes. There are cards to stock, signs to put up, paintings to hang, tags to place and dozens of other nitpicky decisions for me and only me to make. Besides, spectacles begin to appear along the Path and folks start to drift in to check stuff out. Invaluable aid was given by all with a special shout out to Steve for being my slave with a screw driver while hanging canvases and to Mom for tasteful discrimination and taking initiative on painting placement. By day's end we looked pretty good. The best ever. I think the weeks of painting paid off. Almost all original pieces in the booth made it feel high caliber.

So, Friday the party officially begins but by then I was pooped. I stayed juiced up on feedback from people who were liking the work. I feel such thanks for everyone's appreciation. That kept me high. And breathing in the vibe we co creative creatures make. So much luscious opulent expression. I got to trip around on Saturday night as is tradition, laughing and ogling and dancing. Highlights of the weekend include: large serene light forms changing color, dancing in the dark to the Kitchen Syncopators, members of Royal Famille du Caniveaux playing music at Chez Ray's Saturday night, African Harp, lavish visuals, amazing folks, deep conversations, synchronicities. It all adds up.

By Sunday I hit my low, waking with sneezing and chest congestion. Low ebb and vulnerable. Not my first fair cold but by then I'd had a few other firsts . A territorial dispute with a neighbor (that new wall) and a reprimand from the Fair for not being in my booth at all times(!) Not in my booth? My booth is me. The dispute worked itself out but I have some processing still to do on that last one. I sink so much energy into offering to the Fair that I can't help reeling a bit with hurt and anger. Can't they hit on the party booth down the way? Shit. Nevertheless, I am recommitted to sticking to my booth.

By the end we'd chalked up a strange and turbulent but lucrative fair. I sold several originals, hundreds of cards and prints and took in enough praise to last me a year. The fun bubbled up in twinkles and small doses, flashed out from niches and impromptu stages. Bits strung out, together they made a decent pretty thing. When I think of all this I grok the Country Fair adage "Thanks For Being Us". I couldn't have done it without everyone. My fair family. Us.