Friday, December 05, 2008


An oldie for this week's Illustration Friday theme of "balloon".
I made this back in the fall/early winter of 2005
and, funnily enough, the theme is still pertinent...
(And, yes. That is little toddler Pen!)

Friday, October 31, 2008

r e p a i r

A very hastily made, in at the last minute,
Illustration Friday piece for the theme
: repair :

Accepting small favours from the gods

When you travel, you experience, in a very practical way,
the act of rebirth.
You confront completely new situations,
the day passes more slowly, and on most journeys you don't even understand
the language the people speak.
So you are like a child just out of the womb.
You begin to be more accessible to others
because they may be able to help you in difficult situations.
And you accept any small favour from the gods with great delight,
as if it were an episode you would remember for the rest of your life.
At the same time, since all things are new, you see only the beauty in them,
and you feel happy to be alive.
That's why a religious pilgrimage has always been one of the most objective ways of achieving insight. The word peccadillo which means 'small sin' comes from pecus, which means 'detective foot', a foot that is incapable of walking a road.
The way to correct the peccadillo is always to walk forward,
adapting oneself to new situations and receiving in return
all of thousands of blessings
that life generously offers
to those who seek them.
- Paulo Coelho

Journal entry, 8th March, 2006
Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi

Be The Ever Alert Guardian Of Your Inner Space

Be the ever alert
guardian of your inner space.

Journal entry, April 2005.

Step One: Notice you are in cage.
Step Two: Acknowledge that cage is of your creation.
Step Three: Find key. (Note to self: you are key.)
Step Four: Unlock cage.
Step Five: Powerfully leap into your delicious life.
* Repeat as necessary *

Journal entry, early 2005

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

You Knew What You Had To Do

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice -
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do -
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Letter 87

Letter 87

Does the whale long for his sea of birth?
Does the manatee long for his river of birth? Does the bird long for his tree of birth?

Yes, of course.

But what if the bird's tree of birth has fallen? Would he still long for it?

Yes, more than ever.

But it is not the tree that he longs for most. It is the clarity and exhilaration he felt when his heart first opened and he jumped from the branch for the very first time.

- Gregory Colbert

Ashes and Snow

Monday, June 16, 2008

If an idea is good it is on the verge of being stupid

"If an idea is good it is on the verge of being stupid."

- Michel Gondry

Thursday, May 29, 2008


This weeks Illustration Friday theme is worry.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

W i d e

I created this piece this week and then noticed that it fit perfectly with the Illustration Friday theme: wide.
It is about my response to my wide open future.
Every image in this piece is from a photograph I took in Paris last month.
It's a snapshot of my life recently.
I am happy to say that if it were a snapshot of now...
she would have a foot out of the box!


Friday, May 02, 2008

Letter 351

Letter 351

I had a dream that I stood before the nine hundred and ninety-seven vases of the fallen edens.

I knelt by the first vase and cupped my hands like a spoon. I raised the bitter water to my lips and closed my eyes.

When I opened them again, I gazed upon all the edens that had fallen in me. I saw edens that I had held in my hands but had let go, I saw promises I did not keep, pains I did not soothe, wounds I did not heal, tears I did not shed, deaths I did not mourn, prayers I did not answer, lovers I left behind, doors I did not open, doors I did not close, and dreams I did not live. I saw all that was offered that I could not accept. I saw the letters I wished for but never received.

I saw all that could have been but never will be.

from Ashes & Snow

Friday, March 28, 2008

Look at the birdie!

Our huge magnolia tree
is sharing its beautiful creamy pink and magenta buds.
Crocuses and snowdrops greet me on the streets of Brooklyn.
And I am budding.

The day came.


We're voting on
the birdie.
Todd likes without.
Which do you prefer?

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Prayer of Jesus in Aramaic

When translated from the original language of Jesus, "The Lord's Prayer" is beautiful, and very different from what I had to say in school every morning as a child! I especially appreciate the idea of god as both verb and feminine and masculine.

The Prayer of Jesus in Aramaic

O Birthing! Fathering-Mothering of the Cosmos!

You create all that moves in light.

Focus your light within us - make it useful: as the rays of a beacon show the way.

Create your reign of unity now - through our firey hearts and willing hands.

Your one desire then acts with ours, as in all light, so in all forms.

Grant what we need each day in bread and insight:

subsistence for the call of growing life.

Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,

as we release the strands we hold of others' guilt.

Don't let us enter forgetfulness

But free us from unripeness

From you is born all ruling will, the power and the life to do,

the song that beautifies all, from age to age it renews.

Truly--power to these statements--

may they be the source from which all my actions grow.

Sealed in trust & faith. Amen.

Transliteration and original translation by Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz from

the Peshitta (Syriac-Aramaic) version of Matthew 6:9-13 & Luke 11:2-4

A fascinating radio show interview with Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz and my hero, Caroline Casey:
and for more info on him:

And while I'm here... yesterday's Caroline Casey radio show was beautiful, also talking about language and religion:
This Thursday is the Vernal Equinox, Persian and Afghani New Year, Maundy Thursday, the Eve of Purim, the 5th anniversary of the brutal invasion of Iraq, and.. the Full Moon! a week rife with symbolic and metaphoric guidance. So, more than perfectly, Caroline welcomes back long-time ally, religious scholar and political consultant Pat Ewing, that we may bring informed reverence for life to bear on our personal, collective spiritual and political lives, and cultivate
liberating leadership.

Existential Grief

Handmade collage, November 2006

Hand made collage, January 2007

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Treating Myself Like A Precious Object...

My homework from The Artist's Way.
I'm not sure I want to be "strong"...
I do want to be courageous, fearless
and hold myself as precious.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine for Ernest Mann

You can't order a poem like you order a taco.
Walk up to the counter, say, "I'll take two"
and expect it to be handed back to you
on a shiny plate.

Still, I like your spirit.
Anyone who says, "Here's my address,
write me a poem," deserves something in reply.
So I'll tell you a secret instead:
poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes,
they are sleeping. They are the shadows
drifting across our ceilings the moment
before we wake up. What we have to do
is live in a way that lets us find them.

Once I knew a man who gave his wife
two skunks for a valentine.
He couldn't understand why she was crying.
"I thought they had such beautiful eyes."
And he was serious. He was a serious man
who lived in a serious way. Nothing was ugly
just because the world said so. He really
liked those skunks. So, he reinvented them
as valentines and they became beautiful.
At least, to him. And the poems that had been hiding
in the eyes of the skunks for centuries
crawled out and curled up at his feet.

Maybe if we reinvent whatever our lives give us
we find poems. Check your garage, the odd sock
in your drawer, the person you almost like, but not quite.
And let me know.

- Naomi Shihab Nye

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Illustration Friday: choose

Yes, that's me!
Yes, the wellie boots are tethered.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

When the soul wishes to experience something
she throws an image of the experience before her
and enters into her own image.
~ Meister Eckhart

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Illustration Friday : Blanket

Blanket Statement

... the joys of communication ...

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Illustration Friday: Tales & Legends

In at the last minute, and badly scanned, my "Tales and Legends" theme for Illustration Friday this week. Inspired by a James Tate poem:

It Happens Like This

I was outside St. Cecelia's Rectory
smoking a cigarette when a goat appeared beside me.
It was mostly black and white, with a little reddish
brown here and there. When I started to walk away,
it followed. I was amused and delighted, but wondered
what the laws were on this kind of thing. There's
a leash law for dogs, but what about goats? People
smiled at me and admired the goat. "It's not my goat,"
I explained. "It's the town's goat. I'm just taking
my turn caring for it." "I didn't know we had a goat,"
one of them said. "I wonder when my turn is." "Soon,"
I said. "Be patient. Your time is coming." The goat
stayed by my side. It stopped when I stopped. It looked
up at me and I stared into its eyes. I felt he knew
everything essential about me. We walked on. A police-
man on his beat looked us over. "That's a mighty
fine goat you got there," he said, stopping to admire.
"It's the town's goat," I said. "His family goes back
three-hundred years with us," I said, "from the beginning."
The officer leaned forward to touch him, then stopped
and looked up at me. "Mind if I pat him?" he asked.
"Touching this goat will change your life," I said.
"It's your decision." He thought real hard for a minute,
and then stood up and said, "What's his name?" "He's
called the Prince of Peace," I said. "God! This town
is like a fairy tale. Everywhere you turn there's mystery
and wonder. And I'm just a child playing cops and robbers
forever. Please forgive me if I cry." "We forgive you,
Officer," I said. "And we understand why you, more than
anybody, should never touch the Prince." The goat and
I walked on. It was getting dark and we were beginning
to wonder where we would spend the night.
- James Tate

More poems by James Tate at:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My first ever...

Blog posting.

Illustration Friday entry.

And second time playing with PhotoShop.