Category Archives: being an artist

The newest news

It’s a ripe and exciting time in my life. So much is being offered and I finally am ready to accept it all. I’m committed to fearlessness and spaciousness, abundance and creativity. Nothing’s gonna stop me now.

2014-02-17 08.25.56

I’m creating a new website. It’s going to be a blog – and more than a blog. It’s going to be…

  1. collections of  writings on various topics
  2. a more committed and focused presentation of my photographs
  3. chronicles of my bucket list adventures
  4. and more (yet to be fully defined and discovered)

My hope is that it serves and entertains many. Including you. Once it’s up and running, I will probably not be blogging Blue Sky Musings – the site will stay up, but it probably will not be updated. So, I invite you to follow the new blog once it’s revealed (hopefully by this weekend sometime).

I will post here with a link to the new blog when it’s live.

And, also, I wanted to share the news of my next bucketlist adventure. Starting April 15th, I’m going to follow Bruce Springsteen’s concert tour in the south. Looks like I’ll be hitting the following cities: Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Atlanta, New Orleans and Houston. I’m not (at this point, anyway) planning to do the entire tour. Although, who knows. You make yourself available and ANYTHING could happen!

To say I’m excited is a bit of a freaking understatement. Although there were many years when I wasn’t listening to The Boss, he was a huge part of my life as a teenager and then again in the past decade or so. It’s hard to fully explain what he has meant to me, or why I want to see him so many times. I am hoping that through blogging about my adventures, I will be able to convey the depth of his impact on my psyche and my heart. I know I’m not alone. Just see the movie Springsteen and I to get a sense (if you’re not already on board!).

Austin Loves Me

Wow…that’s all I can say.

Austin has welcomed me. I am finding my way around, internally as well as externally. The slideshow below is a collection of photos from the land/farm where I’m living til the end of July (house/dog/cat sitting while my friend, Emily, explores India). It has been good to me, except the scorpions in the house were a bit much. But I (with regret) asked the landlord to spray the outside of the house, which he did, and so far it’s working.

I have found a place to live permanently, once Emily returns. It is in the SW part of Austin, in a cool neighborhood kind of tucked away and surrounded on 3 sides by the greenbelt! I can walk right onto hiking trails. This is my dream come true. I will be close to the Amala Foundation office/center, Barton Springs pool, and to everything cool in South Austin.

Totally groovy details:

  • It’s a 1/1 duplex, totally brand new, being renovated right now from the garage of a house.
  • Next door in the 3/1 main house will be my friend, Seva, and her two daughters aged 10 and 12. Built-in community, family style.
  • Our landlord, Paul, is uber cool and is including my input into the renovation. He is also giving me: washer/dryer (hookups INSIDE the unit), bed, big table to use as desk, three chairs, 2 huge bookshelves…and other things but I can’t even remember what because I’m still in shock.
  • The rent is exactly what I paid in Santa Cruz, although utilities might be more. Place is probably 3x as big, though.
  • Unit has a high-tech, efficient, brand new AC/heating unit that also purifies the air and is quiet.

I am perhaps most importantly finding my center here. In a whole new way. I feel set free, agreed with, supported to create and live entirely for the soul. To continue to deepen into what that means.

In the mornings, I sit and write. I am processing photographs and beginning to post them online. Exploring options for a website, and for making some of my photos available for sale. Why not, right?

More than anything, I am beginning to feel at home in this world. In alignment. Not needing something from outside; connecting to all I need on the inside. Blessed to be alive.

massive change

In April I spent 10 days on the big island of Hawaii, in retreat with Vanessa Stone and 8 amazing friends. It was a truly heart- and mind-opening experience.

I am not going to write about the experience, not specifically and not here and now. But I will say that I left and returned home to Santa Cruz with some pretty clear realizations:

1. I want to and am ready to move to Austin, TX. To be near Vanessa Stone and her work with the Amala Foundation. To become more a part of that amazing organization and its humanitarian projects. And to simply reach out, broaden my horizons, welcome the world in.

2. I am not any longer interested in spending time worrying or analyzing. I am 100% committed to what is offered, to looking and seeing what is in front of me. To following the living map of my life, on a daily, hourly, breath-by-breath basis.

3. My foundation is my relationship to the core of my being, which I choose to call “God” or spirit, the absolute, pure love, the beloved. And that is where I will look for all guidance. Not outward. Not anymore.

So…I immediately was offered a place to stay in Austin for 6 weeks in June/July, for free, to housesit. My boss told me that he wants me to keep working for them (I already work remotely). I gave notice at my wonderful cottage by the creek. I’m finishing up this semester of school (mostly in the darkroom!), getting rid of all my stuff (again!) and hitting the road on June 11.

To say I am EXCITED would be a massive understatement.

Wet and Tired in San Luis Obispo

I woke up in a hotel room in San Luis Obispo at 6 am this morning. I don’t even need an alarm anymore. I jut wake up. And when I looked outside, it was raining. I’ve got a long drive home, and a photoshop assignment to do.

I’ve been pretty sporadic with this blog. Inconsistently posting. And more than that, it feels pretty amorphic. Unformed. Shapeless. Some bloggers seem to blog happy, witty stuff. Some people spin with they say, so they look cool. Some people moan and groan. I don’t want to do any of these things. I just want to write about life, and what it’s like to live it, and post photographs.

I’m struggling with inner voices telling me I’m no good. The thing is, while I have a hard time believing them, I can’t quite get away from them, either. There are two main things I beat myself up about: I don’t get shit done and I don’t like the way I acted with someone. I want to be perfect. I want to be endlessly productive. I want to be the best friend who ever was. I want to be a master at sitting in silence. But…it turns out, I am not perfect, I am incredibly inefficient, I blurt out stupid and hurtful things before I realize what I’m saying, I am endlessly distracted and I fidget continuously.

Okay. Truth be told, it’s not that bad. Mostly, I’m doing well, I have good friends, a nice home…but the days keep turning into weeks, months and years, and very-few-to-none of my ideas get manifested. This is incredibly frustrating. I feel like I am wasting my life. And who knows how much time I’ve got left. Two times in the past three days, I came *THS* close to getting run off the road by an almost-out-of-control tractor-trailer. Every morning I wake up and think, Oh my god, I’m still alive. How much longer is this gift gonna last? I think how precious this human existence is, and how I want to make something of it and not waste it, and be fully fully alive, loving, particpatory. I realize I had checked out of life for a LONG time. Finding my way back in is proving to be a challenge.

 

 

Forgiveness

Today I realized that February is about forgiveness. This coming month, the theme and motivation and primary action of my life is to forgive. First of all, myself. And then anyone else I’ve ever blamed. And then the god of my understanding. And then the corporations, the republicans, the polluters, the species-extincters, my mother, my father, my siblings, my friends, that guy who cut me off the other day at the intersection of River and Water in downtown Santa Cruz. Everyone. And then, again, most of all, myself.

Rumi:
Come, Come, whoever you are!
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
Come. This is not a caravan of despair.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve broken your vow
a thousand times,
still come,
and yet again, Come!
(translated by Coleman Barks)

Summertime is here. Is the living going to be easy?

summerlight

Whew. Finished a semester.  What a challenge. More than anything, an internal journey that brought up every single negative thought I’ve ever had about who I am, what I can or can’t do, my worth as a creative person, the value of my creations, and the idea of myself as an artist: a writer, photographer, film maker, screenwriter, multimedia artist, performance artist.

I have created next to nothing so far in my life. But I am brimming over with desire to create, and with things to say and share.

This first semester has kick-started the writing process and provided technical learning about photography and creative software available to me.  It has been exhilarating, death-defying, death-inducing, fun beyond belief and incredibly fulfilling.  I am so so so grateful to the voice inside that continues to stand by me and guide me without words but with sensation, image, clarity. Also to the friends and family who continue to believe in my dreams and hold up a mirror that says, “yes you can.”

Now, the summer is here. (Although Santa Cruz is breezy, chilly and rainy late into the start of the “dry season.”) And adventures beckon. I invested in two cameras, Canons, one film and one DSLR. I bought both used on eBay, older models in good condition.  I’m doing The Artist’s Way and delving deep to find and melt the blocks to my creativity. I’m going to be traveling again, will go to the Global Youth Peace Summit in Austin again. This time with camera(s) in hand.

Life is good.

Spiraling down

I find myself fearful. I realize that there’s a way I want to be close to people but at the same time I keep them at arm’s length. I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps it is something I inherited from my parents, each of whom was semi-hermitlike and had trust and abandonment issues that I could not help but absorb. I know it is a protection mechanism, and something to do with the limits of my comfort zone. Lately, though, I’ve also been wondering if it is just “how I am” and that there’s nothing wrong with it. Except that I think there’s something wrong with it.

I’m taking a risk, putting this up on the blog. It’s just that, the thing is, and this really is important, I want to be writing about what is true on a deep level for me.  All the black, mucky shit as well as the happy moments. That seems to be what I am called to do. I’ve been afraid to do it, worried of what you might think, or how you might judge. But today I decided, the hell with it.  Right now, my emancipation begins.

I know it’s paradoxical, that I have a habit of keeping myself separate but at the same time want to talk or write about deeply intimate things, and do so pretty easily. Many of you know this about me, have experienced it first hand in conversations or at spiritual teachings. I am the one who will get up at a satsang and bare my soul to ask the question that’s burning in me of a teacher. But as often as not, when one-to-one intimacy is involved, I jump out the nearest window. Not always, but at least 50% of the time.

And do I need to apologize for this? Do I need to figure it out, shift it, change it, make myself different so that I fit into some molded form of what I think I should be? Or what you think I should be? What I’m told to be, what I imagine would make someone else love me? I know most of the readers of this blog would have a knee-jerk reaction to say, “no, you should not have to be anything other than what and who you are.” But here’s the thing: easier said than done. And also, if you are or have been on the receiving end of my disappearing act, I don’t think you do or would feel so good about it.

Some of you might think I’m writing this specifically about you. But believe me, it is for and about everyone.

Is this therapy? no. Is it cathartic? maybe, but not primarily. Then what is it, why do I feel drawn to start writing about the deeper shit?

I know the answer. It is because the deeper shit is in all of us. And my task is to write it. So, if you don’t want the deeper shit, please unsubscribe now. In all likelihood, this blog is headed downward, into dirty mining shafts, dark underwater canyons, red-hot lava tunnels—it may be cold, dark and scary down there. I can’t promise safety;  this is no glass-bottom boat I’m navigating.

Fair warning given.