Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Flame Painting

Have switched out of my dream painting series, into something more bold.

I am painting this a layer at a time. The paint is really thick so it's taking some time to dry. I keep it on the easel and keep trying to see what it needs next.

Meanwhile, a painting of mine will be in the Stockbridge art show next week.

I call it "Racing Heart." I've had it so long and I feel so close to it, that part of me really doesn't want to sell it.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Photos Worth A Million Words

We all know the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words.

But then there are pictures which are so precious, so close to our hearts, they are worth way more than that.

A million words, easily.

I don't often post family photos on MyStoryLives, but I'm going overboard today. That's because we had such an amazing weekend celebrating Passover. My daughter Jocelyn and her husband Evan made a Seder dinner for 18. My grandson Ronen, who is five, wrote all the place cards.

When it came to writing his mother's card, he wrote her name, Jocelyn, and on top of that he wrote "Tarzan," because Jocelyn is pregnant and he long ago named the baby Tarzan.

Yesterday, we had breakfast in a wonderful Jewish deli cafe called Mamale's, which is in Cambridge.

And then we walked up Newberry Street, stopping for coffee and ice cream, and some shoe shopping. All in all, we had a wonderful time.

 Here are me and Jocelyn and my husband, Richard, at Mamale's.

And here is me and Ro at Seder, cuddling on the sofa. If you look to Ronen's right, you will see the baby doll he has begun caring for, in anticipation of being a BIG BROTHER TO TARZAN. Jocelyn has explained to him that the baby's name definitely WON'T be Tarzan after she is born.

I haven't asked, but I'm pretty sure they are not considering naming her Jane either.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Poetry as a Mining Tool

Two Drops of Ink has published a new essay of mine, called "Poetry as a Mining Tool. "

It starts this way:

There are many reasons I love to write poetry –
it makes me feel good
it centers my emotions
it is exhilarating to feel my way through words --
but there is a very practical reason I write it too. 

(Continue at Two Drops of Ink)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Reaching Toward Heaven, Take Two

By now, most of you probably know about my dream of last December, the one where my 1850's farmhouse in Austerlitz was modernized. The most amazing thing about the dream is what happened when I opened the back door.

The sand and the ocean were right there, even closer than the pond!

This was followed up by the appearance of a painting, the most beautiful (and celestial) painting I've ever seen. I knew it was a painting of heaven and I woke up dying to try to paint it myself.

The first version of the painting is called "Reaching Toward Heaven."

And today I think I've finished the larger version of the painting, the one I'm calling "Reaching Toward Heaven, Take Two."

The reason I say that I think the painting is finished is that when I stand in front of it (it's about 18 by 30 inches) I feel the same excitement I had when I woke up from my dream. It's a feeling in my torso and abdomen, one that is both tingling and expansive.

Oh, and another thing: the painting makes me want to smile.

Now I think it's time to do something new. I'm thinking of painting a large canvas a dark blue.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Rejoicing the Pond

I sit here pondering
my pond.
I sit here trying to
find just the right words
to describe
the precise shade of its
grey green surface.
Not silvery,
except for spots
at certain angles.

Not pewter,
except now and then
when the light disappears
pewter fits a large patch.

I could say the pond is the
color of an elephant's
hide but then I'd have
to say that doesn't
capture the way the sunlight
plays in winter, skating
across the absolutely
smooth and frozen crust of water.

Why am I so hellbent
on communicating the color
of the pond? Why
am I compelled to freeze into words
the warm excitement I feel staring
out the window at this sight? 
It has everything to do with
the play of light.

Still, I ought to stop trying
to find the right words
and just let my eyes settle
and fill with the awesome 
beauty of the water.
I move my
mind to the bench and there,
I pull my bathrobe tight and
breathe in the breeze and 
rejoice in the pond and the glowing sunlight
turns the surface white
and slightly mirrored.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Poetry as Prayer, Painting as Meditation

Yesterday I painted a larger version of

"Reaching Toward Heaven." That was the painting I did after a dream like no other.

I was in the other house, the old one, although it was now modernized. The best thing about the dream about the house was, when you opened the back door, there was the sand and the ocean.

And at the end of the dream there was a painting of heaven.

I had the dream in December and I am still trying to paint that painting.

Today I sit. And I contemplate the new painting, and the original.


Then I turn my attention to the pyramid candle. I stare into the white lick of flame, and the blue core at the bottom of the wick. 


This is always the same flame.  The same flame I stare into every morning.  


What?  You say what? What are you saying?


Yes, I pray.  My prayers are my poetry, my poetry is prayer.

I pray to Mary.  And to all of creation.


I say, Mary, stay with me.  Let your blue silk cape drape over me.  Make it a tent over the world in which I move.


Guide my every


Moment.  Let the words I speak I sing when I open my mouth


“Pour your chant from the bushes,


Limitless out of the dusk, out of the cedars and pines.”


Make of my soul’s yearnings a flutter of hope.  A wild cry bent by starlight, far spread by rain, raised on clouds to the mountaintops.  


Let me chant inside and out, systematically covering the crops, the animals.  That the Earth be blessed.  


Let that chant not be stopped.


For.  Ever.