Saturday, October 24, 2015



I choose to be me
What you see is who I be
So much more I have stored inside
Not to hide - I run deep

I choose not to hide 
the parts you might not like
to please and honor you
that is not what I do

Not from a lack of caring
It is sometimes very daring
to be yourself even if others find it glaring

Misunderstood?  It is all good!
I live free from the pain of rejection
Sometimes I get blamed for not playing the game
but if it is all the same to you
To myself I will remain true

Choosing to be me
curious, free, laughing see,
running and playing, teaching and
reaching some place in most I meet

Smiling, as I greet each face the same
Even those who cause me shame
trying not to blame

Conflicted I sometimes am
between what is in my heart and what it is I see
Often choosing to believe what I want to believe
Knowing it is not true, causing me to be blue
When reality seeps through

Happy when I do make a connection true
touching the human side of me, of you,
since not all choose to be who they really are
Putting on a charade until once more they fade
back into the shadows of their lives. 

You see them there
they look vacant in their stare
startled when they see the human side
in anybody

I refuse to be one of those you see
repelled by all that is real
hoping not to deal with what it is they see
To live in misery is not how I choose to be,
Pain, I release thee from my heart

I know it won't be easy 
At times I will feel bad
especially when others are  mad
about the choices that I make

I refuse to be fake
For somebody else's  sake
just to make life easier for you
That is not who I am
If you know and love me you will 
accept and understand.

If it is not to be, it is not to be
I am sure I will accept your choices 
more than you will accept mine
It happens often over and over it seems.

Friday, October 23, 2015


As I was just sitting rolling a few cigarettes listening to the absolute quiet of my house, aside from Thomas's breathing on the couch and the sound of a car passing on the street, I was thinking about how different my life is from just a couple of months ago, and how important it was that I slowed down.

I do recall, over the past ten months as I slept very little and was practically manic, not inside myself but to the outside world, busy all the time, trying to keep everyone happy - one more task, no problem, three hour road trip to nowhere, do this, be here, do that - okay, sleep - there will be plenty of time when I am dead!

From there I traveled back to a time when I had to live back in my hometown before.  My hometown and I have mixed feelings about each other.  I have never wandered too far from it, but avoid it I did.

When I was forced to live back here in the late 90's I took a job in the lead generation department of a marketing company in a room with two other people, one of them being my Dad.  All day long I listened to the telemarketers give their pitch as I qualified their leads for sometimes 12 hours a day.

Then I was asked to go on the road to do shows.  I looked better than the men who worked there so I got the classy shows - Boat Shows, Wine Shows, - Providence, Boston, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts  - my life was more than ideal, because the only thing I did in my hometown was eat dinner, usually out, since I could and sleep there!

My days off were few.  When I was home I was enjoying quality time with my sons, family  and friends.  I was super organized as I had to make sure I knew who was helping with the kids and I had a great support system at the time.  I was headed for a promotion, although, I would have been hard pressed to give up my time on the road.  Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, the road was the road and events with thousands of people were my ideal of the best times, and I made a pretty good paycheck as well and I didn't sell a thing!

 Then my mind wandered to my house in the country.  Another very lovely time in my life.  You could actually say I found my Utopia, although I didn't realize it until after it was over.   I was recovering from multiple car accidents in an older three bedroom cross between a ranch and a cape.

Two acres with a small stream running through at the base of Mount Greylock.  My house was off the main highway and I had two entrances to my driveway and frontage on the highway, yet private and secluded.  It was home. Our first home really, that was mine and the boys, minus one since Jeff stayed with my Mom to finish his senior year, although I would have transported him, his choice, he was almost a grown man and we have to let go sometime I suppose!

Country living was far different from City living.  It was December and I spent my first night, my 35th birthday, just like I had predicted when I was a teenager, in my house, sleeping on a bunch of blankets and pillows, the boys had their beds set up and were downstairs, Two out of three and then Pat's friend Nick who helped us move and stayed and went to school with Pat at Greylock.

Nick knew more about living in the country at 13 years of age than any of us.  He got us up and running in no time.  I do not know how we would have managed without him to tell the truth.  He was a godsend to us as much, I think as we were to him.  One of my first "wayward" boys, and girls as well, time would bring a few who needed rest, help, guidance, peace and understanding.

The past ten months did bring me happiness such as these times in my life.  Putting the three years of Art Walks to good use, Art Walks and Third Thursday being the things that led me to change my perspective on living in my hometown. The two good things which brought the community together and in a new light for me, personally, over the past 4 years, giving me something to look forward to as I tried two replace years of messed up experiences in this very City I now, once again call home.

Baby steps they say.  I began my reintegration into socializing, through these very events.  Living in the country I was around a lot of people, kids, parents of kids, my family and friends, life was always cooking, eating, visiting and laughing with a lot of hard work thrown in between.

Coming back to the city with my youngest son and my dog was a complete change.  Me, the kid and the dog all had to adjust.  The dog got me out of the house.  The kid stopped going out of the house, out of his room, dropped out of life in 10th grade.

That gave me purpose - tutoring at the library Monday through Friday for two to four hours for three years.  I spent a lot of time on the computer.  Met people, saw people I hadn't seen in years, read a lot of books.  The library was my second home once again.  The library and I were old friends any way, just not that close!  That is when I got the opportunity to volunteer at the Theater and began a whole new kind of life for me, very unexpected and right on the money.  I got to interact with people, dress nice and watch plays!

We do what is necessary for our children.  This was necessary as he was totally freaked out and I was needed.  I can say it was more than my parents would have done for me.  But, thank god, Thomas doesn't have my parents!  He graduated thanks to his tutors despite having two hospitalizations in between!  He still doesn't leave the house!

While I was immersed in my busiest times over the past four months, Thomas really stepped up in helping take care of me.  He took over the role of cooking dinner which he is pretty good at despite being able to eat hamburgers three nights in a row.  ( I am smiling as I remember weeks like that!)

He really stepped up when we were taking care of my Dad.  Getting up earlier and going for rides and having a blast taking photos all around the tri state area.  Playing cards with my Dad while I was busy doing paperwork or tying up loose ends on the next art show, or the current one or the one three months from then, whatever, he was ACES!

The lull I am in now, with very little desire to leave the house, is kind of like a nesting thing, I think you might call it.  At first I looked around at all the clutter, piles and dust.  It was all tidy piles, clutter and dust, but each room was buried.  I was not superwoman, after all!

I began to straighten my house from one end to the other and advance upstairs.  The garden was a total waste and all I could hope for was the quick death of it.  I didn't even bother to go out there.  It just made me angry anyway and I always try to avoid those kinds of things.

One thing about me, I do have a tendency to move rooms around when I am processing information, deep, internal shit which I do not discuss.  There was a ton of it, which meant a lot of furniture got moved around!

I vaguely remember beginning this last year before I knew I needed surgery, as far as sorting out my stuff,  but it had gotten much worse over the course of time.  I thought to myself, how did I let my life get so mixed up and confused, remembering a time not too long ago when I knew where everything was and everything was in it's place???

Then I realized that this whole time is necessary for me to regain some order.  It has been perfect timing, although, some people are a little freaked out by it I am sure and I was myself, when I realized that it was just the next step in the growing process for me.

Good things are happening that needed my attention, my primary focus.  Good things that I have been working on and waiting for time to pass so they could happen, reestablishing my security and my life so I will be ready and open with more choices available to me.  Sounds vague, but I do not like to jinx anything.  I do believe the Universe does put things in front of us and that if we are on the right path and open to them they are ours for the picking.  It seems that it is so, so far, so good, knock on wood!

As I gratefully accept what is before me, I am happy for all of the lessons along the way, even the ones that hurt me deeply.  Without that pain, where is the gain?  Although in the future, I would like a little less pain with my lessons thank you very much!

I am anxiously awaiting a very important phone call which will let me know if my current situation is secure or if it may have to change.  I do this not in a worried anxious way, but in a positive, everything is going to be as it should, hoping one thing, but prepared mentally, just in case so I can accept whatever response I receive from a good place!

Sometimes you just never know!  What you think is a bad thing could be the best thing that ever happened to you!

Thursday, October 22, 2015


"...bulldozer in the house"
 <static>...."construction (scramble, static)
 noises filled my ears through the phone.

I didn't know whether to hang up and check the number or run away from home.
I could not imagine that I had heard correctly.
Why on Earth would there be a bulldozer in the house?  I wondered and decided not to phone back.
I was glad to be 1000 miles away from whatever catastrophe was going on back home!

She checked her watch.  It was only 3 p.m. back home.  She decided she would call after 5:00
everyone knew that most laborers were in the bars by 5:00.  That would give her time to regroup
and time for Stephen to answer her questions.

She really hoped she had heard incorrectly and was almost certain that they would both
be laughing by 5:05!  Tick tock went the clock and her imagination as she waited.


Yesterday I received a Facebook message from one of my "new" friends asking me if I am ok, since I have been going through some, shall we say, adjustments lately.  It is true that I have been under  a great deal of stress lately as I wait for the chips to fall so I can see what I am dealing with instead of running around like a lunatic trying to catch them midair instead of seeing where everything lands.

I am appreciative of the concern, but the last thing I want to do is to make a stranger worry about me, though it is sweet to know that people worry about me, now if they could just worry in place of me! In reality, life is going marvelously, despite a bump here and there, nothing I can't handle.

No one said it was going to be easy to look at my life and figure out where it needs to be tweaked.  I am no stranger to looking inside, the problems with me occur with growing a set and making the changes I know need to be addressed.

I have been tweaking my life and doing the work since 1999 thanks to Betsy Kaye, (RIP) who made me see something scary inside myself and admit it out loud to at least one person besides myself. One thing lead to another and I learned that I am not alone, even though I feel it 98 % of the time.  At least the multiple car accidents brought forth something other than chronic pain and nerve damage, it gave me the time I need to do the work.

The most difficult thing in my life presently is accepting the truths which I know even though I try really hard to look at them at different angles hoping that my perception will change and those bad spots in the fruit are just shadows caused by the wrong light.  That is never the case.  No matter how I want it to be so.

A few months ago, an acquaintance said something to me which tried to say I was a control freak, when I was venting about a situation.  I was more angry at myself than about the situation, although the situation filled me with so much anger, hurt and confusion, which was interpreted as anger at another for the choices they felt they had to make.  In a way she was right.  I get very angry when I am not in control of how I respond to a situation which affects (effects) me personally and deeply.

I love to spread love, light and positive energy and sometimes I get so wrapped up in processing the events which cause me turmoil that it is difficult for me to spread it as I work my way back to that.  So much has happened over the course of my life which makes it so natural for me to be full of sadness, pain and negativity, even though it is not my natural outlook.

It is difficult at times not to worry that I will remain stuck with the gloomy darkness that lives inside of me.  Finding the balance between the dark and the light is a trick that I am hoping to perfect (with less dark and more light!)

So, I thank you for the concern!  I love that someone is concerned!  I am always concentrating on the two steps forward and making up for the three steps back.  Sometimes I just don't have the ability or the desire to drag you into the darkness, and other times I am just too busy living life to have the time to share, but those times have been plentiful and everything that does happen, happens for a reason!

Presently I am miles ahead of where I was last year, or even 5 years ago and next year I hope to be in even better shape, God willing!  Sometimes you just don't realize the progress you have made but every once in a while you have to give credit where credit is due!  I know I haven't "arrived" but I know that I am on the right road - (as long as there are some lefts and rights to take along the way), cuz you know - all roads eventually lead back to home!

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Greetings friends,

I have been having a very different month adjusting to the changes I have implemented in my life. Since I have done that I feel so much better!  Life has slowed down dramatically from the previous ten months and I am sad about some things, but looking forward towards a more balanced and fulfilling future.

I have had good days and bad days.  The bad days come when I worry that I have made a huge mistake and also in observing the people around me and seeing that no matter what you do for people or how much you give the results will always be the same.

That was part of the reason for the adjustments.  I was having difficulty accepting what people would just expect from me, regardless of how much was being taken and the balance just was not there.  For a change, I thought long and hard about what was going on around me before making some very difficult choices.

Life would have been more difficult for me as I was going, if I had tried to keep it up.  Being a people pleaser and dutiful daughter despite knowing that it went against my self, which is not good, as we all know,  My life and responsibilities were in the wind and of no importance to anyone else I was doing for, and as I was so tied up with everyone else's things, to me either.

When I finally made the decisions to scale back and what to scale back, you would think that life would be easier, but no, adjustments had to be made as I slowed down, looked around at my own life and the state of it.

My house was a mess, I fell behind on my own obligations and the timing of everything to do with my structure was off by a notch or two.  I was trying to fulfill every ones expectations of my ability, and even though I was competent I could not keep up the pace forever.

I found myself eating dinner at very late hours, usually cooked by my dear youngest son, who never once complained about anything.  I also found myself compensating for our lack of quality time by taking away from my sleeping hours to spend time with him.

I barely had time to spend with my sweet grand daughter, whom I miss very much, but with whom I got to enjoy some excellent quality time together at the family cottage on the Lake, stealing a few hours selfishly where I could.

I had the best summer, don't get me wrong.  I have no problem burning the candle at both ends.  I wouldn't have traded anything that I did for any other thing that I can think of.  But when I began to see the writing on the wall, and by that I mean, those takers taking and expecting more and more, and more, and more, I had to put my foot down.

Down it went.  I sent my Dad back home, He had no need to stay with me after the Nursing Home, and before you get all "you're Mean" my Dad is a very young man for his age.  I watched him ham it up with how little he could do, which suddenly was not too much between the Nursing home and my house, the change was remarkable.

It is also remarkable to see how much he has recovered now that he is back home and has his car back, which I do miss, but I do not miss the daily check in's and finding out if he needed to go anywhere and the "I don't want to bother you...." the refusal to take his car back to have me at his beck and call, calling me to fix things that I had no knowledge or ability.  I am not god, I cannot make your phone have service when the tower is down!!!

It is interesting to see how little I matter to him over the past three weeks.  From 5 calls a day to 2 in three weeks.  Too busy with his "real" friends.  Which was expected, as it has happened to me for 40 years.  All or nothing my friend pointed out to me the other day, and not just him.  It makes my heart heavy, but reality is reality and I live firmly planted there.

My "Volunteer" Gallery Manager and Curating experience gave me the greatest pleasure.  Finding passion in picking Art, laying out shows and the excitement at the Openings as people came and appreciated the art was a high point in my month.

I will admit that I will miss that the most.  Although to be honest, Gallery Manager/Curating is not a volunteer job. After participating in this endeavor for ten months I will admit that I love the life experience, but the Whit was not the place for me.  I do hope that they are able to do some Gallery hours and make some sales eventually, but they are not focused on that at all and I had no more time to give to make it possible on top of everything else.  I do not consider that my failure though.

Making these decisions was not easy.  I must admit, I love the pressure of working on three art shows at a time, taking one down,  hanging one, worrying that I wouldn't have the next one up, getting the routine down.  I was proud of my participation and my output and I am very thankful for all of the artists who were on that journey with me!

So now I have weeded out the house.  Organized the piles.  I am in a new routine in my home and outside of it.  I go to have tea at one of the Coffee houses up street, regularly, I might add, just like my younger days (for those of you who liked to tell me that I didn't like to go have coffee, and it was something that wasn't "normal" I have to tell you now, you were wrong, words you wouldn't hear when I spoke them in your ear!)

I am getting used to walking everywhere again and did a 5 mile round trip to the store the other day, with a stop to pay the rent and go to the bank.  Planning my days once more, like I used to, so that I get everything done while I am out and mapping the journey before I leave.  Being prepared for whatever obstacle might lay in my path, and dealing with those unexpected ones as well.

I did have a little nervous breakdown before I finally settled back into my life once more.  Not a real one, but a slight tremor of one, but thanks to the support of those I know and some I don't I made my way through.  /Sorry for the worry and thanks for the support!

Last night I fulfilled my final Barrington Stage volunteer date of the season, as we only have theater there until October.  The play was great and I got to see some of my favorite fellow volunteers and say hello and good bye and see you next year!

I am so glad that I didn't not volunteer there this year, as I have spent three incredible seasons there and look forward to the next as well!  Before the show I stopped in to an Art Opening at the Hotel on North with Scott Taylor.

I caught the tail end of it and some great friends were there supporting Scott.  I think I handled the interrogations well and in a kind manner.  My absence has been noted by a few and inquiring minds wanted to know where I have been.

Thankfully, I had another obligation so I was only uncomfortable for a split second and then through the doors I went into the night to check the set up at the Greylock Lounge and take a walk down to grab a tea and have a quick chat with another friend.

I am sure these uncomfortable encounters will be more comfortable as people get used to me not being where I normally am, until I find a place to be that is.  For now, I have plenty to do.  The timing of my decision couldn't be better with the weather changing.

Already I am seeing good things coming my way.  It has been a long time coming and I am grateful, hopeful and very excited!  Life is an adventure, be sure not to forget, you just never know where that journey is going to take you!

Not all of your experiences may be ideal, but it shows you many things about yourself and others that only time can reveal!  Until next time - don't forget to stay strong, breath and don't fret!  If you haven't arrived there is time yet!

Monday, October 12, 2015


"Lets break some bad guys heads" Trevor shouted to the crowd around him.  Riots had broken out all around them.  They were supposed to be the law, but at this moment the only law around was the law of the streets.

People gathered in crowds, throwing things at windows to gain access or just to diminish the rage they felt.  The energy of the crowd was like electricity in the air.  Survival was the key.

Trevor looked around and saw members of this once calm and tranquil community, he recognized the cashier at the market, the librarian, the teacher, even the preacher was in the street.  These were reasonable people, pushed beyond their limits for far too long.

The time for talking was over, soon, if something wasn't done, scenes like these would be common everywhere.  Something had to be done on a larger scale, and more productively than riots!


I hate when friends from afar go back to where they belong
I much prefer when they are near and can be seen
more than a picture on a computer screen

Sitting face to space with only a little space between
is the perfect life for which I dream
with my dearest friends from afar
But what is to be done?  It sure makes me glum!

Thank god the suns rays are shining today
If they sky reflected how I felt, the rain would pelt
the windows closed, a grey and dark day, a chill in the air

I sit and listen to a song sad, mellow, rather long,
Wishing you were here my dear
A hug, a kiss, my biggest wish before you go
just so you know

Saying goodbye will just make me cry
so I try to pretend - knowing you will be back again
my face will glow, as my heart overflows with my love for you
always there, always true, no matter - a trail of clues
laid out for you

Though my mouth will  not utter these words
listen to the joyous song of the birds
they will let you know, listen to their songs
they reflect how I feel,

Think of me, when you see the bird flying
high and free on the breeze
I will think of you, as I always do with love in my heart
although we are apart

My dearest friends, no matter what
until the end of time and back full circle
we will find again and again
Always the truest of friends!

Saturday, October 10, 2015


It was late, I walked through the garage trying to remember where I parked my car six hours earlier when I arrived for my meeting.  The sound of my steps echoed through the semi empty darkness of the garage.  Although I heard nothing, I suddenly felt a chill run through my body and I noticed the hair standing up on my arms although it was a warm, still evening.

I approached where I thought I had left my car. The feeling of apprehension still lingered.  I reviewed the meeting in my mind, hoping that focusing on business would relieve me of the uneasy feeling.  I tried to remember the number on the post when I parked in the morning, I always wished later that I had written it down, something I never do, as I tell myself I will remember, and forget five minutes later.

I usually attached a word or something to it, what was it? I wondered as I walked.  I was beginning to feel more relaxed as I thought back to this morning.  I remembered the great night I had the night before and I really began to relax as I remembered the sweet kisses I was left with, almost canceling the days meeting to play hooky and spend the day in bed.

That would never do, responsibility first - suddenly I remembered, I parked on J and I was on D.  I  heard a car on the level below.  A car door shut in the distance. I continued up the ramp - almost there, a sign that the place wasn't completely deserted!  The footsteps below echoed into the distance and soon faded into the night.

I began to notice the pattern on the poles as I walked the six levels.  Red, white, white, red.  No other sound but the echo of my shoes on the concrete filled the air. I could not even hear traffic below.  It was closing in on ten p.m., not too many people worked that late any more since the economy had tanked.  I had always put in a full day and time was really irrelevant. There would be time to rest when I was dead, I thought, once again, it was like a mantra now.  Making it in this man's world was no joke.

I began to think about the sunken hot tub and a nice long soak before a late dinner.  I made a mental note to stop and pick up a salad on the way home and maybe some ice cream, after this walk I think I could indulge a little bit.  I was deep in thought, no longer aware of any danger, the earlier fear had vanished in a puff of sweeter thoughts.

Level J and an arrow, around another corner, up the last ramp.  I had a vague memory of parking halfway down the on the right.  I glanced around, unaware of any one else.  A few cars were parked on the level.  Up ahead I saw mine.


Long ago and far away, those were the days,
days I remember and days I don't,
the less you know sometimes is what you need.

Reminders occur at the oddest times,
sometimes they are rather sublime,
a picture, a song, a phrase from the past,
bring me there and it is a blast.

The feelings fill me with the sweetest desire,
no drug I have ever tried has gotten me higher
than a great memory with the people I love
some of them here, some up above.

How long it has taken to reach this place,
to have this experience,
to feel such grace.

Happiness fills my heart,
I feel so carefree
I have always known it was inside of me

Hidden away as it often has been,
It makes me feel wonderful to feel it again!

Friday, October 9, 2015


It has been a few so I think I will begin with an update - hmm, lets see, life been interesting as I adjust to reclaiming my life and dealing with my stuff.  It is amazing what you can actually get done when you have time to finish what you start.

Keeping up with my house has been a breeze now that I no longer run in, drop things down and run out the door, pile up the piles and put them in a pile until you can no longer stack another thing on the pile.  That is where I was at.

I think I have a third and final run through of the paper pile which will result, no doubt in having things to add to the other piles.  That is okay, because I have the luxury once again of time.  My once near impossible goals are becoming manageable and now I laugh where once I was too overwhelmed with tasks that I couldn't even begin.

I have a new feeling surrounding me.  It is kind of strange and unusual and I have begun to dream.  Sometimes dreaming is a bad thing but in other instances it is a good thing.  My dreams could reveal just about anything to me, but I am sure they will not reveal too much.

I made it back to the specialist hoping to hear something positive or new.  I guess the positive and new is that there is nothing new.  The new symptoms I have to deal with are just that, things that I have to deal with, they are here, now and forever, no big deal.  Sometimes, you just get hopeful.

I have been experiencing a special fondness for surprises as the other day my best girlfriend phoned me.  Not too unusual, I had been expecting to chat with her.  I was up in my room cleaning and I answered the phone.

She asked if I was home, which was silly, considering I had answered my home phone.  I said yes. She asked why I didn't answer my door.  Oh, did I forget to tell you she lives in Florida?  I am still on the phone, confused, walking down stairs to the front door and there she is in the flesh!

Bless her heart, she surprised me since last month when she was here with her husband they ran out of quality time and we had breakfast together, which to me was fine and great.  I think it was a fine first meeting of her husband and I.  I enjoyed it and wished I had met him sooner!

So family business brought her to town, and not knowing the time constraints she might have, she decided to surprise instead of disappoint.  What my old time friends don't realize is that even seeing them for 5 minutes on the street saying hello is awesome to me, which makes my life simply wonderful, as I see a lot of people I know, living in the city I grew up in and went to school at and worked my "high profile" jobs.

I am after all a people person whether I am introverted, extroverted, visible or invisible, sociable or anti social, watching or being watched. It makes no difference to me. Unless you are someone I do not want to see.  In which case, unless you sneak up on me, I will duck, run and hide - pull out my invisibility shield or be gone like the wind.

I digress.  I have been away from writing and doing some drawing with my ink pen and as I said, getting my life in ship shape order, feeling mostly good.  No problem.  I even went with friends to Mass MOCA and had a great day taking pictures.  It is somewhat traditional as we did it last year for my friend Lisa's birthday.

These are just a few of the things that I really liked.  I would share more but, now is not the time.  I can recommend it highly if you are in the area!  Do not forget the kids area either, we always have a blast there and today was no exception with the "Psychic Karaoke"which was fun once you stopped laughing!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Yesterday I left my Doctor's office not deep in thought and concerned about what I should do, rather as I walked down the street towards home, I felt light, carefree and Happy!  That is not to say that I was totally free from all that concerns me, but I have relieved myself from another huge anchor which was weighing me down.  The confirmation is in the mind, body and spirit - all are feeling much better which is the biggest confirmation one can get when making a life changing decision.

Sure, I am sad a little bit that this one little portion of a chapter of my life is done and over with at the Whit at least, but the Whit is just one place off the beaten path with plans that don't really encompass Art other than as decorations for the walls - they maybe should maybe check out Home Goods for that - but even that would be too much of an investment into Art.

Okay, that might have come out a little mean, but realistic for sure!  I learned valuable lessons on top of my learning how much I enjoy putting Art Shows together and seeing the reactions and hearing the comments.

I can tell you that First Friday Art Walk was  a little different for me this month.  Without a show of my own I was not tied down to the Gallery or running around in the lulls trying to check out everyone's exhibits.

At first, when I arrived on North Street I felt odd and out of place.  It felt foreign to me.  So much so that I was halfway home when my phone rang.  I was somewhat despondent when asked if I was going to art walk and support one of my Art friends who was opening her new studio location.

I agreed to meet him there and popped into The Shire City Sanctuary and had a gander at the show there.  It is off the beaten path, but on my way home where I was headed before the phone call, so I was right there.  I didn't have much time to wander down that far normally, so it was nice to have time and the show was a good one.  I always love seeing Crispina who was busy as always finishing up a silk screening  project before the event began.

I met my friends and hung out at Nu Arts Gallery, which is rarely opened anymore - but that will be changing I have a feeling.  Some key artists have departed either to new studios or into home studios and there are a couple of new ones who have taken their places - new artists, new art - always a blessing for me!

It was a great deal of fun to have the time to look and chat and get to know the new faces, and catch up with some familiar ones as well.  I was beginning to feel more comfortable and more myself.  Two good and necessary things.  Worry and fear govern my life and it had been doing a number on me that afternoon.

By the time I left the NU Arts Gallery I was feeling rather fine.  We went off in pursuit of Art.  Stopping here and there along the way, seeing Art I liked and Art that I had to look twice at.  I made it to most places and I think all in all the only show I didn't see was at Dotties and The Museum - both at extreme opposite ends of the street.  I am pretty sure I saw the show in Dotties already and regret not stopping in to see Michael Borniacs pottery - the pictures I saw showed a very good show.

I had seen the show at the Whit earlier that day when I met the Bennett/Roland art couple to return their Art from the September "Partners in Art" show.  I really had no interest in an Auction and there were three pieces I like out of the whole room.  Since I am not a After Art Walk Dance Party girl I headed home without dropping in.

Walking home, I did what I do, I thought about my evening and went over conversations.  I was surprised to find that there is love and support in places which I didn't even know existed.  That carried me through the park and to my front door - happy and carefree, confident and eager to get to work on my next project which has been brewing in the back of my brain.

Thomas and I cooked a very late dinner and watched some more of the 4400 which is heating up and action packed every episode - we are on the final season as of late last night.  Given the time we would have it finished in two more days, but that is going to go on hold for a few unless he cheats and watches it without me.

Yesterday, the weather which had turned cold, damp and rainy from the storm coming up the coast has broken, the sun has been out for a couple of days now, judging by looking out my window, the temperatures have warmed up and I am one very happy girl.

I could not resist wearing shorts yesterday with the warm up, but felt odd with everyone in pants and sweatshirts - they must have been hot, because I was just right!  Anyhow, fingers crossed I won't have to pull pants and sweaters out.  I am not ready for the weather to remain cold and windy.

So getting back to normal is the key to my life these days.  I feel like I found the doorway and walked back through, the only trouble is, I am not sure which side of the doorway I am on, having felt like I have lived in an alternate reality for so long!

Regardless, I can recommend self care and making choices that are right for you.  I know for myself, even though I loved what I was doing, if I continued to slave away for another person who didn't support my efforts in supporting them one more month I probably would have gone mad the way things were going.

It wasn't so bad in the beginning but once you realize that you are killing yourself for someone else who doesn't appreciate it the effect will be bad.  For me, it came close to putting out my flame and I am happy to say my fire is burning as hot as ever!

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Over the past few months I have been adjusting my life and practicing in self care.  I had been taking care of everyone's business, from my Dad when he got hurt and was in the Nursing Home and continuing to voluntarily Curate Art Shows at the Whitney Center For the Arts, as well as given the voluntary role as Gallery Manager along with my first official business card!!  It was a proud time in my life indeed, and very busy which I do love!

During that time, I was thankful for my youngest son who took care of me by cooking dinner at ridiculous hours and kept the house going while I was everywhere else than home being a homemaker which is my normal role in life.

Since my own surgery I have experienced major numbness in my left arm  and needed to return to see my neurosurgeon and discover what was going on.  My neurosurgeon sent me to another Doctor and he gave me an injection to see if that would help with the numbness in my left arm which was traveling down my left side and leg.

That changed how I was feeling immediately, took some numbness away, but opened up some new symptoms which I am going to follow up on this week.  My physical self has been racked with pain and discomfort which has been unbearable at times!

There has been a lot of sleeping, resting and adapting going on.  I am still positive, but leery of what the next "fix" is going to bring out.  Change is a wonderful thing isn't it?  It makes me wish I could turn back time and not have the surgery a year ago, needed or not!

I was grateful to Ghazi Kazmi when I approached him about my health concerns and he answered by telling me he had a show set for October, so I wouldn't have to worry about October.  I was in the middle of the August Show and working out the kinks on the September Art Show at that time.

I continued to do what I was doing.  I continued to consider myself and what I had been doing and what I was really able to do as a volunteer.  I counseled with my Doctor, as I do and it came down to bottom line - I needed to make some adjustments and soon or I would be in trouble.

You see I have a problem saying no.  I have a problem in a big way saying no.  One little word, two letters, yet very powerful, very difficult to say.  I had continued Curating after Richard left.  He (we) had taken on the curating until September and then a renegotiation, he left in June and I carried on without him which was fun and great and wonderful.

A few weeks ago, I realized that although I am capable of doing this job, it is a job, and not a volunteer position.  It was much more than just setting up a show for First Fridays as it began.  When I first voiced my concerns in an email regarding  my position it was followed up with a lunch meeting and a conversation about the Gallery.

I was physically ill for a month as I weighed and measured.  I must have gone through every anxiety symptom on the planet and then some!  I was so ill at the meeting I could barely choke down a slice of pizza!

Gallery Hours came up once again, as it is my belief that you can't sell Art with no hours.  People coming in for musical performances are not looking to buy art, they are there for the music.  The art is just decoration on the walls, which is great for The Whit, but not really that great for the Artists, who hope to sell work and make some money!

Money is after all what makes the world go around, and money talks.  Ghazi isn't behind anything that doesn't make him money and the Art Shows are just bleeding money, giving away wine and some chips and dip and Pizza after the Art Walk at the After Party.

Money was offered to sit the Gallery, which meant more time and commitment, into something I was already putting more time than a part time job into.  I thought for a week, even though when I sent the original letter, I was pretty sure that unless the position turned from volunteer into paid I was done.

So after much deep thought, consideration and realistically considering my position and my self worth, I made the difficult decision of ending my role as curator and gallery manager at the Whitney Center for the Arts.  It is with great sadness that I did so.  Art makes my heart race and gets my blood flowing.  It does drive me in ways that nothing else in my life ever has!

Even though my heart is heavy at the loss of such a great place to show Art in, I am happy to say that my anxiety is gone.  My stomach doesn't hurt.  My brain can think again and I feel good.  Except for the fact that my texts and email has gone unacknowledged.  I left with a November show in place and am working on getting my last two artists work back to them, finishing up what I began as is only right and professional.

I am not done with Art and I am sure that Art is not done with me!  I have met great Artists locally and Internationally.  Each and every day I submerse myself in it.  Although I am not an artist out in the world, some people thought I have no place and no right doing what I have been doing.  I think  that the proof has been in the pudding and all of the shows I have been involved with picking and laying out, setting up and showing have been top notch.

Although I will no longer  be involved in the Art Shows at the Whitney Center for the Arts, I will be back in some capacity or another on a limited scale in order to fully bring a future plan together.  It may take a little time, but it has been in the planning process for a couple of months now.  Plan B.

Never before have I felt like I was on the correct path, until now.  I thank Ghazi Kazmi and Lisa Whitney for giving me the opportunity to explore an avenue of my self which put me on the path.  They really did bring Art and Culture into my world in a bigger way than it had been before!  I wish them well in bringing their dream fully to life!

Thursday, October 1, 2015


                    THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY DAY
                              WAS THE WAY YOU USED TO SPEAK
                                      CAREFULLY AND DIRECTLY TO ME

                     I WOULD FLOAT ON AIR FOR MILES
                             FEEL MYSELF SMILE FOR NO REASON AT ALL
                                       FEEL LIKE I COULD DO IT ALL

                                    MAKE MY HEART ZING !
                                                          MY SPIRIT SING!
                                                                HOW SILLY IT ALL WAS THIS FOOLISH LOVE

                  AND THEN I REMEMBER I DON'T CARE
                        INTO SPACE I STARE AS I MAKE MY WAY
                                    THROUGH THE DAYS PRETENDING THE SUN LIGHTS RAYS
                                                            ARE BLINDING MY EYES - MAKING THEM SHINE

                                  THERE IS NOTHING MORE TO SAY
                                           STRANGERS WE WILL BE
                                                      FOR ALL ETERNITY
                                                         BECAUSE OF YOUR SLY LIE
                                                               KISSING NOTHING GOODBYE

                                   FILLING YOUR NEEDS GREEDILY
                                          CALLING IT LOVE...calling it love!


It is the first of October.  Today marks the return of my Dad's car as he let me know last night (why he didn't just take it yesterday is beyond me!).  His rationalizing was waiting until the first.  One last day to run me around I guess, considering he has to go to the laundry mat today and I have to meet an artist, go to the pharmacy, bank and who knows what else at this point!

It will be good not to have the responsibility of caring for someone who could care for himself since, he got out of the nursing home in reality, in August.  It will be good for him to get back to his life and being responsible for himself and not call me because of every little thing which I have no control over (unless I had a magic wand and I don't know any magic!)

My internal system must be ready to get this over with.  I was up at 5:30 a.m.  Yesterday, I struggled to crawl out of bed at 7 a.m. to put the garbage out (which I opted out of!), instead ending the alarm and going back to sleep until 9 a.m.

It turns out I am a control freak.  I need to be in control of my own life and my own obligations and I think I reached my limit recently, from not having control of choosing what I do and how I spend my time, whom I spend it with and if I do choose to do nothing so be it - my choice.

Being around people who listen but do not hear has been one of my biggest challenges.  It seems like some of my main anxiety comes from that.  It reminds me of last winter where I would say something, knowing it was true and correct, only to be told I was wrong, defend myself and the validity of what I stated, have to prove myself to be correct and be told reluctantly that I was correct.  It gets old to have people think you know less than you do and question everything you say or not listen to what you have to say, especially if it goes against what they need from you.

I have been making choices for the past few months which have been for the benefit of my health - both physical and mental.  If you think it takes nothing to do the bidding of others for 6 months let me tell you, you would be mistaken, or an angel, or crazy!

I can tell you the results of being overburdened, but I don't want to relive the past three months of my life over again, most of all I do not want to live the past month over at all.  I am looking forward to the nothingness of my life.

I miss being "Gramma" and having sleepovers and not having to worry about anything but what I want to worry about.  I miss having time and peace of mind.  I miss being home. I miss having to be so organized because I don't want to walk everywhere, get home and realize I forgot something (which is a necessity when you are a walker, and a benefit as well.) I miss pajama days and weeks!

I am sure I will miss driving, but for the most part I have been leaving the car in the yard and walking in preparation of this day coming.  Part of me almost feels like calling my Dad right now and bringing his car over to him so he can get his laundry done early and get back into his "normal" routine.  Back with his friends and his life.  Perhaps this time he will stay off ladders (especially broken ones!)

Day two out of 30 without a stomach ache after a month of them is something I can really get used to for sure!  I am tired of being sick to my stomach and worrying about things that really are not my problem.  I say that and I mean it, and on more than one level this is true.

The stress and anxiety I have experienced on such high levels (the highest ever in my history) are not welcome here anymore.  I exorcise that right here and now!  If it doesn't belong to me, I am not owning it.  My new affirmation and one I hope to carry with me for eternity after this ordeal!

Much good has come out of this experience indeed.  I have learned some limits and realized that I need to stay within mine.  I have been on the "pushing things out of my life" end of life as well as subtly being pushed out of other aspects of my life which had great importance, but which is also a godsend in a way.

It makes it easier to accept being pushed away when you have been feeling the need to extricate yourself from a situation that doesn't work anymore.  September deadline headline - the big kiss off - see you later and don't let the proverbial door hit you in the ass on the way out (It is funny when it happens but not when it is to you!)

In with a bang out with a whisper (or a series of them which stop when you enter the room!) been there done that - adios amigos - I know the  signs when I feel them and brother are they here!  I don't think it is really the effect of the great Super Moon this week either (and wasn't that beautiful!)

I feel like I have walked through a doorway into an alternate reality.  I have been looking for the gate back home for some time - the only thing I have felt is an odd sensation of things being right but just a little off. I hope that I have found the gate back to my time and place - a place of peace, contentment, security and certainty.  It will be nice to be back home!

I have learned so much about who I am and where I hope to be.  For once in my long life I have stepped on the path which I belong.  I connected with the energy which energizes me, a passion that fills me up and I look forward to building that up to something greater than I could hope.  New goals and new plans and a glimpse ahead into a world of endless possibility!

I hope I have freed myself from what has threatened to snuff out my fire while there is still an ember to ignite the flames again.  I am sure that there is enough - if not I am certain that I have the tools inside me to get that fire roaring once more!

Someone I know said something recently which helps put things into perspective when they stated "Why should I support those that don't support me."  (if you knew the speaker you would laugh). I did not think it funny when it was said, and in the context, especially, but in a way it is very fitting and very ironic.

Looking back at all of the things which I personally have done over the past two years with this person in mind, for no personal gain on my end and looking at my current situation with this person professionally, where I support them with my endeavors wholeheartedly (but not profitably for anyone involved - which is the key here) giving time, thought, effort and energy selflessly but without support (a few thin "Thank You's) not really countering the inconsideration and still wanting more for nothing, empty words and no acknowledgement and no effort at communication, respect or value for what services I provided to enhance their world, with instead a subtle snubbing and statements like "you haven't been happy (obviously aware of the bruising of the subtle snubs and lack of respect of my efforts, amazed that they even noticed!)

Let me tell you, feeling and  watching your passion and enthusiasm drain out of your very heart and soul is a very unsatisfying feeling.  Recognizing the vampire in the room, disguised as a sheep in wolfs clothing makes it easier to make the choices and do the things which need to be done without shameful guilt about "disappointing" someone that wouldn't go out of their way to give you the time of day unless they could profit off of you.  I wish I had learned this long ago.  I am glad I learned it now.

It is a good lesson for me.  Learning to give and help are good things, and that is not the part I needed the lesson on.  The lesson comes from doing and helping those who need it as opposed to those who expect it and will only support you if it lines their pockets well enough - recognizing the difference is the lesson.  I get it now!