Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book Club Challenge - what I found when I focused on the truth

Think about all the little white lies you tell all day every day.   We all do, but like masturbation, no one wants to fess up.  So when we came up with the book club challenge to consciously tell the truth all day I was petrified.  Here is what I learned in 24 hours about truth:   

I enjoy speaking truth (when it suits me)

I feel frustrated when (I perceive) my truth was not well received  

When I resist the truth I become passive

I feel deep guilt when I do things to please myself , 
           do it anyway, 
                            but become deceptive with intent

I delight in the role of impartial observer, and the interesting body sensations it creates

I find great humor within adherence to and observation of truth

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Mama

I wrote this in 1998 as a mother's day present for my mom.  I post it as a birthday present to her on what would have been her 89th Birthday. 

I look down at my hands and think.  “Whose hands are these?  
    Certainly not mine, they look like Blanche’s.”
freckly spots
creases and lines
worn fingernails
smooth touch
caring and loving

I look in the mirror at my face and think.  "Whose face is this?  
       Certainly not mine, it looks like Blanche’s”
laugh lines
furrowed brow
more freckly spots
classic beauty
a few stray gray hairs

I look into my eyes and think.  "Whose eyes are these?  
    Certainly not mine, they look like Blanche’s”
a certain sparkle

I look into the eyes of my son and think.  "Whose child is this?  
    Certainly not mine, he looks like Blanche’s” 

I look into my heart and think.  "Whose heart is this?  
       Certainly not mine, it looks like Blanche’s” 


Mom & Artie 1993

Mom, Artie & Ralphy 1994

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Art of Dance

I am A self-taught collage artist, I use found or discarded articles in new and exciting ways.  I hope the Vintage items awaken memories and create room for thought and inspiration.  I love freecycle, garage sale, & flea market finds. I love to rescue well-loved items that call to me and make them new again. I love to incorporate nature and collect from my garden.  I believe art is everywhere, waiting to be discovered.  I strive and pray to be a creative service, between the divine, mother earth, and my community.

I began installation art actively about four years ago at weekly workshops and Sunday Sweat Your prayers.  I am honored to provide artwork to inspire dancers and teachers to take more to the dance floor for a deeper experience and benefit of the 5Rhythms sweat. Most of my art disappears into ether when the dance is finished.   The slide show is representative of my art and the creative process I go through.  My inspiration is my own dance practice, intuitive-empathic wisdom and a touch point with the 5Rhythms instructor on a theme or topic.   Installation art is a sacred blessing and prayer that supports my 5Rhythms practice.  

This is the first time I created permanent art.  

Here are some descriptions and photos!

Gabrielle evolved over several years.   Heartbeat and cycles workshops took me on a deep dive into myself, my relationship with my 5Rhythms tribe and the community that is formed around 5Rhythms tribes all over the globe.  This collage represents the love in my heart for my Sacramento 5Rhythms tribe and my personal 5Rhythms practice.  I am grateful to those who inspired me, including Gabrielle Roth, Bella Dreizler, Juliette Kunin, Masayo benoist, and Kathie webb.  $200

Traversing Treacherous Territory
Traversing Treacherous Territory A woman lost in her dreams finds a way to break free of the bonds of the past, fear, and self-loathing to find love and personal freedom.  This is the largest piece in the dreamcatcher series. $150

Devoted Sisters
Have you ever seen such devoted sisters?  My son found this Bjørn Larsen print in the back of a garage at an estate sale.  Even in its marred state, the powerful image of sisters joined at the hip spoke to me.  Dedicated to my soul twin and sister, Jean Rose, I hoped to capture the tangled and complicated relationship between sisters.   $150  

Dream catcher series are my take on Native American art 
Blackbird’s flight into the ether:  $25 (sold)
Sweet Dreams:  $10 
Night Light:  $60 (sold)

Little Alters Series are my take on Día de Muertos scenes that are meant for dance inspiration.  $10-20 each

I am donating 50% of what I sell to Movement as Medicine fund raiser for dance healing.  Whatever I don't sell at second Saturday I will continue to donate portion of my sales until September 28, the date of MAM event.  

Little Alters

Night Light

Little Alters

Best Western Ashtray
Larry's frames

Into Ether

Sweet Dreams
Into Action

Monday, July 1, 2013

Birthday Kindness - pay it forward

Through habit, not thoughtlessness my birthday gift giving comes at odd times.  Either too early or far too late designer boutique, artisan faire or garage sale treasures will find their way into the hands of friends and loved ones accompanied by a handmade card or poem.  And so onto today’s topic.  (actually Saturday’s)

Through the wonderment of social networking, my dear niece’s 40th birthday wish was to pay some kindness forward.  From the lips of the most kind, most gentle soul on the planet.  So touch, so moved, I was paralyzed in the realization that although I had known her birthday was fast approaching I failed (yet again) to get her a timely birthday gift, much less one worthy of a milestone like 40.

Now you all realize I have a credit card and am not afraid to use it.  I could still send an extravagant birthday floral arrangement last-minute.  I stopped dead in my tracks.  NO.

 My gift
    my gift
        my gift is a blank canvas,
 a blank canvas to start life anew, at 40 and then every day after.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sweat, Tears or the Sea

"The cure for anything is salt water -- sweat, tears, or the sea."

-Isak Dinesen, author (1885-1962)

Tears are a strong outlet of emotion.   Don't keep them inside.  Invest in some nice handkerchiefs and let yourself have a nice cry.  The salt water will do you good.

Save those tears,
I beg you.
Use them for medicine or a magic spell.

Mother's tears are especially powerful.
They come straight out of your heart.
Tears on her first-born's wedding day.
Tears on her baby's last day of kindergarten.

Wring that hanky out over a hot cup of tea
Drink it as an elixir
Water tomatoes at sunset
Pick out a frilly pink dress for a little girl
Go to book club
Then, write a poem.
It will help you change  
     The beginning
      The middle and
       The End.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wiskery Stitches and All

I took off my bracelets five days ago.  I had to have basal cell lesion removed from my nose.  It was like a non-healing pimple that stuck around for like a year and a half.  My esthetician pressed me to call my doctor.  I’m really glad I did.  Last week I had a Mohs procedure and surgery to repair my nose the next day.  I learned some really valuable things, a few worth sharing
  • If you have something on your body you’re suspicious about, goodness gracious, please go to the doctor and have it checked.
  • Let your body be your guide.  I stayed home.  I had more swelling, bruising and pain than anticipated.  I could barely tolerate my glasses to rest on my nose.  I nurtured myself.  I let my family take care of me.  I missed a whole bunch of other things in life, but I don’t regret taking the rest I needed.  
  •  “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” And “Everything is the small stuff.”
  • Take the pain medicine.   And chocolate.
Me just after biopsy - barely noticable...
I feel better every day and even ok to face reality. Today, I put my four bracelets back on.  Tomorrow, it’s back to reality – wiskery stitches and all.

Monday, back at work...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

All My Children

So it’s like this for me.  I am a Mama.   Both by biology and cosmic gift of the universe I am grateful to be have a gaggle of kids, sons and daughters of my heart.   

I’ve been soccer (or baseball) mom who gets to be organizer, arranger of snacks and rides, cheerleader, band aid finder.  From afar, watched these boys grow into men, glimpse in the grocery store or the coffee shop.  Even today they remember and when I’m real lucky, they’ll reach down and I’ll get a genuine hug.  

I have a soft spot heart for my son’s school friends.  Some have touched me more deeply than others, especially those who are still around, calling my son brother.  Two in particular are the near and dear, and I treasure all the fleeting moments they dig out of their lives to connect.  Simple things mean the most to me, a thank you note, a conversation, a shy hug.  

My flesh&blood nieces and nephews, I’ve known since birth and love wholeheartedly.  Now adults I am honored to call myself your aunt, and friend.  My nieces and nephews of marriage (including younger cousins) I love you all the more because of the respect you show me as your auntie.  I’ve enjoyed watching you grow, especially these last 10 years as you’ve all become fine adults with lives and loves of your own.   

My own son, is the sunshine of my heart.  My life’s work and sole purpose was to give birth to and mother this magical creature.  My Buddha, twenty years of mothering has taught me I know everything and nothing.  Don’t ask me how he’s doing, because I’ll be all too glad to tell you.   

The daughter of my heart who I fell in love with the moment I saw her.  Climbing out of the back-seat of a car with a teal zebra backpack, long hair still wet from the shower.  Connected at the soul, we have a lot to learn from each other.   

I honor and cherish all these relationships, and send out love all around.  I remember my own mother and how grateful I am to all my friends, especially my Chicago people who supported me at my mom’s funeral.  She loved you too and I am very grateful the love & respect showed her.   

Lastly, to my friends who, like me, lost their mom’s to the next world.  May we see them when we cross over into Glocca Morra, run into their arms for a loving hug. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Path

Growing up in western suburb of Chicago, IL, I walked to school every day.  It wasn't far.  Sun, rain, snow, sleet, hail (no kidding!). I just walked down the street to "the path" that snaked around the baseball field and led up to the school playground.  There was also "the hill" which actually consisted of two dirt mounds with a worn dirt footpath.  To me, it was a mysterious analogy for life itself.  I have hundreds of memories of that path.  Ask any kid that lived around High Ridge School in the 1960s. 

If the obstacle is the path (Zen Proverb) then, my theory is,

Whatever you meet is the path.
Wherever you are is the path.
Whoever you are with is the path.
In the Light
In the Shadow
On Land or
At Sea

You are the path.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I am Everyday People

Although my skin is white I don't consider myself caIucasian.  Why?  Well growing up Italian/Catholic I always felt less than.  Definately NOT white bread.   During lively last Saturday night my dinner companion made a statement,  "Last one in guards the door."  I guess "Caucasian" was a made-up thing (I am not a historian and don't profess this to be accurate), but the last two ethnic groups to make it "in" were the Portugese and Italians (Caucasian isn't really a race?)  And the poor Italian & Portugese smucks got the job of guarding the human race door.  That's a lot of responsibility.

So I start thinking, I think and think, I'd love that job.  This girl would start letting in as many people as she possibly can.  Wishing my feet could still skip and jump and dance like a 20 year old, I would sit quietly at the human race door, like the elevator operators used to be at the State Capitol.  Sit there with my word search and letting people in and giving them a ride to wherever they want.  Kind of like a cosmic elevator operator.    See? 

White - ok, well, we don't have to exclude them
Black - absolutely
Brown - Hispanic, Latino, Chicano, Mexican, etc.
Asians - yea go ahead and let them in Japanese, Chinese, Viet, Hmong, Indian, Indochinese, Phippilino, Korean and then some more.
Homosexuals  yes, LGBT and all the other fucking colors of the rainbow.

We could keep slicing and dicing people into what they are, but in the end we all pee and crawl into bed and dream of a better life.

Basically, whenever I get asked my Race/Ethnicity I always check the "Other" box and write in Italian American.   I always check the "Other" box. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring's New Moon Wind

New Moon Attitude Adjustment
soy cappuccino
a la chocolate fish

Spring slipped through the crack under my door, an unexpected visitor.

A heatwave tempts me to abandon my coat and scarf for a sundress and sandals.

A balmy soaky storm doesn't last nearly enough to water the bulbs to burst and seeds to sprout.

A cold wind blows pollinated perfume through my hair and throws tender blossom confetti that gather like snow-drifts in the corners of my heart.  

A soy cappuccino soothes my agitated soul and strawberries promise warm weather ahead.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

my left wrist

My Left wrist
              Adorned with four
                Each tell a story
                Acapella wind chimes
                                         unbearable sadness
                                         unfathomable joy
Four silver bracelets
             an unfinished poem
on my left wrist, always

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Aren't you getting a bit carried away?

After so much suffering, if someone asks us "Aren't you getting a bit carried away?"  Why don't we just go ahead say "Why yes I am and thank you for noticing."  

Awaken my friends.  Buy a bright pink purse instead of black or brown and stuff it full of all the things you cannot live without.  Run away from home, like I did 30 years ago.  Just get on a Greyhound use with a white suitcase and good for nothing musician with a penis and mustache. 

What I didn't realize was my mama snuck her broken heart amongst my cigarettes and strawberry lip gloss.  I can still smell the sulfur when I strike a match.  My own body odor after three days with no shower.  

What I didn't realize when I look in the mirror, I see the green eyed beauty who has been running away ever since.