Monthly Archives: November 2004

keri & jeff

keri and jeff, Canon Digital Rebel

Witnessing the love story firsthand while Keri Smith and Jeff Pitcher stay with me. What a gift to see love unfolding {and unfolded} before your eyes.



Isaac, Canon Digital Rebel

Some days I feel exactly like little Isaac.

Photo Friday: Prosperity

prosperous, Canon Digital Rebel

Photo Friday’s theme this week is “Prosperity.”

Today I am thankful for so much, but this particular thank you goes out to all of you. Thank you for sharing your stories and your kind hearts with me, for often saying what I most need to hear, for making me feel less alone.

Your recent comments moved me to tears {grateful tears} the kind that come because you realize we really are all in this thing together. I am amazed how deep and rich the sharing of our stories can be and what a healing effect they have.

Thanks for being so good to me.

and now a message from my friend Mao Mao at Technorganic:

Trance Code du Jour->


Manifest Attitude of Gratitude, dude.


self, Canon Digital Rebel

So if you haven’t noticed lately, I’m on a bit of a self-empowerment kick. I have a little rock near my desk that says “faith” and I feel the weight of it in my hand every once in a while as I work. I stare at the word engraved in the stone and think about how simple it seems when it is written down that way. Faith. Just faith.

You will also find a stack of books on my nightstand that say things like “make your dreams come true!” and “9 steps to getting what you want” and sometimes I feel a bit shy about having them there and stack them underneath copies of the New Yorker and Wired. But they remind me that I have been searching for something. I am looking for a new way in. Things aren’t working well in my little brain these days.

I suppose this is because my faith has never been tested quite this way before. Trying to get pregnant is taking its toll. It’s effortless for some folks, excruciating for others and for people like myself, somewhere in the middle of total mind f*ckland. I grew up believing that if you worked hard enough for something you got it, if you put enough effort into something you achieved it, if you studied long enough, ran like the dickens, showed up on time, pushed yourself just a wee bit more than the rest, gave gave gave, it would pay off. More than that, you became a better person in the process and the heavens shined more favorably on you. The heavens love your wicked work ethic!

I also believed that if you were good, really really good {like being kind to everyone, not killing bugs or saying mean things} you would be lavishly rewarded in some wonderful cycle of karmic justice.

But I’m beginning to wonder about my theory. I’m beginning to think that my neat little equation doesn’t add up. Which isn’t to say that these qualities don’t have rewards in and of themselves, but they ain’t gonna get you pregnant, honey.

{insert shattering sound of entire worldview breaking down}

I realized I had this theory the other day when I was slumped over a friend’s shoulder crying my eyes out. I found myself sputtering, “All the mean people can do it! People who don’t even want kids can do it. People who hit their kids and yell and are mean mean meanies get pregnant all the time. It’s not fair…” and I realized then that I have been holding a strange belief about justice and how the world works: That the nicer you are, the better you are, the more good-hearted, things will work out for you. You will get what you want, people won’t get sick or lose their jobs, people will have families and live happily ever after. It was my way of feeling safe in the world and staying in control.

Turns out I can’t control the world.


Life doesn’t follow the neat set of guidelines that I have concocted. It seems that having faith is a much deeper surrender than I ever imagined. It is surrendering to the mystery of all of it. It is relinquishing control and {for me} realizing that it’s not about deserving. I thought I could control my world by working hard and being good. But I can’t.

I went to a lecture recently and the speaker said, “Be willing to be undeserving of the miracles in your life. Be willing to be undeserving.” And I play this one over and over in my head, because really, it’s another way of whispering “let go…” let go…”


Central Park last week, Canon Digital Rebel

One of my favorite things about Rob Brezsny’s newsletter are his homework assignments. This week’s is: “Pretend to already be something you’re on your way to becoming.”

Every time I read that line, I am transported, if only for a moment.

Books I just bought {very excited}:
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender
A Wish Can Change Your Life by Gahl Sasson, Steve Weinstein {via Kate}
Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs

Photo Friday: Patterns

topography like a painting, Canon Digital Rebel

Photo Friday’s theme this week is “Patterns.”

I am currently gearing up for my upcoming shows that start this weekend. Yay!

If you live in the Bay Area, you can find me in Alameda at a cozy show with a campfire and food & drinks:

Sunday November 21, 2004 10am-4pm
27 Powers Ct. Alameda 94501
(510) 522-6116

Also, evidence of creative people making a difference: An art professor who is having his students paint the portraits of every American service member who has lost his/her life in Iraq -all 1300-plus of them. He was bothered by how tiny their photos were in newspapers and wanted to honor them. So now these amazing portraits, 1000 of them, are on display at the College of Marin Gallery in California. The exhibit is titled, “Never to Forget: Faces of the Fallen.” Read the story here. {via Denise Mihalik}

Artist Empowerment Radio

the muppet, Canon Digital Rebel

A radio station called Artist Empowerment Radio was recommended to me by the photographer Jon Andress. I spent an entire afternoon listening to it and felt really inspired. He said some really simple things that stopped me dead in my tracks like, “Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.” Of course! Oh, how we need to be reminded over and over again.

“Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”
– Lao Tzu


snowy mountains, Canon Digital Rebel

Being in New York City makes you think about pace, about velocity, about the hustle and the rush, the making it there on time, the MAKING IT as a successful whatever, and the running, literally running for trains. I was fascinated by this as I watched myself step into the flow of it all. I spoke faster at the lunch counter, I trotted down steps and spoke more assertively than usual.

As I rode the subway one afternoon and most of the train car emptied to catch the Express, an old Puerto Rican woman next to me said “Everybody always rushing for something! They always rushing and rushing. You see this bruise?” she said pointing to her cheek. “I was rushing and I fell. No more. If the train is full, I catch the next one.”

And she reminded me of the exasperated words my parents used to always say when I got hurt. “You’re moving too fast! Slow down!”

But as I relayed this story to my friend Sara, she said something really wonderful: “Well, is it about slowing down or just being present in your life? Because my life here in New York is fast and busy but I’m really, really present for all of it.”

And I think she’s right. The point isn’t really slowing down {although this might be a way into experiencing your life more fully} but really being there for it. So I’ve decided I would conduct an experiment. For the next few days, I will be aware of the moments when I am not really present, when I am multi-tasking, when I am talking on the phone and checking my email at the same time, when I’m making jewelry and making doctor’s appointments in the same breath, when I am literally out of breath because I am RUNNING to my yoga class {uh, hello irony}

I challenge you to try this with me for a day and see what happens. Anyone in?


nyc buildings, Canon Digital Rebel

With a suitcase full of New York bagels, I’m back in San Francisco.

I am in

Maya, Zuni Cafe, Canon Digital Rebel

My friend Maya treated me to a special lunch yesterday at Zuni Cafe. She asked me interesting questions about getting older.. Have you changed since you were young? Do you feel like people really know you? Do you think you’re more serious than you used to be?

And after answering mostly yes to these questions, that yeah, things feel more grave now and I am more measured and slower to act and maybe I don’t let go and have as much fun as I used to, we had the most hilarious photoshoot for hours. We giggled and chatted and I felt like I was 12 years old again at my favorite birthday party where I dressed up all of my friends and photographed them as if I was a famous fashion photographer.

And I realized that maybe not that much has changed at all, that maybe we think we change but really we are the same over and over again. Our circumstances change but our core never really does. This heartens me somehow.

“Mauve takes offense at my having said, “I am an artist” — which I do not take back, because that word included, of course, the meaning: always seeking without absolutely finding. As far as I know, that word means: “I am seeking, I am striving, I am in with all my heart.”
– Vincent Van Gogh

An interview with my dear friend SARK, who like Vincent, is in with all her heart.