When It Isn’t Love

Ohhhhhh how I wish I could capture the expressions (and conversation) of the two sitting next to me. I can’t hear either of them, but sometimes the expressions are more than enough.

They’re both young, but that’s as far as similarity goes. I’d say that they’re having a conversation, but he’s the only one talking. He speaks with a firm gaze as though he knows what he needs, and she quietly considers him as if he’s an ass and doesn’t know how to converse. He’s got one arm outstretched and one hand partially raised, as if she just isn’t smart enough to understand his reasoning.

She laughs slightly, but not in the way he thinks she’s laughing.

She’s wearing a cute outfit and and cool white shoes. He’s in flip flops — rarely a good sign.

Her legs are crossed and so are her arms — rather tightly — around the bag in her lap. She knows he’s trouble, and not the good kind.

Her hair is cute — free and wispy. His is tight and sits above a bit of beard. He could be cool, but he’s holding too much anger and even more superiority. He speaks low because he doesn’t want anyone to hear — or worse — to step in — which would certainly throw a wrench into the way he sees himself.

How many times can I look over at him safely? How many times can she?

He wipes down the table. She reaches out to put her hand on his and it moves while he moves, still wiping. He doesn’t look at her.

He stands abruptly and walks to the trashcan. She takes a swig of her frappucino, turns, and follows him.

I wish she hadn’t.

And Suddenly it’s Almost Summer,

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Home from Ireland

And then she was home, happily laden with:

  • three new (heavy) sweaters that I’ll surely need again next time,
  • the thick gloves and ear muffs that were a godsend,
  • not quite enough leggings,
  • a new pair of shoes to replace the two pair that fell apart as soon as I got to Ireland,
  • a baggie full of beautiful stripey rocks (WAY fewer than I wanted to bring home),
  • several sets of broken pottery that I haven’t yet had time to reassemble into something fabulous,
  • notes for my next trip to Ireland,
  • 215 emails that need responses,
  • the joy of laughing with favorite old and new friends,
  • the opportunity to try new things: new art, new hikes, new food,
  • a brand new grandson who sleeps like clouds from heaven,
  • beautiful gardens all gloriously blooming and a sweet husband who keeps them that way,
  • and several handfuls of notes for my next trip (to Barcelona in June!)

Because we’re not getting any younger.

Love to All!

The Night Flier

Thank you all for the incredible opportunity to see, to learn, and to love once again in this magical place called Listowel.

If you’re in town, please join us tonight, 5:00 – 7:00 at Olive Stack Gallery, where Laura McKellar and I will be shamelessly flaunting our passions.

Love Always,

Stripey Rocks and Cows

Yesterday was magic.

In truth, I’ve never happened upon a day in Ireland that hasn’t been magic, but the point is that Yesterday was MAGIC. And not only was it MAGIC, but it was MAGIC over and over again.

“What would you like to see?”, asked Olive. “Stripey Rocks and Cows, Please!”, I said all atwitter. There was a slight pause and a bit of a smile and then, “Well okay!”.

It started with the rocks — a mystical evening just beginning to turn, but bright enough to see a glow everywhere (because … IRELAND!”) And suddenly they were everywhere.

Plus a boot.

And then of course, the rest of the story ….

(Press to Play)

Well hello there lovelies!!!!! You made my day!

Becoming, Friday, April 28, 5:00 – 7:00 PM at Olive Stack Gallery, Listowel, Ireland

Inspired by a month-long artist residency graciously provided by Olive Stack Gallery, Listowel, Ireland, Day 27

Days and Days

The days are getting shorter, and you can’t tell me otherwise. I feel it in the wind as she whips by me, calling “hurry! hurry!” I throw her a sideways glance and wonder wistfully at her timing, but of course I know she speaks the truth.

These shorter days fly by as if the sky is falling free, but in truth, the falling is all mine.

It hurts.

I suppose that shouldn’t be a surprise, but pain is always something of a surprise, isn’t it? — the suddenness of it, the reality of it, the longevity, the change in your heart.

When I arrived in Ireland, the month seemed so very long — long enough to BE — long enough to fall in love, although in truth it took only three minutes until I was head over heels for this magical country — again.

And again. Ever again. I’m so not ready to say goodbye.

So tonight I’ll take a walk along the shore, giving the wind her way with me and grabbing as much magic as I can.

See you on the other side.


As the theme for our artist residency this month, Laura McKellar and I chose the word Becoming.

And aren’t we all?

And isn’t that a wondrous, endless gift?

Even when we’re smack in the middle of those upper years and think we know exactly who we are, the fact is that we change not only yearly, not only daily, but every single moment. We constantly evolve.

Life isn’t stagnant for any of us, nor is it set out neatly, nor is its progression a given. And aren’t you glad? Well no, many times I’m not glad at all for the changes that arrive unbidden, but I do know that all change brings growth — and sometimes we need that push.

When I registered for this residency, I knew it would be a step out for me and it certainly has been — in all the best of ways.

There’s a poem I discovered during my early feminist stages that has always stuck in my head. The opening line by Jayne Brown, which is repeated multiple times, reads: I’m becoming the woman I’ve wanted. It’s a process and not always easy, but I’m so very grateful to the many women and men who have stood beside me along the path.

One of the best of those is Olive Stack (whom we often call Wonder Woman, and rightfully so).

And so as we ready our selves and our words and our comfort zones and our joy, I’m incredibly thankful once again for this opportunity to share and grow and become the woman I want to be — the woman who opens her soul and scatters bits of it across the skies, the waters, the friendships, the todays and the tomorrows, all of which are so much richer now — due not only to this residency, but to the many, many friends and teachers I’ve gathered along the way.

Thank you, Olive Stack Residency, for the thousand-fold ways in which you’ve invited and allowed me to grow.

And to those nearby (or those who whimsically decide to fly on over), we’d love to have you join us for our exhibition:

Becoming, Friday, April 28, 5:00 – 7:00 PM at Olive Stack Gallery, Listowel, Ireland.

See you there!


The Night Fliers

She takes me by the hand and

points toward


then whispers

— you can do it —

all it takes is one great gasp,

and truth is lightning

in your hands

and heart



Just a Walk in the Park

Today was one of those splendid days that pops up when it really shouldn’t. It’s still chilly here, though there are a few in shorts and tee shirt, and yours truly in a surprising redistribution of the ubiquitous puffy coat. Yes it’s 55 degrees in Ireland today, and though that wouldn’t really be “cold” at home, in Ireland it comes complete with the cool (read frigid) air that follows us everywhere.

We took the long walk by the River Feale, the banks filled with flowers and the ever present fanciful gurgle of water, and then headed to the Garden of Europe. The gardens are beautiful and becoming more so, and I particularly love the surrounding forest of trees and flowers.

Left to Right and Top to Bottom: Trees and flowers along the River Feale; Tufted plants; Laura taking a path to the water; Yellows and purples; “Wrap your arms around me”; Gorgeous setting in the Garden of Europe; Fabulous pebble mosaic created by Kathleen Doody of Canada, a former Olive Stack Residency recipient; Path through the Fairy Woods; Holocaust Memorial.

Inspired by a month-long artist residency graciously provided by Olive Stack Gallery, Listowel, Ireland, Day 23

Busy Bee

It’s been a busy, busy week! Our show opens in six days, and we’re fine-tuning, re-tuning, extra-tuning, and then the ubiquitous “starting over.” Today I’m hoping to get a few things “glued down”, and I mean that not only figuratively, but quite literally.

It started with an order of lovely fabriano paper, which of course made the rounds of a few countries before getting to Listowel, even though it was listed as “in stock” just a few counties up the road, so supposedly already in Ireland. But it finally arrived and it’s gorgeous. When you’re displaying poetry, it’s nice to have great paper, right?

And then came play time — which poems to choose, shall I add backgrounds, is my handwriting good enough? I took a valiant stab at a saucy alternative, but couldn’t find any locally or even semi-locally (this is why they say “plan ahead — WAY ahead”), so I moved to Plan 54 and finally made it work.

Then of course there’s the sizing. I want it big. I want it big, thick, deckle-edged and able to hold thousands of thoughts and considerations and magical ideas and sleepless nights and heartbreaks and memories and centuries past and future.

Now I just need … … … … maybe a tiny little nap.

Inspired by a month-long artist residency graciously provided by Olive Stack Gallery, Listowel, Ireland, Day 22