Hello Little Stranger

Hello Little Stranger

I can’t stop thinking about a recent serendipity. At a red light I turned to the car on my left and made eye contact with a young boy in a car seat, maybe 6 years old. Without thought, I smiled and waved at him. He broke into a big grin and waved back. It was awesome. A few stop lights later it happened again, both of our faces lit up at the unexpected display of friendly acknowledgment.

Why does this memory endure?

Why was the event so pleasurable?

I want to live in a world where I feel safe and other people feel safe, where people feel welcomed and wanted, where cheerfulness flies from one face to the next, a gift received and returned as fast as a game of tennis. I want to contribute to that outcome. I am grateful this human was receptive to me and allowed his joy to show. Such a small moment and yet it has fed my spirit for days.

Can I go on a minute about dogs?

Can I go on a minute about dogs?

Dogs are the best. Sometimes I think the meaning of life is dogs. When we return home, whether from an hour away or days away, the dogs go completely crazy. The overwhelming joy shuddering their small frames as they jump, hop, shake, and shimmer with relief fills me with awe. Who else has ever been this exhilarated to see me?! 

We look forward to leaving just so we can return. As we approach the neighborhood, we are all like, Oh my gosh, the dogs are going be so excited. The anticipation of the event is building in all of us and is a frequent topic of conversation in our family. This ritual is one of life’s great pleasures. The sentiment was put to poetic perfection in 1978 by Peaches & Herb:

Reunited, and it feels so good
Reunited ’cause we understood
There’s one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited ’cause we’re reunited, hey, hey

This love is not without demands. Decaf, my male dog, insists we take it to the couch.

Hey, let’s unwind from this strenuous display of affection by plopping next to each other on a pile of cushions. What say you?

I watch him hot step it to the couch while craning his neck back to see if the pack is taking his lead. I almost never want to go directly from car to couch. Yet I frequently do even if only for a minute. He’s burrowed next to me before I even fully release my weight to the sofa.

I know he is just a mammal, but I can’t see how a mystical creature could be any more attuned to me. He is my familiar, medieval European folklore is alive and well in our house. We are bonded. We are bonded with super glue.

How do I deserve this? I don’t. I could never give them as much as they give me. Not that we don’t care for them. We consider them and think about their needs and make all kinds of adjustments and concessions. But I don’t feel like I am loved because of THAT. It’s not like:

Thanks so much for letting me sniff out that patch of grass next to Patty’s place. I so appreciate that you didn’t jerk me away. I don’t totally feel like pressing my warm little sausage body next to your side for three solid hours while you do French, play Woodoku and watch tv and but I’ll throw you a bone just this once.

He just wants to be there. And for those precious moments, I am not alone. My hand on his warmth, we are briefly one thing and not two things.

Sidewalk Face 1294on sale now in my shop.

Without Time, Nothing

Without Time, Nothing

The number one ingredient in any art cake is time. Time is the flour, indispensable. If you don’t have chocolate, no problem, make it vanilla. If you don’t have nuts, add raisins. No, don’t do that. That sounds awful. Maybe add rice krispies so it’s still crunchy? None of that matters. Art isn’t a cake so time isn’t flour but nevertheless without time, no art will get made.

I’ve always thought this but recently I’ve experienced it. So though, believing it to be true, I was perhaps taking it on faith. Now I know. For sure. 100 Percent. It’s true.


Let me back up and say, despite the all caps proclamation above I am not talking about Capital A art. I am talking about exercising the basic creativity to make life worth living. I mean I am sure Capital A art also needs time. Obviously any endeavor happens over time and therefore needs it.

Oh my goodness, is this blog post worth reading? Can I say something an idiot doesn’t already know?

I guess this is to say, more than ever before, I am grateful for and valuing the time I have to pursue creative activities. It’s been the central organizing factor of my life. It’s been my priority forever. I mean, I do take care of responsibilities first (got to pay the bills!) but if I have a little bundle of time, making stuff if what I enjoy.

So, it was tough when there was no time. And I suspect, I will experience that again. Frankly, it’s made me feel cagey and agitated. But’s it’s also made me want to make the most of now. I want to get back to it!

If you are curious and I am frustrating you with my lack of expository information, I had a ton of work in the last year. I also had a higher dose of anxiety than I am rated for, and I felt I was on the verge of short circuiting at every moment. I didn’t short circuit, I did all the work, and I even did one or two drawings and some sidewalk faces. My friends didn’t find me repulsive, in fact they really came through for me. So, I managed. But I was losing my essence, my joie de vivre, my sense of fun, the thing that makes me excited. Sometimes you can’t see something until it’s gone. I didn’t know this thing could go. I’ve felt it wax and wane, but never for this long. It’s been concerning.

I think the most important thing in the world is being in relationship. I have done my best to attend to the ones I have. And I am committed to continuing to attend to them. But one relationship that must be included in the list is the one we have with our selves. And the way I spend time with myself, is making art. The way I nurture that relationship, the way I grow that relationship, the way I understand myself is through this activity. Without it, I am actually not sure who I am.

I am so happy to have some time again.

I wrote that in late January. I came back over here today to see what if any breadcrumbs I had left myself. How thoughtful of me to have written an entire blog post that is still relevant. I am over here on my WordPress desktop app tip toe-ing around, seeing if I can get back on this blog horse. Maybe I can entice him with some imaginary apple art cake. So grateful I have the time to try!