Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31

Good morning LA

It's quiet here. Everyone is out. Buffy came looking for me, mewed, then waddled off. Josh and I slept very little last night. We went to bed after midnight then lay in the dark bedroom for several hours after waking early, his arms wrapped around me, our eyes mostly closed, his warmth at my back. We never do that. We usually sleep on our own sides of the bed; I get too hot while touching, and he likes to play music under his pillow while I need silence. But this morning it felt so right, so peaceful and nourishing. Just to love each other gently and quietly in the dim room on this last day of a crazy year.

We are in a tenuous place, working on renewing a relationship that went off the tracks, both with our cracked open hearts that want nothing but happiness for ourselves and the other. It is not a simple thing, to put a marriage back together. While rediscovering our original joy, we have to put aside preconceptions and make new patterns of communication and behaviour. It's work. Some days are easier than others. But we're going forward, one day at a time, in kindness.

I have given much thought to my 'one little word' for 2012. I was first drawn to HEALING, but now I'm going to go with HEALTHY. Healthy body, healthy relationships. I want more than just to heal, I want to go beyond healing into a place of great health. I know some changes I need to make, and others will become apparent over time, if I keep LISTENING (my word for 2011) to my body and intuition.

No grand resolutions for me; just a continuing of the heightened awareness that a year of conscious listening has brought. And a wish for good health to you all.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Maui wowee

Our tropical paradise vacation was some kind of perfect.

Sunset over Lanai
Back in 2005 we took the kids #snorkeling in #australia. Lauren was too chicken to go in. Today she LOVED it. But we had to tell her that the Great Barrier Reef was a thousand times better than the reef in #maui #hawaii
#papaya at #twinfalls on #roadtohana. It looks like this is a hermaphrodite tree, but really the male tree (with the long flower spikes) is behind the female (fruit-bearing) one
#sunset #maui #hawaii #beach
#ziplining is awesome fun!
#humpback #whale #maui #hawaii
@carouseldancer hanging loose on a #catamaran under a #maui #rainbow
Happy in #maui

2011 is ending SO much better than it started. What a crazy year it's been. Two months ago we were merely days away from a finalized divorce. Now we are giddy in love again, and re-committed to our marriage.

And I have to tell you that Mookie is not the only poet in the family. I awoke early the other morning as Josh was getting out of bed in the dark. "Shush," he commanded. "Don't talk." So I slept for another hour or so, and was then greeted with this poem he had been composing earlier.

Is that romantic ... or what??


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Drive-by sunset

I know I shouldn't take photos while I drive. But sometimes it's just so pretty along PCH. I left work early enough to catch the sunset today. Gorgeous. OK, I pumped up the vibrancy in Camera+. But it was still gorgeous!

We're going to have a very different Christmas this year. No big meal, no silly hats, no friends, no crackling fire.

Because we're going to Hawaii!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Have yourself a merry little (buddhist) christmas

Have yourself a merry little (buddhist) Christmas
I'm neither Christian nor Buddhist. But I love Christmas lights, and faithful friends who gather near to us, and warm feelings of goodwill and cheer. I also love the peace this little fellow brings to me when I spend time with him.

And then there's bokeh. Of course I love that too.

So here we have them all. Merry Christmas, all of you.

Have yourself a merry little (buddhist) Christmas

Sunday, December 11, 2011

At the ball park

Ready for the softball game
Gunning for first base
At bat
Victory Hug
Josh plays on an entertainment industry softball team, and yesterday was perfect weather to watch. It was a nail-biting game, ending 19-18 with a grand slam. Yay Dexter! I love that last shot; being on opposing teams (and shows) doesn't hurt the friendships. The camaraderie is great to see. Those guys and girls have a blast.

And I've decided the time has come for me to learn to throw and catch. I don't want to go through the rest of my life "throwing like a girl". My own personal coach has agreed to teach me. Cool!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Feeling good

Feeling so good right now :-)

Busy day, but happy. Yes, definitely happy.

Things are feeling right.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Into the sun

All the years you cry will one day be dry and like birds we'll fly up into the sky / Our love will survive / And when the day is done I will follow you into the sun/ And after all my love I will follow you into the sun.

All the tears you cry
Will one day be dry
And like birds we'll fly
Up into the sky
Our love will survive

And when the day is done
I will follow you into the sun
And after all my love
I will follow you into the sun

All these days gone by
Just like waves roll by
I can't wait to hold
You inside my arms
Our love will survive

And when the day is done
I will follow you into the sun
And after all my love
I will follow you into the sun

--Sean Lennon

Monday, November 28, 2011

Morning gratitude

#rightnow morning commute

This sprawling city has many ugly parts, but so many beautiful parts too. Like all of us.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Beach love

Teensy hermit crab emerging

Today was much better than yesterday. No tempers flared. The sun and sand soothed us all.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Hashi and Mookie

We are just back from Thanksgiving with Josh's sister Mookie and family in San Francisco. I am thankful for so much, but high on the list is to be back in the circle of Mookie's arms and love. Not that we didn't keep in touch through the separation; we did. But being there with all the family ... being part of the family ... it was priceless.

She is a poet. She gave me this poem.

The Measure of Love

do we love equally
you and I
as time and tide
passes between us
have we achieved parity

and how do we quantify
this symmetry
what yardstick
what scale
will measure

like children
shall we place
glasses on the counter
both watchful
as life pours in
both judging
who gets more
or less

or should we
savor our cups
drink fully
knowing half full
is the greatest amount.

-- Martha Meltzer

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Storm's a-comin'

The storm erupted.

I sat in the back yard and thought about nothing until the yelling stopped, then stayed for ten minutes more.

Lauren came looking for me. "It's OK now," she said. "We sorted it out."

I hugged her tight. "It's hard being a teen," I whispered in her ear.
"And it's hard being the dad of a teen.
Be kind to each other."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nice idea: plant small flowers among the exposed and sprawling tree roots

It's so interesting, and delicate, to come back as an observer of a tenuous parent-teen relationship, in which I used to play a key part. Every time they butt heads, I wonder if my presence has affected things. Lauren says no. Josh says he doesn't know. Lauren says it's always been like this. Josh says that they haven't argued this way for a long time.

My urge is to hug them both, individually and together. To breathe with them, to encircle them with my love. To say let's calm. the. fuck. down.

Sure, she bugs me when she interrupts constantly, but not enough to throw me way off kilter. I probably interrupt more than I notice, too.

None of us are perfect. We are all human. So let's just lighten up, right? Have some fun, laugh, fart, and not take it all so seriously.

I would like that.

Thursday, November 17, 2011



Little babies touch a particular place in my heart that nothing and no-one else comes near. I guess that's why our species hasn't died out yet. They're just so adorable and perfect ... when they're asleep.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Foggy canyon drive

I'm actually enjoying leaving for work two hours earlier than before. The drive through the foggy canyon was so pretty this morning.

Home again

Home again

What a crazy, yet oh-so-right, couple of weeks. It started with an out-of-the-blue text from Josh asking my permission to put our divorce on hold until we talked some things through. He invited me to brunch that weekend, and I went with some trepidation but an open heart. We talked, and walked, for hours.

The upshot is that our little family is together once more.

I have learned a lot through this time; about myself, about Josh, about letting go, about acceptance, and about meeting joy where I find it.

We both have new eyes, new appreciation, and deeper commitment. It's good. Very good. We are happy.

All you need

If you love something, let it go. If it comes back, it's yours. If it doesn't, it never was.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Future tense

This is not about going back. This is not about going back. It's about going forward, together, into something better.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's OK

Through the fish tank

It's OK to be confused, but still happy.
It's OK to go with your gut, and when your gut feels peaceful, that means that things are right.
It's OK to be awake half the night but not stressed about it.
It's OK to know that many of the people who love you deeply won't understand, but that doesn't mean you're doing the wrong thing.
It's OK to follow love when it calls your name.
It's OK to want to start again.
It's OK to listen to how you were half to blame, and take it to heart, and want to do better.
It's OK to not be a victim, but a joyful participant in a new possibility.
It's OK to feel compassion for the others who were hurt.
It's OK to laugh twenty times a day, instead of two, or none.
It's OK to re-unite.
In fact, it's more than OK.

Monday, October 24, 2011

This is what I do at the supermarket

What? Don't you?

If you can't see the above embedded video, click here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Now You're Home

Clare Bowditch's new single Now You're Home featuring Lanie Lane. I like it! If you prefer, view it here on YouTube.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sketching fun

Sketching fun. #art #artist #painting

Man Up


I like the contrast between the large brush strokes of the background, and the small ones of the subject.

Table 7

For those (like Elizabeth) who can't view the movie, here's a link to it on YouTube.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

On not being here, now

Sailing class

I spent much of the day with good friends, having good times. But I still kept checking for that text or email that never came.

Ima gonna eachoo

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tonight I saw Mary Oliver


Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone--
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance--
and have you ever felt for anything

such wild love--
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world--

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?

~ Mary Oliver ~

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Life is good

I am pretty much speechless after I paint. All I can think is "I am so lucky" and "life is so good." I know that means I'm in my Right Space. Nuff said.

Friday, October 07, 2011

We are the xx%

I've been wondering what Occupy Wall Street was all about. Then I found this:

It was pretty sobering to read thirty or so of these entries. A common factor is crushing student loan debt -- I am so glad that I (and my children) do not have this burden.

Not to be pedantic, or to diminish anyone's suffering, but 99% is not an accurate number. I don't know what percentage of Americans lives hand to mouth, without medical insurance, but I (and my friends/relations here in the US) are neither desperately poor nor in the top 1% of wealth. So I don't fit into either camp. Nor, I suspect, do the majority of Americans.

I believe the official poverty statistics (however they are measured) stand at around 15%. But "We are the 15%" doesn't pack nearly the punch of "We are the 99%".

A funny (synchronous) connection: I just came across this passage in the novel I'm currently reading: "The conflict between corporations and activists is that of narcolepsy versus remembrance. The corporations have money, power, and influence. Our sole weapon is public outrage. Outrage blocked the Yuccan Dam, ousted Nixon, and in part, terminated the monstrosities in Vietnam. But outrage is unwieldy to manufacture and handle. First, you need scrutiny; second, widespread awareness; only when this reaches a critical mass does public outrage explode into being."
I'm interested to see where this goes, and what, if any, change it triggers.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Dreaded Lurgy

I've been fighting it off for days, but the Dreaded Lurgy is trying to drag me down
It's out to get me.

So long, Steve. And thanks.

I am proud to work for the company (and the office) that wrote and produced the ad featured at the end of this clip ... and all the Apple marketing since.

P.S. I have seen the text from the "Think Different" ad posted many times in the last day or so, attributing the words to (a) Steve himself or (b) Jack Kerouac. This ad was actually written by two TBWA\Chiat\Day creatives, Rob Siltanen and Ken Segall. The voiceover is not Steve Jobs, but Richard Dreyfuss (though an unaired version was narrated by Jobs.)

So long Steve. You were an awesome (though very tough) client. There's no-one else like you.

Monday, October 03, 2011



Nearly a year ago, I was enjoying a post-Thanksgiving dinner with good friends, and laughing my butt off. (Michael's suggestion of a possible sign language interpretation for "concentration camp" cracked me up.) All of a sudden, my jaw locked up. I could hardly open my mouth.

I was alarmed, but as this had happened a few months earlier and remedied itself the following morning, I figured it would get better pretty fast. But it did not.

I consulted with various doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and even a cranio sacral therapist over the next few months. I received conflicting advice, though the common factor was large amounts of ibuprofin.

I dosed up. I applied heat. I applied ice. I massaged. I meditated. I avoided chewy foods. I wore my nightguard religiously. Nothing worked.

In April my GP said that, though it might take up to 18 months, it would get better by itself, so I abandoned the ice and ibuprofin. It hasn't improved yet.

Josh thought that my jaw would loosen up once we separated. He was wrong. It's been six months now, and it's tighter than ever. And it hurts! Oh yes, it hurts.

I'm getting pretty tired of my temporomandibular joint disorder. I have no clicking. I just have tightness and pain. Oh, how I would love to be able to YAWN. Any magic cures out there?

Sunday, October 02, 2011

No To Do

I’m a planner and a list-maker. Meals for the upcoming week, groceries to buy, gifts to make, books to read, state parks to visit, things to do before I die, items to pack for travel (winter and summer), things I might buy if I still want them in 30 days, hikes to take … you get the drift. I like me a good list. And I really, really like checking things off those lists.

This personality trait helps me in my job, where I manage multiple projects on tight timelines. Lists (and the satisfaction of accomplishing the things on them) come in pretty handy there. But lately I’ve been noticing that lists can take the place of something more important. I’ve noticed that I can fill my time with somewhat arbitrary stuff, and miss out on real connections. That I can spend a month reading a book I am just not into (because it’s on my list) instead of being swept up for several hours in a story that enthralls me.


So …. I’ve been experimenting with the idea of having no plans on (at least one day of) the weekends. To just do what feels good at the time and see what happens. A weekend with no ‘to do’. Radical, right? For a list-maker like me, it is.


So here’s what happened this weekend (sorry, but I have to make it a list).
  • I saw some awesome clouds.
  • I washed my sheets. 
  • I vacuumed, and actually figured out why sometimes the machine blows instead of sucks. This is a good realization. 
  • I painted a (very rough, completely non-perfectionist) portrait of my friend’s daughter and used it as her birthday card. 
  • I also made a birthday card for my step-mum. 
  • Both the above cards are addressed, stamped, and ready to mail. 
  • I skyped with my sister and one daughter. 
  • I walked a 3-mile circuit through my local cemetery. I love living near a graveyard. 
  • I spent enjoyable time with four of my favourite girlfriends (on three separate occasions). 
  • I visited a letterpress printing fair and relished lots of cool art and antique equipment.
  • I finished a book (“Candide” by Voltaire) and started another (“Complicity” by Iain Banks)
  • I processed my accumulated work email and made a To Do list for tomorrow (should I be admitting this?)
So, with no planning, I seem to have hit on the important* points: loved ones, cleanliness, art, exercise.

But there’s the rub. I’m still measuring the success of my weekend against my mental “to do” list. And feeling pleased with myself that I ‘got there’ even though I hadn’t planned it in advance. Maybe there’s no escape from my personality type. Or maybe I just need to get more enlightened.
  • I did not go grocery shopping. I still have an almost empty fridge. But luckily I got to bring home the leftovers of tonight’s dinner with 2 gf’s. So I’m set for tomorrow.
  • Are you a list-maker? If so, how do you unwind?

*Important = reflective of my values. Your mileage may vary.