Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Post

I've decided to invite the sacred back into my life by lighting a stick of sunrise incense every morning. It amazes me how such a simple action can open up such a wonderfully vast space of intention and breath within me--and I like starting my day in this way. Perhaps part of this pleasure comes from the fact that the incense's name, "sunrise," reminds me of the time I spent studying yoga in an ashram in India. It was a very quiet and introspective time for me. It was also a time of significant growth. We woke early to the clear sound of a bell ringing through the dark morning air. Wrapped in woolen shawls, we met in the temple where, for two hours, we concentrated on our breath and movements. Meanwhile, the sun rose over the Ganges River and, when we returned to the world outside, we were greeted, every day, with the soft pinks and oranges of another Indian day. That time of my life is infused with the scent of incense--and if you've ever been to India, then you probably know what I mean.

Traveling through India was a very important and sacred time in my life. Now, ten years later, I sense myself entering yet another sacred time. Lighting a stick of incense and, this morning, even a candle, is my way of honoring this time and welcoming the change that it is sure to bring.

I notice that, when I don't post on a regular basis, I have a hard time knowing where to begin. Maybe I need to get back to posting here every day, but lately I have been so busy painting and working on websites that there just hasn't been time. Sometimes I wish I could just hook my brain up to this thing so that Blogger could catch my thoughts as they come and, in this way, I could share them with you.

When I started blogging, I did it simply to write. Blogging was a new and exciting space because it was so anonymous and public all at the same time. These days, however, I find myself wanting to blog for two reasons. Reason One: to untangle my thoughts (writing in a public space has a way of helping me to clarify myself--if even for my own sake) and Reason Two: to share my thoughts and stay current with you, my friends and fellow bloggers. I like the transformation that blogging has taken for me. But I often find it difficult to know where to begin.

And so, to keep this post from stretching into infinity, here are some random tidbits about where I'm at, in this moment, today:
  • I'm going to spend several hours this morning painting. I'm currently working simultaneously on two dog portraits ("Louis" and "Russel"). My goal is to have both of them completed and another one ("Chester") started by January 31st. This will require a great amount of focus--which I (amazingly) feel very capable of. I am looking forward to posting images of my paintings as I complete them. Hopefully I'll have the first two up in the next couple of days. I have to admit that, as I paint, I get very excited to show you what I'm working on! :)
  • I'm meeting a friend for coffee and conversation this afternoon. Perfect timing to take a break, get refreshed and be inspired by good company. Afterwards I'll come back home and (yes, you guessed it) paint!
  • My husband is on a business trip this week and, although I love him and miss him, it feels absolutely incredible to have this time to myself. I feel like I'm on a creative retreat and I didn't even have to leave home! I'm using this time to really saturate myself in my current painting projects. These three days feel, oddly, like a gift. Last night I stayed up until 1am working on one of the paintings. That is, I painted until Louis (my dog) demanded that I come to bed. I slept well.
  • I bought a very beautiful card for my aunt. It is blank inside. I'm going to sit down and write her a letter so that she knows that I love her, that I'm thinking about her, and that I'll do anything for her. The card is still sitting in the cellophane packaging because I don't know how, exactly, to say the things I want to say. I have a heavy heart because I know that time is, truly, of the essence. I'm deeply afraid of missing my chance to say these things. And this is one of the reasons the card is so hard to write.
  • Last night was our second "telephone conference" for Circe's Circle. I cannot even tell you how incredible this experience has already been. I feel so incredibly inspired and supported by these lovely women. And it absolutely floors me just how perfect the timing has been for this. I can't help but think that, this time around, the Universe has truly conspired to help me out. Either that, or I finally started taking the necessary actions needed to help myself. Actually, I believe that it is an even combination of the two.
  • I'm reading Organizing for the Spirit, by Sunny Schlenger (from Leah's book list) and am loving it. This book really deserves a post of its own.
  • Vinny and I have been getting random web design inquiries all week. Hurray! :) These sorts of things add a needed sense of belief in ourselves, our goals, our dreams!
  • These days, I feel very much as though I am working from my center. Last night I did a creative exercize over the phone for Circe's Circle, led by Jamie. In the end we were asked to write down words and then branch those words out into other words. I wrote words such as: beautiful unknown. mystery, artful, love, special desire, freedom, happiness, breath, sky, loving, free, heart, meaningful. And, yes, I truly feel as though these words are a reflection of where I'm at right now. It is an amazing feeling.
  • Gotta go. It's time to paint! ;)
Patry Franci's, The Liar's Diary has been released in paperback today. Have you gotten a copy of it yet? If not then GO! RUN! Go get it now! :) You can read about The Liar's Diary Blog Day here. Congratulations and best wishes, Patry!! :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Intentional decadence.

I woke up early this morning feeling exhausted, feverish, and generally horrible. I’ve made something of a rule for myself not to blog about the monthly ailments of being female but, my god, in the last couple years, every passing month seems to exaggerate my symptoms to an unreasonable degree. Even my bones hurt. And my brain…what brain? Surely, one must respect the power of hormones. If ever I felt connected to the gravitational rhythms of salt water, it is today. Earth, moon, oceanic rhythms, be damned. It’s funny (not really) how we romanticize such discomfort and pain.

But I digress. Even though I woke up feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck and kept awake for a week, I would prefer to write about the necessity for decadence.

Decadence. I like that word (the pleasurable variety, that is). I like it as much as voluptuous. Or passion. Or like any of the words that round themselves into seductive, shapely sounds. Alone at work, I can whisper these words to the plants. Their tender ears and roots soak in this affectionate vibration and if I pay close enough attention I’m able to envision their leaves growing generously plump. A bromeliad whispers back, “You can make any word sound seductive if you say it a certain way.” We wink at one another before I move on to the cactuses, the ivies, and the succulents. It should surprise no one that succulents are also well-versed in the syllables of sexy sounds.

Oh my god. Do you see? I no longer have control over my mind! In reality, I have not gotten up to talk to any of the plants. They are most likely thirsty and definitely lonely. My ability to space out and follow a train of thoughts into oblivion is spectacular. Turning those thoughts into a sensible string of words, however, is another thing entirely.

Today I feel weepy and wonderful all at the same time. I feel comfortably contained and yet I am reaching. Every thought, every word, sound, color, and texture feels like more than it is. Heavy, feathery. Palpable, ethereal. Possible, impossible. Yearning, full. Life perceived in opposites. Sometimes it’s best to ride these waves without expectation, to just take a step back from oneself and simply observe. Observations should be treated as nothing more than mild amusements.

And so I allow decadence into my life by drinking fine French coffee from a fragile cup patterned in a ribbon of Rococo gold. I set the cup in the morning sun to intensify its shine.

I peek inside the closed petals of a bright yellow tulip and find a white star at its center.

I accept my second art commission of the week and allow myself to dream big, beautiful, colorful art-filled dreams.

I eat a wonderfully warm and comforting lunch without feeling guilty, for which my body thanks me.

I wear my softest sweater and most comfortable jeans. I look out the window and let my thoughts drift into the gray sky of an endless winter.

Today my heart feels both heavy and hopeful. I found out two days ago that my aunt, whom I love dearly, has been diagnosed with a rare form Leukemia and a very serious bone marrow disease. I am scared for her and at the same time feeling every single sacred cell of life in me and around me.

Mostly, I feel like a cup that, too full, is about to spill over.

Days like today require intentional decadence. And these flowers? They are for you. Sometimes, I think, we all need a little extra decadence.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

painting in oil.

I have paint under my fingernails and I like the way it looks, grungy and all. Something wonderful has happened and I can't quite seem to put words to the sensation that it has created. I started oil painting again for the first time in a year and half. How, I ask myself, did so much time pass? Sure, I've painted plenty in that time, but switched to acrylics after moving to the city because they dry fast, are easy to work with, and easy to clean up.

Late Friday night, after prompting from Vinny, I headed down to my studio. I decided to work on the background of Louis' portrait and so I got out my tubes of paint, my long neglected bristle brushes, a palette knife--and started mixing. Black, white, and a little bit of pthalo blue. What color does that create? Shadowed gray.

Words frustrate me. I can't get them to describe the way the paint moved across the canvas. I can't get them to describe the way the light reflects off of a buttery landscape of brush strokes. I can't get words to describe just how much color there is in such a simple gray. The closest I can come to describing the smell of oil paints are with words such as carnations and chrysanthemums. But perhaps that is only because the scent of carnations and chrysanthemums reside in the same olfactory region of my brain as oil paints. This body chemistry of memory both surprises and delights me. I did, after all, grow up in a flower shop--the sort of place where deep seated memories--wordless memories--are made of smell and color and texture. Or perhaps that is everyone's childhood?

Today and last night and the night before, putting paint brush to canvas, how do I describe it? It wasn't like any of the acrylic paintings I've done in the past year. Dull and pushing. It wasn't like any of the pastel or ink or pencil drawings. Childlike and unsure. It wasn't like anything except painting with oil. I have not felt so deeply comfortable with myself in many months (eighteen, to be exact). And the only way I can describe the feeling is to say:

It feels like coming home.

Finally--after being lost for a long, long time--I know where I am and where I want to go. I find it interesting, these roads we walk to get to where's next.

Friday, January 18, 2008

You make my day!

Finally! I am taking the time to sit down and give a little recognition to some of my favorite bloggers. It feels good to be sitting here. We closed the garden shop 3 hours early today because of the extreme cold. With the wind chill it is something like -23 degrees F (-31 degrees C). Yes, that's cold, even for my winter soul. Did I mention that I work in a UNinsulated converted garage? That's right. No insulation. Not even a little bit. Needless to say, I was having a hard time staying warm today and since I had a total of 1 customer, by 3 pm I decided to call it quits. I was so excited! I mean, I felt like a little kid on days that they announce that school will be let out early. Only difference is that, when I got home, rather than enjoy the blissful peace and warmth of simply being home, I spent the extra time cleaning and then made (a wonderfully warm) dinner of enchiladas and black beans. Actually, it felt good to have the extra time to do these things in such a happy and relaxed state of mind because, seriously, this place needed a little TLC.

Needless to say, at the moment, I am sitting at a clean desk, incense and candles burning, a fresh cup of coffee at my side. Louis is asleep at my feet and Anu is strangely happy under the crystal clear night sky. The warmth of my room against the cold outside makes for an especially nice contrast.

But about those awards. ;) Thank you Vedrana, Jamie, Jenn, Melba, Leah, and Bella for passing this on to me! You are all such powerfully wonderful women and I am so grateful to be inspired by you on a regular basis. Consider yourself added to my list as well! And since now I get to pass on the award... :)

This is seriously tough to decided and so I need to make it absolutely clear that, if I had time, I would give this award to every single blogger that I read and love. And there are quite a lot of them!

Here's the rules:
Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about blogland! Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so that they can pass it on. Beware! You may get the award several times!

And here's just the short version of my list:

Tara Dawn
Ruby (her blog is password protected. Want to read? If you do, just send me an email and I'll forward it to her.)

Oh, that's just not fair!!! My list wants to be so much longer than that!!! But, really, I'm working hard on the fine art of time management which means that I can't hang out with my blog all night (UNfortunate!).

But there's one more blogger that I would like to pay a tribute to and that is Bernie Berlin. She is doing incredible work and is inspiring to me in ways that I cannot even begin to explain. That girl is living my dream. Kudos to her! You can watch a video about her rescue efforts here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mondo-Beyondo 2008

{click image to read}

I was inspired to create my own "Mondo-Beyondo" list after reading Kristine's list this morning. That girl inspires me beyondo all get out! I made my list today because I was (am!) feeling especially hopeful and excited about things. This week alone, V. and I landed THREE new web design clients! I also managed to apply to FOUR more jobs today. This is good because it usually takes me a ridiculous amount of time to write cover letters. I over-think and over-nitpick everything, but today I kept promising myself that the sooner I got done, the sooner I could head to the art supply store. This, I've decided, is excellent incentive because...

I can't even tell you how excited I am about the 3 new canvases I purchased for the show in March. Not only are they big and odd sized, but they were on SALE! Yes, this pleases me immensely. What pleases me even more is that WORK HAS BEGUN! Oh great glory! It always feels good to get back to painting after such a serious bout of writing. One always clarifies the other and it always feels good to make the switch from writing to painting or the other way around. My life and mind and spirit finally feels spacious enough to move on and I really can't even tell you what an incredible breath of fresh air that is.

Since this is the first time I've ever painted dogs I've decided to start with my own because they are the ones I know best--starting with Louis. So far, I've drawn out an image of him on a 12"x36" canvas. It's long and skinny and perfect for what I'm working with.

This sensation I feel inside of me is, well, wonderful. I mean, I sorta feel like dancing or singing or generally being theatrical--ridiculously so. Louis, on the other hand, just wants to make sure that I don't forget about him. Somewhere along the lines, he has become my constant side-kick. I have never, in my whole life, met a dog with such a tender heart.

Anyway, about this "Mondo-Beyondo" thing, I can't help but hope that this week is just the beginning of something new and wonderful and satisfying. I've witnessed Kristine accomplish some pretty incredible things this past year. I'm hoping that my own Mondo-Beyondo list might help me to accomplish some of my own wildest dreams. ;)

I brought this Buddha-dog home a couple months ago in honor of my new business name: Stray Dog Arts. As V. and I struck out into the wild frontier of web design this, I decided, was the calm center that I wanted to begin and continue working from. Strangely enough, Stray Dog Arts has begun to manifest itself in ways that I never expected.

Here's to wishing big and to achieving


Sunday, January 13, 2008

dog art, rug pulling, and other acts of bravery.

About a week ago, I decided to take the leap and let my art evolve. I have a show coming up in my neighborhood coffee shop in March and, rather than simply continuing the coffee cup series, I've decided to do portraits of my favorite neighborhood dogs.

Dog portraits, you ask?

Remember a few weeks ago when I got interviewed for the article on dog training in the New York Times? Well, it got me thinking. It feels like too long of a story to try and fill in all the blanks due to my lack of blogging, but let me just say: there is SO much to say!

These days I feel two ways:
1). I feel like I am sinking in the quagmire of my own trapped, stupid, intensely boring, mindless, dumb job.
2). I feel an incredible sense of well-being every time I take a step closer to working with animals. That sense of well-being deepens even further when I include a creative element to that work.

As you can imagine, I like the feeling of #2 much better that the first.

In a way, I feel like I am tied to a string that is pulling me forward. It is just a thin string and the only thing that I can imagine that it is attached to is the Universe. You see, I don't believe that anything happens by accident, not really anyway. What I mean is that, throughout my life, a series of events have been unfolding. As they've unfolded, I have responded and reacted in certain ways which led to a continuation of the unfolding in one direction of the other. I also believe that we are all connected--everyone and everything--but let me try to not get off-track.

Through a series of both fortunate and unfortunate events, I feel as though I am being pulled towards animals on some level or another. The magnetism has always been there--but, these past several weeks, it has been making itself all the more obvious.

Sometimes I get stuck in the idea that I should be teaching. That is, after all, why I spent the past 7 years in school. It is also why I spent the 7 years before that traveling around the world, doing whatever it was that I was doing. Now that I'm almost done with my degree the next logical step would be to get a job in my field. Only thing is: I don't want to go back to academia--to either side of the desk--at least not yet. I still want to teach, but not necessarily in the same way that I originally imagined. I find it difficult to give up my own expectations for myself because it has been my absolute passion for as long as I can remember. I suppose it goes without saying that losing such a specific direction has been incredibly disorienting to me, but these days I am starting to find my way out of the fog and am amazed by the vision that I find formulating itself in front of me (this is perhaps something for a future post).

recently borrowed me a book: Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron. First of all, I should mention that I love the title. Actually, the title and chapter titles are all I really need. My favorite chapter, so far, is titled "Pulling Out the Rug"--because that is exactly how things feel right now.

I admit though, that I really like the way it feels to have the rug pulled out from under me. Things have been stagnant for so long, the rug getting yanked out from my uncomfortable footing is at least something. And so I go tumbling forward into my future. But tumbling doesn't quite feel like the right description because it only started out as a tumble and now I feel like I am being pulled by my little string towards something that makes me feel like I fit, once again, into my body, my skin, my spirit, my life.

Yesterday I took the leap towards the show's theme by asking K. if I could photograph her big, beautiful Golden Retriever, Ceasar. She agreed with enthusiasm. A little bit later, S. showed up with her Wheaten Terrier, Murphy, to say hi and get a few treats. She also met the idea with excitement. A few hours after that, L. showed up with my sweet little friend Russel, an Australian Shepard. He is so photogenic! We both oohed and aahed over the potential. Now that photo shoots have taken place I feel like I've committed myself--and the commitment feels really, really good. It feels, well, right.

Today that little string led me to the window where I saw a dog I've been hoping to run into. Never mind that it had been over a month since I'd last seen it. Never mind that the dog played a huge part in inspiring me to do a show of neighborhood dogs in the first place. I got nervous, intimidated, shy--and started back-pedaling the idea of including that particular dog in the show.

But there was that perfectly golden sunlight hitting everything just right (after a week of nothing but gray clouds and, later, more gray clouds) and there was the dog himself, just sitting there, waiting like the noble being that he is. I stood at the window fighting with myself about whether or not to run across the street and ask permission to do a photo shoot with the dog.

Then I thought of the Be Brave project.
And then I thought of Maddie and her own photographic bravery.
And Fiona who just picked up and moved to Spain.
And Bella Mocha who just started her own Be Brave journey.
And of all the bravery I've already accomplished.
And all of the bravery of everyone combined and...

Why not just go across the street?

And so I did. And I exchanged information with the incredibly friendly girl and her boyfriend who belong to "Bean," the most beautiful Rottweiler/Great Dane mix I have ever met. I took a few photos and made plans to meet up again in the near future to take more.

A few hours later, G. showed up with his Cocker Spaniel, Chester. Again, I exchanged email and phone numbers. And there I have it...in two short days I have gotten some incredible photos of 5 of my most favorite dogs along with an excellent response from their human companions.

So anyway...I've decided to keep reminding myself to be brave. I've decided to let the rug get pulled out from under my feet and to enjoy the adventure that goes with the tumble. I've decided to pay attention to that little string and the places that it pulls me--because every time I do this, good things become of it.

Even though my work-day was yet another crappy, dull, dumb day--I came home feeling a lot more hopeful that I did before. Of rug pulling, Pema Chodron writes: "Having the rug pulled out from under you is a big opportunity to change your fundamental pattern. It's like changing the DNA. One way to pull out your own rug is by just letting go, lightening up, being more gentle, and not making such a big deal" (19).

I notice that when I let go, lighten up, become more gentle, and quit making such a big deal out of everything, things have a tendency to happen. Not only do things happen, but they happen easily, gracefully, naturally.

There's a part of me that is worried that my pet portraits will be tacky and ugly and embarrassing and that they won't reflect my talent as a painter. But then there's this other part of me that feels like this is just the right step in my artistic path--even if that means taking a risk. Something happens when painting portraits--something strange and wonderful and powerful. Through painting it is possible to get to know someone from the inside out. It is in their eyes, in their posture, in even a slight gesture. These things are not noticeable at first, but through the process of artistic recreation, something happens. A relationship forms.

Ceasar, Russel, Murphy, Bean, and Chester--they have already become much more important to me that they could possibly know. Or, perhaps, they do?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

This is what happens when bloggers get together:

The past few days I have been graced by the presence of fellow blogger, Ruby (from The Ruby Diaries). Traveling all the way from Texas, it was my absolute pleasure to have her as a guest in our home. Louis and Anu (being wonderful judges of character) fell head over heels (paws) in love with her. I, of course, did too. Louis took full advantage of her dog-heart nature and now he considers her his new best friend. When I came home alone from the airport early yesterday morning, Anu looked at me with disappointed and concerned eyes, like: "But...wha? Where iiis she???" Yes, Ruby captured all of our hearts and I can only hope that she will return someday very, very soon.

In the meantime, I already miss her incredibly!!!

Things I love about Ruby:
  • Her voice. It is so soft and comforting. I feel myself relax every time she says: "Heeey, Jessie." Her voice is so soothing and perfectly fits her profession as a psychologist.
  • Her big dog-heart. Ruby is as dog-crazy-loving as I am. She has a way with animals that make them immediately fall in love with her. Animals trust her and sense her gentle, playful nature. It is amazing to watch.
  • Her thoughtfulness. Ruby is one of the most thoughtful people that I have ever spent time with. Wow, I mean, she was so incredibly appreciative and flexible in such a wonderful way.
  • Her blogging name. If I ever have a girl, I might just have to name her Ruby. :)
  • Her curiosity. I loved seeing this city I've been calling home through her eyes. She asked lots of questions and, in doing so, enabled me to see things in a new way.
  • Her love of food. Ok, I really, really love food. And I can't tell you how much I enjoy hanging out with a kindred-food spirit. I mean, hey, she loves peppers! What more can I say?!
  • Her "video-letters." I love her video-letters!
  • Her blog--because she always seems to write about things that I can absolutely relate to.
  • Her absolutely fabulous RUBY-NESS! :) I just love everything about that girl!
{Pleeeease come baaaaaack, Ruuuuubyyyyyyyy!! I love ya, dear friend.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I just finished the "33 Journal" that I made for myself and here it is...ready and waiting to hold all the juicy new beginnings of this 33rd year of my life. My birthday was nearly a month ago and New Years was almost a week ago...still, there is something perfect about the timing of this journal and I look forward to recording my daily journey onto the hodge-podge of paper that I've bound together.

How is it that the month of January is already flying past me at, what feels like, warp speed. Ah well, this time I am not complaining as these past five days have been filled lots of inspired and interesting thoughts.

One thing I've been meaning to blog about is Leah's Creative Every Day 2008. I've been so busy working towards my goals that I keep momentarily forgetting that I decided to join in. But please don't be offended, Leah--because what amazes me the most is the way that creativity has so solidly rooted itself in my day to day life. It happens without me even having to consciously think about it. And that feels really good.

The cool thing about Creative Every Day 2008 is that I feel absolutely no pressure to do anything more than I'm inspired to do. Despite finishing my thesis, it turns out that my life is still busy (ha! Should I be surprised?). But this busy-ness is different. Although writing my thesis was creative, personal, and helped to heal some very deep wounds, it was something that just needed to get done. On one level I was doing it for myself, but on another level it was/is for someone else. It is a hoop to jump. But these days...oh, everything else is so different. My thoughts and endeavors are so full of potential and change. They are so me--as though a culmination of my entire life up until now. These thoughts are thrilling and dramatic and wonderful.

Sometimes I worry that I am setting myself up for failure and that it my ideas are ridiculous and blah, blah, blah... But then there's this other side of me, a much larger side, that is amazed by the way the puzzle pieces of my life are starting to fall into place.

I want to live an authentic life. Note to self: this is what it looks like:


*upper left hand: A wonderful Christmas gift of words and color from a wonderful friend, Mardagourrl
*lower left hand: Time spent my best friend in the whole wild world with her beautiful new baby boy, Elias. I'm smitten. ;)
*upper right hand: New Year's Day spent relaxing in front of the fire with a cup of tea, a good book, and my four-leggeds.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

things I want to do:

  • drink of cup of tea
  • travel to India
  • read a book from cover to cover
  • get a professional massage
  • go for a long walk, just Anu and I
  • go for a long walk, just Louis and I
  • go for a long walk, just me?
  • find a new job that I love
  • get my dog training certification
  • hang out with horses
  • work on a painting that's been hanging out in my head
  • finish the two paintings I've started
  • make journals (I'm currently working on two of them)
  • start sewing
  • travel to France with Vinny
  • live in a strange and unexpected location--the desert?
  • make snow angels (without worrying if there's dog poop in the yard)
  • take a bubble bath and read
  • redo my wardrobe
  • go out for coffee
  • and to a nice French restaurant
  • sit in front of the fireplace surrounded by my four-leggeds
  • build a unique and artful house in the country
  • work in my very own studio space with high ceilings and good light
  • go skiing
  • watch a sunset
  • and a sunrise
  • go to a ballet
  • sit in a tree
  • lay in a hammock
  • make some chai
  • write long letters to my friends
  • parachute jump from a plane
  • go swimming
  • eat healthy
  • sit back, relax, and breathe deeply
  • sit on my old porch and laugh with my friends
  • adopt another dog
  • stand on my head
  • get inspired
  • move to Morocco


I'm observing the darkness of my little writing room, a greyish light struggling its way in through closed blinds. My desk is a mess. I feel the need to clean, but where to go with all of it? Thesis papers, Christmas cards, piles of collected images that I save for web design inspiration (but have yet to use), cards and paintings and an old newspaper, water bottles, coffee cups, plant, pens, candles, lamps, notes, lavender oil, legal tablets, stacks and stacks of books.

There's a dog a my feet and a cat curled up at my side. Rather than go to work today, I would prefer to open up the blinds, clean out this office, and begin again. Always, there is so much that I want to do in this one, short little life. I feel such a sense of spaciousness on the inside, I want my exterior world to reflect that.

Today I breathe deeply and revel in the question: Where to begin?