Excited to announce the info for the next Spirit Weavers Gathering! Join us May 22nd ~ May 26th on a beautiful piece of land outside of Joshua Tree, California. Sign up for the mailing list on the Spirit Weavers Gathering website and then check back for detailed information as well as teacher and work trade applications on the new moon on March 1st. Ticket sales and registration will open April 1st. Calling in the sisterhood for this ceremonial journey! Deep bow to Amy of Daughter of the Sun for following her heart and bringing this gathering forth into the world. xxx
I had a discussion earlier this week with some artist friends… We mused about how motherhood (parenthood) and art are almost impossible as hand in hand partners. Being a parent does not lend itself well to long stretches of quiet that allow one to truly drop into the space that is often required to let go, dive in and give space to the flow of creativity and inspiration that we artists spend our lives channeling.
After a long night of tender care-taking, of surrender to my daughter's sickness, of holding her soft mousey hair out of her tiny sweet face as she threw up into the toilet, and then onto herself and the floor, of preparing a shower, and then a bath, at too many minutes past midnight, of letting go of the needed schedule to do my 'art', of sitting in the bathroom by candlelight while she let the water fall over her, I can't help but wonder if mothering (parenting) and therefore the raising of children isn't the biggest work of art we can offer to the world.
It is necessarily a path to break you open, pour your heart in fully or not at all, give it all you got, surrender, nearly lose yourself, hate it, love it, and then send it out into the world with open arms to watch it become its own form, its own creation and take on its own life, as life itself and the world begin to interact with it and literally your work begins to take on a life of its own.
Driving alone in my truck earlier tonight, Stevie Nicks loudly leading the way with stories of crystal visions, the light of the day, of the sun's transition pulled me in. It all washed together and before I knew it the sunset had seeped into my soul, the colors of pale pinks and blues smeared gently in the sky both ahead of me and, in my rear-view mirror, behind me. How do I describe that feeling of absolute contentment that comes from a goddamn sunset? How cliché. And how deeply true. How do I describe that feeling of gratitude that comes from hearing my sick child's breath finally slow to a steady low grumble after too many mid-night wakings? That spaciousness and room to literally breathe a sigh of relief is unparalleled. How do I describe the feeling of fulfillment that comes when putting aside my solitude, my creating, my agenda, to truly be present and open to the gift that parenting gently but forcefully throws at my feet? Hell if I know.
Photo circa winter 2007.
thank you for all the birthday lovin'. i'm older and wiser now, apparently. funny thing that, because growing older is amazing and yet everyday i feel like i know less and less... it is constant and complete surrender. and it's actually pretty damn rad, right?! hello thirty! bring it on.
the one thing i do is that i am eternally grateful for the profound love and support you all offer on a day to day basis. those of you whom i see everyday, and those whom i haven't seen in years, your words, love and presence in my life has helped to make me who i am, and my heart is exploding in gratitude!
thank you. love you. xxx
I recently fought against my own better judgement (or maybe my own insecurities) and decided to share what I have been fleshing out for many years now: this intimate blog that I have had brewing both in my head and quietly on paper, waiting to ripen. Waiting for me to ripen and be ready to claim my voice and write, even when that also means completely getting over myself. It's time. READ MORE...
I have been fortunate enough to have been gifted with many opportunities for deep practice on standing up in the face of fear and being authentically and unabashedly me, on speaking my voice, even when I'm shaking and trembling. I have learned too that it can be specifically those times when I am shaking that there is simply no turning back, not even and not especially in the face of that fear. So here I am, it's time.
As a piece of this, I am wanting to fill it up with links to my dear ones; to friends and loves and inspiration because building community and connections and supporting one another is so big in my mind and heart right now. I'd like to ask you to take a look, and feel it out (leave comment if so inspired, I'd be THRILLED as this is seriously nerve-wracking for this here girl- I do NOT like to be the center of attention, even online, apparently). Then, if you have a site or blog and after reading through mine feel like they could be complimentary, send me a message to email@example.com and let's swap links to our sites. As you can see, I started with my girl Brooke and her lovely meal planning at Balance Within Nutrition, and will go from there. I have a ridiculously entrepreneurial brain and loads of inspiration with sometimes (lots of times) a little (MAJOR) lack of follow through. (*ahem* Oh hello six planets in libra + tons in sagittarius + an aries moon. But also, I'm a mama.)
Pioneer Babe is a (slightly adapted) nickname coined by my dad years ago when he came to visit Isa and I at our cabin in the mountain town of Jamestown (outside of Boulder). I was soaking beans, and making kale chips and doing all the sorts of domestic + nutritional bits that were a common and necessary part of my day, and that I loved so dearly. But, as the dad of a single mama (me) struggling with supporting myself and having enough time for... anything and everything, he teased me, calling me 'Pioneer Woman' and begging me (gently) to be willing to take some shortcuts to simplify my life.
Pioneer Babe grew out of that visit of his, a camping trip we all took together, and my reflection on why exactly it was that these important aspects of my life that indeed can be time consuming (and require planning) WERE in fact essential to who I was then and who I am now. This is essentially my effort to tie together all the wayward and un-tameable parts of me as I explore and attempt to define all these aspects of myself. I want to do it ALL and this is a space for me to make peace with that as I am redefining to myself how I can do what it is that truly inspires me AND not only support myself and my little one, but also to deeply thrive.
“You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation… and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.” ~ Herman Hesse
I got into Boulder after dark last night. The little one and I flew from Northern California to Denver yesterday morning. We met up with her papa (whom she suddenly, for the first time started calling Daddy instead of the always-used Papa, and whom she hasn't seen for exactly one year*,) her two uncles, her 'new baby cousin', Wolfy, and Wolfy's mama, as well as her dear Meena (the papa's mama). We all had a delicious dinner, though I failed to photograph her eating a rare steak like a little wolf cub, bare hands and all. After dinner we said our goodbyes (my little one not being big on goodbyes it was more me hugging and her attempting to wriggle out of my arms) and her Meena and I headed to Boulder. It was wonderful to catch up with my ex-mother-outlaw (I know, I know) as it has been equally as long since we last saw her, if not longer. READ MORE...
It was sweet to the feel the ease that time brings to the dynamic that at one point was THE single most challenging of my life. It was tender to see my little one so so excited and eager to connect with her papa, and feel so much peace in sending them off to enjoy their week together, with his family and their untold adventures (though I have heard promise of not only The Butterfly Museum and The Aquarium, but also The Zoo, a movie and The Botanical Gardens). Their week will be full and busy, making sweet memories and catching up on shared love.
For me, I am taking this time to be still. To have moments to myself and get lost in thought. And nothingness. And inspiration. I am taking this week to catch up, on both work and sleep, thankyouverymuch. I woke up in Boulder this morning to this beautiful garden/yard/acreage and have yet been able to convince myself to wander anywhere else. It is magical. And I am grateful.
Here's to catching up, and to inspiration. I am excited too for our return home, where we will finally be moving into our new home. And all that I can think of is fermenting, and cooking, and the GAPS diet bone broths I'll start. And here's to my coming post on my recent workshop/lecture at the Food Craft Institute in Oakland with Sandor Katz of Wild Fermentation (and more recently The Art of Fermentation). And remembering (how) to write, even when I don't know the whats or hows, but simply for the sake of it.
*Unless you count the virtual papa sightings, which are regularly at least twice a week.
The time is so ripe for this dusty outlet of mine to start shaping and taking a productive form. There have been so many pieces and ideas and creations fermenting and bubbling, waiting for just the right time to be sipped at, tasted, and served to my loved ones. And to myself. I am excited to finally feel ready to write, to put these feelings to paper, and remember the lost art of writing in full sentences (thanks a lot, dear iPhone). READ MORE...
After having recently (six weeks going on forever) moved home to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains where I grew up, I am finding that all these different angles and avenues and paths that my life has taken, are all merging together at my feet and howling loudly, finally ready to be truly integrated. I have lived so many stories and had such a vibrant and full life thus far, and as I prepare and welcome so many new pieces I find myself also reflecting on where I have been, who I have been, and how those fit and meld into who I am now and how they shape the path that I am beginning to walk here today, in this fermented and fresh articulation of myself.
And speaking of fermenting, I am so excited to be venturing down to Oakland tomorrow to finally be attending a fermenting workshop with the master himself, Sandor Katz. When the little one truly was a little one, so many years back, and I spent my days experimenting with water kefir grains and homemade sodas, Sandor Katz was the man on my brain as I always referred back to his book, Wild Fermentation. I have never been at the right place at the right time to be able to attend one of his workshops, and I am utterly thrilled to finally have this opportunity. To have some time with dear friends in the Bay AND a workshop with this deeply inspiring and knowledgeable man? Yes. Yes, please.
I am continually floored by what the world has to offer me. If I simply let it. When I get out of my own way, and let go of my stories and ideas of what this life should look like, the beauty that is there before me never ceases to amaze me.
I find myself saying to friends: 'This last week has been challenging'. As I say it I realize that this last month has been challenging. And as I acknowledge that, I see that this last year has been. And then I step back and see that it is the last chunk of years, not just the last week, or month, or year, or even few years. Life presents challenges and we are given the opportunity to learn. and grow. What I see highlighted the most, even, and sometimes most especially in those challenges, is the tremendous amount of beauty and grace that is in my life. In these challenges I have been offered an opportunity to dive deeper, continually. to chose, each moment to face what is here and get to know, and in turn love, myself and who I am as a woman, a mother, a lover and a friend. There has been heartache and fear and everything that is to be expected, but there has also been an insane amount of grace, joy and utter bliss. It is as if in fully opening and surrendering to what is offered, I experience life more fully than I could have ever 'pictured'. I not only feel the deep ache of the sorrow and struggle that has been a part of my life, but the deep ecstasy is that much greater, that much more palpable. I feel it to my bones. All of it. And for that I am eternally grateful. I come through stronger and more clear, I know myself more than I ever have. I have the deep desire to learn more, more, more. Always. About myself, about my friends and loves and child, and also about what is here. I am endlessly inspired. And it feels so damn good.
And at the same time, I feel the true sense of vulnerability as I commit these words to 'paper' and put them out to the world.
Here I am.
My mind blanks. Words long to fill this empty space and yet, where will they come from? Where do i begin to slowly and simply paint such a large and intricate picture? There is so much in my heart and so much in my head that could so easily land on this page as a sampling of who i am and the winding path my life has taken me on. But here in this moment, as mama, my little one needs me. So instead, we will jump on our bikes and ride down to the farmer's market. Today is the beginning, and so will tomorrow be.