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Surf City, North Carolina

Quote of the day: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” — Desmond Tutu

Daily gratitudes:
Getting my ballot in the mail today
A little peace
Cozy blankets
Coyotes howling at night

I have been silent again. With all the upheaval in this country, I have been feeling like my pretty pictures and small gratitudes are frivolous. MKL reminded me that perhaps they are more necessary than ever. So fewer words, even though I have many thoughts.

Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Daily gratitudes:
Home cooking
Snuggly cats
Writing deadlines
My Washington children


Even though it’s still lovely here, I have been missing Cozumel*. My anxiety from work has made me doubt my abilities as a writer, as an artist, and as a competent human being, and that’s been really rough. It’s very reminiscent of my days in abusive relationships, and as was the case then, I don’t know how to improve it. MKL has been a rock and a treasure. I understand that I have choices, but I hate being driven to them because I cannot resolve my own situation. Yes, I know I’m being vague, but that’s how it’s got to be. I remember being so clear and at peace in Cozumel. That was a magical place for me. I want that feeling back.

Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.” — Eckhart Tolle

Daily gratitudes:
Daily messages for my girls
Carpool mornings
Cooler nights
Work (even so)

Walking into this rail car at the Colorado Railroad Museum was like stepping into a home from the past. I come from a line of men with a love for the rails. My great-grandfather’s journal from when he criss-crossed the country time and again as a very young man working on different rail lines in the early 1900s is one of my treasured possessions and provides a glimpse into a time that has faded into the last century and a man I never met, but whom I’ve always considered my guardian angel. And now I’m married to a man who has always loved railroads. I think my grandfather would approve.

Golden, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “…some hours later they were down
at the railroad tracks
standing close together by the switch lights. The huge night moved overhead
scattering drops of itself.” — Anne Carson

Daily gratitudes:
A day with only a few tears
Scents that spark memories
Cloudless days
A tidier yard
Messaging with Kelsea

Or it will be soon. Looking forward to going home.

Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty.” — James Kavanaugh

Daily gratitudes:
Katie Ledecky
Friendly chalkboards by front doors
Hot air balloons this morning
Perfectly dried roses

I sometimes think that all works of art are born somehow of fire. Words burn in a writer’s brain, unforgiving until they can spill upon page. Motion burns from the core of a dancer’s muscles. Paintings are licks of flame risen from a spirit through a brush to a canvas. Even in photography, there is a burning peaceful need to capture what is seen by one set of eyes into something that can be seen by others, a sharing of the embers of the photographer’s vision. The center of the earth that we walk on each day is made of fire, and it passes through layers of rock and soil and the skin of the soles of our feet to the center of the souls of our being, and must be expressed somehow.

In this sculpture studio, we found the purest expression of the creative fire, molten iron casually poured by men protected from its destructive power, men looking like creatures from the center of the earth themselves, men who controlled the flow of creativity, channeling it into molds and frames, containing it, shaping it, melding with it, as it fashioned itself through the sculptors hands into art, cold to the touch but still retaining that fire within. As we all do.

It reminded me that art can be dirty and primal and beautiful, full of heat and passion and practicality all at the same time, blending hotly and gently to create an artist’s ever-imperfect vision, for imperfection is the nature of art as viewed by the artist, and what makes them strive to improve always, trying to touch that fiery core with their bare hands, capture it, rejoice in it, and share it.


Shidoni, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “I used to know a sculptor… He always said that if you looked hard enough, you could see where each person carried his soul in his body. It sounds crazy, but when you saw his sculptures, it made sense. I think the same is true with those we love… Our bodies carry our memories of them, in our muscles, in our skin, in our bones. My children are right here.” She pointed to the inside curve of her elbow. “Where I held them when they were babies. Even if there comes a time when I don’t know who they are anymore. I believe I will feel them here.” — Erica Bauermeister

Daily gratitudes:
Brief flashes of clarity
Some time with Kelsea
Realizing creative necessities
Beach time soon come

I don’t know if this means it’s a sale on Big Jesuses or if it’s a big sale that encompasses all Jesuses, but either way the sign struck my fancy. I mean, you can’t buy Jesus. He’s way too ethical for that. I don’t actually recall even seeing any Jesuses at this interesting and chock-full shop that popped up on the other edge of Cerrillos Road from Jackalope, which it is trying to resemble. It was worth a stop on the way out of town.


Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.” — Anne Lamott

Daily gratitudes:
The light smell of rain
A peek-a-boo sunset
Shared experiences
Good books
Clean sheets

The rooftop bar at La Fonda Hotel is scorching in the summer at cocktail time, so they have been most considerate in putting up canopies that shield the sun while unveiling the sky. We have had enough hot in our western world in the month of July, and while I would never expect to hear myself say it, I am looking forward to cooler weather. If I must be hot, then let me be by a beach. Soon.

Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “We love easily in summer, perhaps, because we love our summer selves.” — John Updike

Daily gratitudes:
The look in MKL’s eyes and reassurance of his presence
Kelsea and early adult heartache
My bracelet from Tam
Random exercise
A suspected new comrade

My fascination with doorways, about which, I’ve written before, continues. I am not the only photographer was a passion for windows and doors, though my passion extends to porches as well. Perhaps it’s the secrets that lie behind those doors, all the life that exists back there, but to which I am simply blind. I do love it when old lace currents hide interior secrets.  That’s how I want my home to be. I have always wanted lace curtains, providing only mysterious and tempting flashes of my inner world. And a romantic touch of balcony merely adds to the dream.

Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Always seek justice, but love only mercy. To love justice and hate mercy is but a doorway to more injustice.” — Criss Jami

Daily gratitudes:
The Corazon is back from vacation
Missing MKLThe Great British Baking Show
Plans and dreams
Avoiding the cursing, flailing, screaming homeless man on the corner of Work and Work

Much like we seem to be going through on an individual and global soul level this year, there is a door at the end of a shadowed tunnel, and that door is bathed in light. This is a more pleasant tunnel than I think many of us have wandered down of late, but perhaps you’ll appreciate the concept.

Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “people themselves are full of tunnels: winding, dark spaces and caverns; impossible to know all the places inside of them. Impossible even to imagine.” — Lauren Oliver

Daily gratitudes:
Finding out that they sell my Red Bull downstairs from work
Holding doors
Feeling productive

October 2016
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