Color & Shape

What makes a story?
A start and an end?
Or is it the middle,
the process?
Must it start at the top,
the left or right?
Does it have to have words,
or can it be pure thought,

Wandering + Words

We’re at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh. We’ve come from afar to see new friends in a new place. We follow the maze of paths through the endless garden and our meandering conversation changes subjects as often as we change direction.

Children and bees and ants bring our focus back to the wonders around us. I stop to take pictures of the most striking flowers – but the sites surrounding us are truly only distractions.

Eventually we are back where we started, the path ends at the beginning, and in the rush to tie the loose ends of the menagerie of topics, I completely forget to visit the gift shop.

“You have already ascertained Mr. Willoughby’s opinion in almost every matter of importance. […] But how is your acquaintance to be long supported, under such extraordinary dispatch of every subject for discourse? You will soon have exhausted each favorite topic.”

From Sense and Sensibility, Chapter 12, Elinor to Marianne after the first conversation with Willoughby

We part with hugs + kisses and plans to meet again.

I Slept Wrong

I slept wrong
as they say, as we say
we who wake with pain
that wasn't there when we lay down.
What went wrong,
between the last sleep
and this sleep?
And how can I learn
to sleep right
if I'm always
sleeping through the lessons.

Learn by Doing


The bird said to me, “I just couldn’t handle the nagging anymore. She just kept pushing and pushing me, right up to the edge. Finally, I just exploded at her, ‘Fine! You don’t believe me! Fine, you’ll be sorry, you’ll see!’ and I jumped.”

The bird fluffed his feathers, then blinked into the distance a few times before turning an eye back towards me. “Well, how was I to know? So, flying isn’t something one has to approach gently, with caution and baby steps. Turns out it’s one of those ‘learn by doing’ things.” He twisted his head around, and around, until he was looking backwards, then picked at his tail feathers.

I waited, sure there was more to the story. But he just ignored me.



It’s my blog and I’ll write about my shoes if I want to. #2


These are my walking shoes, and here is the story of how I came to own them….

A long time ago, in a previous life when I had a husband who had a huge extended family and none of them hated me yet, I was friends with one of his cousins. She and I were really close until she started dating the man who became her husband. He and I never really got on too well.

No meanness ever passed between us, just a lot of confused looks. He was one of those people who never made a lick of sense to me. He was just so… nice. Not creepy-nice, or syrupy-sweet nice, more like 1950’s television nice. Aw Shucks nice. He didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, and didn’t eat meat, all things my friend had once done, with relish. Almost over night, she focused in on him and she stopped being fun, started being nice, like him, and we lost all the things we’d had in common.

Anyway… many years after they married, her husband and I briefly shared running as a hobby. Though, hobby is probably to mild a word to describe anything he did. He was the type to get obsessed with things. He knew everything there was to know about running and all the equipment necessary to fully experience all the pleasure one could squeeze out of it. (yes, of course he ran marathons, did you have to ask?) It was truly just a hobby for me, and a short lived one at that. Really, I was more of a jogger at heart.

He offered to take me to his favorite shoe store and help me pick out a pair of shoes, and for reasons I can’t even fathom, I agreed. So the two of us went to the store. Alone. Take any awkward situation you’ve ever been in with another person and times it by 11. We both really tried to find things to talk about, but it’s like talking to someone in a language you’ve just learned. Once you get beyond your health and the weather, you just run out of words that you both know. That car ride lasted at least a week.

When we finally got to the store, he introduced his running buddies, then left me to their salesperson devices while he shopped for himself. (It was a relief, actually.) The sales person figured out that I wasn’t as much a runner as a fast walker and sold me these instead of one of the really fancy and expensive pairs my friend’s husband had been talking about before we got there.

Eventually he drove me home and neither of us ever acted on our promises to go run together someday. Then I lost all of those people in the divorce and that was that.

Regardless, these are really good shoes.

Real vs. Fake

This is not my greatest work, but it is today’s work, and that is good.

I want to say, also, that it is not really my work. I mean it is, I painted it. It is of a place I saw, a landscape like any other, but it is also a painting of a painting, sort of…

Somewhere out there (probably in Austin, Texas) there is a 3d modeler who might (if they took off their glasses and squinted a bit) recognize this scene as their own.

“Lemme ‘splain. No, there is too much, lemme sum up…”

In an online world called Star Wars The Old Republic, on a planet called Rishi, I stopped on my way towards a battle with traitorous Revanites to admire the lush jungle scenery. I thought, this is awfully pretty, I should try to capture it in watercolor. So I did. Try I mean. Not quite sure I succeeded.

The funny thing is, the few times thus far I have attempted to capture what I’ve seen in the (so called) real world, it has come out so much better.

You would think that painting an image that is already rendered in 2d, flat on my computer screen, would be so much easier to paint than something outside where I have to do the conversion of 3d to 2d myself. But it is not.

Yet another lesson learned.  There is a reason artists prefer drawing from life.  It’s just easier.