When the heart thumps of longings and lanes…..

In the heat of our culture’s loud and frantic traffic right now,
it’s sometimes hard to find and hold steady to your lane.
The message is loud and the pressure real:

                      ~ you should be doing more to protect your family and community from the virus.

~  you should be doing more to end ignorance and fear,  and to dismantle racism.

~ you should doing more to connect with truth – to navigate the hype and the false
and arrive correctly on the right square.  And quickly.

~ you should be doing more of all the things and also taking more
of a pro-active role in fighting more for social justice
in every arena,  anywhere there is suffering,
(If you’re not quarantined,  say if you are running a small business,
there is a lot of extra to catch up on
once you’ve served your community so you’re just
gonna have to sleep a little faster and go a little harder,  man.)

And,  hey,  if this is all too intense to absorb and process in your 24,
you just need to pick a side.
One of the two.  Pick one wing of this big bird and devote unquestioning loyalty,
then begin to lob insult and venom at the other
(yes,  you’re all on the same bird but don’t think too hard about that
while you bloody the wing you didn’t choose – it’s easier to go with the
good vs. evil narrative.  Keeps it simple.)

Cult Tip:
If you want to keep it super sweet and simple,  just pick a side and then go with
whatever that side is saying about all the issues.  Lots less bother.
You’ll even get a script.

Either way,  the shoulds are clear:
you’re expected to weigh in and raise a flag on every issue.
In every fight.
At every moment.
And whatever work you’re learning or doing already,
you should do way more.

Are you tired already?

                                           One  option:   Succumb to inertia.   Or despair
Better option:
Find and focus on doing your work.

I believe in the work.
I believe that this season is pregnant with the call to dismantle racism,
to require justice for the marginalized, for the objectified,  for the de-humanized.
My heart burns hot for systemic change.

I also believe that we are all many parts
-you have a lane and it’s where you’re made to thrive,
where you’re most productive
and there your passion carries weight
that creates sustainable good.
In your lane,  the riffs your voice makes are not only delicious,
they also help make this planet and her people more whole.
You were born to fill that space – we need you there.

So how do you know that place?
How do you find that niche – your own true north?
Finding and filling it is maybe much of the work of being human
because we want to love wide,  yes,  but where exactly do we put our heft and hands
every single day?

The answers,  I believe,  are rumbling around down there in the deeps of your very own heart.
Always it’s in the heart connection- that God-container –
from which our truest and most satisfying life-living flows.

And what I want to say to you right now is
don’t be driven by the shoulds.
Especially in the loud of this season,
don’t lose your heart.
That still small voice in the quiet of you
– it’s your lifeline.

“There are a million creative paths through compassion work…
That thing that is bursting in your chest?  Listen to it.  Give it energy;  give it life.”
– Jen Hatmaker

My lane,  for now,  is to dive deep to listen and learn and also
to offer up process that helps turn up the quiet and cultivate the listen and know.
It’s been growing in me for years, this way, and it feels to me like
tall trees and big sky and laughing waters
and helps tug the trueness from my often overcrowded heart.
It’s been a slow and bumpy launch because of Covid, and my website is still in the works
because I’m still nose-to-the-ground like a hound dog in a tall meadow
sniffing out the path.
I’ll come back with details soon.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Nelson – I drew your name in the giveaway
and I’m honored to send you an art journal I made.  With big love!

Another giveaway this post.
This time it’s a print – a warm starry night in a Summertime garden.
15 x 20 inches
Leave a comment and you’re in the hat:)


getting gritty……


Can I tell you why I’m here each day this month?

A cluster of white clouds scroll across an uncanny blue sky
as I lay still,  skywatching,   for a brief brush of bliss.
It’s a rare slice of glory,  these lay-me-down moments;
I’ve been working hard this month to rest and heal the tired of me.

For many months I’ve wanted badly to lay some of my work down,
feeling so deep the need to re-set to rest,  body and soul.
But I’m in debt.
The kind that doesn’t feel fair,
and I’m in because of a million reasons
that are both good and clumsy

I finished July tight with ache  needing to grieve it out,
feeling a bit as if I was dangling, white knuckled, over despair.
So tired.
I’ve worked hard to live simple and want even harder to let the writer in me lead,
to earn a living making art that doesn’t need pruning or get yellow jacket nests
or disappear if it gets too dry or too wet.
But this business that  I love and hate with it’s hard work,  and lots of it,
seems a necessary dailyness in my life right now until I can see another,  truer way.
(Thank God for tomorrows).

So August loomed before me threatening…..the heat, humidity, hormones,
my resentment, my fatigue,  my big gaping need
….it felt like it would roll me.
What could I lay down?
One night as I wrestled and tossed and tagged heaven in,
the idea flashed by my mind like a deer darting past my window
“…..just do a little more,  instead”

“Dive down deep and write it out  daily and post to keep accountable.
The goal is rest and I’m a mess…..what if I write more,  not less.
Go exploring to find the truth of how I got here,
lose the blame and actually learn something.
You know,  get some forgiveness done,  some healing,  some help,
figure out how to thrive in even this.
Cause even though I’m feeling chained,  we carry our freedom inside ourselves
and that’s where I’m exhausted,  so go there.”

August has been work harder and more and also
show up to this slow,  awkward,  painful act of liberation
and put it out there for someone else to read
so I can’t hide in self pity and excuses
and you know what?

I feel rest.

Even though I’ve not vacationed and the work remains the same,
I’ve a lighter heart than I’ve ever known
and seeing more clearly what I’d been sleeping through before
And it’s sweet thick grace to not live helpless and exhausted and mad
and to grow from mistakes and maybe share some wisdom in the falling forward.

…..your comments and messages have been light and breath to me.
I’ve loved it,  each time you come around:)

“debt,  n.  An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.”  -Ambrose Bierce

“A man in debt is so far a slave.”  –  Ralph Waldo Emerson