• Sacred Spaces

    Embracing Closeness

    The past nearly three weeks have been marked by close interiority, the contemplations and conversations that arise from being confined—first, for me, with my second bout of COVID; then, with my mother’s hospitalization (not from COVID); throughout, other beloveds’ health…

  • Nourishment

    Peace, Love, and Tacos

    23 years ago, in the middle of a 15,000-mile road trip around the U.S. to find a good home for us, with my three young sons (ages 7, 5, and 3 at the time) and densely packed into my youngest…

  • Nourishment

    Feeding the Soul

    One of the women in my doctoral cohort noted recently that as her ability to articulate and write the academic portion of her thesis gained momentum, her access to inspiration and productivity within her artistic practice decreased, and vice versa.…

  • Movement and Meditation

    A Winter Solstice Nidra

    As I’ve written and then voiced this nidra, my whole heart has been full of wishes to offer you a space and time in which to generate your own restoration and illumination, as you need and want and are able…

  • Reading List

    Living Ayurveda

    Maybe it’s that I feel a particular and pressing need for nourishment of body, mind, and spirit during the darkest days of the year (and the coldest, even if here in Central Texas, “coldest” doesn’t always mean objectively “cold”), but…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Undimmable Illumination

    If you had asked me when I was younger (starting when I was in early elementary school and continuing until not long ago) what superpower I would want, I would have named invisibility, the optic and sonic fading away of…

  • Nourishment

    May You and Yours Be Well

    Although there is some overlap between the research and artifact of my doctoral project on female aging and my welcoming you to the weekend with a few thoughts each Friday, I find at certain junctures that the split in focus…

  • Reading List

    Listening is an Act of Love

    There’s so much deafening noise involved in conflict, violence, and destruction, anger boiling and exploding first in barrages of words and then of materiality, and in the midst of all this current fatal swirl in the world, I came across…

  • Movement and Meditation

    The Where and When of Walking

    As I write this, it’s pouring rain outside, a kind of vertical sheeting with a force and volume that only became known to me when I first visited the American South and that is now—after decades living here, on the…

  • Reading List

    Weaving at Black Mountain College

    When R. and I stopped recently in Asheville, North Carolina, on our way back to Austin along our 5,431-mile road trip in support of one of our sons settling into his new home, I took a few hours to visit…

  • Movement and Meditation

    May Every Child Know This Peace

    Yesterday, R. and I walked along the perimeter trails of Cheekwood Estate and Gardens in Nashville, Tennessee, among sculptures in the hardwood forest and within the late afternoon light and gentle air of a southern autumn day, a salve to…

  • Sacred Spaces

    All the Places to Love

    If a feeling in my bones and heart can be considered official it is this: I’ve spent too much time away from home this year. The last time at home was just a week in between trips away. I was eager and…

  • Learning

    Moving Toward the Light

    R. and I have driven from Austin to Laramie again, supporting one of our sons through a series of massive life changes, spending our days in parallel work—R. and I tucked into a small Airbnb house; our son at a…

  • Reading List

    Before, Now

    We were a little group of three yesterday afternoon—my granddaughter, one of my sons (not my granddaughter’s father), and me—in the beautifully curated children’s section of Second Story Books in downtown Laramie, Wyoming. My granddaughter found—on her own, and to…

  • Learning

    Dulce Domum

    Although R. joined me here at the residency this past Sunday morning, he continued his remote work until his vacation officially began on Thursday, after which he and I met up with a friend and former classmate from Skagway, J.,…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Lingering

    A month is a long time to be someplace without your family—your spouse, your children and their spouses, your granddaughter, now out of school for the summer, your siblings and their families—and your other beloveds in the normal rhythms of…

  • Learning

    Developmental Stages

    Thanks to a friend in Skagway who has lent me her car, I was able on Thursday to drive from Alderworks to the Dyea Tidal Flats with another resident artist; the two of us chose different exploratory paths once we…

  • Movement and Meditation

    Pilgrimage 3: Tracing Skagway

    On Wednesday morning, June 7, I began the third installment of my Pilgrimage walking art series, Pilgrimage 3: Tracing Skagway. Starting at the north end of Skagway, Alaska—my childhood home and a town built on a river delta with streets…

  • Nourishment

    Panning for Gold

    I’ve visited the site in Skagway where my family home was, of course: the house has been significantly remodeled to nearly unrecognizable; the surrounding wild woods built upon; the side street widened to include more than a third of the…

  • Sacred Spaces

    The Time It Takes

    I have had an electrical current of anticipation running through my whole body for the past few months, since I applied for the Alderworks Alaska residency and even more so when I was accepted. This past Wednesday, as the seaplane rounded the…

  • Movement and Meditation

    From One Beat to the Next

    I’m writing this on Wednesday afternoon, having just returned from a walk on which I was almost hit by a car. I’m less jangled by the near miss than I would have been had I been the driver, the incident…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Holding the Center in the Widening Gyre

    I slept soundly during last night’s violent thunderstorm, not knowing until this morning—with his telling me—of R.’s leaving our bed at 1:20 a.m. to determine if the downpour had turned to hail. In my background awareness of the wild weather,…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Air, Water, Earth, Fire, and Spirit

    I know I’ve accessed an idea that works for me when it produces waves of gratitude and a sense of connectedness and expansiveness as I further contemplate and apply it. One of these ideas is the notion of five essential…

  • Learning

    “Thanks an awful lot.”

    There have already been previews and reviews, a deep-dive segment on Studio 1A, and a bump in book sales, but there’s a lot more than nostalgic value for me in the movie “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.” Based…

  • Movement and Meditation

    Footsteps Along the Path

    My life has been imbalanced lately in favor of submitting on time a significant project toward my doctoral program, and I am feeling the varied effects of the hours of isolation, the hours sitting at my desk, the hours—unrelieved even…

  • Reading List

    Back to the River Bank with My Water Rat

    Although I read very few books more than once, R. and I are enjoying right now our annual spring reading of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, first published in 1908, but just as relevant now—if not more so—for…

  • Learning

    Marching Forth

    Our granddaughter is staying with R. and me this weekend as her parents attend a wedding away, and the three of us have been excited about our bonus time together since we first planned it back in the early fall.…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Scent Home

    As a gift last year, my youngest daughter-in-law gave me a mason jar filled with dried, aromatic plants native to the area in southern California where she grew up—removing the lid releases the scent of her childhood home, evoking memory…

  • Nourishment

    Spice/Trade

    You know that I don’t usually use this space or time to discuss a retail product (other than books, or my own offerings), but my recent introduction this week to the six-year-old spice company, Diaspora Co., coincided with today’s failure…

  • Nourishment

    Treading Water

    When we were at the height of nourishing the adolescent growth of our three boys, I had a sense that I was spending all my time procuring, cooking/baking, and serving food. As with their infant growth, I could predict that…

  • Reading List

    Women Holding Things

    I first found the multi-media and prolific artist Maira Kalman through her collaborations with authors that reveal other interests of mine: The Illustrated Elements of Style (with William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White) (2008) and Food Rules (2011) by Michael…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Lighting Our Way

    When R. and I were in our 20s, we regularly worked 90-hour weeks to secure a present and a future for ourselves and the children we hoped to have one day. We had a breathless balancing act of hours in…

  • Nourishment

    Pipping

    It’s such a humbling, sobering wonder to consider how our bodies, minds, and spirits accumulate our experiences: the air we’ve breathed, the food and drink we’ve consumed, when we’ve moved or been still, lifted loads or stretched, how we’ve treated…

  • Learning

    The Heart of the Matter

    I recognize that my general befuddlement over football’s appeal and ignorance at its rules—borne of my abhorrence with its frequent damage to bodies and brains and its personal violence—makes me an outlier of an American and an especially weird Texan.…

  • Learning

    Witness

    Outrage in response to horror—to brutal, fatal abuses of power—is a justifiable, even a useful response if it results in a full measure of attempted personal justice and systemic change. But I don’t think having a nation of folks running…

  • Movement and Meditation

    A Winter Treat

    Tonight, I started the process of customizing a yoga nidra for someone, and from this nascent shaping until the final deliveries (in person and then recorded) of the nearly hour-long form of meditation, it’s among my happiest things to engage…

  • Reading List

    Madness, Rack, and Honey

    Have you noticed that when you follow the career of an artist or thinker who’s interested in constant self-development, the advancement of the particularities of their art or craft or science more than the commercial viability of their increasingly refined…

  • Learning

    Finding Our Words and Voices

    The earliest library I have a clear memory of was the school library in Wrangell, Alaska, where I first learned to read while my classmates were out screaming and running around on the (cold and rainy) playground or in the…

  • Nourishment

    A New Year About to Bloom

    You know I love tracing the arc of things, and that the beginnings—of a calendar year, of the next year of life, of an academic year—always thrill and energize me, the nascence and potential, direction and speed, choices of attitude…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Two-Step Christmas

    I love sitting in our dark living room with the Christmas tree as the only source of light, with the glow from the mix of small white and colored twinkle strands threaded through its fragrant Frasier Fir needles, both gently…

  • Reading List

    Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light

    My father-in-law’s service this past Monday—just four days ago in this weirdly long week—was a gorgeous tribute to his life, both of all that was said and sung and of all the many who were gathered to speak and listen…

  • Sacred Spaces

    In One Calendar Year

    One thing that fascinates me about families is what we construct for connections, the ways in which biology and choice act as through lines for creation and continuity. I look at the lucky wonder of R.’s and my three sons…

  • Nourishment

    “Why shouldn’t they have it, if they want it?!”

    Three beloved women spoke to me today of needing to follow last week’s Thanksgiving (over) indulgences and holiday sugar storm fronts with this week’s taking themselves in hand—intermittent fasting came up, bone broth, scales. What delighted me most was what…

  • Learning

    Exercises of the Heart

    I’ve been deeply aware lately of the flexing required of my mother/sister/daughter heart. As my life continues to accumulate annual holidays, it arranges them in comparison and contrast to each other, one November and December layering onto the others, the…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Life’s Arc on One Bench

    On what should have been a very short subway ride yesterday morning from the Lower East Side of Manhattan to the Dumbo area of Brooklyn with my friend and cohort member K., we stood in front of a seated elderly…

  • Reading List

    Where the Charming Things Are

    Three years before Maurice Sendak published his own authored-and-illustrated now-classic children’s picture book, “Where the Wild Things Are,” he provided the line drawings for Ruth Krauss’ “Open House for Butterflies,” originally copyrighted in 1960. I found the reissued slim hardcover…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Native Habitats

    If you asked me if I love to travel, I would probably respond with an automatic yes—but I don’t know how accurate that is anymore. When I was in college and scraped together the fare to fly to spend Christmas…

  • Movement and Meditation

    Just a Glimpse

    On my more than hour-long walk yesterday along a windy ridge line of miles of sidewalk between vast suburban neighborhoods, I saw just one other pedestrian. I passed elementary school children exploring their live oak-shaded playground and middle schoolers with…