Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Who let the flys out?

I have these flies buzzing around my kitchen.

I had the door opened earlier in the day to warm up my house and since then, I've had all these buzzing flies just flapping their wings and hitting their heads and bodies against my glass kitchen door wanting to get back outside.

So I opened the door to let them out and they don't seem to notice. They just continue butting their heads against the window door unaware at this wonderful opportunity for them to be set free.

I know people like these flies.

They are trapped for various reasons. They have aspirations and longings to be free, but they, like the flies.. just keep banging their head up against the glass. There are clearly opportunities for them, but they are too busy bumping their heads to notice. Flapping their wings. Exhausting themselves.

I want to shout to the fly that, I, too, have flown the same flight pattern. I want to remind the dear fly to breathe. And when you breathe in, smell for the freshest air. Move toward that freedom. There is life where it's the most fresh. Smell the blossoms. The fragrance of new dreams. Rearrange your thinking. Your plans. Move toward the flow.

You can do it. I'm watching you and motioning you through. Loook! There's an opening. Fly through it!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Listening to Music

When I was a young girl, I always felt self-conscious by the music I loved. The teacher would let us bring in our records to school on Fridays to listen to, and while other kids brought in Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie, I would bashfully hide my Olivia Newton-John and Bread albums under my coat.

The first record I ever bought was The Partridge Family at K-Mart. I remember my dad drove me there so I can buy it with my Christmas money I received. Later, I went on to buy The Defranco Family, The Carpenters, Bobby Goldsboro and Eddie Rabbit. For two cents, I bought Fleetwood Mac, Boston, Pablo Cruise, Peter Frampton, Abba, Barry Manilow, Carly Simon, Carol King and Chicago on 8-track from the back of our TV Guide.

I always felt intimidated with my choice of music until I got out of high school and then it didn't seem to matter anymore.

Now I like all kinds of music.

As you know, Party Shuffle on iTunes is a mix of songs that, if you decide to select it, iTunes chooses and plays 18 songs randomly for you out of your Library.

Here's what's playing on my PARTY SHUFFLE.

01. Beautiful World (colin hay)
02. You're Beautiful (james blunt)
03. Rain (patty griffin)
04. Remember When (alan jackson)
05. Never Saw Blue Like That (shawn colvin)
06. The Power of Orange Knickers (tori amos and damien rice)
07. Don't Panic (cold play)
08. Since You've Been Around (rosie thomas)
09. The One I Love (david gray)
10. Life is Beautiful (amy correia)
11. Flies on the Butter (wynonna)
12. Talk to Me While I'm LIstening (nanci griffith)
14. Operator (toby lightman)
15. Hockey Skates (kathleen edwards)
16. Relatives (christine kane)
17. Don't Wait Too Long (madeleine peyroux)
18. As Good As I Once Was (toby keith)

(what's playing in your iTunes Shuffle)?

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Sometimes Words Can Make You Feel small

Whatever happened to Mister Baldi?

I recently thought of him and his influence on my life as a young woman many years ago. I once knew this well known motivational speaker who often times traveled around the United States to tell his feel-good stories. Stories that made him look and feel good, but very rarely made the people he spoke about feel good.

The way he spoke in his sometimes quite charming manner, was actually quite enamoring. I remember sitting in his presence many times, leaning forward, hanging on to every word he said. Sometimes his eyes would seem to stop when they connected to mine and would linger there for a word.. and he'd let the word hang, while he held my glance and then move on.

I wondered if others noticed that it was my eyesight he caught while I would nervously nod my head up and down to encourage him. Like I was clapping silently with my head.

But then one day, in one of his speeches he spoke about me.

And nothing was ever the same again.

He never spoke my name, but he described me in such various detail, I knew it was me.

Hearing his story about how I was just a girl who would always just be a Wanna-Be and would never make it as an artist made my entire head sweat. He was my mentor. Someone I hugely looked up to and admired.

"What if what he said was true and my whole life as an artist is a false? What if all I am is a Wanna-Be?"

Fastforward twenty years later and apparently everything he said about me wasn't true afterall. I've made my living as a professional artist all this time, yet sometimes in the stillness of the night, I hear his story about me in my memory and shudder. I now work harder... I labor longer... because of his words.

Isn't it amazing how mighty words are? Once they're spoken, you really can't take it back.

A dear friend of mine recently said this to me about the story I just told and I'm only repeating them to you because I believe these are words for you, too.

Memorize this. Paperclip this to your heart, mind and spirit:


I know you already know this, but I'm going to say it anyway. Nobody cares about those words, except you. And that's because they hurt you. But those words have nothing to do with you and everything to do with his ugliness and bitterness. They are not the result of what you were or what you are; they are the result of what he is. This belief that you struggle with all the time—it isn't yours. It's like some crappy spell he put on you with his words. You formed a belief about yourself based on his cruelty, not based on what is true.

Let me tell you something, my beautiful friend: you have always been an artist. It is in your heart. Let no one tell you anything different. Remind yourself a thousand times a day who and what you are. Your opinion is the only one that matters. Whether you are making millions with your talent or keeping it all to yourself, you are an artist. No matter what.


I repeat her words to myself a million times over and over and over. I have embroidered her words into my heart. And soul.

Is there someone in your life that has made you small? And brought you down?

If so, remember this: Don't take it personally. It's not about you. It's about them. Read those wise words written above and seal them in your heart.

Being an artist isn't easy. We are constantly hit with criticism and various views and critiques on our work. It would be easier to be a door greeter at Walmart or perhaps an egg sniffer at a chicken farm. Though it may not be as rewarding.

No, not nearly as rewarding.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006


Illustration Friday:Glamour

I remember the old TV Show "Hart to Hart" and thinking Stefani Powers was the most glamorous woman on television. Whether she was climbing through a sewer pipe or in a fight scene, she always had that natural glamour.

For those of us who aren't Mrs. Hart, we already know it takes a lot more than makeup to make oneself glamorous. Because it's more intrinsic than anything else. But it's a good start.