a painting is never finished

The other day, I was working on my latest impressionist landscape of Fairfield, Enjoy the Beach, when I looked over at the recently completed painting While the Kids are at School hanging on the wall. Suddenly, a few spots that bothered me a bit when I declared the painting “finished” were bothering me a lot.

With paintbrush in hand and a close-enough colored daub of paint already resting on my palette, I made a few simple adjustments that completely changed how I felt about the painting.

I’ve heard the saying before, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci (though I’m doubtful he was the source) but this was the first time I’ve had the nerve to potentially “mess up” a “completed work.”

I didn’t mess it up, though. The issues I’d had with the work couldn’t be solved alla prima, so I declared the work “good enough,” called it done, let it dry, posted a photo and explanation of the work online, and even hung it on the wall of my studio. Signed, sealed, delivered.

good enough

Good enough is the grace I give myself in my paintings. In my weavings, in my DIY projects, halloween costumes, I let “better than before” be my guide. During my magical mornings, I do the same thing every day because I know that who I want to become will be built through the identity that these practices foster. I do yoga not just to flex the impressive hand-balancing pretzel poses I’ve trained my body to do, but also to relax into foundational poses in preparation for putting myself in positions I have not mastered. When I do HIIT training at my local gym, I push myself to lift heavy but I know that if I’m straining or my form is suffering, I will go down to a lighter weight.

Through therapy and self care, I’ve learned “good enough” is a gift of softness to myself. However, this softness, this grace does not extend to my writing.

My biggest aspiration for the longest time has been to be a published author. Yet, I don’t publish a thing–not even on this platform, where I have the freedom to share whatever and whenever I please.

Therein lies the problem.

too much creative freedom is stifling.

This may sound counterintuitive, but I firmly believe that creativity is best expressed within boundaries. I’ve got a great example for this: Robocop.

Continue reading “a painting is never finished”

Impressionist Landscapes in Fairfield County, Connecticut: “While the Kids are at School”

My latest painting is an impressionist landscape of a road nearby my home in Southport, Connecticut. I went looking for inspiration a few days after a snowstorm and saw these two women walking and chatting as they walked along the road next to the elementary school.

Continue reading “Impressionist Landscapes in Fairfield County, Connecticut: “While the Kids are at School””

Poem: As Seen on TV

I was dismayed to learn of Bob Saget’s passing. I grew up fatherless and his role as Danny Tanner on Full House was important: it showed single parenthood as “normal” and nothing to be ashamed of. For thirty minute segments, he stepped in as a positive father figure where I had none. This feeling was so engrained in me that the first time my husband sat down with our oldest son when he was upset to have a heart-to-heart my first thought was, “Huh, like Danny Tanner,” and my second was, “Oh, like a dad.”

In November 2019, I was processing my childhood traumas and the complicated relationship I have with my parents when I wrote a poem that referenced this. I figured now is as good of a time as ever to share it with others.

Continue reading “Poem: As Seen on TV”

The Anniversary of my Cancer Diagnosis

Twenty-nine years ago on this date, I was diagnosed with cancer. I was so little. There’s no way I could pronounce Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, nevertheless understand what was happening in my body.

Childhood cancer is unique in that it doesn’t disrupt the patient’s life like it would an adult’s. The foundation of life isn’t yet there for disruption: a young child experiences the first hospital stay, the first round of chemo, the first spinal tap in the same way that children experience their first day of kindergarten, their first time riding a bike, and their first time tying their shoes.

Continue reading “The Anniversary of my Cancer Diagnosis”

The Epilogue

I am a storyteller, 
through and through
A childhood defined by
Long afternoons spent around
a kitchen table
Listening
Learning

A bellowing laugh
Between sips of sweet tea
Faded fast-food mugs
In topographical hands
Mountains, valleys, creases
a story of their own.
Age and wisdom
To have both
A story in itself

Receiving
My own stories
Before I could
Decode
Lines and curves
Connected on a page
Before I could connect
A written story to my own

Once upon a time
A parental loss
A sick child
Left to fend,
to fight battles
Illness and Ill will
A tale of
defiance and defeat

A tale of force
Into my story
Into my body
An ink spill
Permeating the pages
A did
cannot be undone

A mystery
of madness, mania
A page turner,
the answer
Escaping on the breeze
of your exhale

An epoch of war
disguised as romance
An era of fear
disguised as family
An age of harm
disguised as home

The reveal
The rise
The run for your life
The strengthening
The escape

The heartache of another
More painful than my own
History repeats itself
Every fairy tale
Begins with tragedy

The hero’s journey
Metamorphosed
Metaphorical
mountains to climb
Led to literal
Landscapes of grandeur

The epilogue is
written
spoken
painted
in technicolor
shades of a
post-storm sunrise
Illuminating a new day

Mother’s Gifts

The greatest gift my mother gave me didn’t come on Christmas day. It wasn’t the latest game console, or the the shoes I wore on prom night. It wasn’t intricately wrapped with a ribbon tied around it. There was no bow on top.

My mother gave me life twice. The first time was on the maternity floor. Breathing heavily, she pushed me, unaware, into this world. I was born hungry, wailing loudly. I can’t say much has changed.

There wasn’t a specific time marked by any inky footprint when she gave me life again. No. It occurred day-by-day over the course of two years at a different hospital, nearby. Children aren’t born there. A nurse would take blood or an oncologist would insert a hollowed needle into my spine. But it was always her, eyes wide, looking deeply into equally bugging eyes. Deeply, into one another’s pupils. It was always her, grasping my hand with all her might, as if letting go would allow her to lose me. Continue reading “Mother’s Gifts”

My Creative Journey & Some Reflections

I went to Boston over the weekend. I didn’t Snapchat or take a single picture while I was there. It was my third time visiting the city, so  I didn’t do any touristy things and I won’t be making a guide to Boston. I went to visit a friend of mine and it was the kind of trip where two people are bonding with one another, with no need for rushing from one activity to the next. It was blissful.

The following post is a bit allovertheplace. It’s a scattering of the helpful things I’ve been doing, the media I’ve been consuming, and some decisions I’ve come to on my creative journey over the past year or so. It’s half-organized into the trip I took over the weekend. The metaphors are there and intentional. Maybe you’ll catch them all. Maybe not. Bear with me. I’m working on a New Year’s Resolution, after all. Continue reading “My Creative Journey & Some Reflections”

New Beginnings

I keep giving myself reasons as to why I haven’t been working on a personal blog. All the time. I have this idea that it needs to have some kind of thrilling strategy behind it, and if not it won’t be good enough or well written or–well, you get it. 

But I don’t need a strategy. This blog, nor any personal blog, has to be written for the masses or for a specific group of people. It doesn’t have to have a theme and I don’t have to keep up with multiple blogs in order to segregate readers. I don’t have to do any of that to reach my goals. I don’t have a target demographic, I just want to write about something other than my clients and their businesses. I want to write for writing sake.

The Good ol’ Days

Whether you consider it pre-social media or social media in it’s infancy, the early days of blogging were different. I don’t need to go into how Facebook makes us unhappy or what it’s doing to our relationships, I’m sure you’ve read plenty of content about that and still give into the vice. What I loved about that era of the internet was how raw people were. They literally had their diary on the internet for everyone to read, judge, and do as they pleased with it.There wasn’t a concern for sugarcoating their lives, maintaining an image, or highlighting the most interesting parts. They just wrote. People could read it or not and bloggers weren’t refreshing the page often to see if anyone left a comment.

It wasn’t about the amount of people who were reading, if they were reading, or even the person who wrote the content. It was about the message. It was about the story. It was about the potential to be heard in ways the generations prior couldn’t be heard.

What’s changed?

We all remember the rules of early internet: “Don’t tell them your real name!” “Never let anyone know any personal information about you: your school, work, or address!” When America went online, we were all afraid of the ways that these strangers on the web could manipulate us with only our first and last names. We hid behind screen names like “coolgurl117300” and “Xxsk8er4everxX,” because we were afraid of what was unknown about people we hadn’t met in person (because IRL wasn’t even a thing yet. DUH.).

Now that Facebook is our drug of choice, we’re attached to our names. Our new facade, however, is the choice we make every time we answer the question, “What’s on your mind?” with how we would really answer, “How would you like to portray yourself?” Instead of being authentic and hiding behind a different name, we see people all day who are being inauthentic and hiding behind a personal brand. We’ve eradicated all fear of strangers knowing where we are, but stigma has grown about family members, friends, colleagues, etc. knowing just who we are.

What the heck am I getting at?

I know I’m not being completely original here. (The internet in this era also has a way of reminding you how unoriginal you are. Humbling.) We complain about the nature of social media all the time, then we still, without a thought, check our pages frequently. I’m not trying to change the world.

I just want to write. Without proving a damn thing. This will be my space for that, consider yourself warned.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑