Monday, August 24, 2009


The MeMe Award

I just received my first blog award - the MeMe award from the lovely Beverly Baird. Beverly has been so wonderfully supportive of me and my little blog. Thanks so much to Beverly.
The rules of the award are as follows:
1. Share 7 tidbits about yourself
2. Share this MeME blog award with 7 blogger friends.
My seven tidbits are:
1. I eat popcorn everyday
2. I own yoga sweats, wearable art and concert attire and not much inbetween.
3. I like to make my own jewelry
4. I just bought a new camera that I'm a little afraid to use
5. I've lived in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Iowa, Minnesota, Florida and Missouri.
6. I love to read and often have 4-5 books going at a time
7. I once did singing telegrams for a living
Now I'd like to pass this award on the these blogger friends.
1. Hybrid J whose explorations in writing and creativity are inspiring and who has gone out of her way to extend the hand of friendship. Thank you Hydrid J!!
2. To Kavindra of A Clear Path To Happy whose compassionate heart and wonderful sense of humor make me smile everyday. Kavindra has also been generous in her support of my blog. Kavindra is generous in her support of all!
3. To LaWendula. Her One-Tribe-One-Heart Project is an inspiration.
4. To my friend Rebecca at Hemidemisemiquaver who probably doesn't even know I follow her blog. She's a woman of many talents!
5. To Judipatooti who is just so prolific and energetic it blows my mind!
6. To my friend Joey, of Cooking With Joey fame, whose blog got me thinking about starting my own blog, whose cooking is amazing and whose friendship is dear!
7. To Leeanne, my moonsister, who has just started her blog, Yoga Chat, and needs some blog love. I think you'll find her thoughts moving and inspirational.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Golden Wishes

I wish I could be more like my dog. It's not a new sentiment, I know. However, it is true. Goldie, my Golden Retriever, lives in a golden world. Everyday she wakes up excited to greet the day. Everyday she runs to the food bowl happy and grateful -"Hooray, dog food again!" She looks for opportunities to play, she'll drop anything for a hug, she loves unconditionally and she's the eternal optimist sure that THIS is the day she's going to catch that squirrel. She is such a well-mannered, gentle, lovable golden girl.
The dog we had before her, Buddy, was a mutt from the streets of Camden. He was six months old when we adopted him and already streetwise. Whenever I picture him I imagine him smoking unfiltered cigarettes, which is weird, I know (even weirder because he died of lung cancer). In many ways, Buddy was a dog only a mother could love. He had attitude. He did not love unconditionally. He didn't trust people outside of the family and although I'm sure he loved us I also got the feeling that there was apart of him that tolerated us - like he knew if he had opposable digits he'd be running the place. The one person he perhaps loved unconditionally was our daughter. Although he peed on almost everything of hers to let us know he was still in charge, he was also fiercely protective of her. He somehow instinctively knew she was his and she needed him. She could do anything to him. I could barely get a collar back around his neck after his bath. My daughter, however, on her third Christmas was able to deck him out in reindeer antlers, garland and a bow. I have a picture of it. It looks like he's saying, "oh please, get me a beer!" but he let her do it. Unlike Goldie, Buddy was not grateful for his dog food everyday. He smashed countless plates stealing food from off of the table the minute our backs were turned. One time he ate a block of cheese still in the plastic wrapper and didn't even get indigestion. He got in the trash, took things out of cupboards, terrorized the neighbors with his barking and snarling, and if there was something he had been instructed not to do - you can bet your bottom dollar he'd do it every chance he got. In many ways he was a big pain in the ass - and I loved him. I never wished he was different because he was BUDDY! I loved him for who he was.
I realize that although I WISH I was like Goldie, I'm actually alot more like Buddy. I'm a big pain in the ass. I don't love unconditionally. I wish I did but I don't. The one person I do, perhaps, love unconditionally is my daughter and I, too, am fiercely protective of her. I try to be grateful for my meals everyday but there are many days when I'm opening every cupboard thinking, "MAN, I wish there were some chocolate chip cookies around here!" Now - there ARE a few differences. I don't pee on people's things and I don't steal food (well, except for french fries). But, basically, I'm a cynical, rule-breaking pit bull mix that wishes she was a Golden Retriever. Sometimes I wish I could have the same acceptance for myself that I had for Buddy. I wish I could stop forever shaking a can of pennies at myself and could just shake my head, laugh and say, "Oh, Kim! You're a mess, but that's OK - I love ya!"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

5 Things

1. In case you haven't noticed - I like movies. This week I watched Kolya. Usually, I run the other way when I see the phrase "heart-warming" attached to anything but this time I'm glad I didn't let it deter me. It truly was heart-warming without being sappy. Directed by Jan Sverak and starring his father, Zdenek Sverak(who also wrote the screnplay) this film won the 1996 Oscar and Golden Globe for best foreign film

2. I like just about every thing at Compendium but I especially like these little Expect A Miracle Window Cards. They are perfect to tuck into someone's pocket, lunch or purse as a little surpise word hug for them to find.

3. Speaking of cards, the new cards Leah Piken Kolidas has just put up on her Blue Tree Art Gallery are GORGEOUS!! You can buy them individually but you're going to want them all so you may as well buy the set!!

4. Ok, I have to admit that I found Indexed while looking up a review of The Back Of The Napkin. I was looking it up to see if anyone else had the same problem with it I did (ironically, I thought it needed more pictures - less words. But, don't let that deter you too much it still has some really good information). ANYWAY, in the section that says "Hey you might like this" I was directed to Indexed which is now one of my favorite websites. I read that it is a fav in bloggerville so apparently I am once again the last to the party but I'm a very enthusiastic partier!

5.) Do you know public radio regular and essayist Sarah Vowell? If you do then she's probably one of your favorites, too. If not, give yourself a treat in insight and belly laughs and read one of her books. I just finished The Wordy Shipmates. Anyone who can make the Puritains entertaining while also taking them seriously is worth a look.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


CED Check-in August 9th-16th
Another fun week of doing my best to be mindfully creative with Leah Piken Kolidas's Creative Everyday. I've kept up my practice of making 3 pages a day on which to write my morning pages. I'm also still fooling around with the extra paint (my funny fish above is one of the results).
On Tuesday I was lucky enough to be asked to do a reading of a play. I love cold readings (especially if the material is good - and this time it was). You have to just jump in and roll with whatever comes up. There's no second guessing yourself. You have to MOVE with whatever gut emotion comes up.
I was working on a poem that has been rambling around in my head for weeks -BUT - a completely different poem came out. In the poetry department I also toyed with the idea of writing a haiku a day again. I did that once one summer - it was a lovely practice. I'm pretty rusty, it might take me a while to get going again or rather slow down!
Keeping with the theme of MOVE I have been on a cleaning, purging and organizing rampage. It's the organizing part that requires my creativity. It doesn't come naturally. I'll stare and stare at a space waiting for it to tell me how to best organize it. Sometimes, it tells me to just go eat chocolate chip cookies. (I always eat them very creatively and mindfully!!)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

And I am owning it!!!! I don't know who hijacked this phrase but I am taking it back for myself. Being an opera singer, I guess I'm a little touchy about the subject. It just bugs the hell out of me that a phrase that was once used to describe a woman who had achieved great artistry in her field is now used as a derogatory phrase. It now means someone - a woman specifically (which REALLY galls me) - who is temperamental and difficult to work with (read bitch). I could write a whole other post regarding the misconceptions about opera but here I'll just say that in the opera world I have met very few women who would fit the above description. I know talented, hard working, funny, incredibly bright, dedicated artists who are most often very humble despite their many attributes.

The word "diva" is actually the feminine form of divus, god, therefore, meaning goddess. Elizabeth Gilbert explains in her Ted Talk how in ancient Africa during the moonlight dances when one of the dancers became transcendent, "lit with the fire of god" the people would begin to chant "Allah" acknowledging that god has passed through that person. Although I don't know the exact history of the word the same thing applies to "diva" - when an opera singer sings with divine presence, people call "brava, diva!" That sound, that beauty, that moment - that's god. I know very few women who have heard that phrase called to them and in turn mistook themselves for god. I do, however, know many women who have dedicated their lives to trying to be the vessel through which that divinity may be channeled.
So, just as I say "namaste" to others and to myself, I bow to and acknowledge the diva within me and the diva within you. I invite you to honor all that is glorious and divine within yourself. I call to you with my embarrassingly loud and hearty cry, "Brava, diva, brava!!"

Friday, August 14, 2009

August 14 2009

Sparrows and catbirds
Fill with life the branches of
the dying pin oak

Thursday, August 13, 2009

5 Things
1. As you know I'm a big fan of Dirty Footprints Studio and it's here that I learned of Heather Plett's website, What Are You Giving Away . I got to know Heather a bit through our wrecking adventures at The Next Chapter with Jamie Ridler. I'm truly inspired by Heather's vision. She challenges us to discover for ourselves what our own unique gifts are and how to use them to make the world a more beautiful and just place.

2. I working my way through Jennifer Lee's booklist and I've been reading and working with Lucia Cappachionni's book Visioning: Ten Steps to Designing the Life of Your Dreams. At first I thought it would just be a quick peruse because I've done vision boards before but the book offered some new ideas and meditations that I'm finding very useful.

3. I listen to Jacqui Naylor's music so much my ipod practically steers itself there now . Her "acoustic smashes," as she calls them, are brilliant.

4. This past week I watched Ballerina. It follows five Russian ballerinas from the Mariinsky Theatre. It is just beautiful to watch and shows the dedication it often takes to truly follow your dream.

5. I don't actually own one of these stamps yet (it's on my MUST HAVE ITEM list) but I love Paula Best's rubber stamps, they make me smile.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sunrise Song

As morning breaks
the baby sparrow
calls for his mama,
flapping like a sigh against the window pane.
My breath tight as a fist, I pull back the blind to see him
and there he is
Like a miracle,
a small downy earth heart
fluttering beside the cracked plaster.
He turns one eye toward me
Black as a river stone
And into that infinity I pour my hope.
Trusting one day
with him
It will burst from the nest
And fly.

Monday, August 10, 2009

CED Check in

I think I might be doing this backwards. I'm posting for what I did last week (August 2-August 9). I just started CED this month and I'm already excited about the many opportunities to be mindfully creative.

Like many people I do morning pages a la Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. Over the past several weeks my pages have gone from looking like this:

To looking like this:

Each day I play around with paints, pens, markers and colored pencils and make pages to write my morning pages on the next day. I have many more I'd love to show you but they're filled with pretty personal thoughts so I'll have to wait until I figure out a way to obscure the words a little bit.

As I've been experimenting with painting my morning pages, I frequently wind up with extra paint and it seems such a shame to waste it. One day I noticed a small blank journal on the table and I started to smear the extra paint there. Now playing with the extra paint in my blank book has also become part of my daily ritual.

I've been thoroughly enjoying these practices because I feel no pressure. I'm not making art. In one case, I'm just going to write over the pages anyway and in the other case I'm just using up the extra paint.

In addition to doing these pages each day, I've been up to a couple of other things. On Tuesday and Saturday I helped out some friends who are participating in Project Twenty1. They have 21 days to write, shoot and edit a 10 minute film. I was "the opera ghost" which basically meant I got to wear liquid latex to make me look like a ghoulish creature and pretend to be a ghost. They'd say things like, "Um, what kind of opera would you sing" and I'd make up some operatic sounding song. Or they'd say, "What would you do if someone shined a light on you" and I'd invent some wacky appropriate ghost behaviour. I gotta say, it was fun, mostly because I got to just make stuff up.

On Wednesday I made a full moon dreamboard. I've made vision boards before but this was my first time making one for the full moon and the first time participating in the amazing Jamie Ridler's circle. It's a lovely group and it feels very nurturing to have other women lend support to my intentions and it's also inspiring to witness the aspirations of so many powerfully creative women.

Thursday evening after I finished teaching I sat down and tried to mine a poem that's been sitting at the edge of my consciousness. I sat peacefully and just played with the words. I still don't have a poem but I was very much in the moment as I worked so I really didn't mind. I can't wait to get started on this week.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

5 Things
1. I'm inspired by Lawendula's One-tribe-one(he)art Collaboration Bag Project.

2. Check out this post at Dirty Footprints Studio. I love the simplicity of this philosophy. Is it Juicy or isn't it? I've applied it all day today and it was JUICY!

3. Coraline. Finally saw it - loved it. So much fun to be sitting in my own Living Room with my 3-D glasses and a big bowl of popcorn!

4. Here's to Life - Shirley Horn - 'nuff said!

5. Looking at the full moon and fireflies and listening to the crickets - no link - you have to leave the computer and go outside to enjoy it. Happy Full Moon!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Full Moon Dreamboard

Full Moon Blessings to all!! I am a relative newcomer to Jamie Ridler's wonderful website having just completed (or rather almost completed) Kerri Smith's Wreck this Journal at The Next Chapter. I love the idea of an online community sharing their full moon dream boards and supporting each other's intentions.

In the future I will have to alter how I do this. Normally, I keep my visionboards to myself so I use borrowed images. I photographed my dreamboard so hopefully it's clear that it is in my journal and is meant as a tool and nothing more.

My life is wonderfully abundant, rich with laughter, family, friends, music, art, poetry, and quiet simple joyful moments. All of the elements are there. But, I find I frequently don't do the things I really want to do. So, I am clearing away inertia so that I can welcome in action. I want to fully participate in all of my wonderful blessings and to do so with joy!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mindfully Creative

Sometimes I have difficulty jump starting my creativity but almost just as often I have a hard time turning it off. I become a women possessed spending every waking moment (and many of the moments I SHOULD be sleeping) on my latest project. Soon, I don't even feel "creative" anymore and my life deteriorates to the place where I am eating peanut butter out of the jar for dinner. While it sounds wildly passionate and romantic, it feels awful and out of balance. So, in an effort to live a more fulfilling life I have joined Leah Piken Kolidas's Creative Everyday Challenge. I'm a late comer to the project and I'm only mentally committing to the month of August for the time being.

I think perhaps I will be using the challenge a little bit differently than most. I am going to try to use it to bring more balance into my life. First of all, I will be travelling a great deal during the month of August and that is frequently when my creative path gets derailed. So, I'm hoping that the challenge will inspire me to look for ways to be creative while I'm on the road thus keeping the spark alive. Also, I am going to be selective about what I will label "creative." Vocalzing for an hour won't count, singing from my heart for five minutes will. Blogging until my shoulders are up to my neck won't count, writing a haiku while sitting quietly on my back deck will. Researching poetry for an upcoming project until 3:00am won't count, setting a beautiful table will. I love being absorbed by a project - consumed by the passion. But, I have to admit that sometimes, it exhausts me and the rest of my life crumbles around me. So, I'm going to try this experiment for the month of August and see if I can more mindful about the whole process and invite it into every aspect of my life.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert

This video of Elizabeth Gilbert at Ted Talks has been making the blog rounds. It really speaks to me and since at this point I'm mostly writing to myself I thought I would put it on my blog. Also, that way I know where to find it because I get so caught up in linking from blog to blog to blog that I don't always remember where I've seen things. It's still a relatively new world to me.

I Am An Artist

I'm planning to visit my campers next week to see how they're doing with their journals. I'm going to offer a couple of more prompts to help keep them inspired. One of the things I plan to do with them is to invite them to leave a message to themselves in their journal that says "I am an artist." Knowing how hard that is for people to say to themselves I thought I would suggest that it could be a secret message, hidden in the journal, in a sealed envelope, written in code or even a picture or a doodle that when they look at it says to them "I am an artist." I want them to know that being artist isn't about how well you draw a picture or sing a song. Being an artist is an approach to life, it's about the way you see the world, it's about expressing your own unique self. You don't have to wait for someone else to validate you to claim the title - you must claim it for yourself. So, taking my own advice, I've written myself a message.

My own little place to explore my creativity and imagination