Sunday, September 20, 2009

AIGA New Mexico Design Lecture with Maggie Macnab, Joel Nakamura and John Langdon

The Santa Fe Complex
Santa Fe, New Mexico
September 19, 9:00 am to 12:30 pm

"Join Maggie Macnab, Joel Nakamura and John Langdon for a half-day seminar that explores the fasinating relevance of symbols in visual communications. This experiential presentaition will educate attendees on symbolic influence in lettering, illustration and identity design — from three creative angles."


Maggie Macnab — author of Decoding Design
Specializes in symbolism and in logo design that is both universal and particular to the client. 

"Trust that which gives you meaning and accept it as your guide." 
— Carl Jung

Design: Taking something that does not yet exist and putting it into the practical world.

Five shapes drawn on paper: square, circle, spiral, triangle, cross

Which do you like most? The spiral
Least? The square
Neutral? the triangle

We sense connections between space and time through pattern, allowing us to grasp who and where we are.


- Branching: the pattern of trees, rivers, lightening, circulatory and neural system
A lot of branching patterns have a concentric circle built in.
ex. Trees also have tree rings

You start with the thing that is most common - it doesn't matter if it is trite or contrived.

- Meanders: the pattern of water, brain corral, brain, rolling and turning motion, maximum capacity in tight space
German designer: Homann - color management

- Symmetrically stacked and Breaking patterns: seen in spheres, cells, molecules, flies eye, honey comb. Its the shape of ultra-efficiency. Breaks in sidewalks occurring at 120ยบ . Buckminister Fuller's geodesic dome

Patterns transcend scale. So that's why logos based on patterns work so well at various sizes.

A lot of financial institutions that want to say high efficiency use direct corners and points of intersection.

- Weaving and Helices Patterns: seen in galaxies - nebula, water spouts, tornadoes, its the basis of fabrics, opposite cultures working together

- Spirals: seen in seed heads, shells, ferns, tendrils, and galaxies

The symbols of Numbers:

1. The circle is the shape for one. 
used cross-culturally to represent God

2. Duality and Division
the cross shape
Du + al = two + all
"Dividing is only half the story"
The Vestica Pisces
Jesus Fish shape, also a female shape
"One form informs the next step"
2 concentric circles/ripples in water
Mid-evil age was the Piscean era - pisces symbol

Symbols are self-evident. They are around us all the time.
In western culture, things are viewed very linearly, heaven or hell, black or white, consequentially, such as The mastercard symbol

Eastern symbol for duality is very different. The Yin Yang symbol.

Always design logos in black and white first. Maggie designed the gorgeous two arabian horse head yin/yang logo.

3. The step from two dimensions to 3 dimensions
The triangle shape
The top of the triangle is our interaction with what we don't know, God, inspired thought-process sits on top
3 is the # of turning under again for the process to start anew.
ex. recycled logo - it may have been a very intuitive design
Trial means Try-all
symbol for women, birth
The three stripes on the Obama logo - again may have been a very intuitive design

4. adding the 4th point adds depth
the square
structured space
city grids, strategy games like chess and checkers
the idea/theory of money having value - its shape ads structure and the perception of value

5. Quintessence
5 fingers and toes
quality and quantity in the # 5
the pentagon, 5-pointed star
5 is inherent in the spiral shape
5 petaled flowers create food that is edible for humans, while 6 or 9 petaled plants are poison or medicine - poison and medicine are synonymous
the golden proposition, Fibinacci Theory - nature's favorite mathematical sequence
the golden rectangle
Love, the Heart shape, is based roughly on the spiral

Design for integrity. You have that power as a designer.

Now look back at the shapes you chose in the beginning. 
Favorite: Spiral
Least Favorite: Square
Neutral: triangle

The least favorite shape is something you are avoiding. The most favorite shape is something you are most in balance and most comfortable with in your life. The neutral shape is a balance point between the two for you. Try to work on the parts in your life that have to do with your least favorite shape and see if you can get that more in balance.

Symbolism and meaning behind the shapes you chose:

The Spiral:
Growth and Evolution

The Circle: 
Wholeness, unity and community

The Line:
The connector of two points and the divider of two points. 2 opposites overlapping. Relationship

The Triangle: 
What we aspire to
The point above us

The Square: 
Stability and structure

Joel Nakamura

It was an interactive excersize. We drew index cards with words on them and then we had to draw the words on post-it notes in black permanant marker and stick them on the front wall. The words got harder and harder to draw.

My words:
Can of Spam
Juniper Bush
"Monkey See, Monkey Do"
"Viral Marketing" which we had to do as a group
"Your future is full of success" we all had to open a fortune cookie and create a logo for a future business based on what we drew.

It was fun!

John Langdon

I missed part of his lecture because I went to the ATM to with-draw money to buy Maggie's Book, Decoding Design, and get it signed.

His talk and his work focuses on Ambiagrams

"Sometimes its not just about yin and yang, but also about the line that separates and connects the two"

Bell curves, sand bars, and tidal pools, wave length, slinky - helix form of spiral

The word OM spelled from a coil presented head on for the O and sideways for the M. Amazing! I recall my yoga mat on the scanner daily practice.

Ambiagram definition: 
ambi - either/or + gram - something written graphically
A word that can be read from more than one point of view

He showed an awesome example of an abmbiagram made from the word Appophenia which means the perception of meeting where it doesn't actually exist

- can be rotational
- or mirror image

Caligraphy is a very spontaneous process. Mentioned the name Tom Bandwell to look up. John can't do caligraphy because he is left handed. He talks about his background. He got a BA in English, knew he always wanted to be an artist, but never got the support growing up. Got a job at a type setting factory out of college, and has taught typography classes for 21 years.

This was an incredible lecture and I love my new book!

From September 15th 2009

I came across Ailine Smithson's photography website the other day in some of my research. In her artist statement, she says things I very much relate to:

"I take photographs to allow myself and the viewer to look for or create moments that are at once familiar, yet unexpected. The odd juxtapositions that we find in life, are worth exploring, whether it is with humor, compassion, or by simply taking the time to see them. I have been greatly influenced by the Japanese concept of celebrating a singular object. I tend to isolate subject matter and look for complexity in simple images, providing an opportunity for telling a story in which all is not what it appears to be. The poignancy of childhood, aging, relationships, family, and moments of introspection or contemplation continue to draw my interest. I want to create pictures that evoke a universal memory."

From September 12th 2009

From the "Power of Intention" by Wayne Dyer

"Connectors are aware of the need to avoid low energy. They'll quietly retreat from loud, bellicose, opinionated people" (247)

I allowed myself to feel bad because of Jonathan's low energy last night. I could not retreat from his increased bellicosity because I felt somewhat responsible for his well-being, for walking him home without incident because he is my house mate. I had invited him out with my friends in gratitude for his assistance in helping me look at a prospective car. He was so incredibly grateful to go and said it is so good for him to spend time with me because I am so peaceful and calm. Yet for me, In his change from sobriety to altered, aggressive state, I didn't know how to take a step back and gain perspective on the situation. To not take it personally, and to feel good regardless. Normally, I would leave the situation. Well, now my intention is to attract peace into my life and that, as sad as it is, I would never take him with me to any public place where alcohol exists. 

From September 8th 2009

Tonight; special. I met Erin and Kristin at Alfanoose - Mediteranean food and hookah bar on 2nd street in Santa Fe. Now two good and separate friends have finally met. Alfanoose owner, Sami, is out of this world. He came to the U.S. 15 years ago from Palestine. Politics fascinate him and he can talk to you for hours about philosophy. His cafe menu states restaurant closure at 10pm, but that is a rare occurrence. Sami will keep the place running until 3:30am if customers stay that long. My swedish couchsurfing friend Otto, who has since returned to his country I'm sad to say, introduced me to this hole in the wall slice of international eclecticism, in early August. Now I love introducing new people. 

Tonight is Erin's first time. I explain, sometimes the place is filled with people, and other times it is taken up by only the friends  you bring and Sami. 

When we first arrive at 7:30pm, no one is home, although the door is wide open. We grab menus and sit outside so my other friend Kristin will spot us when she comes. A few seconds later, Sami pulls up. "Hello, we just got here," I say. " I know, I just left" How great is that? To leave your restaurant wide open to run a quick errand?

Later, we are seated inside on patio furniture. Parakeets in cages in the front room. There are only 4 of us in the cafe at this early hour and it feels like a friendly hearth. Middle eastern music on the stereo, warm red walls, and Sami singing along as he takes our order. Sami says, as he has before, that life is for enjoying. His mission with this cafe is to help others have fun. 

Erin craves some shwarma. No words, how good. And Kristin gets the special: an okra broth with tender lamb served with basmati rice with herbs. Sami arrives later with aromatic black tea. "See how skinny I am? This is because I go back and forth like this." Then he comes back with falafel samples fresh from the oven because he wants us to try. And baklavah. And then turkish coffee. He and his Egyptian friend, Alladin sit down to join us after we finish the food. "Mahaba" he teaches us hello. "Shukran" he teaches us thank you. "Habibi" he teaches us my love. and "Masaba" he teaches us good bye.

The only other time I'd met Aladdin was the first time I came, with Otto. Aladdin introduced himself to the table with a giant, sweet watermelon! I'm telling you, this place is special. This time, Aladdin brings another plate of baklavah and hookah. Then Sami gets up and pulls over the keyboard/synthesizer that greets you when you walk in the door. "Play" he tells Aladdin. 

After an impressive round of middle eastern tunes, Aladdin tells stories. One day, in the beginning of his life in America, a man at a restaurant asked him if his name was Mohammed because there are so many mohammeds in Egypt. The next day, Aladdin was leafing through the phone book and saw an enormous number of Williams. The next time he saw the same man at the restaurant and the man jokingly asked him if his name was Mohammed, Aladdin replied "no, William, my name is not Mohammed." 

Another time, Aladdin met a woman who told him she needed a date for that night. Aladdin said, sure, he would find her a date. He came back with a variety box of 20 dates. The woman tried to explain this is not what she had asked for. The woman said, "If we took this box of dates and ate them together at the concert tonight, that would be a date." Aladdin was confused. So the woman took out a dictionary and showed him the work rendevous. Because Aladdin also understands French, he finally put two and two together. And then they went to the concert ~

At one point, when Aladdin is in the restroom and Sami is helping another customer, Erin and I are overtaken with fits of giggles. I can not look at her with out cracking up. It started when I said, "How do you say thank you again? Shrew von?" I made up a word that resembled Shukran. Really this is life. I am so grateful Alfanoose exists and I can remember these times when I am taking myself too seriously.

The stories continue. Tea is drunk, food is finished and cleared. We talk about religion, the conflicts in the middle east. Sami says, "Religion is not for me. I talk politics. I was brought up Muslim, but I can't do it. I can't fast because I smoke.  Many people go to church, go to mosque, go to synagogs and when they are not there, they treat people poorly. What is that? We only have one life!" "So you do not believe in past lives?" I inquire, thinking of the recent meeting with a psychic who told me about my many past lives. "I am open to the idea, but really I do not need to know. It could be, but we are hear right now. We are here to do good, to be happy, to give," Sami responds. "To be creative," I add. "Exactly." 

Then Sami asks me, "What do you think about past lives?"
"I believe in them. I mean, I don't think we ever die. We are energy and we change forms. If our physical body ends, maybe we are soul energy until we feel like experiencing physical being again. I am open to anything though." 
"It makes sense," Sami says.

Aladdin tells us, that, contrary to popular opinion, there are actually many places in the middle east, such as Televive, where Palestinians and Jews get along fine. 
Sami says I should read the book, Lemon Tree. Erin and I tell them about the book "Three Cups of Tea" and that the author, Greg Mortenson, will be speaking in Santa Fe in December. 

When we are ready to pay, Kristin and I give cash to Erin and Erin tries to hand Sami her credit card. We were never given a bill, but it is 10:30 now and we need to leave. Sami simply dismisses the credit card and takes only the $20 bill from Erin's other hand and leaves for the register. This often happens here. Money is not a priority for Sami. We leave the remaining cash on the table. 

"How much longer are you here?" Sami asks me as we are putting on our coats to go. "The end of September," "We will miss you.""But I'm coming back next year." "She's coming back next year" my friend Kristin affirms. We stand up to leave and exchange hugs. "Mahaba. Shukran." I say. Thank you. Good bye. Aladdin goes and sits on the hood of the car, pretending to keep us from driving away.

September 7th 2009

Natalie Goldman asks, "What do you connect with?" (109)

I connect with New Mexico. The sun heats me along with the land. The frequent thunderstorms charge me up. I am touched by Spanish spoken in restaurants and horny toads on hiking trails, to other people who are connected. Connections with people who live in connection, laughter and purpose.

"After you have filled a whole notebook in writing practice, read the whole notebook as if it weren't yours. 'What did this person have to say?'" (163)

"That's the great value of art - making the ordinary extraordinary. We awaken ourselves to the life we are living." (164) 

Wow, that relates to what I have discovered as the direction in my work!

"Note where you could have pushed further and out of laziness or avoidance, didn't. See revision as revisioning again." (163) 

"The biggest struggle was not with the actual writing, but working out the fear of success, the fear of failure, and finally burning through to pure activity." (169)

From September 7th 2009

Sometimes I don't want to write about the depths for fear someone will read it. Is it good to write about the negatives to get it out? Or is that feeding the fire and giving attention and energy to negativity? My new room mate of two weeks, Jonathon (who my other house mates found when I was in California) is an alchoholic. So is his brother who comes over sometimes. We didn't know until after Jonathon moved in. And it is so sad because he and his brother are totally different, good people when they are sober. Last evening, they asked me to stay out and talk to them on the patio. For a while, until the substances kicked in, we had interesting, positive conversation. Then it flipped to aggressivness, negativity, insecurity, fear! Not listening half the time. Part of me wanted to stay and try and maintain a positive vibe. To help them recognize how much potential and talant they have waiting to come out. I wanted to show them that someone compassionately cares about them without judgement. But it is not healthy for me to be around them. They can only help themselves if they want to. I align myself with people who are positive thinking, actively involved in self-growth and consiousness. When you drink like that, you drown you out. You are so out of touch with you. 

"So even if life is not always clear, it is good to express yourself in clear, affirmative statements. This is how I think and feel." (82)

Because Jonathan asked the next morning why I went to bed early, I say assertively, kindly, yet sternly my feelings on his behavior. He is very grateful for the honesty. But he just doesn't seem to have the strength to change his ways yet. Or he doesn't want to bad enough. Confrontation is my lesson of the summer. I have always avoided and felt very inadequate at confrontation. No one like it. But I dislike suppressing things even more.

"We have a responsibility to treat ourselves kindly, then we will treat the world in the same way." (76)

From September 6th 2009

More quotes and thoughts generated from "Writing Down the Bones"

"If you are not afraid of the voices inside you,  you will not fear the critics outside you." (17)

I think its also: if I follow, accept, trust and listen to the deeper voice inside, not the many chattering ones, that I can feel confident that I'm doing the best I can and then there is no base to fear the critics outside or the critics inside. 

Setting up criteria for design projects is like writing a prompt. I respond to the prompt. I always have it to refer back to - is my work relating back to that prompt?

In "Writing Down the Bones," Natalie Goldman gives an exercise to try. She says to pick or make up a line of words. It can be the first thing that comes to mind. Now, respond to it, write about it. Okay, so I tried it. My line:

"Only certain people are invited" 

That is what popped into my mind. Then I responded. Where would that line take me?

Time, space, and money limit the invitation of more. How many people can one person know well and give quality, quantity attention too? There is a tipping point for the amount of people one can genuinely give oneself to. What is the tipping point for planet earth? For Planet Us? Earth can take so much stress! But it is an entity of energy like our bodies, and like them, it will change states, wear out, renew. Huh. You can start anywhere and end up somewhere entirely unexpected. My original line came because I am having bosses and co-workers over for brunch tomorrow and, while I would like to invite some other friends, I can't handle too large of a group at my house.

"There is no permanent truth you can corner in a poem that will satisfy you forever. Don't identify too strongly with your work. It is not you." (33)

Every minute I am changing. I am not the same person anymore who created the Atacama piece in Fall 2007 or the same person that created the Scan book last April. 

I love this: "If you think big enough to let people eat cars, you will be able to see that ants are elephants and men are women." (35)

From September 5th 2009

New Zealand will be an excellent time to write and focus on a project. To have a daily practice and a focus througout my trip. Like youth. Last time I was in NZ, I really noticed ageism there - how much more attention people pay to age than even here, how growing old is just not treasured. Especially for women. Early 30's and you're not wanting to say your age there! Last time I went to NZ, I was 22. Now I am 26. Maybe for the trip, my daily observation can be focused on that topic. I will notice it more if that's what I'm paying attention for - I can write about it every day and create related images. 

The topic of age and innocence has been popping up a lot in life the past few weeks for me. I have had several people tell me this summer that I have a light of youth in my eyes, that I look younger than I am. Faez told me last night even, "Its true, you still have that innocence." And my house mate, Jonathan said the other day, "I hope you don't mind my saying, but its hard for me to believe you of all people ever spent a night in jail. You seem so innocent and pure." I can't see it of course. Does it always have to disapear? My friend, Erin, is writing an essay for a contest; the prompt is: "At what point in your life do you feel you became an adult?"

Does loss of innocence happen the more you deal with harsh reality?  Take my friends Ted and Wendy. I want to be like them when I am 60 - so incredibly full of life and out enjoying it.

Referring back to the essay question, Erin asked me what my point would be. I said, probably my experience volunteering for 6 months at a camphill in England when I was 23. Why? I had to draw on and cultivate an inner hardness that felt foreign to me to get through in tact emotionally. I experienced for the first time the need to deaden some of my emotions and responses and feelings. And it took a few months after I left to go back to the way I was before. I remember asking my house parent once if he was happy. He nearly scoffed at me -and explained that he doesn't feel anymore. He doesn't feel sadness and he doesn't feel happiness. Was he just saying that? How awful not to know that that is not a normal way to live or a healthy way. But so much of society is sick emotionally. How else do you deal with pain except to cut out your feelings? However, that youthful sparkle never dies in anyone. It may get burried, but you can always dig it back out. 

"We must continue to ope in the face of tremendous opposition. No one is encouraging us to open and still we must peel away the layers of the heart."
- Trungpa Rinpoche, Tibbetan Buddhist master

"We must continue to trust in our own voice and process. Ultimately if the process is good, the end will be good." (Goldman, 12)

Accept the mood, the state. 
Know it will pass. 
It always does. 
There is peace in knowing this. 
But I don't always remember that
when in the throws of it.

When happy, be there totally! Even though instability in moods may happen one hour later. Listen. Why did that shift in mood come? Was it because you were not listening? You were online looking for a car instead of making butternut squash soup. You were worrying about how you are going to afford a car and travel instead of reading and writing. 

From September 4th 2009

Transition is coming. I'm wrapping things up here and finishing my pouring in so I can pour out.

More quotes from "Walking on Alligators"

"We live to be startled, to have our eyes opened in an unexpected way. Books do this for us, are reread, discussed, and eventually taught. What surprises can you bring to your readers?" (64)

"What we can do is set limits, and respect them without agonizing over them. Sketch out the bounderies to your research. What will constitute a responsible review of the material available? How much time do you have? How far can you reasonably expect to get done?" (75)

"Fear of Failure is much worse than Failure itself" (86)

I love this: "We tend to know where our gifts are trying to take us, but where are your limitations trying to take you? Which misfortune in your life - physical, relational, work-related - is trying to enrich your writing?"(123)

"...your writing creates an observer, the reader. It gives that reader a chance to see things through your eyes." (129)

"Little minds are interested in teh extraordinary; great minds in the common place."
-Elbert Hubbard

"I will be comfortable with groping in the dark. Others have come before me. I will accept that this is the way discovery works." (175).

All of this can be applied to any sort of creative work. Its interesting to read design from a writer's creativity perspective. And I love to write. 

September 1st 2009

I came back to Santa Fe at mid night last night, and the whole flight home, I felt excitement to come back! So strange to feel such a longing and love for New Mexico. Fittingly, we touched down amid a thunder and lightening storm. I desperately desire a better camera with quality video capacity!

I didn't write about the experience seeing my co-worker Kelly's psychic friend, Susan, the week before my California trip. She knew I was going on that! Anyway I have the conversation all on tape, so I don't need to replay the fotellings here.

From August 31st 2009

Wow! I just tripped across the southwest with a magnificent 84 year old lady, Patty, mother of Wendy and mother in law of Ted. From Santa Fe, New Mexico to Sonoma and San Francisco, California. We talked life, loss, travels. Made it to Flagstaff the first night. 2nd day: Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. Zion, to me, excuded far more magic and beauty than the Grand Canyon because I felt part of it. I was right in it. Right inside the tunnels going through the mountains. 

Also, I got separated from Patty at the grand Canyon for two hours! I didn't listen to my instinct to get her cell phone # prior to getting out of the car with instructions to meet her at the parking lot at the end of the road. I got to the end of the path to see multiple parking lots. A ranger took me back to the initial parking lot, but not before I had to wait half an hour for him to arrive and another half hour to check the other mulitple parking lots. The great thing about Patty is she is not a worrier and she does not get all bent out of shape. It was an accidental misunderstanding. Things are good now. Lets go on! But she did not look behind her when backing out, so she hit the ranger's car! Luckily, it did little damage, but my goodness! Fortunately, no other mishaps happened on the trip.

We arrived in Las Vegas at 8pm. Had thai food there of all things, and drove on to a tiny place called Beaty. Arriving at mid-night to the only hotel with rooms available. 

Drove through the rest of Nevada, past Mona Lake, heard of some hot springs and drove down a dirt road to see them. Too many people there, on their way to Burning Man. Moved on. Reached lake Tahoe by 1pm. Drove around the perimieter, along the awesome ridgeline of a mountain! Stopped by a Tahoe lake-fronth house where Patty's friends house sits - a brief interlude into the lap of luxury.

And then took 80 4.5 hours west to Sonoma. Stopped at a city called Auburn shortly before Sacramento for food at a great Ikeda Market. Yummy grated cabbage/broccoli/red pepper/feta/olive salad. Mixed berry pie.

We got into sonoma before sunset, so I saw the beautiful spanish style mission, plaza, homes and captured some gorgeous sunset shots. 

Now I'm at the Patty's Westerbeke Ranch, in that state of disbelief that this is where I am coupled with the certainty that this is exactly where I'm meant to be! Almost an out of body, totally clear/vacant-mind experience. The crickets are very loud. The air, fresh and 

From August 13 2009

Today is Alanna's birthday. She came back to Santa Fe to celebrate. We had a wonderful time meeting her relatives who are visiting for the first time from Germany. Her great uncle reminded me uncannily of my grand-father, who is half german/half english/scottish. And he kept looking at me like he wanted to say something. There was some connection like I'd known him before. 

From 8/8/09

And I am reading another great book called the four agreements. My co-worker, kelly, told me about it and I found it in the Santa Fe public library along with the two books on writing. This book by Don Miguel Ruiz is incredibly helpful! Selected quotes:

"The best way to keep yourself from making assumptions is to ask questions. Make sure the communication is clear. If you don't understand, ask....Also, find your voice to ask for what you want. You always have the right to ask and everybody has the right to ask you." (71).

From 8/4/09

I am reading two outstanding books on creativity. "Walking on Alligators" by Susan Shaugnessy and "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldman.

Some selected quotes:

"A certain freshness is always sought after in writing, but the most important stories are universal in nature. The truths the heart responds to are not new. But their situations can be new. Sensitivity to the times you live in can give you a spiritual spin on an old theme." (Shaughnessy, 14)

"Take what is useful [from criticism] and forgive the rest." (Shaughnessy,16).

"What feels wrong to you right now? In your life? In your work? The false note in your work may lie inches away from the true note you want to strike." (Shaughnessy, 47)

"Don't be surprised if before the breakthrough, you are cross and distracted. That seems to be a fore-runner of strong writing." (Shaughnessy, 58)

"Something has to be poured in if something is to be poured out." (Shaughnessy, 60)

From 8/3/09

A recorded conversation through Skype with my friend Diana in Seattle:

"Hey! Its only 9:43pm here. But Kinda tired, work tomorrow, probably go to sleep within the hour. How are you?"

No reply. Ofline.

As I should be.

Now I too am. 

I just thought that was kind of funny.

From 7/20/09

I am listening. My daily practice is just an act of listening. Seeing the leaf with dewdrops against the grain of deck board and snapping a photograph. Its being open to what is already there. 

From 7/18/09 Trip to Maine

Sitting in Boston Logan Public Transportation area now waiting for my Concord Trailways bus to Portland. There, I will reconnect with a kindergarten friend, then travel further to my family. 

I can smell the ocean!!! I saw it on the runway. Sailboats. White colonial houses. Definitely houses, not homes like Santa Fe adobe. 

I sat next to a flight attendant on my 2nd flight. At the end she said, "You slept the whole way!"
I know, I'm tired from this last week of intense play. There is so much to participate in I don't want to miss it.

Since my flight arrived early, I could make it all the way to Bangor, but I think I'm happy to stay in Portland tonight and travel those extra 4 hours tomorrow. 

The air feels so fresh, more humid and cool. 10 more minutes of waiting.

From 7/17

One of the most unexpectedly nice nights happened last night when my swedish, couch surfing friend, Otto came over and we slept under the stars and saw 10 shooting stars! Amazing how cool it gets at night in NM in July and how beneficial body warmth is. I'm fairly tired today though. The hyena sounding coyotes didn't keep quiet last night and Riley dog didn't miss a chance to bark at them. Now I'm in Albuquerque waiting on the front steps for a friend to get home.

Where is my poetry state of mind? 
There go the ants around my feet.
They were there this morning at 850 C Chamisa too.
Its fun to watch them going busily back and forth
With an intensity of seemingly aimless direction.

Back to last night. We took the couch cushions outside.
And the white down comforter.
And the soft, auburn agora blanket. 
Spread them out. 
And we told stories. What to tell about?
Talk about a time when you came close to death?
A time you fell in love while traveling?
The most memorable person you met on a trip?
And then we wound up on the topic of friends.
How sometimes the friendship stays,
and sometimes it fades afterwards.
How sometimes you feel that chemistry
and sometimes you don't.
How sometimes someone else loves you
And you don't love them back.
Or the other way around.
Before saying good night, he offered,
And remember, if you get cold, you can hug me.
Woke up in the middle of the night to being held
Coyotes yipping eerily, in the arroyo just to our right.
That surprise when someone touches you in the dark,
And you feel it an instant before you feel it.
Such a deep beauty in touch - platonic or romantic and
Sometimes, we don't enjoy it enough in this world.
This is the story from last night. 

Its good to have this time to write. Make the time for creativity and it will come. Create the space for peace and it will arrive. Be open for abundance, believe you are worthy, and it will appear. 

Drove so speedy down highway 25. To Arrive. Only to wait. Now I have this unexpected time to sit on the porch and write until my friend comes home to unlock the door.

From 7/4/09

Matt Costa on Pandora radio right now. Sun shining through my window. A cup of hot ginger tea and David Sedaris "When you are Engulfed by Flames" by my side. Happy Freedom Day. And I'm house sitting free to do as I please. Can I believe this is where I'm staying? It seems to come in waves, the eb and flow of abundance. I love the community of friends here. Sometimes I can be so reckless and risky. Sometimes I can go so fast. Its good to just be quiet and write in this big, beautiful home.

I am floating.
This music is carrying me
To the faraway nearby
Lying on a pillow on the floor
Of someone else's living room
On the Fourth of July
Someone else's stereo 
Feeding my Macbook Pro.
No signal states the T.V. Screen.
No signal is my signal is it?
Piano notes, wish I could play.
Not right now, but someday.

good morning

from 7/3/09
Look at the blue sky. So beautiful. A few little birds are hopping around the garden hose.


I think partly why last summer was sooo rich and full was because I did not check my email and internet very often. I did not have it reliably at my house then. Now I do. I am going to make an effort never to have it be the first thing I habitually do in the morning. It burns a lot of minutes before I know it - and its not healthy when it becomes like that. I think meditation will be a better way to start the day.

house sitting

From 6/28
How am I here in this beautiful space? Quiet, except for trees rustling outside. In a huge room full of philosophical books, elegant furniture. I am sitting on a high southwestern bed commanded by a red/black/grey Pendleton wool blanket and 8 pillows. Fine art photography. A bathroom with new mexican style tile sink and walls. A basket of soaps from hotels around the planet. Warm, chestnut-toned vigas creaking with every sweep of wind. How am I here? I am unbelievably grateful to be here. It hardly seems real. Why the slight sadness? Is it because of the awareness of how ephemeral and fleeting this time is? Enjoy being here. There is nothing but the present moment. I'm excited to house sit for Ted and Wendy next week, a house to myself another time. I'm excited for my dad to visit. I am saying yes to life.