keep your peepers open!

keep your peepers open!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

deliriously daffy

From about the age of three until my grandparents moved when I was maybe ten, I was the keeper of the daffodil garden at their home in NE Washington, DC. I was enamored with the bright yellow flowers that miraculously returned every spring with just a few turns of my trowel. At three, I had not yet grasped the concept of an annual so thinking back, it indeed seemed like a miracle that flowers happily popped up all over the grounds not just in my backyard but everywhere! Daffodils look like they are having a party, appear to me as if they are in a state of constant laughter fluttering in the breeze above the pansies whose little happy faces seem to wink at passers-by 

while the tulips hover elegantly about maintaining a rather dignified yet still approachable disposition.

The daffodils of my youth were like bright sunshine, yellow on golden yellow…

so I was delirious with happiness to discover so many variations as I grew up…




and even as they begin to wilt, they still are lovely…

most of them have faded away
as April turns into May
sprinkled about here and there
some remain without a care
and even when their time is done
rest assured, they’ll be back for fun!


keep your peepers open!®

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

within the within

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will never be shortened.
                              - Chinese Proverb

I always love when I take a picture…

and find another picture…

within the picture…

Cropping the original photo revealed what in my eyes is a little piece of lushness. The green foliage at the bottom has the feel of velvet butter it’s that soft and rich to me.

Editing sparks creativity on many levels. Not only does it allow me to produce several different pictures from one photograph, it also inspires words and thoughts that can be quite poetic. The time I spend re-seeing what I originally saw with fine attention to every detail inspires me, gives me such joy, and brings about a calm that is hard to describe. After that calm comes a huge desire to share what I have seen, tasted, touched, heard and smelled so…

keep your peepers open!®

Sunday, April 21, 2013


It all started with a bright orange fire hydrant…

As I left class this past Thursday, I dragged my feet in the mud dreading the hour plus drive back to DC. Damn-it, it was still raining and I do NOT like driving in the rain. In order to calm myself, I snapped a few photographs before climbing into my car to head off. Around the bend, a right at the corner -- fog was rolling in thicker than I’ve ever seen! I could barely see the car in front of me though I continued to creep along at maybe 5 MPH deciding whether or not to go back to the place where I'm taking class to wait it out when my gut spoke to me, “Girl, this is no fog, this is SMOKE!” No sooner did my brain get the message when there before me was a truck ablaze in a threatening red-yellow-orange frenzy.

Now one would think I would indeed turn around but NOOOOO! I whipped out my camera and kept driving trying to get as close as possible. I know this sounds absolutely crazy but my adrenalin didn’t think so as my brain told me the truck could blow up while my instincts told me otherwise. Of course, the police and firefighters kept everyone at a distance not clearing us spectators away so I also felt like I was fine. Now while all this is going on I remembered that in class we had just talked about the yellow chakra, which is associated with trusting our gut. I realized during those seconds that taking photographs is etched deeper in me than I knew, felt a bit courageous as I assume journalists covering dangerous assignments feel. I felt no fear; my drive home was a breeze.

I don’t have much yellow in my home and none in my wardrobe so I picked up a golden candle to burn
when I meditate and practice self Reiki or acupressure, used it after my evening meditation that same day. A quiet hypnotic flame that did not flicker sat atop the candle. I couldn’t take my eyes away from the soft glowing colors that soothed me; there was something so sensual about the red-rimmed black bowl resting at the tip of the wick holding hot fire that was anything but threatening.

Fire seemed to be a running occurrence in my life the latter part of this past week. I jumped at the chance to take a metalworking class that advertised making a ring for two reasons. One, I’ve been interested in taking a class like this for quite some time without having to make a long-term commitment. This four-hour session gave me the opportunity to try the milk before buying the cow so to speak. Second, we were making a silver piece of jewelry; ‘nuff said on that front! When the instructor pulled out the small torches, I was not the least bit fearful or threatened knowing that extremely high heat creates beauty as it did during glass blowing class a few years ago. I had no trouble firing the flat metal; shaping it into a ring is another story!

A series of events with no apparent links set in motion by whatever compelled me to notice a fire hydrant that until that particular day, I had failed to see. The soundtrack playing in my head -- I’ll give you one guess as to what the song is. If you’re not experienced, look up the album, check out the track listings and…

keep your peepers open!®

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

peace & love

Today let us pause to reflect on the word peace, on world peace. Take a moment to breathe as you scroll stroll through this garden and as you do, send mindful thoughts and prayers to those in Boston and beyond.

I say once again, if all the energy expended on plans to bring harm to others was instead used to do good, imagine what life would be like.

I wish you peace now and always…

keep your peepers open!®

ps…what the world needs now, is love sweet love…it’s been playing in my mind for hours…

Sunday, April 14, 2013

just for me

I bought a gift yesterday. Buried in a sea of books, cards, and other items on one of many tables of things for sale at the expressive arts therapy institute, it was there waiting for me. As soon as I spotted it, I picked it up, clutched it to my heart, and held it there. No need to open to a page, no decision about whether to purchase…this was meant for me.

I love Rumi, have wanted a book of his work and until that moment, had not found one that resonated with me. Something about this collection captured my attention with such gentle knowing that I found it unnecessary to peek inside…it was meant for me. Closing my eyes, I sat with Rumi’s Little Book of Life, ran my hands over the cover, sniffed the newness of cream-colored rag paper, let its energy pass into me before randomly opening to page 66.

Only in the vast haven of the heart
filled with fresh springs
with rose garden within rose gardens
can ecstasy be found.

I could talk about what this means to me, dissect each line deeply or skim ever so lightly over the surface of words but I won’t except to say this book is ecstasy found resting under my fingers, vibrating in the palms of my hands, flowing upwards to my heart talking to my soul. I will take my sweet time tasting such delectable writings that indeed are meant to be savored slowly.

Just set the intention and let life do the rest. All will unfold as it is meant to for you, so…

keep your peepers open!®

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

have a seat 2

Pick a chair, any chair!

Are you comfortable? It’s that time again when I send the gift of 30 minutes a week to sit down, turn off and tune in to yourself to all who wish to accept. I invite you to close your eyes, imagine whatever restful scene you like and bask in the quiet solitude that I send to you. If you just can't imagine slowing down to use this gift during the day, pull it out before you get out of bed or before you climb in. Feel free to take out this present more than once a week in shorter or longer increments as my gift is endless, all you need to do is say thank you and sit down.

After you take a moment or two or however long you wish (maybe even the full 30 minutes!), may you move on to whatever is next with a renewed sense of being as you…

keep your peepers open!®

these chairs face the Mediterranean and were on the balcony at Hotel Bristol in Sorrento, Italy; please take a look at the 11/25/12 post for the first have a seat.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

watching time

For one of my classes, we were to bring something that has a special meaning, put it in a brown paper bag and place it in the sacred space in the center of our circle. The directive was to pick up one of the bags (not our own), examine the object inside it then write what came up. This is what I wrote…

I closed my eyes before I opened the bag, a jittery, excited energy made my hands shake as whatever was within rested against the paper barrier. If I opened my eyes, the jittering stopped so I closed them again, open and close, stop start. Open. When I peered down into the bag with curiosity and saw what rested in the flat space of the container, tears sprang up. Who has Grandpa’s watch? Of course I knew it was not mine but right now it is Grandpa’s watch. I was delighted as I gently lifted it to light and clasped it to my
heart. Old, no longer ticking just like Grandpa’s watch here in my hand is its relative from beyond. Warm and rich, old and wise and knowing it rests at 8:25, knowing its face worn and shifted I had to really look to tell the time…but who cares about time. Upon inspection, the second hand just before noon or midnight metal patina and worn like I like things. Old and wise and knowing, pieces missing, still beautiful with time, oh so meaningful and the wisdom of time, how I appreciate the wisdom that comes with time in a desk drawer in a family home, quiet in the library past time in this time. gold…I dared not put it on but held the band of love in my hands protection(ing) me.

time stops for some, our lives go on.

An exercise in reading energy, the person whose sacred piece I held was a woman whose energy beamed across the room when she walked through the door the week before; she ended up sitting next to me that day. As it turned out, her watch belonged to her Grandpa; I felt the energy of my Grandfather’s watch, though safe at home, surge through me, something I chose to hold inside as a sacred gift from two timepieces that now connected time past to two granddaughters present.

keep your peepers open!®

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

miksang songs

March came in like a lion and just kept right on roaring in high definition surround-sound leaving me feeling like a lamb bleating for her Mommy! In between the seemingly non-stop challenges came information that needed to find its way to me and while sifting through, little surprises surfaced to enlighten me. One thing in particular brought such complete affirmation about one of the divine gifts I’ve been given…

“Miksang is a Tibetan word that means “good eye.” A contemplative art, it is based directly on the Dharma Art teachings of the late meditation master, artist and scholar, Chögyam Trungpa, specifically by his teachings on the nature of perception. The “good” refers to our world, just as it is, is inherently rich and vivid. The “eye” reference is that in working with the practice of contemplative photography, we can tune into these qualities of our world. This journey is actually quite simple-to see with our eyes wide-open and our awareness right there. Once we have a moment of fresh perception, vivid and clear, there is a natural desire to communicate that experience.” -

I’m not sure when I’ve read something that made such perfect sense to me, that so described what I innately do whenever I have picked up a camera at any time in my life. That desire to capture an image just so, to wait for that just so moment to arrive, to want to share it with others. I also note that this practice is rooted in spiritual teachings that have intrigued me for years. In my mind, it is by no accident that its arrival was timed to provide a rest stop from the path just when I needed to breathe and much like my gift, this intervention was divine; miksang is a song I sing though I’ve never been taught the tune.

"When you begin to abandon all possibilities of any reference are suspended in some kind of space, a big hole of some is quite titillating” - Chögyam Trungpa

Now that April is here, I’m looking for its showers to cleanse my soul, titillate my spirit and wash my eyes in a bath of spring splendor. So as I embrace and step into all that is possible for me to bring forth…

keep your peepers open!®