Dreaming of Islands

Everybody has their own personal motifs, their proclivities and obsessions, things that the deep mind circles around and around, forever returning. For me, those themes are maps, islands, secret codes, and alphabets. I’ve drawn hundreds of maps in my life. Doodled on restaurant napkins, scribbled into the margins of books, modeled in clay. Sometimes I … More Dreaming of Islands

Winter Tea

Instead of freaking out about the dreadful winter ahead,  I’m trying to exhale and settle into my usual hibernation. The leaves have all come down and the trees reveal themselves. With branches cross-hatched against pale skies, they show their true natures, their hidden bones, their essence selves. The colors have all gone as muted as … More Winter Tea

This Year

This year give me the snows. Give me the fierce blanketing brilliance. Give me the empty open silence of a drifted field. Pierce me with sweet cold burning winds. Give me the light and the white palace and a simple place to let my eyes lay down. “The White Palace,” excerpted from Studebaker Blues by … More This Year

Wild Learning

The sky hangs low today, overcast and grey, with a cold misty rain falling. A real Lady MacBeth day. I hear a south-flying flock of geese and poke my head out the porch door just in time to catch a glimpse of their sky-wedged caravan passing overhead. Although a person usually outlives a goose, the … More Wild Learning

A Brown Bird Sang

I’m thinking it’s time to retire, or at least furlough, the word, “normal.” Except for quantitative measurements like body temperature, it’s a word with limited usefulness in the best of times. It’s a word with one perennially cocked eyebrow and the steely feel of judgment. And these are not the best of times. Instead of … More A Brown Bird Sang

Hanging by a Thread

I’ve been on a mending binge since spring. (See “Mending,” posted May 29, 2020.) I patched all my work jeans, repaired a pair of beloved old leather slippers and darned up some sofa cushions for starters. One pair of re-patched jeans turned out so cool that they’ve been elevated to Sunday-Go-To-Meetin’ jeans. ‘Though I don’t … More Hanging by a Thread

Moveable Feasts

I just finished a series of stitched collages I call “mendings.” But my galleries are closed. One of them, in business for more than 24 years, is gone for good and the other is probably not too far behind. I’m drifting without my usual landmarks, the places to steer for, dragging my anchor, weathervanes spinning … More Moveable Feasts

Gypsy Secrets

One afternoon, while sifting through the flotsam and jetsam of a garage sale, I spied an old hunter’s coat (not for sale) hanging from a bent rusty nail. Something about its antique quality, its layered pockets and hidden pouches, its faded and frayed history, the way it carried creases like a wrinkled face, made me … More Gypsy Secrets


In the old days (I can say that now because I’m past 70) damaged and used up everyday things were “too good to throw away.” Socks were darned, soap slivers saved and shaped into motley bars, broken teacups glued, clothes patched and remodeled. And if something finally seemed beyond redemption, it was dismantled into useable … More Mending

Armchair Traveller

We have a tiny book-lined room we call “The Snuggery,” where I write out bills and tack up endless to-do lists. This morning, maybe because I’m subconsciously wishing for another country to live in since my own is knocked flat with disease and unemployment, a landscape of eerily deserted towns and cities, I spun the … More Armchair Traveller