Saturday, April 30, 2011


Monica: An accidental snapshot as I was fiddling with my camera's focus. It almost feels like summer.

Evelyn: A day spent exploring our way through the Orlando Science Center, and as with any preteen, food is critical amidst the play. I hadn't been there since Justin was in elementary school, and it was fun to romp and explore the newest exhibits.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Angles of Repose

Evelyn: Apparently everyone enjoys art journalism. Tig is the office cat at the Spiral Circle and often joins my groups on Monday nights or Friday mornings. On Fridays, he winds his way among all of us until Beverly opens up shop and he has full access to the front room full of rainbows and sunspots. He made his grand entrance during my setup for Art Day, sampling each bucket of fresh water, and eventually laying himself out amidst the artwork and tools. He has been the most consistent student.

Monica: Spring, I love you, but you're killing me. The days are deliciously long now; I can't believe it's nearly 9:00 p.m. and the last light is finally fading from the western sky. But it's been windy and those beautiful flowers and grasses of yours are showering their pollen everywhere. And I'm miserably allergic to them. It makes it difficult to enjoy being outside in this wild beautiful world when the consequences are itchy eyes, runny nose, and endless sneezing fits. Please. Have mercy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shot of Pink

Monica: I heard this great RadioLab podcast about being your own worst enemy and the methods different people have used to get unstuck. The story hit me like an arrow of truth to the heart. I recognize the ways I get in my own way and keep myself from doing the things I profess to love. I've been browbeating myself to write every day in an attempt to revive my enthusiasm, only to find that the resistance comes up ten times stronger. There's a big part of me that is mortified by treadmills and rat races, of binding what I love to do for fun to how I earn my living. I fear losing sight of the present moment and the pleasures of living when play becomes work. The irony is that I'm on a treadmill of stuckness, a routine of inertia, and I don't want that either.

Evelyn:  I haven't had this many people in my home for a while, and as with any living space extended to loved ones, there is evidence in small ways that we are all sharing common space. I loved the colorful array, like a sea of laces and leather, right at the gateway to my home - a resting place for just a piece of who we are...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Adorable Portraits

Evelyn: Sophie carries such enthusiasm it is contagious. Despite sunburns and waking up grumpy (because we didn't let her sleep) - we played, and sunned, and endured wind and clouds for a day in New Smyrna Beach. Then we carried it home to energize other unexpected adventures in art.

Monica: The last time I saw the fox was in November. It was dark out and I was closing up the laundry room. I saw her sleek body move across the driveway, her gray fur illuminated by the moon. She paused and we stared at each other for a moment. Then she was gone. Today a guest told me that she had seen the fox down in the garden earlier in the afternoon. I had no idea I would be graced with a sighting only an hour later. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sativa!

Monica: It's Sativa's birthday today and she and her family are celebrating with my sister in Florida. (Did I mention I wish I were there right now?) It was a beautiful sunny day here in Caspar, and these flowers reminded me of candles aflame on a cake. Happy birthday, Sativa. You're beautiful, kind, talented, smart, inspiring, and a fabulous friend. May your wishes come true this year.

Evelyn: There is something about watching someone you love make wishes - the joy of having a wish opportunity, the anticipation the audience holds as we watch her prepare to blow out the candle, the curiosity of what wishes float behind her eyes as she brings her gaze back to the flame and directs her breath, her energy, into the fulfillment of something heart-felt and meaningful. The exhale, the release... and do we remember our wishes after they have been made and trust the universe to fulfill them, or do we hold them tight to our breast in fear that they may not be fulfilled? At least, I imagine, the audience of the wish-maker share a hope that the wish will blossom, as I do for Sativa.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Afoot & Aloft

Evelyn: Sometimes soaring is the only thing to do. Soar Baby, SOAR!

Monica: I am an avid reader and always have a stack of books by the bed. There's usually one stout classic that takes a year or two to slog through (Atlas Shrugged), a book on writing or creativity (The Artist's Way), a memoir (One Writer's Beginnings), a cookbook (Crêpes), a novel or two that I can't quite get into (Mrs. Dalloway; The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet), a recommendation from someone else (The Horse's Mouth) and some philosophical reading (SoulPancake; Tao Te Ching).  The pile of books on my nightstand has spilled over onto the floor, creating a bit of a hazard when getting out of bed.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Flowers

Monica: I'm trying to learn the names of flowers and plants. It allows for a more specific image when one calls a flower by its common name; "wild iris" just sounds better than "that funky purple flower." So this week, it's been all about the rhododendrons, which are in full bloom here. The name sounds more like a geometric shape than a flower, but the flower itself is spectacular. The bell-shaped flowers grow in bouquet-like clusters in shades of buttery white, lemon yellow, magenta, ruby red, and powder pink. Some of them have a delicate fragrance. This one reminds me of an egg, sunny-side up.

Evelyn: She stood at a distance, an unexpected audience watching, as she held the world at the tip of her being. The flight of an insect, a whisper of wind, and she would be touched by the seeds that feed the world. Such is the meaning of her being, a sneeze of an existential moment.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Evelyn: Why don't they make things the way they did in the 40's and 50's? I love the glassware in the antique stores of Clearwater Beach. I had the opportunity to wander and capture some of the light moving through niche rooms and glass-top cases. Some pieces were stunning, simply in texture and color, others playful, a few daunting and dark. Regardless, the many pieces, sunlight moving through them from windows, captured my eager attention. I like the translucence—the color much like my mood... the texture a bit like my feelings of late. 

Monica:  Friends showed up this afternoon with a prime rib, bottles of wine, and a beautiful cake. The excuse was they needed to sample the wine with the prime rib, which is one of the dishes being served at their upcoming wedding. They had already sampled the cake, but thought it would be a good idea to pick one up to celebrate the April birthdays in the house. I'll take any excuse for good food and good company.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Small Comforts

Monica: On our way to lunch at the harbor, my mom discovered a secret lair in the bushes where someone had built a little shelter complete with blankets and bowls of food and water for the wild cats in the area to make themselves at home. We saw this little white cat curled up on a handmade afghan (reminiscent of the ones my grandmother used to make in the 70s and 80s), peering back at us suspiciously with her clear blue eyes.

Evelyn: Dusk is an amazing sliver of the day, where the light transforms the world into a whole new scheme of colors, and landscapes mutate into alien schemes. A long day of driving was followed by a trip to the beach to hunt down a meal, and I was taken in by the rinse station sand. The sand on the gulf feels like silk and I sunk into its softness and let it drain away all the energy around navigating my way to St. Pete. There I watched for a bit as the sky turned orange, to pink, to blue, much like my own energy at the end of the day.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

At Dusk

Evelyn: I don't get into Downtown Orlando often, but the night life is popping and tonight was 3rd Thursday City Arts Walk. I enjoyed galleries  with friends - taking in the cool breeze and people watching with a cup of warm Cuban coffee and a fruity cigar. I think I have seen more of Orlando, and done more stuff in this year than I had in my 12 years living here. Single life makes for spunky adventure and warm friendships.

Monica: A walk to the bluffs and down to the beach at sunset, just the two of us. I can't get over how stunningly beautiful my mom is at 64. I can only hope to be so lucky.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Monica: The birthday celebration continues with good company, late night card games, and decadent meals. It hit me today that we are nearly one third of the way through 2011. Time is flying. Soon it will be summer and I'll get more family time in Florida. I'm looking forward to some heat and snorkeling in warm tropical waters.

Evelyn:  And she ran, she ran from the waves, she ran from the uncertainty, she ran from the possibilities that might emerge from the tumbling aftermath of her thoughts, she ran from herself - and eventually she discovered the tastiest morsels of life could be found when she stopped running.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Green

Evelyn: One part of my job that I like - although I don't care for driving all the time, puts me in parts of Orlando I am not readily aware of or familiar with. Emerging from a client's home today, I sat for a bit to enjoy the landscaping of the community. I discovered a family of eager ducklings, busily following directions and moving for cover as I approached. My mom used to raise chickens and ducks in our yard in Boulder, CO and I remember how wonderful it felt to hold their downy fluffy bodies under the heat lamps when they were small. Something about them was soothing... and so, despite the struggle of my lens to keep track of nine scattered ducklings... I snapped away contentedly.

Monica: She couldn't resist an upward shot of the cherry tree in full bloom. I couldn't resist a shot of her on the ground trying to capture it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Birthday Celebrations

Monica: Some birthdays come and go with little fanfare. I'm not particularly fussy about my birthday and don't tend to celebrate grandly. The best birthdays have always been the ones spent with those nearest and dearest to me. Today I turned 37 and spent the day with my husband, mom, and stepdad. I spoke with my dad, sister, and several dear friends. Other dear friends left messages or sent well-wishes on Facebook. There was a beautiful sunset and full moon to boot. It was the sweetest birthday I've had in awhile. What more could I ask for than to feel loved and to feel that my presence on this planet matters to quite a few people?

Evelyn: My sister's Birthday, and aside from a sliver of darkness on one side of a waning moon, my day was so full that I didn't get my head wrapped around a birthday picture for her. Instead, I got to harvest my creativity with a bunch of women - conversation flying - laughing - advising - making meaning in our lives, in our words, in our art. An array of new India Ink waiting to be splashed onto the blank pages of my life at this very moment - and my hesitation as I see the unknown before me.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Evelyn: I have such gratitude for the connections I discover are in my soulgroup - Connections in faces I would never have expected and I am surrounded by beauty. I am amazed at how being vulnerable and open creates such a reflection of who I am. In those relationships I both find and see myself, and I am discovering clarity and ease and trust. I feel a warm place in me that is loved and loves in ways that are safe, and clear, and unconditional - and I see that in my relationships... I love that in my relationships.

Monica: I was sitting at the computer when I saw a bunch of red gladiolas pass in front of my office window. Suddenly the door opened, and there they were. My mom and step-dad had driven up from San Diego to surprise me for my birthday. We walked down to the beach, then had a fabulous dinner at Mendo Bistro. It's going to be one of those birthdays that starts early and ends late. I'm loving it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Seeing Red

Monica: I noticed the ladybug scuttling her way across the fine "branches" of my lemon thyme plant in the garden. I was fascinated by how she made her way from one branch to the next, grabbing a leaf or flower and pulling herself across. I wondered what it would feel like to carry a body like hers through the world, round like a turtle's shell, and yet so much lighter.

Evelyn: Moving through a weekend, red sneakers keeping me afloat. These shoes are symbolic of my commitment to live more colorfully this year - to be bigger and still play... and sometimes my sneakers find someone else to play with, our bellies up close to squeeze in our brilliant feet, and then off to make our ways in other directions. So proud of the wearer of the other set of red - for living colorfully, brilliantly, willingly.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Evelyn: In every moment there is potential for an opening, a shift in perspective, a blossoming of self; lessons, opportunities, and choices.

Monica: Walking out on the bluffs today, I saw two photographers in the distance with their cameras on tripods. One of them had an enormous 500mm telephoto lens. It was the biggest lens I'd ever seen. I asked if I could see what the world looked like through a 500mm lens. They pointed it at a seagull floating in the water and I peered through the viewfinder. I saw the seagull the same as if I were looking at it through a pair of binoculars. I was disappointed, expecting to see the tiny bumps on its bill or the fine lines of its individual feathers. I'm sure it's a fabulous lens, but nothing so impressive as my 60mm macro which captures things I can't even see with my eyes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hard Working

Monica: Parts to order, a dishwasher to fix, plans to review, wood to chop, e-mails to answer, reservations to confirm, payments to process, numbers to crunch, calls to make, proposals to consider. All in a day's work.

Evelyn: Today was non-stop, and my eyes washed over with a foggy, unfocused sort of haze. (pause) Yep, it's a Blurry-Tired day... I even needed my "real" glasses so I could see people across the room - that only happens on TIRED days. A meal with friends to top off the evening, and hopefully quiet sleep is just at the top of my stairs...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Evelyn: Sand in my toes... that is all I have been wanting lately is sand in my toes. On Wednesday... just to drive, music blasting, hair flying, singing to my heart's content, the sun stroking my skin and warming me up. In many ways I love Florida, just for the water and sun and sand in my toes, and an afternoon without any responsibility other than making sure I get just enough sand and water to soothe my "runaway" urges.

Monica: We had just picked up our mail in Caspar when I saw some gorgeous flowers I wanted to photograph. Suddenly Michael was calling to me from the car, "Get over here with your camera!" and I heard the squeals of children getting nearer. There they were, three little girls piled into a motorized go-cart, laughing and screaming, arms waving as they flew over bumps and puddles. I remembered that unbridled joy of driving a bumper car or my dad's lawn mower, when I got to experience the thrill of handling a motorized vehicle. The sight made us both laugh. There's nothing quite like the laughter of children at play to make your day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Monica: I was writing daily for three months. Then I stopped. It's been niggling at me, this lengthening distance between the days of writing and the days of not writing. I feel a bit hopeless about my creative endeavors. I can't seem to move beyond the enormous resistance. I am tired of praying for that spark of passion to ignite, that burning urge to put my life down in words. I want to have faith in my own voice, my own vision. I want to have something to say. So I pick up the pen and start again.

Evelyn: There are so many lakes in Florida you almost wonder if there is more water than land. Sunsets have been spectacular, and I snuck out on a stranger's deck on a Windermere lake to watch a few moments of the sunset, a warm breeze brushing back my hair and whispering in my ear that there are all kinds of places to run away to.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Evelyn: Rainbow makers and hysterics. Sitting among 7 women, all honest and lively, talking about nakedness and freedom, silly adventures and glorious dreams, earnest plans and candle-lite creativity, until the laughter broke through my belly with authentic tearful vivacity, so ambitious, I felt filled and spent in one deep rolling chortle.

Monica: Michael walked with me down to the bluffs this evening to watch the sunset. As we made our way homeward, we passed a couple in matching blue jackets, then another couple in matching black jackets. I looked down and noticed we were both wearing matching green jackets.  That cracked me up. I would have loved to have been able to photograph the bird's eye view of three pairs of humans in their matching jackets, hiking the bluffs at sunset. Instead, I photographed the forget-me-nots (again) that catch my eye every time I pass them. They are smaller than my pinky nail but they stand out, for each flower varies in color from the one next to it. Various shades of pink, blue, purple, and white with yellow or white centers.  Such variation creates a stunning overall effect when you see a patch of them.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Selective Focus

Monica: The days are getting longer and the light has noticeably changed. Gone is that golden winter light that I love so much. I'm not complaining. I love the longer days, the brighter sun, and the slightly warmer weather. Today I caught a patch of sunlight hitting the flowering cherry tree in the middle of the driveway. I decided only to take my Lensbaby on my photo walk today and got some lovely shots. I love how the cherry tree looks like an explosion of blossoms. Within a couple of weeks, these blooms will be gone and the tree will be greening up for summer.

Evelyn: Justin has been having weekly pow-wow's with one of his Rubix's idols. They sit for hours, discussing, analyzing, teaching, blind solving, inventing, breaking down, and solving cubes. I am blown away at the mere fact that they can spend 4+ hours doing this, AND tonight I had to prod them to wrap it up (the mall was closing for the night). The focus and intensity of their discussions, which sound like a foreign language to me - include terms like algorithm, primes, sub-primes, and coded directions - make my head spin. AND I love the level of learning that bounces back and forth at the table, like a ping-pong ball, between a math professor and a complete math-minded teen.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lighting the Way

Evelyn: I don't get to go to Home Depot enough, but this weekend was a series of little fixes. I finally have batteries in the smoke detectors, the new dishwasher is at long last re-anchored and steady, and my favorite fix is the new dryer vent that means I won't have flammable dust bunnies filling every crevice in my garage. Home Depot lights the way for all those "amusing" little projects... and sometimes it is beguiling to just meander the aisles and think of all the other things that need adjustments in my life.

Monica: It's half past ten p.m. and I hear the water running in the bathtub. Suddenly I remember that I haven't even looked at my camera today and the day is nearly over. I wait for him to settle into the hot water with his book, and like a paparazzi, I peer around the corner with my camera, snapping away. It amazes me how tolerant he is of my shutterbugging, even in the midst of relaxing in the tub with a philosophy book. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Move over, Gizmo...

Monica:'ve got competition. [Gizmo is Evelyn's mini-dachsund and the absolute favorite in the family.]

Evelyn: Sometimes it feels good to know someone has your back. Sometimes it feels good knowing your are not alone, that support is available, that everything will be just fine. Sometimes I simply get giddy over shiny stuff.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nature's Orgasms

Evelyn:  I swear - I think flowers are mother nature's orgasms.

Monica: The trillium is blooming on the Staircase trail, shades of white and pink and yellow like starbursts. Or orgasms...  ;-P

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sudden Critters

Monica: We have an unofficial farm cat that I've named Delilah. She's wild, but we see her nearly every day someplace on the property. I watch her  pseudo-stalking the turkeys in the lower meadow in the morning or checking out the compost pile in the late afternoon. She's pretty skittish and won't let anyone get within 20 feet of her. But this morning when I got up and peeked out the office door, there she was, comfortably snoozing in a shady patch of grass next to our car. And she was only about 10 feet away. Within seconds of hearing my camera shutter click, she was off again. She turned once at the top of the stairs to glare at me for disturbing her little nap.

Evelyn: It caught my attention, glimmering in the sunshine, waves rolling it like a shiny bag every few moments. I am curious about the creatures our ocean holds, and confused as to why, certain times of year, I find these jellyfish picking up sand on the shore. Beneath the bulbous top was a glimmering, colorful world, and for a moment I wondered what all she had seen before she landed here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Evelyn: And he emerged... little cactus man, from the depths of her center, swimming up for a breath. She reached to bring him back in, but he would not imagine it, he could not fathom it, he stood instead exhausted and defiant against her red and white temptations. Standing on the precipice, he stretched out his arms to embrace his experience, weep over what remained of their entanglement, and celebrate the beauty of what they had created. [Amaryllis with hidden arachnid.]

Monica: We got up just before 6:00 a.m. in order to beat the rush-hour traffic into San Francisco on the way to the airport. I parked the car and accompanied her all the way to the security checkpoint, where we lingered till the last possible moment, hating to say goodbye. When she finally disappeared into the terminal beyond, I headed for home. As I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, I glanced at the clock and saw that her plane would be taking off in two minutes. I decided to pull over at the scenic area just north of the bridge to take in the view of the city. It was such a beautiful, clear, sunny California morning. A morning to break the heart of anyone leaving home, not knowing when she will return again. I visualized a blue bubble of safety around her plane and blew a kiss to the tiny planes taking off in the distance. One of them was hers. Farewell, my friend. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Friendship & Splinters

Monica: I am so thankful for the five precious days of girl time we shared, which was the most time we've had together since 2005 when she visited me in Tucson. In college, we road-tripped our way across the western states several times, and later spent six weeks backpacking across Europe. When I got out of the Peace Corps, she joined me for three weeks of travel in Thailand and Bali.  Then life happened: we got "real" jobs, got married, bought homes. Now we live on opposite coasts, on opposite shores. And it has become harder to make time for just the two of us. So this week has been a gift for both of us. Five days of long talks and moments of sacred silence. Five days of laughter and tears and sharing. Five days to reconnect and pay tribute to our nearly 20-year friendship.

Evelyn: For the longest time I have held a subconscious awareness, or perspective, that life was filled with a series of injuries, little splinters that would fester and irritate the skin of my being in an unseen and powerless sort of way. Part of making my way has been the process of recognizing the splinters, and making sense of the chafing beliefs moving beneath them. Then, in a moment of quiet, tender, gentle appreciation I had a whole new sensation, a moment in which a fragment was cleared, and the warm, tearful relief when my skin was absolved of that festering pressure and left to heal... feeling soothed - accepted - loved - appreciated. I hadn't realized the pain beneath that splinter, how deeply seeded it had been, until it was coaxed out and left there. Seems I am having a series of splinters removed lately, and though the anxiety that ruminates in my space as I learn new ways of connecting with myself and others isn't always pleasant, the relief of coming to a new acumen, of seeing myself and others with fresh compassion, of being handled with regard and love, is a passage to healing and forgiveness. I have such gratitude for that splinter, both for the lessons it has taught me, and without it, I would not have known the relief, the awareness, the joy, or even the tenderness that follows on its withdrawal.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dimples & Wings

Evelyn: Some days I simply can not pick which picture I want. I was hit with numerous amazing visions and once I had one picked another photo opportunity burst at me so that I scrambled to grab the camera again. We had just closed up the house to keep out the mosquitoes and looking down at the living room window I discovered a small dragonfly who had gotten himself caught in the house. Translucent wings with glowing orange-brown patterns beamed at me between lacy veins under the macro lens, all calling for one more picture... one more view close up, of a world I typically don't get to see.

Monica: She still gets carded in the checkout line at the grocery store. She has a gentleness that attracts children and animals to her. You would never guess the strength and power that reside under the surface of her innocent-looking facade. Her laughter is infectious. And she has the most adorable dimples.  

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Monica: This is what we do when we get together. Whether it's shop-hopping or scribbling in our journals, making art or sipping wine by the fire, there is an element of play in whatever we do together. There is seriousness, too, but mostly there is the joy of simply being in each other's presence.

Evelyn: Sun Salutation - Sitting on the docks of Lake Dora, finishing off ice cream and digesting a splendid burger, we conversed and connected. I could hear the drone and dance of bands sprinkled around Mt. Dora, offering serenades to patrons, the tunes bumping along on the water. I watched for quite some time while the anhingas, perched on the pilings, stretched under the last bits of warm sunlight. And there I sat, feeling in communion, as we all gazed at the lake, stretching our bodies and drinking in the fading colors, the lapping waves, and the serene, temperate breeze. 

Friday, April 1, 2011


Evelyn: Productivity, moving through my day from one task to the next, focused and determined. I took a moment when things settled to capture life on the lake. The storms had finally moved on and the entire day was bright and persuasive. It was unexpected to capture insects carrying on their busy-ness among the wildflowers, like me, focused and determined, making progress. 

Monica: I'm a bit distracted right now, as my best friend from college, Sativa, is visiting for a few days. Right now it's talk, talk, talk and laugh, laugh, laugh. And a picture of the poppies that weren't here along the roadside yesterday, but they're here today.