i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Did you forget you are going to die one day?

Today I read Section B, page 4 in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Funeral Announcements. I knew what the page was before I read the headline. Photographs centered over one column width, bold names flush left.  Dead people: Robert, adored grandfather of ten, Miriam, beloved wife of the late Alfred, James, beloved husband of Beverly. I forgot that I’m going to […]

It doesn’t matter how fast you ride your bike down a hill —

My friend and I were at the top of a steep hill on our bikes. She went first. She went down the hill with her hands raised high over her head; she didn’t touch her handlebars or her brakes. I wanted to ride my bike down the hill with my hands over my head like […]

To live as an open beamed ceiling

The ceiling in the office building was open; the beams were exposed, the wiring was visible. The ceiling was honest, it wasn’t hiding behind drywall and plaster. As if the ceiling was saying, “Here I am. This is me.” The ceiling was willing to be vulnerable. We start life as an open beamed ceiling, and […]

Leave room in your day for joy and flowers

This year I wasn’t going to plant flowers in the flower beds in the front yard. This growing season I was only going to work on my writing and painting. There was no time in my day to plant flower seeds.   I forgot about flowers until I went to the hardware store to buy […]

Blowing birthday kisses to my mom

Today is my mother’s birthday. I woke up with the sun, hoping to see the shadow of the moon from last night. “Moon, will you take my birthday kisses to my mom?” It is raining. I can’t see the moon. The moon can’t see me. Maybe a rain cloud can deliver my kisses? My mom […]

An early morning walk to remember to breathe

This morning Annie and I went for a walk. We watched the sun come up. Somehow, I forgot how to breathe. The slow kind of breathing, where you are not worried about a deadline. The kind of breathing where you have time to walk your dog and watch the sun come up. We left the […]

How to overcome the stupid comments people make about your art

stencil (1)

In 2002, on a hot day in July,  I drove from my home, on 719 East Jessamine Avenue, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to the Fine Art Building at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on 1265 Snelling Avenue in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I was driving to the art building to drop off a painting I was going […]

When your life is like a radish seed that was planted too close together

The radish seeds that we planted two weeks ago have sprouted. The seeds were planted too close together. If the seedlings aren’t thinned out the radishes won’t have any room to grow. When your life is like a radish seed that was planted too close together. Each radish seed has the potential to grow into a […]

How to water a dream like you water a sugar snap pea seed

A few weeks ago I planted sugar snap pea seeds in the front yard. Every day I go outside to see if the seeds have sprouted. The information on the package said we could harvest the peas in sixty-five days. Our dreams need water just like the sugar snap peas do. Then I realized we won’t […]

Dear Mother on the highway texting with your baby in the back-seat

The black car almost side-swiped me. The tires of the black four-door sedan crossed the orange line and they were partially in my lane. Dear Mother on the highway texting with your baby in the backseat, put down your phone. Dear Mother, I saw you today, 2:38 PM, on Highway 422 West. You were driving […]