Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Knitting for Health

A total knee replacement requires time to heal. There isn't much I can do except plenty of Physical Therapy exercises plus the things I really enjoy doing (like reading e-books on my Kindle, controlling my email and knitting up a storm). I ordered some orange-red cashmere/mohair yarn and set about planning what to make from this softly delicious resource. After going through my stash of patterns and perusing hundreds of online possibilities I settled on a simple cowl. I've never made one or wore one and never needed one until the thought of a cashmere/mohair cowl warming my neck on walks around the house convinced me to knit one. Honestly, this yarn was as wonderful to work with as it was to look at. I quickly finished knitting my cowl and put it on for the first time on Tuesday. Excellent, excellent choice for a knitter in recovery. I highly recommend a small project like this as the cool spring temperatures turn quickly warm.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Eclipse 2017

It was dusk from the bottom up 
the landscape
iridescent over
dark hues of normal.

Everything stopped breathing
or breathing just enough
all that was.

Sound was gone
the song of the goldfinch
the chirp of the cicada
the neighbor cutting wood.

The garden
jewels on a queens robe
lit up visibly by the
brilliance of a diamond ring.

At night
in the middle of day
on the prairie within
the eye of God.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Equinox: Fall

The first days of fall feel like breaths of fresh air with cool splashes of morning swirled within. The thermostat set at 55° fires up the heat throughout our cottage of a house and later as the afternoon sun tops 80° air conditioned coolness circles the rooms within – this surely is equinox – a startling play between warm and cool – between noon and long shadows across late afternoon lawns kissing the chrysanthemums into evening.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

2017 ARTS Unity Gallery Show

The ARTS group at Unity Temple on the Plaza displayed their 2017 work in exhibition during the month of August. All ten participating artists showed their work and the overall collection of was fantastic!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Equinox: Spring

Equinox balance –
a midpoint between
winter and summer
dark and light
cold and warm. The
color green.
Inconsistent personality
moves through
stable and storm
peace and upheaval.
Middle comes – wherein
lies placid and thunder –
silence and howling –
chirping and gray –
explosive color
between joy and
perilous journey.  
Change between the
frozen of stop and the
agitation of go –
between dependence of
known and independence of
flow. Dance into
the spring of life with
armloads of daffodils.
Wake in the morning
with rain clouds of
drizzle. Everything equal,
everything the same in a
12 x 2 twenty four hour day. 
Equinox: the church door
we walk through – the faith
we hang onto --
the string of a balloon
aching for release into
the newness of radiant
skies in March.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Poem: Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

Words fall from the sky
again     only summer is here and
the sun sets stunningly at orange-
red     the mountains vanish in
violet gray light and bring a
sense of stability to the horizon
on the night of solstice frivolity

in celebration of the longest day
full of sun and song     we sit on the
same porch we looked out upon six
long months ago     then holiday
lights streamed through the trees in
neighborhood yards     tonight candles
flicker on glass topped tables and
the drinks are cold     as we watch
the setting of the blazing sun.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

At Long Last

It has been about six months since my back surgery and during that time my creative muse didn't come to visit. I have tried to write a poem or design a WordLayers print but, sadly, results were non-existent -- until Wednesday! On Wednesday, I came upstairs with the clear intention of making art and wanting to use pink and red art markers to make a design similar to the one I did last year titled  "Winter Solstice." Rather than the blues used to make the winter scene the pinks were calling to me and urging me to rummage through and find all shades of pink and red pens squirreled away among the jars along the art table in my studio. I had a pad of fine marking pen paper to use for "serious" artwork . . . so it went on the table, a blank page facing up. Finally, I selected one pen and swirled it around on the paper and then another and another, etc. The look of the colors nearly matched the intention and then, it was finished and ready to be scanned into the computer for design on the screen where I played with the various layers of color by cutting and pasting, cropping and moving layer by layer on the same screen until all the pieces fell into place. Then came the text; a poem was needed. The next day I wrote a poem and began to fit text onto the various color layers. It took a couple of days before Summer Solstice was complete and ready to take to the art printer across town where it sits today. I can hardly wait to see it on canvas and then to the framer. Soon there will be a new WordLayers hanging in my studio . . . a sign of post surgery success and gratitude.
A cut of the original

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Knitting 365 Days

Last year, on my birthday, I started a project of knitting the high temperature for each day of 2016. I followed the color wheel by designating a specific color of yarn for every ten degrees. For example: 60 - 69 degrees is Yellow; 70 - 79 is Orange; 80 - 89 is Pink and so on. The finished piece is approximately 10" wide by 10' long and could be a wall hanging or an interesting scarf for myself that clearly demonstrates the four seasons in Kansas City. It also signifies 365 days of knitting through my life experiences. Being one who keeps a daily journal, I now have a record color as well as of activity. I wanted to begin another year for comparison of seasonal temperatures but have since decided on knitting another temperature project in five years in order to visually compare the weather patterns five years apart. I have named this project, "My Seventieth Year."

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Leonard Cohen

                                                                      1933 - 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016

After the Election: When times are uncertain

When times are uncertain, difficult, fearful, full of change,
they become the perfect place to deepen the practice of awakening.
After viewing the elections…whatever your point of view,
Take time to quiet the mind and tend to the heart.
Then go out and look at the sky.
Remember vastness, there are seasons to all things,
gain and loss, praise and blame, expansion and contraction.
Learn from the trees.
Practice equanimity and steadiness.
Remember the timeless Dharma amidst it all.
Think of the best of human goodness.
Let yourself become a beacon of integrity, with your thoughts, words and deeds.
Integrity in speech and action, virtue and non harming bring blessings.
Remember the Noble truths, no matter the politics or the season:
Greed, hatred and ignorance cause suffering. Let them go.
Love, generosity and wisdom bring the end of suffering. Foster them.
Remember the Buddha’s counsel,
“Hatred never ends by hatred but by love alone is healed.
This is the ancient and eternal law.”
The human heart has freedom in itself to choose love, dignity and respect.
In every circumstance, embody respect and cultivate compassion for all.
Let yourself become a beacon of Dharma.
Amidst the changes, shine with courage and trust.
This is your world. Plant seeds of goodness
and water them everywhere.
Then blessings will grow for yourself and for all.

Jack Kornfield  

Friday, November 4, 2016

Baseball Victories and Life Stories

Image from Chicago Tribune
The Cubs won the World Series! -- the first World Series win for them since 1908 -- 10th inning win after rain delay -- persistence! From the NY Times: "Game 7, which began on Wednesday night, carried into Thursday morning and seemed to end all to soon." Ben Zobrist, a KC Royal last year when the Royals won the World Series, was the 2016 Series MVP. "The Cubs did not so much beat the Indians as survive them." I guess this is a goal to set for myself -- to start talking surviving this back surgery. The latest x-ray showed that at least one screw they put in to stabilize my spine is loose because my bone growth is not functioning up to snuff. So, yesterday I was fitted with a belt that has a band of copper wires that are battery charged. This bone growth stimulator has been proven, in many cases, to actually upstart bone growth. I was not happy to receive the news of slow growth but I must now be highly grateful for the existence of such solutions as my bone growth stimulator.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Two Chairs in the Garden

by Jack Ridl

The obligatory nap has disappeared / into the light that falls after 4pm. / It is time // for the sweet blue of cornflower, / the muted p
alette of mums. This / is something I love: the season // between seasons. I feel at home / within this turning, summer's heat / dwindling into the mellow nowhere // of sixty-five degrees. Cold coming. This / space with no particular demand, no / order to cultivate or repair, no wood // to bring in, no seed to plant, no need / to hope. Just here, in a safe hint / of later: cool inhale, the gentle // clatter of acorns on the porch roof, / the chattering argument of squirrels. / There is a certain stillness in this small world, // the light lying across each unshaded / petal, rock, branch, the faded paint flaking / like haiku from the two chairs in the garden.

Friday, October 28, 2016

New Path

We have a new front walkway up to our house and it looks way out of place with the existing sidewalk and the house itself. The stones look old and rough but they are really new and smooth. My hope is that the newness settles to normal. Change is difficult. Most times, I want the good of the old -- the way it used to be. Most times, I want to pull the past forward with all its flaws and cracks -- pull the past forward over the present moment into the future. It doesn't work that way. The present includes the new and then as more present moments pass the old new is what is. I trust that our new walkway will grow in character with each passing day --  with more footsteps, rain and snow, a bit of lavender, a few day lilies and a pine.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


I thought about just sitting on the front porch watching the day go by for there is much to say about light. The travel of the sun's radiance can be traced by following shadows moving through the foliage of the large oak onto the green lawn below. The rhythmic accompaniment of acorns falling on the wood deck underscores autumn's arrival.  I think I'll play this day through as my back straightens and pain subsides. I will write and draw and read. Rather than putting life "on hold," recovery from surgery may have set a new standard for living a life of contentment. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

. . . and it was autumn

The world is quiet as recovery continues in mid-September with long green shadows at ten in the morning and long blue shadows after four in the afternoon. The light changes quickly while the temperatures moderate between lows of fifty-five and highs of eighty-nine. Each day the sun moves south and I feel a bit stronger. Each day I take my walk around the house surfing door knobs and moldings around the doors and shiny tops of walnut tables. Each day the picture outside my framed window changes like chapters in a novel as the story narrates itself in a clean, clear soft voice -- I look up into the simply now -- shades of rose,  yellow, green and blue.

"I went to sleep in the summer
 I dreamed of rain

 in the morning the fields were wet
 and it was autumn" . . . from September by Linda Pastan

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Music of Sound

I keep asking myself, "Don't you want music? Try some of the jazz you downloaded last week or the classical on your ipod." As I push my walker around the house during a slow recovery from back surgery the porch door remains open. The song of early September crickets filters in on the sounds of rustling leaves and the beginning of evening traffic on 75th Street. I can't imagine how any recorded music (even Keith Jarrett at Carnegie Hall) can top the live performance of right now . . . late afternoon as fall shadows begin to drop and march to the edge of our cool brick driveway.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Listening to Chopin while waiting for ice cubes to freeze in the freezer and for the surgeon to call. It is 100 degrees outside at 1:57 pm -- Nocturne in C Sharp Minor. How is waiting done when you don't die of boredom or go nuts from the replaying of thoughts heard only in your mind? -- Piano Sonata No. 3: Largo. I have a friend who invented the solution of "graphite therapy." Pick up a pencil and draw something. Look in front of you and draw it. So, I did. A pot of blue Periwinkles. And, do I feel better? Why, yes I do . . . I do indeed. So this is my blog entry today and now it is 101 and the ice cubes are slush and no one has called. I wait and draw something, anything and it is 4:12 pm -- Prelude in D Flat Major.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mulberry Silk

I finished the silk shawl. It is made from cream-white slubbed silk yarn (woven in Bangkok, Thailand) that runs thick (as a pencil) and thin (as a pin). It is on the back of the futon across the room and looks lovely draping in elegant folds of luxury. The experience of knitting a fat lump of silk and watching it dwindle to the size of sewing thread was a fascinating process. Focus, it is all focus and nothing happens outside of this moment suspended between thick and thin.