I began 2023 with a near panic attack in a hot yoga class (not my first but one I couldn’t work my way through) and after making a less than graceful premature exit, stumbling over sweaty bodies and into the cold night time air, I heard the most beautiful song on the radio as I drove home, “Oas” by Dina Ögon. I know nothing about her (nor how to link to it for you, but it is on Itunes) other than on that night in early January I was able to slow my heart rate, take deep breaths, and know that I was going to be ok because of her voice. It was truly awesome how quickly listening to a piece of music and feeling the cold air were able to shift my insides from fear and anxiety to awe.


noun) a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.

If ever there was a word to sum up life on earth, this is it. Reverential respect mixed with fear and wonder. That is why I started this blog ten years ago this month (ten years?!) and what has kept me writing since then. I needed and need a place to put that fear and wonder, somewhere to note beauty otherwise overlooked and anxiety that can run amuck if left unexamined. And, have you noticed? Awe is having a moment.

Within the past month I read about its benefits in the New York Times Wellness section and listened to that NYT article’s author Dacher Keltner discuss it on the On Being podcast. (I highly recommend both). In his interview in the On Being podcast, Keltner lists the eight types of awe which he and fellow researchers discovered while interviewing people about their experiences with awe; moral beauty, collective effervescence, nature, music, visual design, spirituality and religion, life and death, and epiphany. What stood out to me in listening to him speak, was the communal aspect of awe. It is about being part of something bigger than us, something that reminds us of our humanity and of the human web we are naturally a part of because we just are. I have not read his book yet, “Awe- The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life,” but look forward to reading it!

The morning after my hot yoga class meltdown, on the advice of the friend I had been with, whose mental and physical health regimen I admire, I joined a cheap gym and began going daily. It has been a game changer. 30 minutes. That’s it; enough to get blood, sweat, and energy to move and flow. I have joined gyms in the past and made myself go, but I never looked forward to it like I do now. And bonus! There are so many podcasts! I am late to the game with podcasts, but they have become part of my morning routine. In addition to the On Being podcast, I am enamored with We Can Do Hard Things, Dressed, All There Is, and several others. Stories, Growth, History, Grief, Fashion, all things that remind me how much we have in common.

One of the funny things about awe is how easy it actually becomes to feel the more present one is. The reasons are everywhere. We are amazing and though it is easy to get bogged down in an anxious and depressed narrative, it is just as easy to snap out of it by looking around and seeing all that we are capable of and surrounded by; that beautiful building, the first buds of spring, her scarf, the song on the radio, my dog’s wagging tail, that person helping another cross the street, your neighbor’s strange yard art, the epiphany that finally comes, and the movie that makes you laugh and then cry.


What If?

My mascot for 2023- curiosity wearing a flower hat befriended by a butterfly.

I’m having a hard time coming up with my word for 2023 so, as I often do, I sit with scissors and glue stick and start to cut images and words out of magazines. I do this throughout the year, but really love to see what happens at the end of December when that week between Christmas and New Years challenges us to look both forward and back, to both dream of what’s to come and try to make sense of what just happened.

My most recent go at this exercise, though not finished, ends up full of flowers, snails crawling on cars and funny, smiling faces. It does not give me a clear answer or direction but rather points me towards fun, creativity, and nonsense; a journey rather than a destination.

I think if anything about 2022 was learned it’s that life is hard and weird and it’s always best to see the adventure and curiosity side of what could only otherwise be described as a terrifying human trip on a small planet hurdling through space.

I just listened to an astrology podcast that said 2023 will be the year of “What if..?” And, it’s our choice which direction we want to go with that question. What if it all falls apart? OR What if it’s all better than I can imagine? What if everything works out? What if my wildest dreams come true?

Blessings for a peaceful, joyful, fun, creative, and adventurous 2023!

Closed For Winter


I love a winter beach.

Closed For Season
Sitting Pretty
Dressed Up 🎄💡

I love the off season. Just as beautiful. But, empty. Cold. No leaves allows for a better view. Wool socks. Wear your hat. People surf the Atlantic in winter, wow. The sun sets earlier here. Than out west. Cardinals against white are very red. Beauty. The Cape.

Wild Times

It’s wild out there!

I just landed back in New Orleans for one week, ending the year where it began. It’s warm and humid and there’s a Saint’s game and an eclipse and an election and it feels wired!!

I had no idea some people get so dressed up for football games; gold and black sequins, stilettos, and lots of purple mixed in. Tailgating under the 10 freeway, steak houses full, and sidewalk daiquiris spill over. Let the good times roll.

My room is on the 19th floor and after finding a quiet place to eat dinner, I snuck back, overwhelmed by the frenzy and still fighting the cold I caught two weeks ago. I have a view of both the moon and the Mississippi River, though I hope to be asleep when they both fall into the earth’s shadow late tonight.

What a time to be alive.

I voted by mail two weeks ago and have proceeded to mostly tune out the media since then. I feel optimistic and scared at the same time, the PTSD of 2016 is real. Tonight I will say a prayer and try to let it go, trusting that we are exactly where we are meant to be regardless of the hoopla.

Tomorrow I’ll eat beignets, drink chicory coffee, and enjoy this strange city and the fact that I get to be here again, in all its sultry chaos.


Peachtree Lake, Georgia

It’s pretty here, prettier than I imagined it would be, with rolling hills, lots of little lakes, and so many trees it’s hard to see where any of the towns are. Last weekend was sunny and warm, this one grey and rainy, but both pretty in their way. Fall is just reaching its peak, leaves are red, pink and orange with only the occasional gold I’m more familiar with; hardwoods rather than aspen and cottonwood.


I haven’t been on the road for work in a while and am slowly remembering how to live with a mini fridge, microwave, and on too little sleep. It won’t be a long job, those days might be behind me, but five weeks feels long enough.

I imagined having the energy to go explore small towns and thrift stores on my day off but am too tired when Sunday comes and I forgot how closed small southern towns are on Sundays. Church and Jesus are a thing here.

Though being on the road is difficult in many ways, there is also something about waking up in a town I would likely never otherwise be with a day to explore, all while getting paid, that I still love. Today began with blueberry pancakes, sitting at the counter of a diner near the hotel, cheap coffee and college football on tv. College football, like church, is a thing here. So are biscuits, for which I am eternally grateful.

Witches on Paddle Boards


My dad started growing zinnias this summer; rows and rows of zinnias. And now he has so many that each morning he cuts enough to fill a 5 gallon bucket and brings flowers to whomever he sees throughout the day. He tells me he can’t believe how happy it makes people. I think that is the best thing I’ve heard in a long time.

Beauty in a bucket

Today I was the recipient:) Thank you, babbo!




I must come up for an idea for a printmaking class I’m taking tomorrow and I just drew the saddest little grasshopper you’ve ever seen. He’s looking up at me from the pages of my notebook like “ really, that’s all you’ve got?” After all of the amazing, inspirational printmaking studios (tallers) you visited today, that’s it?


I am in Oaxaca, Mexico, after somewhat spontaneously deciding to join my mom (a printmaker) on a printmaking tour and workshop (facilitated by @juliannakerwin). It’s been almost 20 years since I was last in Oaxaca and even longer since I carved a piece of linoleum or wood in a printmaking class.

Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Oaxaca

I spend the first two days, before the tour starts, reacquainting myself with the food, smells, markets, and sites of Oaxaca, of which there are so many! The historic center of town is jammed with galleries, studios, restaurants, shops, and parks, with a fair amount of Americans but not as many as some other places. There are plenty of opportunities to practice Spanish and plenty of menus not yet translated which yield regular surprises- like last night’s dinner of small plantains in mole; I thought the plantains were just a part of the meal, not the whole thing. They were delicious! Chapulines (crickets) are served as snacks everywhere. Dried and covered in salt, chocolate or lime and chile, I avoided them 20 years ago but eat them freely now because, why not? They are the reason behind my attempt to draw a grasshopper for tomorrow’s class.

Benito Juárez Mercado

I don’t remember seeing as much printmaking in Oaxaca in 2003, so I Google it to learn more about its history here. In 2006 there was a massive statewide teacher strike that turned violent and around that time print shops sprang up to create large scale and large quantities of prints in support of the teachers. Oaxaca is a politically active state and being one of the poorest states in Mexico, has ample reason to protest ongoing inequalities and corruption. Many of the printmaking studios have had a direct relationship with these protests while others have gone more of a fine art route but what seems clear is that there is great support for the art form, in all its forms, from the community.

La Máquina Taller- Lithography Press from 1909, moved from Paris to Oaxaca in 2016. One of 26 left in world.
The entrance to Taller Subterráneos
Prints, like these printed at Subterráneos, are pasted to the walls of buildings all over the center of town using wheat paste.
Diaspora Negra de Mexico-


What a day!

I attempt to bring my little surfing cricket to life and I won’t know until tomorrow how he turned out. Our teacher is lovely and sets us up with materials, tools, and directions in his front courtyard.

After working on our own projects we tour more studios; some master printers who print for world famous artists and others who bring their presses into the literal streets, supply materials, and help anyone who walks up make a print. Both versions are awesome.

Courtyard of Taller Bambu


I ink my plate and lay it face up on the press and lay a piece of cotton paper gently over it. Our teacher, Federico Valdez (@federico_valdez_art), guides us through the process until we each end up with three little prints of our own.

Surfing Cricket

After finishing our prints we wind through the hills outside of Oaxaca City, through beautiful Etla, in search of a paper factory that ends up being closed. As keeps happening, someone knows someone who knows someone and we end up in the studio of an amazing paper maker (and human) Roberto Valenzuela of Papel Oaxaca. He was a biologist, dismayed at the environmental impact that paper production had on the planet and decided to begin making paper from agave, banana leaves, and multiple other natural fibers. He is a dear!

Papel Oaxaca

Now it is Sunday night. It is raining outside and I fly home tomorrow. I feel so much gratitude for the inspiration this art form, trip, city, workshop, and country have given me. I can’t wait to return to Oaxaca, but in the meantime I am excited to practice some of what I’ve learned back in New Mexico .




Soaking up the humid air, sandy feet, and salty skin before we return to the desert. Lobster, ice cream, bagels; luckily accompanied by long bike rides, walks, and swims.

Relaxing isn’t my go-to state. It takes me at least a week to sink in and let the mental lists go. Some part of me has a hard time ending a day without having something to show for it. So, the “something” must shift. Today I finished one novel, am almost done with two more, played and lost Monopoly, watched some birds and squirrels, and biked into town.

I think about those backyard birds and squirrels and how they spend their lives; eat, poop, sleep, try not to die, procreate, repeat, die. They don’t appear idle, nor do they seem overly anxious or concerned, until a hawk appears. Life is what it is. Neither good nor bad.

Cape Cod

The grass is brown around the edges in Cape Cod and people dig through garages for rarely used sprinklers and hoses. Coming from the West, it’s hard to call it a drought, but the plants are undeniably crunchier than usual. Moderate, not severe, according to a map of droughts covering the USA.

On a quick trip to Martha’s Vineyard, a woman points the beach plums out to us. In August they turn dark red and, after cutting the seeds out, are ready to eat or turn into jam. We are too early but try them anyway, they are sour and hard.

I download a birdsong app on my phone and it quickly picks out sparrows, cardinals, a goldfinch, and cowbird. I’m reading the novel Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy, about a woman in the near future following the last flock of Arctic terns on their final migration to Antarctica, after most other birds have gone extinct. So far, it is great! But, it has me thinking as I walk and bike by low lying houses, beach plums, and seagulls.. how beautiful and fragile we all are and dependent on a precarious balance.

There is rain in the forecast. There is also humidity in the air and so many green trees. Drought seems a relative term.