Monthly Archives: July 2018


“monarchs and milkweed”
photo and painting by Natasha

I finished the last brush stroke on this painting of monarch butterflies and milkweed yesterday and stepped outside a few minutes later to see my first actual monarch of the summer. She fluttered around the two milkweed plants we have planted in our city backyard and then flew up and over our small house to explore the blue sky beyond. It was like the painting had come alive. Like her beautiful wings were born of acrylic paint, brushstrokes, and patience and upon completion she was lifted from the canvas and set free.

The experience made me think. About how the art we create is like a spell, like a net we weave and then cast into the wider world, a net that brings our imaginings home to us, a net that breathes our wildest wonderings into being.

We are all great mothers and fathers of creation, storytellers, charged with the immense challenge of explaining all we see here, all we experience. The twin dogs of life and death are forever yipping at our heels, wanting our attention. Here, in this story we create. There, in that story, we destroy. They lick our hands with their slobbery tongues, begging for more than we are willing to give.

Which dog will we nourish and which will we starve? And how do we choose, when the truth is, the first breath and last breath look so much the same?

Everywhere, there is something to read, to see. The furrows in the tree bark, the raccoon track on the shore, the clouds making their way lazily across the sky. Everything sings. The birds, the cicadas, the whales, the sea itself, the mountains, the rocks, the deserts, the sand, even us.

Draw a circle in the earth and throw the old bones into it, see where they fall. What do you see there?

What mark will you leave on this cool, green earth?

Thank you for listening,



It must not be as complicated as they’d have us believe.

Or there couldn’t be so much pleasure found in such mundane things.

The sun and the wind.

The birds in their nests.

Each day new in a cycle as old as the earth herself.

Distraction is their game. Distraction pits neighbor against neighbor, mother against son, brother against sister. An endless news cycle meant to separate us from the hands we used to hold. There is so much distance here. It echoes.

We are lonely. Lonesome. Craving skies filled with stars and the curling tendrils of galaxies where instead streetlights blot out the sky.

There is so much here that we cannot see. No wonder we are wandering, lost. We’ve forgotten more than we’ve ever had the chance to believe.

Cover your ears when they tell you this is all you get in this life. That this is all you deserve. Close your eyes when they come to you peddling their wares. They are charlatans. Magicians. Their offerings glitter but they are empty inside, hollow, or worse even than that. Pinch yourself. Dig your toes into the cool earth beneath your feet and Resist.

There are mountains here. And valleys. Rivers as wide as they are long, underground caves dripping with minerals, ancient forests, endless oceans with land slowly drifting above.

There are currents here. Of wind, of water. Of fire.

Undercurrents. Of living, breathing, wild life.


What we are. What we must remember how to be.

Thank you for listening,

photo by natasha