Saturday, July 02, 2011


Today I saw Amma again, and my heart is so full of love and the longing to share it. To love in an empowered way. Not codependent. Not self-sacrificing to the point of pain or depletion. How does one love others as oneself... That blissful balance. The scales of Libra. The precise arrow of Capricorn. Come, Venus, bless this longing of mine with a seashell full of ocean water. Love to one and all, all and one.

Friday, January 30, 2009


How absolutely thrilled I am to share this illustrated prose-poem with you... Thank you Maira Kalman for your genius and whimsy.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Delightful. And the perfect gift. For $18 it's yours on Etsy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


So I whipped out the Christmas music this morning. I love returning to it every year. And among the high angelic strains (I LOVE choir music), I found the African song Bethelehmu. The lyrics go "Where was Christ born? In Bethlehem, surely he was born in Bethlehem." I LOVE this thing. It's madness. It's the opposite of everything you've ever heard, unless you grew up in Africa or listen to much African music. It gets me going so much that I find myself dancing without realizing I started. And they're very much first-chakra moves. Not dainty. The kind of dancing it provokes is rough & real. It's all about the earth, and you find yourself moving powerfully and boldly to it. The clip is by the Men's Chorus of my alma mater, BYU, and if anyone would like I can send you a clean mp3 of it. What's some of your favorite Christmas music?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Make it yourself

My favorite, and easiest, handmade, and homemade, ok enough commas, gift is a salt body scrub. You can also make a sugar body scrub, but there's enough sugar in the world today, plus the minerals in salt are absorbed through the skin and do the bod a lot of good. Especially magnesium. Mmmmm. The impeccable Martha Stewart has an impeccable recipe for a salt body scrub. But you don't need to fuss that much.

Here's what you do: Take some Epsom or sea salts, put them in a pretty jar, pour a few spoonfulls of olive oil (enough to coat the salt) and add a few drops of essential oil. You really don't need to measure. You can't get it wrong. Stir, close, and gift. Hurray!

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Pina Bausch is my favorite (by far) contemporary choreographer. She is German and only comes to the States once in a couple of years. I saw Néfès in 2006, which was similar to the clip above, and probably better, because it was quite a bit slower & more lyrical, inspired by Istanbul (imagine the possibilities...). This is the closest video I can find to convey the gorgeousness & lyricism of her work. You get lost. You leave yourself within the first notes and you hover over all this water and this frolicking. (Water onstage, indeed, then it dries up). A call to all New Yorkers: a new Pina Bausch production this week at BAM. The video will be on their site only for a couple of weeks - take a quick look.

And, to the same watery tune, Gaëtan taunting the waves earlier today in the South of France, with complete and utter abandon.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I can't believe it: no studio, no art director, no stylist, no makeup artist, no hair guy, nobody inhaling a nervous cigarette trying to pull this look together... Just children doing what they do so naturally, with ease and poise and with absolutely impeccable freedom, harmony and genius — for genius is born, not learned (and is related to "indigenous"). When I first discovered these I felt I was witnessing some of the greatest art the earth can offer. By that I mean the art of the makeup/styling, though the honor of seeing these glorious human beings is given to us by photographer Hans Silvester. A heartfelt thanks indeed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Andrew Harvey

I'd like to start off this new, open direction of my blog by introducing Andrew Harvey. He is a synthesis of many religions and wisdom traditions and an extremely passionate advocate for peace and religious understanding. I went to his New York lecture a couple of weeks ago and to say I was transfixed would be an understatement. He speaks with SO MUCH PASSION about love, God, the religious experience, peace, healing, and most of all: unity.

I've heard it said many times that we are all one. In biology & chemistry, we learn about conservation of energy, the cycle of a water drop from cloud to rain to river to sea to cloud. We know that an action has a reaction. That gravity is a constant force upon our bodies, though we're not aware of it. That telepathy is a proven phenomenon. That one degree of weather change causes a tremendous change in the biosphere. I was aware of all this. But I had never, until I heard Harvey that evening, realized the full extent of this oneness, especially our human oneness with the natural world. How much our spirit depends on the health of our environment. On how many species there are. On what the average temperature is in Sudan in the summer. I'll talk much more about this, but for now I'd like to invite you, if you have about an hour, to watch Andrew's lectures. He's far more mesmerizing pacing around a room rather than looking at one point the whole time, but this will fascinate you nonetheless.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

candle of the spirit

“Give me a candle of the Spirit, O God, as I go down into the deeps of my being. Show me the hidden things, the creatures of my dreams, the storehouse of forgotten memories and hurts. Take me down to the spring of my life, and tell me my nature and my name. Give me freedom to grow, so that I may become that self, the seed of which you planted in me at my making. Out of the deeps I cry to you, O God.”

Prayer at Night by Jim Cotter

Friday, August 15, 2008


today is the day that much of christianity celebrates the annunciation. so it's my name day :) as well as the 14th anniversary of me coming to america the beautiful. i'd also like to announce that i'm neglecting this beloved blog because i'm working on another! i'll post a link after i've fiddled with the html to a satisfactory point. meanwhile, blessings :)

Friday, June 13, 2008


You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

— David Whyte

Friday, June 06, 2008

LOVE book

I have spent hours and hours trying to find this book on amazon :) Last summer it was 4 hours through the keyword search "love"... You can imagine... 3,000 entries. But this is it. By Gian Vanni. I had it once and gave it away (the perfect thing to do with books you love). It's the most beautiful, joyful story, brilliantly illustrated, inspiring to children as well as adults. This is a coming home in many ways (and when you read the book, you'll know why).

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Dance of the Hours by Gaetano Previati :)
There is life even in the particles of time... There is life in the stones, in the fabric we wear, in the water we drink... May we take it and dance!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

These words:

Ever since happiness heard your name,
It has been running through the streets trying to find you.
And several times in the last week,
God himself has come to my door
So sweetly asking for your address,
Wanting the beautiful warmth of your heart's fire.


These are some of my favorite words. {Ah the DARING of that love!}
I've had a lot of signs of fire lately - I'm invited into renewal.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Fire Fairy by Dumasia Hufreesh
Fire and dance are inseparable. The ancient Bulgarians used to dance on burning coals. You can do that, supposedly, if you believe it won't burn you. But whether you dance on fire or watch fire dance, it is transformative. It grants the freedom to relax the heart. When things heat up, fear melts. Courage looms. From a tiny spark to a mesmerizing flame, each incandescence is like the sun, igniting a new passion. Bask in the radiance, gaze into the irresistible brilliance. See how every step of the way is illuminated.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

venus, grown up

This blog is usually a positive vibe zone, but something about the painting above struck me, and I want to share it. You see, Venus has already had her glory day; she has emerged virtuous and sparkling from the water – God's last, supreme creation. Here, a few mythical years later, her glory is begone. She is married to Mars, a willful and commanding presence, and she is subservient to him, in body and will. She is pressed under him, her foot and hand pinned down. Mars basks in his naked post-amorous bliss. Not even the faun's horn can stir him, while Venus looks on, troubled, feeling unseen. She has clothed herself for protection, searching his sleeping face for a sign of love. She is more naked than him... Completely vulnerable in her need for kindness. What a lesson...

Friday, April 11, 2008


may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

Friday, January 25, 2008

Best film in my book

Kar Wai Wong, In the Mood for Love
What moves me even more than the music is watching the characters make moral choices in an extremely immoral world. A profound film.

Numero 2

Bergman, Cries and Whispers
Not a happy movie this one, but moved me more than any other film I've ever seen. It's a bit disturbing at times, but oh so worth it. What Bergman has taught me, few other people have. Tak.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Numero 3

Tarkovsky, The Mirror
A film in which I feel so at home, so transparent, so cradled... Stalker and Nostalghia are similarly dreamy, honest and effulgent.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Numero 4

The Scent of Green Papaya
So serene and healing! A child looking at the world with eyes of wonder... A child who is a servant, is served in all her moments by the plants and birds that surround her. She reminds me that my lot is one thing, and how I see it – another... And everywhere, everywhere there is the possibility of wonder.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Numero 5

aaaah... mais biensûr!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night!
Blake knew about tigers, and he knew about angels
Other-world-liness all here for our sake,
as for the shepherds. (Merry Christmas)

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Watching this film, one feels in the palm of God's hand. Among all
the creatures, visible and invisible, that are there for us, guiding us, cheering us on. A gem of a film. If only we listened to all we perceive!
If only we believed all that we know.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


This is the kind of image that makes me think of TJMaxx. A tired image. Overused and homogenized. And ironically, these words describe Adam in this premortal gloria: he is pretty, but immovable. Weak and waiting. Lacking a spark. All he can do is lift a finger. But seen as a piece of art (or a piece of a piece of art), apart from the vases and logos and t-shirts that have been made from it, The Creation of Adam is a stroke of genius. A stroke like the touch that is about to enliven Adam. God, flowing and determined, is about to touch him: le moment heureux. We are holding our breath. And, if you double-click (a word Michelangelo would have loved), you'll see Eve, the most eager spectator, daring Adam to respond to the challenge. I want more of these electric moments! Preferably, moments where God, a man and a woman are involved!

Friday, November 09, 2007


Oh the rapture!!! I want a whole day of this!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


My beloved John the Beloved : ) Rendered in Dürer's steady hand, John wastes away in his mystical solace, shipwrecked, as it were, on the isle of Patmos. An eagle comforts him. Who can make sense of his Revelations? Alas, not I. However, this:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He who fears is not made perfect in love.
I have cried many happy tears over this verse. Who knew that a crazy old man from prehistoric time would speak to me, a child of gen-x?
I've thought about this verse for 10 years, and finally it's become a more
and more consistent practice. Thank you for your folly. If I were there, I'd kiss your dusty foot. Meanwhile, farewell.

Friday, November 02, 2007

the girl who could

My friend Judy, an architect, is making a difference. She wants to build a water project in a 3rd-world country every year of her life. You can help by making a small contribution to her grand vision. Thank you.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


This pair of pictures by Swedish photographer Carl Bengtson strike a deep cord. Their pale, crystal beauty speaks with calm and frankness. They remind me of Vermeer. In the north, fall is falling, and with it comes a longing for beauty that is more than skin-deep. With the waning of sunlight, the cooling of the breeze, we re-collect ourselves. We gear up for winter. We cling to familiarity, to family. The change of seasons anchors us to things that change not. These pictures are so much about the essence of the subjects, in their fully clothed but intimate setting. I'm moved by their fragility. By how at one they are with the somber stillness around them. Fall, exposing our nakedness. May we feel at home, wherever we are. May we belong with the people we are with. May we be happy in our own skin. May we slow down and listen to our hearts. There are all the answers.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


A beautiful and revealing portrait. From the first century AD, the dawn of the new era, we have this young couple who must have just begun their life together. A wedding portrait. So moving to see their differences in character. The man, with his big eyes and ears, seems young and impulsive. Full of hot blood. He clutches a scroll with a red seal, perhaps their marriage certificate. The young wife, beautiful and aristocratic, seems more temperate, sophisticated, and careful. She is literate, holding a wax writing tablet, foldable in two, and a stylus. She gazes pensively out into the distance. She is measured and thoughtful. The direction of their gazes tells us that this marriage has yet to come together. Their temperaments and characters have yet to be moulded around each other's. The giving and taking, and the writing, have only just begun.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

speak your love

sheer magic!
speak your love today!

Monday, September 24, 2007


A girl speaking to an angel, face to face, body to body, words, though in her language, probably not making sense. What an experience this must have been! In my beloved Fra Angelico's version, the ubiquitous lillies and scriptures are forsaken for the sake of simplicity. Ornament is not the point here, for Mary was not extravagant. Sitting on a three-legged stool, she floats in a pool of gold, the only sign of her sacredness. Gabriel, clad in color, with rainbow wings, is smaller than Mary. His smile and his pink robe speak of loving-kindness. His message: You have found favor in God. What a way to put it! "You have found favor in God." She is the subject of the sentence, and of the painting.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


What is more inevitable, more anticipated than the next wave?
What is a more accepting embrace than the sea's salty sweetness...
The shimmering surface, the sun's playground, challenges the mind to ponder eternity. The vast waters offer healing, soothing, and newness for every seeking soul. I learned to swim this summer... And Neptune was kind. What are some of your happy water moments?

Monday, September 03, 2007

today being labor day

A friend of mine wrote this this profound bit today:

Some things are more easily and productively exchanged than others. I hope never to change my marriage partner, though I know that some things may cause me to do so. I'm more willing to change my job when a moderately better one appears.

Given that basic approach, I'm much more likely to find ways to transmute lead into gold within my marriage than I am within a particular job, even if the alchemy requires much of me.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

home cookin

The pleasures and comforts of simple home-made food...
What's your favorite home-made meal?

Friday, August 24, 2007

china with love

It may be true that China will soon be the largest English-speaking country, and what an English it is!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Quite a heady piece... This painting, to me, is like holy water. It's infused with energy. You look at it and you are recharged. Let it really flow through you. It's more powerful than a mandala. This to me is up there with depictions of deities, which often fall short because they by necessity give God (or "a god") one specific look. I like the abstraction and the powerful energy of the waves. One of my favorite artists, Bridget Riley, British, 60s. What a challenge: to have your work be simple, strong, and infused with life force. I'm inspired & grateful.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

what the world eats

A gleaming photo essay on the foodways of various peoples... Just radiant. I feel like I've been invited to dinner all over the world. What an honor it would be to eat with any of these families... Going by these pictures, I would most like to spend a week in Egypt (above). In part 2 I wonder if Luxembourg is going to eat the chicken and the dog?

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Ikonostasis is the stand on which icons are placed at the front of Eastern Orthodox cathedrals. There is a strict order in which the personages appear: Mary with baby Jesus on the right, Christ on the left, John the Baptist on the right of Mary and so forth. The consistent order is reassuring. This chandelier is an ikonostasis of sorts ("a stand for icons"). It's from a big new cathedral that was built 2 years ago in my hometown, just across the street from my school. This picture, from last fall, gives me such a sense of calm and order. It reminds me that there is a divine, gold center in everyone, and in everything, despite the shades of gray, despite the confusion in our dome of existence. What we know is domed, it has a limit — but through the top, light streams in.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

every year counts

A most beautiful ad... I particularly like the tourist —
traveler distinction, from Pico Iyer's travel books.
{I don't get what they say about love... Anybody help?}

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


This is the entry to my grandparents' house, where my mom now lives.
I used to see Grandma Maria come and go here. Grandpa would sit on the bench, dignified in his thick wool pants and worn shirt, and she would serve him a shot of rakìya. On the right of the picture is the stroller I was strolled in as a child... Still with my mom after 31 years. It used to be in our basement for a long time. A teeny basement, mind you. Perhaps all the trouble is so she can save it for me? I can actually remember being in this thing. It seems, though I've sent her a wheeled bag, the stroller is her preferred mode of transportation.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


This empassioned scene summarizes my deeply held belief that I must be willing to let go of precisely the thing I want the most. That I must retain an element of freedom, from people and from things, even in my most important relationships. That if I must have something, or someone, to be happy, I'm missing the point. It's a mythic scene, the kind of scenario that doesn't happen to those who don't really listen, and few humans have known the voice of the Lord as well as Abraham. (For myself I rely on common sense and on revelation when it jives with common sense.) But Abraham was Abraham, and he followed. I've felt before that I've had to sacrifice what I want the most. Parents know this feeling. When is sacrifice a good thing, and when is it too much? Sometimes I'm too selfish, but I can also be too selfless... I pray that I may always know the balance. {This picture is also a celebration of Gaëtan's deliverance from a fall on a mountain yesterday. Angels were with him as with Isaac. Blessed be.}

Friday, July 20, 2007

the art of innocent torture

From Godard's "Masculin-Feminin." How important to honor oneself!
Especially if conveyed in a playful manner.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
"You owe me."
Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

mother eve

A happy depiction of Mother Eve — the way I picture her, light, happy and beautiful. None of the sinfulness that hovers in most religious images of her. Mormons are progressive when it comes to Eve, decidedly different than the rest of Christianity. To me, Eve was not a sinner. She and Adam were given a choice: stay in Eden happy and childless forever, or become mortal, have posterity and lead all humanity into a life where we can gain a mortal experience. I like Eve here in this portrait, whose artist I don't know. I like the 4 different cats, the playfulness and variety they add to the scene (are they the 4 directions? the 4 elements?) I like the rift behind Eve, symbolic of the choice she had at hand. Two cats here, two there — both sides seemed equally good to her for a while. And I love so much that she holds, and covers herself with, a lilly: a symbol of purity, the same flower that Gabriel would later give to Mary. My beautiful and happy Mother Eve.

Monday, July 16, 2007

mother amma

Amma, "the Hugging Saint" is touring the US this summer. I was blessed to get one of her hugs, after a long line of happy people, at about 3am. She sits and hugs "until everyone has been received." I used to think, well, I can get a hug from a lot of great people and I don't have to miss on sleep, but truly, you have to experience it because words simply cannot do it justice. I feel so much physical energy and so much love.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


The beauty who gave birth to Gaëtan, 40 years ago. Happy Birthday!

Monday, July 09, 2007

grandpa's phone book

My grandpa was a man of love and care. Is.

ennio morricone

This has to be the most moving piece of music ever penned...
The heights to which we humans can ascend, when we are
full of love! Sheer rapture! You can listen and relish here.
The composer conducts. A similarly thrilling oboe solo is
the beginning of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

alina's art

These are all hands... beautiful hands! Alina, this is gallery art!
I want to be your rep! More ripply dazzle on Alina's blog.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Gaëtan holding the world in his hands.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I had a moment of abandon this afternoon, dancing to Krishna Das. His music is deep and joyful at once. It was pure bliss. Dance has to be my absolute favorite thing to do. Dancing is best when no one is watching. I'm reminded of Isadora Duncan, my greatest dance inspiration. I just found out she was married to Sergei Essenin, one of my favorite poets. She's the mother of modern dance, breaking away from formal dance into a primitivist, free-spirited prance that involved the waving of arms and scarves and the hems of clothing. I love her.


I am an empassioned fan of mandalas. Not only because I love symmetry (as much as asymmetry). Not only because I love kaleidoscopes. Not only because I love the sun and everything radiant. Not only because I love op-ed art (an entry on Bridget Riley forthcoming). Not only because they symbolize the chakras. But because they infuse me with energy when I look at them. They are alive. They center me. This is my mandala. Make your own here.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


How I love this... The canon-breaking John the Baptist... Look how androgynous! How glad he is. How gay! How everything opposite of how we picture St. John (gaunt, starved, raggedy). I'm enthralled by this image. It may be my favorite work of art. Why is he so happy?! What makes this creature so complete? Perfectly male and female, perfectly in the present and in all time, perfectly childlike and somehow wiseman-mysterious. All opposites marry in him. And the sign... The sign! This moved me to tears in Paris... I was doing the requisite walk-about-the-Louvre. And this stopped me and and sucked me in. I didn't just think, "how pretty / how strange / how ambiguous." That lasted a moment. But then I thought, this is exactly what it's like. Somebody in the 16th century painted exactly what loving Christ feels like. It's that reckless. And that horribly individual, and personal, and intimate. Christ / God / the Tao / the divine is in all, even in the most fleshily despicable. Look what a horrid John the Baptist. Really. Look how unsaintly. From a religious point of view. But look how FULL of divine love and light. How perversely full of divine love. I'm drunk with this image.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


The most beguiling of Björk's many wonderful videos, directed by Sophie Müller. You have the pleasure of watching it on YouTube. I'm blown away every time. Something about the eggs / kitchen / lighting / colors speaks to me on a very personal level.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


ross lovegrove, my future lover! let him inspire you here.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

my mom's food

a happy moment from my mom's village late last summer: she had
just made a spanakopita with homemade filo (on the wooden oval)
and she'd had a bowl of stew for lunch, with olives and country bread...
how moving the vestiges of everyday life of the people we love...

Thursday, May 24, 2007


how someone's story, which happens to be about
a chandelier in the trees, lights up my whole being!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

oh come all ye faithful!

don't let me tell you how much i love this, or i'd never stop! panton chairs with a cross diecut?! the red cushions! the piled up persian rugs! oh the love! cheekiness is next to godliness. more glory here.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

angels and human hands

Angels and the hands of those who wish each other well,
by the same token, at the same time, across the Atlantic.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I thought of green all weekend. So good to have grass under your
feet. Tree branches around you. Green is a healer, an infusion of life.
I learned yesterday how to infuse my body with color. You think
of the color streaming into you. It feels wonderful. Fresh. Almost
as good as lying on grass, somebody kind next to you.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


We have 4 most unlikely characters. First, the white and marbly Venus, as though sculpted an hour ago, with her gaze fixated like a Greek statue, royally neglectful of the maiden who is about to clothe her. Let her be naked! She doesn't need a robe. Better yet, we have the 2 beautiful intertwined angels who, in the throes of love, somehow manage to blow Venus ashore. Quite fascinating for angels to be so lusty. Turns out, in fact, that they are gods, the gods of the West wind (Zephyrs), the ones who bring forth spring. I want to be a goddess, then, and fly around naked with a lover. Mmm.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

mary magdalene

In the history of art, Mary Magdalene is consistently pictured
as a repentant sinner. Christianity has long taught she was a whore,
but I don't believe she was. At this point many believe, as do I, that
she was Christ's wife. But if she was sexual, she must have been a
whore? Is it unthinkable for a woman to be both righteous and sexual?
Christianity is still uncomfortable with female sexuality. I believe she
was a strong, faithful woman from beginning to end, and her
righteous, committed sexuality is not only nothing to be so terribly
ashamed of, as Titian would have it. It's a unity of holiness and
sexuality that is quite possible and rewarding in our day and age.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Ah! Oh! Giselle as Maria Callas?! Was there ever a more perfect match?! Or a better opening spread?! Oh holy Fabien! I got this issue of Harper's Bazaar as a student, and this spread hung on my wall for many months. Love to all involved.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


I find it strange that most Christians believe that on Easter
morning, Jesus didn't let Mary touch him. When was Jesus ever
a prude? The words we now have as "Touch me not" are more
normally translated as "Don't hold me back {I must go}." I like
that Angelico has depicted him cross-legged: he wants to go,
and he wants to stay. Hmm...

Thursday, April 05, 2007


wool stockings? corset? how i adore these jeans, and how bad they would look on anybody but the girl they're on!